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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:22 PM
Original message
Noam Chomsky: Why it's over for America
An inability to protect its citizens. The belief that it is above the law. A lack of democracy. Three defining characteristics of the 'failed state'. And that, says Noam Chomsky, is exactly what the US is becoming. In an exclusive extract from his devastating new book, America's leading thinker explains how his country lost its way


The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes. It is important to stress the government, because the population, not surprisingly, does not agree.

That brings up a fourth issue that should deeply concern Americans, and the world: the sharp divide between public opinion and public policy, one of the reasons for the fear, which cannot casually be put aside, that, as Gar Alperowitz puts it in America Beyond Capitalism, "the American 'system' as a whole is in real trouble - that it is heading in a direction that spells the end of its historic values equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy".

The "system" is coming to have some of the features of failed states, to adopt a currently fashionable notion that is conventionally applied to states regarded as potential threats to our security (like Iraq) or as needing our intervention to rescue the population from severe internal threats (like Haiti). Though the concept is recognised to be, according to the journal Foreign Affairs, "frustratingly imprecise", some of the primary characteristics of failed states can be identified. One is their inability or unwillingness to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction. Another is their tendency to regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and hence free to carry out aggression and violence. And if they have democratic forms, they suffer from a serious "democratic deficit" that deprives their formal democratic institutions of real substance.

Among the hardest tasks that anyone can undertake, and one of the most important, is to look honestly in the mirror. If we allow ourselves to do so, we should have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of "failed states" right at home.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article621...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. The only way to fix it is for ALL politicians to kick their egos aside AND
for all Americans to endure great sacrifice in the next decade or so.

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CanSocDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Give up my TV and car.....??


Surely you jest.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. May require more than just a few material possessions.
About the only thing some people will have left will be their dignity (and that will be by just a shred)

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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. After Abramoff, I think we need to give all lobbyists the heave-ho.
Edited on Tue May-30-06 12:53 PM by EOO
Toss 'em out to the streets like drunks after closing time. That would seem to be the only way to fix Congress at this point.
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ItsTheMediaStupid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
82. Public funding of all political campaigns
The current system of "campaign donantions" is legalized influence peddling. There is no doubt it will be abused.

A big hurdle in this fight will be reducing the legal rights of corporations. In many ways they are currently regarded as having he same rights as a flesh and blood person, which is ridiculous on its face.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
40. I just as well have Bush and his ilk "'endure great sacrifice..."
...in the next couple decades or so. That includes his "haves-more" base.

When the Dems take Congress in November, just as soon as everyone is sworn in, I want the Dem Senate to use the "nuclear option" and put everything right again...

I want to see:
National health care
The energy industries nationalized
Income tax rates put back to where it was before the Bush gang, including all tax benefits for the "have-mores"
Competitive prescription drug costs (see no. 1 above)
Student loan programs re-established
Tax breaks for recycling
Tax breaks for R&D in alternative energy industry
Tax breaks for hybrid purchases/increase tax on SUVs and Hummers
No NSA spying
All of Bush's appointments nullified (produce a report that says he was mentally incompetent when he made them, so that makes them null and void)
etc...

If the GOP balks in the slightest, do the "Nuclear Option"

I want to see Bush and his gang of thugs and cutthroats held accountable. Once and for all.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. I like the way you think...
sadly, I can't expect even half of that from our current crop of dems...

remember, they had 2 years under clinton to do as they wished... well, at least we got FMLA
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
59. Trouble is (and this is pretty much bi-partisan knowledge) is that...
taxes must be raised across-the board-dramatically and spending needs to be cut across-the-board dramatically.

The national deficit is actually around $11-12 trillion with obligations pushing the total up to about $50 trillion. IMO, the best place to start is cutting the spending for the military-industrial beast. 55% of our fiscal budget for military/defense?!?!?!


Fucking INSANE!

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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Dupe...
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Sorry Did a search for GD
and it did not show, so I posted... thanks....
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. it's not a dupe if it's in a different forum
So you're fine :)
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Thank you, I always do a search
Edited on Tue May-30-06 12:53 PM by dogday
in GD so I try hard not to dupe and what do you know?? Oops, there it is... :hi:
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. America is not a failed state.
On the contrary, it's all too successful.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. not yet. nt
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. Read the book
but Katrina should be a warning sign that WE ARE
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Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Like the tow-truck that runs out of gas- we will need others
to help us.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Going...Going...Gone. Great article. Chomsky nails it.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Chomsky is part of the problem. He doesn't see what he doesn't
want to see.

He has turned his head from the direction of rather glaring facts and truth regarding the assassination of JFK and now, September 11th.

If he's the a humanitarian and activist he and others claim him to be, why would he ignore and dismiss further investigations into the two biggest assaults on America and our Democracy?

Probably because he doesn't like where the trail is leading. Welcome to land of what is, Mr. Chomsky.

You can't cherry pick the truth, although he and others continue to try.
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mrfrapp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Not Helpful
It wouldn't help anyone's cause if Chomsky involves himself with the questions surrounding JFK or 9/11. Who knows what Chomsky thinks of those topics and frankly it's a good thing no one does. If he did address those topics it would only create a distraction from his scholarly discussion of more publically acceptable, albeit controversial, political topics.

Do you suppose The Independent would have printed this article if Chomsky was known as the "JFK/September 11th conspiracy nut"? No, they would have passed him over and, if we were lucky, would have published a similar but inferior article by some other political analyst.

JFK and 9/11 are worthy topics of investigation but it's for other people to do the investigating
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Are you saying Chomsky can only handle the "safe" topics.
Are the two most important assaults on America not up for "scholarly" discussion?

I hope you'll forgive me when I say I've not heard something so ridiculous and classist in a long time.

These are the two topics that cut to the core of the problem and need to be addressed almost surgically so that this country can confront the truth, face the reality and address the remedies necessary to bring this country back and heal from wounds that have caused a dominoe effect of corrupt leadership and greed like this country has not experienced before. We need to look at these issues because they determine our future. That would make these two topics worthy of every leader addressing.

Of course that would only take place in a sane, reality based, healthy culture. May we get there at some point.
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mrfrapp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Classist?
"Are the two most important assaults on America not up for "scholarly" discussion?"

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. My post was quite plain.

"I hope you'll forgive me when I say I've not heard something so ridiculous and classist in a long time."

Classist? What's that supposed to mean?
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. you are predjudiced against the conspiracy theorist class
Edited on Tue May-30-06 02:00 PM by maxsolomon
i guess

:eyes:
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. I guess you know it all and theres not a conspiracy.
Why don't we come to you for all the answers since there is no conspiracy and afterwards we can all go pop a beer, turn on the t.v. and watch American Idol.

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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #34
62. so young so angry.
Edited on Tue May-30-06 04:49 PM by maxsolomon
i was merely resonding to the 'classist' question.

by all means, come to me for all the answers. :eyes:

what is 'american idol'? i don't watch much TV.
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
50. "safe topics"?
You think the end of our country is a safe topic?
I think it's so unsafe, that you can't even consider it and would prefer to deal with your pet/safe topics of conspiracy.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Remember proverbs for paranoids: Once they have you asking the
wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers. If Chomsky'd rather focus on international politics than conspiracy theories, I have a real problem calling that "part of the problem."
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Jazz2006 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. delete - wrong spot.
Edited on Tue May-30-06 03:17 PM by Jazz2006
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michael_1166 Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
57. Neither you nor Chomsky make these issues imaginary
by stating that they are imaginary. Neither can you automatically equate the word "conspiracy" with "implausible" and "impossible". It can't be because it just can't be? In my opinion, people who still consider the fairytale of Osama and his 19 box cutters of death to be the truth about 9/11 are either uninformed or intentionally ignorant of the facts.

The towers fell in 8.4 seconds - exactly freefall. You don't get freefall if floors pancake onto each other (official theory). Now, Noam Chomsky is free to ignore the law of gravity as long as he wants. But the truth is ugly, very ugly. Probably he just can't take it.

Do yourself a favor and please watch these videos:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-71625395322541...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=675726700840074...


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Jazz2006 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. There's a whole forum full of 9/11 stuff...
you might take a peek at it some time.

(And, btw, you're wrong about freefall and I've seen all the videos ~ now get thee to the dungeon and check out the hundreds of 9/11 threads there)

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michael_1166 Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #60
81. I know about the 9/11 forum.
You initially suggested the equation conspiracy = generally not credible here in this forum. You deleted that post while I was replying to it.

Could you point me to your source saying the towers did not collapse in freefall time? Thank you.

Btw., I'm not even claiming it must have been a conspiracy at work on 9/11. But I'm against discrediting alternative theories just because the possible implications would be too horrible to consider. That's the trap Noam Chomsky got himself in, and, the way it looks like, large parts of the American public too.
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Jazz2006 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #81
97. Actually, I didn't suggest the equation....
"conspiracy = generally not credible".

Btw, my post is still on this thread. I initially replied in the wrong spot so I posted it in the correct spot (i.e. so that it was "replying" to the post I intended to reply to) and then removed the one that was in the wrong spot.... but it's still here at #36.

There are entire threads and many thousands of posts devoted to the "free fall" issue in the Sept. 11 forum ~ rather than me giving you a source or a dozen sources, I'd suggest you go check out those threads and view a whole host of sources with opposing viewpoints from which you can asertain for yourself, if you apply critical thinking skills and an open mind, that the buildings did not fall at free fall speeds. It is of infinitely more value for you to obtain information from a number of sources rather than just buy into something that someone tells you or something you get from a single source. Particularly when the issue is controversial and there are conflicting views, because it is only by reading, researching, and considering those conflicting views yourself that you can come to really understand a controversial issue.

In addition, we are not supposed to discuss 9/11 stuff here in GD and posting links to 9/11 stuff here would probably get my post deleted.

I agree with you that it would be ridiculous to discredit an alternative theory "just because the possible implications would be too horrible to consider".

But I disagree with you that "that's the trap Noam Chomsky got himself into". Quite the opposite, in fact. It is not that he found the implications "too horrible" to consider, but rather that he considered the allegation (that the admin had foreknowledge) and concluded that the theory was hopelessly implausible. Then he repeated it: "hopelessly implausible". Then he added, "So hopelessly implausible that I don't see any point in talking about it".

"Hopelessly implausible" does not equal "too horrible to contemplate". Chomsky hardly seems to be a man who would find government complicity as something "too horrible to contemplate".

I certainly don't find it "too horrible to contemplate" but I do find the conspiracy theories hopelessly implausible.

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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. I agree, he's overrated.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. Remember: Chomsky is a self described Marxist
Not that there's anything wrong with that. We need all kinds of debate at the table, and the Communist boogeyman has shut off a corner of the marketplace of ideas for too long now.

However, a true Marxist would not care who was behind 9/11 or the JFK assasination because they see them as power struggles within a doomed capitalist state.

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. Actually, he's a self-described Anarchist.
Or, if preferred, "Socialist-Libertarian".
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #31
56. No, he isn't. Where'd you hear that? nt
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. Thought he said it in "Manufacturing Consent"
But I might be wrong - I'm pretty sure he said he was a Marxist though - but he may have been making a point on how skittish we are when we hear Marx in a sentence.

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Terran1212 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #31
73. He denounces Marxism actually
One of his heroes is adam smith
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 04:17 AM
Response to Reply #31
77. He's a libertarian socialist or an anarcho-syndicalist to be exact
Edited on Wed May-31-06 04:19 AM by Selatius
Marxism lies at the opposite end Chomsky occupies, and Chomsky is no follower of Marx. His ideology has more in common with Bakunin than Marx, and it was Bakunin who argued with Marx that if a revolution were won under a Marxist revolutionary party, they would end up as bad as the regime they replaced.

The school of socialism has two extreme ends. On one end lie the hardened anarcho-socialists. They believe in "voluntary collectivism." They can be called libertarian socialists, anarcho-socialists, liberal socialists, anarchists, or any similar combination. On the opposite end lie the authoritarian state socialists who believe in "forced collectivism." They are very rare but are extremely dangerous if they get too close to power. Everybody else within socialism lies somewhere in between, but Chomsky leans towards the former believing in the power of the individual to choose, while several others who followed Marx leaned closer to the latter believing the state should decide for you.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
93. Wrong on both points
Edited on Wed May-31-06 02:09 PM by JackRiddler
Chomsky should be categorized as a linguist with a better-known sidearm as a political historian, but the only creed he's espoused at times is anarcho-syndicalism, and he's definitely not a Marxist. (Whatever that means, by the way. As Uncle Karl himself said: Je ne suis pas un Marxist.)

Second, no doubt you'll find Marxists (and others) who think 9/11 is irrelevant because the official story is established and the incident is therefore actually minor in world-historical terms, but you won't find anyone who wouldn't agree that IF 9/11 was an inside job, it obviously has a very different meaning and significance than under the official story.
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Jazz2006 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. No, he's not "part of the problem" for not going into conspiracy
Edited on Tue May-30-06 03:43 PM by Jazz2006
theories.

He made himself quite clear on the 9/11 conspiracy theories when asked whether he thought the gov't had foreknowledge and he said something like, "that's an internet conspiracy and it's hopelessly implausible. So hopelessly implausible that I don't see any point in talking about it."

He's an intelligent man.

And he is absolutely right to focus on REAL issues, not imaginary ones.

(Edit: That said, I do not agree that the U.S. is doomed to become a "failed state")
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Terran1212 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
71. Because he doesn't believe in blatant conspiracy theory?
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Anarcho-Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
80. "Glaring facts"?
What are those? The grainy black and white images, the hearsay, the very selective Cartesian hyperbolic doubt. Hardly 'truth' is it? Cherry-picking indeed.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
83. Wow.
So we can add Chomsky to the list of those like George Monbiot, John Pilger, Michael Moore, Robert Fisk and so on who the MIHOPers just dismiss out of hand.

You're living in a fantasy world.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #83
85. i'm a mihop'er and i'm not dismissing anyone out of hand.
it is an undeniable fact that there are hundreds of unanswered questions about 9/11. if chomsky, or anyone else, can provide the answer to those questions, i'd be happy to hear them. neither chomsky, nor anyone else, has the right or the ability to dismiss "conspiracy" theories until those questions are answered.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #85
87. He's going with what is overwhelmingly the most likely version of events.
Just as most of the rest of us are.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. Sadly, I tend to agree with Chomsky. "Failed states" w/a "democratic
deficit" indeed...

"nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes"

knr and thanks for posting.
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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
16. sadly kicked and rec'd n/t
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. K&r(nt)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. "...the population, not surprisingly, does not agree." I grow impatient
Edited on Tue May-30-06 02:25 PM by Peace Patriot
with leftist thinkers who write in this lofty vein--of broad principles of democracy being violated--and don't address themselves to the specific means of disenfranchisement of the majority, namely, Bushite corporations gaining direct control over the tabulation of our votes, in the new (2002-2004) electronic voting systems, using "TRADE SECRET," PROPRIETARY programming code, with virtually no audit/recount controls. This election system--quite deliberately engineered by the two biggest crooks in Congress, Tom Delay and Bob Ney (abetted by 'Democrat' Christopher Dodd)--in combination with Bushite abuse of power in suppressing black, poor and other Democratic votes in Ohio, Florida and other states--is WHY we have a government with which "the population...does not agree." And Chomsky would do more good for the cause of democracy if he SAID SO and thus helped those of us who are trying to restore Americans' right to vote.

Instead of descrying a "failed state," why not identify the mechanism of the people's power--our right to vote--the loss of which has been singularly responsible for the failures and atrocities of our government?

Most of this article is dealing with effects, not causes. The effect of our disenfranchisement is that the Bush junta policy is failing in every venue--foreign and domestic, political and economic--as it relentlessly seeks to further enrich the few, at the expense of the poor, at home and abroad. Chomsky speaks mostly about foreign policy, for instance, the impacts of democratic votes in Venezuela and other South American countries, and in Palestine, or the Chinese/South American alliances regarding oil. Upshot: the Bush junta's brutal pursuit of oil in Iraq and the Middle East has alienated just about everybody, and DECREASED the U.S. ability to participate in normal political, diplomatic and economic deal-making where all, or at least multiple parties, benefit.

Chomsky uses the phrase "democracy deficit" about the U.S. But that is too general--and, not incidentally, leaves us powerless--what do you do about a "democracy deficit"? There are a lot of things to be said about the corporate pigsty that Washington DC has become, the long erosion of election integrity through our filthy campaign contribution system (all to feed billions to corporate TV for stupid ads), and other trends that have PRECEDED the outright rigging of our elections, but to BACK UP and reform that military-industrial corruption, we have to back way up, to square one, and RETRIEVE OUR RIGHT TO VOTE, and restore TRANSPARENT elections. With transparent elections, anything is possible. Without them, nothing is possible--and the ruin that the Bush junta is inflicting will worsen.

This "failed state" is, in truth, NOT difficult to analyze. Why do we have a population that does not agree with its junta? BECAUSE it is a junta! And how did a junta get to be ruling? The answer is staring us in the face. NON-TRANSPARENT elections, controlled by corporations with close very ties to the junta, counting all our votes IN SECRET.

It's amazing to me how many smart people have yet to figure this out.

If they think about it all, they think of it as some sort of inevitable RESULT of corporate mis-rule, rather than as the NEW MECHANISM of corporate mis-rule, quite deliberately implemented because the mis-rule was about to get much, much worse.

Restoring our right to vote will not automatically solve every problem--or reverse our slide into "failed state" status--but it is THE essential condition for re-establishing representative government, and re-asserting our sovereignty as a people and our power to DO something about any given problem, and all the problems.

With accurate, publicly visible vote counts, in Presidential and Congressional elections, we would long ago have started dismantling our permanent military bases in Iraq, for instance, and would be engaged in a major diplomatic peace effort worldwide to minimize the damage the Bush junta has inflicted--and we clearly would not have seen yet another tax cut for the rich, or the FBI raiding Congressional offices, or the President writing little codas on laws passed by Congress that say that the law doesn't apply to HIM. Or any of the other outrages we've seen. Diebold/ES&S elections are determining the makeup of Congress, in addition to having re-installed Bush & Co. in the White House. THAT is WHY we have an out-of-control President and a lapdog Congress full of Bush "pod people," with perhaps 25% of Congress--the good guys, the ones who deserve to be there--trying to represent 70% of the people of the country.

It's a no-brainer. You let Bushite corporations count all the votes with secret programming, that's what you get.

-----------------------------------

Solution--if you want to stop merely being dismayed and appalled, and want to do something about it--join with others to...

Throw Diebold and ES&S election theft machines into 'Boston Harbor' NOW!

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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. I largely agree with you
I think the difference is whether or not you believe that President Bush is a particularly bad president, or about par for the course. In 2000 I heard many many people (including Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky) telling me that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. I basically bought into it. Obviously I was wrong, and have learned from my mistakes (as have many).

But some still cling to the old truths, and ask how different things would be if Gore or Kerry were in the White House. We'd still be a capitalist state. We'd still have corporitist media. We'd still have a corrupt congress. And so on and so forth.

It's not like Diebold is what keeps a Nader or a Kucinich from getting elected. Or, it could, but I doubt they would have to resort to those methods.

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. And we'd still be at war.
Gore/Clinton supported sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #27
58. Exactly - that's the kind of mentality I'm talking about
I don't share in it myself, but obviously there are plenty of people who do. Particularly here. I'm more of a middle of the road sellout myself.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Agree with Chomsky or not, his analysis would not change
if Gore were actually put into office. That is not to say gore/bush are the same, but that many of their policies would remain the same.
bush the elder -supported war against Iraq, crippling sanctions afterword.
Clinton- supported the sanctions, pushed through nafta and supported unfair trade policies, supported corporate control of the media, punishing people on welfare, all
Gore?

Getting rid of diebold is fine, but lets remember to get rid of the imperial vision for america that has been embraced by elites in both parties. The votes in congress that support war weren't tabulated by diebold, many democrats stand behind those votes.

Read Chomsky. It will be good for you. Dems in office is not a panacea.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
61. I would be the last person to say that Dems in office is a panacea. But
you've got to start somewhere, and I believe we've been thrown wa-a-a-ay back, pre-1776. The mechanism of self-rule--the vote--is now directly --not indirectly through campaign contributions, lavish lobbying, limitation on debate, etc.--but DIRECTLY controlled WITH SECRET VOTE TABULATION FORMULAE by BUSHITE corporations.

As I said, it's staring us in the face. It's one thing to have a degraded democracy. It's quite another thing to NOT HAVE a democracy. Chomsky calls it a "democracy deficit." It's far more than that. It's a fascist coup. WE. HAVE. LOST. OUR. RIGHT. TO. VOTE.

We've got to face this. We have a window of opportunity to change it, at the state/local level, where ordinary people still have some influence. And there is a strong grass roots movement to do just that. What I'm hoping is that overturning these election theft machines will be the spark that ignites American revolutionary energies. Kind of like the tea tax. One outrage too many.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 03:04 AM
Response to Reply #61
76. Diebold is rather recent; Chomsky's analysis is rather long-term
There were massive problems with our government and society before e-voting became popular. The Viet Nam War is just one example. Nevermind all the other wars waged against poor countries for their resources in the last 50 years. Most of the work Chomsky puts out is in analyzing the problems that have plagued the country and indeed the world for the longest time, and rigged voting systems is just another symptom of those deep-seated problems manifesting itself.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #22
43. A word about investigations (i.e., JFK, 9/11, Plame, Wellstone, etc.):
Investigations are good. I'm not dissing them. And developing theories about events that seem always to favor fascist rule and war--especially given quite blatant coverups, government secrecy, and obvious benefit to war profiteers--is essential to any investigation (to trying to FIND OUT the facts), to maintaining freedom of thought (often against great odds), and to maintaining one's sanity. (What the hell is going, really? --because the 'official stories' are obviously crap.)

A simple example: A lot of investigation of the Bush junta's claims about Iraq occurred right here on the internet, and was extremely important to understanding what was going on, and to influencing public opinion. Nearly 60% of the American people opposed that invasion, way back in Feb. '03, AFTER Colin Powell's speech. They didn't buy it. Some probably had a gut feeling of distrust of Bush, and didn't need to be shown the many ways he was lying; but others needed info, and got a lot of right here, from bloggers who posted and analyzed documents and other information.

Investigations are good. Truth is good. And truth is never found by the safe thinkers. It's found by the bold; by those willing to entertain wild hypotheses, and to engage in hot debate on all sides of a topic.

Investigations are also ESSENTIAL to democracy. Without them, fascists and other powermongers ALWAYS lie and steal. That's why we have (or are supposed to have) access to gov't information and open meetings. Secrecy = fascism. And if the gov't is PREVENTING investigation, you have to find out why and break through that blockade.

So I'm all for investigations--especially those aimed at understanding events that seem designed to turn our democracy into a fascist state. And, currently, the work of such investigations has to be done by ordinary citizens, BECAUSE those who are part of this fascist state, and those who are co-opted by it, are not interested.

However, I think it is more important to address the mechanism of power by which things are covered up. And, to me, that is--quite obviously--non-transparent, Bushite-controlled vote counting. I don't even particularly want to know who did it, and how it happened--except in so far as it can help us CHANGE it. (To some people, WHO is counting our votes--the rightwing powers behind Diebold and ES&S--is even more horrifying than HOW they are counting our votes--in secret.) Transparent elections may not ever help us solve the JFK assassination (although it DID result in a SECOND investigation, by Congress, that debunked the "lone shooter" lie). But transparent elections are ESSENTIAL to investigation of the Bush junta--on all issues, 9/11, Iraq war, massive theft, outing of CIA agents, etc. And the corollary is also true: NON-TRANSPARENT elections have been used, and are being used, to PREVENT investigations.

So, I'd say, look to the power mechanism. What power do we have to find out the truth? We certainly have a right to know the truth. What has happened to our power to get it? Why DON'T we have that power? And how to get that power back? Bottom line: our right to vote IS our power. And we MUST get it back.

We can expend a lot of brain-power on trying to figure certain events out--meanwhile, our right to obtain information is more and more curtailed. Why? Because there are people in the White House, running our agencies, and in Congress, who achieved power illegitimately, do NOT represent us, and do NOT believe in our right to know. How did they get there? How did they retain power? Ask your local county election official to SHOW you the votes that kept these fascists in power in 2004! They can't!

A 9/11 investigation by private citizens can show the ENORMOUS holes in the official story, but it can't get find out what happened and who did it because of illegal and unethical blockades on information. To bust through those blockades, we need to elect people who represent us. And to do that, we have to get our votes counted in the open by neutral parties. Otherwise, we're just spinning our wheels.

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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
28. "I'm Noam Chomsky and I just figured this out."
God that phony intellectual bugs me.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Chomsky is a Phoney?
and who the hell are you? Besides having a goofey name: HeyHey.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. Phony? There's a lot of words one might use to describe Chomsky,
but I'd probably not pick phony. Seriously, if you know he's just going to annoy you, why open a thread with his name in it, much less post to it...
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #28
39. Phony critics of genuine intellectuals bug me....
... different stroke for different folks I guess....
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #39
64. If you read Chomsky and don't think to yourself -
"Well, DUH, Noam."
Then, maybe it's good he's around to point out the obvious for those who can't seem to grasp it themselves.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. (shrug) You're smarter than I then.... congrats!
His stuff on, for example, transformative generative grammars did no elicit a 'duh' from me when I learned it... Nor with just about anything of his I've read since...

But kudos to you for Chomsky being your "Captain Obvious". You should be a prof at one of America's top elite schools and a mover & shaker of the intellectual scene. I can't for the life of me imagine why you aren't.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #66
89. Chomsky has a a lot of good takes and different ways of looking at things
But every word is not gospel. Some noticed but even more are noticing now, that the simple fact we lost our way many more moons before

The lullaby that the government will protect is delusional and mostly never happened. The fact of the matter is society protected it's self and always had. For the majority of society now, government is a infliction or even a parasite that borderlines on being fatal. The body politic will eventually raise because the structure of society does not contain the elements for government to operate in a vacuum.

When it makes more sense to be trusting of the many about us rather than the ones who are supposed to be in charge, then the innate question of questioning everything goes without saying.
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Terran1212 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #64
72. A lot of what he says people "dont grasp for themselves"
I guess he didn't realize that everyone who reads him is as much of a genius as you!
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #72
74. I know, it's a pain in the ass, I have to deal with so many dopes
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #74
88. poor fellow
Edited on Wed May-31-06 09:46 AM by rman
Basically you're angry at Chomsky because he says things you agree with.
Peculiar.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #64
86. It is not very obvious to many that the MSM=propaganda, nor that
the US is the biggest Human Rights violator on the planet.

If those things were obvious to you before you read Chomsky, good for you.

But why at all vilify someone who says these things and presents a boat load of evidence along with it?

Why not vilify the liars in politics and in the media instead?
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. I love your Polar Bear! However, Chomsky is beyond all else,
an honest to God - Intellectual. He has made great strides in Academia (Linguistics) in addition to his focus on World Affairs.

BTW keep the bear away from Cobert. He'll accuse you of hating America. :P
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CanuckAmok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #28
68. "I'm Noam Chomsky and I suppose the Beatles might have been okay
with the things... they did. I mean I...I think I heard the kids listening to them when they lived at home. But I'm really not an authorty...i really don't know if I'm the person to ask. I... Beethoven, I suppose."
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ArbustoBuster Donating Member (956 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
30. When an elderly academic tells you something is possible...
...he's usually right. When an elderly academic tells you something is impossible, he's quite often wrong. And it seems Chomsky is telling us it's impossible to save America.

We can still save America. Period. It's not over for America until the last of us stops fighting for its ideals.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 04:25 AM
Response to Reply #30
78. I fail to see ANY fight so far ... only *sound and fury*
usually resulting in "Democratic Representatives" STFU or fold. :grr:

Yeah, it's beyond time to insist that our Democratic Representatives *actually* FIGHT. If not, vote out these BUM Incumbents who will NOT stand up for The American Worker. :(

Forgive me, but I see "very little" of a true loyal opposition party. :thumbsdown:

Are we supposed to get out the pitchforks and torches OR, better yet, FIRST get rid of the cowards?
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
33. Meme to Self: Noam Chomsky Brings Out Cockroaches
Also:

Michael Moore,
Cindy Sheehan
Kerry
Kennedy
oh there are more...

Stick around newbies. You have to observe who is saying what... and notice how often the jump on "certain" people.
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GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Wow! I finally get to see one in it's natural habitat!
The elusive "If you disagree with someone I agree with you're a freeper" poster! :wow:

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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Ahhh... You Do Look Comfortable in Your Habitat...
Glad I pissed you off...
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GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. Well
seeing as I don't imply that people who disagree with me are freepers, I'm not sure what you're getting at.

I'm not 'pissed off', just disappointed.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Well Nothing
shew
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GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Uh huh
:rofl:
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:35 PM
Original message
Oh...Looook... It's on it's back
squishhhh :applause: Play time is up...
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parasim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #45
52. All freepers may be cockroaches...
...but not all cockroaches are necessarily freepers.

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GirlinContempt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. True enough
Allow me to rephrase:

I don't imply that everyone who disagrees with me is a bug that needs squishing. That's just narcissistic and silly.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. A lot of DUers, it appears, are all too ready to throw in the towel...
... And see critcisms like Chomsky's as providing "intellectual validation" for their wussiness.

I see it as a call to fight harder, better.

You know who's really on your side when the going gets tough, I suppose... There's the "run away" crowd ("I've had it! I'm moving to Europe"), the Aliens crowd ("Game over, man - GAME OVER!"), and others. Wussiness has many ways of expressing itself, it seems.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Who Is Throwing in the Towel?
Edited on Tue May-30-06 03:31 PM by stepnw1f
Damnit... fight!!!!
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. lol - I meant to be agreeing with you, and expanding a bit....
I wasn't referring to you - just a lot of others in this thread who belong to the "Game over, man - GAME OVER!" club.

You and I might disagre on some things, but not this - thankfully.

:toast:
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Oh No, No...I Understood
We agree... I just don't want to see anybody giving up... no matter who says what. Cheers Mate! :toast:
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
65. He also brings out sheep
BAHHHHHHH
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
37. Not over; a transition period from republic to empire.
Sad to see it happen in my lifetime.
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
67. The fat lady hasn't sung, yet.
Our country is most definitely headed in the wrong direction. We may be headed for trials unimaginable, but I still put my faith in our Constitution and the American people, as a whole. I may simply be an optimist, but I tend to think I'm simply an American.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
69. Why isn't Noam in a cabinet position?
Christ could you get some advice from an advisor already???
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Terran1212 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-30-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
70. I have the whole book and just finished it today -- Chomsky Brilliant
And deftly shows why our Democrats, not a real opposition party, cannot make any headway: they almost don't want to.
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #70
91. well one of the problems here seems to be that we don't
Edited on Wed May-31-06 01:24 PM by tigereye
have a true opposition party. At times I really wish that we had a parliamentary system, like they do other places.

I think there is some value in consensus, but in America we seem to ahve a gift for rolling over reason, going with the hysterical rantings of whomever shouts the loudest, and then feeling ashamed afterwards as reason returns and we say, what was I thinking?!

I wish we still had a few more independent thinkers in COngress like Barbara Jordan, and others who were wise enough to see Nixonian risks, in the current administration. There are rumblings, it just seems like the spin overwhelms these rumblings. It's sad, really. Bush seems to be doing many of the same types of things that led to the near impeachment of Nixon, and no one can see it but a few. You have to admit, though, that when he angers HIS OWN PARTY, there is more of a chance of real legal danger for him.

on edit, Chomsky is a very, very intelligent linguist....
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. never fails to make me go, 'hmmm'
I have an "Oh yeah" moment whenever I'm reminded he's a linguist.

I agree 100% about the need for an opposition party. And to watch Blair and the rest in the well of Parliament really makes you realize just what a dolt rules America.
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4freethinking Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 02:42 AM
Response to Original message
75. The way to fix it
is to go by framers intent. The framers of the constitution never intended for the federal government to be this powerful. When the power is concentrated influence by the few is made into policy. That's why many policies don't reflect public opinion. With the power decentralized with the state's holding the majority of power(as it was intended) influence by the few is deluded. Why? They would have to go and lobby every state house in the Union to be effective. This country needs a retro-revolution.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #75
79. Now that Alito has been confirmed, it's "The Unitary Executive" all
the way! And then some!!!

Until The People DEMAND Checks and Balances, it's all FUBAR, all of the time. :thumbsdown:
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4freethinking Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #79
95. I am at an end
Why should we continue to keep on the course of financial and economic ruin. There just seems to be no opposition to what's going on when it comes to policies of the federal government. This may set back my fellow progressives: The Union is not a suicide pact. The Constitutional Convention was not about the states entering into a union in which they could not leave. If that was the case the Constitution would have never been ratified. Sorry the Civil War did not settle this.(It's way too big of an argument. I won't get into it) I have now come to believe that secession from the Union was the ultimate check against rampant uncontrolled federal power. I have been a life long liberal progressive. I live in the most liberal state in the Union. I want to keep it that way. I do not want the federal government changing the ideological character of my state by way of the Supreme Court or any other government agency or having my states coffers or future tax dollars be used to fight a war in Iraq or Iran. If it becomes a consensus in my state( if it gets real bad. This is all in the realm of possibility. Just because it happened in the past does not mean it won't happen again) for secession from the Union I will support it. An appropriate action would be at the time of secession would be to take notice of the national debt. The state would be responsible for part of the debt before the time of secession after secession no responsibility to debt accumulated after secession. This can be taken up over time.

Okay rather than have this happen I hope if such a thing was taken seriously that it would change the behavior of the federal government. We have got to understand we are an ideologically vast country. The federal government turning out policies, laws, and rulings is not going to suit everyone. That's one of the reasons why the states should be given more autonomy and power. If the people of Alabama want to have the ten commandments in their court houses let'em. If the people of California want to legalize pot let'em. I don't live in Alabama and don't plan on visiting any of their court houses. If the people of California want to smoke weed at cafes people from any state or from that state that are offended by this should not visit those places. I don't want their ideology in my government and they don't want mine in theirs. We need to get real. States need autonomy to make laws that are more in line with it's citizens so long as they don't conflict with the Constitution(power should be given back to states on regulation of certain drugs. States can do what they want with it when it comes to that drug) or any type of civil rights legislation.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #75
84. I don't know about that. If the fed won't stand up to big business, what
chance does the typical state government have?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #84
92. Little if any. Come and live in Mississippi and see the pork in the bills
It's obscene.
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4freethinking Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #84
94. The question is
Edited on Wed May-31-06 05:38 PM by 4freethinking
what is the fed doing now with big business? As far as I can see they are in big business back pocket. What chance do the states have? If they have power given back to them and have the federal courts recognize that power and recognize the 10th amendment there will be no doubt. With the decentralization of power the people of each state will be closer to the power and have more power. You will see the gap between public opinion and federal government policy close. I would like to ask everyone on this board do you think the federal government is doing a good job and policies that effect us are free of influence? 1)I can see the federal government is devoid of any financial discipline spends more money than it has and relies on foreign governments to finance their dept. Yes this is power they have. Power to ruin us financially. This is power they should not have. 2)I can look at my grandfathers prescriptions. The ones he has now and the ones I helped him get over the internet. You cannot tell me someones influence is not involved. The Pharmaceutical companies don't need to go all over America they can just make a phone call to their lobbyists in DC and have them talk to congressmen and senators then make a trip to talk to some high placed bureaucrats in the FDA. All this can be done in one day. One policy fits all with them being the biggest beneficiaries. This shit has got to end. And it's not so long as the federal government retains certain powers.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-31-06 10:32 AM
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90. kick
*
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