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KingCharlemagne's Journal
KingCharlemagne's Journal
January 17, 2016

If you want a vision of life under a President Trump or Cruz, just

watch The Big Short. This movie should be required viewing for every person who posts in good faith on DU. I cannot recommend it highly enough. As powerful as Fahrenheit 911 or All the President's Men.

January 9, 2016

Question about the Weimar Republic and molly-coddling of Oregon protesters

It's been a long time since I studied the history of the Weimar Republic but I have vague memories that local police in Weimar coddled NSDAP (Nazi) brownshirts while lowering the boom on their left-wing opponents (Communists and Socialists), thereby further emboldening the Brownshirts.

Is this memory borne out by the historical record and, if true, does it shed light on the molly-coddling of the thugs currently going on up at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon?

I was part of Occupy Los Angeles and vividly remember the 'special treatment' OLA and Occupy Oakland occupiers received at the hands of the local constabulary. To see these noveau brownshirts rubbing our noses in their scofflaw-ism and suffering no visible consequences angers me deeply.

December 25, 2015

Historical question about primary calendar: why does the

California primary come so late in the calendar that its results don't usually affect the outcome?

Who sets the schedule?

Although I am a Sanders supporter, I think Hillary would defeat him in California, were its primary first. But I think our state deserves more say-so in the party's nominee.

November 4, 2015

Sanders or Clinton: Who would be more effective with a Republican Congress?

I am a firm Sanders supporter, having donated a small amount to his campaign. One of my workmates is a firm Clinton supporter and we have had several spirited and civil discussions of the respective candidates' merits.

His principal reason for supporting Clinton is that he thinks she will be able to work more effectively with a Republican Congress. He makes a compelling case, so I am curious to see what folks here think of this issue.

Who would work better with a Republican Congress?
Does such a concern matter in deciding whom to support?
Should it matter?
Why or why not?

October 14, 2015

Does 'win the debate' mean anything ? If so, what? Does using a sports

metaphor help or hinder our understanding of last night's debate?

I would argue that 'winning a debate' means little in this context, but I'm open to hearing other people's opinions. Was anyone's mind changed by what he or she heard last night? And, if so, how would you quantify it so as to declare a 'winner'?

August 11, 2015

Is there a recent poll showing Sanders trailing Hillary by only 39-43? I thought

I saw a thread on it a few days ago, failed to bookmark it and now cannot find it.

Any assistance would be appreciated. Arguing with someone who claims Hillary has a 40-point lead.

June 17, 2015

Bernie Sanders can't get no respect! Chris Hedges dishes it out in his

latest op-ed for TruthDig:

The voices of those who matter will not be heard in these elections. The marginalized and poor in our internal colonies, the 2.3 million people in our prisons and their families, the Muslims we persecute here and in the Middle East, and the suffering of the working poor are airbrushed out of the discussion. In this Potemkin America there is only a middle class. Our liberties, including our right to privacy, along with the consent of the governed—all of which have been taken from us—are held up in this electioneering farce as sacred and inviolate. We are assured that we live in a functioning democracy. We are promised that our voice will count. And even Sanders will tell you no different. If he stepped forward and spoke the truth, especially about the Democratic Party, he would be banned from the debates, vilified and crushed by the Democratic establishment, stripped of his Senate committee chairmanships and tossed into the political wilderness to which Ralph Nader has been exiled. Sanders, unfortunately, lacks Nader’s moral fortitude. He will, when it is all done, push his followers into the vampire-like embrace of Hillary Clinton. He is a Pied Piper leading a line of children or rats—take your pick—into political oblivion.

Political theater works because many in America have been systematically indoctrinated and severed from reality. Our corporate masters have built a mass culture centered on the cult of the self, unchecked hedonism and spectacle. Neoliberal ideology infects every institution and belief system. Those who suffer deserve to suffer. Victims are responsible for their victimhood. We can all achieve wealth and prosperity with hard work. This mantra permits us to be cruel and heartless to the weak and the vulnerable, especially the poor as well as women and children, whom we discard as human refuse. Our warped neoliberal vision is defined as progress.

America celebrates itself as virtuous and good while it inflicts terrible human suffering at home and abroad on those it deems unworthy of life. The particular and self-centered definition of good that defines the primacy of American imperial and corporate power is presented as a universal good. There are Americans, especially those beset by falling incomes and a dismal future, who find in state power an expression of personal power. They see in the mythical virtue of the nation a personal virtue. Attack systems of power and this American “virtue” and they feel attacked and disempowered. And the state can count on those who cling to this myth to turn with fury against all of us who seek to exist in a reality-based universe. The state will stoke hatred among these “patriots” to incite violence against all who dissent. Standing up to the corporate state, refusing to play by its rules, will be difficult and dangerous.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/the_electoral_farce_20150616 (Emphasis added)

One may disagree with Hedges about Sanders' bona fides (I do), but few can dispute the passion with which he reminds us of all those whom bourgeois America conveniently forgets or ignores.

Full piece highly recommended. I'd love to see Sanders respond to this personally and he just might! That's the refreshing thing about Senator Sanders, in my opinion.
May 18, 2015

Chris Hedges lays it out. A very powerful essay:

The Pathology of the Rich White Family

The pathology of the rich white family is the most dangerous pathology in America. The rich white family is cursed with too much money and privilege. It is devoid of empathy, the result of lifetimes of entitlement. It has little sense of loyalty and lacks the capacity for self-sacrifice. Its definition of friendship is reduced to “What can you do for me?” It is possessed by an insatiable lust to increase its fortunes and power. It believes that wealth and privilege confer to it a superior intelligence and virtue. It is infused with an unchecked hedonism and narcissism. And because of all this, it interprets reality through a lens of self-adulation and greed that renders it delusional. The rich white family is a menace. The pathologies of the poor, when set against the pathologies of rich white people, are like a candle set beside the sun.

There are no shortages of acolytes and propagandists for rich white families. They dominate our airwaves. They blame poverty, societal breakdown, urban violence, drug use, domestic abuse and crime on the pathology of poor black families—not that they know any. They argue that poor black families disintegrate because of some inherent defect—here you can read between the lines that white people are better than black people—a defect that these poor families need to fix.

Peddle this simplistic and racist garbage and you will be given a column at The New York Times. It always pays to suck up to rich white families. If you are black and parrot this line, rich white people are overcome with joy. They go to extreme lengths to give you a platform. You can become president or a Supreme Court justice. You can get a television talk show or tenure at a university. You can get money for your foundation. You can publish self-help books. Your films will be funded. You might even be hired to run a company.

Rich white families, their sycophants opine, have tried to help. Rich white families have given poor people numerous resources and government programs to lift them out of poverty. They have provided generous charity. But blacks, they say, along with other poor people of color, are defeated by self-destructive attitudes and behavior. Government programs are therefore wasted on these irresponsible people. Poor families, the sycophants tell us, will not be redeemed until they redeem themselves. We want to help, rich white people say, but poor black people need to pull up their pants, stay in school, get an education, find a job, say no to drugs and respect authority. If they don’t, they deserve what they get. And what the average black family ends up with in economic terms is a nickel for every dollar held by the average white family.

Continues . . .


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