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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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Did you ever consider democracy?

This site is Democratic Underground. While that may mean blind Democratic party loyalty to some, I prefer to concurrently embrace the notion that because we are Democrats, we believe in government by the 'demos,' i.e.- the people.

I have been paying close attention to politics & policy for decades now, so I feel quite competent to evaluate the performance of the present AG. But more imortantly, the AG works for us. 'Eleven-dimensional chess' & super-secret double-plus-good policies don't cut it. Had Holder upheld the full Bill of rights, as is his job, he would have the unequivocal support of myself and many Americans like me. He didn't, and so he doesn't. Maybe the 'Eleven-dimensional chess' strategists can put these facts in their pipes & smoke 'em.

As I said, I expect better from the second Obama administration. I am willing to temper my (legitimate) anger aginst Holder for a few months in order to help make that second Obama administration happen.


Holder isn't worth it, but Obama is

I called Holder an 'asshole' in another thread, and I'll stand by that overall. Fast & Furious is a debacle & crime, Bradley Manning's imprisonment is unconscionable, the medical marijuana clinic busts are horrible. I could go on. But the fact is that Holder is also doing some good work protecting voter registries in Florida and other states, preventing the widespread disenfranchisement that seems to be Republicans' goal. As a Democrat, I of course stand for voting rights. I wish that Holder would uphold many other civil rights and liberties with equal zeal, but a Republican AG (remember Gonzales? Ashcroft?!?) would be worse.

And more importantly, caving to Issa now gives the Republicans too much raw meat just before the election.

I won't join the chorus of voices calling for Holder's resignation, even though I think he has done a lousy job of supporting (at the very least) the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. We can and should discuss this matter in the future, but right now it's most important to keep the Mitt-bot away from the levers of power.

In return, I expect Obama to appoint a much better AG during his second term.


Poetic, but not particularly factual.

I worked two summers for the Peregrine Fund, at 'hack sites,' which are where captive-bred peregrines are released into the wild. For ~9 weeks, we hack site attendants would monitor the young birds, feed them (without them seeing us: no human imprinting allowed!), and maintain a log of their progress toward becoming independent birds.

One summer, in the Shoshone National Forest, our site was close to a major road construction project (which included blasting), extensive cattle leases (with all the stream bank and water quality degradations that implies), and logging. I began the summer fully expecting that all this anthropogenic environmental disturbance would hinder the peregrines' success, but it didn't. They hardly ruffled their feathers at the blasts, and their cliff-side perches were high above the cattle and loggers.

I'm all for using narrative form to tug at both the hearts and minds of readers; any which way we raise environmental awareness is a good thing. But accuracy is important. The "stink of death" we carried to peregrines was (is?) DDT and other persistent organic pollutants; "petrol and limestone dust... scorched rubber and hot tarmac" are not particularly worrisome to falcons.


Clinton has been rotten from the start.

There's a reason why Clinton never delved further into or prosecuted Iran Contra as it should have been: he was complicit. The airport used to export arms to the Nicaraguan Contras, and import cocaine was Mena, in Arkansas. The idea that Arkansas' governor at the time (Clinton) had no knowledge of these activities is simply ludicrous.



I know that 'What Really Happpened' is considered a conspiracy / nutter site by some, but the first link is just an Arkansas Gazette article. The second link is a little more full of ads & nuttery, but also has some good audio, quotes, and even some scans of Ollie North's handwritten notes. Definitely worth a look for anyone wondering about why, whenever the chips are down, Clinton has sided with the Bush-istas and the corporate/right-wing/DLC bullshit side of the Democratic Party.

Learn from history or repeat it.


It's time for the Bill of Rights to extend to the workplace

I am pro-union, but presently working a state job in a right-to-work, anti-union state. While I certainly hope that unions can gain some traction in NC and across the country, I think that better workplace rights are a necessary pre-condition for any progress, whether union-centered or otherwise.

We Americans (hopefully) all embrace the Bill of Rights as a codification of fundamental, inalienable, and self-evident freedoms. Throughout American history, more and more of those freedoms have been 'incorporated' into state law via Supreme Court decisions. States are what charter corporations and issue licenses (dba's etc.) to private businesses. Yet for some strange reason many Americans, including too many here at DU, find it perfectly acceptable that one's right to free speech, one's freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and nearly every other civil right and liberty enshrined in our Constitution end at the workplace door. This is a ludicrous and pernicious notion. As we pursue any other means to gain workplace justice, we ought to always emphasize that our Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms can and should be exercised at the times and places where we spend the majority of our waking hours: the workplace. A corporation gaining a charter from the state should only be possible with if said corporation agrees to respect the fundamental freedoms of its employees. Indeed, how can a state give a corporation a power which the state itself does not have? If a state must respect the First Amendment, etc., then so must the corporations it charters.


Review your history

Review your history, harmonicon.

Hitler & Stalin were quite chummy, initially.

And, by the way, both of them opposed private firearms ownership: in Hitler's case basically for anyone who might oppose him, and in Stalin's case basically for any individual citizen.

And furthermore, Stalinist left-totalitarianism and Nazi right-totalitarianism were about equally nightmarish for those shipped off to camps & gulags that each regime employed.

Me, I'll stick with the good ol' Jeffersonian/Tom Paine/Eleanor Roosevelt/Howard Dean American continuum of thought that has proven time & again that private firearms ownership is perfectly compatible with, and possibly essential for, true freedom.

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