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This is one of the great articles that causes one to think and raise questions. It is rather long, and
many of the comments that follow it are equally thought-provoking.
I came upon this article while surfing the Internet. Topics covered are: Corporations, government,
society and morality. Even though the topic was written in May, 2013, it has as much relevance
today as it did then.
About Pres. Obama: If he has gone as far to the right as the author alleges, the question that
arises in my mind is, then why are the Right-Wing Congress and news media trying so hard to
destroy him? Could it all be an act? A ploy on the part of the Right-Wing leadership to make
Obama appear less Right-Wing, and, hence, more acceptable to the Left?
Posted by Cal33 | Sun Dec 22, 2013, 02:29 PM (13 replies)
should win in the primaries, I'd of course vote for her. I'd also be hoping that
with Hillary as president, it will not be simply a matter of "more of the same."
Our nation can't take this "more of the same" much longer. We need someone
who is clearly "left of center."
"Right of center" Democratic presidents only help to keep the Right-Wingers
in power longer, and thus prolong the degeneration of our country and the
suffering of the American people.
That's the way the present situation appears to me -- looking at the whole
broad picture. How do other Democrats see it?
Posted by Cal33 | Mon Nov 11, 2013, 11:05 AM (141 replies)
imposed a $920 million fine on JP Morgan's London office for a bad trade.
Finally Warren's efforts are bearing fruit -- and big time fruit, indeed!
I hope more of the ill-gotten gains of this and other large banks and
corporations will be paid back to the people who have been cheated
and screwed by these big-time crooks.
More power to the people of America because of her!
Posted by Cal33 | Fri Sep 20, 2013, 10:34 AM (18 replies)
"moderate Republican." And this from his own lips. I saw it on TV news. So is he, himself,
telling us that he is a moderate Republican?
To the Right-Wingers, of course, this is not enough. To them he is still a "Commie." This shows
how far the whole political scene has shifted to the right in this country. Too many of the leaders
of our nation (both in government and in private industry) are half-crazed fanatics -- fanatics for
their own personal profit, and to hell with everybody else. This is why our whole nation is in the
mess and chaos we are in.
This is what happens when we have too many sickos in positions of power. We are being ruled
by sickos. What else can be expected to happen to our nation but go down-hill? And we have
been going down-hill for a long time.
These mad hats have got to be stopped. There isn't much time left before total disaster strikes.
We've got to win both houses of Congress in 2014, and the presidency in 2016. Fence-sitting
Democratic candidates will not bring about change. The best they can do is to maintain the status
quo, and prolong the agony we're in. In short, all they can provide is more of the same.
For REAL CHANGE we need more Progressive Democrats in office -- people like Warren, Sanders,
Grayson............... And we've got to win in 2014 and 2016.
I 'd like to hear the views of those Democrats who believe that a "middle-of-the-road" approach
might be wiser, and certainly safer.
Posted by Cal33 | Sun Sep 8, 2013, 11:05 AM (17 replies)
Elizabeth Warren's letter to Adj. Gen. Holder asking him why haven't
the executives of big banks that practiced fraud on the American people
even been investigated.
It's 14 months between now and Nov. 2014. Going at this rate, Sen. Warren
will have fired up enough people to speak up and demand that more
progressive and liberal politicians run for office. I believe there are many
liberals in pink states who don't run because they feel the chances of winning
are too low. Some of them will be encouraged to run, and they will be less
timid about sounding progressive, because more Dems. will want them
to be so.
If anyone can turn things around, Elizabeth can, and will. I wouldn't be too
surprised if Democrats should win both houses of Congress in 2014 !
She sure must be sick and tired of all the timidity among the ranks of our
Go! Warren! Go!
Posted by Cal33 | Thu Aug 22, 2013, 08:32 PM (7 replies)
recently an American tennis fan congratulated an Englishman when finally a Briton, Andy Murray,
had won the Wimbledon championship for the first time in 75 years! Do you know what the
the Englishman said? His reply was, "Yes ..... but he is not English!" Andy Murray is Scotch. I
suppose the Englishman looked upon him as a "colonial." He and too many Englishmen still have
the mentality of people from the 18th and 19the centuries, still thinking in terms of
"pure Englishmen" and "colonials."
Can you imagine the subtle, not-so-subtle, and blatantly open snubs and put-downs still going on
in the social and business worlds of the UK today? And among "pure Englishmen" themselves,
their society is still being separated by barriers according to class from the blue-blooded nobility to
the city slum dwellers. And today, the situation is complicated by the large numbers of non-white
immigrants from the far-flung countries of their former world-wide empire.
Can you blame the Scots for wanting to secede from the UK?
Let's take a closer look at what a "pure Englishman" is. The first known settlers in England
probably were the Celts. Around 400 BC, the ancient Romans conquered and colonized
"Britannia," as they called that land, and they stayed there for 4 centuries. And Roman armies
were known to have Nubian soldiers. Nubians were black Africans. So, there was already a
mixture of some Italian and a little of black African genes in their ancestry even before the
The Viking pirates had been raiding the coasts of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales also for
In the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D. there was a heavy influx of the Angles and Saxons into
England. These were Germanic tribes, and many of them were fleeing from the Huns (an
Asian tribe) who had conquered much of Germany at that time. The Anglo-Saxons warred
with the Celts, who retreated further west into Wales and Ireland, and north into Scotland.
In 1066 William the Conqueror from Normandy, France, conquered the land and became the
King of England. His descendants (among whom was Richard the Lion-Hearted of the
Crusades fame). The Plantagenets remained for 200 years, and French was the spoken language
at the English Court. And the Normans despised their defeated subjects, the Anglo-Saxons.
The English language we have today is a mixture of Celtic, Latin, Scandinavian, German and
French. There may be others that I have missed.
The "pure Englishman?" Hah! They're deluding themselves. There is no pure anything. There
I wish the Scotch people good luck, whatever results from their present problems with
the "pure English."
Posted by Cal33 | Sun Aug 11, 2013, 05:31 PM (49 replies)
well-known. It's true that this will be a great help in winning the election, but I think
more should be looked at than name-recognition alone. We should also consider the
candidates' philosophies of governance. Just read the message in this thread describing
what Warren is like at work in the senate. She doesn't take any nonsense from anyone
and doesn't allow herself to be bullied by anybody. quality !!]. Furthermore, she is anything but shy about standing up for what she wants to
get done for the American people. Right now she is working on (1) Student Loans.
(2) Breaking Up the Big Banks (and here she's got Republican Sen. John McCain, no less,
on her side).
She started off in the Senate seven months ago as a star figure and is more well-known
than many of her senior colleagues who have already served several terms. This is a
delicate situation and will continue to remain so for some time to come, but she seems
to be handling it well thus far. There are more of them who admire and are in awe of
her than those who disapprove. The GOP senators, of course, detest her. Their fear of
her is plainly showing!
For those of us Democrats who think that Hillary Clinton is a far better-known person,
well, it's true at the moment. But there are 3+ years to go before November, 2016, and
Warren, at the rate she is moving, will have accomplished far more in bringing to the
American people's awareness the severe problems that are facing our nation. She will
introduce legislation to correct them, and she will not hesitate to publicize it -- loud and
clear-- when the GOP senators will do their best to block them. She is not shy about
placing blame on where the blame is due. After all, it is the truth. And, like Harry
Truman, she is not afraid of telling the truth.
Like many other Democrats, I think of Hillary Clinton as a middle-of-the-roader. Should
she decide to run and win, we'll be having more of the same as what we've been having
from Obama, so far. Should Clinton win in the primaries, I'd vote for her over any
Republican. However, in the long run I don't think there can be any real change with a
middle-of-the-road philosophy, and win against the Republicans as things now stand.
Just look at Obama. He gives in perhaps 75% and receives 25% whenever he is
bargaining with the GOP. For the health of Democracy in our country, this is like dying
a slow death. It's only a question of time -- unless we change. I hope I am wrong,
but it doesn't look like Obama is going to change suddenly in the 3+ years that are left.
Elizabeth Warren is a Progressive, Liberal DOER. And we need a Progressive, Liberal
DOER right now to shake up the masses of people who simply don't know what's going
on in our country, and in the world at large.
We need NEW BLOOD, and Elizabeth Warren is that NEW BLOOD we have been hoping
and praying for, ever since GW Bush became president in January. 2001.
Posted by Cal33 | Fri Aug 2, 2013, 12:01 PM (180 replies)
She doesn't take any nonsense from anybody, even though she has been at her job for only
7 months. But she can also be warm and friendly.
It's a rather long article, but a highly interesting one. The author also wrote that
"Warren also topped Hillary Clinton in a straw poll of attendees at the Take Back the
American Dream conference that took place in Washington last month."
Posted by Cal33 | Wed Jul 31, 2013, 07:00 PM (11 replies)
solved. Believe me, they will be solved -- but only temporarily, then they will start again. Just take a look at history, there have always been ups followed by downs, again and again, right up to the present time. This is the way it has always been, at least, since the past 6,000 years of written history.
I think one of the main reasons is that between 2 and 4 percent of the general population is made up of people with "anti-social personality disorder" (or "sociopaths"). They are simply just there, just as some 5% of the general population is left-handed. They, too, are just there, and have always been there. The difference is that left-handed people don't harm others or commit more crimes any more than the right-handed ones. But sociopaths do.
People are usually attracted by and gravitate to those professions where their particular needs and desires can be more easily met and satisfied. This also applies to sociopaths, who simply love to acquire money and power in order to have control over the lives of others and use people as tools for their own benefit. They are ambitious, aggressive and will let nothing stand in their way to achieve what they are after. There are two well-known areas where money and power in huge amounts can be obtained:
A. Business executives: Corporations usually promote those employees who bring in the most profits. It also happens that those executives who are the most ruthless in their business dealings (and are smart enough not to get caught), are the ones who make the most profit for their companies. So, they have the best chances of being promoted. I'm willing to bet that the percentage of sociopaths among the higher business executives is considerably more than the 2% to 4% in the general population.
B. Politicians are well-known to speak from both sides of their mouths, and they do have power over others, even when they're supposed to be serving them. Most of them are fine people, but here again I'm also convinced that the sociopaths among them number more than the 2% to 4% found in the general community.
I am sure sociopaths are found in every profession, but the above two are probably the biggies. Naturally, prisons have the highest concentrations of them, since they are the ones who show the greatest disregard for the rights of others, and are also the ones who most frequently break the law.
Having a defective conscience, they don't feel badly about harming someone else. Lacking a sense of morality, they are not guided by it -- much like a two-year-old. The difference is that a two-year-old does not yet have any concept of morality, but a sociopath will hardly ever have an effective one. This is explained more in detail below.
A sociopath can learn that certain actions could land him in jail. He avoids them, not that he feels they are wrong, but because he doesn't want to be caught and punished. He is not capable of putting himself in someone else's shoes and see things from the other's point of view, but he can be made to do something out of fear. This explains why he so often uses the tactic of fear and intimidation to get what he wants -- these being the main things he, himself, responds to. By the same token, if he feels confident enough of being able to avoid being caught, he will continue any action -- even a criminal one -- as long as it serves his purposes. He feels no guilt or shame, neither pride nor honor. He may acquire an intellectual concept of the meaning of the words, but these, too, are used by him only for his own advantage.
Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, who died some 30 years ago, is the author of the present-day widely used theory of the development of morality in children, who pass through successive stages of moral growth:
Stage 1: small child. To him it's "right" when he does what he is told by authority figures, and anything is also the right thing to do if it can help him to avoid punishment.
Stage 5: the "Social Contract level" where the older child begins to understand the concept of individual rights, and follows laws as prescribed by the society in which he lives, and
Stage 6: the last and most advanced, where the adult individual is now being guided by his own conscience, which has developed according to universally accepted principles. An example of a Stage-6 universally accepted principle is "Reciprocity," which has become a part of the individual's conscience.
Reciprocity is aptly described in the biblical injunction, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Sociopaths have never reached this last stage, their moral development having been arrested at an earlier and more primitive one. Many have not reached Stage 5. And, not surprisingly, there are some rather bright and well-educated adults who have never developed beyond the small-child stage (Stage 1). These are the big galoots who enjoy taking orders from above, and enthusiastically march in lock-step when told to do so by their superiors. It's right when authority figures tell them so.
This could explain why they can exploit and abuse others without any sense of shame or remorse. They might not even understand what the fuss is all about when the offended party complains. However, they do object -- and very loudly -- when they, themselves, have been taken advantage of.
THE IMPORTANT POINT: They do not see any connection between their being abused by others, and their own abuse of others. This is one of the "defects" in their consciences. And I wonder if this could also be a cause for the radical and seemingly irreconcilable differences between the logic and reasoning of the sociopath and that of the non-sociopath. The very way they think and feel seems to be so different.
Intelligence does not play much of a role here. Sociopathy most likely developed as a combination of genetic inheritance plus environmental influences while growing up. So, can a sociopath really be blamed for being the way he is? I think not. But the fact remains that he can and does harm other people. And these other people also have the right to be protected from the sociopath's misdeeds.
Unlike those with neurotic disorders, people with personality disorders do not suffer from anxiety or inner discomfort of any kind. They don't feel that anything is wrong with their behavior or themselves, and so do not seek therapy voluntarily, although sometimes they are required by the court to have counseling with mental health professionals.
I've recently read that a lab test has been devised that can objectively detect sociopathy in people. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used. When the average person is shown a movie of cruelty, brutality, torture...etc..., the center for unpleasant emotions in his brain becomes aroused. And because of the increased brain activity, more blood goes to that particular area. This shows up in the MRI as an enlargement of the arteries supplying more blood to that part of the brain. Since the sociopath feels little or no compassion for others in pain, his MRI shows no such change. And this identifies him. Or, if he is also a sadist and enjoys the cruelty shown, the "pleasure center " (which is in a different area of the brain) becomes aroused. This is also identifiable in the MRI.
Is it possible that this might lead to a compulsory testing of all future candidates for high positions, whether public or private? Hardly! Why not? They may be helpful, but they are not fool-proof. People can be taught how to beat these
tests. And there is also the question of the invasion of one's civil liberties.
The upshot of all this is that as long as there are too many sociopaths holding positions of power, there will always be
trouble of all varieties, shapes and sizes -- including world wars. And we have reached a stage of technology where another world war could spell the end of the human race. We simply can't afford to have another one.
I see some possibility in one area (of course, there are bound to be others around, too) where something could be done to improve the problem of sociopathy : Scientists have identified 4 or 5 genes in the genetic make-up of sociopaths. Perhaps some time in the future they will be able to manipulate the genes, so that all future babies will be born without this taint, and the curse of sociopathy will be erased from the face of the earth.
I see the present-day GOP as a degenerate form of the Old GOP, and both are the result of having sociopaths in
positions of power. The GOP is the effect, and the presence of SOCIOPATHY is the CAUSE. Bringing an end to the effect will leave only a temporary result. In order to have a permanent result we'll need to treat the cause.
Just look up "Sociopathy" or "The GOP and Sociopathy" in the Internet, and you will see hundreds of thousands of articles on the subject. I know the American Psychological Association and The American Psychiatric Association do not
make official political statements. But this question arises in my mind: "But do they have a limit? For example, even
when self-destruction is staring at us in the face?" Will they not speak out even then?
Posted by Cal33 | Fri Jul 12, 2013, 12:20 PM (7 replies)
Big banks are trying to crush Credit Unions by influencing Congress to pass laws
to stop the tax-exempt status that credit unions need in order to survive.
Yes, the self-same banks that brought our nation to economic disaster and needed
government bail-outs in order to survive.
Let's let Congress members know they had better leave credit unions be -- or else
they'll be looking for new jobs come their next election time.
Posted by Cal33 | Mon Jul 8, 2013, 06:38 PM (55 replies)