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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,948

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My thread regarding such did not claim that the vote was logical.

When voters are only offered two choices, they will often gravitate to "B" after years of "A" failing to deliver on its promises. It often does not matter that "B" is a total shit sandwich, 10x worse than "A."

In the Brexit vote, the neoliberal EU with its distant, unaccountable, meddling Eurocrats was "A." I agree with you that "B"ritain (see what I did there?) will not suddenly become a grass roots workers' paradise just due to the vote. But I still ardently maintain that the failures of neoliberal Europe contributed heavily to the results of the Brexit vote.


It's worth asking why people embraced such hatefulness and believed such lies.

I recall a conversation I had with one of the Hanford nuclear waste site activists back in the early 1990's. He told me that as the cancers climbed and the local economy fell apart through the 1970's, and the full scope of pollution on the Hanford Reservation in Washington became known many hate groups and fringe activists attempted to leverage the issue to their own ends. The KKK recruited there on the basis that the nuclear waste was due to Jewish bankers, Stormfront types said in local meetings that the USA cared more about giving welfare to black urbanites than helping rural white people, LaRouch-ites said whatever nonsense they always do, the Revolutionary Communist Party said that capitalism depended upon poisoning the working class, etc. All of them saw the crisis of nuclear waste ruining a whole community not as something that needed to be solved, but as an opportunity to spread their preferred narrative. My activist friend was smart enough to ignore these campaigns, and stuck to pressuring the US Department of Defense to clean up its mess (an issue not yet resolved today, from my understanding). But some of his neighbors embraced the Klan or other hatemongers. Desperate people will take desperate measures.

I see the failure of modern western neoliberal entities as a similar moment, but on a global scale. If we don't fix the underlying issues, the racists and xenophobes will definitely make hay of it. But their hateful opportunism does not excuse modern western neoliberal institutions for their oligarchic and anti-democratic practices that cause the underlying problems.


Greenwald calls-out the dominant Brexit narrative


Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions

THE DECISION BY UK VOTERS to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that – for once – their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting one’s own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object.

The Los Angeles Times‘ Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for thirty years”; in particular, “since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.” The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the UK vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: “the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact.”

In an interview with The New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the west generally: “a large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labour, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalisation, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties.” After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, “the centre left” – Blair and Clinton and various European parties – “managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which ­became empty and obsolete.”


Corrupt elites always try to persuade people to continue to submit to their dominance in exchange for protection from forces that are even worse. That’s their game. But at some point, they themselves, and their prevailing order, become so destructive, so deceitful, so toxic, that their victims are willing to gamble that the alternatives will not be worse, or at least, they decide to embrace the satisfaction of spitting in the faces of those who have displayed nothing but contempt and condescension for them.

(boldface emphases added by me)

As I write this, two of the top five "Greatest Threads" here at DU are precisely the dominant Brexit narrative that Greenwald eviscerates above (with plenty more detail and evidence at the link). I think that DU can and should bring a more critical eye to the Brexit issue, and take the lessons of it to heart before the USA's politics goes similarly off the rails.


I will use speech on the internet to correct your error regarding 18th-Century weapons

Semi automatic air rifles did in fact exist back then. These were not Daisy Red Riders either:


As the above article notes, these semi-auto weapons of the late 1700's were sufficiently deadly to be fielded by the Austrian military, and to provide protection to the Lewis & Clark Expedition across the entire continent.

Who needs 'to drop the act' again?


Southern workers deserve labor protections too!

Right to work laws be damned.



Hillary Clinton needs to change direction with regards to Central America.

Clinton's support for the Honduran coup is inexcusable, and we voters need to help set her straight. Berta Caceres saw it coming:


There is no reason why a Democratic candidate should be supporting violent coups, military juntas, or neoliberal orthodoxy: neither here nor abroad.



Well everybody, we have a presumptuous nominee.

Get with the program as you see fit.

Me, I'll educate, agitate, and organize for Bernie all the way through the Convention!



It will last as long as Hillary is in the public eye.

If she is the losing candidate, it will last until November, and then we will have president-elect Trump.

If by some long shot, she wins the election despite multiple, new scandals sticking to her like white on rice, it will continue at least through January / inauguration.

And if the Democrats don't take both the House and Senate with comfortable majorities (and the House districts are so gerrymandered, this is virtually impossible) then the Congressional investigations begin. I would predict impeachment hearings before the end of 2017.

Why does any one consider her a viable candidate again?


Protest never changes anything? Look at how TTIP has been derailed

Protest never changes anything? Look at how TTIP has been derailed

For those of us who want societies run in the interests of the majority rather than unaccountable corporate interests, this era can be best defined as an uphill struggle. So when victories occur, they should be loudly trumpeted to encourage us in a wider fight against a powerful elite of big businesses, media organisations, politicians, bureaucrats and corporate-funded thinktanks.

Today is one such moment. The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) – that notorious proposed trade agreement that hands even more sweeping powers to corporate titans – lies wounded, perhaps fatally. It isn’t dead yet, but TTIP is a tangled wreckage that will be difficult to reassemble.

Those of us who campaigned against TTIP – not least fellow Guardian columnist George Monbiot – were dismissed as scaremongering. We said that TTIP would lead to a race to the bottom on everything from environmental to consumer protections, forcing us down to the lower level that exists in the United States. We warned that it would undermine our democracy and sovereignty, enabling corporate interests to use secret courts to block policies that they did not like.

Scaremongering, we were told. But hundreds of leaked documents from the negotiations reveal, in some ways, that the reality is worse – and now the French government has been forced to suggest it may block the agreement.

The documents imply that even craven European leaders believe the US demands go too far. As War on Want puts it, they show that TTIP would “open the door” to products currently banned in the EU “for public health and environmental reasons”.

As the documents reveal, there are now “irreconcilable” differences between the European Union’s and America’s positions. According to Greenpeace, “the EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible”.

More at link:


So, WHY has the US been pushing these awful trade deals under a Democratic administration? TTIP and TPP are both modeled on the Korea Trade Deal, also brokered by the Obama administration. Since its passage, deficits with Korea have risen every year. The awful ISDS provisions that hand lawmaking and veto powers to unaccountable corporations are all there in TTIP and TPP too.

Anyone pushing these trade deals, and especially the secret negotiations where they are drafted, is not supporting democracy or peoples' rights.

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