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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 10,237

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Snowden: "Congratulations to me!"

"Now the world's children can once again grow up knowing what it means to have private thoughts! Once again, people have the power to control their own lives. The great night that had descended on the human spirit, the hobnailed boot on the neck of all mankind, the helpless, hopeless abysses of terror into which we were heretofore plunged...all past. We are free again. All I can say is, World, you are welcome."

GOTV Enemy #1: "The Democrats must earn votes."

Imo, the idea that the Democrats have to earn voter turnout from left-leaning voters needs to be demolished. It is one of these "easy-to-get-backwards" ideas that someone should catalog some day, like trickle-down economics, or requiring payment for higher education, or the drug war. The idea that voter turnout should be earned is somehow so apparently obvious that people don't question it. They keep chugging the rotgut and blame something else for the blindness that follows.

If there is more Democratic power, there is more Democratic power to go around. Create the power, then your share of it will grow. It really is that simple. Vote first. Vote always.

But how do I trust? How do I get past the hopelessness and feelings of pointlessness? How do I get past the hopes of easy escape, and the cozy, upright, and proud feelings I get when making my stand for inaction? How do I get past the anger and disgust?

That stuff is all complete and utter bullshit. It's the Zeno's Paradox of the motivation-afflicted. There is a subtle difference between standing your ground and resolving to stay in bed under your warm blankies. If farmers only worked when circumstances made them feel like working or only did the chores they enjoyed, we would all starve. Farmers just get it done.

Always vote Democratic in every election for every office. Do that once in 2014, and the bullies will back down. Do it twice, and we get Roosevelt-era, human-centered governance. We need to get this right, because it is all that is keeping us at a fifty-fifty standoff with the Koch's payola and the brutally misguided folks on the right.

Where the Buck Really Stops

So some obviously able-bodied guy cross-parks his Escalade over two handicapped spots in front of a hospital entrance. He gets out, and tosses an empty coffee cup into the window of the car next to him. Then he spits on a seeing eye dog, trips an old lady, and cuts in at the head of the line. "I need to get someone to look at this finger," he says. "I'm teeing off in twenty minutes, so make it snappy."

That guy is still a better person than a non-voter.

When we get to the point where we look down on non-voters rather than sympathizing with them, when we no longer tolerate their learned helplessness, depression, and "political consumerist" whims, when their excuses fall on deaf ears, we will be on the right track.

He's desperate for new asylum, I think.

All this noise from Snowden lately makes me think he's been getting some less-than-positive signals from Russia on his asylum renewal. To me, he sounds like someone trying to convince any third party country who will listen that he really has character. Everything he did was for the best intentions, following the rules, etc. Good luck.

He really blew it by putting down the United States and making juvenile rants like the one he made last December. That sank him. No country wants to be the base of operations for the tween hearthrob of libertarianism now that he's past his sell-by date. Gotta wonder what Putin is making of Snowden now.

I'm feeling about a 61% probability Snowden is in prison in August.

As usual with Obama

As usual with Obama, things are just going to work out with Ukraine. There won't be any catastrophe. There won't be a new war, cold or hot. Americans won't kill or be killed. We won't be throwing away hundreds of billions of dollars. It will just work out. Somehow, whatever it is Obama does just works out.

The media will definitely give him credit—for being lucky. Where's the story if things just work out? Obama may be technically President of the United States, but he is sure no protagonist. The Putin character is just being wasted. Give us back Chance the Great.

The Republicans will have found no hint of arrogance or hormone-releasing recklessness in Obama's performance. No catharsis for them. Just more of this Libya-Syria "careful" crap. They will have to kick their dogs again.

Police confiscate puppy of 104-year-old veteran.


Police wearing full riot gear stormed the home of 104-year-old Wilhelmena Narblaskonsonwitz and seized her two-month old rescue puppy. Narblaskonsonwitz was reported dazed but uninjured. She was freed on $100,000 bond after being booked on unspecified charges under the Patriot Act. The puppy is currently being held by police, but is reportedly not being petted or offered snacks.

"I can't believe they took Ferdston McBeagle from me," said Narblaskonsonwitz. "He was my everything. His big, beautiful, sad beagle eyes greeted me every morning. His tail wagged and wagged. I had just gotten him a new chew toy. Why, oh why would the police do this to me, a veteran?"

Reached for comment at the Donut Duke on West Shane, Sgt. Jack Obermensch addressed reporters to explain the raid. "On Wednesday, Nov. 11th, 2013, our officers entered the home of the suspect, pursuant to a FISA court warrant. One of our officers sustained an injury when he slipped on a rubber "star-ball" apparently owned by the suspect's canine. The officer was treated and released."

"I only hope this goes to show the public the sacrifices made and courage shown by our police force each and every day," said Obermensch. "We are that thin blue line."

Asked about the puppy, Obermensch said, "The animal's case will be reviewed, and if it is shown that the star ball was not being left where someone could trip over it, the animal will be returned to the suspect."

Single payer rises and falls with the ACA.

If the ACA succeeds, then single payer is inevitable. It positions the Democrats as successes, and their next ideas will carry more weight. People will want to take the next steps to listen.

If the ACA fails, the failure will crush single payer. Republicans certainly won't propose single payer, and the left will have lost all credibility. It will be like the Republicans on national security or on the economy after their boy George W. Bush. Disgraced and ignored.

If you are not committed to ACA success, you are not committed to single payer. This plane is going over the mountain or into it.

If the ACA fails, we will finally get single payer on the table.

I was talking to my astrologer, and he told me it's a sure thing. GREAT NEWS!!!

So stand firm ACA critics! Rock this boat and help the Republicans sink it! A new boat is gonna float up under our feet. Don't believe the naysayers. If the ACA goes, politicians of all political stripes will stampede to propose Medicare for all. IT....IS...IN...THE...STARS!!!

Is Snowden buying asylum by fanning the flames of anti-Americanism?

Didn't this Snowden/Greenwald thing start out being about the NSA spying on American citizens? How did it morph into being about America spying on foreign countries? Why would it?

One possible reason is simple. Snowden's Russian asylum runs out in July 2014. He needs to start finding somewhere else to go. And that raises a huge conflict of interest. It is now good for Snowden to try to portray the United States as some kind of "Great Spying Satan" to anyone and everyone who will listen. By fanning the flames of anti-Americanism abroad, Snowden increases the likelihood of future grants of asylum. If he enrages the populace of foreign countries against the United States, that populace might force or allow its leadership to harbor Snowden after his Russian asylum runs out. It's terrible for America but good for Snowden.

I'm not sure his American fan club noticed the change in message emphasis by Snowden, so I thought I would call it out. What if Snowden had led with revelations that the NSA was spying on Brazil and Germany? Would he have gotten his U.S. fans on board with that? I doubt it. Now that it looks like Snowden is arguably playing some seriously dirty pool, will they stay with him?

I think Snowden is more of a well-intentioned, juvenile fuck-up than anything else.

I don't think his intentions were to betray his country. You can damage your country and society terribly without the necessary mental intentions for betrayal. That's what Snowden did. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are arguably similar.

I think there is an emotional hang-up that causes people to mis-categorize Snowden as either hero or traitor. He thought he was being a hero, and he wasn't. He didn't think he was damaging his country and society like a traitor would, but he did.

Put aside the terms traitor and hero, and all you really have is "well intentioned fuck-up" or "well-intentioned doer of good." To decide between those two, you have to be objective and ask if anyone benefited from what he did. I would argue that there hasn't been a single known objective, tangible benefit from what Snowden did. Moreover, there has also been no harm shown to have been caused by the activities he exposed.

On the other hand, the United States has suffered a great deal politically and diplomatically. The company Snowden worked for and the people he worked with suffered. He reduced net trust throughout the world. He cost a lot of people jobs and ruined careers. Also, by exposing what he exposed, by keeping people in a constant state of suspense about what he might expose next, and by fleeing to American adversaries, Snowden did heavy damage to the world's safety and security from violence and oppression.

Just a fuck-up. No more a legitimate moral agent than the flu.

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