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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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Of course. What Americans need in a leader for 2016 is plausible deniability.

Yesiree, bob. What do Americans, faced with a jobless recovery, declining wages, ecosystem collapse, staggering corruption in the corporate and defense sectors, racial tension, urban decay, financial sector malfeasance going unpunished even as it continues to bankrupt Main St. USA, and raft of other serious societal problems really need and demand? How about a continuously duplicitous, insincere-sounding 'leader' with a passable quantity of plausible deniability to provide a veil over her ongoing work on behalf of the 1%?

I can hear the roars of approval from here.


Tom Petty is a true gentleman and a real rock star.

This is exactly the message that (white) southerners need to hear. The Stars & Bars really were an icon of the (white) south for much of the 1970's and 1980's. I loved the Dukes of Hazzard as an eight year old boy, and had no idea back then who "General Lee" was, nor the meaning of the flag painted on the roof of a cool car that bore his name. The Dukes were just "good ol' boys... makin' their way the only way they knew how." To me as a kid, their ways involving moonshine, pretty women, fast cars, and a gentle sort of lawbreaking rebelliousness where no one ever got really hurt and the good guys always prevailed some how were great. Of course, now I can bring feminist, historical, and anti-racist perspectives to the old show in a way that I could not as a kid (and thus I find more and different meanings), but even through all that I do still appreciate the message of rebelliousness with honor and kindness that the Bo & Luke Duke embodied. The show is a part of my past, and I choose to recall its good parts, while also not choosing to watch it or otherwise celebrate it much in the present...

But where I live now, there are some (white) neighbors of mine who still choose to fly or otherwise embrace the Stars & Bars. While I try to challenge them to reconsider its meaning and examine the larger message that the flag inevitably sends, I also can understand where they are coming from. My part of NC has been plagued by poverty and inequality. The Depression started here in the 1920's and didn't really end until the 1950's. I know (white) people whose houses lacked electricity and/or even septic systems in their living memory. Plus, from the 1990's on, NAFTA and other manifestations of globalization and corporate power have further ravaged the fabric of this locale. The textile mills are gone. The furniture factories are gone. Unions were decimated in the early 20th Century here and never regained a foothold. Plus, the southern Appalachian mountains are racially homogenous enough that black people are easily portrayed by racists here as a distant and ominous "other," who unfairly suck tax dollars or other resources away. It's a ridiculous portrayal, but it can gain traction in some of these rural circles.

It's not right for anyone to blame any of societal problems on black people, food stamps, or any other bogeyman of the right wing. Nor is it right for white southerners to celebrate an emblem of slavery and secession. But I can understand how it's easy for some (white) folks to do so, and even how a quite awesome guy like Tom Petty got sucked into it back in the early '80's. Those of us with more political experience and better historical educations need to engage those who are still at it now and point out the real villains (corporations and the whole speculative FIRE economy: Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate). What we must NOT do is dismiss these neighbors of mine as simpleton racists who are inevitably enemies of our causes for justice. They might be making idiotic choices when sharing stupid Kid Rock memes on Facebook, but it's frustration with their own blinkered economic situations and misplaced blame at the roots. And underneath that frustration and misplaced blame is the same hunger for justice that all of us (should) have. Misplaced blame plus a hunger for (personal) justice can be a breeding ground for hate and even fascism, and we have to fight against that.

So anyway, I'm really glad that Tom Petty is being awesome (as usual). He has more cred with my (white) southern neighbors than I ever will. La lucha continua. K&R,


PS- All my parenthetical 'white' notations above are because of the racial homogeneity of my particular mountain locale, and because of course the black folks I know were never fooled by the 'heritage not hate' nonsense by which certain white southerners promulgated the Confederate Battle Flag.

This is not 'liberalism, it is 'authoritarianism."

Hillary's enthusiasm for new and expanded gun control laws is entirely consistent with her support for the PATRIOT Act, her failure to condemn the crackdown against Occupy Wall St., her own condemnation of Edward Snowden, her push for a militaristic and coup-supporting approach while serving as SoS. In all these cases, she supports power and privilege over rights for the people.

Very little about Hillary is 'liberal.' True liberalism is a spirit of inquiry, a questioning of authority, a faith in fundamental rights that are truly inalienable, and a commitment to enlightenment processes of open debate as a path toward higher truths. When has Hillary embodied these?

So of course she supports gun control.

Don't be surprised when Americans fail to rally to this particular authoritarian banner, despite its ostensible liberal label. Support for new gun control measures may be a mile wide according to certain cleverly-phrased polls, but it's never more than an inch deep. In 2016, people will be voting about the economy and other core issues. Guns are just red-meat media fodder, and Democrats would do best to say that they support enforcing the current laws and move on.

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