Friday, June 20, 2008

american people fucked again

I haven't got the energy to summarize it or go into detail about why this is such a fucking outrage, but Glenn Greenwald, ever the energetic young man, has an analysis of the current selling out of the American people by the lay-down Democrats in congress:

"So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.

That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we'll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it -- the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.

If that isn't hard enough to stomach, Digby has more on the FISA laydown along with the currently running McClatchy series on torture by the Bush administration.

If you're thinking "why doesn't she just shut up about this?" "Can't she write something about Betty and Bill, about the garden? Where did Lynette go?" If you're thinking that, well hell, I'm thinking it too. How are you all surviving this? I can hardly bear to wake up in the morning because each day brings a new travesty, a new injustice. I find myself screaming at the stupid bloviating fools on what passes for cable news. I read books that tell me what I know to be true, just for confirmation that I'm not really losing my mind, that I'm not imagining things.

Are you staying sane while this nation is being destroyed? If you are, tell me how to find some balance in all of this. I am lost.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stay sane because I look around the world and I see that, for all our problems, we are still, as a people, and as a culture, holding on to democratic values moreso than most. It's in our blood. It's in our system. No matter what the government does, we will always push back.

What I find ironic, Lynette, is that you and I are of the same mindset on so many things: I have a vast distrust of the government (any government!), I value democracy and freedom of expression above all else. But we seem to have different solutions: from what I've ascertained, you are fine with the government growing bigger, taxing more, imposing more; whereas I think government is the problem and must be smaller, more limited, less imposing.

That's where I try to reconcile our positions: we have a fundamental agreement that government sucks, and so I can't understand why you support giving them even more power. I'm curious on your thoughts.

June 20, 2008 11:18 AM  
Blogger BigAssBelle said...

What I see, anonymous, is that the lack of any kind of oversight or regulation of business created the gilded age where a miniscule portion of the population grew immensely wealthy and the vast majority of people lost ground.

The fact is that the depression was, in part, the result of the absolute rampant irresponsibility of an unregulated wall street, something akin to what we've seen with the subprime mortgage debacle.

The result was a nation in crisis. That crisis united people and thus Roosevelt was able to formulate and successfully pass ~ quickly ~ policy and laws that created immense changes in this country. Government began taking an active role in making life better for the majority of people.

Government action can be a force for justice and that's what happened with the new deal. The middle class grew enormously and the subsequent period ~ up to the early '70s ~ was one of great prosperity for most americans.

One single person in this country can't do what needs to be done to secure economic stability and justice for most. It's not possible.

I expect when you think of government you think of those faceless "bureaucrats" that were the favorite demon of reagan. The majority of federal employees are law enforcement, education and military. Bureaucrats? I don't know, but I do know this: there are government programs that do more for more people more efficiently than any private program in existence. Take a look at Medicare and its administrative costs. Then compare that to the private insurance industry which bankrupts American citizens every day.

You say no government, but you have no alternative. Oh wait, I know what you'll say: "free market." Bullshit. The unregulated free market has brought us the subprime mortgage disaster, skyrocketing fuel and food prices. It's not a free market with corporations are the ones getting the welfare and the handouts. It's just subsidized business. Fuck that. Our corporate tax rate is ~ or is close to ~ the lowest in the world. Tax the motherfuckers to death. Raise taxes on the richest Americans. Stop the fucking war and get back to the business of making this country what it once was.

June 20, 2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But see, that's what doesn't make sense to me: how can you see the mess government creates and yet then trust government to make it better? The government has fucked up pretty much everything they've had a hand in. Look at social security, one of Roosevelt's plans. He stated very specifically that it was supposed to be a savings account for people, not an insurance, and yet due to the government's mismanagement, it's original intent has been completely corrupted and now is on the verge of collapse. The government does not solve problems. It creates them.

June 20, 2008 11:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

get your facts straight, anonymous. due to REAGAN's mismanagement. he was the first to rob the social security trust fund to pay for the tax cuts for the rich. there were no problems with social security pre-reagan. he reduced the tax rate for the wealthiest from 70 to 28% in less than eight years. how to pay for that? "borrow" from social security.

it has been downhill since, with the middle class getting slammed ever since.

so tell me in your ideal society, how business is supposed to operate absent government? the "free market" is dependent upon a stable currency and the attempts to stabilize currency are a function of government. you going to contract that out to some private agency? that ought to work well.

how are you going to maintain police, fire, ambulance services. maintain roads, build infrastructure. private? never.

show me one country where an unbridled free market has worked. one. conservative government policies in this country are destroying the middle class which is the very foundation of democracy. it's been going on since 1980 and continues today. i have little doubt that it will continue through an obama administration, if that ultimately proves to be a reality. i don't actually see much hope at all for this nation to survive.

even now, as our dollar plunges and we farm out our jobs and import far more than we export, other countries are seizing upon the buying opportunities here and snatching up businesses right and left.

that sounds lovely, doesn't it? someone else take the reins, employ the american people. but that's not exactly what happens. with an american owned corporation, the profits stay in this country for the most part. with a foreign owned corporation, the profits depart.

this is precisely what we have done since the '70s in various 3d world countries around the world. we seized or created an economic crisis, offered "help" in the form of aid which always comes with strings attached, then sold off their most valuable assets to global corporations, privatized their government functions and sold those off, and essentially impoverished the citizenry.

frankly, you are a fucking idiot if you can't see this and i'm through talking to you about it. try me another day when this doesn't all seem so goddamned hopeless. meanwhile, take your free market bullshit elsewhere.

June 20, 2008 12:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

but before i go, i'll tell you this: i own a very successful small business in operation for 7 years. i'm incorporated. my tax rate as a corporation is far less than my personal tax rate. that benefits me, but as a civic minded concerned citizen, i think it's bullshit.

June 20, 2008 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think you're paying less than you should, there's nothing stopping you from writing an additional check to the US government.

June 20, 2008 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government is a necessarily evil. The only real considerations are who is the government to serve? What functions are to be delineated to the government? How will government be controlled so as not to become a dictatorship?

The problem is basic: in a complex modern society full of fallible human beings one cannot either have a laissez faire 'free market' economy NOR a totalitarian state. The best governments balance the profit motive against public needs. This is a tricky act since governments of elected representatives can be bought by the highest bidder.

That is what has happened in this country. Our government is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the military-corporate state and does the bidding of those powers.

The trick is to make government of, by and for the people again.

Unfortunately, things have now gone so far in the USA that I think this will not happen without bloodshed. When you have a political system which, ostensibly, allows people to vote for the candidate of their choice, but in reality, controls who gets to run for those offices, you no longer have a free country regardless of how you define it.

My post on this issue:

Now Anonymous, you can believe whatever fairy tales you want to about America but I will guarantee you this: within the next year you will see the truth. If I am wrong, feel free to come back here and mock me - I can take it.

But the coming collapse of the American economic and political systems and what will come in its wake, to quote Jefferson: "like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror."

June 20, 2008 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you clarify what you mean by "i the next year you will see the truth?"

The American people have always persevered, in part because they don't trust their government too much. Collapse will happen not if we rid ourselves of a stronger government, but rather if we allow government to become even stronger.

The federal government has progressively become stronger over the years, and it hasn't solved anything. If, as you say, the government is corrupt, why do you want to make it even stronger? The solution is not to strengthen the federal government, but to bring it back to the original role it was set up to play:

-right to levy taxes
-right to declare war
-right to regulate interstate and foreign commerce

June 20, 2008 2:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Once again, being obtuse anon? Why is it you can make your points but when others make their points you suddenly don't understand?

BadAmerican has been very clear on the intent and meaning of his beliefs. They are good sound beliefs that most of the folks that inhabit this blog believe in, in various degrees. If you can't figure it out perhaps your not as intellectual as you think you are.

Your fundamentally 180 degrees out from most everyone here, yet you continue to lay out your pov which most of us have refused to buy into. Your questions are ridiculously inane most times.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

Am I calling your sanity into question? You betcha! ;)

June 20, 2008 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dusty, I'm not intellectual, nor have I ever claimed to be. Nor am I here to change any minds, nor do I expect any particular outcome. Just here for thought-provoking discussion, maybe learning something new along the way, and hopefully showing that even when we have differences, we can all still be friends.

June 21, 2008 1:05 PM  
Blogger David said...

Every so often I put myself on news blackout. No NPR, no network news, fluffy blogs only. I have to have a break now and then or I feel overwhelmed and hopeless.

Take a little time for the things and people that make you happy. The other stuff will be there when you get back.

June 21, 2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As strains of "Why can't we be friends" wafts through my head I really have to say anon..

Your a troll..pure and simple. You are anonymous and often deliberately obtuse. You can't even put a name on your comments.

You say it's in the interest of friendship, but it's hard to swallow on this side of the fence. The damage the right has done to America in the last eight years is unconscionable.

June 21, 2008 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you feel that way, Dusty. But all I can do I've is continue to be respectful and honest in my conversations. At the end of the day, as I've pointed out, we have a lot more in common than we have different: a general distrust of the government, a desire for freedom for all people, and a hope that the the next generation will get it better than ours. Discussion is never a bad thing. It's always good for people on both sides to hear other points of view and try to understand them.

As for being anonymous, well, aren't you also anonymous? I don't know who you are other than "dusty" which means nothing.

June 21, 2008 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you feel that way, Dusty. But all I can do I've is continue to be respectful and honest in my conversations. At the end of the day, as I've pointed out, we have a lot more in common than we have different: a general distrust of the government, a desire for freedom for all people, and a hope that the the next generation will get it better than ours. Discussion is never a bad thing. It's always good for people on both sides to hear other points of view and try to understand them.

As for being anonymous, well, aren't you also anonymous? I don't know who you are other than "dusty" which means nothing.

June 21, 2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

No Dude..I am NOT anonymous. I have a link which goes to a profile and numerous blogs. I am putting myself and information about myself out there. My views are on those blogs..and they aren't just musings, they are how I feel and what makes me feel that way.

You give us nothing..not even a name. I find that pathetic and a perfect example of a troll.

If I had anything better to do today I wouldn't even be engaging you now.

June 21, 2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...


I'm not deluding myself or living in a fantasy land, I'm just not letting the news overwhelm. I've already decided that the current admin has done far more than we will ever know, and the only solution will be to vote them out.

In every repressive state, there are those with conscience who work for justice. The underground railroad smuggled slaves to safety. Some Germans under Hitler sheltered Jews from the Nazis.

The list goes on and on.

Be the best force for good you can be in a dark time, and work for change.

June 21, 2008 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dusty,

Sorry, I didn't realize you had a link. Honestly, I am here to positively engage. I've done something to turn you off and I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what it is. And I'm sorry I haven't yet achieved that. That's not an obtuse statement. I'm trying. I hope you won't give up on me. Maybe some day we'll sit across from each other over coffee, beer, a joint (pick your poison) and appreciate our shared humanity. I hope so.


June 22, 2008 12:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your views on capitalism and NAFTA did it for me Jason.

Thanks for putting a name with your pov.

June 22, 2008 1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine disliking you, calling you names or discounting you as a person simply because of your beliefs about a topic. I have many friends who I disagree with on particular issues- some that are more conservative than me, some that are less. Everyone shouldn't think alike, act alike, believe the same. The day that happens is the day freedom loses. (And what a boring, zombie world that would be!). I am happy we live in a country, a world, where different points of view exist, and where we can freely discuss and express them. None of us know if we are right or wrong- if there is such a thing- only that we come up with conclusions based on our own individual experiences- conclusions that can (and probably will) shift and evolve over time as our individual experiences grow. Static happens when you cut out all voices except those you agree with all the time- certainly your choice- but I'm not sure I'd be whole if I did so. I hope I never stop trying to understand other points of view, regardless of whether I ultimately adopt them for my own or not. So you can hate me for the views I hold that you disagree with (but that does mean you'll love me for the ones that are the same as yours?) but I've also come to concluded that that's one of the great problems with our world: that we've stopped listening to each other. That's one of the things I think the Bush administration did so poorly, and something I hope will improve under whoever is next elected.

June 22, 2008 12:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We are losing our freedoms daily. I have family that are neocons..and I tolerate them. Perhaps its a bigger issue for me than you.

You sit in your home, and you blog and you are happy with your life and you love the capitalist system.

I sit in my home and I rail against the powers that have brought us to the edge here in America.

Its not something that I just discuss politely, I am an activist, I don't just sit on my ass and blog about whats so fucked up in the US and the World in general.

The greatest problem is our representatives in office no longer listen to us..they only listen to the folks with all the money..aka lobbyists for the Corporatocracy.

You can look at the world however you like. I find it a huge mess that is dangling on the edge of a huge cliff and part of the problems are the capitalists and their minions who buy into the bs.

Have a good day. I am outta here for now.

June 22, 2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had all better get that ball rolling with third party representation or we are doomed. Might as well burn the paper the constitution is written on because it is worthless if purposely ignored.

July 12, 2008 1:21 PM  

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