Tea Party: A Phony Movement Mantled as Legitimate

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

9.12_tea_party_in_DCIn August 2011 I wrote a guest blog titled: Tea Party and the Myth of a Grassroots Movement”.  Using various newspaper and internet sources I showed that the meme created about the “Tea Party” that it was a “grassroots uprising” of ordinary citizens to take back their country from the out of control liberals, was simply not true. The “Tea Party” is a movement fabricated by certain plutocratic corporate interests to maintain themselves as relatively tax free and maintain control over the fiscal state of our country. I’m revisiting it today because of the guest blog I’ve just submitted about CNN and the rest of the news media, in light of a post by Al Gore at Huffington Post, publicizing his new book which deals with the back-story of the creation of the “Tea Party” and its negative influence upon our country. Some of Al Gores’ evidence and that forming the basis of my original guest blog overlap, but the important difference is he’s Al Gore, former Vice President and a centrist. I on the other hand am merely an aging ex-hippy, who remains a political radical. The truth of the “Tea Party’s” inception is not hidden from view and the facts are blatantly out there. What is important though is that the cable news media, press and the Washington punditry continue to describe the “Tea Party” in terms of its meme and myth as a grassroots entity and thus are complacent in a deception of the American people.

Daily we see stories about these “Tea Party” legislators elected to office on all levels of our government. They are falsely portrayed as populists, who are “fed up” and ran for office to “change things” and return to our Constitution. Large percentages of “Tea Party people in polls still believe that Barack Obama was born in Africa and is a Muslim intent on destroying Christianity and America. They see him as a communist, socialist and fascist simultaneously intent on dismantling our capitalist way of life and crushing American exceptionalism. I understand that one can be a reasonable person an oppose Barack Obama’s activity as President. I oppose some of his positions strongly and I voted for him. However, if you believe the “birthers” and those who call him radical names, then I must say in my opinion you are delusional. He is a slightly right of center Democrat, hawkish on foreign policy and deferential to the Corporate Plutocracy. He may be a Constitutional Scholar, but he certainly hasn’t done enough to protect our Constitutional Freedoms. Yet we see this ultra right wing faction of the Republican Party thinking Obama as the anti-Christ and believing they are part of a spontaneous revolution performed in the interests of “protecting” America. Here’s why that isn’t true.

“A new study funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health reveals that the Tea Party Movement was planned over a decade ago by groups with ties to the tobacco and fossil fuel industries. The movement was not a spontaneous populist uprising, but rather a long-term strategy to promote the anti-science, anti-government agenda of powerful corporate interests.”

So begins Al Gore’s article in Huffington Post yesterday. The article is titled: “False Spontaneity of the Tea Party”. Mr. Gore goes on to explain that the two organizations mentioned in the report:

“….Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, used to be a single organization that was founded by the Koch brothers and heavily financed by the tobacco industry. These organizations began planning the Tea Party Movement over ten years ago to promote a common agenda that advocated market fundamentalism over science and opposed any regulation or taxation of fossil fuels and tobacco products.

The disturbing history of links between market fundamentalists, the tobacco industry and the Tea Party movement is part of an even larger trend that I describe in my new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Following the era of Progressive and New Deal reforms that restrained corporate influence in American politics following the infamous Robber Baron Era, market fundamentalists were once again motivated and radicalized by the social turbulence of the 1960s. In 1971, a prominent lawyer for the tobacco industry, Lewis Powell, wrote a memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that presented a comprehensive plan aimed at shifting the balance of political power in favor of corporations. President Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court just two months later.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-gore/tea-party-koch-brothers-big-tobacco_b_2689380.html

These same two organizations were also dealt with extensively in my guest blog of August 2011, because their establishment and ongoing work directly led to the “Tea Party” movement by the simple fact that they created it.http://jonathanturley.org/2011/08/02/tea-party-and-the-myth-of-a-grassroots-movement/#more-38049 The information missing about these organizations at the time was just how closely they were connected to tobacco and fossil fuel. Gore goes on:

“Guided by the Powell Memo, market fundamentalists have pursued a comprehensive strategy to dramatically increase corporate influence in American politics. Powell himself worked with other pro-corporate justices to interpret laws in ways that were favorable to corporate interests, most importantly expanding the precedent of corporate personhood. As a direct result, corporate lobbying exploded, increasing from $100 million in 1975 to $3.5 billion in 2010. Corporations also used increasingly voluminous campaign contributions to promote the election of pro-corporate politicians at all levels of government. Wealthy donors founded conservative think tanks to influence public opinion in favor of market fundamentalism. The Tea Party is a clear extension of Powell’s strategy to promote corporate profit at the expense of the public good.”

We see that there has been an obvious, ongoing strategy on the part of Corporate interests to expand their power through the funding of “front movements” disguising themselves as protectors of the rights of the American people. Gore concludes:

“Our democracy has been hacked by this expansion of corporate power, preventing meaningful action on several crucial issues. The climate crisis is an instructive example. The strategic goal of the market fundamentalists to “reposition global warming as theory not fact” has created enough false doubt around the issue to hinder progress. The potential consequences of climate change have never been clearer than they are today. Consider what we saw in America just last year. 2012 was the hottest year in American history and 60% of America experienced drought. Extreme weather events, like Superstorm Sandy, caused over $110 billion of damages. Yet Congress remains paralyzed, with many lawmakers even refusing to acknowledge the validity of climate science. The future of our planet demands that we put the sustainability of our planet before corporate profit.”

I must admit that I have been somewhat disappointed by Al Gore since the 2000 election where I thought he didn’t fight hard enough to win the Presidency in light of the Bush team’s shenanigans of cutting off a recount in Florida. His reluctance to take the battle to Congress did great harm to our Constitution. When he came out with his book on climate change and its’ movie, I began to warm to him again. However, since I’m not a fan of the policies of the Clinton Administration, of which Gore was such a prominent role-player, I see him as the kind of Centrist Democrat that has been too easy a “mark” for the forces of Corporate Plutocracy. I must say though that I will look forward to this book he is  publicizing, simply because perhaps even the Centrists are finally beginning to see the threat that this Corporate Plutocracy has upon our Constitution and upon this country’s values.

To get back to where I began this piece the corporate media and its’ pundits have empowered the “Tea Party” by ignoring its roots. While given the fact that so much of the real causes of this country’s current dysfunction comes from the lack of honest journalism, this is not much of a surprise. I can remember a time when I looked to the media to provide an understanding of national and international issues, that time is long past. The only hope that we have as citizens to oppose the complete control of Corporate Plutocracy, known historically as feudalism, is from information derived from the currently independent sources on the internet. If those are blocked, as we’ve seen in places like China, then what hope will we have?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

This link will take to to the article used by Al Gore: http://bit.ly/WrwSzA

93 thoughts on “Tea Party: A Phony Movement Mantled as Legitimate

  1. Mike,

    I read a story with a video indicating that a CNN anchor asked Bill Nye if the Asteroid that just missed us was caused by global warming.

    I wonder if they would have allowed the following ad, which Oil-Qaeda bullied another network from running (Huffington Post)

  2. Mike S,

    Don’t know what happened but your post was about CNN … after I posted the comment above, it changed.

    Mysto.

    Just threw away that bottle of beer.

    I will now comment on this post of yours.
    ——————————————————
    In August 2011 I wrote a guest blog titled: Tea Party and the Myth of a Grassroots Movement”. Using various newspaper and internet sources I showed that the meme created about the “Tea Party” that it was a “grassroots uprising” of ordinary citizens to take back their country from the out of control liberals, was simply not true.”

    In other words, you experienced prescience.

    Good for you.

    Nal could refer to this post in his one today on The Evangelical Right, since there are substantial shared roots it would seem.

    Sorry about the post mix-up.

  3. I’m revisiting it today because of the guest blog I’ve just submitted about CNN and the rest of the news media …”

    Maybe I should not have thrown away that bottle of beer.

    It appears that you did post one about CNN … but for some reason the comment I made on the CNN post (you said CNN was covering the Cruise Liner like it was big news) was posted to this second (?) post of yours.

  4. Dredd,

    I goofed up in the publishing of both. The CNN piece was to precede the Tea Party piece. I’m working to correct it…….oopsie.

  5. Well said, sir! Stewart and Colbert, and ironically Fox’s adult cartoon shows, do a fine job of satirizing the current ZOMG!!!!! demeanor of the news. I just don’t have any patience for the histrionics, the melodrama, and the moronic gabbling to fill air time. I gave up on cable and most local news a few years back. I’ve gone over to the Internet, and can usually find just as much of any story I want, just as fast, and with less of the drivel. It’s much easier to filter, to dig up background, and to dodge commercials. Hope it stays that way…

  6. ” … perhaps even the Centrists are finally beginning to see the threat that this Corporate Plutocracy has upon our Constitution and upon this country’s values.”

    Keen observation but I’m a bit too cynical to think they’re concerned about the threat to our Constitution or values … I believe they are only concerned about the threat of the 99% and winning elections. In other words, the worm has turned.

  7. Dear Mr. Spindell:

    It seems that you hear voices that I cannot hear, so I can only comment on a couple of points.

    I am a “Tea Party” adherent. I was shocked to learn from you that I am being manipulated and a dupe; I thought that I came by my beliefs through thinking and reasoning.

    Pres. Obama is a mix of beliefs (like all of us). His attitude towards civil rights is essentially the same as Pres. Bush’s – I would guess that both of them regard the Bill of Rights as a weak recommendation rather than a document detailing our basic rights.

    Your comment that VP Gore is “a centrist” didn’t even pass the laugh test. Perhaps in San Francisco, but not in flyover country.

    Thanks for writing; obviously I didn’t agree with much that you said, but I learned a lot about your mindset.

  8. Dear Ex-Hippie (if there is such a thing), While the Tea Party movement may or may not be a grass roots movement, I applaud their efforts. If something isn’t done about this overgrown government, moral decline, and gimmie, gimmie, gimmie mentality of the populace – we as a country will soon be done for. Sincerely, Tea Party Supporter

  9. The tea party is a fabrication and anyone who considers themselves a Tea Party supporter is being used by the corporate powers discussed in this article. If the Tea Party was so concerned about protecting the Constitution and the values supported by the Founding Fathers, why aren’t they, as a group or entity, fighting against Citizens United and other corporate and attempts by the wealthy to take control of the government?
    Great article Mike!

  10. “I am a “Tea Party” adherent. I was shocked to learn from you that I am being manipulated and a dupe; I thought that I came by my beliefs through thinking and reasoning.”

    Mr. Fleisher,

    Your rebuttal isn’t a rebuttal. It is a statement and perhaps therein lies your problem. In Gore’s article and in the old one I linked I didn’t make mere assertions but backed up my statements by what I believe to be evidence of the background of the “Tea Party” movement. Included in that was the factual history of both Americans for Prosperity and Freedomworks, which were the organizations behind what you call the “Tea Party”. In your rebuttal you ignored this proffer of information, when you had the opportunity to rebut it if you could. The normal understanding of discussion, debate if you will, is to use evidence to support ones position. I have noticed that too often those in movements such as conflate assertion with evidence. If you disagree with my positions than it would be incumbent upon you to rebut them with evidence of your own. You haven’t done so and your only rebuttal was questioning my hold on reality: “It seems that you hear voices that I cannot hear, so I can only comment on a couple of points.”

    This for instance is another assertion: “Pres. Obama is a mix of beliefs (like all of us). His attitude towards civil rights is essentially the same as Pres. Bush’s” with no supporting evidence.

    This too is an assertion that frankly is not historical and which is easily disproved by knowledge of history and political theory. : “Your comment that VP Gore is “a centrist” didn’t even pass the laugh test.” The “Tea Party” movement represents a radical Right Wing movement that is populist in nature.
    Yet their “populism” is a thin veneer for what is essentially a corporate backed move to destroy the Constitutional Rights of all but the wealthiest of Americans. That is the premise of my article and yes by that premise you have been brainwashed into believing that you are mainstream and that Gore and Obama are radicals If you disagree, rebut me with evidence countering mine, rather than mere assertions and we might have a discussion.

  11. “While the Tea Party movement may or may not be a grass roots movement, I applaud their efforts.”

    Anon,

    I am not surprised that you applaud their efforts.

  12. I was first introduced to the Tea Party back in 2000 by my neighbor who was an avid Ron Paul supporter and would constantly refer to himself as a Teabagger (he knew the double entendre and considered it an apt turn of the phrase) for Ron Paul. He had officially produced Ron Paul yard signs that touted his membership in Paul’s Tea Party and took great pleasure in informing anyone who showed the slightest interest that he was neither Republican or Democrat but belonged to the Tea Party which was the organization that supported Paul’s candidacy.

    In 2010 I asked him about his early Tea Party affiliation. He had some choice words for the Republicans who co-opted the name but none of the values.

  13. Mike Spindell:

    I dont think the TParty is over quite yet. We will see in 2014.

    However if you take the religious aspect away, I think limited government, a balanced budget and reduced regulation isnt a bad idea for prosperity.

    The United States could have been a very wealthy country with a very high standard of living for all people. And with enough surplus to help those truly in need of help. But alas we are not and we are fast becoming just another country with a socialist economy. OK but nothing to write home about.

    I dont know if you are aware of this fact but free markets had significantly reduced poverty since the early 20th century to when Johnson declared war on it. In the mid 60’s about 15% of the people were in poverty today it is about 15%. In 1959 the rate was about 22.4%. So we were going in the right direction from 1959 to 1965 and then Johnson created the war on poverty and we are still at 15%. Even after trillions and trillions of dollars spent by government to eradicate poverty.

    How do you account for that?

    Looking at social welfare programs in general, only a small percentage of GDP actually gets to the poor. Much goes to the elderly, the middle class and corporations. We truly need to reform government spending on social welfare programs if we really are concerned about helping the poor.

    Our welfare state is a fu*king mess.

  14. I am not 100% sure but I think this is the origin of the Tea Party although Ron Paul had some Tea Party events it seems to me this was the catalyst that brought national attention and made it a multi-party organization rather than just a libertarian one:

  15. Steve Fleischer, Welcome. There is not a lot of tolerance for your philosophy[I’m libertarian and so we agree on much]. I hope you stay here and give this blog the diversity it needs. I see you just received your first lecture. There will be many more if you decide to stay. Make sure you take notes!

  16. As lawyers, we are required to deal in hard facts. When I see an article published via Jonathan Turley that builds a case using premises from Al Gore and biased media sources to butress a conclusion, I know it is time to unsuscribe.

    Such intellectually dishonest, academically vacuous, and agenda driven pieces have no place on a site previously committed to logic and reason driven by unbiased facts.

    If there were any doubt as to the foregoing conclusions, the replys of the author resorting to demagoguery and banal replies to readers comments eliminates any such doubt.

    Extremely dissapointing, but a clear sign that measured debate and reason has abandoned this site. Or rather, the site has abandoned measured debate and reason.

  17. I met a gentleman that was, is from far west Texas that stated to me that bush was the worst president ever….. And that he back to building million dollar houses again…. He can’t keep up with the demand…. He claimed to be a republican….. Go figure…. Seems the tea party was an off shoot of the GOP when bush was in dismal character….

    Good article Mike….

  18. “I know it is time to unsuscribe.”

    Jim M. what subscription are you writing about?

    “Such intellectually dishonest, academically vacuous, and agenda driven pieces have no place on a site previously committed to logic and reason driven by unbiased facts.”

    And the proof of your claims is……what?

    “If there were any doubt as to the foregoing conclusions, the replys of the author resorting to demagoguery and banal replies to readers comments eliminates any such doubt.”

    And the proof of your claims is……what exactly?

    “Extremely dissapointing, but a clear sign that measured debate and reason has abandoned this site. Or rather, the site has abandoned measured debate and reason.”

    And your definition of measured “reason and debate” is…….what?

    I would hope that you understand, as the lawyer you allude to be, that debate is not about mere assertion, but also requires some evidence to back the opinions asserted. I’m sure that in expressing your opinion, you were motivated by your disagreement with my blog and your distaste was such that you unknowingly omitted any supportive evidence. I’m sure that as a lawyer knowing about the rules of evidence you will hasten to supply proof of your assertions and I am waiting with bated breath to read them. Until that felicitous moment though, I can infer that you didn’t like my piece, which is your prerogative.

    Incidentally, would you be so kind as to actually offer a explanation as to why you think my cordial, albeit questioning, replies to Steve Fleisher were demagogic? That you also call them banal, that being the obvious expression of an opinion, is of course clearly a judgment on your part and therefore requires no proof since your intent was obvious.

    I am certain that as a lawyer you are scrupulous in supplying evidence to back up your claims. This forum though is not a Court of Law, but I would think that even here rebuttal requires evidence of some sort rising above mere assertion. Were that not the case, then all we would be doing here would be the equivalent of ten year olds on the schoolyard going Nyannh!, Nyanhh! Nyanhh!, and I am certain you would want a greater level of intellectual stimulation.

  19. Thank goodness there are no self serving people in positions of power in the democratic or republican parties. They can only be found in the Tea party? Please.

    Where in the Constitution is there authority for the Federal government to control Education? Where is their authority in the Constitution for the Federal government to take over companies because they messed up their finances (GM, AIG, etc)?

    How about we have an honest discussion about what our Constitution allows our Federal government to do. People who feel they have been taxed enough have a valid concern that our Federal Government is hell bent on taxing them more.

  20. TLDR:Voter support for the Tea Party can’t possibly come from an aversion to high taxes or the nanny state, but is instead the result of brainwashing by corporate propaganda designed to drive corporate profits for the likes of tobacco companies. I will blindly ignore that government makes more money though tobacco taxes than any producer does in profits not seized by the states, and that primary shareholders are state sector pension plans. My views are not widely accepted because of dishonest pro-feudalist journalists.

  21. I went to a right wing blog and read this about Mike’S post he did today:

    When I wed his blog I weally wiked it but it made me poop my ‘jamas.

    (“I know it is time to unsuscribe”). Suscribe? Unsuscribe?

    Hey, they only do that at CNN and Fox News.

    They have a Refudiate form you can fill out then boogie.

    You can’t refudiate your suscribe here bro, cause there is no suscribe to refudiate.

  22. BTW, I was of The Tea Party of the Independents, which the Dick brothers evidently reacted to by creating what has turned out (pun intended) to be the Republican Tea Party.

    Competition I guess.

    Or perhaps free market natural selection.

    Maybe we should go back to writing all this religious stuff in Latin.

    Or Sweediiiiissssshhhhh.

  23. Paul: Where in the Constitution is there authority for the Federal government to control Education? Where is their authority in the Constitution for the Federal government to take over companies because they messed up their finances (GM, AIG, etc)?

    First, here is the relevant passage:
    Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; and …
    [The Congress shall have Power To ] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    Education clearly falls into the category of “general welfare,” as do other programs like health care, social security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, the building of Highways, bridges and tunnels, and so on.

    Second, I believe by your comment you do not understand what the Constitution is supposed to be. It structures the government, elections, and duties of various departments and officials (the House, the Senate, the President) for the purpose of MAKING laws. The Bill of [Citizen] Rights similarly just restricts the government from making certain laws. Besides laws that fall afoul of those restrictions, the Constitution assumes the Federal government basically can make any laws it wants if the House, Senate and President agree. The Constitution doesn’t detail what laws CAN be made, it specifies HOW to make them and some categories of laws that CANNOT be made.

  24. Paul:

    dont you know? well god dam its right there where it says general welfare. That gives unlimited power to the govmint, dont you know that by now? Are you some sort of retrograde, apelike throwback to the days of our founders?

  25. Paul:

    dont you understand that the general welfare clause allows congress to do anything it wants? It even negates the states sovereignty, so in essence it neuters the Constitution which is as it should be. Who wants a pesky thing like the Constitution around to protect individual rights and limit government? That wouldnt be any fun, usurping liberty and growing government is what is good for people, they dont know how to govern themselves and the Constitution prevents or at least was intended to prevent unrestrained government from terrorizing the people.

    The elites should run our country how they want to, they have been ordained by their own minds to rule us. Why should they, the master race, be constrained by mere human convention?

    And you dare question their supreme authority? Who gave you that right?

  26. Tony C:

    “Education clearly falls into the category of “general welfare,” as do other programs like health care, social security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, the building of Highways, bridges and tunnels, and so on.”

    Shouldnt those things be left up to the states? Especialy in light of:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  27. Bron: Except the Power to define and collect taxes to spend on the general welfare IS delegated to the United States by the Constitution! In Article I, Section 8!

    The general welfare clause is what it is; within the context of general welfare the Congress can indeed do anything it pleases IF it doesn’t violate individual people’s rights.

    However, those rights do NOT include any particular right to your money or property, the very same Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to define and collect taxes, and there is no limitation on the amount or percentage.

    The Constitution is what it is, if you don’t like it just own up to the fact that you don’t like it. There is nothing wrong with disliking the Constitution or government that you live under, I personally think the founders got it wrong and made mistakes and those mistakes have been exploited to create a thoroughly corrupt regime.

  28. Bron: Shouldnt those things be left up to the states?

    I don’t think so. I prefer national systems, because I prefer equalized opportunity and uniform application. For education, a child does not get to choose where they are born or where they grow up, and I dislike the current State-by-State disparity in their educational opportunities based on the luck of good or bad geography. I think that is unfair.

  29. Here is a link to another article dealing with the true corporate origins of the “Tea Party” and how it is anything but a grassroots movement:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendan-demelle/study-confirms-tea-party-_b_2663125.html A quote from it sums the reality up:

    “this report might serve as a wake-up call to some people in the Tea Party itself, who would find it a little disturbing that the “grassroots” movement they are so emotionally attached to, is in fact a pawn created by billionaires and large corporations with little interest in fighting for the rights of the common person, but instead using the common person to fight for their own unfettered profits.”

    Also note that Steve Fleisher Jim M. are “mysteriously” missing in their rebuttals. Neither one mentioned any of the evidence I provided but instead engaged in merely attacking my integrity, although I must admit they did so in a civil manner. Rebuttal though was non existent on their part, yet my friend Nick praised Steve for his “courage” and as usual offered no rebuttal of his own. With the “Tea Party” as with other ideas I can safely say that one never fails to perpetrate a con job by catering to the prejudices of the mark.

  30. “I personally think the founders got it wrong and made mistakes and those mistakes have been exploited to create a thoroughly corrupt regime.” (Tony C)

    I’m going to recommend a book for you which I hope you will find the time to read in that it is the one book I think will help in understanding the totality of the Revolution and in some ways might bolster your opinion as expressed above and in other ways might modify it. Also, it is written in a manner I think might hold your interest.

    “1775 — A Good Year for Revolution” by Kevin Phillips (he also wrote American Dynasty)

    Here’s a review of the book and the author from the NYTimes ( “a decision to write about a United States taking shape rather than one losing headway.”):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/books/review/1775-by-kevin-phillips.html?_r=0

    Let me know if you decide to give it a go and when you’re done, I’d enjoy discussing it with you.

  31. Mike,
    Stop bringing those fact thingees into the discussion! The Tea Party was and is a grass roots movement. Who cares if it was funded by billionaires!

  32. Blouise,

    Thanks for the tip on the Kevin Phillips book. In the review it looks great and I admire Phillips writing. I’ve added it to my “wish list”, because at $19.99 for the kindle addition right now it’s a little pricey.

  33. Blouise: I read the review. What is in the book that you think supports the idea that the Founders made errors in the Constitution?

    IMO, the founders depended too heavily on their “male honor” culture as the brake on corruption. Solemn oaths, embarrassment and self-restraint (often informed by the fear of supernatural reprisal) were their ‘solution.’ (Perhaps combined with the idea that one could be challenged to a duel to the death over any serious violation of one’s promises and duties).

    Add to that their acceptance of ambiguous language or justifications, which we still argue about (like what counts as Interstate ‘commerce’).

    I believe it is one of Adams letters that posits the restraint on the elected Congressman is that eventually he must return to his farm and community and live amongst them. Well, not if never really owned anything before gaining office and then mysteriously becomes a deca-millionaire while in office, he doesn’t (e.g, Harry Reid).

  34. mIKE Spindell:

    Might I also recommend a book about Cornelius Vanderbilt titled “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt”?

    Quite good and a very interesting look at the start of capitalism in this country. It was very egalitarian back then and Vanderbilt fought hard against the existing “patriarchy” of the wealthy, landed gentry who received monopoly rights from the government. In fact he was a party to Gibbons v. Ogden which broke government issued monopolies to favored patricians.

    What we have now is similar to the system we had when Vanderbilt started out. A few wealthy families [corporations now] who received huge largess from the federal government.

  35. Tony C:

    if you look on the Declaration and Constitution as documents protecting the rights of individuals and take “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the operational principle and use that to inform your interpretation, there isnt really much conflict.

  36. Jim M. 1, February 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    As lawyers, we are required to deal in hard facts. When I see an article published via Jonathan Turley that builds a case using premises from Al Gore and biased media sources to butress a conclusion, I know it is time to unsuscribe.
    ===============================================
    Shallow.

    The study was published in a peer reviewed journal, Tobacco Control, which Al Gore had merely read and commented on.

    If you are so prejudiced that you reject scientific studies because you don’t like someone who quoted from the scientific study, then you are likely to become or remain ignorant of a lot of things.

    The study indicated:

    Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.

    (Journal: Tobacco Control). If you were not so blindingly prejudiced, you could also learn that the exact same mechanism evolved the climate change deniers.

    They are likewise ideologically hypnotized by the behind-the-scenes deceitful players:

    [video index: "GW" means "global warming"]

    29:30 – Marshall Institute
    30:30 – Marshall Institute formed to support Reagan SDI (star wars)
    32:50 – Marshall Institute “cigarettes not related to cancer”.
    36:50 – Marshall Institute does GW denial campaign.
    42:54 – Marshall member Seitz worked for big tobacco.
    47:20 – Singer of Marshall Institute politically attacks GW.
    53:35 – Cigarette smoking is ok rhetoric applied to GW science.

    (The Exceptional American Denial). The Marshall institute was the lap dog of the tobacco industry before it failed in the tobacco deceit wars, then it began to work for Oil-Qaeda to deceive as many as possible about climate change.

    These tobacco/oil people are mass murderers who deceive others as a matter of course, and they have obviously deceived you too.

    You have un-subscribed from reality as a result.

  37. This place seems warm so I’ll lay my egg here. Hi y’all.
    I have only read the blog by MikeS.

    Agree with MIkeS and Al Gore.

    But my issue is with pols as thieves, bribe takers, spokesmen for one
    doctrine, and takers of campaign bribes to lead the way in a contrary direction.

    My example: Senator Jay Rockefeller, D, of West Virginia and number 2 Dem after Feinstein. A long career in W.VA starting ideally with Vista. led through many steps to power. His name and ev. money did not hurt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Rockefeller#Telecommunications_companies

    Look at his life and particularly his Senate career. His “position” on torture versus the bill he sponsored giving clearance to the torturers.

    Excuse a small criticism: Classing a pol as centrist or other LvR designation is doubtful. Until you can show me an honest pol, independent of bribes, pork delivery, etc. then I regard them ALL as traitors to the Constitution and the nation which is founded on it.

    My link hops into the middle of the Wiki article. But take it from the beginning.

    Now back to corporate control of politics and the false fronts they create, in this case the Tea Party.

  38. R’Chard,

    You all will keep the Web, its proper name, as long as you can keep Congress at bay. They have a new bill in the works after Aaron defeated the preceding one. to castrate us all as to the Web being available to the world. With a law in their pockets we know what happens next. The whole world kowtows and does likewise.

    The internet was just that, developed by Darpa to ease the works of fed contractors, it also became at first a playground for nerds, and it was not unti Tim Bernards-Lee used hypertext and other tools to create what we use today. It would have remained a tool for the Fed contractors. Tim was an Englishman working at CERN. He gave it to the world, no licensing etc.

    Now the Web, as we once called it, connects us all and serves both us and commercialism. We can assume that commerce on the net will survive, but probably we won’t.

  39. Remember the WWW address designation? Now only http is required, and that is not obligatory with most surf programs.

    WWW, the largest blow to American plutocrats since FDR. A paradigm shift for us all. Followed naturally by a phone in your pocket which accesses and uses the WEB. Wonder if W3 is still alive and functioning.

    http? hypertext transport protocol. And Tim Berners-Lee did it. I think he knew what he was creating.

    All off the top of my pointy head.

  40. Crashing the Tea Party
    By DAVID E. CAMPBELL and ROBERT D. PUTNAM
    Published: August 16, 2011
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/opinion/crashing-the-tea-party.html?_r=0

    Excerpt:
    Beginning in 2006 we interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans as part of our continuing research into national political attitudes, and we returned to interview many of the same people again this summer. As a result, we can look at what people told us, long before there was a Tea Party, to predict who would become a Tea Party supporter five years later. We can also account for multiple influences simultaneously — isolating the impact of one factor while holding others constant.

    Our analysis casts doubt on the Tea Party’s “origin story.” Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes. Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born, and were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.

    What’s more, contrary to some accounts, the Tea Party is not a creature of the Great Recession. Many Americans have suffered in the last four years, but they are no more likely than anyone else to support the Tea Party. And while the public image of the Tea Party focuses on a desire to shrink government, concern over big government is hardly the only or even the most important predictor of Tea Party support among voters.

    So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

    More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

  41. Fleisher, anon and other lovers of RWA crap.

    40 per cent of all people are authoritarians. ie they believe in whatever an authority says and always condemn victims, saying it is their fault it they got hurt.

    Now there are many names for a rose but they all stink plutocracy. They have different flavors, pitched by advertizing knowledge to fix different tastes.

    But they are all the same corporate BS.

    http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

  42. Tony C.,

    There are so many factors playing into the Revolution that are answered or challenged by the decision to scrap the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (the document that gave legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the American Revolutionary War) and move to the Constitution a mere 12 years later.

    Too many factors to introduce, explain, and then discuss here before debating mistakes within the final document. Understanding the whys and wherefores is critical to moving forward with possible changes and amendments. No need to reinvent the wheel if all that needs fixing is a bent or broken spoke or two or three.

    For instance, the bit you mentioned about “male honor” as a perceived brake on corruption by the people who wrote the Constitution is just popular propaganda introduced by historians during a particular scholarly romantic fad phase … like the George Washington/cherry tree myth.

    These guys were cold, hard planters, land speculators, slave owners, lawyers, ship builders, smugglers, Indian fighters, etc. Some were very well educated but none of them would have honestly expected something from someone else that they themselves did not possess … like honor.

    No, the mistakes stemmed from thoughts and ideas far more gritty than male honor.

    The book is 700 and some pages but well worth the read.

  43. idealist707 1, February 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Dredd,
    You could have saved that bottle of beer. Our host system does it all the time. But I am not blaming it for MY faults in posting on wrong threads.
    ============================================
    True.

    I found out for sure when Mike, up-thread, said:

    Dredd,

    I goofed up in the publishing of both. The CNN piece was to precede the Tea Party piece. I’m working to correct it…….oopsie.

    As you indicated, it was not a feature, it was an oopsie …

  44. “What we have now is similar to the system we had when Vanderbilt started out. A few wealthy families [corporations now] who received huge largess from the federal government.”

    Bron,

    I’ll check the book out. As per your quote, yes capitalism can be a worthwhile system as long as there are built in strong restraints against the wealthiest gaming the system. This has always been the problem, which has been conflated with the belief that not everyone should pay their fair share for the environment that a government creates. Corporations are not “people” and free speech has nothing to do with money.

  45. S N A R K SPELLS SNARK

    “Bron1, February 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Mike Spindell:
    I dont think the TParty is over quite yet. We will see in 2014……..”

    From there on you sound like a pamphlet Or a smart parrot. Or a teabagger! Now which is worse?

    You are not worth rebutting, but a little snark can be excreted for you.
    Eat it and be content.

  46. Paul,

    Do you really want to know where the power came from. Up to a certain date, all extensions of Federal power had to be made through amendments to the Constitution. Too slow, said some. And the they found the key which opened the flood gates. The taxation right. If the law is in some way connected to taxation then it can required registration, regulation etc.
    The simplified version.

    And remember, you can’t reverse history. Not even revolutions suffice. See our revolution, hów has it gone with it?
    Read more?

    http://www.sobran.com/articles/tyranny.shtml

    Read it. Compelling. Difficult for me to rebut or even agree. You?

    I hope MikeS will take his time to look at it at his convenience

  47. “Blouise1, February 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm
    Tony C.,
    There are so many factors playing into the Revolution that are answered or challenged by the decision to scrap the…….”

    Agreed.

    And to generalize, I’ve wondered at times why we feel that we can state facts, etc. , discuss etc. and then feel that we have covered any subject.
    Is it hubris, nonsensical efforts, etc.? Yes, both I feel.

    Back to the discussion.

  48. Bron: if you look on the Declaration and Constitution as documents protecting the rights of individuals and take “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the operational principle and use that to inform your interpretation, there isnt really much conflict.

    I think you and I have very different interpretations as to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think those rights only exist within the confines of a collective society; I do not believe individuals have the right to pursue those objectives at the expense of, or in complete disregard of, the same rights as other people in the collective.

    That is because I do not believe “rights” have any real, pragmatic meaning absent a collective to provide the backbone for them. So, your rights to life or liberty or the pursuit of happiness are protected but subordinate to the collective. For example, we have a volunteer armed forces these days, but if nobody volunteers, the collective can, as it has in the past, conscript soldiers to fight to the death, under penalty of death should they refuse. Such soldiers have no “inherent” or “inalienable” right to life that is not subordinate to the collective, because the collective can choose to suspend it and alienate it should circumstances require that.

    To me, the only real rights we have are those our society chooses to protect by doing its best, at great expense, to find and punish those that violate them.

  49. tony c:

    “I do not believe individuals have the right to pursue those objectives at the expense of, or in complete disregard of, the same rights as other people…”

    I dont either, if they did it would negate that whole individual rights thingy.

    But people have a right to grow a business or whatever pursuit they wish to do as long as no ones rights are violated.

    You are much too worried about society and not the individual.

    People enter into society to protect their rights not to subordinate them to the state.

  50. Excuse me, I have to comment on this one: “I was shocked to learn from you that I am being manipulated and a dupe; I thought that I came by my beliefs through thinking and reasoning.”

    Well manipulating and duping people would hardly be worth it if they were not given to concluding that they came up with their attitudes by thinking and reasoning, would it? Do we see any of these snake oil pols going around saying, “Now dearie, you get all scared for nothing so I can make money off your ignorant behind, OK?” No indeed. We see them saying: “Think for yourself, Mrs. America, and you will come to the conclusion that those liberals are stealing your bread and water and selling you down the river and they’re gonna let a horde of Mohammedan rapists grab your babies if you don’t vote Republican, so reason it out and give us the vote before your life is dismantled before your disbelieving eyes.”

  51. With respect to any Pee Party guy, ask this and look at their stated politics: Would they have been with King George or with George Washington at the time of Valley Forge. You know that most of them would be with King George and drinking wine with the Redcoats in Philly when our Patriots were out there in the winter at Valley Forge. And they have the gall to employ the terms Tea Party. Yeah, London Tea Party.

  52. The religious right-wing is dominated by religious conservatives and controlled by corporate interests who often have great disdain for the beliefs of those who vote their way.

  53. Bron: People enter into society to protect their rights not to subordinate them to the state.

    It is impossible to do one without doing the other. Your rights mean nothing if nobody is obligated to protect them or obligated to respect them. That protection, in modern society (versus ancient tribal society) means taxation and obligations to the state that can be compelled. You do not get rights without being subordinate to the state. Any idea that rights exist independent of a society that is obligated to protect them is pointless philosophical drivel. A society is not just a collection of individuals, it is a collection of individuals bound by obligation to protect each other and respond with force to the rights violations of their members, even if the violation is irreversible (murder, arson, rape, etc) and even if they must risk their own life to respond.

    Which means your rights represent an obligation of everybody else, and in turn to be fair you are obligated TO everybody else. All for one, and one for all.

  54. Bron: To elaborate, if nobody is obligated to protect the rights of anybody else, then “rights” are superfluous. If Alice is defrauded by Bob, Alice can just murder Bob. Bob’s “right to life” is meaningless if nobody is obligated to retaliate against Alice for Bob’s murder.

    On the other hand, suppose Alice is assaulted by Bob attempting to rape her. We might say she is justified in killing Bob by self defense, and her own right to life and her own body. But so what? If nobody is obligated to protect Alice from being murdered in retaliation by Bob’s brother Charlie, and nobody is obligated to punish Charlie should he murder Alice, then Alice’s self-defense justification is toothless, it means nothing to anybody but her own conscience and perhaps the regard of her friends. But that doesn’t give Charlie any reason to not act against her.

    A “right” to life, liberty, property, speech, privacy or anything else is either meaningless or toothless if the violations of an individual’s right does not result in an obligatory response that carries a significant risk of punishment by the rest of society, without discrimination based on wealth, ability to pay, stature, or how widely liked or despised the victim may be. Without that human interactions are just gang vs. gang, Hatfields ambushing McCoys, warlords vs. warlords without any rules except survival of the most cunning, ruthless and lethal.

  55. Worth repeating many many times.

    “Your rights mean nothing if nobody is obligated to protect them or obligated to respect them. That protection, in modern society (versus ancient tribal society) means taxation and obligations to the state that can be compelled. You do not get rights without being subordinate to the state. Any idea that rights exist independent of a society that is obligated to protect them is pointless philosophical drivel. A society is not just a collection of individuals, it is a collection of individuals bound by obligation to protect each other and respond with force to the rights violations of their members, even if the violation is irreversible (murder, arson, rape, etc) and even if they must risk their own life to respond.

    Which means your rights represent an obligation of everybody else, and in turn to be fair you are obligated TO everybody else. All for one, and one for all.====================TonyC.

    I have descríbed this otherwise and was not congruent withTonyC.
    Now I am. I would only demure and say that even tribes had/have their internal person to person duties to support a set of obligations.

  56. tony c:

    we give government some power to protect us and to dispense justice without the emotion that would come if we did it ourselves. We dont give up liberties, we give up the right to be judge, jury and executioner.

    Government should only get the minimum power necessary to protect individual rights and no more. We have far exceeded that point.

  57. Idealist: The distinction I was making is that in early tribal societies without money, our societal obligations were met more physically, for example by joining together to punish a thief, or being obligated to fight battles to protect the village against predation. In modern society, we do not meet our obligations by joining a posse, we pay taxes that hire professionals to do our soldiering and to investigate crimes, apprehend criminals and mete out punishment.

  58. Bron: We dont give up liberties,

    You still have it completely backwards. Liberties and Rights are not the same thing. A Right is a protection and a promise of retaliation for those that violate it, and you will have NO rights without a society behind you to keep that promise. Liberty is something else; you can have liberty without having any rights because you can wander a wilderness alone without any protections from other humans, if you are killed, robbed or raped then nobody will retaliate against your aggressors for that action. There are several places on this planet where you can still go it alone.

    Also, the point is not to eliminate the emotion from dispensing justice; that is just a side benefit. The point is that government, by representing all of the people, represents the maximum force we can muster to stand against a criminal.

    Finally, you prove you have it backwards; you never had a “right” to be judge, jury and executioner if there was no society to defend it. Without a government you have the liberty to be judge, jury and executioner, and that is the liberty you give up by joining a society where government monopolizes that function. (That isn’t true of all governments, even ours: we still have provisions in which citizens can justifiably use lethal force to prevent an assault on another person, for example.)

    You surrender certain Liberties as a member of a society, and in return you gain certain Rights (promises by society.)

  59. TonyC,

    As I have today mentioned to Dredd, my medical issues take up all my energy such that I do not read as carefully as I would like to do.
    I’m gonna lurk more instead.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  60. Tony C. 1, February 18, 2013 at 8:06 am

    … Your rights mean nothing if nobody is obligated to protect them or obligated to respect them. That protection, in modern society (versus ancient tribal society) means taxation and obligations to the state that can be compelled. You do not get rights without being subordinate to the state. Any idea that rights exist independent of a society that is obligated to protect them is pointless philosophical drivel. A society is not just a collection of individuals, it is a collection of individuals bound by obligation to protect each other and respond with force to the rights violations of their members, even if the violation is irreversible (murder, arson, rape, etc) and even if they must risk their own life to respond.

    Which means your rights represent an obligation of everybody else, and in turn to be fair you are obligated TO everybody else. All for one, and one for all.
    ====================================
    As Idealist707 indicated, very well said.

  61. Bron: Do I have a right to my life?

    Not unconditionally. You have no absolute right to your life. Look around you, people are jailed for life, people are put to death. Even in Vietnam, American citizens were coerced into military service and forced to fight and die or be put to death for treason, refusing orders, or desertion.

    Your right to life is a conditional guarantee of society; that if you obey their laws then they will provide deterrents to criminals that would take your life. Police, law enforcement, imprisonment, and punishment are those deterrents, which we provide collectively to all persons.

    That should answer your question: Your right to life is obviously subordinate to society, because they can strip you of your right to life. Particularly if you commit crimes, but even without that. Drafted Vietnam era soldiers were not guilty of any crimes, yet were forced into a military whose commanders could choose to expend their lives to accomplish their military objectives.

    Is that not clear to you?

  62. Working Man: Very good. I have a minor point of disagreement with Lofgren, in that I think his assumption that the Democrats are helpless is flawed. I think the Democratic ineffectiveness is calculated; that they are content to let the Republicans do the heavy lifting on the evil component, while they shout and stamp their feet for the cameras, but ultimately do nothing. I do not think Obama ‘caved’ to big Insurance and big Pharma, I think he negotiated with them and got what he wanted in return for what they wanted: No public option, and no end to profits.

  63. “I do not think Obama ‘caved’ to big Insurance and big Pharma, I think he negotiated with them and got what he wanted in return for what they wanted: No public option, and no end to profits.”

    Tony C.,

    I think the records from that time pretty much back your statement up.

  64. Bron,

    You were right about that second Lofgren article, I found it both breathtaking and scary considering his ease in expressing what I’ve been trying to say for years. My hats of to him and to you for linking it.

  65. Mike Spindell,

    I read Prof Turley’s blog because I agree with most of his legal opinions & have for some time.

    Of the many different Tea Party groups many of their supporters have been fooled/High Jacked.

    I don;t believe most Ron Paul supporters, like myself, I support about 70/75% of his positions, & many of the Occupy movement are not blind to the destruction of our “Rights”/& of the country by the likes of the Koch Brothers, GW Bush, Obama.

    IE: Key Phrases: We The People, The Written Word & it’s Intent, Inalienable Rights, Preamble of the Bill Of Rights/ To Prevent Abuse of Govt Authority. And not a .mention of Corporations in the founding docs.

    I may be delusional as I’m still getting over the multiple fevers from a really bad flu bug, but that doesn’t change the facts that Obama, GW Bush are completely Mentally Ill Sociopaths & Fascist as the evidence clearly points out.

    The fact Obama/GW are far worst then the Fascist of the 20’s/30’s/40’s has been well documented by writers/investigators such as Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, Alex Jones Infowars site, Zerohedge, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog & many others.

    Greg Palast has another small piece up on current evil plans of Koch Brothers.

    In this day of the internet/info age it is becoming impossible for people/groups like the Catholic Church, Penn State, Mormon Church to hide their ugly activities behind PR/Propaganda.

    If you come to think Taibbi, Hedges, Alex Jones are Drunken idiots I can respect your opinion, but people’s opinions don’t change the facts even if we hear them from a drunk.

    (Note, I don’t know any of those guys drink a drop.)

    The point I’m attempting to make is that the sooner people who think they support either side of the Left/Right Paradigm can come to an agreement to what we believe are the facts the faster we can correct real problems.

    On a side note: The Officially Govt 911 Commission Report called for further investigation into the events as they note evidence was withheld from them. Now years later we see all these states/gov’t putting up drones into our air space.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham is quoted in a recent interview govt drones have killed something like 4700 so far. Were there any Criminal Charges Filed, a Judge, a Jury, a Conviction of any of those killed?

    But the larger question is: What was the state of drone tech Sept 10, 2001 & what were companies like BAE Systems working on?

    With Drones in the air what will a business leader or a US Fed/State/Local Politician act like if he’s forced to take a position hated by a GW or Obama?

    Can we really wait another 10 years for people to get up to speed on the facts? We’ll see.

    Here’s where I’d normally tell the joke, but as crazy as the times are the past decade I’m fresh out of punch lines. ;)

    Warms Regards Mike.

  66. Don,

    I agree with some of what you wrote and disagree with some points too. I don’t see many Paul supporters as Tea Partiers. Where we do agree is that it’s as much an ideological divide as people imagine. I’m not an ideologue on all issues. I’m not able to write now, but I’ll respond more in depth later because your well thought out comments deserve it.

  67. Mike,

    Relax on the response, we can’t learn everything overnight.

    I’m a Scotsman that lives in Oklahoma among the remnants of Indian tribes that used to be Camping all the time, Hunting/Fishing/Arts/Crafts all day & Stomp Dance around Bonfires at night.

    (Not so much for toilet paper though..) ;) Hum???

    The Red Coats & our own govt genocided most of them.

    As the recently departed Sioux Peace Chief, Russel Means said, paraphrasing: Welcome to our Reservation Guys!

    In other words, the Sociopaths behind the Wallst/London Bank/Insurance/Energy Co. running the real show have made us all, of any race, Game to be robbed/tortured/killed.

    Have you seen the videos coming out of Europe where the people are so desperate they are dumping gasoline over themselves and burning themselves alive? Sorry, but we as a country/society are right in that same spot now.

    If I call myself an honorary Peace Chief, as I do, It means just as it did with many Native American Tribes that I argue for peace as strong as I can & the War Chiefs argue for War constantly.

    If the Peace Chiefs fail in the debate the War Chiefs win & there is misery among all the people on both sides.

    After the fighting is over, any Peace Chiefs left alive begin again, arguing the exact same points for Peace as they argued for before the Great Misery.

    If there are Peace Chiefs reading this I “Strongly Suggest” that now is the time to make your voices heard.

    Of course only after you’ve finished your research.

    On youtube, the Alex Jones Channel, his group of people has $115,000 prize money up for the best Paul Revere video sent to them by 4/30/2013/

    If I had a great idea for the PR promoting Freedom/Liberty PR video of our US Constitution I’d enter, little over 60 days & ticking for a loud voice around the world.

    I’m not selling anything other then peace, but another respectable voice/site is Jim Sinclair’s JSmineset.com

    Mike relax if you wish on a response, I’ll catch up with you on another article if you wish.

    Just us showing up for Peace is Half the Battle.

  68. “The fact Obama/GW are far worst then the Fascist of the 20′s/30′s/40′s has been well documented by writers/investigators such as Matt Taibbi, Chris Hedges, Alex Jones Infowars site, Zerohedge, Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog & many others.”

    Don,

    The Fascists of the 20’s/30’s/40’s murdered more than 10 million people and the Russian Communists of the same era murdered at least that many. GW is a piker compared to that amount, though still a war criminal who murdered perhaps 500,000 in Iraq and elsewhere. I’m no great fan of Obama, but I believe to put him in the same category is not only hyperbole, but misses the key truth of the situation. The President, any President, doesn’t dare run afoul of the Military/Corporate Plutocracy. In that respect with the droes and with the targetted killings Obama has been restrained compared to GW. That’s not to say I support his infringements, but I do try to see clearly what is happening.

    As for Mike Taibbi, who is the best investigative journalist around today, save for Russ Baker, I’d like to see the quote where he said that these two Presidents were worse than Hitler and/or Stalin. I think Alex Jones and Greg Palast are also people to respect for some of their insights. When it comes to Chris Hedges I think he is an ass and have commented on a few of his articles on Nation of Change” telling him just that. Hedges, a scion of the upper classes, is an elitist leftist who thinks when he defecates it does’t smell. I know many people think he’s perceptive, but I see him as a sour ideologue who enjoys tearing down people he sees as not being as ideologically pure as him.

    As far as the 911 Conspiracy Theory goes I see it as Occam’s Razor would in that the risk/reward simply wasn’t worth it. This is not to say I don’t see conspiracy at hand, since I wote this last year: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/. I am not an ideologue in the sense that I don’t believe that any particular political/economic system will make things better. Yet I do have an ideology of sorts which is this:

    I believe that the following should be adequately available to every human being:

    Air, water, food, shelter, clothing, education, freedom of speech, freedom of action and the freedom to maximize their own potential to the extent of their abilities. A corollary to this is that whatever societal setup works to bring this about should not be skewed to the benefit of those with wealth and power.

    That’s my “political” philosophy in a nutshell. Like organized religion, political ideologies are what’s used to keep humans enslaved and distracted from the general theft being perpetrated by the Plutocracy. The truth is that throughout the history of humanity, sociopaths have been our rulers. A corollary to that is that most of us never know who the “real” leaders of our societies are because they have always done such a good job of distracting us and confusing us with figureheads.

    The only saving grace for us and hope for the future comes from the fact that the Plutocrats, like good sociopaths, war amongst themselves and our opportunities come from their battles.

    “Here’s where I’d normally tell the joke, but as crazy as the times are the past decade I’m fresh out of punch lines.”

    Don, I’m i the same relative neighborhood. Intellectually I am skeptical that change can come. Emotionally though, it all comes down to my experiences growing up where I had to deal with any number of bullies. Because I was always physically tall, well spoken and handsome, I could have made my peace with them, but that would mean I’d have to be like them
    and pick on people I perceived weaker for sadistic gain. I chose then and choose now not to identify with my oppressors. but to oppose them in whatever limited way I can. Part of that opposition is maintaining hope. Aother reason I don’t like Hedges is that the end result of following his lead, is hopeless frustration. I choose not to be frustrated, however Quixotic that may be.

    Peace,

    Mike

  69. Mike,

    Thank you for the excellent, reasoned response, it was Far Out! LOL;)

    I’m sarcastically laughing because I can just imagine someone seeing this type of info for the 1st time might confuse us as Far Out Conspiracy Theorist.

    The Russ Baker/A real History of the Last Sixty Years is worthy of re-posting.

    I think you are better informed on Chris Hedges then I. I mentioned his name mainly because of my support for his ongoing lawsuit against the NDAA/Indefinite Detention clause.

    I’ll note there are certain percentage of positions of Alex Jones I take issue with. I know coal fired power plants are filthy & should only be used as backup power if it’s the only reasonable option.

    Alex is also strongly anti-abortion. I’ve not heard him completely address that issue, but as an older male I’m not in favor of getting into some young gal’s decision on whether or not to abort a rape pregnancy or seeing the underground blackmarket abortion clients set up business again, like the one I know of from the early 70’s 40 miles from here, while the wealthy women fly off to somewhere that abortion is legal.

    Back to the issue I originally wrote you about: Obama is a Fascist.

    I find the word Fascist as the fastest, efficient & most descriptive word to define leaders like GW & Obama.

    I feel your comments in “A Real History of the Last Sixty Years” back up my position.

    Matt Taibbi, William K Black & others have at least used descriptions as criminal & mafia types.

    As I’m sure you recall from Rick Santelli’s “Rant of the Year” calling for a Tea Party. The most important piece of info I feel is missed by most people from his rant is where he say’s that part about “Throwing the Wallst Derivatives Contracts into Lake Michigan”.

    So regardless of how some are redefining the meanings of some words now days , I continue to believe one of the key elements that need to be present to have a Fascist/Fascism is to have big business interest merged with the interest of the Government. That Merger is in place today.

    Obama has failed to stop the use of those criminal Wallst/ London derivative products, end the Federal Reserve System & continues supporting the products use by the Banks/Insurance companies/etc..

    To date no major players have went to prison over that corruption & no institutions using those products have been shut down.

    He supports the fraudulent derivative products for Wallst/London & they give him the funding to manage the govt’s corrupt foreign policy, while at the same time imploding the domestic economy.

    The estimated Wallst/London’s 1.5 quadrillion dollars worth of fraudulent derivatives has destroyed almost all Property Rights & almost all Contract Law.

    Obama has had plenty of time to put to an end to the past fascist practices in this government and he hasn’t.

    This key evidence alone, presented by Taibbi, WK Black, Sinclair & many others, damns Obama to where the tag of being a Fascist.

    Pulling from the 4/5000 years of the War Banking has been making against the peoples of the world the 1st act recorded about Jesus was of him taking a Bull Whip & Driving the Bankers from the Temple. Makes for a nice story true or not.

    When it comes to the issue of Obama’s body count compared to other know fascist leaders, the counting isn’t over yet.

    It reminds me of a piece from Greg Palast talking of some deaths in South America & Chevron representative’s response to him, “Ya, those people died of cancer from the oil spills, but you can’t prove it’s Chevron’s oil that killed them.”

    How many people died as a direct result of Obama’s response to the BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill?

    How many people will die now & later because of Obama’s releasing of bio/chem weapons into the environment? Like the Vaccine programs for one. Nuremberg comes to mind again.

    Oil & N Gas Fracking?

    The Deaths Obama caused from Operation Fast & Furious will be small potatoes by comparison.

    The Drone attacks, no fake tears for those kids.

    If this type madness isn’t stopped I suspect a body count of 80-100 million isn’t at all out of question for Obama.

    Regardless the body count is only a side effect of this modern lip stick on an old pig fascism & not it’s primary goal.

    I hope my labored explanation is satisfactory as I believe we are on the same page in most areas of concern. ( I couldn’t stand Romney either) lol;)

    A major concern of mine & others is all the time wasted having to respond to all this political stuff.

    The written word & the intent of the constitution & it’s Bill of Rights should be pretty much a settled issue 200+ years later, but no, tomorrow there are 223 rally’s across the country in which people will public demand protection of their Rights from the Polcats.

    Michael Moore can get rid of his armed guards & get a musket & dog & he can stick his outrageous gov’t mandated healthcare crude, but most of the people are sticking with Jefferson, Madison & the boys.

    Remember if we did away with govt welfare tomorrow Wal Mart, Monsanto JP Morgan & most of the remaining evil would be bankrupt the next day.

    Last but not least is how individual people can consolidate this internet stuff & manage it as a group to keep informed & in control of all these different local, state, Federal polcats/bureaucracies.

    I know for sure I’m not organizing anything like that on the spy site of Facebook.

    Best wishes for you Mike.

    Here’s a piece I found a bit of humor in the week. :)

    (AP:SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) Be it down on a baseball field or up in the broadcast booth, whether he was pinch-hitting for Johnny Carson or looking at pooches, Joe Garagiola could always tell a story.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iXeu2FPaKAqFVAUJL2mkx2FePWbg?docId=a912d017e40743d2a918ec49ad030a90

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