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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Minnesota
Current location: up north
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 31,893

About Me

I'm a 71 year old white woman, born in November, 1949. My parents lived through the Depression and WWII (my dad's a veteran). I've witnessed a lot of history firsthand, plus I carry the stories handed down to me by my parents, aunts and uncles from their generation, and my grandparents from their generation. Basically, my memory is a depository for most of the 20th century of U.S. history, plus the 2 decades (so far) of the 21st century. //////Important quote: Milos Forman (film director, b. 1932, d. 2018) - "I hear the word "socialist" being tossed around by the likes of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others. President Barack Obama, they warn, is a socialist. The critics cry, "Obamacare is socialism!" They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism." (He lived in Czechoslovakia under Communism before emigrating to the U.S.A.)

Journal Archives

Poll question: Why hasn't Henry Kissinger died yet?

Inspired by this post in Good Reads: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1016&pid=91011

He will be 91 years old this May.

(Edited to belatedly add "All of the Above" option - you may change your votes at will.)

I came across a quote years ago - it was so succinct and right on, and it pains me greatly that

I can't remember it.

The gist of it is: We can never forgive those who we have harmed the most.

This is the core of white racism, this is the source of the hate. It's the unconscious recognition of the crimes committed against "The Other" that is so painful that it won't be acknowledged consciously. It gets twisted into hatred of the victims, because their very existence holds up a mirror - and in order to block out what the mirror reveals, the Other must be dehumanized and despised.

That is, in order to deny our guilt, and maintain our self-serving fiction that we are "good", we need to make our victims deserving of their oppression.

I'm so sorry that I can't remember the actual quote or where it came from. All I can remember is how it made so much sense.

I found some lovely links:

Marching for Human Rights: A Personal Account of a Pueblo Presente

Enemy Of The State (A Ductape Fatwa Tribute)

Ductape Fatwa Memorials

You Can't Reason With Americans

In memory of a wise man right here with you

There are more, but these are some of the most striking, imho. It always saddened me that he was so little appreciated here.

I'm so glad that you remember him, too.
Posted by scarletwoman | Wed Apr 9, 2014, 07:52 PM (0 replies)

I vote. I've voted in every election since 1970. Midterms, presidential elections, doesn't matter.

I've never not voted for 44 years, ever since I was old enough to vote. (They lowered the voting age too late for me to able to vote in 1968)

I don't vote based on hoping I'll get what I want. I vote because because I want to be counted. I vote because I want those who end up running things - for good or for ill - to know that I'm one of the people watching and paying attention.

This notion that it's a matter of principle to only vote when there's someone running who meets your personal criteria for a "true liberal" or a "true progressive" is a massive missing of the heart of the matter.

You can't always get what you want. What you CAN do is demonstrate that, in spite of everything, you are insisting that you be counted as an active participant in the exercise of our collective democratic right to vote.

As Emma Goldman said (paraphrasing here), If voting really changed things it would be made illegal. I sadly agree - but I'll still vote because I want TPTB to know that I'm out here watching what they do.

I vote because I want to be counted, nothing more.


I have to do it. Poll question: How many of you own a copy of "The Big Lebowski"?

The problem with midterm elections for Democrats:

The right wing whips its voters into a frenzy, and those voters show up because they *know* they are at war. And it's a war they are single-mindedly determined to win.

There is no equivalent frenzy among voters who might support Democrats because they don't feel called to win a war. They don't even get that there IS a war. Right wing framing of issues is so all-pervasive that it's become normalized. And, thanks to the Corporate media, there are essentially no voices heard who might challenge it.

The big national elections every four years when the presidency is being contested gets peoples' attention because it's THE American Idol contest of American politics. The midterms, not so much. Because only one side considers itself at war, only one side thinks that it's in a life or death struggle for control - and those are the folks who reliably show up.

I know that most of us here on DU also understand that we too are at war, but that's just not the case with most of the American electorate, who are more or less disengaged and have no sense of the bigger picture.

I have no idea what it will take for our side to awaken the same sense of urgency in ordinary disengaged voters that the right wing does with their supporters. The right wing accomplishes this through constant lies and by appealing to the base instincts and irrationality of those who have no capacity for critical thinking. It's no great feat to gin up that sort of angry mob out of such material.

The question, it seems to me, is how do we, who value truth, rationality and independent thinking, gin up our own angry mob, ready to go to war? Is there a way to do this?

I could not give a shit less about the SI Swimsuit Edition or the Kate Upton photo shoot.

That being said, it's the act of bringing those things into DU that pisses me off, since it's clearly meant to rile people up and nothing more.

The thing is, our mainstream American culture is vapid, shallow, superficial, and soulless. Using scantily clad women for marketing purposes is merely one aspect of all the many factors illustrative of the fact that our culture is vapid, shallow, superficial, and soulless. And, frankly, it's far from the most disturbing manifestation, imho.

I don't in the least begrudge these women their chosen method of participating in the capitalistic marketplace - if they can make money at it, they are welcome to go for it as far as I'm concerned. As long as we participate in this capitalistic system by working for someone other than ourselves, we are all selling ourselves to one degree or another.

I'm 64 years old - way past the point where anyone would pay me for posing nearly naked for a magazine cover. But when I was young I was definitely hot, and I thoroughly enjoyed flaunting my power to attract the attention of men - and women, too, for that matter.

Humans are going to groove on looking at their sexy looking fellow humans of either sex, no matter what. I don't see any shame in that. We're biologically wired for that.

The only shame I see in the most recent spate of DU "gender wars" is in some DUers deliberately posting stuff that they know is going to cause an uproar. The SI Swimsuit Edition and the Kate Upton zero-grav photo shoot are NOT political issues. They're just part and parcel of the cultural vapidity and capitalist system we're all swimming (so to speak) in. So, if someone wanted to critique these things from those perspectives, I'd be all for it. But that's not at all what the mindset was behind posting them.

sw - yes, I AM a woman.

Has anyone here read _Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End_?

I just finished it - wow!

It's by Swedish author Leif GW Persson. It's the first book of a trilogy concerning the 1986 assassination of Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme. I actually remember that event when it happened, because it was so shocking. And it was never solved.

I could hardly stand to go to bed while I was reading it. 551 pages, and extemely hard to put down at the end of the day.

I'm about to start the second book of the trilogy. It starts with a story concerning the Baader-Meinhof group - more long-ago news events that remain in my memory.

I came across this author without having a clue about his work - his name just showed up in "Similar books by other authors..." on the Fantastic Fiction site http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ while I was browsing various Scandinavian crime fiction books. I asked my local librarian to see if there were any books by Leif Persson available, and a week later I got the first two books of this trilogy (the 3rd book won't be out until sometime next year).

Anyway, if you're interested in how leftist leaders end up getting assassinated, and what dirty dealings go on behind the curtain with security agencies (including our own dear CIA), this book is a totally fascinating read.

The problem is, pretty much everybody has bought in.

If you use a credit card, you've bought in.

If you pay for a cable TV subscription, you've bought in.

If you wait in line to buy the latest video gaming system/iphone/whatever, you've bought in.

If you have an account with Citibank, Bank of America, Chase, or any other mega-bank, you've bought in.

If you are "saving" for retirement with a 401K, you've bought in.

If you buy clothes made in China/Bangladesh/Guatemala/etc., you've bought in.

If you buy gas for your car, you've bought in.

If you heat your home with fossil fuels (fuel oil, natural gas, propane), you've bought in.

If you use all the water you want without thinking about it, you've bought in.

The evils you outline in your post are made possible by all of us buying in - buying into this comfortable way of life that affirms and supports the worst of capitalism and the human greed that enables it.

You know why people hate the homeless? Because the homeless are folks who won't buy in.

Thank you. "I want to be the spanner in the works..."

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all! Mario Savio

I've been a leftist for close to 50 years now. No amount of carping, whining, lecturing, hectoring or snotty disdain dished out by the self-appointed defenders of the Establishment on the internet is going to change that.

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