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dreamnightwind's Journal
dreamnightwind's Journal
June 23, 2015

Though I share your view of the word underground,

Skinner has gone on record to say that he does not, his intention was nothing of the sort.

You're already quite aware of this, since it was in response to a query from you that Skinner made this clear (and thanks for your query, I had always wondered about the same thing, clearly the site's name is misleading):


We were the "Underground" fighting against the Republicans, who were in power at the time.

Ironically, it seems that many people took the name to mean "Underground fighting against Democrats." I was so naive. Back when I started this site I had no clue so many Democrats hated Democrats.

Skinner himself lists the DLC/PPI website in his website development portfolio, so he apparently worked for the DLC, that should give you some more perspective of how "underground" Skinner's intentions were.


I think its good for more of us to be aware of this, most aren't. It is good to understand where the admins are coming from.

I am not a fan of the DLC wing of the party and policies such as TPP, but consider myself a good Democrat, in fact I feel that I strongly support what this party is supposed to be about, rather than supporting just any politician that chooses to place a D after his/her name.

I try to coexist here yet still state my positions, hopefully that is acceptable. I don't hate Democrats, I hate people pushing harmful policies whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans.

I used the DINO word earlier today in a post, probably shouldn't have, I had just called Feinstein's office about the TPP and spoken to her staff, and that was my honest opinion after making that call. I could have phrased it differently, shouldn't have to though. Hopefully we can elect some better Democrats who care what we think, my impression of Feinstein has always been that she does not.

June 23, 2015

Damn. It isn't even Corporate America. Fela's Beasts of No Nation

Time for them to stop winning. Bernie is a good first step, if we can get him heard.

Infinite ways to oppose what is happening, Bernie is only one of them. It's going to take a lot of people, a lot of determination, and a lot of heart, using a lot of different approaches to get our lives and world back, if we can do so while we still have lives and a world capable of sustaining them.

FELA vs BUHARI - Beast of No Nation

June 13, 2015

Yes, and check out the origin and designer of DLC/PPI site, blew my mind

I thought the CPC website was the responsibility of Ellison and Grijalva? Is this the website you mean, or is there another one I don't know about?


For a real contrast, the old DLC/PPI website (which were designed by our own Skinner, 5th site in this portfolio he posted, http://web.archive.org/web/19991014035441/www.onlineworkshop.com/portfolio/ ) are an informative read, you've probably already seen it. DLC Underground would have been a more appropriate title for this place, though I guess he tolerates the likes of us for the most part and allows it to be a general Democratic site rather than strictly New Dems.

It really is about competing world views, which is what I was saying in my response above, Obama isn't stupid or evil, he actually believes that multinational corporatism can be a force for the greater good, IMO. I can understand someone believing that, though I couldn't disagree more. We've been living that vision for too long, and desperately need to take our party back from the monied interests to whatever degree is possible.

June 9, 2015

Some comments

I often see this showing up here on DU as a rationale for supporting corporate Democrats who many of us feel are working against our interests.

I'm not saying that's what you are doing, I don't know enough about you to make any supposition. So this post may be a little off base for your OP, I'm not sure, it speaks to a larger dynamic I keep running into at DU though.

There is clearly a racial problem in this video.

How do you propose to address fixing it?

Myself, I would be careful about running into the arms of politicians who like to include racially diverse people (and gays) as indicators of sensitivity to those issues. They may or may not be attuned to the racial issues you care about. I get that diversity is a component of that work, if done sincerely. It can also be done to make things look right without being right (Clarence Thomas, Eric Holder, Michael Steele, plenty of examples).

I haven't seen Obama (and for most of his presidency, Holder) do a lot to address these problems, though with a black POTUS and a black attorney general, we might think these problems would get more attention. Do people agree or disagree with me here? I've seen them do more to protect the bankers and the multinationals than to address issues relevant to people of their own color.

I sure haven't seen him do much to address the rampant racism in our police departments, or do much of anything to dismantle the police state which is a problem for all of us. I realize he has done some things in those areas (such as addressing sentencing disparity between cocaine and crack, and his recent move to stop distributing military equipment to local police), but not much, he seems to go out of his way to not be seen as caring too much about the issues of black people. He did make a nice statement about if he had a son he might look like Trayvon, but didn't go to bat much to change the context that allowed for Trayvon to be killed. Holder has shown up in person (Ferguson for instance) and filed some civil suits, not much evidence though of systemic reform, which they were in a position, and had an event-driven context, to push for.

I see Hillary being careful to include people of color, women, and also gays in her staff. Does that mean she will lead the hard work of addressing these problems? Maybe, maybe not, probably a matter of degree. Does she have much or any history to show that is a priority for her? I don't mean words uttered in campaigns, I mean policy that she has put energy into enacting. I know she is now speaking about mass incarceration as a problem, though unlike Sanders I don't see that she has much history fighting against this. She certainly comes up short in the economic justice department.

Pretty much the only post I've seen in this thread that went towards proposing actions leading to improvement was just a post that said education and exposure. I would add police retraining as a high priority, and incarceration, it is amazing the racial disparity of incarceration, though it is too high for all races, we as a nation love to lock people up and crow about being the land of the free. The military also disportionately and very negatively impacts people of color, largely as a result of what is in effect an economic draft.

Exposure is an interesting issue, and it does have a strong economic component, though it is also cutural. I have family from, and in, Texas and Oklahoma, and though the exposure to mixed ethnicities there is higher than my mostly white California hippie community, I am often shocked by the racism in the south and midwest. So exposure can be helpful or not, depending in part on education and also in part on underlying family and peer group racial views that are difficult, though not impossible, to unwind.

There is also a large difference in racism here in California between the inland (more conservative) areas and the liberal coastal areas where I live, though I also understand that there is still a form of more subtle racism here, but the more conservative inland areas are racist hotbeds.

I've always thought conservative / liberal divides falls along issues such as racism, equality for the sexes, support for economic justice as opposed to capitalist exploitation, caring for all living things as opposed to a model of high achievement or wealth or victory, compassionate and sustainable systems that allow most if not all people to have their basic needs met and to have a context where they can live decent lives.

Economic issues are about improving things for everyone (except for the very rich, whose lives need no improvement), and are an enormous problem in our country at this time, much more so than in recent times, and it's getting worse in a hurry. This also disproportionately effects people of color.

Many of our other most urgent problems are enabled by corporate politicians of both parties, with Republicans being slightly worse but corporate Democrats playing a huge enabling role. These include using our tax revenues for military, police, surveillance, incarceration, industrial and financial system deregulation (more broadly the capture of government by industry interests), and supporting industries bringing us impending climate disaster (this includes the whole global trade system, which is an enormous contributor to climate change), plus of course the all-pervasive corrupting influence of money on politics. Racism and sexism, so-called social polices, are sometimes used by corporate politicians who hide behind those issues (it costs the corporations nothing) but do little to actually address them. These issues are problems for sure, I just think people are being misled into electing and supporting politicians that don't have their best interests at heart.

I say all of this only because the whole social justice - economic justice dichotomy so often spoken of on this sight seems to be somewhat false and is used as an excuse to support corporatists, who I don't think really care about the social issues, they care about hedge funds and making millions from speeches to other rich people and getting billions in political "contributions", and use social issues (and often platitudes rather than policies) for cover. Then I see these same issues being used as a wedge against Sanders supporters, and wrongly so in my opinion, speaking for myself I do care about these issues, I just don't see the either-or scenario, I care about these issues because I care about people and all living things, not profits, and I work towards a more just society rather than one based on winning the future, capitalistic excess, or global trade systems whose foundation is labor exploitation.

Apologies if this is not applicable to you or your OP, it brought up this larger DU dynamic I wanted to make an attempt to comment on.

May 28, 2015

Actually that is an excellent idea

The American people could chip in enough to offset these contributions. It might simply up the ante. But the other possibility is it would free congress-people to vote against the big money. They wouldn't necessarily have to get the most they possibly could, they just need enough to finance their elections independently from those interests. Truth is still worth something, it can overcome money to a certain extent in elections.

Someone should run with this idea, it needs expansion but I think there's gold in them thar hills.

May 17, 2015

Thanks for trying

Pretty much the third rail around here, polarized to the max. Clinton supporters have long ago accepted the corporate agenda, driven by corporate money, as the best we can do, they just want a kinder version of it than the Republicans provide.

I would go along with that myself, if not for evidence that this is no longer sustainable. Corporations work against our interests on issues like climate change, which is the deal-breaker for me, we have no future whatsoever without radical change on that issue, and the powers that be refuse to embrace that kind of radical change, because they are too heavily invested in the current petro economy and resource wars. Hence, to accept that path is to accept our doom. The entire globalist approach to manufacturing and distribution is antithetical to a sustainable human future, you cannot ship logs to China to be milled there with cheap labor and ship the products back here for resale, that kind of shipping of everything burns too much carbon, things need to be done more locally. That is just one example.

They (corporations) also work against our interests on just about every other issue, unless we happen to be among the people who profit from stocks and wall street based pension funds.

Getting back to a heavily managed and regulated capitalism in a political framework of democratic socialism is about the least radical solution I can see that could actually be sustainable, and anything that isn't sustainable isn't acceptable.

I have heard the argument from some Clinton supporters that her SCOTUS appointments could lead to the reversal of Citizen's United. I think that is a good-faith argument they make. The probem with it is that, even if her appointments would be to justices who would overturn CU (and I by no means see that as a certainty), our system was already a captured regulatory deep state before Citizen's United, we need much more radical change than that or we can kiss everything we love goodbye.

I wish that was exaggeration, but all evidence is to the contrary, they will count their money as our planet overheats and ocean acidification and methane releases from the warmed sea floor destroy us.

So I will no longer support candidates who suck up to corporations for campaign war chests, to do so is to support our end as a species. If that is not true, the burden is on the corporations and their candidates to show that they have a path to stop climate change in time to avoid some of the unthinkable tipping points we are approaching.

May 11, 2015

I actually think protectionism is a reasonable response

to countries who won't meet reasonable standards of environmental, regulatory, and labor concerns. This "treaty" is primarily written by corporate interests. I know they claim to have included environmental and labor concerns, but it's odd that environmental and labor groups are so united in their opposition.

Corporations should be required to pay wages that would provide at least a living wage in their own country if they are going to use labor in some other nation to produce goods to be sold in the country of the corporation's origin. And goods produced by foreign corporations should be subject to tariffs to offset the disparity in labor and regulatory standards. If we had polical representation for citizens rather than for the largest campaign donors, these issues would be getting a lot of consideration.

I know the left is supposed to be against protectionist policies, perhaps it's time to reevaluate that. Times and conditions have radically changed. The information revolution has made it possible for corporations to exploit the weakest labor and regulatory conditions anywhere, tracking projects with distributed workforces, and the massive infrastructure of modern ports and shipping enables goods produced offshore to be imported back and sold into price structures that reflect entirely different monetary and living conditions. The old free trade liberalism is no longer viable for anyone but the corporations. It's obvious, and would be obvious to many more people if it were explained to them, but the explainers are all on the corporate payroll.

Rather than regional agreements writtten by corporate interests and enforced by stateless courts whose members are appointed without public oversight, we should set the acceptable conditions for goods from other nations. If they won't meet those conditions, we can ban the imports or we can attempt to offset the unfair production environment with tariffs.

I'm sure not all of my ideas here are viable or are the proper response, but it's time for a rethink, and to think for ourselves, we're being sold a load of pain by bought and paid for politicians.

May 11, 2015

Great discussion

I am to the right of you, but even I have to watch what I say to stay within the TOS, I very often bite my tongue or say less than what I believe.

If you look at who runs the site, and their views and posts, it's pretty much a mainstream corporate Democratic site that used the word Underground not in the sense of being for reform of the Democratic Party, but in the sense of, after the (s)election of GW Bush in 2000, they saw their centrist Democratic views as needing to go underground and network and grow to return to power. That meant, I think, a return of the likes of Clinton and Obama, not actual reform of capitalism.

It's great for people like you to stick around here, for one thing I like having people working to my left, makes it easier for me to advocate for a system closer to the Scandinavian democracies, which I think would go a long ways towards making a more sustainable and tolerable society.

I'm curious which, if any, nations you see as models for your views, I am not real informed about the manifestations of radical revolutionary socialism.

One thing I will say that I absolutely hate about this site is having to defend views that should IMO need no defense by Democrats, views such as corporate hegemony being the fundamental problem we are facing, that our military and police are for the most part forces deployed by coporate interests, there are a million such positions and I don't need to go into all of them now. I spend a lot of my time fighting off attacks from people invested in supporting bought-and-paid for pols and policies, which is counterproductive and a negative drag on my psyche. I used to think it was a battle that could be won, but as I learned more about who ran this place I came to realize it is really what this site is setup to advocate for, and if we don't, we're considered to be working in the interest of Republicans. So for that reason I often think of leaving here myself, or hope to find a place where the foundational purpose is to better the lives of the masses rather than to support a particular political party. If (when?) Hillary wins the primary I will probably take a break from here rather than suffer the get-on-board coersion, that for me is a bridge too far.

I read what you wrote about your fear of the Sanders campaign causing true revolutionaries to be assimilated (hopefully I am getting that right) and was surprised by that. I think Bernie does want a revolution, in that he doesn't think we are legitimately represented, seeing our representatives as serving their donor base rather than their electoral base, which I agree with, and in my mind changing that would allow us to exist in an imperfect but sustainable society that would provide a context for satisfying and decent lives for most of its citizens. I love Sanders but to me he is just a vehicle towards reigning in the beast, not necessarily the best vehicle but the best one at this moment to run a national campaign.

Re revolution, elections are so fraudulent right now (power doesn't really change with elections, though the people running it do) that I can understand working to bring one about, but I choose to work to remove the influence of money from our elections so that there would actually be the possibility of true reform through electoral politics. If that can't happen, though, and it is very much an uphill struggle, it will require an actual revolution, which would probably not end well but there would be no alternative.

Anyway, I hope you keep posting here, you can work elsewhere too, DU doesn't have to be everything, but DU can benefit by more people who seek actual systemic change or reform rather than just a change in how many bones are thrown to the proletariat.

April 17, 2015

No, pay them millions, and forbid all profiteering from their service

I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I've thought it through after saying so here before and getting panned for it, and I'm standing my ground on this unpopular opinion.

I hate them as much as anyone, believe me.

I favor paying them literally millions a year. The legislation authorizing the pay raise needs to also contain strict regulations forbidding them from profiting in any way from their service, while they are in office and after they leave office.

It's an extremely important job, they should be paid accordingly. They're getting paid, just not by us. Who do we think they work for? The people who pay them.

April 14, 2015

Make the liberal case, yes!

That is right on, I've been saying it for a long time myself. One of the worst problems with our party electing 3rd-way types is that the case for liberal policies is never fought for, never presented to the american people as the needed solution to any problem. Instead we're triangulated into supporting the least worst policy.

" Hillary is a politician, and that kind of means she can absolutely be pressured into doing the right thing. "

I agree that it should not stop after the election, but disagree that she can be moved significantly on any issue that takes money and power away from the monied elite.

For one thing, people say she has no real center as a politician, that she is just a poll-driven power player. I think, at her core, she is deeply and truly onboard with the multinational neo-liberal world view, favoring corporations over local rights, military interventions to secure physical resources for corporate profit, management over labor, etc., she is at heart a corporatist, as is her husband. They have long records to prove it, not to mention the Clinton Global Initiative, and their very active participation in the drafting and passing of NAFTA and the TPP.

For another thing, the kind of people she will be speaking to and including in her cabinet will be people who listen to lobbyists, not to progressive populist opinion. We will not have the leverage, nor the money, to move her, that is all concentrated on the corporatist side.

I posted these disagreements only to expand on your excellent post, and perhaps to add something to the discussion. Ideally, we will have some strong progressive candidate to support in the primary, not holding my breath though.

Making the case for liberal issues is where it's at right now, that will plant seeds in the public's mind in the same way Occupy put income inequality on the map as an important issue. Whether we have a candidate to do it for us, or whether it's up to us to do this through web participation, organizing, demonstrating, and word-of-mouth, it's exactly what we need to do, and we'll need to keep doing so against all odds while the seeds take root.

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