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Gender: Male
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,775

Journal Archives

K & R, can't rec this enough

"What was learned was irrelevant," Goodman says. "What was relevant, wasn't discussed."

Same as it ever was. It sickens me to watch this, and to watch DU members rally to her side as if she's the most incredible republican-eating warrior we've ever had. They completely miss the point, as usual, and by design of the powers that be. Suckers all.

Though it isn't the same (the Republicans are comically inept and only interested in political gain), it reminds me of the Iran - Contra hearings in th 80's. Great crimes were committed by the intersection of U.S. politicians, CIA, and paramilitary assets. They were caught doing their dirty deeds, and a congressional hearing was held. The important questions about what was going on were conveniently not asked, and the principle witness and war criminal, Oliver North, was glorified as he skillfully navigated the faux hearing and presented himself as a tireless defender of the good ol' U.S. of A.

To watch our own members fall for the same rush of patriotism and partisan hero-worship for Hillary's ability to hold up in the hearing is really sad.

Our activities in Libya are a great example of why I cannot support Hillary Clinton, and I hope more Democrats can get their heads out of their anti-republican fervor to see the world-view they are buying into.

Don't be fooled people, this is how people get sucked into the wrong road. Being the best at this game is nothing to be proud of. The whole stinking game is the problem, and it's not a game, it's the destroyed lives of millions of innocents in every corner of the earth as the military industrial complex keeps the world safe for global fossil fuel extraction, destroying our environment and bringing vast wealth to a few greedy industrialists who increase their portfolios as the planet becomes uninhabitable and war breaks out all around.

Please, everyone, we have to be better than this, there is a lot on the line and it's now or never to get things right.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Oct 23, 2015, 04:50 PM (4 replies)

I am quite aware of all that, I simply have no problem with it whatsoever

We need a second party, not a third. If the Democratic Party won't step up and represent their constitutents, but instead represent their funders, they make their own problems.

Sanders is providing a model of how to win without being so compromised that it becomes a hollow victory.

It's a pity that Hillary won't forgo her corporate funding and SuperPac's in the primary, there is no legitimate excuse for using such tactics. I can see (but do not agree with) justifications for using all means necessary in the general since the Republicans will be taking dirty money in with both hands, but Bernie isn't and won't, so there's no acceptable reason for Hillary to do so in the primary, other than she has no principles except for power.

The candidate who could create your nightmare scenario of Greens or socialists getting their 5% (why does this bother you?) is, of course, Sanders himself, should he go 3rd party to carry on the movement he has built. He has a remarkable record of loyalty to the Democratic Party even as theey fight him, but seeing the way the DNC and Hillary's surrogates have rigged the game against him, and the overwhelming response he is getting from the people, who knows what will happen.

The triangulating corporatists have forever been telling the left that we have nowhere to go but to vote for them, with their snarky smiles as they enjoy our futility. I won't forget.

For the record I did not support the Nader movement, I thought he was an excellent consumer advocate but not a serious politician. Sanders is nothing like that. Our party needs to choose if it stands for anything or not, and this time we have a clear and viable choice.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Oct 19, 2015, 05:25 AM (1 replies)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this thoughtful OP

Best of luck to you in your struggles, I am going through much the same, only different.

I tend to look at these things from a system level rather than a personal one, and the radicalizing issue for me is climate change, which would benefit by electing someone who doesn't believe in ramping the capitalist beast up to warp speed but who prioritizes living in harmony with people and ecosystems. Sanders isn't perfect on this issue, but he's a bold step in the right direction and isn't bound by campaign funding to support anyone from the fossil fuel extraction and transportation industries.

You articulately discussed many other important reasons for changing our political direction, they're important and I don't mean to diminish them in any way, just adding my own focus to the discussion, I think climate change is the defining challenge of our time.

Bernie's our best choice on most every issue, at least among serious candidates running national campaigns. And our society is heading down a very dark road, with fascist elements supported by a surveillance, police, and military machine historically unprecendented, as we ravage our environment while a few uber-rich people make plans for their personal prosperity as everything around them collapses. It's obvious which candidates are on which side of those issues, and noone should pretend otherwise.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Oct 19, 2015, 05:13 AM (1 replies)

I was in Santa Cruz near the epicenter

It was my then-girlfriend's 40th bday (she was quite a bit older than I was) and I was driving from work to meet her and her family to celebrate at her house, and watch the World Series together. Everything changed in that moment. I pulled my VW van to the side of the road thinking it was just falling apart (not out of the question, LOL), the street lamp posts were literally making a howling sound from the violent shaking, a chimney collapsed and flattened a pickup truck right in front of me, unreal. Seemed like it lasted forever but it was probably less than a minute (don't remember the exact duration). When I got to her house her poor Mom was in the kitchen trying to deal with it all, a huge pot of spaghetti sauce had been tossed all over the kitchen and gave everything a faux bloody vibe, anything that wasn't bolted down was tossed all over the place, not good but others had it worse and lost their homes completely and a few lost their lives.

Santa Cruz's downtown was in shambles for years (businesses moved their stores into giant tents), we had no power for days, no phones, no communications but word of mouth and whatever we could get from AM radio. Many of the local bridges were damaged so travel to get anywhere was pretty much impossible. I mostly rode my bike for awhile because of that.

Some people slept outside on their lawns for a few nights as the aftershocks just kept coming, one after another, and we didn't know if the really big one was still on the way. I lived in a small geodesic dome (I used to get some of Steve Wozniak's mail there, apparently he had lived in that little house before I did, odd, it was really tiny but secluded so maybe he liked that) where I slept in the loft. The aftershocks were somehow so loud (I still don't understand this) that I could be asleep, hear one coming, scramble down the loft ladder and be just about out the front door by the time one hit.

I hope I never experience anything like that again. Before that, I always laughed at earthquakes, they were kind of fun and mostly harmless in my experience. To no longer trust the earth beneath your feet is an odd feeling, one that persisted for quite awhile.

edit to add: happy b-day to my ex, if she is reading this, she was a good Democrat so who knows.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat Oct 17, 2015, 07:08 PM (0 replies)

Other than the "blew it" part, I totally agree

Excellent points by Scheer. Bernie needs to hire him or someone like him, maybe Reich too if Reich would sign up, to work on his messaging. It isn't enough to be right on the issues and assume the public will figure it all out. Many people are just looking for convenient "outs" to go along to get along with the Clinton inevitability train, and if they see her as mostly on the same side of the issues as Bernie (which she is not), they will vote for her.

Bernie is admirably reluctant to go after Hillary, he doesn't want to damage her candidacy in any way. I think he made that decision before running, when he was given little chance of even waging a competitive campaign.

Things have change, the U.S. is Berning, and he needs to step up and play to win. He can't ddo that unless he's willing to directly call out and illuminate the stark differences betweeen himself and Hillary. The policies of Bill's presidecy should absolutely be part of the mix, let her refute them and show how she disagrees with those policies if she wants. We all know a Hillary presidency would involve basically the same neoliberal economic agenda as Bill's presidency, and on foreign policy she is at least as hawkish as Bill, much more so in my opinion.

The establishment plays to win. They'll use every weapon at their disposal to maintain their grip on the U.S. economy and military. Time to take off the gloves and do this. The people will respond, Bernie's on the correct side of the issues, but he must also make it cear that Hillary is not.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat Oct 17, 2015, 05:59 PM (0 replies)

Good question. What I would like to see:

is an internet-based alternative to the MSM. I see it as a battle for the content being displayed on the main TV/monitor in the average family's living room.

I hate the MSM as much as anyone, but even I, as I sit here typing, have my TV on in the background, running MSM with disgusting Chris Matthews and what passes for conventonal wisdom blaring into my space. It keeps me informedd on what is going on in the real world, but as we all know, its perspective is largely that of its owners. Totally sucks.

I had a decent alternative till Google ruined it. I have a "smart DVD player" that has apps that stream content to my TV/monitor. The old Youtube app used to stream new programming from my Youtube channel subscriptions, which was a pretty decent MSM alternative.

Unfortunately after Google bought Youtube they invalidate the old Youtube app oon these devices, and brught onlie a new Google Youtube app that doesn't operate in the same way. It mixes in ads (at much greater volume, ruining it), and somehow won't stick to streaming new content from subscribed Youtube channels, instead jumping around to "recommended" videos based o what they see as my interests. Totally sucks, it often throws in things I would never watch, and adds them to my Youtube watch history, etc.

Anyway, it's all there on the internet, we just need a conveniently streamed aggregator of clips from our preferred sources. No ads. If it intersperses recommended content, that should either be highly customizable or it should be able to be disabled.

I say the proper app that would run on smart TV's, DVD players, phones capable of casting the content to the TV, or the like, could fully repllace the MSM in people's living rooms. Maybe this already exists and I'm not aware, but if it does it has yet to establish itself as an available choice in the average home's viewing area. It needs to, and it would change everything.

The last thing I will add is that I think the concept of streaming clips is where it's at. I usually do other things while I "watch" and don't bother to browse around to different websites to click on clips to watch. It needs to just effortlessly come at me based on what I tell it I am interested in. A "keep in touch" featire would also be great, so you could say "devote 20% (configurable) of content to current events from these acceptable sources" and it would throw in what's hot at that moment every once in awhile, or likewise a "contrary view" feture where it would mix in a configurable percent of content from sources you don't agree with but would like to keep tabs on.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Oct 16, 2015, 07:36 PM (1 replies)

Thank you

The thing that saddened me most about the recent debate was how it largely failed to tease apart the very real differences between the candidates, leaving viewers with the feeling that they are mostly in agreement with subtle fine-hair differences. That is simply not the case. It's like using voting records to judge them by. The voting records don't accurately illuminate the differences, because the framework of what those votes are is shamefully missing any real reform legislation.

There's a large and very substantial difference between Hillary and Bernie. They're not fighting for the same world view or similar policies derived from those world views. One is a multinational capitalist and the other is a democratic socialist/populist with little interest in using U.S. blood and treasure to leverage corporate interest in every nook and cranny of the earth.

Now if we could just get Bernie to come out as wanting to ramp-down and eventually end the drone killings. Some work to do there. He'd probably be better than Hillary or a Republican in this regard but still seems to be willing to use remote killing as a way to avoid getting bogged down into long entangled conflicts, instead of championing the need to operate under a new paradigm of running a country rather than an empire.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Oct 16, 2015, 05:59 PM (0 replies)

Hillary had an excellent debate

In my view she is selling policies that are much harder to sell than Bernie's (because they aren't as good for most of us), so her job was harder, if you want to look at it like that. She was obviously better prepared and more skillful in presentation and phrasing. I would say she won the debate but Bernie probably won more supporters from the debate.

I think Bernie needs to improve some of his messaging, though I find his actual policies to be just about perfect. The gun issue is mostlly false political points being used by O'Maey and Clinton, IMHO, unless your solution to the gun problem is to sue gun manufacturers when someone gets shot. Car manufacturers get sued when their defective cars cause accidents, but not when a criminal driver kills someone with a properly functioning car. So I don't see a substantive distinction betwenn the 3 candidates on guns, except Bernie is more likely to fight for what he says he will rather than just throwing out campaign planks.

Re his messaging, though, I think he needs to do a better job answering the question of "how will you have more success getting reforms through Congress than Obama did". He says he will get millions of people behind him, which is great, and he probably will, but that still doesn't explain the mechanism that brings reform. Mass protests in the streets? Phone calls? Letters? They won't listen to us, of course, they never do.

What Bernie will really do, and this is what he needs to explain, is he will fight for the correct reform up front, vigorously, rather than compromising away the right reform because it isn't politically feasible AT THE MOMENT (the fight eventually changes what is politically feasible), or supporting only the policies his corporate donors support (since he doesn't have corporate donors). What happens then, is the entire frame of debate gets changed, the real issue is discussed, we fight for it, we probably lose, we keep fighting for it, explaining why it's the right reform, and the public gets it. That's the magic of telling the truth, people actually will get it, you just have to stay with it and not expect to win the first time. When the public gets it, the oppostion can choose between giving in or being voted out of office. It's exactly what Bernie will do, and how the mechanism to reform will work, and he needs to find a way to explain that to the people when he asks for their votes.

He also needs to do a better job explaining that his reforms will often SAVE money, rather than costing money. Single payer health insurance is much cheaper. So is incarcerating less people, less military adventurism, expanding the social safety nets (the cause of much crime is people turn to crime when their needs are met in no other way, and crime and punishment are very expensive), ending the drug war saves a lot of money too.

Plenty of other ways he can improve his messaging. He's excellent on policy though, at least from my perspective I've never had the privilege of supporting someone whose policies I agree with to this extent.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Oct 16, 2015, 02:02 AM (1 replies)

I don't know anything specifically about West Virginia

but this is good news for sure.

My feeling, in general, and it has been validated by the Sanders campaign, is that, as soon as we quit running candidates who are just the lessor of two evils, as soon as we unilaterally swear off corporate donations and run on small donations and TRUTH to power, honest and sincere campaigns, we'll be shocked at how many people suddenly come around.

At least half the voters in this country see all politicians as crooks, of either party, and for the most part they're right. There's a huge untapped pool of disaffected voters who know damn well that they're voting against their own interests, but don't see the other side as any less against their own interests. Fix that, and everything changes. It transcends left and right, it's about removing corrupting money from the equation and suddenly we have real politicians representing the interests of ordinary human beings rather than multinational corporate interests.

The challenge we all face is to recognize this, stop participating in the corporate deceptions, and learn how to leverage our numbers and social media skills to defeat the massive ad buys and corporate media propaganda that prop up the phonies. It's the only game worth playing at this point, learn to defeat corporate-funded phonies with authentic candidates who will represent people rather than corporations.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat Oct 10, 2015, 05:03 AM (0 replies)

The plan is to let them (us) die off

The ownership class in no way cares about the worker class. They will work to expedite automation, simultaneously removing any and all social safety nets for the rapidly increasing jobless, and let nature take its course. From their perspective, the worker class has value only as workers, not as humans, and any value they have as workers will soon disappear with automation. Add to the equation things like needing less resources by eliminating the 99%, leaving a sustainable path to life on this planet when we are newly aligned with the human carrying capacity of Earth, and you have their plan.

Too cynical? Probably not. Obviously such a generalization is not universal, but for that future to manifest it needn't be universal, merely dominant in the views of the few truly powerful. If we don't want to accept it, and we mustn't, it's going to take wresting control from the ownership class.

Hard to imagine that actually happening, but possible paths to getting there are direct democracy rather than representative (this would have to be accompanied by democratizing information, breaking up the media conglomerates, if a few corporations are informing the masses then direct democracy will still be informed by the propaganda of the wealthy), or perhaps an enlightened representative democracy could work if we completely decouple money from political campaigns. Another path of course is for all hell to break loose in violent revolution, destroying industrial society entirely, I suppose this is the path of the jihadis (I don't know enough of their vision to really say so), anyway this is a path that would perhaps postpone climate disaster but whose results would be only slightly more desirable than the meltdown we are rushing towards by default, as its main features would be violent death and death by starvation and lack of disease control.

Sanders wants to democratize the workplace, which is an excellent place to start towards a positive solution. When businesses represent the interests of their employees rather than the interests of a small group of owners and shareholders, labor savings from automatizing could conceivably be distributed equitably. It's not enough (businesses also need to represent the interest of society as a whole, not just maximize their value to the marketplace) but it is an achievable first step.

I find the idea that "the smartest people in the room" (paraphrasing a ridiculous post upthread) will get together and work this out to everyone's benefit to be absurd. Our current trajectory is the let-us-die-when-our-labor-is-not-needed path, it's how capitalists see the world, and they don't much like us common folk around to remind them of the failures of their economic system anyway. Not to mention the annoying problem that we're rapidly passing climate change tipping points that will eventually, if not already, lock us in to a path for extinction, and one way of addressing that is depopulation.

That's why these are not normal times, and business as usual is suicidal. We either very quickly find a way to live sustainably, or we face the unthinkable. It's way too important a decision to leave in the hands of a few smart elites, who really aren't that into us.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Sat Oct 10, 2015, 04:25 AM (0 replies)
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