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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:23 PM
Original message
The Sun is setting on America
We are well into 2005 and you can almost see no problems with America... on the outside.

Talks of Secession from both sides. Liberals feel cheated (Justified) and Christian Fundamentalists feel Persecuted (Paranoid).

Sham Elections. Who maintains the machines our nation uses to vote? Republicans, and not only that one of the type of voting machines are really easy to hack into too. 18181

Extremists such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have a louder voice in the Government than the common man. They are taking Greed and Bigotry and turning it into Moral Values.

Our nation's Infrastructure is crumbling. I live in the suburbs of Central Ohio and I can remember several times when the water was not safe to drink.

The media. There are no words to describe that twisted vortex of confusion that is dragging America down into Chaos. America, if we wish to salvage something, we have to reform the media.

The Sun is setting on the United States of America as our nation is in the Death throes of the end of Democracy. We aren't a Democracy, big Corporations, the Wealthy, and the Christian Right are the only ones who have a true voice in the government now.

What's going to happen in the coming months and years? I don't know, but Freedom is definitely on the March... away from America.
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Let it set
America is cancerous.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Not quite sure I'd go that far. Not sure at all...
I guess I need clarification before I go on.

Are you referring to Imperial Bushmerika, which is not even 5 years old as a nation, or the old United States of America (sigh, how I miss her...)?

Or are you refrring to all 230 years and both nations?
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DerekG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. America has been the leading terrorist state since 1945
Let this murderous rightist unwittingly destroy what our own murderous leftist (Truman) began.
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Carl Yasutomo Donating Member (153 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #13
32. Huh?
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 04:09 AM by Carl Yasutomo
In the years after 1945 the US rebuilt Europe and Japan in one of the most enlightened foreign policy decisions ever made.

I agree that the current administration is absolutely appalling, and the US has done terrible things in the past, but the US has also done some pretty great things.
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
44. maybe just a flash in the pan
that overachieved for a time because of cheap natural resources---the rest is self aggrandizement
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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Wealth and Democracy" by Kevin Phillips shows what you are saying
is correct, unless the concentration of wealth is dealt with.

"You can have great wealth or a democracy, but you cannot have both"--Louis Brandeis
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. No society or empire lasts forever.
Edited on Mon Mar-14-05 08:31 PM by ocelot
The Greek Empire collapsed; so did the Roman Empire. The Vikings were the big dogs on the block around 1000 A.D., and during the Renaissance France and Spain were the superpowers. During the eighteenth and ninteenth centuries it was England. And then the sun set on the British Empire, too. Why should we be any different? It's sad, but as usual it will be bloated, arrogant nationalism and greed that does it. I'm just sorry that I'll still be around to see it happen.
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NEOBuckeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. In a way, Europe fell as individual nations. They now rise again as the EU
The same cycle of rising and falling has been going on in Europe since the days of Greek and Roman Empires. In many ways, the EU is a very mature descendant of Rome.

Things do run in cycles, and America is no less exempt from them. Perhaps this is now our time to crumble back to our roots, and to someday be reborn as a nation stronger, better and wiser.
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wildflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. Yes - maybe we can view this period...
as the dark night of our nation's soul, through which we must go - painful as it is - before emerging anew.

I hope that it is so.

-wildflower
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
43. caligula=chimp ass
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. I fear you may be right. But people have thought this before and were
wrong.

I tend to think as you do, but we humans are resilient critters.

On the other hand, I don't really see any way out of this. Not without (REDACTED).

One thing is true regardless of the ultimate outcome, and that is that Freedom is on the march...away from Amerika.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
55. There is no place to go...
I know many on this thread are saying that our demise had been predicted before but we have survived, however, the world condition is much different now; in essence, the world has shrunk. In addition, we've created a web of computer systems that, like any web, has caught us with little chance of breaking free.

Consider the history of the United States. Founded by immigrants who moved on from their home countries looking for something better. Settling primarily on the East Coast, even as cities grew and laws were established, Americans continued to move west, always looking for a better life and the chance to "start over." Americans have always been a optimistic and mobile people. I'm not sure if this optimism gave rise to mobility or vice-versa, but that's all changed now. No matter where you are, someone or something owns the ground you stand on. There is no new, uninhabited place to move to.

And the development of computer systems has eliminated anonymity. Not only are we "prisoners" of we where we happen to be (always subject to someone else's whim or fancy), we are also prisoners in the vast computer system(s) that entangle our lives. We cannot untangle ourselves from this web. Everything we've done in our past and everything that we are, is recorded, and it's impossible to undo that. No "new start." No mobility, no optimism and with no optimism, no mobility.

We cannot "start" over (witness the recent bankruptcy legislation), and we can't "move on," since there is nothing to move on to.

America has become a kind of prison for many of us. The American Spirit is no more.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. This has to be said but I respectfully disagree.
We've been down before. We're a "big game" nation. I was in Japan in the '80's and heard all about how we were done and gone for from their 'elite.' Now China and India are singing our dirge. What they're forgetting is that they are right in the spot where global warming will do the most damage, which will accelerate due to their industrialization. Yes, our behavior under * is dreadful and our democracy is at stake. I strongly believe that there is enough of a movement going to clean up the voting to the degree necessary to throw the bastards out. Once that happens, we're in great shape. There will be no question on priorities: education, stop outsourcing, innovation, environment, health care, infrastructure, etc. etc. Why? Because we've been negligent so long (not just under *) our survival depends on it. Get rid of the Republican Congress first then a real Democrat and we're busy beavers. I do believe this will happen. I saw it happen in the late 80's and 90's. We have it in us.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I so do hope you are right.
But I am almost certain you are wrong.

The country Japan sang the dirges for in the 1980s were economic songs, so to speak.

Now, we are rotting from within like a bloated corpse. Every system is impacted, every system is attacked. All checks and balances seem short-sircuited and disconnected.

I hope and pray you are right. How I would love to look back from 20 years and think how foolish and overwrought we all were.

It's still possible.

The happiest plate of crow I will ever eat...
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Hope to serve you a tall one and franks, no crow.
We are rotting from within but don't forget the 90's. We were on the way and had the rug pulled out from under us. For my future to happen, we need the lock step evangelicals to splinter with a rational minority emerging. I think that's starting to happen (e.g., Jim Wallis' work). We also need a shot at clean elections. The work done here and elsewhere will make it much harder to cheat and, who knows, maybe we'll get some new legislation.

Once we have free elections, we get to run things again. The horsepower is there for a revival. I loved the threat NVMojo did on are we #1. It shows how much work we have to do. However, within our country, we have a core of highly educated, talented people (because they've had the opportunities) who can do quite well competing on any level. When you stratify the sample and compare our best to their best, we are equal or better in education, for example. We give away our innovations and jobs since * but that can stop too.

Get enough evangelicals to take a look at the New Testament and get the message; get some fair elections and good candidates; get our citizens all worked up because we're behind and you've got a real horse race.

Remember this, when all else seems hopeless, the Republic of Venice prevailed as a highly successful, wealthy, innovative, and tolerant nation for CENTURIES with a tiny population (60,000 or less). We can do it if we just get a chance and we're about to make our chance.

No crow, pate all around!
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NEOBuckeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. I think things are different this time, in many ways.
I don't know if a wholesale breakup of the US is in order yet, but there is a widespread and growing perception that the system is corrupted and broken well beyond our ability to repair it this time.

And just how would we "repair" the US at this point, short of an armed stampede of millions? People don't have any real say in government now. Everything is dominated by corporations and big monied interests. The US is drowning in huge debts and our infrastructure is crumbling. We are by no means prepared to deal with the ramifications of Peak Oil -- a horrible failure of our government to act in the people's best interests. Virtually all major media is in corporate hands, pushing the corporate/Right Wing agenda. The shift happened so slowly, however, that most of the American people still don't realize it, not unlike that infamous frog in the pot of increasingly scalding hot water.

In better times, George W. Bush would have been utterly laughed out of the 2000 GOP primaries as a lame joke even worse than Dan Quayle. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney and Tom DeLay would be rotting away at this moment in prison cells, forever branded and universally loathed throughout America as the vile, criminal thugs that they are. It speaks to the dire state of America that these crawling vermin are today running our country, and running it straight into the ground.
And so many people, like fools, still believe that these despicable men are "Christian" and hold our best interests in their hearts. Gag me with a spoon.

At this point, I'm increasingly of the mind that "fixing" the system will very likely mean mean breaking it first. Even if we somehow take back Congress in 2006, and the Dems retake the Presidency in 2008, this country is still in terrible disarray. A President Dean could very well end up like former Soviet President Gorbachev, who implemented Glasnost in the USSR, only to watch the government crumble away in bankruptcy and the Union dissolve a few years later. Again, it's hard to see that happening just yet in the US, but who knows? Cascadia may yet have it's chance to emerge.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #17
30. I share your fears but these things run in cycles. We became enamored
with our stupidity and assumed that it was part of our success because it occurred at the same time. I'm thinking of the wholesale commitment to violence, stupid fucking music glorifying being a moron (e.g. Toby Keith), monster truck races as a broadly appealing sport, mindless jingoism, rudeness everywhere, being fat...oh, God, it just makes me sick to think of our confusion. We thought that because we were wealthy and successful, all of this stupidity was part of what got us there. American "exceptionalism" became identified with the neo-yahoo movement. This is, of course, totally incorrect. The "dumbing down" process (across the board) actually dumbed us down to the point we are at now. "I want a President I would have a beer with." Menkin was right, we did elect an idiot.

Our hope is that the Wizard (Bush/Rove) will be unmasked, that the "stupidity" is good movement will abate, and that enough people will be frightened enough to get their asses in gear and do some serious work.

You're in Ohio, scene of a heinous crime. I'm surprised you're not at the barricades and I respect your restraint. We have a governor who is a populist in Montana, where * got 70% of the vote. We lost Mississippi 60-40 which isn't that bad considering our candidates don't even fly over that state. We have a national party with vision and new leaders. I think we can do it but the "dumbing down" has to be replaced by "wising up" and we need a shock or two to jolt us out of our profound intellectual laziness.

Good luck out there. The rest of us are pulling for you!!!
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #30
46. What you're seeing is the death throes of the Enlightenment in the US
This nation, however imperfectly created, was founded on Enlightenment principles. It was both a faith in man and a limitation of influence by individual men that was at the heart of our Constitution. That faith has been eroded over many years, replaced by the imperial presidency.

Furthermore, there used to be a faith in the scientific side of the Enlightenment, even if the metaphysical side was shedded within the first 35 years of our nation. Now, we're even seeing a backlash against science, in the form of rising religious fundamentalism and a push for teaching creationism in public schools, despite a blatant lack of applicability according to basic principles of scientific inquiry. Creationism cannot be proven or disproven through observation and the scientific method -- it's simply a matter of FAITH -- and this flies in direct opposition to the Enlightenment.

Finally, the rise of popular culture has virtually eliminated independent thought. People do not read, think and deliberate on subjects anymore -- they receive their thoughts and ideas passively through television and radio. They don't think, they're simply told what to believe. This is a dangerous trend, and has led directly to the polarization that exists in our society today. After all, you can't deliberate and discuss things with someone you might disagree with anymore, because one or both of you are coming from a BELIEF, rather than a position arrived at through rational inquiry and thought.

In short, I think it's worse than you think. We're individualized automatons now, isolated from one another in a large part of our daily lives, our existence completely driven by an induced need to "consume", our thoughts given to us passively through television and radio. It will be quite some time before these trends are turned around again, and the party of the occupant of the WH has little or no possiblity of arresting these phenomena.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #17
47. My take...
... "At this point, I'm increasingly of the mind that "fixing" the system will very likely mean mean breaking it first."

That is exactly what I think. The fact is, the only reason this is happening is that the citizens of this country are asleep at the switch.

Most of them have no clue what is going on. Have no clue about the impact all this debt and trade deficit will inevitably lead to. Have no clue that peak oil is not some distant fable but a reality within years of happening. No clue that our government has been taken over by propagandists of skill and daring that would make Goebbels blush.

The only way they are going to wake up is through hardship. Just as in many folks personal lives - rock bottom has to be touched before any meaningful change can occur. And we are heading for rock bottom as a country, at breakneck speed.
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. Calm down.
It isn't that bad, and things have been much worse. No one is shooting at you, people are getting organized and RWers have a habit of wounding themselves fatally.

Rather than lament the end of the American dream, have the courage to come up with a vision yourself. Do what Liberals have done since the dawn of the Enlightenment: Fight back!

You can take back America.

Yyyeeeaaarrrggg!

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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. As Buddha said
Nothing is permanent.

We could try to salvage what made this nation great and start over if needed.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
11. More --
* Up to our eyeballs in debt, saddling our children and children's children with it.

* Apparent war on the whole middle class, what's left of it

* Falling wages with permanent unemployment at very high levels; outsourcing EVERYTHING

* Energy prices soaring which means higher prices are inevitable (we're seeing them already on food)

* Privacy rights at all time low

* Crumbling educational system -- the more we tinker with it the worse it gets

* An overstretched, nearly ruined military and National Guard

* Intel in complete disarray

* Secrecy in government surely at an all-time high

* Nearly ZERO opposition to ruinous legislation, policies, etc. by Democrats

* Media totally worthless except as entertainment (if your standards are really low)

* Etc. I'm sure I've missed some things
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European Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. you left out lack of leadership....
Out of millions of left leaning people in this country-We can't come up with a big name leader. Howard Dean is pretty close, but he doesn't connect to well with minorities.
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kohodog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. A sliding dollar
Our debt is owned by China, Japan and Europe.

Melting Ice Flows, rising seas. Looks pretty bleak.

Yet we still have the capacity to turn this around, imho. And it may not take violence to accomplish that. Sometimes non-violent solutions work best. Stop using credit as best you can. Reduce consumption. Drive cars less. Support local farms and manufacturors. Never go to Wallmart. Buy Blue. Be compassionate. If we all take personal stands AND become more activist things can change.

Personally, I think it begins with each one of us making some tough personal choices and speaking up.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
29. Added to Eloriel's list:
*Industry attacking the environment and Public Resources virtually unopposed.

* Wealth gap between rich and poor widening and accelerating.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. The only question now is how bad will things get before
our anesthetized population gets a clue.
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Protagoras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #14
52. How long did it take the citizens of Rome?
Or the Peasants in France?

America lives on the myth of it's own fierce independence...but in reality, most people will shut up and eat mud if their despotic leaders tell them to.

Everyone should read 2 books on the subject.

Zbigniew Brizinski's The Grand Chessboard


and Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here"

Both of which speak directly to America's issues with Empire. In the first case, you get a great rundown of how Empires rise and fall (and why PNAC exists.) You also see what ZB feels are the things that KEEP us from becoming Imperialistic (things that no longer exist oops).

Lewis' work is simply the best work I've seen on America's specific weaknesses and willingness to shift toward fascism.

A lot of people have pointed out that things come and go...and if we fall we can rise again, yadda yadda yadda...all true in a limited and assumptive way. The problem is the time frame within which we are discussing such changes. If we don't care if it takes 50 or 500 years then why bother challenging any issue...it'll work itself out eventually...hell eventually the sun will supernova and all the issues will be resolved.

But I get the feeling that most people here are worried about how life will look 10 and 20 years from now...how life will look for themselves and their children. And when we talk about geopolitical change, massive social change, superpowers rising and falling...we're talking about some very nasty stuff that can and most certainly will shatter our way of life for generations. I think it's very likely that our American decline is going to be a long and painful descent that ends with a rapid drop and splat, the likes of which most comfortable Americans can't imagine. I think that the chance of a spontaneous rebirth of the enlightenment is much less likely that many would hope. And I am pretty confident in saying that any recovery we will see won't bear fruit in most of our lifetimes....because the nature of the world is changing. It's all becoming more corporate, more overpopulated, and more short term in its need for satisfaction. As the population reaches 10 billion, those 365 million Americans who used to think they were such hot shit will get to starve right along side the other billions of micro-wage serfs enslaved around the planet for their corporate states.

Happy thoughts huh :D
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #52
56. I have read both of those books.
I liked Jack London's The Iron Heel as well.

I agree with you that the current system is
unsustainable. We can no longer continue to exploit
resources with little or no cost.

Once the "election" happened, I knew it was over.
Enough people had given in to their fascist
tendencies that things were going to have to get
bad indeed for the US to get back on the right
track politically.

Someone must pay for all of the crimes that have
been committed.

It's just hard to think that way. That life as we
have known it will end and something else will take
it's place.
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. It would nice if we had the sense to evolve rather than die..
Unfortunately, like most dying empires that have overextended themselves through hubris, we are lashing out blindly trying to hold the myth of our "greatness" together.

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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. growing pains
we together will pull through, a child will play with fire,but only till the child burns there finger at best. not to belittle the scope of things, but don't give up on ourselves, never, never give up, life doesn't , that is how each and everyone of us has gotten here. carry the torch, together. give up, (what life doesn't do) and we have lost. Just be.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Gotta get this out
We'll only make progress when we stop fighting each other and take the situation into our own hands. I know from experience. My wife in 1997 was going to die because modern medicine couldn't cure what was wrong with her. I am just a laborer, but I took the situation into my own hands and she is alive today. My brother voted for Bush and backs him 100%, yet he wants for his children what any of us want...an education, good health, a future. Change is only going to happen when we take it into our own hands as individuals, including individuals of corporations aside from the "individuality" of a corporation...a corporation has no human spirit and can't help the human situation. People must rise above and beyond the world we have created and not be enslaved to it. Only then can we create our tomorrow.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. The night is darkest
just before dawn. It's a time for change, but the sun ain't going down. It's rising.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. You forgot the economy
when Asia pulls the rug out, as they have begun to do, it's all over
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NEOBuckeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Yes and no. It's the end of our beginning.
Not the beginning of our end.
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Inte11ectual Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
25. as you said the media is a problem
in fact it is the MAIN problem. How are people in a nation as vast as ours supposed to to act if we do not know the truth of what is going on? Like you said we need to reform the media.

WHAT CAN WE DO???
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
26. Freedom is IN march to put it back in! Join us 3-19 capital 51 marches
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samplegirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
27. We've entered the shadows of Russia
one dreads what the next 3yrs. will bring.
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VelvetMonkeyWrench Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
28. lock and load
==hunkers down==
==lubes/loads the hardware==
==prepares for the inevitable==

Chill out dude. We're not even close to some Phillip Dickian nightmare society yet. This nation, and all others, have pendulum type swings in the way things are.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Welcome to DU!!! You fit right in.
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 02:55 AM by autorank
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inthebrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:16 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. This is a great way to get the message out!!!!!
http://www.freewayblogger.com/

I stopped depending on the mainstream media for REAL news a long time ago. I can't stand the bullshit the disseminate.

Instead of screaming at the TV I use another method!!!

I post obnoxious signs on the freeway. It's much more effective and the stupid news pundits motivate me every time.

It only takes a few minutes to create a sign and the people in power don't like it. It's a method they can't control.

It's also an effective way to take back the country!!!!!!
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #35
48. Freeway blogging is totally brilliant!!! I am total impressed with this.
I've followed it before and it blows me away. I keep telling myself I'm too old for this but that's not a good argument. Keep up the great work and WELCOME TO DU!!!
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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #35
71. We're there!!!! What a great site!!
We've been considering this. Now -- we're going to get professional. Thanks for the inspiration. Down with the Tick-Tock Man!! (Harlan Ellison)
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:12 AM
Response to Original message
33. You don't know? Well how about a little hint...
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U4ikLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:12 AM
Response to Original message
34. I won't go that far. But I do believe we are at a crossroads.
Either we will slowly suffocate ourselves by myth & fear...OR we will progress like the rest of the "1st World" nations.

The rest of the world is getting REAL tired of our heavy-handed shit...that much I know.
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. We're at a very serious crossroads
in the sense that perhaps reality is so scary (we do, as World History studies may lead one to believe) to think of our human nature as having a "dark side", and willingly making that a guiding principle in order to gain power...well...

Think about this scenario / generalization:

Your average, Christian, Republican household is not going to talk about James Guckert's sex life being more important than National Security. They're not going to want to know, because it doesn't fit in with their beliefs. If, and or when, they do eventually get the information (re: I think many good people within MSM outlets are waiting for a real, strong voice from the people before they will put their ass on the line and stand up like they know they should), it will scare the living Bejesus out of them - and send them further into their shell and solidify their support for "leaders" who are clutching to the last few strings they have...

Thoughts?
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inthebrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:34 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. That makes for a great freeway sign
James Guckert and National Security!!!!

That gives me an idea

Thanks

http://www.freewayblogger.com/
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 05:05 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. no problem!
having checked your site, I'm especially fond of the Halliburton road sign.

Bravo.
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xpat Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
38. We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. beautiful, isn't it?
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 04:52 AM by charming_weasel
but so dangerous -

The context in which that was written is no longer so simple - back when it was 13 colonies, it might have been easier to "start over". The first provisional government failed, but this one survived.

I think the revolutionary undertones in a piece like that will hit the wrong chords with too many people. It needs "translation", I believe, into modern parlance, taking in to account the sentiment - as in, "time to clean house - if we collectively begin to fire our 'bad' employees who have been ripping us off, well, if it doesn't work, we can always re-hire them".
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xpat Donating Member (295 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #39
42. I'm for calling a spade a spade.
If it's a revolution that you need, it won't help to mince words. Those with guts and commitment will come out first; the rest will wait around to see who's winning then run to catch the train.

The resistance was like that in Nazi-occupied Europe. By the time Berlin capitulated, everybody had joined the resistance.
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #42
57. good point - I won't contest that
but I think it pays to be very, very clear about what one means by Revolution - in recent history, that's been the rallying cry of the Communists - and I think we all know how respected they are (Sgerra) in the popular mind...

I really like the way the Beatles put it:

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
we all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
we'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
we all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright


Is the sky falling?
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
41. It is ironic... the far right credit Reagan for the collapse of the USSR,
in part due to forcing an ongoing arms race that stripped much wealth and stuck it into the military. Others point to the collapse as inevitable due to a slow moving economy suffering from hardening of the viens, and again stripped of resources due to the military both due to the arms race, and due to the sapping of strength and prestige in... Afghanistan.

It is almost as if this administration - harboring many Reaganites - has decided to do the same to our economy. I hope and pray that the results will be different - the pain will be so great to so many. But, our exploding trade deficits suggest that we are no longer self-sufficient. Our structural unemployment along with trends of shipping more and more jobs overseas suggest, over time, a severe weakening of a middle class with some climbing above the middle class, but many moving down out of the middle class. The bushites have reinstituted an arms race (against who?) with huge investments being tied up in systems like SDI (boondoggle if there everwere one) and they seem intent to drain our military might through various on going excursions. While I don't think they are intending to crash our economy - and tend to put the impetus on extreme greed (get as much to cronies in as short of a time as possible) and blind - but foolish - ideology and a quest for power (creating a one party political system where government works to serve the needs of corporations rather than citizens), it is possible that the results will be the same. Ironic.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #41
54. They seem to want to yoke our futures to their military economy
Edited on Tue Mar-15-05 11:01 AM by bigtree

There are no efforts by the right to promote or encourage any new technologies or industry which would rival their booming military enterprises, from space war to new nuclear madness, from military expansionism overseas to arms patronage to strategic alliances, from new big brother networks to feathering the Pentagon's already ample bed.

They want to cripple our economy and maintain the controlling spectre of fear that they discovered they could manipulate after 9-11. They will keep us as poor and as uneducated as they are able, pulling out every measure of support and assistance, as they divert our hard earned contributions to finance their expanding military oligarchy.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
45. America has become a decadent society
Our "leaders" like to talk incessantly about how America is still on the rise, still looking forward to an even brighter tomorrow. The truth of the matter is that we've been on a decline for quite some time.

America's true golden moment was the years following WWII. Although there was a certain amount of self-interest involved, the Marshall Plan was our greatest foreign policy achievement, IMHO. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it exceeded even our contributions during WWII, because it helped melt away serious resentment from arising, as had happened following WWI and the Treaty of Versailles.

We also had the luxury then of containing over 50% of the world's manufacturing capacity, due to the rest of the industrialized world literally being in ruins. That made our economy boom beyond rational boundaries, and the generation that grew up in the post-war boom expected things like that to continue forever.

When Germany, Japan, and the rest of the industrialized world finally started coming back "on-line" and gaining greater shares of manufacturing capacity, it put a crimp into the US economy. Since we had invested almost all of our manufacturing capacity in private industry and created an economy based on the endless purchase of consumer goods, the only way we could maintain neverending growth was by basically mortgaging the future. This really began with Nixon's backing off of the gold standard and the Bretton-Woods system in favor of free currency exchange. It accelerated even further with Reagan's eroding of the social safety net, widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, and massive military overspending to run up huge deficits. Also, during this time, the US made the transition from a manufacturing economy to a speculative finance economy. During the post-war boom, something like 90% of all investment capital was directed toward manufacturing and R&D, while 10% was speculative finance. By 1990, the ratios had flipped. Funny thing is, John Kenneth Galbraith was warning about the direction of our economy going back to the 1950's, and if you read his book The Affluent Society today, you will be amazed as to just how much he was on the mark in 1958.

And despite what many here will say to the contrary, the Clinton years did not do much to change this. Much of the economic expansion of the 1990's was due to a technology boom brought on by the internet. While Clinton deserves some credit for better tax policies aimed at slightly reducing the rich v. poor gap, he really did very little to try and substansively change our economy. It continued through the 1990's to be based on short-term speculative finance, with corporate interests constantly trying to squeeze one last drop of productivity out of each individual worker while conducting layoffs in order to focus solely on next quarter's profits. The fact that Clinton's treasury secretary was someone like Bob Rubin (and later Lawrence Summers of Harvard fame currently) should show his administration's economic policies for what they really were.

Now, under Bush the lesser, we've taken these self-destructive policies into hyperdrive. We are running up record budget and trade deficits. We're overstretched militarily, and the primary thing holding our economy together is rampant consumer spending financed primarily through the hogging of the world's investment capital through the IMF and World Bank. The only question that remains is how long it will be before the fall, and how hard that fall will be. It's not like the US will enter some kind of dark age after this fall, but we can expect a 20-25% reduction in living standards across the board. We will diminish from our current status as a global hyperpower to just another major regional player in the greater community of nations.

Europe has realized that the use of military means to extend power and influence is a thing of the past. Real power in the world is wielded economically now. The US is incredibly vulnerable in this regard. Also, if nations want to gain influence in the world today, it is achieved through acting within the community of nations according to international standards, not through endless bullying and sabre-rattling, as the US now does.

For further insight into these phenomena, I'd recommend reading the following:
The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson
Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Phillips
After the Empire by Emmanuel Todd
The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #45
49. Great post.
Thank you for one of those posts that makes DU worthwhile. Very well thought-out, and expressed in an impressive manner.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. Thanks! Too bad it looks like this thread...
... is sinking like a stone now. I always seem to get into threads like this on the back-end after everybody's gone away from them.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. I think your post
is worthy of being the start of a new thread.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #51
53. Done.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #49
63. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. Buh-bye!
PLUNK!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #64
67. Gosh.
I missed it.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. Oh dear!
Was it something I said?
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #45
60. very nice
Reasons I really liked your post:

1. Rational

2. Avoids blame game

3. Historical context

4. Citations

5. Very Practical Inference (as has been said, the USD still needs to be de-valued by 10% - I might be off on that, however - to level out the trade & debt issues...simply to keep functioning, not "recover").

B-R-A-V-O!
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rocktop15 Donating Member (376 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #45
65. Great post!!
I'll bump this for ya man. It's refreshing to read something that isn't praising Bill Clinton since he had the word "Democrat" associated with him. Clinton, contrary to popular belief, was a pro-business candidate. He was an unpopular candidate who only won in 92 due to Perot being a factor in the race.

But, thanks for the post. Really good, insightful, intellectual post.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #45
70. May I add a book to your list?
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright. To really undertand his book, it helps to have previously read "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkings. For those not familiar with Dawkings work, he does NOT say that there is a gene for selfishness. He simply teachs how evolution works, and the selfishness of the gene is that it wants to survive into the next generation.

In "Nonzero" he take a historical view of humanity over the past 50K years and shows the forces that have been shaping us into larger and larger groupings and that we will eventually become a global community. He predicts the war on terror and that it will lead to greater cooperation among nations and eventually a union of the nations, although at the expense of some of what we today consider rights. Mainly loss of privacy and greater ease of search and seizure from the gov't.

Much of what I post here has been influenced by that book.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
58. It has been worse before.
We are a can do people and have alway overcome ever barrier, although it often takes time. We have problems, yes, but we will solve them.
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charming_weasel Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. that's the spirit!
Nice avatar, btw :P
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. So had "it been worse before" when Caeser crossed the Rubicon
And yet, the Roman Republic ended and was never restored.

Only time will tell if your sunny view comes true. No one will be happier than I if you are right.

You are correct, in a literal sense, it had been "worse" before individually for people in Old America.

But they made that mistake in many other Totalitarian Nations througout history, most notably immortalized by that poem by Rev. Neimoller.

Because by the time it actually DOES get worse for white, middle class, homeowning types like myself (and presumably, yourself), it will be WAY too late to do anything about it.

Ever hear of the old saying "Princiipa obstis. Finem Respice." (resist the beginnings, foresee the ends)?
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. Let me give you some examples.
Suppression of Free Speech:
Read up on some of the things that Wilson did in WWI. Basically free speech was suspended. The Post Office would not deliver a magazine if it had an article in it that was deemed to be hurtful to the war effort. A citizen committe, under the Justice Department, called, American Protective League, consisting of 200,000 volunteers, spied on their neighbors looking for anything less than 100% unwavering patriotism. The Sedition Act carried a 20 year sentence to, "utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the government of the United States." Next to that stuff the Patriot Act of today is trivial.

Economy? Look at the middle 30's and the late 70s.

Race Relations? Look at the old South, or at the cities that burned in the 60s.

Health Care? Yes, improvement is needed. But I can remember before Medicare or Medicaid.

Are we there yet. NO, we aren't. Still got a long way to go, but we have come a long way too.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. I know of those examples, and did you read my initial response
I am well aware that from the perspective of individual physical danger, etc., times have indeed been much worse.

There is no argument there, and that is not my point, anyway.

This doesn't have to do with imminent physical danger, at least not yet. Though I would speculate the changes we allow today may lead to conditions like more of what you speak of down the road.

However, I don;t see a correlation betwen the two.

Example:

Augustan Rome, from an individual perspective probably saw conditions IMPROVING in many areas for the Romans who had (like us) recently allowed their Republic to lapse.

And yet, the structural changes that occurred during that time, lead to the horrors of the late Tiberian, Caligulan, and Neran (is that a real word, I wonder :evilgrin: ) Eras. And they never restored their Republic.

THAT is what I am arguing and why I am saying that not only are you correct in you assessment that things have been "worse" before, and yet that doesn't have as much relevance to the situation as you might think.

In fact, one some levels those changes, the "docilization" of the American Character, could be argued contain the seeds of our current situation. We became so docile, relatively wealthy and content that when the next challenege came along, we were too cowardly, lazy, and indolent to be bothered.

Which in and of itself support a sort of Phoenix (the bird, not the city) view of things in which the constant struggle of humankind to create orderly, comfrotable, non-conflictory societies (a laudable goal, of course) ultimately creates conditions which render that society inacapble of responding to internal challenges which threaten the very fabric of the nation in question.

Does prosperity carry within it the seeds of it's own doom, in other words?

That is a topic for another thread, but I hope I made it clear why I feell that yuour last post was correct, and yet irrelevant to the overall topic/question.

I always enjoy conversing with you, Silverhair, even if we disagree.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-15-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. Now from that POV, you may be right.
Just as a body needs the hardship of exercise to stay fit, a nation needs some hardship to stay fit. Too much comfort? Maybe. In fact, very possibly so.
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