Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Finally, someone asks the $64,000 dollar question ...

Why Should I Care? Leaders Lack Good Reasons to Vote For Democrats – or Against Republicans
And the answer IS ... there is really not much reason to care. 99.9% of the individuals we elect have made it clear that they take their orders from the corporate world and not from the voters.

Obama made the outrages that Bush pushed on the nation permanent.

The US has come along way down this road ... it's questionable whether we have the fortitude to walk this back.

Banana republic here we come ... oh wait ...
How Revolutionary Oligarchs Seize Power

The United States of Inequality
... ouch, seems we have arrived.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A must read ...

Who We Are: Zeitoun and Camp Greyhound Five Years On

Shhhhhh, don't point out the monsters among us ...

Glenn Greenwald responds to the woolly thinkers who counsel we make nice to those who's goal is to take control of this country by any means.

In what universe is it "obscene" to compare the architects of the Iraq War, the torture regime, and endless War with Muslims "to killers and terrorists"? The comparison is true by definition. The people who launched the attack on Iraq are guilty of an aggressive war -- what the Nuremberg prosecutors condemned as the "kingpin crime" that "holds together" all other war crimes -- which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings, turned millions more into refugees, and destroyed an entire nation. The aptly named "Shock and Awe" was designed to terrify an entire civilian population into submission. John Podhoretz criticized the brutal assault on Fallujah for failing to exterminate all "Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35," while his father has spent years agitating for a devastating military attack on Iran. At least 100 War on Terror detainees in American custody died as a result of their treatment, tens of thousands more (including clearly innocent ones) were put in cages for years with no due process (where many remain), and as recent mosque-related controversies reveal, a substantial portion of the American population craves a religious war with Islam. And that's to say nothing of the acts of other countries which this faction supports: from mauling an imprisoned population in Gaza and attacking a harmless, civilian ship in international waters to propping up some of the most oppressive tyrannies on the planet, including many in the Muslim world.

Sometimes, one's political opponents are "monsters" -- or at least engage in genuinely monstrous acts -- and what's morally offensive is not those who point this out, but rather those who insist that the comparison not be uttered on the jingoistic ground of shared nationality. ...


The endless, destructive War on Terror depends -- like most wars do -- on a cartoonish demonization of the Enemy as something utterly foreign, inhuman, and subject to entirely different drives than Us. Moulitsas' book, at its best, destroys that rotted premise by highlighting the many similarities between Them and Us. Because that similarity is a great taboo -- perhaps the greatest taboo -- it has triggered all sorts of outrage: outrage that is actually a testament to the value of the argument he makes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Social Security ...

Do the Democrats have the courage and staying power to carry out what Jane Hamsher outlines?

Bob Shrum is an establishment party figure willing to speak the hard truth: the Democrats can only save themselves by running against the plans that Obama and the Catfood Commission have for cutting Social Security benefits.

But Democrats will need to convince the base that this effort is not just another half-hearted replay of the health care fight. The embarrassing lack of conviction they have shown for ending the war, fighting for a decent health care bill, standing up to the banks or the pharmaceutical industry or any other issue they fought for fiercely when it didn’t matter is just not going to cut it.

If the Democrats want to win their seats back in November, Social Security could very well be the ticket. But they will need to fight hard and fight smart, and ruffle a whole lot of feathers. Because until their willingness to shake up the party over this issue becomes the story, nobody is going to care.

It would take work, organization and intelligence and the willingness to stop following the weasels in Obama's administration. Now that would be something to care about. But don't expect it to happen ...

Looking back ...

In my twenties (smack-dab in the '60's) I would never, ever have believed that the following quotes (posted today by Oly Mike at The Left Coaster) could be so relevant when applied to my country.

"History is replete with examples of empires
mounting impressive military campaigns on the
cusp of their impending economic collapse."
-- Eric Alterman

"Fascism will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible."
-- Sinclair Lewis

"Most people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all."
-- Michael Rivero
(1952- ) Composer, production engineer

And the agent of change is merely a history-repeater.
It is not worthwhile to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible.
- Mark Twain