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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

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.

Trump is intellectually incapable of reflecting on his own pathological narcissism.

One might think that no matter how emotionally immature and intellectually dishonest someone was... that on becoming president... with all the awesome power associated with that position... they MIGHT have some self-doubt that they're not god's gift to mankind... and they are not infallible.

But not Trump. We see his pathological immaturity unfiltered in his Tweets.

Trump is intellectually incapable of reflecting on his own narcissism and delusions of grandeur and infallibility. On some level he believes he's owed this position because, he alone, has all the answers. He has no need for self-doubt if he believes everyone else is wrong.

Dems and the public must NEVER relent on pushing the mental health issue. We may have new president who's not just stupid, not just a pathological narcissist, but a true sociopath.

are the archived threads still available?

Digging back into the past DU once had all its archived threads available. And now with 74 million+ posts, that's quite an archive...

So are all these old posts still available? For instance this index page http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/archives.php?date=2005x2x11 has link to posts of that era... but I only get an error that the forum is off line.

What happened to the DU wiki?

It was started early Dec 2004... is it still around? I can't find it.

As I remember it was to be a political wiki, a political encyclopedia of sorts. It wasn't fully connected to the main site when it started. We needed separate logins.

CONTEST: The Anti-Trump Bumper sticker contest

Of course this isn't a real contest. But I do have a hope that if some killer idea is conjured up, DU might consider selling bumper stickers as a fund raiser.

In another thread http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028387633 I was looking for some snappy nickname we could bestow on the new Child King* that captured both Trump's pompous immaturity and the fact he was trounced in the election... something that would make a great bumper sticker, would get under Trump's skin and just bring out more of his uncontrollable tantrums.

I can't think of any nickname or slogan that accomplishes both. Can you?

(*Can anyone see a satirical children's book about Donald The Child King?)

Dems Need To FINALLY Go For The Jugular...

I'm sick and tired of Dems pulling their punches. It's been 35 years since the GOP implemented their Starve The Beast strategy... to create massive deficits and debt and then use that debt as a pretense to weaken of dismantle New Deal or Great Society programs the far right has always loathed. Yet despite being beat up as tax and spenders... the Dems never made a concerted effort to call the GOP motives into question... even if Starve The Beast poses an existential threat to Dem legacy programs.

And just WHY did the GOP go from 80% of GOP senators co-sponsoring health care reform bills with individual mandates back in 1993... to do a 180 and since then only propose heath savings accounts, tort reforms, and more interstate "competition"? Why was the GOP so adamant against the ACA even if it essentially was the GOP approach? Why aren't the Dems saying the GOP would rather let people die than give Obama credit? Or that they are so concerned about their "brand" they'd rather let people die than let government work for the American People?

And WHY didn't Hillary try to educate the people on how justices like Scalia were undermining the Constitution for political purposes? The Right loved this clown because he was undermining the key protection of individual rights... the Ninth Amendment. Once Scalia negated the Ninth, the right could turn our system into one where government automatically had the power to limit rights the social conservatives disapproved of... while saying people then had to create those rights legislatively. THAT'S NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION! SO why FT have Dems never said this over and over and over the past 35 years?

Dems need to put some teeth into their arguments, take their gloves off, and go for the jugular.

The Insanity Of Capital Gains Tax Breaks...

Those making their money off capital gains live the life of Riley. All this income is exempt from payroll taxes which support the OASI and DI safety net... and if they are in the top income tax bracket, the tax rate is about half that of their "earned" income. As a tax expenditure, the CBO calculates that 90% of the tax breaks (I assume the income tax, not OASI DI) go to the top 10% and a full 70% go to the top 1%... which means other people pay more... or we steal from future taxpayers, to make up the difference.
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