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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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Too true.

In my estimation, the entire elegant machinery of the Bill of Rights, bequeathed to us by our forefathers in good-running condition, is now rusty and creaky in the even the most-used gears. The cogs of the 10th Amendment are almost entirely seized and stripped of their teeth. But the Founders put that gear in there; it's up to us to get out the oil and wrenches and make the necessary repairs...


Staten Island has (or maybe had) too many houses on TOP of marshes

I grew up in the hills of Staten Island (Sunset Hill / West Brighton) and ranged over every open patch of land there I could, but left for more rural locales after 1989. Too many of my favorite childhood patches of swampy woodland or saltwater marsh, places I loved to explore & walk my grandparents' dog & go birding or mushroom hunting, all fell to 'development.' The houses in Bull's Head now sit where freshwater wetlands would routinely drench me up to my knees or higher. The last time I was in Staten Island (years ago - 2005-ish?), a gas station sat atop some brackish wetlands in Linoleumville I distinctly remember having to swim across channels after getting a little lost. I was incredulous that it got permitted, but that's what big bucks and a 'mitigation' (BS) plan will buy you I guess. All asphalt now, so of course the storm waters rose higher!

I have nothing but compassion & respect for all the Staten Islanders who have lost their homes. This devastation is not their fault, except perhaps in the most tangential of ways that it is ALL our fault - all of us who drive cars and otherwise consume material and energy resources. HOWEVER, those assholes who rubber-stamped all the coastline development, all the wetlands in-fill, all the greedy over-development? They deserve nothing but contempt.

I agree, ChisolmTrailDem, many of the neighborhoods devastated by Sandy should NOT be rebuilt. This is a chance for wetlands restoration and some advance mitigation of the impacts of the NEXT storm, which will surely come. Plus, Staten Island could benefit from some more open-park space and public, natural waterfront lands.


Never run 'Republican-lite' is the lesson I learned.

Gore ran a tepid and cautious campaign and chose known right-winger Joe Lieberman as his VP pick. That was a big reason the election was close enough to steal.

Know what the 2012 version of rw-lite is? Obama saying 'Mitt Romney & I agree on Social Security.' WTF is that? If Obama wants us 'troops' aiming our 'guns' against our Republican enemies, he needs to run as a solid populist Democrat on this issue.

Protecting Social Secrity 100% is the popular position, as woo & Hydra have already noted. It is right & proper for we Democratic constituents to demand this right now, during election season.


Dangerous chemistry gone awry

Like so many persistent chlorinated hydrocarbons, the body's own metabolism cannot detoxify BPA. The next paragraph from the article begins to explain the consequences:

In new research published in the October 4 online issue of the journal PLOS ONE, two scientists at UC San Diego School of Medicine say three-dimensional modeling suggests a metabolite of BPA -- a molecule produced when BPA is metabolized or broken down by the body -- actually binds to the estrogen receptor much more strongly than BPA itself. The finding could point the way to development of a new class of drugs designed to specifically inhibit excessive estrogen activity linked to disease.

Scary stuff. And we (i.e.- society) line our food containers with this stuff, despite having known the gist of these facts since the mid-1990's at least. While the possibility of a new drug might be promising for those in need of its effects, the widespread and common use of BPA means that the whole planet is presently part of an uncontrolled drug experiment.



The deck was stacked by 'our' guy.

Honestly, wtf did Obama expect to happen with that Commission? On the 'shred-the-safety-net side,' he appointed rabid ideologues like Alan Simpson.

Meanwhile on the 'save-the-safety-net side'... Oh wait, that side was barely represented, if at all on that Commission.

Meanwhile on the 'Democratic' side, Obama appoints weaselly-little corporatists like Erskine Bowles. Erskine-goddamn-Bowles stands for no one except Morgan Stanley and Erskine Bowles (and he does the latter badly, as he has been unable to get elected to any office lately; plus his tenure at the helm of the UNC system was utterly without distinction).

The 'Debt Commission' should not even have been constituted during Obama's first year in office. But even if you think it was necessary, it should have contained at least a plurality of pro-Social Security, pro-Safety Net, pro-progressive taxation voices among the Democrats (I know it would be too much to ask to find even one Republican to fit that description). Instead, the 'Debt Commission' was stacked against us from the start. It was bad policy from the outset, so it should be no surprise that the result is some bad politics.

And before someone jumps down my throat for describing Obama as 'our' guy in the subject line ask yourself, did Obama serve the working, payroll-taxed citizenry with this Debt Commission in any way? No, no he did not. I am a Democrat, but I am not a sheep. This Debt Commission is naked robbery disguised in emperor's clothes as policy.


An honorable legacy!

Back when Obama was protesting Apartheid, Cheney/Reagan/Bush41/etc. were busily trying to prop it up. The Apartheid issue is one of the first I cut my activist teeth on back in the late 1980's, along with anti-nuke work and Latin American solidarity/anti-death squad work. President Obama can be proud that he stood on the right side of history back then, and I am glad to have been a very tiny part of that movement too. My greatest hope for the President is that he can retain his moral fiber and commitment to justice during a second term, and act upon it further.




First, let's get this necessity out of the way. I am a Democrat, and plan to vote for our President's reelection very soon.

However, an election is a time when candidates solicit support from We the People by outlining their positions (or in Romney/Ryan's case, by running from their past positions and attempting to obfuscate their present ones, apparently). From what I have read of him, Hedges is doing us (and yes, also Obama) a favor by agitating for progressive causes during an election. He is saying that fundamental issues of equality and justice cannot be ignored.

Those who choose to sweep these same issues under the rug in the name of unity and poll numbers virtually insure that important issues of equality and justice will again be ignored by whatever Democrats gain or retain power after January 2013. I don't want that; do you?

I fully believe that Obama has been a good president during his first term, but some unfortunate choices kept him from being a great president: leaving the banksters untouched following the greatest financial crime in history, appointing corporate cronies like Geithner, Summers, etc., appointing drug warriors like Holder, etc., failing to prosecute B*shco's many documented crimes and continuing some of their worst civil liberties abuses, etc. etc. etc. Am I willing to give Obama and the Democrats a second chance to achieve greatness in public works, individual freedom, economic development, and all the rest? Yes, hell yes. But they will have to answer Hedges critiques as they solicit votes. This is right & proper.


There are so many more unspoken, buried truths

Now that we know as indisputable facts that the B*sh mis-administration lied about the warnings it received in advance of 9/11 (the 8/6 PDB was only the last of many), the toxicity of the WTC debris, the reasons for the subseuent wars, the use of torture by US agencies, the true costs of the wars in blood & treasure, and so much more; it's time for the sensible middle of this country to ask what lies were told about the events of September Eleventh itself.

I will not belabor the points here in this thread, but why the nations' air defenses were completely down that day, why WTC 7 collapsed despite no external damage, how both of the towers collapsed promptly & entirely into their own footprints despite asymmetric impacts, how passports of the alleged highjackers were quickly found (undamaged!) amid the vast debris, and so many other questions have not yet been answered. I do not claim to know the answers myself, but I am rational enough to conclude that truthful answers have not yet been offered by anyone in power.

These questions about September Eleventh, 2001 are not the stuff of crazy conspiracy theories. They are the most rational reaction to the lies that have been told, and the truths that have been buried.


It's the oil exec way!

It's the oil exec way: take all the credit & pay, and pass the buck only when there is blame to be dodged.

K&R for an important document. Gross negligence should be a slam dunk in this case, and BP's owing of damages for the Horizon disaster should be open-ended until every sick Gulf resident is healed, until every fishery is thriving, until every wetland is restored, and until We the People say that BP has paid the enormous debt they incurred by their fuckup.


He appointed 5 of the 18, including both Simpson & Bowles


According to the above link, President Obama appointed Alan Simpson (co-chair; fmr. U.S. Senator), Dave M. Cote (Honeywell International), Erskine Bowles (co-chair; fmr. White House Chief of Staff), Andy Stern (fmr. president of Service Employees International Union), Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institution; fmr. director CBO and OMB and Fed vice chair), Ann M. Fudge (fmr. CEO Young & Rubicam Brands), and Bruce Reed (fmr. Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton), executive director of Commission.

Both Simpson & Bowles are absolutely inexcusable, unless you enjoy watching demented pitbulls (Simpson) tear apart emotionally stunted chihuahuas (Bowles), who never wanted to fight to begin with. But that seems lousy, even by Michael Vick standards, especially when it's our retirement income that is on the line. Out of the rest, Andy Stern is the only one who reputedly stood against the overarching theme of balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class, reneging on the Social Security bonds, and otherwise further hollowing-out America in the name of a few more years of coddling the 1%.

Additionally,responsibility for the very existence of the Commission lies with Obama (underline emphasis added):

The original proposal for a commission came from bipartisan legislation that would have required Congress to vote on its recommendations as presented, without any amendment. In January 2010, that bill failed in the Senate by a vote of 5346, when six Republicans who had co-sponsored it nevertheless voted against it.

Why did our Democratic President expend precious 1st-year political capital on the false-flag issue of debt reduction at the very time when stimulus and economic recovery were what was needed?

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