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Member since: Fri Jul 4, 2008, 01:39 PM
Number of posts: 4,769

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I've moved Jackpine Radicals.

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I like and usually agree with Pap and Seder; but on this subject they got it so goddamn wrong.

Every person on the planet that can speak, lies on a daily basis. This was just an exaggeration. A bad one, and he should be called out, but it should be a day long story - that's it. But because it's simple, people can grab onto it, understand it, and feel superior. No one got hurt and he actually was fired upon. Twelve or thirteen years later he embellished. Big fucking deal.

I don't watch network news, and haven't for decades. So I barely know who he is. I read the news, listen to NPR, Democracy Now; or, now that it's on, watch Al Jazerra. Network News, sucks. At best. Every hour of every day, there are lies told on all the networks, (especially Fox) that get people killed, destroy lives, start wars, scapegoat the innocent while protecting economy destroying thieves...and this the bullshit people care about? Embarrassing.

Senator Tom Cotton, Logic Slayer (R- AR) is a Godsend!

Video, Tom Cotton:

I few days ago Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas questioned Brian Mckeon, Deputy Under Secretary for Defense. The importance was lost on most people, even Tom Cotton himself, who said, “I just wanted to let people know I was a dick to be reckoned with. Not a goofy dick like Louie Gohmert, but someone who can sound smart while saying stupid things…I believe I made some headway.”

But it wasn’t until Frank Luntz put out a memo, “Causation is longer a consideration, for anything,” that got people talking.

The conversation that killed critical thinking:

SEN.TOM COTTON (R-ARKANSAS): OK, now I want to explore the so-called risk balance between recidivism of released terrorists and the propaganda value that terrorists get from Guantanamo Bay. How many recidivists are there at Guantanamo Bay right now?
BRIAN MCKEON, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY FOR DEFENSE POLICY: I'm not sure I follow the question, there are --
TOM COTTON: How many inmates at Guantanamo Bay are engaged in terrorism or anti-American incitement?
BRIAN MCKEON: There are none--
TOM COTTON: Because they are detained. They can only engage in that kind of recidivism overseas.
Now let's look at the propaganda value: How many detainees were at Guantanamo Bay on September 11, 2001?
TOM COTTON: How many were therein October 2000, when al-Qaeda bombed the U.S.S. Cole?
TOM COTTON: What about in 1998 when they bombed the embassies [in Kenya and Tanzania]?
BRIAN MCKEON: The facility was not open before 2002, Senator.
TOM COTTON: What about 1993 and the first World Trade Center bombing?
BRIAN MCKEON: Same answer.
TOM COTTON: And 1979 when Iran took over our embassy? Or 1983 when Hezbollah bombed our Marine Baracks in Lebanon? The answer is zero.
TOM COTTON: Islamic terrorists do not need an excuse to attack the United States, to attack us is what they do, they attack us for what we are.
It is not your decision. It is a political promise the president made on his campaign. To say [closing the base] is a security decision based propaganda value that our enemies get from it is a pretext to justify a political decision.
In my opinion the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is there are too many empty beds and cells there right now. We should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe. As far as I'm concerned every last one of them can rot in Hell, but as long as they don't do that they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.

And good riddance. “We’ve been trying to get rid of logic and critical thinking for years, but they keep raising their ugly heads. ‘There’s no global warming, it’s cold outside.’ And what do you think Trickledown Economics is? That’s right, one big giant ‘fuck you’ to logic. But Tom…my hat’s off to him, you know? He finally poisoned that bitch and buried her. Logic and critical thinking are done!”

Frank Luntz’s memo describes how every terrorist attack before 2002 can be linked to the lack of a Guantanamo Bay prison. And why stop at the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979? Says Luntz, “Hell, Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. No Guantanamo.” But the real beauty is in extrapolating from this conversation. “Everything is up for grabs,” says Luntz. “Don’t like regulations on derivatives? Well, connect it with something you do like. John Wayne Westerns. See? It doesn’t matter how tentative, or even non-existent the connection. As long as there is something you like, and something else you don’t like, just pretend they’re connected and your point is proven. This guy just made my job so much easier!”

Want a better country? Expand your community.

In these days of constant misinformation, scapegoating and mean-spirited politics from Fox and right-wing radio; plus infotainment and corporatism from most other media, it’s hard to make improvements to our culture. And we have been on an ever increasingly downward trajectory since the terror attacks of 2001. (Arguably for a generation before that, but at nowhere near this level of decline.)

More open and hostile racism, politicians brought into the same, ‘Free Market’ as our toys and clothes; Total Information Awareness, where everything one does, says, writes, buys, and all contacts are examined and everywhere one goes is tracked and stored; whistle-blowers are prosecuted at a never before seen rate; militarized and abusive police are the norm; theft of billions by a handful of people goes unpunished while debtor-prisons (at least people are being put in prison for debts) are making a comeback; the social safety net has more wholes poked in it every month; these things are just a small sample our pathological decline. But within the old rhetoric describing who we believe ourselves to be, is an answer to some of the problems we face.

Treason is looked upon as the worst of crimes for a reason. People are willing to spend almost anything on defense; and in the case of an actual threat to the nation, like World War II, we will pull together and sacrifice for the common good. Why? Because in situations like WWII, we all rise and fall together as a community. For many, that feeling of community only applies to war and national security.

The right likes to live partially in the past, in a world that never really existed. At least in a world where the sins of the past are white-washed or ignored. Where every town is a little like Mayberry and we all help each other in times of need. That past was never a reality throughout the entire country, but in pockets people did do the right thing by each other (and still do in Amish Country), because they felt they were in this together.

If we can take that feeling of camaraderie and expand it through ever increasingly large circles, we will have a better country for all. When we view through a patriotic lens the problems people face in poor areas, in a drug war that does little but destroy lives, homelessness, mental illness, discrimination, etc., we will all be the better for it.

If people start to expand their circle of empathy beyond their area, race, sexual orientation, religion and political affiliation, and apply the standards of country outside of war, we will come much closer to our promise and reverse an almost generation of decline.

Koch Brothers Ask for Discount When Buying Politicians in Bulk

At a very rare and brief press conference in Manhattan, Charles and David Koch laid out few demands before they spend their money buying politicians in the 2016 election.

“It’s only fair,” said David Koch. “People think, ‘Well, they’re spending a billion dollars to buy a president, a few senators and representatives – they should be happy with what they’ve got!’ But they don’t look at it from our point of view. Yes, we do make a lot of money off of our investments…but look at how much time and money we put into running the country! Sometimes there are individual bills that need to be written. That costs money. And do you think politicians at the state level buy themselves? Hell no, that costs money! And what about judges?”

“Exactly!” said David’s brother, Charles. “One judge may be cheap, by him or herself. But multiply that by a few hundred and now you’re talking real money…at least for some. Add into that some think tanks, a few scientists…plus all the politicians David mentioned and you begin to understand why we think a few politicians should be thrown in, gratis. I'm sure I speak for others in our class, also. We all feel a bit slighted.”

“And maybe a few bills that we had people write, too” David interjected. “And the truth is, to make up for all the negative press we’ve been getting, and all the money we’ve been spending, a couple of national parks thrown in wouldn’t hurt either.”

“We have to be going now, thank you for your time,” David said.

Right Versus Wrong

There has always been a puritanical versus enlightenment fight going on for the heart of the country. Fascist, corporatist versus people, theocrats versus secularists, authoritarian versus freedom, racism versus decency, science versus ignorance and greed versus charity. During the times when the fight is most visible, such as the Great Awakenings, the Abolitionist Movement of the 19th century, the labor movement of the early 20th century, the Civil Rights Movement and today’s fights, it is not always apparent who will win the fight; even for those gifted with empathy and critical thought. And being right on one or more critical issues, such as civil rights, does not automatically put one on the right side of all issues.

Lyndon Johnson helped move civil rights forward and was great on poverty, but expanded United States involvement in a blatantly unjust war. There were African Americans helping the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a KKK type organization (with members of the Klan involved), because they believed the state would win the civil rights fight. And of course there has been overlap within many of the issues, with morality, reality and empathy being the common thread.

We are fighting numerous problems today, with clearly delineated sides of right and wrong. (Albeit with grey areas, degrees and nuances in each subject.) Our idea of democracy seems almost a joke in its current form (the Kochs spending close to a billion dollars to buy politicians, lobbyists writing our laws, entire media outlets - of which there are only six – devoted to propaganda, misinformation, scapegoating, wealth transfer to the top and diversion). Our idea of freedom is unrecognizable from just a generation ago with Total Information Awareness on a fast track to fruition, along with other repellant programs (NSA spying, DEA spying, asset forfeiture, militarized police, over 200 SWAT raids a day, license plate readers and indefinite detention). War crimes going unpunished and in many circles, unacknowledged (torture, the entire Iraq War). A reigniting of the civil rights fight, a fight against reprehensible trade agreements like the TPP and an effort for the middle class and the majority of the country to hold on to whatever wealth they have left. A fight to help the environment (global warming, endangered species, the health of the oceans, overpopulation, wilderness protection, etc.).

It’s easy to see which sides are right and which sides are wrong in these struggles. At least on the edges, where facts and decency are facing lies, greed and malice. What bothers me (aside from the ever-present War on Reality) is the fact that I don’t know which side will win this one.

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