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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 10,079

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives


" Brothers and sisters, this is the nation we can create
together when we stand together...
...When millions of people stand up and fight,

Sunday Break From Politics: It's Good To Be Alive Today

from Michael Franti. His music is about uplift.

Crunch Time

Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past.
You must fight just to keep them alive.


"...Back in February when democracy was still serious and Trump was still a joke...

What side you're on in that debate is all about your generation.

Older Americans are more religious, and America's real religion is capitalism, and like any religion it needs a devil, and that devil has always been socialism...

Republicans always think if you allow a little socialism it'll spread out of control. But actually, it's the opposite. It's capitalism that we've let spread out of control.

It's eaten our democracy...middle class...health care system...prison system...news media...our food system...because capitalism is ... an unthinking force that devours everything in its path...

And now the latest thing...is our national parks...

...when you're handing over national parks to corporations...it's time to realize we're better off if there are few things that free market profiteers can't get their cloven hooves on...

...older people think socialism's capitalism's enemy, and younger people think it's capitalism's replacement. But they're both wrong.

What socialism is, is capitalism's lap band, something to prevent it from eating everything."


Those of us who saw Muhammad Ali publicly stand up against the Vietnam War before anyone else, recognize why he will always be The Greatest.

We should also remember that beyond the ring where Muhammad Ali was The Greatest, back when whites believed they could turn away from their deep-seated racism, Muhammad Ali was the first to check their white privilege of stubborn denial and stupidity -- another reason he will always be The Greatest.

My favorite excerpt from one of his interviews (and the DU archives) ...

"...There are many white people who mean right and in their hearts wanna do right. If 10,000 snakes were coming down that aisle now, and I had a door that I could shut, and in that 10,000, 1,000 meant right, 1,000 rattlesnakes didn't want to bite me, I knew they were good... Should I let all these rattlesnakes come down, hoping that that thousand get together and form a shield? Or should I just close the door and stay safe?..."


Muhammad Ali was so far ahead of his time about racial truth, and white people so dismissive, that Black Lives Matter still has to organize and tell it.

The Greatest knew about 'the work' and 'the struggle,' -- how we're not progressing, progressives, until it hurts.

How False Equivalence Is Distorting the 2016 Election Coverage -- The Nation

I don't care for the right swing of The Nation over the years, but they are an intelligent bunch.

This article is, to me, the final word on understanding media's practices and practical limitations.

What I got from reading it is this:

Most voters can sense these media issues even if they don't articulate them.

With journalists "coverage" of "both sides," i.e., "opinions" from both sides, a reader is left with no grounding in fact, at which point s/he can easily 'fall for' the stance that objectivity is defined by knowing both sides' "subjectivities," and so well or little that they parrot false equivalency thinking. And they give in to that temptation, like as not.

But true reader objectivity has a) big frames of concept/vision to guide human attention, and b) salient facts to ground the relative truthfulness of 'binaried' information. It's probably too much to ask that journalism help a disadvantaged public with both of these issues, since their distraction too often comes down to getting out content and inches every day. For profit.

So this article leaves one to realize that what's left to the voter/reader is to put in place for him/herself, larger frames of reference (history, science, psychology, numerical literacy, the arts) that demand both macro understanding and micro standards of fact usability to guide their reading and thinking of the media's "coverage."

So democratic elections in this capitalist country are more dreamable than doable.

UNLESS the public makes more effort to learn how to read/think/sort/prioritize our country's events, political goals and national vision.


Why Trump COULD Beat Hillary -- With Good Advice for Hillary

This is not an anti-Hillary post. As a Berner, I am not anti-Hillary.

While I don't necessarily like this guy pushing his own channel at the video's end, I think he gives good advice.

His advice for Hillary is to not adopt Trump's theme of "outsiderness" -- but instead, to positively push for her experience, qualifications and know-how in engaging the larger world.

When Trump attacks, Hillary has to reframe her campaign language around her insiderness, and adapt her own "language" approach: On the experience end she needs to harp on the reality that she was helping run the country when all Trump ever ran was a TV show. On the know-how, she can let him proceed to brag about deal making and then react with detailed analysis of HIM causing his deal failures.

Running with the 'woman-as-outsider' tack could work, but not the way she's been using it, so she needs to:

1. Be clever with slogans rather than tactful.

2. Allow the press and her opponents to define the terms of engagement, and then react by denying that she is the things they say she is -- this is the most important start-off strategy, I think.

3. Don't change her strategy as Donald attempts to cripple it -- don't be reactive, defensive.

4. Don't attack Trump proactively, but just allow him to dismantle your weapons.

My strong belief is that when Hillary uses Obama's "please proceed" strategy in debating him, that tack will inevitably CAUSE TRUMP TO BEAT HIMSELF.

Personality and identity will define this campaign.

She must make people like and trust her. Hillary supporters can help her brand image with undecideds.

I wouldn't dismiss these ideas if I worked on Hillary's campaign or were a die-hard Hillary voter.


Hating Republicans Will Not Help Progressives Build a Future For America

The Reprimand Project goes off the deep end. Its politics are divisive, and I have to say that posts from them just help keep DU’ers in the binary either/or, good/bad mentality.

When we blame Republicans’ leaders with vitriol for whatever the social control battle du jour is, we will not successfully “reprimand” or shame them into changing their minds, to inch them closer to join our causes.

Republican voters were born into the same rigged system we all were, and react in ways they’ve been taught work best to adopt the tough exceptionalism that is America’s “culture" of hardship upon the weak or unfortunate – to toughen themselves for survival.

Why? Because their beliefs and fears go beyond attachment to their party, or social circumstances that their leaders don’t seem to care about.

Keeping people weak and needy is part of a capitalist system that this political system serves. And the Republican voter has been "cultured" through family, church, associates, schools, to trust their belief system's version of how to do the right thing and thrive. Everyday Republicans believe in the old school politics of their regional leaders, and they'll vote party or single value issue over person, unlike true independents.

If we point out inconsistencies and attack them, they turn away from our logic that can't be reconciled with the "program" they have been trained to be loyal to. So when we fault them for everything wrong with this country, they will ask themselves, to whom do I owe the greater loyalty -- the opposition that's smugly correct? or the home party that will keep me safe or get me a "better deal"?

They are going down with their people. Those people are part of a larger political system that we DU'ers are part of also. It's one that is willing to authorize any use of force anywhere in response to any justification that might cause "reasonable suspicion" that the country's survival -- complete safety -- is at stake. Safety first, details later, is a major cultural value for them. For us, it's "not in our name!"

To quote Edward Snowden:

Even their leaders know that if we had a 9/11 attack every year, we would still be losing more people to car accidents and heart disease, and we don't see the same expenditure of resources to respond to those more significant threats.

What it really comes down to is the political reality that we have a political class that feels it must inoculate itself against allegations of weakness. Their leaders are more fearful of the politics of terrorism -- of the charge that they don't take terrorism seriously -- than they are of the crime itself -- or any other hardships the population falls err to.

This includes the tiresome old political saw of abortion and gender body control.

Power comes out of culture. The power of real change comes out of coalition culture, not just playing by voter registration numbers. Please don't harden those who fear and live with Spartan austerity values. Give up divide and conquer political orgs (not trying to pick on the Reprimand Project, really) in favor of those that build common cause with Republican voters.

This hate and guilt mongering is just not going to help people. Such vitriol lingers long after the primaries and general election are over. We can have our candles shine brighter when they shine together, not when we try to blow out another's.

These are Berner values.

J.K. Rowling, former teacher, defends Trump's free speech rights

If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand along tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.

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