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

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How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt...

Your post reminded me of CNN's "is it a good thing, or a bad thing?" I know we're all busy and have limited time to give to any single post, but I'd like to present my take on what is actually happening.

I won't go into everything that would be a factor in the reasons for NSA spying, nor am I informed enough to do so (none of us are, and that's no accident, we're talking about the NSA here).

A few things that occur to me:

Sure, part of this is about terrorism. Part of it. And their definition of terrorism would not be mine, they would include non-violent populist uprisings in their terrorist web, though they would identify and exploit any actual violence that either comes from such uprisings or that are staged and blamed on them.

I would rather include the corporate polluters who spend money to lobby governments for unimpeded extraction and combustion of the greenhouse-gas producing fossil fuels they are profiting from.

In addition to extraction and delivery of these resources, they also spend a lot of money to misinform the public about the coming consequences of their pollution, funding industry-friendly scientists, owning our major media outlets, funding "think-tanks", and working against, not for, zero or low-emission fuel alternatives, all in the name of profit. Those are the real terrorists, and the planet we live on is not a collection of natural resources for extraction, it is an intricate and dynamic system being pushed beyond its limits by fossil fuel profiteers.

Things like the Arab Spring, 9/11, other terrorist attacks, and Occupy have the attention of governments around the world. They can respond in a number of ways to these events. It appears their responses are oriented more towards control of the populace rather than on listening to and responding to citizens' legitimate concerns and demands.

In addition to those kind of events, they are looking ahead to future economic collapse and catastrophic environmental degradation which will result in massive evacuations and migrations.

We need a mobilization against climate change, a massive economic and lifestyle reconfiguration, and we need it yesterday. Instead, we're seeing an intense ramp-up of security and control systems. They seek not to avoid catastrophic climate change, but to create a total-awareness information network that can be used by both states and corporations against those seeking the drastic change needed to avert the unthinkable, and against the radicalized victims of the disasters we are and will increasingly be facing. They seek continuity of governments and corporate structures, and firewalling of the oligarchs from catastrophe and catastrophe's blowback when the populace realizes what they're in store for.

It is clear to me that the emphasis is on control by the elites of the masses, crushing dissent, and managing crises as much as possible rather than on dealing with the actual problems we face. I realize it's not entirely either-or, the newly arising total information awareness systems would not necessarily preclude prevention efforts, but it would take a lot of denial, IMO, to not see where the priorities are, which is on building populace control systems rather than on building an economic system that is compatible with sustaining human life on this planet for anything more than elites living in artificially controlled environments.

I would like to refer readers to this post
How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt by Naomi Klein
Posted by dreamnightwind | Wed Oct 30, 2013, 03:24 PM (0 replies)

I didn't rec this post

though I agree that the need to strike Syria is just the latest B.S. from the MIC.

I don't believe Kerry or Obama are warmongers.

The more I learn, the more it looks like Zappa's statement quoted in that warmonger video () was right on target. I forget his exact words, basically the political establishment is the entertainment arm of the MIC.

For the most part, power does not change hands in the U.S. with elections. It lurks in the background, making policy decisions, then coming up with evidence to put in front of whoever the current administration is. They have their contingencies drawn prior to the requests for them from the POTUS. They know what the POTUS will ask for because they know the intelligence they have presented to him.

Seymour Hersch used to dive down this rabbit-hole pretty deeply, though his reporting lacked the unified theory to tie it all together (not a reporter's job, really). He goes into some of it in this article
which also includes a link to the full half-hour talk he gave. It feels circuitous and unfocused to me, but he's one of the more credible journalists we've had and he was trying to get us to pay attention. His particular focus at that point in time was on W/Cheney and the secret activities of the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command). More on that here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh?printable=true

I think even Hersch would now have to alter his view, he focused too much on what he considered unusually evil men (his words) in W and Cheney. He was no doubt correct about them, but W was little more than a stooge, the jester in Zappa's view. Now we see the same patterns with a new administration, we see the NSA scandals, we know a lot more now.

Power in this country is no longer accountable to the electorate. If that doesn't change, it's game over for any real democracy we hope to have.

Kerry is one of our guys I have always admired, so it saddens me to see him playing this role. I think he mostly believes the story that is presented to him by the people that matter. I'd say the same for Obama, though less so, hard to explain away all of the drones and the right-wing appointments he makes. But this game is much larger than either of them, and we're all in deep trouble without a truly representative government.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:08 AM (0 replies)

You might find a better ideological fit

in one of those other parties, but I've come to believe that you'll just be abandoning any real chance at bringing that ideology to power. Seems to me that the system is rigged to support 2 parties. Maybe we can change that after getting the corrupting influence of private money out of elections, though I doubt it. So if your conscience needs it, go for it. I don't think it helps. Why not be less principled and more practical by giving the Dem your vote when it appears that it will keep a Republican out of office, but also putting all of your efforts and donations into CCFR (comprehensive campaign finance reform), or kick-starting campaigns for non-corporate Dems?

As for DU, I'd say stay here and stay within the rules, it isn't that hard, and fight the good fight, we need you here, and there are many here who share your views.

As for a name, I actually think that's a great place to put some energy. We need a name for a subgroup of the Democratic Party that doesn't buy the 3rd Way smoke and mirrors. The Tea Party is no parallel since they're corporate puppets, but they did establish themselves as a powerful bloc within the Republican Party that has to be reckoned with. There really needs to be a subgroup of our party that the party leaders will have to fear and respect. An organization and a name would be great. The Progressive Caucus is there, but they're mostly bought, too, and powerless besides. My own rep is in that caucus and he had a lot of corporate money behind him, he isn't a reliable defender of the 99% at all, in fact he and his well-funded campaign got in the way of better candidates in the primary.

Better yet, why not a group that isn't a true party, just a group of ordinary Americans that have awakened to the fact that our reps are working for other bosses, not for us. It could leave left-right issues completely to the domain of the 2 major parties, and promote non-corporate candidates in both of them. I used to kick around a name for such a thing, probably lame, but it was the CoJones Party (yeah that'll sure fly, lol. It was for the popular all-American name Jones, also for cohones, literally a nut-sack with a left nut and a right nut,, would look great on a redneck's trailer hitch for that matter).

We're going to need the support of the most salt-of-the-earth, down-home, intellectually challenged low-information voters to get power back from the corporations, and that isn't likely to happen by pushing a progressive agenda down their throats. I'm pretty sure we can get them to understand that it's the corporations that are screwing them, many of them already know it. Enlist their help, enact the money reforms, and fight left-right battles as two sides of a loyal opposition, as good Americans who happen to differ on social policy.

My 2 cents, thanks for responding, hopefully this discussion continues here and in other threads.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:55 AM (0 replies)

What part of good cop bad cop don't you understand?

I don't buy into false equivalence, there's no Republican I can imagine ever voting for, since I disagree with pretty much everything that party even pretends to stand for.

But yeah, I'm way more down on the elected Dems than you. Obama, with his record and his appointments, is nowhere close to anything I would ever support. Better than McCain? No doubt. But playing the same game, working for the same forces, a Dem like that legitimizes the goals of the uber-rich like no Republican can.

We have to fix the system so actual Democrats can be elected, rather than the oligarchy's "good cops" that call themselves Democrats.

To the extent that we can work within the party to get an actual good Democrat to run in a primary, maybe even to actually win a primary and the general election, that's great and well worth the effort. My own district is absolutely safe blue, so it makes sense to elect someone more progressive than Jared Huffman, our incumbent.

It's also worth the effort, IMO, to show up at election day and reluctantly check the box next to the corporate Dem's name if the race is close enough that it makes any difference. I still do so when I think it might matter. But that doesn't get us anywhere better. At best it just slows down the kleptocracy, though in practice it often hastens it, since a Dem doing the bidding of the powerful can get a lot more done for them using the popular veneer of the Democratic Party to get people to accept otherwise unacceptable policies. And the corporations are well aware of that fact, which is why they support Democrats as well as Republicans.

Most all of effort really needs to go into campaign finance reform, complete public financing of all federal elections, at a minimum. There is also a corporate money problem in state-wide races, not sure if that has to be fought state by state or if a constitutional amendment could also take care of that money. It's an incredibly difficult task but it absolutely has to happen. If you put 70 Dems in the Senate, a Dem House majority and a Dem president, without campaign finance reform, you still won't see government for the people, almost every single one of them is and will be totally owned by big business interests.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:23 AM (1 replies)

The LBJ illegal wiretap was a piece I didn't know, it explains a lot.

Some context from this story (hopefully I'm within copyright limits for fair use, tried to clip it to a minimum, these are not complete paragraphs):

...the evidence is now clear that Nixon created the Watergate burglars out of his panic that the Democrats might possess a file on his sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968.


The disruption of Johnson’s peace talks then enabled Nixon to hang on for a narrow victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. ... the new President ... sensed the threat from the wiretap file and ordered two of his top aides, chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, to locate it. But they couldn’t find the file.

We now know that was because President Johnson, who privately had called Nixon’s Vietnam actions “treason,” had ordered the file removed from the White House by his national security aide Walt Rostow.

Rostow labeled the file “The ‘X’ Envelope” and kept it in his possession ...

Ironically, too, Johnson and Rostow had no intention of exposing Nixon’s dirty secret regarding LBJ’s Vietnam peace talks, presumably for the same reasons that they kept their mouths shut back in 1968, out of a benighted belief that revealing Nixon’s actions might somehow not be “good for the country.”

(after getting re-elected) Nixon then reached out to Johnson seeking his help in squelching Democratic-led investigations of the Watergate affair and slyly noting that Johnson had ordered wiretaps of Nixon’s campaign in 1968.

Johnson reacted angrily to the overture, refusing to cooperate. On Jan. 20, 1973, Nixon was sworn in for his second term. On Jan. 22, 1973, Johnson died of a heart attack.

So, Parry says LBJ wouldn't release the 'X' Envelope "out of a benighted belief that revealing Nixon's actions might somehow not be "good for thee country". That seemed odd to me, didn't pass the smell test. But if this info had its roots in an illegal wiretap of Nixon's campaign by LBJ, it makes a lot more sense.

Major kudos to Parry for this article. The whole thing should be read by anyone wanting to understand our actual history. Both the Nixon and Reagan-Bush administrations came to power by defeating peace efforts / hostage releases at the end of the prior Democratic administration.

History seriously needs to be rewritten, so we can go forward without the blinders and be willing to critically examine all possible explanations of major political events. We pay for this naivety with our freedom, living under illegitimate power. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see this kind of thing go down near the end of Obama's term to bring Jeb into power.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Mar 12, 2013, 03:32 AM (1 replies)
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