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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:19 AM
Original message
Edited on Sun Nov-28-10 11:21 AM by Cyrano
I believe the answer is because we are both unwilling and unable to do anything about it.

Whos destroying our country and our lives? We know a few names like the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch. But most of them are faceless, nameless, incredibly wealthy people. And wealth buys power. Im speaking of the top few percent who own our politicians, our main-stream-media, and just about everything else -- including us.

But even if we had the names of our owners, what would we do about it? My guess is, not a damn thing.

Somewhere along the way, we lost the ability and the knowledge of how to stand up to oppressors. We are seemingly helpless to stop out modern day robber barons. And there doesnt seem to be any Franklin Roosevelt on the horizon to come to our rescue. Were on our own, were being raped, pillaged and plundered, and we are doing absolutely nothing to put an end to it.

So heres my question for anyone who thinks they have an answer. Given the vast power arrayed against us, what can we do to salvage whats left of our country and our own well being?
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. simple: demand campaign finance reform and a return of the Fairness Doctrine
the only problem is that the people have been duped into believing that doing either is *impossible* and that challenging power is "crazy", yet Europeans do it successfully all the time. We'll probably have to get at least two chief justices removed to overturn Citizens United and then battle for campaign finance reform, but it really is the only way.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. We may be looking at another 20 or so years before
we can turn around the crimes committed by our current Supreme Court.
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. This country's not going to turn itself around until we see a few good riots in the streets. n/t
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ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. If there is largescale civil unrest...
... there will then be a big war with a huge poverty draft.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Riots in the streets will be put down with maximum force and brutality.
The "haves" will do whatever is necessary to protect their power. And they don't even need the U.S. military. Companies like Xe (formely Blackwater), and others, have gotten plenty of practice in Iraq and Afgahnistan.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. that is the plain truth. nt.
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WestSeattle2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
40. Exactly - and the day is coming. n/t
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. Question and expose the media
The media is their messaging system - which they use to indoctrinate the masses and influence elections.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. You're absolutely right.
All successful revolutionaries have always known that the key to conquest was to seize the means of mass communications (radio and television).

The world wide web has changed that formula in developed countries. But no one has yet figured out how to "seize" it for their own purposes. Or for that matter, how to use it to conform to the saying, "The truth shall set you free."
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. We can vote, donate, give our time. Call, write letters
it's worked well so far. :crazy:
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's not difficult to find out who "they" are. But, what are you going to do with that knowledge?
Their logic is a merciless extraction of rents from the public sector as well as private assets. Public debt = privatized wealth. They own the banks, which control and milk the government.

Nobody's coming to our rescue, if we can't help ourselves. Don't wait for some sort of messiah and don't get too deeply invested in charismatic "hope and change" figures. You are the revolution.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
25. The rich are merely the most successful con men, thieves and sociopaths
You cannot (99% of the time anyway) get to be rich without lying, cheating, stealing and generally conning people out of their money. There isn't a single multi-millionaire in this nation that is not guilty of at least one of those and probably all of them on a daily basis.

So the question becomes, why riot? Why not assault their mansions and put all the wealthy crooks under citizens arrest and take back out country!!! Tear down their walls, put them under siege for a change. CEOs and upper management are merely the Lieutenants in the class warfare the rich have been waging against us for 50 years. They all are guilty of crimes against humanity, crimes against the sick, crimes against the aged, crimes against your children. Jail them all!!!

Brothers and sisters in the military and police, join with us when the time is right. Do not let the wealthy use you as the tool for continuing their plunder of our country, being the cause of all misery in this nation.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. Maybe, but not until their salaries and pensions are also on the chopping block
Until then, the police, the intelligence services and the Army belong to the rich. But, G-d help the wealthy if and when we get to that point.
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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #34
42. We'll know when the order to fire on fellow americans comes down from on high
There is a good chance that they'll side with us and march along side us to the houses of the rich. After all they swore an oath to defend the citizens of the USA, not the rich thieves, con men, hucksters, and sociopaths.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
7. Direct action against the specific people who are causing the destruction is the ONLY WAY
change will happen.

But, Americans are too comfortable and too cowardly and just too damn lazy to take the necessary steps.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Are you suggesting a "Rambo-like" solution?
The immediate result would be anarchy. And after that, who knows?
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #15
43. To make an omelet, ... Progress will be uncomfortable for everyone because the current system
is so entrenched. But it is absolutely necessary IF progress is going to be made.
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sharesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. Disunity among the screwees.
Too many of the screwees think they are "standing up for freedom" by bending over for exploitation.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. difficult fight... but we must
what we are up against...

http://extremeinequality.org/?p=250

"Why We Still Suffer with Our Suffrage"
"These 97 ultra rich could have footed the entire $5 billion 2010 election campaign bill, out of their 2009 earnings, and still have, on average, over $220 million each left over from all the loot they stuffed into their pockets last year.

How much did these 97 ultra rich actually plow into the 2010 mid-term elections? We dont know and likely never will. The Supreme Courts Citizens United ruling last January, as public interest analyst Charlie Cray notes, has opened the floodgates for front groups wishing to keep their funders anonymous. In effect, says Cray, a powerful shadow party has emerged on the conservative right.

"In truth, the United States has already become a plutocracy. Maybe someday well have a political party with enough spunk to stand up and openly fight it"

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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. "... a political party with ... spunk to stand up and openly fight it."
You may be right. And perhaps I'm being a bit too pessimistic, but I don't think we'll see it come about in our lifetime. And I sure as hell hope I'm wrong.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
12. I think the culture of "anti-intellectualism" is taking hold.
People used to revere the "smartest guy in the room". Now they resent them, hate him, mock her, wish and work for their downfall...

They embrace those who are as ignorant and uneducated as they are. The Palin's and Beck's and Limbaugh's and O'Donnels and teabaggers of the world.

They became used to "having it good". They were okay way "being nice" to others because it didn't cost them anything and they didn't have to sacrifice anything to do so. It was still all about "me me me" - but there was enough to go around. Now times are hard. Jobs are scarce. Getting that big new house or brand new shiny car, the latest xbox, etc is no longer a given every time you just "want one".

Dumbed down schools where "making the grade" - AVERAGE - is considered a resounding SUCCESS!! Critical thinking skills are not encouraged. Discussions discouraged. Just answer the question - like this - color in that bubble. No essay questions. No considering "what - if". No reflections on how what happened when these people were in power. No dialogue between the sides. This carries over into sports.

Everyone gets a trophy just for SHOWING UP. The kid who whines about being "tired, constantly shows up late, misses half the practices, doesn't learn the playbook, lags behind on every drill, and when he gets put in the game, screws up the play because he didn't know it or didn't care or was afraid he'd get hurt or his head hurt... Meanwhile the kids who bust their ass on every single drill, every single play - get the same stupid trophy because the other kids parents will go ballistic otherwise.

So the ones who aren't "so smart" want everything the the "smart" ones do - but they're not willing - and not even capable - of working for it. We're used to "instant everything". Food, coffee, clothes, success. We resent those who have it better than we do. We don't respect them.

Funny how it's okay to brag about how good an athlete your kid is, but you're not ALLOWED to talk about how much smarter he is than other kids. People "think" they're "smart" because they "know some facts" (or "facts" as they've been brainwashed to believe) - but they're NOT SMART. They can't analyze those facts. Can't extrapolate what happens when you apply those facts to "Situation A" or "Experience B". They can't apply that knowledge. They're completely incapable of comprehending the world around them to any great degree and they resent those who DO! They want to drag us all down to their level. They want to surround themselves with idiots so they feel better about themselves.

They see their petty little privileged lives going up in smoke. Being a white protestant male is no longer the guarantee of "superiority" - raises, promotions, jobs, homes, pretty wives - that it used to be. They're threatened by women. by minorities. by gays and lesbians. Their insecurities and fears are fed by the hate-mongers. They hate themselves and their petty little lives and the fact that they are no longer "top dog" and they want to blame someone. They want to make someone PAY!! by god!

They LOVE SARAH PALIN because she makes them feel SMART!! They hate Obama because he makes them feel as stupid as they truly are.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. HEY, most of us young folks are LIBERALS, don't blame us!
All those teabaggers look like bitter old geezers still ranting about "dirty hippies".
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
14. It Has To Get Bad Enough For Enough Of Us...
ap x pe = tp (amount of pain multiplied by the number of people experiencing that pain equals the tipping point)

not quite there yet.

:shrug:
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
16. I've been thinking about it.
I really do think that the answer isn't that Americans are lazy or stupid or indifferent.

I think the word I'm really searching for is brainwashed...and in an odd way, naive. The history books, the news, everything about the public discourse appears to be a total lie. Somewhere in there, add a tendency to acquiesce to authority; it seems to me that there's a complete desire for order and a tolerance for the kinds of daily insults that make up that order. That doesn't, necessarily, translate into a desire for law, which to me seems totally contradictory. And yes, I do think that the framework for fascism is either in its last stages or is fully in place.

People do tend to turn their face away from things that conflict with their pre-conceptions; that's human. However, Americans have taken it to an art form. If I look at the 9/11 tapes, for instance, I see something that looks like a controlled demolition. I hear the people in the towers talking about 'explosions' and I have more evidence for that scene. Americans listen to their government talk about 'arabs' and they become islamophobes instead of questioning the official story. President Kennedy gets shot, and there's a magic bullet theory...which would immediately alarm me, but it gets accepted, at least officially. It amazes me, and leaves me wondering if the whole thing is because no one wants the house of cards to fall down, so that they have to admit that the entire history is a myth? Or is it something deeper, something more child-like, that doesn't want to admit that the authority figures are completely insane? Is it the knowledge that the government has a whole bunch of weapons that could be turned on its own populace, and could really endanger that illusory safety? Is the desire to be safe so all-encompassing that anyone and everyone is the enemy, especially anyone who isn't the same 'kind' of person? It amazes me.

I haven't got an answer, and if someone has some credible ones, I'd like to hear them.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
17. I have an answer but I don't think anyone wants to hear it
Edited on Sun Nov-28-10 12:46 PM by NNN0LHI
Back when Reagan was president I was laid off from Ford just short of two years once. During that same time my neighbors were either buying imported or scab built cars. Some had two scab built cars in their driveway. Some of these same neighbors who were buying these cars built by workers who were scabbing off my union belonged to unions themselves. Now some of those workers unions are under attack. Imagine that? First they screwed me and my fellow union workers over and now their own union is under attack. And those same workers who are under attack want guys like me to do everything in our power to help them now.

Well, we would like to help now. And back before those same union worker neighbors of mine were in the process of screwing me and my union brothers and sisters over we could have helped them. But the membership in my union has went from a million and a half members to half a million. We were replaced by scabs. Back when my union was strong no one was messing with any unions. Since my neighbors helped weaken my union and now their own unions are on the chopping block we are too weak to help them now.

As I said, I don't think anyone wants to here it. But there it is.

Don
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
32. Unions ARE the answer
Thanks Don. Some of us can think for ourselves, and ignore the "librul" media.

When I hear union workers deride the media as "librul" I just want to spit. I ask, "Yeah, aren't you sick of them always going on and on about how good unions are?"
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travelingtypist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Nothing so long as the shelves in our stores remain full.
Nothing so long as gas stations are still pumping.

The day the average person can no longer feed themselves and/or their families and no longer has the ability to go where they want when they want is the day the blood of the powerful will flow. Not before.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. 10% "official" unemployment. And perhaps as much as 20% when you count
those who have given up and stopped looking for work.

People who can't pay their mortgages.

People who can't afford much for gas.

People who need food stamps to get the bare necessities at supermarkets.

Many of them are women and children. The frustration is there. The anger is there. And the hopelessness is also there. But what to do?

My guess is that any "blood in the streets" would turn out to be those I've mentioned above. I'd suggest you be careful with terms like "blood in the streets." Such talk is reckless, irresponsible and is most often spoken by those who have who have never actually seen "blood in the streets," and would take every precaution to avoid that such blood wasn't their own.
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travelingtypist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I thought things were bad in 2008 and the Great Recession.
But we had Obama and his policies staved off the worst of everyone's fears without getting at the underlying structural problems. Then the Republicans played their game of no and subjected Obama to a death of a thousand cuts -- go ahead and gripe at me again for my impolitic language -- where Obama stands minimal chance of reelection in 2012 because of the structural imbalance wrought by the Citizen's United case.

These bad things you're talking about, we still have a minimal social safety net to help people muddle through. So long as the below is still possible, it hasn't gotten bad enough for enough people to give shit.

Shoppers back in Black Friday binge
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101126/bs_nm/us_usa_retail...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
21. Direct action in our local communities. That is the only way to create real, lasting change.
Strikes. Boycotts. SPONTANEOUS protests. Mass Civil Disobedience. Do anything that frightens those in power; the only time the elites make concessions is if they are forced to make a choice between reform or their heads.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. Yes, you are on your own, so answer your own question and...
find out just how YOU are being screwed and what you can do about it.

Chances are that, just like the rest of us, you're happily buying what they're selling and prefer to wait for some white knight to come along and bail you out when you get in over your head. For whatever it's worth, our species has been screwing the planet and each other since we gained sentience all those millenia ago. There's just more of us and we talk about it more now.

Buy less, use less, save more and make it your job to see that at the end of the day you did your part to make the planet slightly better than it was in the morning.

(The revolution ain't coming any time soon.)



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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. democrats sold their soles
for campaign money.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. And apparently their souls, too.
Edited on Sun Nov-28-10 02:56 PM by Desertrose
Sorry..couldn't resist.
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ldf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
28. although this website's creators refuse to admit it...
we must realize that the answer is not going to come from the democratic party. they have proven time and time again that they are not capable, or willing.

there must be a third option that is honest and forthcoming. dissatisfied members of other parties are thirsty for truth and action, and i think the response would surprise everyone.

insanity = doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result...
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Kablooie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
29. They always screw enough to hurt but not enough to break.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
30. TV News
Traitors who have betrayed democracy.

The propaganda from TV News gets the chickens to vote for Colonel Sanders. They'll cluck about PETA all the way to the fryer now.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
33. Shut the fuckers down. STOP watching tv, STOP buying their crap, STOP supporting anything
those bastards do and I'm talking things that will be hard to give up like sports, music, movies, etc.

All easier said than done I know. :argh:

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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Probably too late for such a reasoned prescription.
They are already winding us down and have robbed us significant resources to affect their plans, which means they no longer significantly care if we feed their beast.

All the things you mention just don't have enough economic power to move the needle. I doubt we are even talking a 100 billion.

I think you offer a good solution but 20 years or so too late to be much help.
Now we are left with much messier and much more dangerous efforts with a much lower chance of success.

If they "needed" our activity then they'd leave us with enough pocket change to do more than subsist.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. You're probably right but I think that they aren't done with us yet either.
Those bastards still have millions of homes to foreclose upon, Social Security to steal, National Parks and the U.S. Postal Service to privatize.

IMO, it's been pitchfork time ever since they bailed the gangster banksters out.
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Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. It's been pitchfork time since the day Ronald Reagan occupied the White House.
The country has been on a downhill slide ever since, and that slide has accelerated immensely in the decade under the Bush/Cheney criminal regime.

But it's not over yet. Not until they've picked us dry and stolen any and all means of anyone's survival. Their tentacles are already stretched around the globe, and before long, it will be time to pick dry China, India, and the remains of Europe.

Do you suppose it's possible that UFOs are actually watching us to make sure the vultures can't escape from this planet to loot other civilizations out there?
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. No, they aren't done because there are a few coppers to shake loose
and some of the "small people" still have property but that is cherry rather sundae. At this point we should be aggressively in the streets taking ours back by any means necessary and putting the fear of God into the bastards.
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
38. start at the beginning
Direct action in your spare time isn't going to do much good as long as you support them 40-60 hours a week at your day job.

Personally I think a good starting place would be to stop blaming the government for the pressure that corporations put on them, and attack corporate profits directly.

Do what you have to do in your own life to be able to implement, on demand, a general corporate strike. Don't work for them and don't give them any money. See that everything you do costs them more than they benefit from it.

And don't confuse your neighbor's making a living and serving their community with serving the corporatocracy. Pretty much everyone in business has had to incorporate. It doesn't mean that they have suddenly become a mini-Montsano.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
39. excellent powers of denial
Edited on Sun Nov-28-10 06:30 PM by marions ghost
the American consumer/citizen is like an abused spouse. Most still believe they live in a democracy and egregious insults will be turned around merely with more elections.

Systemic reform is the only way. But we can't seem to do that.

Americans have a lot of ability to put up with being abused on a regular basis.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-10 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
44. I believe that "we" would be willing if "we" thought there was any
way to stop to abuse. nt
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-10 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
45. concentrate on the local
that's all i can think of.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
46. If I knew what to do, I would suggest it.
Based on previous experience though, I believe many people would shoot the idea down as soon as I uttered it. Cynicism combined with complacency combined with acceptance of our serfdom has been and will be the end of any hopes we had.
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