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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

The GOP's Amusing Fixation On Health Care "Choice"

The obvious problem with the GOP's claim about wanting more "choice" in health care is

1: Having numerous options to be under insured or to have access to plans with outrageous deductibles is NOT a choice worth having


2: CHOICE IS EXPENSIVE. It's expensive to administer all those health care plans each with its own pool of cash, different coverage and exclusion rules, different networks, and billing procedures.

Sometimes it's cheaper just to have one plan that covers everything for everyone.

But then the GOP would rather see ALL that money pissed away on needless administration costs, high CEO pay, advertising, profits to shareholders, etc than to see that same money be used to provide real care to the American People.

Of course "choice" is also the only way the GOP can sell a disastrous and inefficient health care model as desirable!

Have Dems In ANY State Tried To Enact Instant Runoff Voting?

I get tired of hearing some here bash Greens for election defeats as if the Dems have some RIGHT to someone else's vote. A vote is a citizen's consent to govern and they SHOULD have the right to vote their conscience. Yet we're in a position that many Dems HATE Greens when they should be natural allies.

Lost on them is that it's the defects in our f*cking state and federal electoral systems that creates these dysfunctional dynamics.

On the federal level it's the EC... a mindless, antidemocratic, vote weighting scheme that gives the votes of SOME citizens bigger votes than others depending on choice of state resident. NO FREE PERSON should have to put up with election LOSERS "winning" an election.

On the state level there's winner take all elections where the votes of all other parties are handed to the winner for the EC.

But there's also the lack of IRV in these elections. IRV allows everyone to vote their conscience... and if their candidate doesn't win... they can choose a second choice to whom their vote would go to. Chances are most of Nader's 2000 voters in FL would have gone to Gore. Problem solved... well, one problem.

Dems have now had 16 YEARS to work on bringing IRV to their states. Have ANY actually worked on this? I have no idea. Maybe someone here does.


There are no end of minor rules we could come up with... but if we look at the broad themes...

RULE #1: If he sounds thoughtful and reasonable as he often does in some interviews.... HE'S LYING.

RULE #2: When he claims he's for the little guy, you can be sure he's setting them up to be ripped off.

any others?

How Did We The People Lose Control Over Corporations?

Corporations don't exist in nature. They have no natural rights. The Framers never trusted corporations and they are not mentioned the Constitution. They are creations of the state and deserve no rights other than what we give them. The Constitution states specific reasons for the state to give out freebies such as patents and copyrights... Congress had the power

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

Note... the protection exists ONLY for these reasons and it would seem Congress could reign in any patents designed to abuse the system... or violated the stated intent.

Yet the corporate form and especially since it's given free limited liability protection for corporate owners which protects their private wealth while often shafting creditors should ALSO exist only to serve stated reasons as do those patents and copyrights. But it doesn't. The nature of the corporate has largely been shaped by court decisions.

So how did the corporate form get out of control to be come our Frankenstein... trying to mold the public and the state to serve ITS needs instead of the other way around?

And how can we ever regain control of our Frankenstein when the Dems, the liberal party in our nation, doesn't even discuss it?

If the Senate were based on population instead of states....

If we look at every Senator as representing half their state's population... and splitting the population in the case of those states that split their vote... Democratic Senators represent about 33 million more Americans than the GOP. Toss in Bernie who votes with the Dems...

35 Years: Why Havent Dems Gone For The Jugular?

ACA isn't prefect... in fact I have real problems when the government fines American for not buying a product from a private company. There should have been a public option. ACA is corporate welfare.

And the ACA perpetuates much the inefficiency and waste in the health care system because it leaves intact all the parasitic health insurance companies that divert money into corporate overhead...

But ACA set the precedent that the US could finally tackle health care... even if it wasn't prefect. After all, we do have an antidemocratic system which made it easy for small minorities could block even the most desirable reforms.

The GOP wants to destroy that precedent. I don't believe they have any intention of keeping the parts of ACA people like. The GOP talks about choice... but choice IS EXPENSIVE. It's expensive to administer and bill all these different plans requiring more administration on the part of providers. Money is diverted to such nonsense instead of care.

So what has the GOP proposed so far... limiting the rights of people hurt in medical procedures, HSAs which are another subsidy to those with money and do nothing to those without, selling insurance across state lines which means all the companies will flock to the state that offers the fewest patient protections. It's all the same bullshit the GOP has offered since the GOP dropped support for national health care in 94. Before that 80% of GOP Senators were cosponsors to plan with an individual mandate. Yes that's true!

Canada spends about 50% of what the US does in constant dollars and covers everyone. We spend 100% of what Canada does to leave 20-30 million un- and under insured. What's wrong with this picture?

If we just look at the facts, we'd have to conclude the GOP are idiots. But what if they're "smart" for evil purposes? When the GOP gave up fiscal responsibility and adopted the destructive Starve The Beast strategy back in the 80's they proved they didn't care how much they stole from future generations or how much money was pissed away on interest... now about 430 billion a year. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm Some goes to Social Security but just for comparison... NASA gets only about 20 billion a year. What does the GOP care... AS LONG AS THAT MONEY ISN'T SPENT TO BENEFIT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

35 years have passed. Deficits and increasing debt pose an existential threat to Dem programs... just as the GOP intended. I will never understand why the Dems haven't gone for the jugular to educate the People and expose these traitors who are stealing trillions from future generations, undermining the fiscal health of the US and our ability to deal with emergencies.

Why isn't Civic Equality In The Vote A CIVIL RIGHT?

In the Jim Crow south the black vote was suppressed through various vote weighting schemes that diminished the weight of the black vote while magnifying the votes of whites. These laws was declared illegal in voting rights cases like Reynolds v Sims which makes the MORAL argument for equality in the vote...

It could hardly be gainsaid that a constitutional claim had been asserted by an allegation that certain otherwise qualified voters had been entirely prohibited from voting for members of their state legislature. And, if a State should provide that the votes of citizens in one part of the State should be given two times, or five times, or 10 times the weight of votes of citizens in another part of the State, it could hardly be contended that the right to vote of those residing in the disfavored areas had not been effectively diluted.


This civic equality in the vote seems so BASIC to self government that I doubt many would disagree in principle. After all, whenever some votes weigh more than others... there's the possibility of MINORITY RULE... and that's why the Bush and Trump Juntas were IMPOSED on the nation that rejected them. It's also why Dem Senators represent 33 million more people than the GOP but the GOP also controls the Senate. Together they will work to weaken needed regulations and dismantle programs they've always loathed... brought to you by the power given to them by antidemocratic government.

While most might agree there should be civil equality in the vote in principle, in practice this civil right seems to have virtually NO support even with most liberal Dems even from those who CLAIM to be for other civil rights.

I've long looked for an explanation...


We Need A Class Consciousness Revival

During the Cold War, and especially the McCarthy era even organized labor in the US worked to get rid of any Marxist influence in organized labor. And yet without a strong sense of what Marx called class consciousness... people tend to see themselves in non-economic terms... gun owners, gay, christian, anti-abortion, white, black, hispanic, immigrant rights, whatever.

If class consciousness is promoted as a frame to interpret the world... even many right wingers would see through the Trickle Down bullshit and the divide & conquer tactics of the Right.

I think the Dems have been dragged too far into the realm of identity politics by some of the groups in the Dem coalition. Yes, there will always be a need to recognize some legitimate issues of identity repression, but I believe economics is a more universal issue to unite the masses... and Dems have forgotten this lesson.

Why Do So Few Vote In US?

Compared to other advanced industrial democracies US voting rates are abysmal. In presidential elections about 50-55% of the voting age population (VAP) votes... and in off-year elections it's about 35%. Which means the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 represented the "consent" of about 18% of the VAP. Pretty pathetic.

There's a vast voter reserve out there that can be appealed to. For example when Reagan brought into the GOP coalition right wing Christians which my understanding was tended not to vote.

So why don't people vote? Obviously there's felon disenfranchisement and the last number I've hears is this may be 5-6 million people. This is criminal in itself. But what about all those others? Is it they're not moved by the issues the candidates run on? Or is it that our very system discourages voting? After all... what's the point of voting if a candidate rejected by the People can become president? What's the point of voting if an antidemocratic Senate can block anything coming out of the House? What's the point of voting when winner-take-all elections disenfranchise up to 49.9% of voters? What's the point of voting when one can't vote their conscience and be sure of representation for what one believes? What's the point of voting when the system seems reformproof?

Our very system makes a mockery of the idea of self-government. On some level I suspect people know that but since we're also brought up to believe we have some grand political system... they can't connect the dots to see that it's really antidemocratic and dysfunctional. In such a case apathy is a pretty reasonable response.


Why did we end up with an antidemocratic abomination like the EC which could override the presidential vote of the People?
Here's a segment of the debate on choosing a president from the "Constitutional Convention"... July 19th 1787

Madison argues for a popular vote, but...

The people at large was in his opinion the fittest in itself. It would be as likely as any that could be devised to produce an Executive Magistrate of distinguished Character. The people generally could only know & vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections.

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