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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

Did Bill Cosby Really Say This....

Looking back at old threads of why MSNBC never interviews someone like Noam Chomsky I found this

RufusTFirefly (8,812 posts)
5. MSNBC is to the left what a strip show is to actual sex

I'm with Bill Cosby, who never understood the attraction of strip shows: "I mean, when you're hungry," Cos once remarked. "You don't go watch a guy cooking a steak."

Now we know what Cosby meant.



It's not as if the report said HE peed on the bed!!

Would there be uber-rich without freebies from government?

In a competitive economy hard work, education, smarts, etc certainly give one a competitive edge. But could we have any uber-rich if not for freebies from government?

Those freebies include intellectual property monopolies like patents, copyrights, and trademarks (Trump claims his "brand" is worth over 3 billion.) And there's free limited liability protections for corporate owners where the government can protect the private wealth of corporate owners while shafting legitimate creditors in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I've asked right wingers in other forums 20+ times why this protection should not be purchased as insurance from the private sector... and never got a reply.

Then there's the matter of infrastructure. What would Steve Job's concept for the iPhone be worth in an impoverished 3ed or 4th world nation without the prerequisite prior inventions or necessary infrastructure to exploit that idea?

What infrastructure? How about a nation secure from invasion provided by our military? How about law enforcement provided by various federal, state, and local agencies? What about our highways, harbors, and airports? How about a literate and educated workforce? What about a judicial system to oversee such laws? What about stable monetary and banking systems from which to get credit? What about a regulated stock market that permits corporations to raise capital? What about a system to insure public health... from clean water to vaccination programs to prevent pandemics? What of publicly financed basic research that saves companies money in R&D? What of a system that redistributes wealth so poor states or towns aren't left behind or a nation that permits workers enough income to provide demand for products?

When run well, the public and private sectors bootstrap each other to higher levels of prosperity. Without such infrastructures, that killer idea would be worth nothing. Again, great wealth might not even be possible.

Some believe our system protects the minority... but which minority?

The defenders and apologists for our federal system claim it protects the minority? But which minority?

Any one person has numerous attributes therefore there are no end of "minority groups" in the nation... but what US federalism does is grant ONE arbitrary minority, those who choose to live in small population states, special powers to block an arbitrary "majority", those who choose to live in larger states. In the process it gives some citizens bigger votes than others leading to antidemocratic results such as the Bush and Trump Juntas and a Senate where a mere 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats.

The problem with this arrangement SHOULD be obvious.. that the chosen "minority" power is not limited to just protecting any legitimate interests those in small state have... but their power extends to ALL issues. The currents of antidemocratic government are insidious. Clarence Thomas failed to be approved by Senators representing the majority of the population. In 2000 he becomes a key vote in Bush v Gore... giving Bush the presidency even after he was rejected by the People. Again in 2016 US history was changed AGAINST the will of the People. This is a mockery of the concept of self government.

But if anyone believes giving minority groups extra power is the morally legitimate way to protect their interests... then why stop at those who chose to live in small states? Why not give these extra power to groups who HISTORICALLY have been oppressed... such as blacks and women? Why not Gays, the poor, the disabled?

I'm a progressive who can forever vote my conscience and my views are never represented in Congress. Progressives left of the Dem party may make up 15% of the electorate yet because they're spread out through the US population... only a tiny fraction may get any representation... while another group that makes up 16% of the population in the 25 smallest states get 50% of the seats in the Senate.

The simple fact is there are ways to protect legitimate minority rights WITHOUT going antidemocratic... the Bill Of Rights proves its possible. Another way is to insure minority groups always chair select congressional committees so they can shape legislation on their issues... but otherwise they are not given extra power to shape ALL issues. Their power then is no greater than anyone else.

It's the antidemocratic nature of this system that gives the right an edge and puts Dems at a disadvantage... and all the local organizing in the world won't undo that advantage.

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.

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