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

Journal Archives

So ideally, Obama should have weighed-in sooner.

The time for Obama to have exerted influence over Net Neutrality would have been before or during the appointment process for Tom Wheeler.

Right now, Obama's words are just words. Nice words, for sure. I agree with them. But I voted in 2008 and 2012 for progressive action from my President. Getting a few nice words in 2014 is a little too little, too late.


The Stasi never convinced the E. Germans to buy their own bugs/cameras/mics.

Capitalism has been much more creative in convincing us to rush toward being spied upon via embracing the latest gizmos. Add-up many peoples' cable bills, smartphone plans, and internet service and we are shelling out hundreds of dollars per month to help the NSA know everything about us.

If you have not yet watched "The Lives of Others" (2006) I highly recommend it for a powerful look at East Germany back in the day.

I know that by posting here, I am doing my part to be known and tabulated. But fuck it, I'm an American who believes in the Constitution and a government that derives its legitimacy from the consent of the citizenry. This is nothing to be ashamed of...

Other than that matter of degree, I agree with your post 100%.


The Fifth Amendment is NOT exclusively about criminal matters.

Amendment V

No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

There are bits in-between about processes relating to criminal indictments and trials, but the Fifth Amendment serves as a restriction on what government may and may not do under any and all circumstances. Saying that something is a civil matter does not exempt the government from abiding by Fifth Amendment protections.

Demanding that the government abide by the Constitution is good citizenship. Save the Teabagging accusations for idiots who can't spell Medicare properly on signs saying that the gubmint needs to get their hands off it.


Repub efforts at student vote suppression in Boone, NC fail. Spectacularly.

Cross-posting from the NC Forum for wider visibility. For original, see:

As mentioned in the original thread, I (appal_jack) am typing this with a newborn NC progressive in my arms, so I won't be able to participate in this thread much, but please spread the good news:

Minutes after the State Board of Elections selected an early-voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University for the general election on Wednesday afternoon, the N.C. Supreme Court stepped in and allowed a stay against an early-voting site on the college campus.

“It happened almost immediately,” said Ian O’Keefe, a member of the Watauga County Democratic Party.

The State Board of Elections held a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to select the early-voting site. The board members unanimously chose the Price Lake Room in the Plemmons Student Union from among multiple recommendations from ASU officials and members of the Watauga County Board of Elections.

Enthusiasm of the local Democrats quickly dissipated initially as news spread that the N.C. Supreme Court had taken up the issue and allowed a stay against an early-voting site on the campus, which would mean that the State Board of Elections wasn’t legally bound to have an early-voting site on the campus and that the constitutional matter of no early voting at ASU could be decided by the courts after the general election.

“I am pretty disappointed … I think the Supreme Court decided to do something against the will of the people, and the will of this county, and they are actively engaging in voter suppression, and with the highest court in our state to be involved in that is disappointing,” O’Keefe said minutes after the N.C. Supreme Court ruling. “I think they should be ashamed of themselves, and their actions do not warrant their position.”

However, State Board of Elections spokesman Josh Lawson noted that the N.C. Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t void the State Board of Elections decision to have an early voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University.

“The State Board can adopt a new voting plan for a county really at any time,” Lawson said, adding that the State Board of Elections made the unanimous decision moments before the N.C. Supreme Court’s stay because it thought it was “under legal requirements” to do so.

“Unless the State Board were to meet again and establish a new plan for the county, the plan approved unanimously for [Watauga by the SBOE on Wednesday] stands,” Lawson said.


The local Democratic activists who sued and fanned flames in the media about local vote suppression are true heroes!


Really? Patenting Plants?

I prefer that my leaders carry the torch of Jefferson, supporting small farms and the free exchange of biological resources we inherit from the commons. The TPP and other trade agreements are the leading edge of a vicious modern enclosure movement that steals from farmers past, present, and future.


Excellent point CaptainTruth.

I could not have summarized the core principles of our Constitutional system of governance any better.

When one of the nine most powerful arbiters of the Constitution is in such willful denial, we are in a lot of trouble as a nation.

Scalia is unfit to serve on the Court (as are Thomas & Alito, at the very least).


MFN status for China was granted by Clinton

I agree that Reagan was a pivotal actor (see what I did there?) in the destruction of the Middle Class. However, it started well before him, certainly under Nixon as the Treasury was emptied to pay for the Vietnam War, maybe earlier (Chris Hedges traces it back to the early 20th Century, basically as soon as the Middle Class formed in America).

While it's worthwhile to focus on particularly evil Republicans like Nixon and Reagan, too many Democrats have been willing players in the hollowing out of our country as well. Particularly, Bill Clinton reneged on his campaign promises about the Middle Class & China, granting China Most Favored Nation trading status in 1994:


This + NAFTA (plus too many other venal moves to mention) defines the Clinton legacy for me.


Yes, decriminalize it all already.

I know that mj decriminalization is still controversial in some circles, and not many people are ready to hear that coca should follow, but really, could it be any worse than now? With cartels banking billions from the illegal trade (and stockpiling arms, engaging in human trafficking, etc.), would it not be preferable to have all drugs in the open, taxed and inspected for contamination, etc.

I've never tried cocaine, but I did work a short while in Bolivia, and one could find packets of coca tea in offices there, right between the black tea and instant coffee packets. I found it helped with altitude sickness to drink a cup or two.

In my lifetime, I have seen nothing so corrosive to democracy and Constitutional governance than the War on (some) Drugs. It's time to toss this social error into the dustbin of history.


The Montreal Protocol was one of several major environmental victories

The Montreal Protocol was one of several major environmental victories of the past few decades resulting from a straightforward ban. Scientists determined that certain compounds were causing undue harm, and activists kept up the pressure until concerted action was taken at the international or national levels.

When I was in graduate school for environmental science during the 1990's, it was much more fashionable for the chic and powerful to advocate 'market based solutions' (the environmental side agreement to NAFTA, cap and trade on CO2, etc.) and regard bans and other drastic actions as old-fashioned and unnecessarily anti-business. I never drank the kool aid.

The other bans I consider as important as the ban on CFC's include the ban on lead in gasoline & paints, the ban on DDT, and the ban on PCB's.

I'd like to see bans on neonicotinoid pesticides, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, persistent antibacterial compounds (especially the chlorinated ones - like Triclosan) in home products, and all packaging that is not easily recyclable or compostable. Tackling these problems with straightforward bans could save the bees, improve public health drastically, and eliminate the oceanic garbage gyres in short order.

What would you ban, if you could?

Here's celebrating an environmental victory!



In some ways, I am just the opposite.

I recall the common graffiti seen around the Lower East Side of NYC during the late 1980's of an inverted martini glass and the text "The Party's Over." To my young activist eyes of the time, this looked prophetic. Surely the excesses of Wall St. in the 1980's and the inequality and environmental destruction wrought by capitalism and militarism then had reached a logical endpoint, and society would either correct course or fall-apart. Boy, was I wrong. The Gordon Gecko days and the S&L Bailout were just dress rehearsals for Jamie Dimon and TARP.

Now, don't get me wrong; things have surely gotten worse, and at some point the chickens will come home to roost. Infinite growth and consumption CANNOT keep going on this oh so finite planet of more than 7 billion people. But 'the system' (however you define it) is enormously creative in how it keeps going. Powerful people have a strong interest in continuing patterns of exploitation, and they have been largely creative and successful in sustaining their own wealth and power, at the expense of the planet's ecosystems and common good.

Are things going to hell in a hand basket? Almost certainly, by nearly any measure. And yet the endpoint of 'collapse' has not arrived.

I will not tempt fate or show my own ignorance by predicting a set time for 'collapse.' But I will express my true amazement that it has not arrived at some point during the past three decades.

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