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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-17-07 10:06 PM
Original message
Unmentionable Things in U.S. Politics
There are numerous things that absolutely cannot be mentioned by American politicians because they are . well, embarrassing to our country. Mere mention of these things brings down the wrath of conservative pundits and moderates as well, and even some who consider themselves to be liberal or progressive. The wrath is likely to be so intense that few U.S. politicians dare mention these things because of the risk of being booted out of office or worse. Three such things are: 1. the stealing of a U.S. presidential election; 2. referring to American military or covert actions as immoral, rather than merely as misguided; and, 3. imputing bad intentions, rather than mere incompetence, onto a U.S. president.

Stealing of a presidential election

Speaking of glitches, irregularities, or inaccuracies in our national elections has finally reached the level of acceptability among our corporate news media and national politicians. But speaking about outright fraud is much less acceptable, and talk of the stealing of a national election is not acceptable at all. There is a fair amount of talk today about how our elections can be hacked, as if hacking can be conducted only by rogue outsiders. The idea of a voting machine company conspiring with politicians to steal an election by writing the code right into the software (which we are not allowed to see because it is proprietary) that dictates how our votes will be electronically counted is considered too ridiculous to even mention.

A perfect example of this is provided by Greg Gumbel in his otherwise excellent book, Steal this Vote, which denies even the possibility that the 2004 presidential election was stolen despite a great amount of evidence to support that contention, and despite detailed and excellent discussion by Gumbel himself on how todays electronic voting machines can be and have been used to steal elections below the office of the presidency. Gumbels reasons for his conclusion are patently ridiculous. He begins his proof against the stealing of the 2004 election by saying:

Indeed, it became fashionable to see Diebold as the spearhead of some dark conspiracy in which corporate America and the Republican Party had joined forces to undermine democracy and achieve a total lock on the levers of power. But the scenario was almost certainly overblown

You can read the whole discussion here (See the parts on The put down of conspiracy theorists and on Specific references to the 2004 Presidential election). What Gumbel basically said is that the 2004 election could not have possibly been stolen because: 1) The problem with electronic voting machines was not the political allegiance of the voting companies (even though they all had ties to the Republican Party), but rather the reliability of their product; 2) Only corporate titans can steal elections; 3) Bushs margin of victory was comfortable enough to prevent litigation (even though there was indeed litigation); 4) The Kerry won crowd just wanted to believe that the Speaker of the Florida House had consulted a software expert on how to rig DRE machines (simply because the said software expert testified under oath to Congress that that is indeed what happened); 5) 100,000 votes cant be created out of thin air; 6) A recount was requested (though the recount was characterized by almost universal refusal to follow Ohios recount rules, and two election workers were convicted of rigging the recount); and, 7) Kerry did well in some areas of the state.

Ok, I wont attempt to argue against that kind of logic.

The immorality of U.S. military and covert actions

The United States has overthrown numerous democratically elected governments through military or covert action, for no morally defensible reason other than that the U.S. government claimed (usually in the absence of credible evidence) that the Communists might gain control of the country if we didnt step in.

The Vietnam War was conducted by three U.S. presidents for the purpose of supporting a U.S. puppet regime against the wishes of the vast majority of the countrys people, after halted the occurrence of elections that would have united the country; during the 1980s the Reagan administration supported the attempted violent overthrow of the Nicaraguan government, despite the fact that Congress passed laws to disallow such meddling; and in 2003 George W. Bush invaded a country that posed no threat to us, while falsely claiming that we did so because that countrys non-existent weapons of mass destruction posed a vital threat to us.

Each of these wars was immoral and in a civilized world would be classified as war crimes under the category of aggressive war, meaning an illegal war according to international law. The people of each of these countries suffered immensely, many millions died, and in each case much or most of the population hated us for what we did.

Yet there is very little talk in this country about the basic immorality of our roles in these wars. Politicians may refer to them as mistakes, even as egregious mistakes, but referring to them as immoral is considered politically suicidal.

This can be seen in Congresss reaction to these illegal wars. Richard Nixon, though he secretly and illegally expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia and Laos and then lied about it to Congress and to the American people, was not impeached for doing that. Articles of impeachment against him were approved by the House Judiciary Committee for a number of lesser crimes, including spying on the American people, obstruction of justice, and refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas, but not for conducting and lying about an illegal war.

Nor did our Congress do anything to hold Reagan accountable for his illegal war, even after it passed a law against it and Reagan continued it in secret.

Similarly, the evidence that George W. Bush based his invasion of Iraq on evidence of mass destruction that he knew to be false is overwhelming. On September 7, 2002, Bush claimed that a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report stated Iraq was 6 months away from developing a nuclear weapon though no such report existed; later that same month the Institute for Science and International Security released a report calling the aluminum tube intelligence (that Bush alleged proved that Iraq was making atomic weapons) ambiguous and warning that U.S. nuclear experts who dissent from the Administrations position are expected to remain silent; and to top it all off, on March 7, 2003, just a few days before Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, the IAEA reported We have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq. George Bush and Dick Cheney had to have known all of this. Yet they uttered not a word of it to Congress or the American people as they tried to sell their war, as George Bush repeated his pack of lies in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union speech.

Yet Congress avoids calling for impeachment or even making any statement that suggests that George Bushs Iraq War is immoral. They call it a great mistake, and they call George Bush incompetent for the way he has conducted the war. But the idea that the war is fundamentally immoral is off the table.

Imputing bad intentions to a U.S. president

The fact that bad intentions cannot be imputed to a U.S. president can be seen in the absolute refusal of Congress to even consider the possibility that the 9-11 attacks on our country were planned and carried out by or purposely ignored by the Bush administration, despite a good deal of evidence to suggest that they were. It is not so much the fact that the 9-11 Commission has a different opinion on this than I do that I find so disconcerting. Rather, it is the fact that it is quite obvious that their investigation didnt even consider the possibility.

Ron Suskind, in his book, The One Percent Doctrine Deep Inside Americas Pursuit of its Enemies Since 9/11, discusses the known fact that George Bush totally disregarded actual evidence in making his case for war in Iraq:

For a President to have so little taste for such a product (CIA produced evidence against Iraq having weapons of mass destruction) was a startling occurrence Many of the governments leading analysts and experts best and brightest professionals became convinced there was little point in even sending reports up the chain But dissenters were easy marks for White House counter-attack. Yet is was crucial to the White House that this portrait of the improvisational, faith-based presidency never expand to the central high-intensity areas like the war on terror, or the Iraq War For a President to be so divorced from the actual policy apparatus in those matters could cause a panic, and a precipitous drop in public confidence

Yet even Suskind, for all his exposing of Bush and Cheneys actions, draws back from actually impugning their motives. He notes that Bush runs a faith based presidency and is divorced from the actual policy apparatus, yet nowhere in his book is there the slightest suggestion that Bushs refusal to consider CIA evidence that contradicted his views was purposeful and based on his determination to invade a country that he knew posed no risk to us.

Well Ron, thats a bunch of crap, and you know it. Things like that dont just happen by accident or from incompetence. You are quite aware that George Bush intended to invade Iraq from day one of his presidency, as you yourself documented it. Do you honestly believe that he would have disregarded evidence that supported the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Exceptions to the rule

Yet, it is heartening to know that exceptions do exist: One lone U.S. Senator, Barbara Boxer, and about 30 House members, actually objected to the results of the 2004 presidential election and they were duly lambasted for it by a pack of bombastic Republican Congresspersons; Dennis Kucinich courageously asserted that the main purpose of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was to steal their natural resources and he was duly lambasted for it; Senator Richard Durbin courageously compared our treatment of prisoners in George Bushs War on Terror to the way that notorious and brutal regimes of the past treated their political prisoners and he was duly lambasted for it; Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney dared to severely question George Bushs handling of the 9-11 attacks and she lost her house seat twice because of that; Keith Olbermann has on numerous occasions provided scathing commentary of the actions of George Bush and Dick Cheney, which do indeed impugn their motives; and John Edwards is regularly lambasted for his courageous efforts to publicize the embarrassing problem of poverty in our country.

An analogy The Confederate States of America

I believe that there are two fundamental issues that underlie the taboos against the admission of bad things relating to our nation. One is that the admission of terrible things such as those I discussed above can disrupt the status quo. We are all taught from an early age that the United States is the best country in the world in almost every way imaginable. The emergence of facts that suggest otherwise can threaten the status quo by causing people to rethink much of what they have been taught. Once people better learn to recognize problems with their country they may want to remedy those problems. And that can be very threatening to people, particularly for those who reap undeserved benefits from our current system.

The other issue that underlies our taboos is the aversion that people have to admitting to their faults or by extension their aversion to admitting to the faults of their country. Many of the descendents of the old Confederacy undoubtedly fall into that category. One reason that slavery was so vigorously defended in the ante-bellum South, aside from its economic benefits, was that people naturally did not want to admit that the system that underlay their economic prosperity was morally wrong. So they concocted elaborate myths that suggested that slaves were subhuman and that slavery actually benefited the slaves. That being the case, who could say that slavery was morally wrong?

Those myths are still very much alive today, for the same reasons, having been passed down through the generations. As explained by James Loewen in Lies Across America What our Historic Sites Get Wrong, the southern landscape of the United States even today is filled with monuments and historical markers that celebrate and glorify the old Confederacy, with hardly a mention of the Union side of the Civil War, except in a very pejorative context. Worse yet, those monuments and historical markers do much to twist the facts, hide embarrassing events, and justify the cause that the Confederacy fought for. Loewen gives many examples. Here is just one:

Historic markers in Tennessee honor Nathan Bedford Forrest above any other person in the state, with a statue, an obelisk, and 32 historical markers more than the three former U.S. Presidents from Tennessee combined, and more than any other person in any state in our country. Yet, as Loewen explains:

In so doing, the landscape honors one of the most vicious racists in U.S. history. Forrest had been a slave trader before the Civil War and sold people brought in illegally from Africa half a century after Congress supposedly ended that trade in 1808. During the war, he presided over massacres of surrendered black troops After the war he hired black convict labor, the closest thing to slave labor, for his cotton plantation near Memphis.

In choosing to honor such a man above all others, the authorities in Tennessee essentially are honoring and justifying the slave trade, slavery itself, war crimes, and the terror used to subjugate the Black race for several decades following the Civil War.

Politicians against historians The attack on National Standards for United States History

Perhaps the best example of how politicians reject truth in favor of the status quo was the U.S. Senates rejection, in 1995, of the proposed National Standards for United States History, by a vote of 99-1 (The one vote against the resolution was cast because the Senator felt that the resolution wasnt strong enough.)

Creation of the standards
The standards were produced by a policy-setting body called the National Council for History Standards (NCHS), consisting of the presidents of nine major organizations and twenty-two other nationally recognized administrators, historians, and teachers, and two taskforces of teachers in World and United States history, with substantial input from thirty-one national organizations. The document was created through an unprecedented process of open debate, multiple reviews, and the active participation of the largest organizations of history educators in the nation.

In November 1994, NCHS released its document, which was meant to provide purely voluntary guidelines for national curricula in history for grades 5-12. As explained by Gary Nash, who led the effort, these standards were meant to have one thing in common: to provide students with a more comprehensive, challenging, and thought-provoking education in the nation's public schools. Their signature features were said to include a new framework for critical thinking and active learning and repeated references to primary documents that would allow students to read and hear authentic voices from the past.

Controversy over the standards
Critics focused largely on two main issues: Multiculturalism and so-called political correctness. As an example, here is one article which derogatorily refers to the multi-cultis who it is claimed wrote the document to advance their politically correct and radically left point of view. Lynn Cheney aggressively criticized the document as containing multicultural excess, a grim and gloomy portrayal of American history, a politicized history, and a disparaging of the West. Other major critics of the document included Newt Gingrich and Republican presidential candidates Pat Buchanan and Bob Dole. Dole blamed the document on the embarrassed to be American crowd of intellectual elites. With regard to the criticisms of grimness and gloominess, Nash has this to say:

To be sure, it is not possible to recover the history of women, African Americans, religious minorities, Native Americans, laboring Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans without addressing issues of conflict, exploitation, and the compromising of the national ideals set forth by the Revolutionary generation To this extent, the standards counseled a less self-congratulatory history of the United States and a less triumphalist Western Civilization orientation toward world history

Reduced to its core, the controversy thus turned on how history can be used to train up the nation's youth. Almost all of the critics of the history standards argued that young Americans would be better served if they study the history presented before the 1960s, when allegedly liberal and radical historians "politicized" the discipline and abandoned an "objective" history in favor of pursuing their personal political agendas.

Nash then discusses the historians point of view:

On the other side of the cultural divide stands a large majority of historians. For many generations, even when the profession was a guild of white Protestant males of the upper class, historians have never regarded themselves as anti-patriots because they revise history or examine sordid chapters of it. Indeed, they expose and critique the past in order to improve American society and to protect dearly won gains This is not a new argument. Historians have periodically been at sword's point with vociferous segments of the public, especially those of deeply conservative bent.

In any event, this whole issue certainly does demonstrate a major difference between historians and American politicians. But of course we all know that historians are just a bunch of intellectual elites :sarcasm:, as madfloridian explained in a recent post.

The consequences of making the truth unmentionable

When stolen presidential elections are unmentionable, the impetus to do something to prevent elections from being stolen is diminished; when a nation fails to admit to its immoral wars, the likelihood that U.S. presidents will continue to push us into those wars, in the absence of substantial resistance, is increased; and as long as it is taboo to attribute impure motives to our presidents or other top powerful leaders, the necessity of removing them from office will seldom seem to be urgent.

But I guess thats the whole point.
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EndlessMaze Donating Member (26 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. Wow! But there are more examples
The number one taboo that has been forced upon us by the reactionaries, is that we can't TAX the rich, in proportion to their wealth. "NO NEW TAXES" is stupid meaningless bull crap, but we are forced to follow it, and politicians can't bring it up. Why?

Number two is, Why can't we decide that for the betterment of the people, and the overall advancement of our society there must be universal health care in the U.S....Refer to the above...

The third, and possibly the worst, is the reactionary chant that the "Government is the Problem". I believe that the lack of responsible government run by the reactionaries is the problem. And that goes back to vote fraud.....Which we can't talk about....

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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. For those to whom much has been given, little will be asked.
I wish I could make Thom Hartmann's book, "We the People: A Call to Take Back America", required reading. It is a comic book style 5th grade refresher civics course -- a reminder of what responsible government is about.

Two excerpts are available at this link:
"The Loss of the Commons" is especially good.
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. good points, let me add something else
the government is not held accountable for its actions, the worst thing (gasp) would be that they would not be re-elected or
(gasp) lose their job. When people die as a result of a government action (ie) not fixing a bridge with a 50% survival
rate, there should be accountability. There should have been accountability after the 2000 election esp. with the obivious
proof that the paper ballots were deliberately defective. There should have been accountability after 9-11 and Katrina
and after we discovered that we went to war based on a pack of lies. There should have been accountability for the
voting machine scam and for caging and purging the voter rolls.

Hearings are NOT good enough, op-eds are not good enough, there has to be real consequences for these things. No wonder
there has been consistent trampling of our laws and plunder of our tax dollars for profit.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
48. Yes, all those things are taboo to one degree or another
Though I think that they are somewhat less taboo to talk about than some of the things I discuss in the OP.

In fact, I would say that two presidential candidates, Edwards and Kucinich, have talked about these things a fair amount. I hope that they get the credit they deserve for doing so.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
89. I was just reflecting this morning on the same subject in relation to the UK
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 03:24 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
media's take on taxation.

"We will lower taxes!" Oh really? WHOSE, you dumb SOBS?!?! Talk about conflating apples with oranges!

Never, but never do our infinitely perjured media bring up the matter of income differentials in relation to the levels of income-tax levied, because that would tend to make the matter a subject for analysis and discrimination between what would be appropriate - and even, God FORBID - the NECESSITY of income tax in a just, modern society! People might even start on about the shift from income tax to flat taxes, and the resultant, hideous, nationwide destruction of our social and material infrastructure.

They might question the creation of additional tiers of management (pen-pushers) in the NHS, in place of trained physicians, nurses and in-house cleaning services. Nay, the very existence of hospital trusts, and the general decentralisation of taxation of which they are just one of the innumerable, iniquitously inequitable consequences.

The largest hospital trust in Wales re-nationalised their cleaning services, with the result that the rate of MRSA infection has been reduced by 74% over the past 6 years, and has won international attention for the impressive results, which it puts down to "good practice on the wards". The Welsh assembly intends to complete the move to in-house cleaning services with the re-nationalisation of the last private hospital cleaing service.

"International attention", yet the only way the British people get to hear about it, is from Private Eye, the satirical magazine.And even THEY don't use the dreaded word "nationalisation" or "re-nationalisation" in these case.

And our politicians and media don't even have the excuse that they would fear being terminated with extreme prejudice by the "robber-baron", corporatist oligarchs or their surrogate moles within the panoply of State, if they broached the subject honestly and explicitly.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #89
99. The issues *are* discussed but not by politicians with real power at the moment
Edited on Tue Aug-21-07 09:07 AM by LeftishBrit
Left-wing Labour politicians like Tony Benn, John McDonnell, etc. do bring up these issues - and they are certainly brought up a great deal by people outside politics. But the top people in the two main parties are not inclined to consider them seriously. "Thinking the unthinkable" or "bold new initiatives" usually means some way of eroding the welfare state still further.

To some degree, this is due to the perception that Labour lost elections in the 1980s through being too left-wing - though it's arguable that they lost the elections through political ineptness and being too preoccupied with internal party infighting. In any case, the political scene has changed quite a bit since then.

As you imply, the post-Thatcherite managerialism-cum-privatization culture seems much more pronounced in England than in other parts of the UK. The Welsh have on the whole been much more sensible both about health and education.
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. Certain things, if mentioned, would bring this nation to it's knees.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
24. In the way that you envision that
do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing?
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. Poignant post...
Many things in American Society are "unmentionable" because of the streak of jingoism that permeates our society. This is probably why "super-Patriots" get under my skin so much, they are either willfully blind or just simply ignorant, neither is an admirable position to be in.
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. esp. when super patriots keep jingling keys to the nukes
We should have policy that the world wants to buy into without being bullied by the specter
of nuclear war. Nukes should not be on the table.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
74. Yes -- the jingoism is a good part of it
And also there is the strong desire to maintain the status quo by the wealthy and powerful of our nation. If some of these secrets got out there would be a lot of angry and upset people.
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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #74
82. The big problem isn't that its secret, but that it isn't a secret at all...
I'm not saying the information is presented in a Prentice Hall history textbook, generally it isn't, and even that isn't much of a secret. One of the reasons for "standardization" of textbooks, especially in history, civics, etc. is to "foster national unity and pride". This has nothing to do with the truth, but rather with lies by omission.

In addition to this, we have cultural traditions that lead to myths of the United States always being on the side of "good" however that's defined. Military intervention is generally regarded as a good in and of itself, outside of motives of those who order the intervention in the first place. We learned about wars such as the Texan war of Independence, and the Mexican-American war, yet we aren't taught that one of the big reason why the white Texans fought against Mexico was because they refused to release the slaves they imported into Mexico, which had already outlawed slavery.

We learn about the Spanish-American war, even are told it was a "mistake", but that it was justified because we freed the Cuban people. The facts, of course, don't bear this out, the United States, at the time, was literally itching for a war, and a weakened Spain was the perfect punching bag. The United States also wanted an overseas Empire, extending across the Pacific, the Sandwich Isles(Hawaii) weren't enough, they needed the Philippines as well. The Cubans, in this war, weren't that better off than before the war, they traded one imperial power with another, that happened to be close, and eventually practically appointed their own dictators for the Isle's government. The Philippines was less enthusiastic about their new imperial masters, and after the killing of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, that island colony finally was subdued.

Not to mention the numerous interventions into Latin America by the U.S. military during the first 30 years of the 20th century, even China wasn't immune. All of them at the behest of private U.S. owned corporations, killing thousands more people. WWI and WWII would more properly be called the "long war" or the "big fuckup" whichever you prefer.

WWI, of course, started due to tensions in Europe and a single gunshot, technically you can't really lay blame on any single nation or government, much less the United States, which maintained neutrality through much of it. However, after WWI ended, that was the big fuckup, the end of WWI set the stage for WWII and everything that followed from that. Some historians almost treat both wars as the same conflict, with a long truce in between.

After WWII, there were numerous fuckups and deliberate malfeasance involved in U.S. foreign policy. This mostly coincides with the rise of the Military-Industrial complex and the rise of The Company. This was the time of covert operations, rather than overt, but ignored, of the past. This was the time of overthrowing democracies to create U.S. or U.K. friendly business environments, using right wing dictatorships. Of course, many of these ended up biting us in the ass(Iran, Iraq, much of Latin America, etc.), again this killed thousands, if not millions of people.

The interesting thing is, when the average American is confronted with this information, even when well grounded in fact, they don't believe it. Its almost as if the citizens of this country are under the delusion that the nation is noble in and of itself. Call it a cult of Nationalism. I use nationalism instead of patriotism, which I feel are interchangeable in and of themselves, because of the negative connotation. Most Americans are belligerent assholes when it comes to people from other nations, yet another cultural tradition of ours, in fact, for many, all the atrocities committed by the United States could be justified on the sole premise that the people affected(killed) weren't American.

This isn't Unique to America, obviously, many European countries, during the heights of their empires, justified them in similar terms, usually called "White Man's burden" or "civilizing the savages". Probably more uncouth, but pretty much the same justifications as the United States uses today, we just call it "Spreading Democracy". We seem to forget that these are but genteel lies, made so that Americans won't mind being thrown into the meatgrinder every now and then. We could blast the truth through every television station in the United States, 24/7, 365 days a year, and it wouldn't affect shit, Americans would just turn off the TV.

Call it institutional ignorance, or a cultural blind spot, if you will, but Americans seem to be extremely stubborn about facts that contradict accepted wisdom.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #82
84. I agree with a great deal of what you say here
There are a lot of secrets, and then there are a lot of semi-secrets -- those things that are available to the public but that do not get publicized, are rarely on the news and are not taught to our children in history classes. I have written about these things not too long ago:

Wake up America! :Why Americans Need to Acknowledge the Gap between Americas Ideals and its Actions

The Century and a Half War against Socialism in the United States

The Roots and Consequences of U.S. Overseas Imperialism

I think that many Americans deserve a lot of the blame for this because, as you say, they are not enquiring enough and are in large part determined to believe what they want to believe. But I don't believe that Americans are not intrinsically much different than other peoples in that respect -- witness Germany in the 1930s. Rather, I believe that a lot of the blame also goes to the system that has taken over in this country, including the woefully inadequate information that is provided in our schools and on the news, etc.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. to this list I would add "Questioning what happened on 9/11" . . . n/t
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Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 04:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. sssshhhhh
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Balbus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
32. I just can't believe it took over 5 hours for the loonies to come flocking from the basement.
You guys are slipping.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #32
43. There was never an investigation of what happened. Never.
Only a half-hearted attempt to find out what to do NEXT time...

That is a FACT.


And in that vacuum, others have stepped...
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Moses2SandyKoufax Donating Member (621 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
78. It happened cuz the terraist hate us for our freedumb
Jeez get with the program. :sarcasm:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
42. Absolutely
I would consider that to be in the category of "imputing bad intentions to a U.S. President". I believe that that is precisely why so many are so unwilling to even consider the possibility. Even some of my most liberal friends think I'm crazy for talking about it. This is truly a radioactive topic with large segments of the American population.

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Perry Logan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. I disagree about 9/11. The 9/11 conspiracy theories have been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked.
The "Truthers" don't even agree with one another. If they can't get their story straight, why should we listen to them? / /
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. If there had been a real investigation, there would be no questions.
But instead, the Bushies cast a cloud of secrecy over everything about 9/11 - except for the "official" story. That's reason enough to question it.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Gee perry logan....I guess you are right....fer sher!
The blocking of any investigation of the warnings before 9/11 and the anomalies after is just a figment...of god knows what, some lefty conspiracy I guess....I'm right with you on the way I've just gotten hold of some astounding news....B*sh and Co are about to rightly put everything in the hands of private know bridges roads and such....and I have the inside dope on how to get in on this marvelous opportunity....shares in the Brooklyn bridge are going for a farthing....just two hundred dooooolars a share....get back to me and I will turn you onto how to get in on this once in a lifetime bargain....ain't B*sh and Co. great?
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. self delete wrong place.
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 08:04 AM by ooglymoogly
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. Just one question...
Why did the Secret Service not hustle bush out of the school in Florida?

The location was on the Presidential itinerary and there was no way of knowing whether another suicide plane was on the way.

If the Secret Service is known for anything it is for erring on the side of prudence.

Prudence would have dictated getting bush well away from a location that was publicly known.

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Summer93 Donating Member (439 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. Logical
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 10:21 AM by Summer93
He must have known that he was safe and therefore didn't have to change is routine at all. He certainly didn't take charge of the situation. When told the country was under attack he just kept reading to the children as though nothing had changed.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. In cases of security threats though..
The Secret Service does their thing and the President is just along for the ride.

It wasn't just bush who knew more than is being let on.

It was the Secret Service also.

How else to explain their lack of reaction?

One of the most popular of the stories, "Silver Blaze" focuses on the disappearance of the eponymous race horse, a famous winner, on the eve of an important race and on the apparent murder of its trainer, John Straker. The tale is distinguished by its atmospheric Dartmoor setting, and late Victorian sporting milieu. It also features some of Conan Doyle's most effective plotting, hinging on the famed "curious incident of the dog in the night-time":

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #17
97. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

That's the thing I can't get past.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. Why should we listen to them?
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 09:13 AM by Time for change
First of all, the fact that many of the thousands of people in the 9/11 truth movement don't agree with each other doesn't mean that much. To discount many of the cogent arguments coming from them because of that reason alone would be like discounting "the theory of evolution" because there are many evolutionary biologists who disagree on the details of evolution. The arguments of the 9/11 truth movement should stand or fall on the merits of their arguments, not on whether or not they all agree with each other. Not every argument needs to be valid in order to demonstrate the likelihood or even proove that the 9/11 attacks didn't happen the way our government would like us to believe.

Nor does the fact that there are websites that allegedly "debunk" the conspiracy theories, in and of itself, say very much. Have you read and studied those websites? Have you read David Ray Griffin's book? I have to admit that I have read only a minute fraction of the website information that supposedly debunks MIHOP or LIHOP. But what I have read I have not found very impressive. For example, one of the websites you site supposedly debunks the idea that the towers could not have fallen as a result of airplanes alone hitting the WTO. They provide very detailed and complex theories on how the towers could have fallen on the basis of an airplane crash alone. I do not have the engineering and physics background necessary to evaluate those theories. However, even if those experts are spot on, so what? So, the towers could have possibly fallen as the result of an airplane crash. That doesn't mean that they did or even that it was remotely likely that they did.

If we want to examine debunking, why not go to those who provided the "official" explanation -- the 9/11 Commission itself. In response to all the criticism of their ridiculously inadequate report, Hamilton and Kean wrote a book which supposedly debunked the debunking of their original report. Their debunking was woefully indadequate -- if a fifth grader handed in an argument like that he should get an F on it. I discuss their ridiculous book in this post:

Anyhow, if you want to argue that the Bush/Cheney version is correct, then please try to explain this:

How super-Flight 77 evaded the most powerful military in world history

Griffin goes into great detail on the inconsistencies and implausibility of the standard CM story regarding each of the hijacked flights, and why our military should have been able to prevent any of the airliners from hitting the WTC buildings or the Pentagon. I will talk here about the story of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon because that is the most absurd of all the stories surrounding the 9/11 attacks. To do that, Ill: 1) Note the original timeline for that flight, which strongly suggested government complicity; 2) Discuss how NORAD changed the original story to establish their innocence; and 3) Discuss how the 9/11 Commission further changed the story, and what one would have to believe in order to make sense of that story.

The original account of the events surrounding Flight 77
8:20 Leaves Dulles Airport in Washington D.C., headed West.
Sequence of events leading to disappearance of plane:
 8:46 Flight goes significantly off course.
 8:50 Radio contact lost, FAA learns that flight is hijacked.
 8:56 Transponder is turned off.
 8:57 Flight is lost to FAA controllers.
Interval from 8:57 to 9:24 Hmmm, seems like a long time for nothing to be happening
9:24 NORAD gives order to scramble fighter jets for Langley AFB.
9:30 Fighter jets from Langley become airborne.
9:38 Pentagon is struck.

How the original account implicates the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and how NORAD tried to explain the problems away
The original version of events indicates several problems, suggesting gross negligence at best on the part of NORAD, and complicity at worst, for the following reasons:

1) Certainly the FAA would have notified NORAD once they confirmed that the flight was hijacked, if not four minutes earlier, when they first noted the flight having gone off course, as prescribed by standard operating procedures. That would have given our military all the time in the world to protect our capital. NORAD gets around this problem by claiming, incredibly, that they werent notified of Flight 77 until about 9:24.

2) But even if the FAA was totally negligent in its duty to warn NORAD of the hijacking of Flight 77, shouldnt the military have sent up fighter jets anyhow, given that they knew that our country was under attack for almost an hour before the Pentagon was hit? And even if they didnt get a plane up in the air long before they did, shouldnt they have been watching closely and have been able to track Flight 77 heading for Washington D.C. (IF indeed that flight did head for Washington D.C.) long before it hit the Pentagon at 9:38?

3) NORAD claims that it issued an order to scramble fighter jets from Langley AFB immediately after being notified at 9:24. It is supposed to take two and a half minutes for a fighter plane to get to 29,000 feet after receiving a scramble order. Yet, even if NORAD is telling the truth about not being notified until 9:24, it still took six minutes for the fighter planes to become airborne.

4) Why would NORAD issue the scramble order to Langley, which is 130 miles away, when Andrews AFB is only 10 miles away? NORAD explains this away by claiming that there were no fighter jets on alert at Andrews AFB at the time. This claim is incredible, based both on common sense and historical documentation.

5) Even if we assume that there was no choice other than to issue the order to Langley rather than to Andrews AFB, and even if we assume that the fighter planes didnt become airborne until 9:30, they still ought to have arrived in Washington, D.C. within 5 minutes, given a flight speed of 1,500 mph. Yet, according to NORADs account, the fighter jets were still 105 miles away when the Pentagon was struck. The math just doesnt add up.

How the 9/11 Commission took the blame off the military (NORAD), and what youd have to swallow to believe their revisionist account

Thus, there were so many problems with NORADs attempt to rationalize its actions within the framework of the accepted events surrounding Flight 77 that a reasonable person might suspect that NORAD had been given orders from above to stand aside and allow the attack to take place. Here is how the 9/11 Commission explained the situation in a manner so as to let the military off the hook:

1) As being notified of the attack by 9:24 would still have given the military plenty of time to get fighter planes up to defend the capital, the 9/11 Commission claimed that they were not notified by the FAA until 9:34, just four minutes before the attack on the Pentagon took place.

There are several problems with this account. First, it requires us to believe that the FAA personnel were so incompetent on that day that they couldnt follow standard operating procedures which, as far as anyone knows, they had never previously so completely failed at. Second, there is a memo from an FAA employee, Larua Brown, which states that a phone bridge was established between NORAD and FAA within minutes of the first strike, and that the FAA shared information continuously with NORAD about all flights of interest during this teleconference, including Flight 77, as discussed in this NY Times article. And thirdly, Richard Clarke describes another teleconference which included the White House and the FAA, also initiated long before 9:24.

2) As for why the military was not able to track Flight 77 despite not being notified about it by the FAA, the 9/11 Commission explains this by saying that the transponder on the plane was turned off. So if its that easy to make airplanes escape our militarys ability to track them, how did we protect ourselves against the Soviet Union for 44 years?

3) But even assuming that our military knew nothing of the attack until 9:34, the fact that we had fighter planes from Langley up in the air by 9:30 still has to be explained. The 9/11 Commission explains this by saying that NORAD was notified of a phantom plane. This phantom plane was Flight 11, the one that struck the North Tower of the WTC at 8:46. According to this version, someone in the FAA (for which no publicly available evidence exists) notified NORAD that Flight 11 was still in the air and headed toward Washington. Consequently, the order went out to Langley to get fighter planes up into the air and headed towards Baltimore to intercept Flight 11 coming from New York. In other words, despite the fact that there were four hijacked planes reported on 9-11, the only one to which we responded by scrambling fighter planes, according to the 9/11 Commission, was a phantom plane. The absurdity of that notion requires no further comment.

4) But if we had fighter planes up in the air by 9:30, headed towards Baltimore, and since the 9/11 Commission admits at least that the military knew of Flight 77 headed to Washington by 9:34, then why couldnt have those planes been directed to defend the capital? The 9/11 Commission explains this by saying that the lead pilot misunderstood the orders he received and headed east, towards the Atlantic Ocean, instead of north. Therefore, by the time NORAD became aware of the impending attack on the capital, those fighter planes were too far away to respond. Again, we are presented with no evidence to support this view.

Norman Minettas testimony before the 9/11 Commission
Supporting evidence for the theory that orders were given to prohibit any military response to Flight 77 comes from testimony before the 9/11 Commission of Norman Minetta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, regarding a meeting he was having with Dick Cheney shortly before the Pentagon was hit. Here is Minetas account:

During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out. And when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the Vice President, Do the orders still stand? And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?

The 9/11 Commission interpreted this statement to indicate that Cheney had ordered the shooting down of Flight 77. But if that was the case, then why wasnt it shot down, and even more important, how can NORAD claim that it hadnt even been notified about Flight 77 until four minutes before the Pentagon was hit?

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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. yes sir...and yes indeed....
just does not add up no matter how B*shco cooks it....the really outrageous conspiracy theory is the official about preposterous
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
44. "I don't have an engineering bacfkground" - that is WHY YOU will never
understand the FACTS about the towers collapse.

I DO have an "engineering background" - been a practicing architect/engineer for over 30 years - and NO engineering professional believes any of the shit that's around concerning the wacko "theories".

The planes and their aftermath brought down the towers. Period.

That is a fact.

NO engineer believes otherwise...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. My belief in MIHOP is not based on what caused the towers to fall
It is based a good deal on issues surrounding Flight 77, as I discuss in post # 19 -- though it's also based on many other considerations. Do you have any comment on that?

And are you saying that it's not possible that explosives brought down the towers? I've never heard that one before.
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #44
86. Quite a few engineers believe otherwise.
It's not a popular position for an engineer to take, by the way. Requires courage. At the least that engineer will be ridiculed and at the worst his reputation will be attacked.

Besides -- whether or not the building were brought down my controlled demolition doesn't matter to me since the other evidence of government complicity is overwhelming.
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Fainter Donating Member (499 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
92. Sorry To Prick Your Certitude, See "Architects And Engineers For Truth" At...
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 04:42 PM by Fainter
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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
31. enlighten yourself with David Ray Griffin's "Debunking 9/11 Debunking"
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #31
91. No. Enlighten yourself on the subject here:
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 03:39 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII

How's this for a hilarious, but very insightful comment:

William Raspberry condemned the 9/11 commission report as a childlike explanation which managed to
avoid any semblance of individual responsibility, analogous to a childs saying The
lamp broke.

504 pages, but well worth the effort.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
37. The official story can't be correct. There's hard proof that they at least KNEW 9/11 was going to
happen, and did nothing about it. Indeed, I don't believe Bush and co. did it themselves and it's true that people who advocate that position make a real debate, about how Bush KNEW about 9/11 and did nothing to stop it, impossible.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. Now - THAT part of the truth is also a FACT.
It's important to not lump the outrageous claims with the KNOWN FACTS...
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
40. After 6 years? I don't think so.
They're just getting started.
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
85. Neither can the White House Officials
get their stories straight.

And the official explanation is absurd. Read David Ray Griffin and then tell us what you think.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
10. Excellent post. And it's not just politicians....
The Right Wing noise machine, especially Bill O'Really, attacks any professional, entertainer or academic that dares to color outside the lines...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
49. Thank you -- Yes, it certainly is not just the politicians
There are large numbers of people, many of them part of our corporate news media, who have a great vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

It may be that politicians head the list of those who are determined not to mention so many of these unmentionable issues. And that's probably because the politicians have to answer to so many groups with vested interests in keeping these things quiet.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #49
62. Malloy...Rosie...Jim Fetzer....
The list goes on and on...
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
83. Not forgetting to mention that so called secret plan
The one where Bushco pays corporate journalists, editors and media persons reasonable and unreasonable sums of taxpayers money to make the news favorable to Bushco and the Neocon agenda. Talk about priming the pump. This akin to Al Capone being appointed to be the mayor and police chief because of a exemplary effort in community service.

A government so corrupt it stands logic on it's head :shrug:
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
13. Another winner TFC-thanks. I am surprised at the reluctance even in the blogosphere
of some who will not touch the case of election fraud even when the stories originate from msm sites. I send tips to a number of sites, but to several that cover important news the issue of election fraud and manipulation will not be discussed. Stories such as:

Nearly half of voting machines tested fail

Montgomery officials tested the 5% of machines that drew complaints; 56 of those 125 machines failed.

By Lynn Hulsey
Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DAYTON After two days of tests, the results are in: About 2,500 people cast ballots in November on 56 malfunctioning electronic touch-screen voting machines in Montgomery County, said Steve Harsman, county board of elections director.

He said it is impossible to know how many people finalized their electronic ballots without realizing that the Diebold Elections Systems machines were inaccurately registering their votes. But people had three chances to review their votes before finalizing them, and all the machines accurately tallied the votes that were finalized by voters, Harsman said.

On Tuesday, county election officials completed testing of 125 machines identified in voter complaints collected by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, which called for the investigation. Some 2,530 voting machines were used in the county on Election Day.

Harsman said several malfunctioning machines were clustered at certain precincts, indicating they may have been damaged during delivery by a trucking company that hauls the machines to the polls.


2004 ballots not preserved
Result of presidential vote cannot be verified

COLUMBUS - Despite a federal judge's order to preserve all ballots from the 2004 presidential election - in which Ohio provided President Bush's margin of victory - boards of elections in 56 of Ohio's 88 counties lost, shredded or dumped nearly 1.6 million ballots and election records.

#149; Data Center: See what your county did with the ballots

In 39 letters of explanation sent to newly elected Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, county election officials offered a litany of excuses for the missing and destroyed ballots - including spilled coffee, a flooded storage areaand miscommunication with a county "Green Team" assigned to pick up recyclables. About half the lost ballots were unused, but even those are important for double-checking election results.

In Southwest Ohio, some unused ballots were shredded. Others were lost during a remodeling. Pages that verify punch-card ballot counts and the rotation of candidates' names ended up in Mount Rumpke landfill, according to letters from four elections boards.

The loss of the ballots is important because, since the 2004 election, critics - on blogs, in Congress and in lawsuits - have questioned whether the election was conducted fairly. While many of those questions eased after several investigations and the Democratic election sweep in 2006 in Ohio, elections officials still worry about anything that leaves the perception that elections aren't legitimate.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Clermont County's ballots

Jon Craig brings you the sage of the missing ballots in Sunday's Enquirer. You can also read it here.


The groups behind the lawsuit say they have uncovered evidence of possible tampering in Clermont County, a traditionally Republican-leaning county where Bush won easily.

For example: oval-shaped stickers were inexplicably found on at least 10 ballots in Clermont County, for several several state and local races as well as president and the same-sex marriage ballot issue.

The tiny white stickers would have blocked an optical scanner from counting a vote for the pencil mark thats visible below. Two of those ballots from Pierce Township were preserved and observed by Enquirer reporters Thursday.

-snip /

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. I believe there's a strong element of denial there
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 01:35 PM by Time for change
There are some things that people just don't want to believe, and election fraud in the United States is one of them. Thankfully, there are also large numbers of people who are concerned and vigilent. If not, I believe that the Democrats never would have taken over Congress in 06.

As it is, it appears, according to 06 exit polls, that the Republicans got away with a shift of about 4% of the vote (same as in the 04 presidential election), not to mention voter suppression that would not show up as exit poll discrepancies -- thus preventing a Democratic landslide in 06: (link to actual article won't work -- :shrug:)

It should be noted, however, that it is impossible to estimate the exact amount of the theft, since exit polls are often off by a certain unknown amount.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
14. Its great to see someone put what most of us are thinking
into a cogent discussion on the issue...great post...k&r
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
or substitute "The Mid East" in this century. All of the Democratic candidates use it especially Clinton. Why doesn't anyone ask her to define what is so vital about US imperialism?

She said in the interview that there were remaining vital national security interests in Iraq that would require a continuing deployment of American troops.

The United States security would be undermined if parts of Iraq turned into a failed state that serves as a petri dish for insurgents and Al Qaeda, she said. It is right in the heart of the oil region, she said. It is directly in opposition to our interests, to the interests of regimes, to Israels interests.

So it will be up to me to try to figure out how to protect those national security interests and continue to take our troops out of this urban warfare, which I think is a loser, Mrs. Clinton added. She declined to estimate the number of American troops she would keep in Iraq, saying she would draw on the advice of military officers. least she admits to using troops to protect Oil and Israel.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
59. Yeah, code words, good point
On the surface, talking about "our interests" shouldn't denote anything sinister -- but it is frustrating to hear that term used so frequently without any more explanation as to what it is supposed to mean. In a more open and transparent culture politicians wouldn't be able to get away with talking about stuff like that without explaining themselves.

PNAC's main document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses", uses that term a great deal. You're right, it's a eumphamism for imperialism.

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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
18. Great post!
There is also a taboo in today's "conservative" politically correct culture that says you can't call a "liberal" a patriot, or act as if a liberal has good sense. And, really, it's been that way since the reagan years.

:kick: & R
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
75. Thank you -- yes, that's a real shame
I get very upset about the willingness of even our liberal elected representatives running away from the liberal label -- which inspired me to write this post some time ago:
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
21. Wonderful K&R n/t
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
22. excellent post!
you obviously put some time into this and hope it stays alive for a long time

recommended, highly!
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
26. That's the whole point.
Time for change, indeed.

Are Democrats up for a sea change? Not just a change in who holds the wh, or a change in congressional majority, but a real change in the way congress operates, in politics as usual?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #26
60. I most certainly hope that they are up for a big change
But you wouldn't think so from seeing how they've operated Congress since winning the 06 elections. Kucinich and Edwards look to me like candidates who would make major changes as president. Gore too, but he doesn't appear to be running. I hope that one of them gets elected.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. I'm with you on that one.
We need a mover, shaker, someone willing and courageous enough to bring positive, constructive change to the wh.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
29. This dynamic is like that of a dysfunctional family
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 01:17 PM by bleever

(I think of the 1950's "nuclear family") where above all else, everyone must pretend that everything is fine, and that denial is the key to maintaining the posture of happiness and normalcy.

Meanwhile, underneath, the conflicts bubble and fester, and true happiness and health are made impossible by the desperate need to block out anything that doesn't fit into the picture that everyone clings to.

Maybe it's the fear of chaos that underlies that despair. But in truth, the chaos is already there and wreaking its damage.

Thank you for this thoughtful look at how American history is refracted through different prisms.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #29
52. I believe that the dysfunctional family parallel is a good part of the picture
But I believe that there is also another important part. I believe that many of those involved in insisting that these topics be unmentionable are what FDR called the economic royalists -- those people whose vast wealth and power depends upon maintaining the status quo. whereas much of the dysfunction in dysfunctional families takes place at the subconscious level, I believe that the economic royalists know very well what they're doing for the most part, and they have a very conscious understanding that maintaining the status quo is necessary for their continued position at the top. Anyhow, that's the way I see it.
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
30. I think JFK left a response too your OP.
And he paid dearly for it, I hope we the people will not forget what he told us, as the time has come for us to recognize the warning he gave us

JFK Speech on Secret Societies and Freedom of Speech

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #30
58. Wow, what a great speech!
God, it makes one wonder how we got where we are today -- how the same nation that elected JFK president could also elect GWB. Of course, election fraud, a corrupt news media, and the tremendous influence of money in campaigns had a good deal to do with it.
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DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 01:42 PM
Response to Original message

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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
34. great post. Let's also not forget that
along with the overt 1.6 billion dollars that the maladministration has spent on propagandizing U.S. citizens between 2003 and 2005 (see Washinton Post article from Feb 14 2006 on prepackaged news) there is corporate control of nearly all media. This is exacerbated by left wing gatekeepers (Goodman, Rothchild, Cockburn, Chomsky to name a few) who gratuitously offer to debunk things such as the 9-11 truth movement. While I wonder about the motives of such people, I think it basically all comes down to $ spent on maintaining the status quo.

Just like the discussion on "Now" this week about insurance companies being willing to spend millions to prevent a few homeowners challenging their inadequate payments for "full replacement value" insurance on homes that burned in California fires several years ago, the PTB will do ANYTHING to maintain their power. This is predatory capitalism at work.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #34
65. Thank you -- wasn't aware that some of those people had "debunked" the 9-11 Truth Movement
That reminds me of David Corn, Mark Hertzgaard, and some others who "debunked" the idea that the 2004 election was stolen -- and yet the "evidence" that they put forward was remarkably weak.

I had a difficult time trying to figure some of that stuff out, and I came to the conclusion that, although they probably believed what they said, at the same time they made themselves believe it because they wanted to believe it. More specifically, I think that they felt that if liberals put out a message that mainstream Americans feel is too "far out", it will give liberals a bad name and consequently dilute other aspects of their message. I really believe that that is their thinking on these matters.

I don't agree with that philosophy but I kind of understand it and don't judge them too harshly on it. Same thing with impeachment, I believe.
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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. well they are all certainly wary of being lambasted like
Rather and others, but I AM beginning to question motives. Operation Mockingbird is not a myth. It is a program by the CIA to put operatives in every media organization.

Every time someone comes too close to telling the truth, we get so-called liberals suddenly speaking out against them. It is very suggestive of the co-intelpro agent provocateurs of the 60's and 70's.

While I appreciate your reluctance to "judge them too harshly" I think that this is what they are counting on in order to continue to fail the popular will of citizens. We really need to wake up and understand that it is not just incompetence--it is planned.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Take Chomsky and Corn for example
Chomsky wrote extensively about U.S. military and covert action in Latin America. Corn wrote an excellent book called "The Lies of George W. Bush". It's impossible for me to believe that they are tools of the CIA -- it just doesn't make sense to me.
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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #69
73. I know. But then it seems impossible that John Conyers would
have Cindy Sheehan's group arrested. It seems impossible that Pelosi allowed the FISA fiasco on the table last week while keeping impeachment off. It seems impossible that they could have convicted Padilla. It seems impossible that any plane could have gotten through all our defenses to strike the pentagon......

I'm just saying that whatever leverage they are using to force so many to capitulate, they certainly are successful. I don't actually think that everyone is on the CIA payroll, but there is something nefarious going on. I always admired Rothchild and the Progressive until last fall when he--for no apparent reason decided to print a gratuitous debunking of the 9-11 truth movement. This had not been a topic even covered to any extent in the Progressive--but there it was. Whatever could have made him do that?

However, getting someone on the left to debunk the left is much more valuable to them than preaching to the FAUX zombies. For that very reason, some of their assets are encouraged to produce things that are championed by the left to gain credibility. They are then used very selectively to foment confusion and discouragment among the faithful. this is a very old and time tested tactic.

The revulsion than comes with opening one's eyes to the truth is devastating. I know. But I am convinced that we will never advance and can only continue to spiral downward until we are ready to question even the motives of those who seem to be on our side. I do not wish to condemn those who are only human and do not wish to be thrown into the fire, we really need some leaders who are not so cautious of their own safety. here's another kick for your great post.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
35. Recommended! Best OP I've read in a long time. More:
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 02:12 PM by DutchLiberal

More things that can't be mentioned by politicians:

-Admitting that US troops can do extremely cruel things to the inhabitants of the countries they occupy. Not all, of course, but it happens on -from what my sources tell me- a large scale. Not too long ago, a shocking article was published in either 'Time' or 'The Independent' in which US soldiers who went to Iraq, told what they did or were made to do with Iraqi citizens. And then there are of course the atrocities like Haditha, Abu Graib, the rape and murder of the 14 year old Iraqi girl, the shooting of the Iraqi man who was unarmed and already on the floor etc. Yet no politician dares to mention this. All we hear is how brave they all are.

Even member of DU will be angry with me for stating this.

-They can't say they're leftist/liberal/progressive. Even Dennis Kucinich, one of only two candidates for president who are on the left side of the political spectrum (the other being Mike Gravel), tries desperately and repeatedly to make the case he is not leftist, but 'mainstream' or 'in the middle'. I think this stems from the 1950's with McCarthyism and all going on, witch hunts for communists etc. and from a tradition in the US by conservative politicians, pundits, media figures etc. to paint 'leftist' the same as 'communist'. Even Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, the most conservative DLC'ers, have been called 'communists'. This also explains the media war against leftist leaders around the world, like Chvez.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
63. Thank you -- Yes, the cruel things that some of our troops do to the inhabitants of other countries
That is a very neglected issue, probably largely because it would put a big damper on the war effort and set up an even bigger clamor to end the war if there was much discussion about it. Here's a post a did on that subject recently:

And here's a blog from "An unknown Iraqi girl" about the U.S. presence in her country:

People are seething with anger Every newspaper you pick up in Baghdad has pictures of some American or British atrocity or another. It's like a nightmare that has come to life. Everyone knew this was happening in Abu Ghraib and other places American and British politicians have the audacity to come on television with words like, "True the people in Abu Ghraib are criminals, but" Everyone here in Iraq knows that there are thousands of innocent people detained In the New Iraq, it's "guilty until proven innocent

There was a time when people here felt sorry for the troops That time has passed We burn with shame and anger and frustration at not being able to do something. Now that the world knows that the torture has been going on since the very beginning, do people finally understand what happened in Fallujah?

And through all this, Bush gives his repulsive speeches. He makes an appearance on Arabic TV channels looking sheepish and attempting to look sincere, babbling on about how this 'incident' wasn't representative of the American people or even the army, regardless of the fact that it's been going on for so long But when the bodies were dragged through the streets of Fallujah, the American troops took it upon themselves to punish the whole city Bush Your credibility was gone the moment you stepped into Iraq and couldn't find the WMD....

So are the atrocities being committed in Abu Ghraib really not characteristic of the American army? What about the atrocities committed by Americans in Guantanamo? And Afghanistan? It seems that torture and humiliation are common techniques used in countries blessed with the American presence

We heard stories since the very beginning of the occupation about prisoners being made to sit for several hours on their knees being deprived of sleep for days at a time by being splashed with cold water or kicked or slapped about the rape, the degradations, the emotional and physical torture and there were moments when I actually wanted to believe that what we heard was exaggerated. I realize now that it was only a small fragment of the truth.

Why is no one condemning this? I don't understand the 'shock' Americans claim to feel at the lurid pictures. You've seen the troops break down doors and terrify women and children curse, scream, push, pull and throw people to the ground with a boot over their head. You've seen troops shoot civilians in cold blood. You've seen them bomb cities and towns. You've seen them burn cars and humans using tanks and helicopters. Is this latest debacle so very shocking or appalling?

The Americans and British are saying that they are 'insurgents' but people from Najaf are claiming that innocent civilians are being killed on a daily basis.

I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? Well take our chances just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go.

More Americans need to hear about this kind of stuff.
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #63
87. But whenever somebody speaks out about such crimes, the MSM destroys them.
They actually destroy them. The MSM calls them 'extremists', 'far left cooks' or 'loons' in the best case, or in the worst case: 'traitors', 'terrorists' or 'anti-Americans'. Anybody who stands up and says what US troops have been doing and are still doing to citizens of other countries around the world, are being shut up, ridiculed and insulted, so many fear to speak out because they don't want to get smeared in public.

Besides, politicians can't speak about it, because the military plays such an unhealthy big part in the lives of ordinary Americans, even if they don't have relatives or friends in the army. I don't know any other Western country that is so obsessed with the military. I guess that is what Eisenhower warned us of. So politicians who speak out against war crimes, are automatically losing support from people who have relatives in the army ("because MY boy would never do such a thing") and from ordinary people who have been told by the media for the last 50 years how great the US military is.

I hope I don't offend anyone with this post. That is not my intention.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
36. Failing to speak with forthrightness about the coming impacts of peak oil
Pretending that "we" can somehow steer the economy back on course, maintain indefinite growth, and keep the mythical American Lifestyle running at an unlimited pace. This despite reasons to believe we are now crossing the peak of global production, or may have already.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
38. K&R+ a cross-post from an interesting parent thread that does discuss "unmentionables"
"University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus Wallace J. Hilliard, his associates & family merit a post" (8-18-2007)

Thanks for starting this timely thread, Time for change.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #38
70. "An election that could be cancelled by decree"
Yep, that's unmentionable, and very scary too. I really think there's a reasonably good chance of that happening.

Here's an article in "The Nation" about it:
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
39. Not to nitpick, but didn't Lyndon Johnson lie first about Vietnam?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. I debated myself on whether it would be more accurate to say that
two presidents or three conducted the Vietnam War. I think that it is more accurate to say three. Our involvement under Kennedy was merely to have "advisors" there, but many of our 15,000 "advisors" actually fought in the war. We were not officially at war under Kennedy, but Americans certainly did participate in the war under his presidency.
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. Fantastic post.
I think that a lot of people know that we never hear the truth but are afraid to say it aloud. I remember as a child in the sixties, being fed all the wholesome stories about our nation but hearing something different from my father. He always believed Richard Nixon was a "crook" and that there were other people who were really controlling the country. He didn't hit me with too much at the age of 10-12 but I knew he was as skeptical about government as he was about religion, and that the only thing he believed in was science.
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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #41
64. Make it FOUR Presidents
The first "military advisors" were sent to Vietnam under Eisenhower, not Kennedy. (This is something that almost NEVER gets mentioned, by ANYONE.)
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Even worse
It was under Eisenhower that we intervened to cancel the elections that would have united the country and in all probability prevented any war at all. We did that because it was pretty evident that the Communists were going to win the election. So to "save democracy" we didn't let them have an election. That's one of the worst things that Eisenhower did during his presidency, along with the overthrow of Mossadegh and Arbenz.
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
50. If you had a free press everything would be mentionable.
But these matters can hardly be called "unmentionable" when they are the hottest topics on the internet. The biggest unmentionable is what really happened on 9/11.

All this information is available in bookstores and in some magazines, such as Harpers.

So such things are only unmentionable in the corporate media where they are totally taboo. Not hard to see that the White House controls the MSM including the New York Times.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #50
72. Yes, it would
These things are unmentionable only to the conservative elites of our country, those who FDR used to call "Economic Royalists". The corporate news media is part of that system, and the politicians go along with it because to do otherwise would seriously risk losing their job or at the very least seriously reduce their political capital.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
51. k+r
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intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
53. 10 Zen Monkies has a similar list
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #53
71. That's a great list -- I didn't know that existed
I especially like numbers 18 and 19.
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BornagainDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
54. This goes into the "Perception Management" file. K&R!
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krj44 Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
55. 9/11 attack was
ignored.just like kimmel didn`t get the message about pearl,the american people didn`t get the connections because they could conceive that their government would allow this to happen.they did allow it to happen.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
56. K&R
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timtom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
57. Holy Mackerel!
This is probably the best-written piece I've ever seen here on DU. And I didn't even read it. I only scanned it and immediately picked up on the style and organization. I suspect you're a professional writer (though I could be wrong).

When I do read it (in a moment or two), if I should happen to disagree with a bunch of points, this is still probably the best-written piece I've ever seen here on DU.

I shall now commence reading in detail.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
68. My heresies

1. The dumbing down of American culture and worsening standards of public behavior are NOT the fault of "coddling by liberals" but by the desire of commercial interests to keep people mean, dumb, and gullible enough to buy the sponsor's products. Where in the media is mean, crude, brainless behavior modeled?(Hint: Not PBS.)

2. The communities where the "culture of poverty" is most entrenched are precisely those which used to have blue collar jobs that paid a living wage and no longer do.

3. The U.S. no longer has the highest standard of living in the world.

4. Military expenditures are the reason that Americans feel that they pay high taxes and get nothing in return. Military expenditures, repayment of the debt caused by military expenditures, and veterans' services take up 85% of the general fund (the money raised through income taxes). Everything else--EVERYTHING else except Social Security and Medicare--comes out of the remaining 15%.

5. Professional sports and reality TV are the opiate of the people.

6. The arts are just as good for teaching discipline and teamwork and for raising self-esteem as are sports, perhaps better, and they can be enjoyed and improved upon throughout one's entire life, unlike, say, football or basketball. People paint, sculpt, play instruments, act, and write creatively into their 80s and 90s.

7. Traffic is a self-inflicted wound upon people who voluntarily choose to live in the outer burbs and drive long distances to work. There is no reason to disrupt the lives of city dwellers to alleviate it.

8. You may be better off not buying a house and instead investing in something else.

9. A healthy adult should be able to walk a mile without feeling as if he or she has accomplished some great feat, and one definitely does not need to drive a two-block trip.

10. Each car you get rid of raises your disposable income by a minimum of $3000--tax free.

11. If a man has trouble attracting women, it's not because he's "too nice." Assuming that he doesn't look or smell unwashed, it's probably because he's bland and boring.

12. The few cents per item that you save by shopping at WalMart are not worth the destruction of your town's economy.

13. The parents who can't curb their child's misbehavior when the child is four are the same ones who wonder where they went wrong when said child is fourteen and stays out all night binge drinking.

14. If you use "discomfort" as a reason for avoiding other races and ethnicities, you're a racist.

15. Americans do not value education. They value job training. They want their children to qualify for a good job but do not want them to become intellectuals. They believe that there is something wrong with a child who "reads too much."
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #68
98. Great post. nt
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
76. Here is the most glaring omission to me
the real places the money in our overblown budget goes to. The real places the money that has allegedly gone to Iraq has gone to. Accountability for where that money is. The Looting of the US Treasury and where that money has gone to. Important discussions that beg to be had.

The rise of Blackwater and Halliburton et al in all of this... The decimation of our military, esp the National Guard and the wresting of States' control of the National Guard. The rise of a Private Military in the US that should have been prohibited. The wholesale slaughter of our significantly minority soldiers and the uncounted deaths and mutilations of so many others in a lied about war. It is amazing to me what slimy things are hidden under the rock of 'Defense.'
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. Those are big ones -- and shamelessly hidden from the American people
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
79. Class
Americans are taught to pretend class doesn't exist.
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Thank you
That's the biggest lie of all.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
81. No critiques of Israel allowed either.
Or dire penalties will follow. How could we forget this topic?
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DutchLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #81
88. Yes, you are very right!
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
90. Your best ever. Bookmarked!!

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
93. Kickin' for TFC!
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
94. You can talk about conditions in our prisons
...but not about the reason so many are there.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
95. We are all guilty of murder because we are paying these people...
who kill the innocent, women and children. If you assist a murder in any way you are also guilty of the same and that is the law here in the USA. If you pay taxes you are guilty of at least 3rd degree murder. If you voted for Bush once you are guilty of 2nd degree murder and if you voted for Bush the second time you are guilty of 1st degree murder. I suggest you plead temporary insanity!

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blondie58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
96. thank you, thank you- time for change
this is one of the best pieces that I've read in a while and will be bookmarked.
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