READER COMMENTS ON
"Winograd, Harman Race Heats Up Again"
(46 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2009 @ 10:20 pm PT...
Ya know, Ernie, I sincerely hope Harman gets booed out of office, gets beat so badly she won't even know what hit her, but after seeing the abysmal performance of all those self-styled progressives we have in office, I'm just not able to get too excited about progressive candidates.
Harebrained as it sounds, I think joining the tea parties and turning them is our very best hope to get the Constitution back. THEN maybe I could get excited about progressives again.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 12/29/2009 @ 11:02 pm PT...
I think joining the tea parties and turning them is our very best hope to get the Constitution back.
Good luck with that, Niners! If that doesn't work try this: see if you can get pigs to fly, and then elect them to Congress.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 12:02 am PT...
see if you can get pigs to fly, and then elect them to Congress
Been there. Done that. Ripped up the tee shirt.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 1:53 am PT...
With no place to go for refuge from corporatist entrenchment, populist opposition from the left and right will continue to have no choice but to work together in order to oppose it. No doubt the demonization for doing so from party loyalists on both sides who don’t want their control of the kleptocracy to be challenged will only get more fierce.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/30/2009 @ 9:41 am PT...
First, 99, I agree that the performance of most, but not all, of the Progressive Caucus has indeed been abysmal. On health care, they are still in a position to make good on their promise to block pseudo-reform that lacks a meaningful public option. Whether they possess the scroats to do so when the bill emerges from Conference remains to be seen.
But the plain and simple fact is that the Progressive Caucus does not have the numbers to accomplish anything in Congress except to perhaps help block pseudo-reform.
Races like this one provide the opportunity to begin changing those numbers.
As to the balance of your comments, I find it incredible that you could display both cynical defeatism and the fantasy of a hopeless romantic in a few short paragraphs.
While I am all for your effort to educate the hopelessly ignorant wing-nuts into the realization that the very people who have them so riled up --- the billionaire-funded, hard-right echo chamber --- are the source of their oppression, the plain and simple fact, demonstrated time and again by Noam Chomsky in Failed States is that, on issues that matter, the vast majority of Americans are Progressives, even though that vast majority do not recognize it, thanks to the extent to which the corporate media has succeeded in hiding the true nature of our society from them.
From George Orwell's 1984 when the protagonist Winston Smith was being interrogated by the burly inner-Party member O'Brien inside Oceania's Ministry of Love:
The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself. Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchal structure remains always the same.
All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitude that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present day society from being perceived.
Substitute the words "corporate security state" for "Party" and you have the 21st Century U.S.A.
We can throw up our collective hands and say, "Oh shit! It's all black." Or we can join in constructively working with positive groups like the PDA to change the dynamic; starting with the defeat of one Jane Harman.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 1:49 pm PT...
No, no, Ernie. I can completely hang with that droning old portrait of scholarly vanity on this point. It's my point too! The vast majority are progressive! Including a lot of them at the tea parties! I'm saying this stuff because I can see it, hear it from self-styled "conservatives" all the time. Truly, I can only surmise that you guys spend too much time going off reactions to the noise machine and not enough time actually talking with these people. I'm not making it up that a lot of them are far more willing to budge on this stuff than self-styled "liberals".
They seem less afraid of admitting ignorance in general, and specifically when you aren't coming at them in a mocking or angry partisan way. Too many of us only get the most superficial contact and call that "experience".
And, I'm sorry, but we've been pushing for more progressives to solve these problems for a looooong time, and they don't solve them. It really just boils down to the same dynamic as with third parties trying to get in... and even when they do get in, they get turned into pawns in most things anyway.
BERNIE SANDERS! He's a SOCIALIST and he voted for the Senate "healthcare" bill!!!!! I can't stand it. They are driven to grasp at straws, convince themselves it's "progress", when it ain't no such a thing, or it's progress for the corporate bottom line.
And how long have we been yelling about corporate personhood and lobbying reform and campaign finance reform... all the things that turn us back into a representative republic? How long does the world have to scream at us before we take its counsel?
It is all black! And joining constructively never amounts to anything but grasping at those straws, consoling ourselves with the delusion that our work makes us good people. Which isn't to say we're not good people, but is to say that we both let it create this consoling mirror and that bad guys know precisely how to work this delusory stuff to enrich themselves further.
This is all plain, and the refusal of progressives to see it is a big part of what has convinced so many to go where people are speaking to their anger and giving them ways to stand up and express it for the cameras.
There isn't any way around it. Either we do things like Jane Hamsher is doing or we get out and skewer these bastards with our pitchforks and singe them with our torches.
Look around. It's decades past time to get RESULTS.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 2:16 pm PT...
Jane Harman will win. You know it. I know it. You think online guerrilla marketing can unseat her? How to do? I'm all ears.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 3:31 pm PT...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 4:50 pm PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/30/2009 @ 5:17 pm PT...
I, like you 99, was disappointed when Bernie Sanders caved on the health care bill.
But I think it important to consider the reasons Sanders gave for his doing so.
In exchange for his vote on the diluted Senate health care bill, Sanders asked for and received just what the doctor ordered — $10 billion to increase the number of community health care centers nationwide, including at least two more for Vermont. It means health care for 25 million Americans nationwide, if the bill passes.
Frankly, when measured against more than $800 billion in federal subsidies that will be forked over to the Health Insurance Mafia (cartel), that $10 billion is but a pittance --- not worth the power that will be delivered to the cartel via mandatory "coverage," especially coming from a single-payer advocate like Sanders.
On this particular piece of legislation Sanders has fallen into the same "lesser-evil" trap that most Americans fall for every election when they are asked to choose between the corrupt crazies (the Republican religious right) and the corrupt hustlers (corporate Dems).
And thanks for bringing your crystal ball to the site, Adam Fulford. Nice to know that, in your view, it is pointless for Progressives to try to educate our fellow citizens, to get out and go door to door in, for example, the CA 36th District; to expose a corrupt corporate schemer like Harman with an eye towards unseating her.
No, I guess we should throw up our hands; surrender to corporate America. Indeed, why don't we just stop holding elections and turn the keys to the National Treasury over to Wall Street?
Oops! Looks like the last two administrations already turned over the keys to Wall Street. Maybe if we succeed in unseating these clowns we'll only find an empty vault.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 5:30 pm PT...
ERNIE! Hey! I am fully aware of what Bernie got for his vote... and why he caved. First, it'll be a miracle if that gets through the reconciliation and second, it'll be a miracle if the money ever gets used for that if it does. We know this stuff. He grasped at the straw.
we should throw up our hands; surrender to corporate America
Teaming up with Grover Norquist to smack them in the teeth with a two by four is not surrender, and neither would be joining the tea baggers and screaming about the REAL criminality.
Adam has a great point. People like Harman never lose when we are all positive they can't possibly have won. And even the droner seems to have his finger on a major part of why this is so. A huge percentage of eligible voters don't give a damn anymore. And why should they? Our government is broken. It doesn't do any good to work within the system anymore. That's plain as day to most people.
Jane for President.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/30/2009 @ 5:43 pm PT...
99. The huge percentage of eligible voters you claim don't give a damn actually have become apathetic because they cast their vote for candidates who "promise change" but deliver the goods to corporate America, so they think, why bother?
To effectuate meaningful change, one has to overcome both their apathy and cynics like Adam.
People like Harman can and will lose when the citizens of this nation wake up to the fact that those in power represent only the substantial people.
I could scarcely believe you would suggest teaming up with Grover Norquist", 99. Has the cheese slid off your cracker?
You do realize that Norquist has been one of the key movers behind the Bush agenda --- that Norquist once famously quipped that the goal of his tax cutting movement was not only to further empower the billionaire class but to create such a massive sea of red ink that the government could be drown in a bathtub --- a wish that came to fruition in the wake of Katrina as poor African Americans were left to sink or swim in a toxic soup of flood waters, decaying bodies and petrochemicals.
Norquist has nothing but contempt for democracy and you want to team with him?
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/30/2009 @ 9:25 pm PT...
Precisely because Norquist is such a scum bucket, teaming up with him to bring down bad guys has the smack-them-awake value that is DEFINITELY missing. THIS SHIT IS DIRE. And people treat it like a "reality tv" show. The cheese has slipped off my cracker! The cheese is fucking delusory shit that's bringing down our country and the world.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/31/2009 @ 7:25 am PT...
I'm sorry, 99, but the lack of logic behind your last remark is astounding!
You can't team up with Norquist "to bring down bad guys" when Norquist is not only one of the bad guys but when every fiber of Norquist's being is designed to see that the bad guys win.
Now, go into the kitchen, get out a bucket of ice water, slap it on your face and wake up!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 2:02 pm PT...
You have three friends and three enemies.
Your friends are
the friend of your friend,
and the enemy of your enemy.
Your enemies are
the enemy of your friend,
and the friend of your enemy.
—Counsels of Ḥaḍrat 'Alī
[translated by Thomas Cleary]
Disregarding the deeper meaning of this quote from a sage, it states clearly how Norquist is a great team member for dealing with Rahm Emanuel and other enemies of decency and progress.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 2:12 pm PT...
If you take off the two party thing, the right/left thing, and look at in terms of who is causing us harm, who is our enemy, right now that would be Rahm Emanuel and other fascists in power, regardless of party affiliation. Norquist is the enemy of our enemy in this mess, and that makes him our friend in terms of fighting these fuckers with a lock on power. After we beat them we can go back to being enemies, or have learned from each other and remain friends instead of enemies.
You prefer to keep losing because you don't want to see that clearly? Those guys are too icky? They think the same of you.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 2:29 pm PT...
Recommended reading... the punchline:
As people emerge from the primary haze, they’re finding we’re right where we’ve always been – fighting for a progressive agenda regardless of who is in power.
There's yer ice water.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 3:35 pm PT...
There is a real need to learn from each other and remain friends instead of enemies.
That's the direction to pursue!
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 4:18 pm PT...
Ernest writes to 99:
"I find it incredible that you could display both cynical defeatism and the fantasy of a hopeless romantic in a few short paragraphs..."
I, too, find myself reeling from 99's recent transmografications - especially bizarro in light of the tea-partier's record of reflexive resistance to facts as we see, here, constantly evidenced in the too-numerous-to-cite comment threads that she herself has to moderate.
With all due respect, 99, have you made progress outside of Bradblog with 'Damail' that I'm unaware of? Because we've all seen him snap your head off for a non-issue-of-a-non-fact while you're using your very breath, time, and corrected links to defend his position.
I do empath. Must be most ungratifying to be the cyber-posting police for so many willfully uninformed, potential privatization patsies for whom incivility is as regular as a bacon breakfast; for whom whether or not determining if they're posting "knowing disinformation" is such a mind-bend. (Must need an electrocephelogram brain scan in front of you to know, some of their rants so self-righteous/ so FOX-deluded / so very frantically incorrect and also so very amoral and ill-advised...)
Remarkable, in light of, that you seem to have somehow conveniently missed the posts where (most of us) have collectively attempted to debate them, here, in good faith. Lately you spare most of your ire; your toughest, hard-ass, most intractable love for us regulars. I don't know if you ever go back and read yourself, but yes, you're (cheese) slip is showing. In fact, you're showing surprising cheeseless-ness for one I always admired for her...cheese.
Now, before you snap my head off, (be kind, 99 - it's a new effin' year and I love you) I get your larger point as it applies to a numbers game; sheer strategy. As you may recall, I was a Ron Paul / Kucinich supporter with that in mind; even registered REPUBLICAN in the state of Florida in order to shore up real support for a larger, independent voting block, where I met lots of very smart, dedicated RPREVOLUTION supporters / activists. I have seen little to no evidence that they have been absorbed into this new dastardly franchise, this TEABAGGING EXPRESS that is now running the Ringling Bros. side show that you seem to think has hope for holding bad guys accountable with nothing more than a little patience and goodwill from the rest of us.
Do you really think that Dick Army is going to sick his own sick mob on himself and his pals? Or, is it that you really believe they can be "turned"? Wow. If so, then you are a most intriguing paradox, 99.
And I love that you haven't given up on Damail (et al), no matter what indefensible thing he's cranked up about. Sincerely, I do. This surface contradiction in you is so sharp it's almost...impossibly sweet.
But to posit that the rest of us are losing the information war with FOX for the hearts and minds of these very confused viewers is because we don't know how to be respectful, or how to talk to them, (or, most comical, because we're not as PATIENT as you) is just plain asinine. Not to mention condescending, frankly.
Such a position makes you seem uniquely blind to the real chops, on this, 99. Are you? Have you become so blind to their atrocious human behavior, disrespect, fear and misinformation because in this case you happen to AGREE with the end result? ...
For the record, I wish you nothing but gratifying successes on this impossible new front you presume to want to take on, and hope that if you DO have ways of reaching the tea-partiers - of sweet-taking them into believing facts, of directing their palpable, justifiable rage at all the right rich bastards so as to collectively hold them accountable - if you are, indeed, the "TEABAG WHISPERER", if you're now fluent in "TEABAGGINESE", then I hope you will not hold back your secrets. The world could use your skills, and I, for one, will not sleep on them. (I just read that back, and it reads smarmy. It isn't. It's sincere. Please adjust ambiguous internet tone accordingly.) In fact, I will join.
FWIW, I would hope and expect you to take me to task for pointing out the same. The italicized, bold type rage you are directing at the REST of us for posting comments and ideas you don't happen to like or agree with, these days, makes your professed teabagger patience fascinating, but a little hard to swallow.
Okay, lemmee have it...
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/31/2009 @ 4:19 pm PT...
So tell me, Bluebear2, what is it that we can learn from Grover Norquist that would be beneficial to the Progressive cause?
99 why stop at Grover Norquist? If your only desire is to trash Obama/Emanuel and you think any right-wing nut case will do, why don't you link up with Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Sarah Palin? While you're at it, maybe join forces with Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilley and Rush Limbaugh?
And if you think there's a difference between Dick Cheney and Grover Norquist, please explain what it is.
I don't believe anyone who has read any of my articles can accuse me of being an apologist for corporate Democrats like Obama and Emanuel. For the most part, Brad has been just as critical.
But neither of us sees the abandonment of sanity, which is what your "join with Norquist" proposal amounts to, will come even close to being a remedy for the gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality.
Thinking of your proposal, I cannot but be reminded of General McCauliff's response when asked to surrender at the Battle of the Bulge --- "Nuts!"
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 4:21 pm PT...
No. Yer doing a fine job on your own. Happy New Year, Jeannie.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 4:22 pm PT...
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 4:33 pm PT...
Just hope at some point, when you quit boxing yer own shadows, that you guys realize yer being as obtuse as any of the "teabaggers" and "right wingnuts" you revile. I don't think you want victory as much as you want to fight. Neither do the fuckers sucking off the American people.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 12/31/2009 @ 5:33 pm PT...
"Obtuse"? With all due respect, 99, you seem to be operating a circular firing squad of one.
But Happy New Year. Maybe, come 2010, we'll come up with a solution.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 6:10 pm PT...
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 6:33 pm PT...
While reading Jeannie Dean above, I had planned to stay quiet in response, so as not to pile on. Until I got to this turn of phrase...
if you are, indeed, the "TEABAG WHISPERER"
...at which time I realized, out of sheer admiration for such wordsmithery on JD's part, it would be cruel to not, at the very least, doff my chapeau in public appreciation for at least that much. Well turned, JD.
And a Happy New Year to all...
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 8:04 pm PT...
Ya know, Damail and the others really have a point about the instant resort to name calling thing. I wish I were as good a whisperer to the superiority complexations that have resulted from drinking this polemical brew, but, evidently, no such luck. And I'd so hoped that quoting Ḥaḍrat 'Alī might spark open the synapse, the passageway to clarity.... Silly, silly me.
Truly, though, it isn't the name-calling that upsets me. It's the stupidity, the dangerous stupidity of self-congratulation sucking all the air out of our ability to make manifest progress. Laughing and pointing at dumbasses while the house is burning down around you isn't putting out the fire... or even saving yourself from it, let alone others.
All this gleeful, or irascible, or gleefully irascible, them-bashing only makes an us of them-bashers. That's all. It's not the least bit progressive. It's actually regressive as hell. A lot of people are very, very pissed off about those of us choosing this ceaseless self-congratulation at everyone's expense, and are just as exasperated by relentless resort to cleverisms—by people who should otherwise be relied upon to stop doing this crap and perform—as you are by all the circus acts on the right.
And, again, for maybe the millionth time, or it sure feels like it, the real villains are laughing all the way to their rooms full of gold while you continue to go for this brand of "activism".
Man, I wish this shit were not so fucking deadly.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 9:50 pm PT...
I think the very first metaphor my teacher used to express this basic form of cognitive dissonance was to state that it's like the not wealthy housewife wanting the perfect dress for the New Year's Eve party. She goes to her closet and there are two cocktail dresses in there. A green one and a blue one. She puts one on and then the other. She tries them with different shoes and different purses. She frets and she fusses until she comes up with the blue one with such-and-such shoes and such-and-such purse, deciding that this is the perfect dress. When all the time a little black dress was the perfect dress for this party. But it wasn't in her closet! She didn't own it and couldn't buy it, so the blue get-up had to become perfect instead. All that fussing after the perfect dress and she still feels like a schlub at the party.
It doesn't do any good to rummage around in your closet when what's in there doesn't cut it. It's just cognitive dissonance. Just cognitive dissonance you did to yourself, your conditioning let you end up doing to yourself. It doesn't work. It doesn't fix things. Actuality is not fazed by it. It barely even works in your own head. It simply perpetuates itself. It simply makes you feel the need to think-something-into-perfection harder, or try even more shoes, or add bangles, or get your husband to lie to you that you were the most impeccably-dressed woman at the party, anything you can possibly think up to keep that dread feeling of schlub-at-the-New-Year's-Eve-party at bay.
This is actually identical to continually finding your progressive candidates letting you down once in office... continually finding your progressiveness has not produced progress.
You could have gone and traded the blue dress for a little black one with that uppity bitch down the street, except then you might have to be civil to her, or gone to the consignment store to do a trade, except someone might think you're poor if you're seen, or borrowed one from someone, even at the risk of owing a favor... all kinds of things... but, no—that's putting yourself out there, risking discomfort—far less dangerous to just make the blue dress the dress... right up to the moment you feel the schlubbiness....
Then, of course, you end up resolving to go with the green dress next year, whereupon the same process will start over again, and you will be badgering your husband yet again until he succeeds in convincing you that you look totally beautiful and picked the perfect dress for the party.
Every year you will experience the schlubbitude anew—that manifest lack of progress—but you won't get out of that damn closet, won't ever let yourself see that you can't fix it while locked in there... even when people's lives are at stake. The best it gets from you is a more energetic afternoon before the party of throwing new combinations together in front of the mirror, steaming about the lives depending on it.
You might well go your entire life without ever doing what it took to get that little black cocktail dress, feeling like a goddam schlub every goddam year—and who knows how many dying of it?—until, on your death bed, you realize how futile it was to be so prideful and self-limiting and other-annoying for all those years. That's usually the time when people finally let down their head trips to get a peep at the waste of all this closet rummaging, all this self-imposed cognitive dissonance, that prevented them ever manifesting their positive intent, ever making progress....
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 12/31/2009 @ 9:56 pm PT...
One night, Nasrudin was on his hands and knees searching for his key in a well lit area. Some of his neighbors came to see why Nasrudin was on his hands and knees.
“What are you looking for, Nasrudin?" enquired one of the neighbors. “My door key.” Came the reply.
The helpful neighbors dropped to their hands and knees and joined Nasrudin in his search for the lost key.
After a long unsuccessful search, one of the neighbors asked: “We’ve looked everywhere. Are you sure you dropped it here?”
Nasrudin answered: “Of course I didn’t drop it here, I dropped it outside my door.”
“Then, why are you looking for it here!”
“Because there’s more light here," responded Nasrudin.
I'm just sick of everybody looking for the lost key only where the light is.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:38 am PT...
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:55 am PT...
Ernest A. Canning:
"And thanks for bringing your crystal ball to the site, Adam Fulford. Nice to know that, in your view, it is pointless for Progressives to try to educate our fellow citizens..."
Do I believe that Jane Harman will win? Yes. Do I think it is pointless to share information in the interest of making society move in a better direction. No. Water will eventually etch rivers into rock. Contrary to believing it is pointless, I believe it is essential. Winning is probably not a realistic objective at this juncture (though I certainly hope I am wrong), and if not achieved right away shouldn't be disheartening. I am of the get knocked out, recover, get up, slap the dust off the pants, regroup to fight again school of thought (but maybe not directly if my enemy is too strong). The mollycoddled must be delusional I am great I will win if the public is educated way of thinking, only leads to heartbreak. People don't like to be educated, they like to be rewarded. So instead of holier-than-thou speeches, rewarding them with a viable, actualized alternative that really works will be more effective (and doesn't necessarily involve getting political approval either). Think "Atlas Shrugged For Progressives" (vs fascists).
In my earlier off-the-wall comment, I actually suggested how to combat destructive interests which is via the employment of online guerrilla marketing techniques.
I don't actually see too many examples of properly applying online guerrilla marketing strategies in the political sphere. Hint. Check out the best in the world in the online marketing game, and learn from them. Or be defeated fighting people who are not your enemies.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/1/2010 @ 9:05 am PT...
"marketing strategies," people need to be "rewarded" instead of "educated"?
I'm afraid, Adam Fulford, that you are very much the product of capitalist consumerism; that you lack appreciation for Ghandi's admonition that "you must be the change you wish to see in the world."
The core of "marketing," guerrilla or otherwise, is deception. I prefer the power in those concepts that you appear to regard as ephemeral --- truth, justice, equality, the public good.
Truth is not "marketed." Truth is sought; taught; revealed.
This concept of personal "reward" is the product of our greed-driven, capitalist society. It is at odds with the progressive values of empathy and shared responsibility --- of the collective "responsibility" we all have to one another and to our posterity to strive for a more just society.
Justice, equality, and an efficient economy that neither kills 45,000 of our fellow citizens simply because they are too poor to purchase health insurance nor poisons our environment while overheating the planet --- these are the true "rewards."
If I desire to educate the largest number of people possible as to the brutal truth about the corrupt nature of our 21st Century Orwellian society, if I refuse to accept things as they are, believing, instead, in the goodness of the common citizen, who will, if educated, make the choice to effectuate meaningful change, e.g. the removal of a corrupt elite like Jane Harman --- if all that makes me "holier-than-thou," then, by all means, I'll accept that mantle as part of the cost of change.
Finally, Adam Fulford, your "I am great I will win" remark misses by a country mile. This isn't about me, or even about Marcy Winograd or the PDA.
What we face was best described by Benjamin Franklin.
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 11:31 am PT...
There is no such thing as an absolute "truth". There are far right religious extremists and atheistic Marxist counterparts who assume a monopoly on the "truth". Both ways of thinking lead to abuse of the many by the few.
Try training a dog, parrot, or child without using a system of rewards, and tell me how far you get.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:06 pm PT...
So, Adam Fulford, you equate dogs, parrots and children with citizens? Is that what we're supposed to be doing, "training" people to act as good citizens by feeding them a milk bone? Is citizenship no different than a dog learning to sit?
You seem to have a very low opinion of your fellow citizens and their willingness to do what is right absent some personal "reward" --- typical of the conservative mindset, I might add.
And who said anything about "absolute truth?"
We are discussing basic truths, for example, the truth that Jane Harman stands to gain financially from her collusion with Ann Eshoo to block a fast track for generics. That's a truth. There's nothing "absolute" about it.
There is the basic truth that the reasons given for the unprovoked invasion of Iraq were lies; a truth, as so aptly stated by I.F. Stone, that "governments lie."
There's no religious or anti-religious undertone to that. You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to make up your own facts.
What you have done, Mr. Fulford, is to erect and demolish a straw man.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:20 pm PT...
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
No, wait! That was my point! And you guys were calling me a circular firing squad, crazy, deluded, et cetera....
There is too absolute truth. If you are wearing your shoes right now, that's the absolute truth... unless you want to argue that you are not you... and then it's the entity we call you is wearing shoes.
I'm not sure but I think Adam is pointing out that the masses are trained like dogs, parrots and children, by the greedy fucks, and so taking a page out out of that book, a Randian one, might bear fruit. It's actually more generous than those who call the American public "sheep" because you can't train sheep. They won't do anything but find the herd.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:22 pm PT...
Just to clarify, I agree with Ernest A. Canning on many points (eg on healthcare and pollution). Heck, I am even an Ernest A. Canning fan. Long live Ernest A. Canning!
I don't think capitalism is bad. It is the system that works most in accordance with human nature.
The problem as I humbly see it is lawless corporatism, which actually has an end results similar those of one of the 20th century's most ugly blights --- Communism, being abusive, bloated, inefficient, destructive state-propped entities.
Corporatism is anti-capitalism, since it works against the interests and well-being of small businesses, the way cancer works against the cells of a body.
I don't think the problem is in capitalism per se, but in a lack of laws to control organized crime in the corporate sphere.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:35 pm PT...
Why do we have to stick with isms based on monetary policy?
And, even, instead of basing them just on people, humanism, why not life? Livingism. What is money compared to looking after the comfort and well-being, the thriving of living things?
As the Zeitgeist people are quick to point out, we don't need that crap anymore, and they are right about that. They may even be right about taking the big decisions away from humans and giving them to the vastly more mentally balanced machines. I mean, even in the worst case, I don't see how machines could be more murderous than humans, especially when they were programmed to avoid that at all costs, and they might be the only things not too self-interested to actually carry that out!
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:38 pm PT...
And, that's about as progressive as it gets.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:49 pm PT...
.. Agent 99 said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:35 pm PT...
"Why do we have to stick with isms based on monetary policy?"
So you believe in no-ismism?
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:59 pm PT...
I guess I believe in realism, but not, heaven forfend, in the way most people define that term. I believe in it in the sense of the entity we call me doesn't have any shoes on at this moment sort of thing. I believe in it in the sense that Obama and Company are every bit as fascistic as Bush and Company, and war criminals all, so why in the fuck are people trying to pretend they aren't? They can't see themselves being every bit as obnoxious and sense stultifying as the right wingers we reviled for doing precisely this! That sort of thing.
But... if I can't have my sort of realism, yes, no-ismism [ ] is at least less ruinous....
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 1:11 pm PT...
... Agent 99 said on 1/1/2010 @ 12:59 pm PT...
...Obama and Company are every bit as fascistic as Bush and Company, and war criminals all, so why in the fuck are people trying to pretend they aren't?..
I agree with you there. They're controlled by the same corporate interests that control everything else in American politics, the news media, etc. A difference in style at most. Very sad.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 1/1/2010 @ 2:09 pm PT...
Damn. I was so going to let this all go until I read 99 @ #27:
"Laughing and pointing at dumbasses while the house is burning down around you isn't putting out the fire...all this gleeful, or irascible, or gleefully irascible, them-bashing only makes an us of them-bashers..."
I'm not quite sure to whom you are attributing the above gerund-y bad behavior, or if this graph is just a general lashing out at all of us - but I can't let that one slip by without correction.
While I openly admit to laughing, I am not laughing and pointing, 99. And you know I'm not. I am mortified by the tea partier's manufactured, manipulated mania. I find their fear more terrifying than any terror attack I've witnessed first-hand (and then some). Truly.
"A lot of people are very, very pissed off about those of us choosing this ceaseless self-congratulation at everyone's expense, and are just as exasperated by relentless resort to cleverisms...
Again, who are you talking about? It's not clear who you are accusing, but I spent the last eight years just as enraged as they purport to be, now, and I never once bit anyone's finger off. And you can look up why I've had more than enough proof of purchase to justifiably do so. Without touting my own blue past, it's been a very personal Hell, 99, to have had a front row seat to the de-evolution of our post 9/11 collective best. I (we) will always feel as if we somehow failed our historical calling.
I laugh (clarification bears repeating: not pointing while doing so) only so I don't completely fall apart, and I would expect you (of all people) to get that without me having to write it all out you in a public forum. My "cleverisms" are likely how I manage to stay alive; why I don't throw myself daily onto the pyre of dyre everyday with my hair on fire.
Some people I know are not so lucky.
I'm a devout Cleverismist.
..by people who should otherwise be relied upon to stop doing this crap and perform—as you are by all the circus acts on the right."
Even though I can't speak for all the folks you seem to be lumping together with the broadest brush in the bucket, c'mon now. If that pointed stick jibe is meant for those of us in THIS thread - considering the fine company we're in - chances are they / we have already performed above and beyond the call of duty.
Is it too much to ask that you extend us, your friendlies, the same benefit of the doubt that you (of late) are reserving mostly for Damail and his buds?
Happy New Year to you, too, 99. I mean it.
Remember: I hate Rahm Emmanuel just as much, if not more, than you do...
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/1/2010 @ 2:40 pm PT...
I cannot agree, Adam, that capitalism "is the system that works most in accordance with human nature."
Capitalism, Marxism, Socialism and Fascism are all human designed, economic/political constructs, and each appeals to certain human traits.
The question, in examining each, is whether they enhance negative or positive traits.
The core problem with capitalism is that it accentuates a greed-based individualism at the expense of society as a whole.
Contrary to what you suggest, Adam, corporations are not anti-capitalist because pure laissez faire capitalism exists only as a myth.
As Kevin Phillips observed in Wealth and Democracy, : “The ‘fittest’ could not have survived without using government…”
The gap between the laissez faire myth and reality is as stark as the growing gap between the present wealthiest one percent of America and everyone else where, by 1999, the net worth of just three individuals, Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Warren Buffet, was larger than the gross domestic product of the world’s 41 poorest nations and their 550 million people.
The New Deal regulations, which Republicans denounced as Socialist, were actually intended to save capitalism by preventing the voracious beast from devouring itself. But pressure to deregulate from those operating at the top of the inequitable capitalist pyramid was as natural as water finding ways to pierce an earthen dam.
Within the capitalist system there is a divide between liberals who seek to restrain capitalist excesses and blind adherents to so-called "free-market" ideology.
That divide is embodied in the quotes of two Presidents:
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. FDR.
More than anything else, I want to see the United States remain a country where someone can get rich. Ronald Reagan.
Obama may carry the name, Democrat, but he is no FDR.
Democratic socialism, in its pure form, appeals to very different traits that are also part of "human nature" --- positive traits like empathy, compassion, generosity and what the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution describes as a core purpose of government --- to promote the general welfare.
You will find some level of democratic socialism in play in the health care systems of every developed nation except the U.S. and China, where the health and very lives of our citizens is treated as a commodity. (China remains Communist in name only. In spending two weeks there at the end of 2007, I was shocked to learn that China is more rigorously applying capitalism than we do. It no longer has socialized medicine, but, instead, has emulated our corrupt and dysfunctional system.)
In a world threatened with potential extinction as the product of self-centered capitalist greed, democratic socialism may offer the only means for insuring the survival of our species. Moreover, as has been demonstrated time and again in terms of the "democracy deficit," socialism may provide the only means for achieving democracy, for there can be no meaningful political democracy absent some level of economic equality.
I personally favor those "isms" which accentuate positive human traits over negative ones.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 1/2/2010 @ 4:24 pm PT...
This article is really phenomenal. I kind of hate my comments in this thread. I really do hope that if people become aware of what's at stake, they will vote according. The outrageous conflict of interest --- that is, corruption --- in Jane Harman's record is frightening. Will the mainstream media zero in on it? From what I've seen, they'll just zero out of it, with zilch coverage. The US's mainstream political parties are as corrupted and neutered as the mainstream media. However, for now at least, Internet does allow for unprecedented dissemination of information. For example, this article could easily be used as the basis for a video to be distributed on video sharing sites (text and music).
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
Ernest A. Canning
said on 1/2/2010 @ 5:54 pm PT...
Well I, for one, don't "hate" your comments, Adam. To the contrary, I think they opened up some meaningful dialogue, and that is always a good thing.
One way you can help spread the word re articles like this is to weigh in at Digg and Reddit. On those articles where the numbers get high over there, more people come over here to The Brad Blog to read what we write.
And, of course, you can always encourage others you know to read what we post.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 1/2/2010 @ 10:15 pm PT...
You know, Ernie, I think what I'm forgetting to say about all this is that it isn't a matter of progressiveness right now so much as it's anti-fascism, anti-neofeudalism, that is the imperative. They have a lock on our country and all its political mechanisms. This has to be broken before progressivism can ever get its ass back off the ground, no matter how hard we work to get progressives in to replace the fascists. They continually are turned into appeasers of that beast, if not becoming finally too tired of the pressure and just joining in, settling for the perks. So if you want to be effective you shoot for gathering everyone who is anti-fascist under one tent, whether or not they're "progressive" and make sure that lock is blown off the door to American governance.
Beside my multifarious attempts to show where mental blocks impede the sight needed, at the bottom of all of them is simply, You can't get there from here!
Jane Hamsher is on the right track. We should not be letting our prejudices and long-held feelings of animosity toward "the other side" get in the way of our sight, our ability to create the force that gives us back a country wherein it's even possible to place our kind of candidates in office and expect results.
Truly, now, truly, we've done this too many times to still be thinking it's going to get us anywhere. Personally, I have been thinking the only cure would be armed insurrection, but Jane has put a klieg lamp on the way that would not involve literal bloodshed and yet very well might be sturdy enough to get the job done.
I implore you to stop being so closed-minded about this stuff. I spend a great deal of time snooping around the web and listening to people from all political leanings, and the tea party people have been coöpted from heavily Ron Paul people to heavily stanky Republican shills. It was very easy to do because they are all so angry. Not stupid. Angry. An angry person is the easiest person in the world to manipulate! So it would be just as easy for us to inform that anger and turn it toward a more productive force. And a billion times more so with assholes [or maybe former assholes] like Grover Norquist on our side. Long as we stick to the truth we can manipulate people's anger to fight for it.
You have stated, and quoted Old Droner, on how the vast majority of Americans are progressive, and I believe this honestly cannot be questioned. I believe it because I know so many self-identified "conservatives" who want mostly the same things I want, and you want. That vast majority of progressives doesn't fit into one party or the other, and a bunch of them are certain all these taxes and this hulking government are NOT the way.
And they MIGHT be right! There are other ways government can get the money for progressive things besides taxes. Or if it's taxes paying for them, they have to be so wonderful even the people we think are just selfish tightwads right now are also so happy they stop minding paying.
A lot of them only mind paying this much because they're struggling too hard to make it and getting bubkes but a steadily growing mountain of dead brown people for their trouble.
People struggling that hard resent the snot out people who get things for free. It's not very nice, but even the nicest people can cave to this weakness under this much pressure.
Truly, Ernie, please open your mind. We are in dire trouble. Even if everything else might somehow be straightened out to stop threatening so much, the climate crisis won't wait, and it's thoroughly reprehensible—MONSTROUS—to let them keep piling up so many bodies while we dither and "hope" and scheme about how to eke another progressive into the House.
I left the Democratic Party, after a lifetime in it, in 2006 when they decided to let more millions be slaughtered for political gain. Now it's much worse even than that. A line in the sand must be drawn, and the big guns need to come out.
Please. Jane's right.