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LWolf's Journal
LWolf's Journal
July 22, 2017


That makes more sense.

I don't think I was off the mark, though. You see, the current round of neoliberalism was ushered into the Democratic Party by Clinton and the DLC. It used to be fashionable here to criticize the DLC, but NOT the Clintons. In '08, DU stopped being "underground," and stopped describing itself as "left-wing," (used to be in the "about DU" text), and the newer members flooding in were more "centrist," and proud of it. I put that in quotes because it's a code word for neoliberalism. I don't know that many even knew that; they bought into the "pragmatic" characterization and other propaganda that surrounded it. The left, here, was thrown under the bus. And just like the DLC, which, yes, I know is defunct, replaced by the "New Democrats" and the "Third Way," which are both simply a continuation...anyway, just like the DLC appropriated terms like "liberal" and "progressive," the term "left" on DU began to evolve into something else.

There was a time, while we were being thrown under the bus by "centrist" DUers, that we were actually referred to as the "loony left." Just Like right wingers did. Then the "centrists" slowly began to adopt it for themselves, even if it wasn't really accurate. You see, that divorce between economic justice and social justice was in play.

What I, and a whole nation of what passes for the actual left in the United States (which isn't really all that "left," globally speaking,) have seen out in the world is that the neo-liberal establishment, who turned their backs on the wave of energy for change, and thus, in some of our views, lost the White House by nominating a "centrist," is now working avidly to retain what power they have left, and part of that involves attacking the term "neoliberal," and especially denying it. Out there, and right here.

I know that the majority of DU these days energetically disagrees with that assessment, and that this post right here is going to be subject to many vicious attacks. That doesn't negate my, and others', view or make it any less real. From the left, in my view, there's very little resembling "left" on DU in 2017. That's why I don't spend that much time here anymore. It's increasingly irrelevant.

Again, in my view, I think our party ought to be moving left. That's not an attack. It's not against DU's TOS to say that I want the party to abandon neoliberalism and move left. And that's really what this is about. The party is divided, fractured, and the party of the future depends on which side of that divide either evolves toward the other or away from the party.

Meanwhile, I'm spending the majority of my political time and energy out with people in the real world, with activists around my state, instead of at the keyboard.

I'm sorry if people who aren't really neoliberal centrists have been called neoliberal. That doesn't detract from the reality that the party establishment IS a neoliberal establishment. It could be that those who don't like having that label flung at them might want to work harder at cleansing the party of neoliberalism from the inside out instead of building a defensive wall around it to keep potential allies on the other side.

I've got work to do, and places to go. I'll be back eventually, and if anyone has anything thoughtful, rather than hateful, to say, I'll respond.

February 18, 2017

I am a leftist who is, in the big picture,

"Anti-nationalism" of any kind.

That said, I agree with most of what you've said. Perhaps I differ in that I see "Western expansionism" to be dangerous for the globe. I don't see that expansionism as an expansion of "democracy," and yes, I put it in quotes because I think it deserves them. We've used the term as a tool to get what we wanted, and democracy is not what the American Empire has wanted.

Even in Jefferson's time, with his linking of empire and "democracy," empire, expansionism, has all been about capitalism and power. It's about using the carrot of "democracy" to beat people into submission to our corrupt power. Then and now, it's nothing to be proud of, at least for me.

Russia? My Russian History professor, himself a Russian immigrant, taught me about that cultural legacy among other things. I don't stand in judgement. I hope those strong, resilient, and industrious people do the same as I hope we are doing: hold their government accountable for democratic principles.

And until we clean up our own corrupted mess, we're not in any place to judge others. In my opinion. I'd rather look in my own nation's mirror, judge, and hold it accountable.

February 18, 2017

To be honest,

this thread feels like fighting the primaries all over again. I agree with much of what you said, but this:

Some who identified with us said stupid things in the past and they deserve denunciation. And we have denounced and renounced them.

And "some" (read "way to fucking many&quot of those on the neoliberal side of the divide did the same, AND ARE STILL DOING SO. We have nothing to apologize for.

We admit we made mistakes in talking about this in the primaries and we know we need to correct all of those mistakes and avoid repeating them if we are to play any meaningful role in the future.

I admit nothing of the kind, because I don't think that's true.

For the rest, I'm in agreement. I'm moving forward to resist oppression and work for progressive, inclusive, positive change for the 99%. And that, my friend, is not about the Democratic Party, nor the factions within the Party. It's about the people. If we're going to be inclusive, we can't wall ourselves within the party. That's exclusive, and it's limiting. The Democratic Party, and all or some of it's factions, are invited to be part of the process; welcomed, even. But the issues, and the way forward? It's not a partisan thing. It's bigger than that.

October 27, 2016

I do.

I have a big problem with:

1. Judging people by what they are wearing; as long as it's clean, in good repair, and fits well, it shouldn't matter. The shallowness inherent in the concept of "professional dress" repels me. It kind of reminds me, in a milder way, of deforming the feet of upper class Chinese baby girls; a status symbol that sorts and limits us.

2. Having worn "professional dress" when necessary, I know that it restricts my physical movement and activity. No, thanks.

3. Taking things to the dry cleaners; I expect my clothes to wash and wear. As a busy professional, I don't have time for anything else, and dry cleaning, while improving, is not environmentally friendly. AND, since I tend to spill, food, drink, and ink, they can't be too expensive to replace when stains don't come out.

To be honest, when I see a suit, my gut automatically tells me, "Snake. Don't trust him or her." Maybe that's just my working class roots reacting. I freely admit to bias.

I dress for comfort in the environment I'm working in. I can do so without being sloppy. Thankfully, in this region, that's good enough. Being comfortable allows me to focus on my job, instead of on what people with limited capacity to see others think. And there certainly IS an element of PR in my profession; I've discovered that once people have worked with you, they tend to see you as a professional, instead of seeing what you are wearing.

Because that's what a professional is; someone who practices a profession. "Professional" is the person, not the clothes.

October 23, 2016

I got a great public education

in California, before prop 13.

And I had sewing and cooking classes. No power tools or auto shop, but touch-typing that has served me well my whole life. I got my "other" skills with livestock, with digging and planting and mulching and pruning and hay hooks and hoof picks and cleaning and repairing leather tack and grooming and fence repair and driving a stick shift (3 on the column in that old truck) and changing tires and so many other things working on a ranch.

My high school taught some of everything to everybody, and if we wanted to go to college, our counselors told us which classes were necessary for which types of universities we planned to attend, and we took them.

I included, and include, among my friends many who did not attend college. That didn't mean that they weren't intelligent, just that they had different goals. And, throughout my life, I've depended on many people who didn't attend college to perform vital services that I didn't learn how to do for myself. And they make just as much money as I do with my college degree doing so. Some of them make more.

It's true that today's Trump supporters don't "get" some really vital pieces of the big picture. And the public education system is partly at fault, having been dumbed down to simplistic thinking. That has nothing whatsoever to do with "Common Core;" those standards are another whole topic.

Start with Ronald Reagan, who wanted to abolish the DOE. Whose administration published "A Nation At Risk" as part of its determined effort to attack public education and public ed teachers, to devalue them in the national culture. That's an effort that was wildly successful.

That led to the adamant "back to the basics" push, which fed the public on eloquent rhetoric about focusing on basics and neglected to mention that critical thinking was, and is, not considered "basic." So we get generations of people who, unless they were preparing for college, were not taught critical thinking skills. Not only were those skills not taught, but any effort to do so was fucking HAMMERED by the propagandists shaping the national thinking over the airwaves, so that parents began complaining, loudly, at site and district levels whenever their children were expected, in school, to question ANYTHING. Because, happening at the same time, we goy the de-regulation of the airwaves and the rise of propaganda-driven talk radio and tv; propaganda can influence anyone.

That was the rise of an anti-intellectual agenda on the right, keeping the masses unthinking followers of media leaders. It also includes, though, the rise of Democratic neo-liberalism, which includes neo-liberal education policies that build on the anti-intellect, anti-teacher, anti-public ed foundation laid by the neo-cons; the agenda to blame teachers for "failing" and privatize public education.

The generations of students I teach these days come from parents who want very simple, linear, black-and-white, literal worksheets and questions, and who complain when I ask their students to think. Many of them are Trump supporters. Do I feel superior to them? I don't look at it that way. I look through a different lens:

I'm grateful for the education that I got, and I consider it my duty to pass it on to my students and their families. It's not about judging them, but about paying it forward. It's about unconditional love for my students and their families, and about doing what I can to weed and prepare soil and plant seeds that may, someday, take root. If they don't remember, nor use, anything I teach them, at the very least they will remember that school offered them a safe, respectful environment and their teacher cared about them. That in itself is the best response to the anti-everything-education poison that I can offer. Still, they do remember more than that. They do get skills that will help them. And when they reach adulthood, have established themselves more independently, and their prefrontal cortices are fully developed, the thinking skills I introduced and reinforced can help them grow.

If you need someone to blame, don't blame the system. Blame the voters that voted for, and supported, politicians who degraded the system. And don't hate the Trump supporters; that only pushes them further away. To change their thinking, they have to be open to listening to you. That will never happen if you give them good reason to slam the doors in your face.

October 22, 2016

That's an important factor.

During the Clinton administration, laws were passed that did a disservice, and thus angered, many who had traditionally supported Democrats. The Clintons ARE supposed moderates, and they are the power brokers of the party. So yes, Democrats have contributed to the dissent.

Think about it.

Unregulated airwaves and political radio...that's propaganda, and people allow the emotional centers of their lizard brain to react, bypassing their logic and reason centers. It's not just for Republicans. Right here on DU, how many posts are there every day, every weekend, about the political talk shows on teevee and how "great" those that say what DUers want to hear are, and how angry do people get at hearing something they don't agree with? Opinions have become sacred, and fighting enemies is a sacred sport. Enough so that people line up on the couch in front of their teevees for political talk like it's the superbowl, to cheer their "side" on and hate the other.

So sacred, in fact, that Democrats can't stand to hear dissent within the ranks, which is why even Democrats here at DU are silenced and tombstoned when they do. Dissent is not looked at as an opportunity for a substantive discussion and evolution of ideas that bring people together, but as something that must be silenced, squashed, and kicked out. The effect of those efforts is to further disenfranchise and anger people, which feeds divisiveness.

It's a national disgrace, imo, and it's not restricted to Republicans or to the political or religious right, although they certainly are a large part of the problem.

September 29, 2016


Now I really am late for work, because I sat here and watched this whole thing. It was worth it. I'll leave it here for you; perhaps it's been discussed here before, and I just missed it, but it's still worth the time:


August 19, 2016

A quote

from Fateful Lightning, A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, by Allen C. Guelzo, which is in turn a paraphrase of Allan Nevins:

Dominated by "stereotypes of each other, Northerners and Southerners were possesed by "fear," and "fear was largely the product of ignorance, and ignorance--or misinformation--largely the product of propaganda."

July 9, 2016

I want open borders.

I'm not sure I want to ban guns.

I don't like guns. I don't now, and never have, owned a gun. I wish people didn't worship them, and I wish people didn't, deliberately or in ignorance, misinterpret the 2nd amendment.

That said, I think that banning them...a "war on guns"...would work just as effectively as the "war on drugs." It would make the problem worse, not better.

I'd like stricter, and more strictly enforced, regulations. Hand in hand with that, I'd like a campaign to change this country's sick, dysfunctional addiction to fear, hate, rage, needy insecurity, and phallic inadequacy that feeds the gun culture. Somewhere in there, knocking the NRA off its damned pedestal would be good, too.

July 9, 2016

I've been put in mind

of that old story about the two wolves, and which one we feed.


Our culture thrives on hate. It shouldn't be a surprise to see the United States burning up with hatred. We've been whipped into a frenzy of hatred and its mirror, fear, over my lifetime.

It seems like every group, even those that supposedly don't hate, have at least one other group that their own culture tells them that they can legitimately, with permission, hate.

Liberals and conservatives hate each other. Capitalists and socialists. Democrats and Republicans. Right here on DU, Democrats and the Democratic Party are protected, but it's expected that one hates Republicans.

Racial and ethnic fear and hatred; religious hatred; gender hatred; sexual hatred, identity hatred, political hatred...the list is endless.

And it's augmented by our owned and controlled media. Even when we KNOW this, how many still legitimize that media by tuning in and then spreading the word?

Healing happens when we set hatred aside. We don't have to hate those we disagree with; more progress is made if we reach out to them, if we work to find and build on commonalities instead of keeping our focus on the differences that divide us.

That's true on the outside, in our country, and it's true within ourselves as individuals in our own little worlds.

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