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Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Spiritual home: the rocky Maine coast
Member since: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 08:06 PM
Number of posts: 1,629

About Me

Greetings... what can I say? I'm an old time hippie and anti-war activist from the 60's. I was radicalized then and have always remained political. One's politics can have different aspects. Economically I'm an FDR liberal. Socially I believe in the Ninth Amendment that government has no legitimate power to limit some rights such as responsible drug use, the right to choose, or one's sexual behavior. Politically I'm to the left of the Democratic Party. Why? Over the years I realized the focus of activists should not be stamping out brush fires and putting band-aids on problems. The effort must always be to keep in mind the root of most of our problems such as wealth inequality, growing corporate power, voter apathy, climate change, etc... is an electoral system that is incapable of measuring the popular will and a political system that is incapable of implementing it. Sadly, the Democratic Party seems to need a push to find a greater appreciation for... and to work towards, implementing common sense democratic reforms to both those electoral and political systems.

Journal Archives

Is The GOP Congress Sane Enough To Pass H.R. 6535: Nuclear Sanity Act? Probably Not.

To require the President to obtain written approval from the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State prior to the use of nuclear weapons by the United States, and for other purposes.

Full text: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr6535/text

Sadly, I suspect the GOP congress isn't sane enough to realize the need to pass this bill. They'll believe it will undermine Trump and therefore their chances to enact their rabid right agenda.

If Democracy Is The Basis For Morally Legitimate Government...

If democracy is the basis for morally legitimate government... then where should a citizen's loyalties be? With that principle or a political party that may have strayed from that principle?

Why Haven't Dems Educated The Public On The Danger Of Another Scalia?

I hate it when there's a chance to educate the public during an election, and big issues are never discussed. Take Scalia... the issue here isn't just the right to choose or same sex marriage rights... but Scalia's bastardization of the Constitution that is the basis of his positions. So why do right wingers love Scalia?

Bork, who was rejected and Scalia were gifts from Reagan to social conservatives in that they intended to negate the Ninth Amendment fearing it would protect rights social conservatives didn't want the People to have. Instead of protecting the Constitution as they were sworn to do, the negation of the Ninth radically transformed the Constitution from protecting pre-existing rights minus those surrendered to create government powers, to an assumption of government powers over rights... unless the People created created new rights. To quote libertarian Sheldon Richman writing about Scalia

"His point is painfully clear: the government can do anything unless the Constitution expressly forbids it. No surprise here; Scalia has long made his views known. They are horrifying nonetheless. His views are based on an incorrect, indeed, a pernicious, notion of what the U.S. Constitution was and is supposed to be. In fact, he stands the Constitution on its head. Instead of a document that protects individual liberty by reining in government power, Scalia would make it one that protects government power by reining in individual liberty."

Scalia also bastardized the Second from an amendment states asked for to protect their state militias from Congress's new Art 1, sec 8 powers... into an individual right unconnected to militia service. Any right for a responsible citizen to own a firearm could be found in the Ninth... but in Scalia's world, the Ninth is meaningless.

Then there's Scalia's radical agenda for corporate personhood... where creations of government were being given rights beyond what was necessary to carry on business... thus turning our creations into Frankensteins that could use their wealth and power to mold government to its needs.

So why wasn't Hillary out there trying to educate the voters on this issue... building the foundation for rejecting future Scalias? It might also change the views of some right wingers on Scalia.

16 years, 74 million posts... how can DU channel that energy?

16 years, 74 million forum posts. Lots of churn.

What can DU accomplish if it channeled this energy? It tried Demopedia back in 05. Have there been any projects since?

I LOVE eMail Scams

I'm not talking about the phishing emails trying to get your Paypal password, but those attempts like the one below. I've been collecting them for nearly 20 years. It's so nice of the FBI to personally verify that I had won $1 in a contest I'd never entered. So if the FBI says I just need to pay $299, it all must be on the up and up!

Anti-Terrorist and International Fraud Division
601 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20535


We are officially informing you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help of the our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $1,000,000.00 US Dollars from the U.K. Mega Millions Lottery® draw held on Friday through an online balloting system. During our investigation it was discovered that tickets are assigned to email marketing lists donated from marketing companies here in the United States and around the world on behalf of all email account holders that are currently subscribed to newsletters and advertisements. Therefore your email address won you the Lottery from the online balloting system. The issue was brought before the board and we authorized this winning to be authentic and to be transferred to you electronically. Typically, it will take up to 20 business days for an international transfer to be processed in the United States, so we ordered the lottery board to have funds remitted directly to you from a bank registered to the lottery organization so as to enable you receive your lottery winnings within 24 hours by whatever means you choose. They complied with our instructions and the amount of $1,000,000.00 US Dollars was deposited with National State Bank®/ Zenith.

We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to receive the winning prize immediately as we have verified the entire transaction to be Legitimate, Safe and 100% risk free. Due to the fact that the funds were transferred to the United States from an international location, it is 100% Tax-Free, which means the funds are bonded and nothing can be deducted from it before you make your transfer. According to our records and because of the tax-free-no-deduction policy, you are required to settle the following bills for authorization directly to your lottery claims agent in charge of this transaction before you can transfer the funds to yourself: Cost of EFT Transfer & Conversion Fee.

The total amount is $299.99 (Two Hundred, Ninety Nine United States Dollars and Ninety Nine cents). We have tried our possible best to have the lottery organization deduct the $299.99 from your lottery winning but the funds have already been deposited at the bank and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you (the winner), again due to the Tax-Free-No-Deduction policy. Therefore you have to pay the required fees to your lottery claims agent in charge of this transaction. You will be granted instant access to your account with National State Bank®/ Zenith. where your $1,000,000 was deposited and you can request a check, credit/debit card or make a transfer out to your nominated bank account.

In order to claim your $1,000,000.00, here are your Winning Numbers: 12-29-46-47-51-(24). Go to the UK Mega Millions Lottery website: http://www.megamillions.com/index/log/index.html to check your numbers then fill in and submit the "Claims Processing Form" As soon as your form is received a claims agent will be in contact with you, For your comfort you can click on Winners Gallery just to be clear and verify from other lottery winners.

This letter and the seal above will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $299.99 to the UK Mega Millions Lottery® by means they provide you with. Once again this lottery has been “VERIFIED” and is under our 24hr surveillance every step of the way.

To avoid multiple claims of your lottery winnings, please keep your Winning Numbers safe and away from 2nd or 3rd parties.

****** A copy of your winning ticket is below this e-mail as proof of authenticity ******

Mark W. Marek
Assistant Director in Charge
Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Democratic Party ALWAYS Had Internal Contradictions

The thread of Thomas Frank's critique of the Democratic Party reveals a shocking fact... many can't think rationally about the fact that the Democratic Party can contain internal contradictions.

In a multiparty system there can be more ideological purity. In the US, with two broad parties, the parties can contain numerous internal contradictions because most elected to Congress represent regional concerns, and presidential candidates are often triangulating, stealing issues from the other side, or pushing new issues, to attract new voters. Add to this that anyone running for office can have different position one different issues. Chuck Schumer may be a social liberal but a friend to Wall St. Bill Clinton pushed NAFTA when most of his party opposed it in the House. But they're ALL Dems. 50 years ago the Democratic coalition included the racist South... then Nixon made an appeal to them and they bolted for the GOP.

Some want to believe their vision of the Democratic Party is the only true vision but the Party is always in flux. Where was the party before FDR? Coalition members also reverse positions. Most unions opposed legalization of illegal immigrants until they realized they needed their votes. Many party loyalists change their positions to suit their candidate and soon they believe that was always the only Democratic position. For example many Dems opposed Bush's irresponsible tax cuts so we could pay down debt, then embraced them when Obama made most of them permanent. Fiscal responsibility was high on Bill Clinton's agenda so Dems could break out of the Starve The Beast trap. Dems have largely abandoned it.

The bottom line is Thomas Frank is correct IF he says many in the party have betrayed the FDR roots. But obviously there are still many FDR Dems out there. But we can't deny many high up in the party have gone corporate.

The party will always have contradictions. Deal with it.

How are voters ever to learn to be good citizens in an antidemocratic system?

There are the obvious problems with antidemocratic government... where representatives of a minority of americans can actually govern. This is the case in the Senate where a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats... and the Senate no only has a veto over the House but special powers over nominations and treaties. And there are certainly issues of the moral legitimacy of a president when the EC overturns an election an installs a president someone REJECTED by the People. US history can change WITHOUT the consent of the governed.

How, in such a system, can the voters ever own the true consequences of the their vote or learn to be better citizens when the decision making is made by a minority of US citizens or the decision is stripped from them by a mindless, antidemocratic vote rigging scheme?

Key to a functioning democracy is citizen responsibility and our system strips many citizens of this responsibility by denying us true choice in two-party, winner take all elections, and when representation is antidemocratic.

The question is when with Democrats start valuing democracy?

Dear Hillary... Get Your Ass Out There and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

If an actual vote is a citizens consent to govern, then the People gave that consent to YOU Hillary. The PEOPLE rejected Trump, and his emotional immaturity, his intellectual dishonesty, his pathological narcissism, and his insane far right agenda by close to 3 million votes.

I don't don't know what your plans are but you better not be licking your wounds, getting ready to retire from public life. If you thought you had the energy to be president for 4 or 8 years then you have the energy to fight what may be the most important battle of your life: saving America and the Democratic legacy from a sociopathic president and his band of far right henchmen. This is no time to retire to Long Island. It's no time to let Bernie, Liz Warren, etc to organize the resistance movements alone. You better be prepared to get your ass out there and leverage that 3 million vote leverage and do it NOW.

Under "Stand Your Ground" Trayvon Had The Right To Kill Zimmerman

Here are the instructions to the Zimmerman jury from http://media.cmgdigital.com/shared/news/documents/2013/07/12/jury_instructions_1.pdf I've changed a few words so this applies to Trayvon Martin...

In deciding whether Trayvon Martin was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing Trayvon Martin need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, Trayvon Martin must have actually believed that the danger was real.
If Trayvon Martin was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was
necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent
the commission of a forcible felony

The "logic" of Stand Your Ground can apply to BOTH Z and TM... but only the survivor can use it as a defense against murder or manslaughter in court.

And here's why Trayvon was justified in punching Zimmerman... and I think it's something the jury missed. In a police interview Z admits he never identified himself to Martin.. and he reached in his pocket claiming he was going for his "phone". Start video below at 38 minutes. Trayvon WAS not engaged in a crime. He DID have the right to be at the location. He DID have the right to ask his stalker WTF was he doing. And when Zimmerman reached for his "phone" (sic) Trayvon had every reason to believe his life was in danger.

Again... the jury instructions in reverse... "The danger facing Trayvon Martin need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. "

It's Time To Resurrect Class Warfare!

Since our federal system was built on the premise of class warfare (Madison wanted the Senate to protect the interests of the minority of the opulent) and it gives elites a veto over the People at every turn... it should come as no surprise that we have immense wealth inequality and runaway corporate power. Government came down on the side of capital long before it gave a helping hand to labor in the 30s.

But something went wrong and that's when the far right organized in the mid-70's. Most high up in the Democratic Party, beaten down for the past 35 years by the rabid right, are a timid lot. Even if some issues would work to further a Democratic agenda... higher taxes, and raising class consciousness needed for solidarity... Dems didn't fight back against the "tax & spend" label or accusations Dems were encouraging class envy and class warfare. Of course it was the GOP who was guilty of borrow and spend... and fighting classic class warfare on behalf of the uber rich... while the Dems unilaterally disarmed... worse... half the party became corporate Dems.

Sander's is correct that the Democrats need more of an economic appeal... that economic issues cut across many racial, ethnic and religious lines. But there's another benefit.

I'd argue that no one is really propagandized. People have to be open to propaganda. We're proof of that idea when we write off, and see through, what Orwellian Right says. This is a battle for core assumptions. Once someone accepts a premise... such as the markets are always efficient, or we need to give the "job creators"more goodies so they'll bestow jobs on the little people... then it creates memes that are impervious to opposing arguments. The believers have been ideologically inoculated against counter arguments. (It helps if the other side is demonized)

If we want to help inoculate GOP working class against the claims of the Orwellian Right propaganda industry... economics... class consciousness is the way. Dems must be ready to wage class warfare... not against the professional class, but the uber rich that control the GOP and to whom the GOP are whores for.
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