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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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He is a ringleader in a mediocre but dangerous groupthink.

Greenwald of the Intercept, Jeremy Scahill, Aaron Maté of the Nation, Chris Hedges of Common Dreams (etc.), Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Caitlin Johnstone of whatever rag will print her drivel: too much of the supposed "Left" media preemptively surrendered to Putin and the Neoconservatives.

They need to correct their records if they ever hope to merit respect in the future.



We have a Second Amendment that should protect much more than just semi-autos

If one is going to point out the failures of government in the USA, the problem is much more that we ignore our Bill of Rights too often.

Speech and assembly to protest are more restricted here than should be allowed by the First Amendment.

That the government conducts any warrantless searches at all is arguably unconstitutional according to the Fourth Amendment.

And nothing in the Second Amendment explicitly permits the infringements of the 1934 National Firearms Act or 1968 Gun Control Act, never mind new, hypothetical bans on semi-automatic firearms.


I don't even want "capitalism;" I want markets regulated and constrained

To me, all the "isms" express who has (or is supposed to have) power in a given economy or political system. We can discuss whether the people truly have power or not in any given example of "socialism" but in our version of capitalism, it's clear that wealth (or capital) has the power, and has organized our system around that.

I don't want a system based upon the power and influence of wealth.

I want a system where a representative and Constitutional government defines and regulates the boundaries of markets toward greater equity and common good. In some areas (consumer electronics, food from individual farms to initial buyers, many other goods and services), the markets might be quite free, with only regulation toward health, labor laws, and safety. In other areas (medical devices, banking, the energy and utilities sector, investment advising and portfolio management, etc.) the regulations by necessity will be tighter, since the consequences of mismanagement or failure are that much more disastrous. And in certain other realms, the profit motive is entirely corrosive, and the public needs to manage them as a public resource: parks, prisons, schools, some considerable extent of the healthcare system, etc.



At this moment of economic and political decline of the USA, the fact that the Republican Party and candidate successfully leveraged enormous resources of propaganda and power is not the fault of even one of those plant workers.

If we want progress and justice to win, Democrats need to better leverage our own propaganda and power toward the ends of a more just and equitable society. We need to present all workers with both society-wide goods (healthcare, education, criminal justice reforms, etc.) and also a narrower "what's in it for them?" component as well (wages, union rights, a genuine respect for the Second Amendment and other individual liberties, etc.)

Blaming voters is a one-way ticket toward failure.


I love Edward Abbey for all his unvarnished truth-telling!

But there is another option between the extractive cattle ranching Abbey rightfully lambastes, and the total removal of ranchers from the landscape: the Allan Savory model of Holistic Resource Management. Essentially, a deeper understanding of forage plants, weather, the migratory patterns of large herds of ruminants, ungulates, and predators in nature, and humans taking on some of the constructive roles of both predators and managers can allow range production to also be ecological restoration.

See: https://permaculturenews.org/2010/10/07/holistic-management/

for a short video on the topic, and for more depth see:


Savory and HRM have videos, TED talks, articles, and books galore beyond these two intros.


The same could be said about gun control overall.

Additional gun control policies require expanded powers by the ATF, "an agency that pins children down" when they are in the path of its enforcement, and is similar to ICE in many other ways.

ICE and the ATF work together routinely, and Ocasio Cortez's idea that one is evil and out of control, while the other deserves more power in the name of "safety" is, frankly, absurd.

See, for example:




I encourage all Democrats, Ocasio Cortez included, to quit pushing more state powers in the name of gun control (which is quite different from actual safety) at a time when firearm deaths remain historically low, but economic inequality and related matters of health, housing, and environmental quality are at their worst crises ever.


Repubs here are agog...

But to the extent that I have read excerpts of the Judge's ruling, it makes complete sense. A racially-gerrymandered legislature that used its power to draft and deceivingly describe Constitutional Amendments that further disenfranchise minority and poor voters has no legitimacy. These Amendments should be null and void.

The appeals will be fast and furious, but I hope that Wake County Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins' decision stands.



"Bernie" the person is secondary at this point.

I've said it before (look at my Journal if you want) and I'll say it again: 2020 (or beyond for that matter, given his age) is probably not Bernie's moment to become President. It is a continued opportunity for his voice and ideas to be part of the conversation though...

The Democratic constituency known as "Sandernistas" or "Democratic Socialists" or even "the Economic Left" are emerging into a moment (or hopefully an enduring position of influence) such that they deserve a voice, and a candidate that pays them more than lip service.

No one is asking anyone to "bow" to Bernie. But the Democratic party needs to take the Economic Left seriously, and treat it as an essential and influential piece of the Democratic constituency overall. This was not a problem in the least from FDR to LBJ and beyond (you know, back when Democratic policies shaped America's domestic organization); why should it be a problem now?


Pelosi is masterful and amazing.

I had high hopes for her, and she keeps exceeding them!



The Benefits of a Bernie Candidacy

We're just an hour or two into Bernie being part of the 2020 Presidential Primary, and already I am seeing posts here about him being a "Narcissist" and worse.

I think that any progressive can embrace Bernie's presence in the campaign at this point, whether they endorse him or not. Having Sanders (and Warren) in the campaign already has shifted the discussion on issues like minimum wage, health care, etc. far beyond how they were being discussed at this point in time in 2014 when the first Bernie campaign was just getting going. Love him or hate him, the man has shifted many discussions leftward, creating room for other candidates to take progressive stands while still potentially positioning themselves as more "centrist" (a word which I despise, but it ain't going away...)

Remember that at this point in a Primary, it's all about ideas and building momentum. Bernie's presence will strengthen the Democratic race overall. And I say that as someone who leans toward Warren at this point in time. Seeing and hearing her and Bernie on a debate stage with all the rest of our fine field of candidates is a prospect I relish.

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