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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Do you believe the United States of America is currently primarily a force for good in the world or

primarily a force for bad in the world?

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Mar 17, 2014, 06:38 PM (37 replies)


Born Lord Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC (3 April 1925 14 March 2014), 2nd Viscount of Stansgate. He renounced his hereditary titles as well as his position of class and privilege and swore his heart, mind and soul to the working class and the cause of democratic socialism. He was a was a British Labour Party politician who was a Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.

Here Michael Moore interviews him a few years ago

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Mar 14, 2014, 07:34 AM (19 replies)

Michael Moore Interviews Tony Benn (Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88)

see this thread in LBN


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Mar 14, 2014, 06:51 AM (4 replies)

Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88

Source: The Guardian

Benn was a divisive figure within the Labour party because of his steadfast support for traditional socialism. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Tributes poured in for one the country's most extraordinary and controversial MPs, who, in what he described as the blazing autumn of his career outside Westminster, came to be regarded as an anti-establishment voice for democracy.

Although he said self-deprecatingly in one of his later interviews: "All political careers end in failure; mine just happened to end earlier than most," many regarded his final decades outside Westminster with greatest affection.

In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/14/tony-benn-dies-aged-88-labour-politiican?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

Formerly Lord Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn, PC (3 April 1925 14 March 2014), formerly 2nd Viscount Stansgate, was a British Labour Party politician who was a Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.

Benn's campaign to renounce his hereditary peerage was instrumental in the creation of the Peerage Act 1963.[2] In the Labour Government of 19641970 he served first as Postmaster General, where he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower, and later as a notably "technocratic" Minister of Technology. In the period when the Labour Party was in Opposition, for a year he was the Chairman of the Labour Party. In the Labour Government of 19741979 he returned to the Cabinet, initially as Secretary of State for Industry, before being made Secretary of State for Energy, retaining his post when James Callaghan replaced Wilson as Prime Minister. During the Labour Party's time in Opposition during the 1980s, he was seen as the party's prominent figure on the left, and the term "Bennite" has come to be used in Britain for someone of a more radical left-wing position.[3]

Benn topped several polls as the most popular politician in Britain.[4] He has been described as "one of the few UK politicians to have become more left-wing after holding ministerial office."[5] After leaving Parliament, Benn became involved in the grass-roots politics of demonstrations and meetings, and was the President of the Stop the War Coalition for the last decade. He was a vegetarian from the 1970s until his death.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Mar 14, 2014, 05:21 AM (12 replies)

The term "Corporatist" or "Pro-Corporate Democrats" are utterly naive terms.

Because in a corporate dominated capitalist society especially one as corporate dominated and capitalistic as the United States - of course the political class are Pro-corporatist and have been at least since the rise to power of the modern corporation. It is hardly a secret that the entire campaign system and lobbying system are overwhelmingly dominated by corporations and that is true whether the Democrats or Republicans are in power. Come on!! No one can possibly be so naive to not know that. FDR and LBJ were Pro-corporatist Democrats just as much as Clinton and Obama. The difference is LBJ and FDR were Presidents during an era when the unions were a lot more powerful and alternatives to corporate dominated capitalist society were still being espoused in rather mainstream debate.

To not be Pro-corporatist would require politicians who would NOT take their money and who would build their political influence from other sources than the corporate lobbying industrial complex. How many politicians are like that? I suppose Bernie Sanders and no more than half a dozen others.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Mar 13, 2014, 06:02 PM (7 replies)

When will America be ready to elect a progressive president running on a progressive agenda?

When will America be ready to elect a progressive president running on a progressive agenda?

Perhaps some people think my question is silly because we already have one and with Hillary waiting in the wings we are all set to elect another one in 2016. But I suspect most people who think that are those too young or too unfamiliar with the world before Ronald Reagan when Keynesian economics dominated and even many Republicans accepted both the short term and long term agenda of the New Deal and the Great Society.

So when I say progressive It means a campaign that defines entitlement reform and welfare reform as moving our country as rapidly as possible toward a genuinely comprehensive social economic security system such as we find in almost every other modern democracy. It means publically sponsored and completely comprehensive healthcare for all such as we find in almost every other modern democracy. It means a livable wage for all those who work and those who cannot work due to no fault of their own such as we find in most other modern democracies. It means rights for workers enshrined into law that equal or exceeds those in most of the liberal democracies of Western Europe. It means reducing military spending and moving away from the quagmire of an unsustainable military empire.

For almost forty years we have heard that these may be good long term goals - but we cannot run on them now. We need to move more and more to the "center" in order to win. Then perhaps during the next election cycle or maybe the one after that - then finally we be able to run the great progressive campaign.

At the same time during most of the last forty years the rightwing which forty years ago would have been considered the lunatic fringe extreme right - has pushed the boundaries so far to the right - the "center" at least on economic issues is now being defined in the mainstream of the media as something pretty close to where the far right used to be. While what is being called liberal or even "far left" is more or less close to what thirty to forty years ago would have been considered moderately conservative. After all in 1976 Gerald Ford picked Bob Dole as his running mate to appease the rightwing of the Republican Party - the Senator who along with George McGovern designed the Food Stamp and School Nutrition program. That is how far our public debate has drifted to the right.

So, when can we have a progressive campaign again? Can we do it in 2016? If not - when?


Please excuse my melodrama - but sometimes when I think about these questions I recall this campaign song Johnny Rivers wrote way back in 1972 for the McGovern campaign. It seems to me the words are even more relevant now than the were then.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Mar 12, 2014, 06:20 AM (23 replies)

If Sen Sanders runs as a Democrat - do you believe he could win the nomination and go on and win the

General Election?

As a disclaimer of my own bias - Because Sen. Bernie Sanders has such incredible persuasive abilities and is able to explain the progressive social democratic perspective in such practical bread and butter terms that more often than not - he at least wins the respect of even many conservatives and because issue by issue he is more in tune with the vast majority of ordinary Americans than any major candidate in recent memory - Yes, I personally do believe it is possible he could win the Democratic Party nomination and go on to win the general election. However, I think it is more likely that he would have a strong influence that could bring back progressivism into the mainstream of national political discussion for the first time in more than a generation.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:57 AM (91 replies)

do people today understand what war with Russia would mean?

Even some opponents of military intervention talk as we were debating whether or not to invade Panama. The idea of engaging Russia in military action far exceeds the issue of invading Iraq or even Iran. A military strike against Russian forces would place the world in a state of parallel far, far more dangerous as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

Only a crackpot or madman would even consider such a course of action. I rejoice that there is no crackpot or madman currently sitting in the White House who would even consider for one single second such an action.

Could it actually be possible that some people have forgotten what war with Russia would likely escalate to?

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 09:39 AM (116 replies)

What is your opinion about Marxism?

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Mar 1, 2014, 06:00 PM (106 replies)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to speak about controversial bill

Source: Los Angeles Times

By Cindy Carcamo
February 26, 2014, 4:18 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will make a statement Wednesday evening about a controversial piece of legislation that would give more protection to businesses who cite religious beliefs in refusing to serve gays and others, she announced.

The move comes after an intense national outcry by the gay community, its supporters, business owners and Arizona political leaders, urging the governor to veto SB 1062.

Critics describe the bill as anti-gay, unconstitutional and divisive. It passed the Republican-controlled Legislature last week, largely on a party-line vote.

Proponents of SB 1062 say the bill is being misrepresented. They emphasized that it was not a discriminatory bill and was intended to protect religious freedom. They note that state law already permits businesses to refuse to serve gays and others, and this bill would merely strengthen that right.

The bill was met with quick and widespread criticism prompting three Republicans who had voted for it to reverse course and urge a veto.

Some foes of the legislation have threatened to boycott Arizona if the bill becomes law, and a national group of Latino lawyers announced Wednesday that it had pulled out of hosting a conference in Phoenix.


Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-arizona-brewer-20140226,0,77134.story#axzz2uThaHI2K
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Feb 26, 2014, 08:35 PM (6 replies)
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