You Say You Want a Revolution?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peupleMy opinion of the situation in this country is obviously grim if one looks at the themes I tend to write on. As I see it we are either fast becoming a Corporate Feudal Police State, or already have achieved that dubious distinction. I am in favor of a movement towards reversing this situation. There are some issues that can resonate with most Americans and any movement seeking to reverse the anti-Constitutional trends afoot in the U.S. today must find the means to go beyond the falseness of the Left/Right, Liberal/Conservative ideological inanity. We have a corporate two party system, run by an oligarchic elite, whose base disagreement is how to treat those 99% of us, who in their view are the American Peasantry. The Republican Corporatists in effect believe that the majority of Americans should be left to their own devices, while the Democratic Corporatists mildly look for palliatives that won’t disturb their benefactors who are really in charge. Some may say my viewpoint is a radical one and this is possibly so, though the definitions of “radical” have blurred through the years. In my life I’ve spent a number of years as a political activist in one form or another and as I approach the age of 70, I think that my experiences have taught me much about political activism and the potential dangers it brings to the people at large. Right now I find two issues that frighten me for the sake of the future and how my progeny will experience it. The first is the notion of a coming police state and the second is the prospect of a violent, revolutionary upheaval in reaction to it. In other words I see we the People of the United States being between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.

A study/survey done at Farleigh Dickinson University came out this week done by: Dan Cassino who is a professor of political science it was titled:”BELIEFS ABOUT SANDY HOOK COVER-UP, COMING REVOLUTION UNDERLIE DIVIDE ON GUN CONTROL”.  http://publicmind.fdu.edu/2013/guncontrol/   

“Partisan divisions on gun control go deeper than the legislation being fought over in Congress. Supporters and opponents of gun control have very different fundamental beliefs about the role of guns in American society. Overall, the poll finds that 29 percent of Americans think that an armed revolution in order to protect liberties might be necessary in the next few years, with another five percent unsure. However, these beliefs are conditional on party. Just 18 percent of Democrats think an armed revolution may be necessary, as opposed to 44 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of independents.

Only 38 percent of Americans who believe a revolution might be necessary support additional gun control legislation, compared with 62 percent of those who don’t think an armed revolt will be needed. “The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” said Cassino. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”

While Professor Cassino did this survey from the perspective of the gun control issue, that is not my focus in this piece. What concerns me is the amount of people who believe that an armed revolution in this country is necessary and what group in our population these people represent. You see I too believe that the changes needed to bring our country in line with the aspirations of our Founding Fathers would be revolutionary; however, I also believe that “armed” revolution never works towards positive changes.

The “American Revolution” and the subsequent Constitutional Republic derived was the first modern example of a revolution against tyranny that worked. Prior to that “revolutions” were in fact coups, where one “King” was replaced by another “King” and tyranny still reigned, whether or not in a more benign form. However, the “American Revolution” was not a classic revolution; it was an example of an uprising against a foreign imperialist power. History is replete with examples of this type of revolt against a foreign power, from the Egyptians throwing off 200 years of Hittite rule 1,300 years ago to the numerous examples of the Afghan rejecting foreign hegemonic rule of their country. To my mind the first major modern revolution was the French Revolution and in the end that revolution replaced a decadent monarchy with a power hungry Emperor. We have seen many modern armed revolutions all over this world since the French Revolution. How many have ended with tyranny replaced by a better form of government? Those since 1900 certainly haven’t produced salutary results.

The Russian Revolution replaced the despicable Romanov Dynasty, with two arguable sociopaths in Lenin and Stalin. They instituted as system that represented a slight improvement in living standard for the serfs, but that was every bit as much a feudal economy as under the Tzars. The nobility was replaced by “The Party” and things devolved to such a point that the USSR became the world’s largest prison camp. Under the Tzars at last my ancestors were able, if not encouraged to leave their accommodations “beyond the pale” and come to a place offering greater freedom and opportunity. Since the end of the “Cold War” Russia has moved away from Communism and towards Fascism, now under a new sociopath, Vladimir Putin.

The Chinese Revolution deposed a crumbling empire, ruled by regional satraps into a Communist State, led by another sociopath, “Chairman Mao” and his henchmen/women. Mao died and he was replaced by a faceless group of Communist Party functionaries who embraced “Capitalism”, which in fact seems to have also gone in the Fascist direction. Having known actual American Stalinists and Maoists in the 60’s, these developments since then have given me a kind of bitter amusement at the correctness of my judgment of those I knew and whose blandishments I rejected. They were a humorless lot, who had difficulty relating to people on any genuine level. Perhaps they too were sociopathic in nature, but I really think it was that they were the type of people who needed some authority to follow in their lives and in those instances chose Marx.

 Many people, perhaps the majority of the populations anyplace are afraid to stand on their own judgment and seek the authority of some political/economic system, or most especially a religion. I wrote about that awhile ago: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/21/the-authoritarians-a-book-review-and-book/ . That guest blog was about the “authoritarian mindset” as detailed by the book “The Authoritarians” which was written by Bob Altemeyer, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. The book is free incidentally and a link to get it is included in the blog. To quote Professor Altemeyer from his book:

“[A] right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a description of his politics. Right-wing authoritarianism is a personality trait, like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey. 

 You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment. I knew a few in the 1970s, Marxist university students who constantly spouted their chosen authorities, Lenin or Trotsky or Chairman Mao. Happily they spent most of their time fighting with each other”

I can immediately see an objection raised in the minds of some readers regarding Authoritarians supporting established authorities including government officials. They might well think well the ultra-Conservative Movement is anti-government, so how could they be Authoritarian in personality? The answer is I think easy. ”Authoritarian followers usually support the established authorities in their society, such as government officials and traditional religious leaders.”  To many “authoritarians” true authority might come from FOX News, Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, Pat Robertson, or even Adolph Hitler. The innate need that they have driving them is the fact that life itself is and always has been a very scary proposition. To deal with the anxiety that fear produces many people need to reach out for something that will give them a feeling of certainty, whether it is a God, an “Ism”, or even a Glock.

In Salon.com this week the columnist David Sirota wrote about the FDU survey linked above in an article titled Rise of the conservative revolutionaries” he begins:

“There’s plenty of proof of an authoritarian streak and animus toward democratic ideals in today’s conservative movement. There was the movement’s use of its judicial power to halt a vote recount and instead install a president who had lost the popular vote. There is the ongoing GOP effort to make it more difficult for people to cast a vote in an election. There is the GOP’s record use of the Senate filibuster to kill legislation that the vast majority of the country supports. There is a GOP leader’s declaration that what the American people want from their government simply “doesn’t matter.”

Up until today, you might have been able to write all that anti-democratic pathology off as one infecting only the Republican Party’s politicians and institutional leadership, but not its rank-and-file voters. But then this morning Fairleigh Dickinson University released this gun control-related poll showing that authoritarianism runs throughout the entire party.

Take a look at the cross-tabs on page 3 of the national survey. That’s right, you are reading it correctly: Almost half (44 percent) of all self-described Republican voters say they believe “an armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties.” Just as bad, more Republicans believe an armed revolution might be necessary than believe one isn’t necessary.” http://www.salon.com/2013/05/01/rise_of_the_conservative_revolutionaries/

In the 2012 election obviously more Americans voted for Barack Obama than for Mitt Romney. In the total vote for the congressional election the majority by far voted for Democratic Congresspeople over Republicans, but gerrymandering skewed the outcome. My point is that currently the population clearly favors the Democrats and in a democratic system one would suppose that the populace would abide by the results of the election. Yet we now see proof, as if it hadn’t been obvious before, that 44% of Republicans believe an armed revolution to support their views might be necessary. Following that the survey also found that including the beliefs of self-described Democrats and Independents a total of 38% of the American populace believes that an armed revolution might we be necessary.

Another way of putting that is that much more than one third of all Americans believe that our system of government and our Constitution has failed, or has been failing. Now truthfully I am among that thirty eight percent, yet I am strongly opposed to the concept of change via armed revolution. This is no dichotomy in my thinking; rather it is my judgment of what I see as the reality of the situation.  My background in the social sciences and mental health, combined with my lifelong interest in history and mythology, has led me to the conclusion that most of humanity’s problems are not religious, political and/or economic in causation. Those “Ism’s” are merely the manifestation of the ills of the world, or to put it another way the symptoms. The real cause is rooted in psychological and possibly genetic pathology and is called Sociopathic Behavior. Those who are said to be sociopaths suffer from what is defined in the DSM IV as Anti-Social Personality Disorder. What follows is an overview in the DSM IV “Antisocial Personality Disorder Overview (Written by Derek Wood, RN, BSN, PhD Candidate)”

“Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath. The criteria for this disorder require an ongoing disregard for the rights of others, since the age of 15 years. Some examples of this disregard are reckless disregard for the safety of themselves or others, failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, deceitfulness such as repeated lying or deceit for personal profit or pleasure, and lack of remorse for actions that hurt other people in any way.”

“People with this disorder appear to be charming at times, and make relationships, but to them, these are relationships in name only. They are ended whenever necessary or when it suits them, and the relationships are without depth or meaning, including marriages. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people, and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so.

They appear to be incapable of any true emotions, from love to shame to guilt. They are quick to anger, but just as quick to let it go, without holding grudges. No matter what emotion they state they have, it has no bearing on their future actions or attitudes.” http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

Read the overview above and think about how closely that description may well apply to our political leaders, corporate leaders and religious leaders. When we someone like Sarah Palin that description should come to mind. One of the points made in the book “The Authoritarians” which I quoted above is that those who lead those with authoritarian personalities are rarely, if ever true believers in the cause. My take on it is that most of those who lead us humans in the cultural, political or religious sense are sociopaths using a particular doctrine to merely satisfy their own ends. In revolutionary terms they are willing to sacrifice anyone on the altar of their own needs. These leaders then are willing to commit any deed to achieve their ends. Was this not true of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao?

To paraphrase John Lennon “you say you want a revolution well you can count me out”. So we come to my own personal conundrum which is that I see how bad things are, yet I don’t have any real solution to change them. An American Revolution in this current climate will only lead to a Fascist Dictatorship of those who would make the “Tea Party” seem moderate. When one defines the problems in this world in religious, political and/or economic terms one can propose solutions, but I believe that ideological solutions lead to the same dead end, because the problems are the result of sociopathic behavior, with some genetics thrown in. The issue is how do we deal with that successful, yet anti-social behavior and change the country and or the world for the better? I really don’t know, nor have I any long term solutions. I cope with that by trying to report the world around me as I see it and hope that someone much wiser than me, who is not a sociopath, nor a barker of a some palliative nostrum, will come along to help provide ideas that can save us all. Perhaps that someone is you the reader. If so please share your ideas with us and any comfort they may bring.

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

205 thoughts on “You Say You Want a Revolution?

  1. As I see it the “Corporate Feudal Police State” has adopted a strategy of divide and conquer regarding the left/right-conservative/liberal populace. How we can unite against it is a major question in my mind.

  2. Excellent treatise Mike. I am with you that I don’t think a revolution will solve our problems, but I also do not think a revolution will happen in our lifetimes. I would be curious if the FDU study had been done during the Bush years if the results would be the same? If not, why not? Could the underlying reason why many are expecting an armed revolution is related the color of the skin of the current President? Like you I do not know the answer to that question.

  3. The average non violent person almost always loses in a violent revolution and considering the views of those now championing such action I believe that would be a certainty.

    The frustration people feel is real but part of the blame for the problem we are now facing falls squarely on the shoulders of the voters who would rather worry about how other people comport themselves in the most intimate and personal areas of their lives rather than considering the rise of corporate power and the diminution of the rights And power of humans. We have allowed big business to get us fighting over scraps while they steal the entire pie.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  4. Excellent job as always, Mike. However . . .

    “What concerns me is the amount of people who believe that an armed revolution in this country is necessary and what group in our population these people represent.”

    A valid concern but you don’t address another segment of the population – the segment that thinks revolution is inevitable, but that the outcome of that action is uncertain.

    “You see I too believe that the changes needed to bring our country in line with the aspirations of our Founding Fathers would be revolutionary; however, I also believe that ‘armed’ revolution never works towards positive changes. [. . . ] An American Revolution in this current climate will only lead to a Fascist Dictatorship of those who would make the “Tea Party” seem moderate. When one defines the problems in this world in religious, political and/or economic terms one can propose solutions, but I believe that ideological solutions lead to the same dead end, because the problems are the result of sociopathic behavior, with some genetics thrown in. The issue is how do we deal with that successful, yet anti-social behavior and change the country and or the world for the better? I really don’t know, nor have I any long term solutions.”

    Agreed. And I think Gandhi’s approach with the Salt Marches is a good place to start. Short of massive numbers taking non-violent action though, nothing will be accomplished without some degree of violence. Even Gandhi’s tactics resulted in deaths albeit minimal when compared to traditional warfare or insurgency tactics. The one factor that I think throws such an upheaval into the vagaries of uncertainty instead of a guaranteed Fascist Dictatorship is a lack of a unifying figure or cause for the far right. Although gun ownership has the potential to be such a cause, even among the 2nd proponents on the right, there is (at this point anyway) too much fractionation among the various parties to present a unified front based on a cause alone. Should such a leader emerge or the situation change? Fascism is the outcome without question. However, this does discount the very real threat of fascism from the far left as well. The Democrats have squandered the mandate to bring accountability and justice back into politics after the manifestly criminal Bush Administration on kissing Wall Street’s ass and further aiding and abetting the war crimes and policies destructive to civil liberties started by the previous administration. In some cases, such as the kill list, going beyond those previous crimes against the Constitution. We have a double threat of a fascist outcome from both the far right and the far left as both are corporatists now with a demonstrated track record of treating the Constitution like a urinal puck if it profits them personally. Yet again, on the left there is a lot of fractionation and no unifying leader in a true sense as distinguished from the faux leadership of progressive causes by Obama.

    The first conflict is likely to be brutal and end in fascism no matter what after a period of anarchy. That does not discount that fascism is creeping up on We the People with or without conflict. Greed and selfishness and deference to corporations infest our body politic like a cancer. Short term? It is inevitable unless by some miracle Congress grows a spine and throws the money changers out of the “temple of government”. And you know me well enough to know that I think that is highly unlikely.

    But that is not the end of it.

    Fascism always ends badly is the lesson of history.

    The second uprising is where the potential for real change rests. When people have been subjected to the unrestrained avarice and sociopathic tendencies of those put in power by the corporations and suffered under that yoke, there will come a day when having Sen. or Rep. in front of your name or CEO or Chairman or Director of a large corporation will be like putting a bullseye on your back and again we’ll see anarchy, but a different kind. One where people are unified in vision of the democratic (note the small d) ideals and a desire for justice if not by leaders and specific narrow issue defined causes.

    And that is when the 1% should flee for their venal corrupt lives because now as always 99>1.

    I know this because history tells me so, but it does not give me a certainty of outcome. Non-violent resistance is the best tactic from an ethical standpoint, but no tactic guarantees success. Neither “theirs” nor “ours”. You plays the game, you takes your chances but I think one thing is certain at this point.

    There will be blood.

    Whose, how much and for how long are the questions.

    You are right to be concerned.

    Only the delusional, the ignorant, and/or the naive wouldn’t be at this point.

  5. Excellent, Mike!
    This is a representative republic, and if the government is bad, it’s because we voted it in. We are the government. We have to fix it, no matter how hard and tedious the task. I don’t like it. It doesn’t matter whether I like it.

    Those who entertain ideas of violent revolution are traitors to this country (us) and the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t include permission to violently overthrow the government of the U.S.A., because some fool didn’t like the way the vote went. The words “treason” and “sedition” are, however, used in the Constitution.

    If “oathkeepers” tell me they’re going to “uphold the Constitution” by promoting violence against elected officials, then they are attempting to blow smoke up my butt. It won’t go up there. I’ve tried.

    There will be no armed revolution, anywhere but in someone’s twisted delusion.
    Last time there was a successful revolution, the resisted government was thousands of miles, and several weeks, away. That’s no longer the case. The government is run by us, and it’s just down the street. If the government’s a tyrant, then we are the tyrant.

    Back in the days of relatively primitive weaponry and transportation, a significant number of states talked themselves into believing they could revolt. How’s that working for them? Will they ever recover from it, after 150 years? I doubt it. A lot of their descendants are the ones itching for revolution. I guess they love being professional victims, and having the hell beaten out of them.

    Out of fear of numerous boogie-men, “we” chose to create the most powerful military force in the world. Now that it’s here, I can just pick up my pathetic “2nd amendment remedy,” and stop the government?

    Talking violent revolution persuades the weak-minded and insane among us to do violence to law enforcement officers. You know, the ones that might be living in your neighborhood, just doing their jobs.

    The weak-minded and insane will pour out of the woodwork, in response to your article.

  6. I think your fundamental theme is flawed…….specifically the notion that the problem is ‘sociopaths in charge’…..I’m sure its a viscerally appealing theory, but it really is just a clever way of demonizing those who disagree with a given set of beliefs.

    The bottom line is that what seperates us ideologically is a lot more involved than.just ‘Sarah Palin is a sociopath’……the themes of history are driven by something far more fundamental. The fact that all humans are born with finite lives and limited resources. Those with skill and ability seek to advance their position using those skills and abilities…….those without skills and abilities have learned to use collective influence to gain access to resources…….all human beings seek what they perceive is their own interests.

  7. Very thoughtful piece, Mike. I believe that the poll figures do not indicate actual support for armed revolution, however, but reflect instead a high level of fear grounded in authoritarianism and fed by Second Amendment remedy fantasies.

    The Democratic Party is hampered by a lack of effective leadership at all levels, beginning with the President. William Jennings Bryan taught us that great orators are not necessarily great leaders. Pres. Obama confirms that truth. We are constantly reminded that the President has had to choose his battles carefully. That may well be true, but the careful choice of a battle is a pointless exercise when it is not combined with the political will to fight it.

    The Republican Party is a different matter. All of its post-election analysis has focused exclusively on labels and packaging. Ford Motors understood that sales would not improve by changing the name of the Edsel. But Republicans refuse to recognize what has primarily driven their politics since the 2008 election. That one thing is racism. I am convinced that the election of a black president shredded the thin veneer of superficial tolerance in the Republican base. From that moment we have seen racist opposition buried in euphemisms: “socialist,” “Muslim,” “foreign-born,” “dictator,” “un-American.” It has been vicious and ugly. Racism is the room in the middle of the elephant.

  8. Mike and Gene,
    You guys definitely nailed it. I dare say that a certain Sheriff in Palm Beach County Florida is probably going to be getting calls about you on his new hotline. I don’t think for a minute that the sheriff will appreciate the nuance that you aren’t actually advocating a revolution. From his mindset, it is enough that you are talking about it.

    I am in slight disagreement on one thing. I think economics is the key. The wealth/income gap between the 1%er’s and the rest of us continues to diverge. Upward mobility and the ability to elevate to a higher class is extraordinarily limited. Eventually resentment turns into rebellion. There is nothing on the horizon to suggest that the “corporate feudal police state” will be inclined to cede any of their consolidated wealth or political power to the unwashed 99%. It is possible that a charismatic leader could surface and lead the country in a progressive direction. Think Theodore Roosevelt and his “New Nationalism” speech of 1910, but I doubt it. After all, Theodore had plenty of charisma, but still lost the election. More likely we will come to understand and eventually act upon Frederic Douglass’ observation that, “power never concedes anything without a demand. It never has and never will”. At some point revolution becomes inevitable.

    I am going to re-read Jack London’s, Iron Heel, and thank my lucky stars I don’t live in Palm Beach County as I’m sure I have said enough to warrant some dutiful right wing authoritarian calling me in. I hope everybody that reads this comment reads Altemeyer’s book. It explains much about what is going on in America. I could be mistaken, but I think Bob Altemeyer had a chapter in the Authoritarians dedicated to Bob Kausten.

  9. good post Mike. i agree with you on most points but i tend to see a large religious component to it also.

  10. When I watched Obama run Bush’s third term I realized that the same people are still running America. The 180,000+ war contractors that are robbing the treasury right under our noses, Big Banks, Big Oil, Wall St, & a corrupt group of people in key positions.
    So with the big money pushing candidates, no matter which candidate wins, WE STILL LOSE! The argument of the “lesser of two evils” doesn’t work anymore, they both work for the same people, it just ain’t us!

    The biggest change I see that needs to be made is that even ‘survivalists’ think they can just hole up somewhere and ride the storm out….I think they are fooling themselves.
    Like Ben said we all need to hang together…or we’ll all hang together…

  11. Hello,

    I was doing some online research and happened to go through your http://jonathanturley.org/ as well. I was really amazed by the rich and informative contents that your site provides.

    I am a content writer and I can write a fully customized and well-researched post for your blog. My articles are mostly of 600 – 700 words related to Health.

    – You won’t have to pay anything for the content.
    – You will own the copyright for the content.
    – I promote my guest posts on social media and on other websites, which will also help boost your site’s search engine rankings.

    It would be really great if I could get 1 of my website’s (do-follow link) in the author bio.

    Please do let me know if you’re still accepting guest posts at this moment. I’m really excited about the opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon. :)

    Best Regards,
    S. James
    contactsarahjames@gmail.com

  12. Perhaps that someone is you the reader. If so please share your ideas with us and any comfort they may bring.

    LOL.

    Intellectually, politically, and culturally challenging post Mike.

    Which, under the auspices of today’s world, axiomatically makes the issues you discuss disturbing.

    We are all in it together, meaning every human that has ever lived, and still here we are.

  13. The ultimate peaceful solution is “Civics Education” for high school students where they are mandated to understand the concepts of American government so they support the entire Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land. Generally speaking today Republicans only support the 2nd and 10th Amendments while most Democrats support any amendments except those two. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are a package deal, it’s all of it or none of it. (Sandra Day O’Connor has started a new website http://www.iCivics.com to help educate young children on American government).

    For example: If not educated properly many adult voters don’t understand that the 2nd Amendment can’t be cherry-picked out of context when interpreting the Bill of Rights. Most 2nd Amendment supporters were totally silent when the Patriot Act was violating the other amendments in the Bill of Rights – sacrificing liberty for security – but are ready to revolt and secede when the the same standard is used on the 2nd Amendment. Properly educated and led by real leaders these voters wouldn’t be radicalized and probably would have opposed unAmerican laws like the Patriot Act. It is the fault of our American leaders of both parties.

    Another problem is our leaders divide us instead of uniting us. If one demonizes the other party, their supporters flood them with money due to the threat of the evil other side gaining power. While they are distracting and dividing us they are not serving the voters.

  14. The major revolutions mentioned, and those commented on, are typical of the nationalism harbored in us all.

    By “us” I mean humanity around the world.

    It is more complicated than mere national solutions now.

    Here are a couple of articles that illustrate the point:

    Europe Bans Bee-Harming Pesticides; US Keeps Spraying

    You Are a Guinea Pig

    The source of our collective lives, and our bodies along with it, are under attack.

    The attack is from the industrial grade addiction to fossil fuels and chemicals that our civilization itself suffers from.

    Unfortunately, we face more than the people of past revolutions faced.

    Yet, the old saying “we gotta start somewhere” comes to mind.

  15. The best revolution of the last century in America was the Hippie Revolution. America learned a lot of things and has put these things on the shelf. The pot smokers are on oxycotton and living in nursing homes and their kids and grandkids are like the Ike boys and girls of the early fifties. The Occupy Movement showed some promise. Right now we could not do better than Barak Obama for President but we could do with a new Congress and retire some of the old farts off of the Supreme Court. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and next Syria and Iran show that the Military Industrial Complex was the only notion that Ike had that was in fact real. Had he stayed with Kay and foresaken Mamie perhaps he would not have won and we would all be better off today. The Military Industrial Complex flourished under Ike and that is why I dont like Ike. Those of you who send your kids or grandkids off to the Army “to make a man out of him” are the biggest fools. Those who send your schmuck politician off to Washington to vote for war are the biggest schmucks since the electorate that elected Adolph Hitler. So my advice is look back on Vietnam and pull out now like your father should have. Tell sonnyboy that learning to be a sniper wont get him a job at Woolworths or any other place and to learn to be a man back here in America and to forget the weenie uniforms.

    It is afternoon here in Europe and I have to take my half blind guy to the cathouse in Amsterdam. He needs guidance. I need a better iPhone to hook up with the Dogalogue Machine back home in America. Over and out.

  16. mike spindell:

    “Many people, perhaps the majority of the populations anyplace are afraid to stand on their own judgment and seek the authority of some political/economic system,”

    how would free market capitalism be authoritarian? It is the only economic system where you have to use your own judgment and take responsibility for your decisions good or bad.

    I guess you must be talking about socialism where you are protected from your bad decisions and taken care of from cradle to grave.

  17. The revolutionary movement of the sixties has very little in common with the likes of Alex Jones and Glenn Beck. I really cannot see the left that is largely for gun control taking up with these heavily armed uber patriots in order to over throw the government. Ted Cruz referred to the NRA as the army yesterday………….

  18. Mike S,

    If I may, there is another point I would like us to focus on:

    Although many clinicians use the terms psychopath and sociopath interchangeably, writes psychopath expert Robert Hare on his book ‘Without Conscience’, a sociopath’s criminal behavior is shaped by social forces and is the result of a dysfunctional environment.

    … most of the two million psychopaths in North America aren’t murderers. They’re our friends, lovers and co-workers. They’re outgoing and persuasive, dazzling you with charm and flattery. Often you aren’t even aware they’ve taken you for a ride — until it’s too late.

    Think you can spot [a psychopath]? Think again. In general, psychopaths aren’t the product of broken homes or the casualties of a materialistic society. Rather they come from all walks of life and there is little evidence that their upbringing affects them. Elements of a psychopath’s personality first become evident at a very early age, due to biological or genetic factors. Explains Michael Seto, a psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental health in Toronto, by the time that a person hits their late teens, the disorder is almost certainly permanent.

    (Your Link In Your Post, emphasis added). “Hidden in plain sight” comes to mind.

    This indicates that the sociopath can be treated by cultural machinations which correct “a dysfunctional environment“, whereas, since the psychopath suffers from “biological or genetic” causes, treatment of the two problems are utterly unrelated at the individual level.

    So, “clinicians [who] use the terms psychopath and sociopath interchangeably” are being careless.

    To the point in the context of your post, when these people, sociopaths and psychopaths, get into government a detailed analysis is required to detect the sociopath then apply appropriate remedies.

    But much more careful analysis is required to detect the psychopath in office, and the treatment must not only be very different, it is also an order of magnitude more involved with difficulties.

    In our fading democracy “accountability” is generally applied to the politician at election time, however, the psychopaths who are most dangerous are also the most difficult to detect.

    Thus, they are less likely to be impacted by election accountability.

    They are our favorites more likely than not.

    For example, think of war criminals who go “undetected,” are celebrated, are “favs,” and therefore who are not held accountable.

    Our current political science and participatory democracy has only developed techniques that are like firing a shotgun into a crowd that includes innocents, when the technique we need requires an order of magnitude of additional sophistication.

  19. Bron: Part of your comment was good but Capitalism is about creating “fair competition” so individuals and companies compete to produce the best invention, product or service – which requires a fair set of rules and an honest referree. For example the oil & gas industry receives 75 times more government welfare than the green energy industry to prevent free market forces and competition! This is largely done through the campaign finance system where the “referee” is essentially paid to throw the game. What we have today isn’t capitalism or free market forces at play.

  20. Swarthmore mom 1, May 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

    The revolutionary movement of the sixties has very little in common with the likes of Alex Jones and Glenn Beck. I really cannot see the left that is largely for gun control taking up with these heavily armed uber patriots in order to over throw the government. Ted Cruz referred to the NRA as the army yesterday………….
    ==================================
    Point of clarity.

    They are not out to overthrow the government, they are fearful of the government and want to protect themselves from tyranny.

  21. Well done Mike. Psychopaths are a particular interest of mine. New research indicates some are born that way, and in others a learned behavior. Dr. Stanton Samenow, in his book, Inside the Criminal Mind, has observed psychopathic traits in kids as young as four.

    Dr. Stanley Milgram, back in the early 1960s, showed that ordinary people could be, for lack of a better word, “trained” to engage in antisocial behavior. Milgram was trying to understand how ordinary German citizens could (and did) become the monsters who ran the concentration camps during WWII.

    Dr. David Lykken’s experiments found that threat of punishment does not deter the true psychopath because they have little or no anticipatory anxiety.

    Born or made? Looks as if the answer is ‘both.’ Here is an article from Psychology Today by Dr. Nancy Darling that is food for thought.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thinking-about-kids/201205/psychopaths-children-and-evil

  22. Bron 1, May 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

    mike spindell:

    interesting article.

    here is the 2012 election results by county, I dont think this is a result of gerrymandering:
    ==================================
    House Districts are not counties.

    (Maybe they should be.)

    One Congressional district recently wound its way through parts of 26 separate counties.

    Again, the poem:

    Jack and Jill went up the hill,

    each had a dollar and a quarter.

    Jill came back with two and a half,

    do you think they went up for water?

  23. Dredd, House districts in Texas are extremely gerrymandered. You ever hear of Tom Delay? Well, last year’s legislature expanded on his plans.

  24. mike spindell:

    “To many “authoritarians” true authority might come from FOX News, Ayn Rand, Karl Marx, Pat Robertson, or even Adolph Hitler.”

    Since you brought her up, I would ask how a person who thinks and writes this:

    “Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.”;

    could be considered an authoritarian?

    So people who believe in individual rights are equated with totalitarian dictators?

    Yeah, I guess I see your point, we cant force people to be free. If we force people to be free then we are being authoritarian. I certainly dont want to force anyone to do anything against their will. I certainly wouldnt want someone to force me to live in a communist system.

    So how do you reconcile that? Some people dont want to be free and some people do want to be free, how do you accommodate such opposing ideas? You dont want to force people to be free and you dont want to force people to not be free. Either way you are an authoritarian.

    So what is the solution?

  25. Ross:

    Yes, I agree with you. I am not for subsidies for business. Stand or fall on your merits, not with government subsidies.

    I also agree that the rule of law is a requirement for business to work properly. Free market capitalism is not license to trample the rights of others. You cannot sell rat meat labeled as lamb and expect no consequence for your action.

  26. Mike S.,

    Excellent post! I think many Americans share your fears.

    *****

    Bron,

    House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans. Yet Boehner says he’s got a mandate?
    Posted by Ezra Klein on November 9, 2012
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/09/house-democrats-got-more-votes-than-house-republicans-yet-boehner-says-hes-got-a-mandate/

    Excerpt:
    It can be a bit difficult to tally up the popular vote in House elections because you have to go ballot by ballot, and many incumbents run unopposed. But The Washington Post’s Dan Keating did the work and found that Democrats got 54,301,095 votes while Republicans got 53,822,442. That’s a close election — 48.8%-48.5% –but it’s still a popular vote win for the Democrats. Those precise numbers might change a bit as the count finalizes, but the tally isn’t likely to flip.

    *****

    Now That’s What I Call Gerrymandering!
    Americans didn’t intend to elect a Republican majority to the House of Representatives. Thanks to GOP-engineered redistricting, they did.
    —By Adam Serwer, Jaeah Lee, and Zaineb Mohammed
    Nov. 14, 2012
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/republicans-gerrymandering-house-representatives-election-chart

    Excerpt:
    Americans woke up on November 7 having elected a Democratic president, expanded the Democratic majority in the Senate, and preserved the Republican majority in the House.

    That’s not what they voted for, though. Most Americans voted for Democratic representation in the House. The votes are still being counted, but as of now it looks as if Democrats have a slight edge in the popular vote for House seats, 49 percent-48.2 percent, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Still, as the Post’s Aaron Blake notes, the 233-195 seat majority the GOP will likely end up with represents the GOP’s “second-biggest House majority in 60 years and their third-biggest since the Great Depression.”

    *****

    From Wikipedia:
    2012 Popular vote House of Representatives:

    Republicans: 57,972,629
    Democrats: 59,536,235

  27. Mike: You see I too believe that the changes needed to bring our country in line with the aspirations of our Founding Fathers would be revolutionary; however, I also believe that “armed” revolution never works towards positive changes.

    The single most self-contradictory statement in the article. Wasn’t OUR revolution against England an armed, violent revolution that worked towards positive changes? Or shall we now redefine the words “armed” and “revolution” and “violent” and and “never” and “positive change” to mean something outside the dictionary?

    Putting aside, for the moment, the judgment of “positive change,” violence works to get what one wants, if one knows what they want. I believe we make it illegal to commit violence because it works, and works unfairly. We don’t make it illegal to wish others pain or death, even out loud, because wishing doesn’t work!

    On a smaller scale, don’t you believe that violence by the police can result in positive change, like the capture and incarceration of criminals? Few of them can be talked into spending the rest of their life in prison, if they are not detained with the threat of violence, and acts of violence if they decide to test the threat.

    Trying to deny that violence works for people to get what they want is an anti-reality stance. I am in full agreement that selfish interest violence is wrong and should be outlawed, but it does work. In the examples you provide where you claim it does not work, your logic is one-sided. It actually worked twice, once for the peasants trying to throw off the yoke of Royalty, and again by the emperor that would oppress them.

    Returning to the judgment of “positive change”, I think that is in the eye of the beholder. For the American revolutionaries, violence resulted in a positive change because they got what they wanted. For the King of England, violence resulted in a negative change. For the South Koreans, and Kuwaitis invaded by Saddam, violence resulted in a positive change by preventing oppression.

    In this country, I personally do not think armed revolution is the answer in this particular case, for either side, and I personally think an attempt at that would destroy any hope of a positive change. The US Army and Marines and Navy Seals (along with the CIA and countless unnamed black ops units) have long proven they will ignore the Constitution, I see no reason they would not also ignore the Posse Comitatus Act (if the soldiers even know what it means), and will happily put down any “terrorist threat” on or off federal land, which is what an armed revolution would be labeled in a heartbeat. They would bomb the rebels, drone the rebels, and mow them down from bulletproof helicopter gunships. The President will say, by decree and without explanation, Comitatus does not apply to terrorist threats and the soldiers and officers are immune to prosecution. If necessary, sign a blanket pardon. Done and done.

  28. Dredd:

    no but they are small enough so that it would be real hard to have all that red as a result of gerrymandering. In my mind, gerrymandering is counter productive since population is not static and people are moving in and out at all times. Especially in large urban centers which you will note are almost exclusively blue. In rural areas, which are predominantly conservative as indicated by red, you dont need to gerrymander.

    You might pick up a seat here and there, which could make the difference if it is a tight year, but the map has been red like that for a long time.

  29. Elaine:

    I guess that is why we have a Republic and not a democracy. Is gerrymandering illegal? I know democrats have used it and the filibuster. So those things are only bad when republicans use them?

    The senate and the presidency is democratic, isnt that enough for you? Dont you think republicans have a right to be represented? You have 67% of the government and only 50% of the population. How is that fair?

  30. Bob K.,

    “There will be no armed revolution”

    Not in the sense of the French, Russian or American revolutions, no. Without a polarizing leader or issue, it will be more along the lines of sporadic armed insurrection.

    *************

    Mike A.,

    Some people act out their fantasies.

    *************

    lexmanifesta,

    Your stipulation concerning economics is both appropriate and well founded. Vast economic disparities are often a large component is national disintegrations.

    ************

    John,

    Yep.

    ************

    Dredd,

    Nice music selection. Goes good with coffee. In re nationalism: As science fiction writer and sociologist Ian Macleod noted in one of his (very good) novels, explaining to an alien species why we as a species still practice nationalism is as embarrassing as explaining to a lover how they got that venereal disease. However, not speaking for Mr. Macleod, it is a form of behavior that will not end until we as a species will not overcome until or unless we as a species reach a certain “level of homogeneity” in our ethical expectations and behaviors and/or we evolve out of our caveman disposition that favors tribalism. Will social evolution outpace biology in the end? Only time will tell.

    *************

    Bron,

    Still using all the muscles but the important one I see. “how would free market capitalism be authoritarian?” Just can’t grasp the fact that laissez-faire economics ends with the tyranny of the strong over the weak (a lesson history is teaching time and again), that that situation in inherently unjust and that injustice run amok always leads to social discord, can you? Cherry picking at your Aynish goddess won’t ever change that her “philosophy” in toto leads to the exact same place.

    *************

    Ross,

    We’ve been trying to convince Bron for years that the unbalanced playing field is a result of laissez-faire economics colliding with electoral an legislative processes, but to no avail. Good luck with that.

  31. Bron,

    One has to take into account where the most densely populated and sparsely populated areas of the country are located. A broad “red” area may not be well-populated–and, conversely, a small “blue” area may be well-populated.

  32. Bron 1, May 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Dredd:

    no but they are small enough so that it would be real hard to have all that red as a result of gerrymandering. In my mind, gerrymandering is counter productive since population is not static and people are moving in and out at all times. Especially in large urban centers which you will note are almost exclusively blue. In rural areas, which are predominantly conservative as indicated by red, you dont need to gerrymander.

    You might pick up a seat here and there, which could make the difference if it is a tight year, but the map has been red like that for a long time.
    ==================================
    Yes, that does happen.

    But gerrymandering takes place after every census which, by constitutional law, must take place every ten years.

    Social mobility tends to be isolated to “that part of town” … i.e. when someone moves they move to the same “that part of town” in a different town or city.

    You know, mansions go up for sale when someone moves to another mansion in another locale that has mansions.

    Non-mansions of the middle class go up for sale when someone moves to another non-mansion of the middle class area in another town.

    Gerrymandering logic is a big business for those who keep a close eye on social dynamics driven by economic factors (houses, apartments, shopping malls, job locations, schools, etc.).

    It is not as difficult to watch closely as one would think.

    Thus, gerrymandering tends to militate against accountability in our election dynamics.

    For example, have you noticed that the Speaker of the House runs unopposed in his district?

  33. Bron,

    “I guess that is why we have a Republic and not a democracy. ”

    By the terms of the Constitution, we are supposed to have a presidential constitutional democratic representative republic. Not either a democracy or a republic. Both. That binary thinking is providing you a disservice again. However, what we have is a fascist/corporatist oligarchy which is morphing into a fascist/corporatist police state. If you want to talk about forms as described by actions that is.

  34. Swarthmore mom 1, May 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Dredd, House districts in Texas are extremely gerrymandered. You ever hear of Tom Delay? Well, last year’s legislature expanded on his plans.
    =========================
    Indeed.

  35. Elaine:

    yes, I understand that the cities are more populated than the rest of the country. But the electorate is split, by your own admission, about 50/50, so dont you think conservatives/republicans are entitled to some representation?

  36. Bron,

    I didn’t make a comment about gerrymandering. I would not be in favor of gerrymandering done by Democrats either. I was just posting information about the 2012 popular vote for the House.

  37. Tony C.,

    It is a fine line between the amount of coercion a government needs to enforce laws and tyranny, but it is an increasingly blurred line to be certain. The balancing act of mutual benefit versus societal and individual sacrifice is more art than science as circumstances play a large part in the analysis.

  38. Gene H:

    the only thing you and others have been doing for years is thinking I dont believe in the rule of law. In my mind a free market means an economic system free from government coercion, not free from ultimate oversight to protect the players from bad actors.

    You cannot sell poison to people and label it as medicine; you cannot pollute your neighbors well and not expect to pay restitution.

    I have probably written that at least 500 times and yet you still think I am some sort of anarchist who believes in the strong devouring the weak.

  39. Gene H:

    from Merriam Webster:

    b (1): a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2): a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government

  40. Otteray Scribe 1, May 4, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Well done Mike. Psychopaths are a particular interest of mine. New research indicates some are born that way, and in others a learned behavior. Dr. Stanton Samenow, in his book, Inside the Criminal Mind, has observed psychopathic traits in kids as young as four.

    Dr. Stanley Milgram, back in the early 1960s, showed that ordinary people could be, for lack of a better word, “trained” to engage in antisocial behavior. Milgram was trying to understand how ordinary German citizens could (and did) become the monsters who ran the concentration camps during WWII.

    Dr. David Lykken’s experiments found that threat of punishment does not deter the true psychopath because they have little or no anticipatory anxiety.

    Born or made? Looks as if the answer is ‘both.’ Here is an article from Psychology Today by Dr. Nancy Darling that is food for thought.
    ==========================================
    The last doctor you quoted (I read the article in Psy Today you linked to) is an example of those who conflate sociopath with psychopath.

    It is common enough that it makes our current psychiatry and other matters of psychology suspect.

    Especially in light of the recent genetic discoveries:

    Over the past few years, advances in genetic technology have opened a window into the amazingly populous and powerful world of microbial life in and around the human body—the normal community of bacteria, fungi and viruses that makes up what scientists call the microbiome. It’s Big Science, involving vast international research partnerships, leading edge DNA sequencing technology and datasets on a scale to make supercomputers cringe. It also promises the biggest turnaround in medical thinking in 150 years, replacing the single-minded focus on microbes as the enemy with a broader view that they are also our essential allies.

    (Smithsonian, May 2013, emphasis added). The diagnosis of psychopath has traditionally involved genetic hypothesis in addition to biological, so this new direction that is changing “150 years” of practice may lend assistance to the political realm.

    Check out this very cool doctor who found out “the shocking way”:

  41. Gene H:

    We have had a socialist/fascist state for years, as for the police state? Do you think the patriot act was just cobbled together in a couple of months? I imagine it had been sitting around in Washington for years waiting for the right time to drag it out.

  42. ” In my mind a free market means an economic system free from government coercion”

    Which is a market system devoid of any kind of enforcement. One cannot have ” oversight to protect the players from bad actors” without coercion. As the situation stands right now, the mechanisms we put in place to protect players (and citizens) from bad actors has been coopted and corrupted by the monied interests that represent the ideals of your beloved laissez-faire via the campaign finance and lobbying systems that are – at their bidding with the help of compliant pols in their conspiracy – little more than formalized graft.

    ” yet you still think I am some sort of anarchist who believes in the strong devouring the weak.”

    No. I don’t think you are an anarchist. I think you are a well intentioned but misguided person who does not understand that the outcome of unfettered capitalism is tyranny of the strong over the weak. An extremist economically but not politically. Communism, the extremist form where there is no private property, failed miserably. Laissez-faire capitalism, the extremist form where private property is all, is in the process of failing again and again. If both extremes of the economic spectrum are failures, then the answer must lay somewhere in between.

  43. Those who have the fantasy of some kind of armed revolution are spitting into the wind (I cleaned that one up), but they are nevertheless dangerous. As for the survivalists and “preppers,” if they want to stockpile food and supplies, let them. Back in the 1950s and 60s, the big thing was fallout shelters. Those worked just fine…as tornado shelters.

    The revolution, if it ever comes, will not look anything like the preppers and those who stockpile large store of arms expect. I am not sure myself what it will look like. There may be a revolution, but it will be on paper, electronics and by political maneuvering. Furthermore, there will not be a glorious battle of the “end times.” Revolutions have come and gone in this country before. The country was founded by revolution, and in those days the populace was divided into Loyalists and Patriots. Many Revolutionary War battles were as home grown as the Civil War which came less than a century later. The most successful revolutions have been economic, not at the point of a gun.

    Part of the reason the American Revolution succeeded for the Patriots was that the British were fighting an unpopular and expensive war far from home. Does that sound familiar?

    The reason the Confederacy lost the Civil War was because the Union was fighting from their own front doorstep and had almost unlimited materiel and economic resources upon which to call. Again, sound familiar?

    But to reiterate, the splinter groups and individuals who want armed revolution are still fringe people who have zero chance of succeeding. Charles Manson thought he could start a race war. Timothy McVeigh had a fantasy of initiating the final battle when he blew up the Murrah Federal Building. McVeigh reportedly said, when he learned how many kids had been killed, that it was a shame because it was bad public relations for his (hoped for) movement.

    It is the ‘lone wolf’ who is dangerous, not the armed militia groups. The lone wolf is usually grandiose, thinking others will follow if they blaze the trail. Lone wolf types cannot be tracked if they are at all smart. Fortunately, the lone wolf is just that. A prophet without followers.

    So back to square one. This country has had a way of surviving the most awful things; however, I worry about the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a relative few. This is something new in our history. They have been able to sell their ideas to the extent poor people vote against their own self interest. One day the populace will wake up and break out the pitchforks and torches.

  44. “A valid concern but you don’t address another segment of the population – the segment that thinks revolution is inevitable, but that the outcome of that action is uncertain.”

    Gene,

    There is nothing in your comment that I disagree with including the above. Yes I do believe revolution is inevitable and that the outcome is uncertain but that uncertainty is in the sense that once it starts the possible outcomes can go in many diverse directions. This then goes to the nature of the Revolution and in mentioning Ghandi you strike on a methodology that I think is more promising but still problematic.

    There is an HBO show called “Vice”, produced by Bill Maher, that I watched last night. It’s an interesting, sometimes very good news show. Last night there was a segment regarding Mumbai, which is a City of more than 20 million. More than 10 million of the people live in abject poverty in “jerry-built) slums that abut and overlook the skyscrapers of the City. This was also portrayed in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. The slums are abominable and the population that lives there barely supports themselves by recycling the waste from the “other half” so to speak. The rich billionaires in contrast build forty story skyscrapers as homes which are readily identifiable by looking at the skyline. I wrote this piece in the afternoon and had it saved on WordPress so I could publish it after midnight using my Kindle. As I watched the segment I came to the conclusion that at some point a “breaking point” for the slum dwellers may well be reached, such is the nature of the horrible conditions they live under in close proximity to the wealth of their City. How do you put down 10 million angry and desperate people who are in walking distance of the torment displayed by the arrogance of wealth?

    Yet this too is the legacy of Ghandi’s magnificent “revolution” from the British. It all comes back to the fact that in any movement the sociopaths seem to prosper, rather than the ideals of the movement. This is also why I purposely offered no solutions in my piece. Somethings coming, but who knows what the end game will be?

  45. Another great harm to the United States’ Rule of Law is this now embraced “Preemption Doctrine” where the “experts” place a figurative Scarlet Letter on it’s citizens who haven’t actually committed a crime YET – but the experts know they will someday! Great movie “Minority Report” about this flawed notion as is the book “1984” by George Orwell. This is extremely dangerous and the polar opposite of how the Bill of Rights are designed to work: the chronology is the crime happens first which then creates the probable cause that justifies a search and investigation. There is no criminal penalties when the “expert” profiler is wrong and destroys innocent Americans by blacklisting them within their own communites by placing them on the radar screen of their local and federal police agencies.
    Huge problem today!

  46. Bron: how would free market capitalism be authoritarian? It is the only economic system where you have to use your own judgment and take responsibility for your decisions good or bad.

    That depends on how one defines “free market.” The way you define it, a market that begins free evolves in a few decades into a market that is no longer free. A purely competitive market gives more power to the wealthiest competitor, and without regulations on practices that they can engage in, the result has proven again, and again, and again, in one country after another, to be oppression of workers, lack of choice for consumers, and virtual slavery of the consuming population because the products they need to sustain life (food, shelter, clean water, medical care, protection from toxins, carcinogens and pollutants) are controlled by monopolies that are free to crush any competition the moment it shows the slightest threat.

    Monopolistic practice is authoritarian by its nature, and without regulations, monopolies are the obvious eventual result of competition. It is inevitable by simple evolutionary theory and the survival of the fittest. Do you think you can put down Coke and Pepsi? Or Exxon, or Heinz? They all started with good original products, but at some point, when they become clearly dominant, their attention turns from pleasing customers to acquiring and or crushing all competition that presents a potential threat.

    Without regulation a monopoly can under price you to the point you cannot make a dime. They may not make a profit either (or they may, since their cost of goods and labor can all be significantly lower than yours), but that is just temporary until you are driven into bankruptcy; then their pricing will come back higher, when consumers no longer have a choice. They can open stores next door to yours, without regulations they can buy the road TO your store and close it, without regulation they can air ads that lie about your product and you, without regulation they can buy your suppliers and then refuse to supply you. Without regulation, they will overwhelm you with unfair and despicable practices in order to maintain their monopoly.

    The proof of this thesis is in evolutionary science; we typically see one species dominate a niche in a geographic area, having starved out or killed all competitors.

    Typically one species will have a monopoly on the resources it uses to make a living and reproduce. If there were competitors, bad luck or less efficient exploitation or reproduction have made them extinct. The present species took over their territory, and the present species now consumes so much of the resource that no new species can ever get a foothold to challenge them, they (a new species) is preemptively starved out.

  47. “I think your fundamental theme is flawed…….specifically the notion that the problem is ‘sociopaths in charge’…..I’m sure its a viscerally appealing theory, but it really is just a clever way of demonizing those who disagree with a given set of beliefs.”

    Tim Mac,

    If you look at what I wrote and follow the links to my “Authoritarians” article you will see that one of the characteristics of sociopathic leaders is that they “use” the ideology, rather than “believe” in it. This is true on the Left as well as the Right. In truth I think that almost anyone that aspires to the Presidency is probably a sociopath, be it Bush or Obama. Who in hell of a normal mind would want a 24 hour per day job, dealing with insoluble problems, that significantly ages you during your term? I think that only a sociopath would aspire to it.

  48. A violent revolution would probably only be last resort. You will see economic strikes first. An economic strike would be pretty damaging to the govt. Starving the beast.

    In any event the military will not remain under control of the govt for long. Their oath is to the US Constitution above all else and most take that oath very seriously. Check out oathkeepers.org.

    Any revolution economic or otherwise will require people both left and right to unite. That is already happening. Liberals are beginning to turn on the progressives. Progressives are as dangerous to the constitution as the Religious right. Meanwhile many of the conservatives are also turning on the religious right. I actually expect a new party to form. Sort of a midway neutral Libertarian. A common ground meeting place for liberals and conservatives.

    Most people do not realize that liberals conservatives and libertarians actually have much in common. I mean the true forms like Goldwater conservatives and not the progressives who call themselves liberals for example. The bill of rights is pretty much the holy grail for them all.

    We can pretend that a Revolution is not coming all we want, but it is. Clearly our govt is a corrupt uncontrollable train off the rails.

  49. Tim Mac was more succint, intelligent and interesting on this subject. Of course, Fidel is more succint in his polemics than this author.

  50. “Here’s the type of revolution (or March on Washington & Wall Street) that we need:”

    RWL,

    Malcom X was an intelligent and very perceptive man. He was one of those whose thought I learned from as I grew up from my teens. As he personally evolved he became dangerous to the powers that be, just as MLK did when he started commenting on poverty and foreign policy. Their murders were premature and highly suspicious, but then that was the 60’s.

  51. Mike S.,

    What you say is pointing (yet further) to a psychology problem wrapped in a political problem: How do we keep sociopaths (and psychopaths) out of positions of power either economically or politically? Next to an almost total lack of quality publicly available mental health care, I think this can be fairly characterized as the most pressing public health issue facing our species.

  52. OS:

    “I worry about the increasing concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a relative few. This is something new in our history.”

    No, it isnt. There were concentrations of wealth at our founding. Fairfax county and more was owned by Lord Fairfax, George Mason owned tens of thousands of acres, Cornelius Vanderbilt was worth 100 million dollars in 1870.

    Those are just a few examples.

  53. also race has nothing to do with it in the end. If Obama is was 100% white the same thing would be happen.

    The fact that Obama is so similar to Bush has only served to open the eyes of many of the right wing. They are already turning on people like Lindsey Graham.

    at the same time many blacks are recognizing Obama for being the lying wall street suit that he is.

  54. I like Mother Jones as they do alot of good but I support Oathkeepers as well. Oathkeepers is well beyond the military btw. They are also all through law enforcement agencies.

    We have to stop this right vs left garbage btw. Just because someone is a rightwinger doesnt make them bad Just because someone is a leftwinger doesnt make them bad

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwK7VRkbGiU

  55. Gene H:

    “I think you are a well intentioned but misguided person who does not understand that the outcome of unfettered capitalism is tyranny of the strong over the weak.”

    People in this country rose to a standard of living and prosperity equalled nowhere in human history through 19th century almost laissez faire capitalism and individual liberty based on our founding principles.

    Now, since we have had a mixed economy since 1913 with many government controls and regulations, I think you are a well-intentioned but misguided individual who because of your fealty to socialism and the fallen nature of man [just cant shake off that old time religion] does not understand that government control of the economy is the problem.

    I also think you are misguided in thinking a group of people can tweak a system like ours so that it works just so in that golden mean between anarchy and totalitarianism.

    Man would have an easier time becoming a god.

  56. Name a group you like and I can find you a supporter that at least appears to be a whateververwingversion of Beck.

    Who cares if Beck supports them? Hitler would belong to ASPCA and PETA if he were alive today. So what does that prove? Am I not supposed to support a group that is completely righteous and willing to give their lives to defend MY bill of rights just because some media person also likes them? How can we ever hope to fix anything if we all think like that?

  57. Not going to be much of a revolution if the young aren’t involved. Old folk don’t last long on the battlefield without a nap. As far as I can tell, the young aren’t all that interested.

  58. Imagine if the “news” actually was news instead of an arm of corporations and people got real information instead of this kind of roiling up that the news media and many political interests engage in, instead of some real investigative journalism?
    Limbaugh, Beck, as 2 examples, since they seem to be the loudest, Huckabee, Cruz, et al politically their point is only to engage by enraging their base with lies, distortions, and exaggerations. No wonder there are larger numbers of people looking to explode.
    (And that is not to say the dems are innocent in all of this but they don’t seem to be able to encourage the same level anger)

  59. What I fear the most is the rise of some populist demagog who can focus anger at a group and use events to unify the US to the extent necessary to seize control. The model for doing this has been shown many times in many places. My concern is that we have the worlds largest military and we would replay 1936-1945 with us in the role of the Axis . . . with nuclear weapons.

    We appear to be ripe for this sort of leader and I would expect our industrialist masters would support that leader in the mistaken belief they could control the outcome, that too was modeled in 1930’s Germany.

  60. Tim Mac:

    “I think your fundamental theme is flawed…….specifically the notion that the problem is ‘sociopaths in charge’…..I’m sure its a viscerally appealing theory, but it really is just a clever way of demonizing those who disagree with a given set of beliefs.

    The bottom line is that what seperates us ideologically is a lot more involved than.just ‘Sarah Palin is a sociopath’……the themes of history are driven by something far more fundamental. The fact that all humans are born with finite lives and limited resources. Those with skill and ability seek to advance their position using those skills and abilities…….those without skills and abilities have learned to use collective influence to gain access to resources…….all human beings seek what they perceive is their own interests.”

    that was genius, especially “all human beings seek what they perceive is their own interests.”

  61. Sam,

    I’m not a fan of the term progressive at all because I know its history goes back to Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, who were both war mongering racists. However, Mr. Condell’s rant was basically a disjointed monologue using anecdotes and polemics instead of logic. I know the type of person that he was talking about and I dislike them for their sense of “purity”. I wrote about this type of person last June: http://jonathanturley.org/?s=political+purity . Condell fails to recognize that the type of person he characterizes also inhabits the Right Wing in similar numbers. As I wrote that type of person is close minded and intolerant, if not angrily opposed to any ideas that fail to meet their pre-judgments.

  62. hey here you go swarthmore

    http://capitalresearch.org/2012/09/southern-poverty-law-center-wellspring-of-manufactured-hate/

    http://www.amren.com/news/2013/03/splc-2013-still-no-minorities-at-the-top-after-42-years/

    Outside the Southern Poverty Law Center, a stunning civil rights memorial honors those who died to give blacks more opportunities.

    Inside, no blacks have held top management positions in the center’s 23-year history, and some former employees say blacks are treated like second-class citizens.

    “I would definitely say there was not a single black employee with whom I spoke who was happy to be working there,” said Christine Lee, a black graduate of Harvard Law School who interned at the Law Center in 1989.

    Only one black has ever been among the top five wage-earners at the center, and he was one of only two black staff attorneys in the center’s history. Both said they left unhappy.

    The Law Center’s ambitious new project, Teaching Tolerance, which is designed to promote racial and cultural justice throughout America’s schools, is produced by an eight-member all-white staff according to the Law Center.

    Of 13 black former center staffers contacted, 12 said they either experienced or observed racial problems inside the Law Center. Three said they heard racial slurs, three likened the center to a plantation and two said they had been treated better at predominantly white corporate law firms. Three said the treatment was no worse than other places they have worked.

  63. Bron,

    I am aware of Vanderbilt, his peers, and also the earlier history. Teddy Roosevelt was largely instrumental in reining in at least some of the robber barons. However, the country was much smaller then, and there was more room to expand. Virgin forests of the entire Blue Ridge and southern Appalachian mountains were almost completely clear cut for the lumber. There are photos of black walnut trees seven feet in diameter being cut. Much of that timber went for crossties for the railroads. The rest was scarfed up by the building and furniture trades. Not to mention the shipbuilders.

    However, we are seeing a different kind of concentration of wealth. Back in the day, the people KNEW they were being screwed. Now, not so much. It is a strange phenomenon. The robber barons and plantation owner’s wealth was there for all to see. How many people know the names of the coal company owners and managers who are leveling whole mountain ranges to get at the coal. Obama said he endorsed “clean coal.” Sorry, there is no such thing as “clean coal.” There is dirty coal, and slightly less dirty coal. But without doing some research, who knows who is responsible for this? That is part of the problem. Who would recognize a photo of the CEO of any of these coal companies?

  64. Bron,

    Unlike in dealing with forms of government, I have no fealty in economics. My preferences are pragmatic based on the performance over time of various systems tried. Also, we’ve technically had a blended economy from the start as necessitated by the form and function of government as defined by the Constitution. “I also think you are misguided in thinking a group of people can tweak a system like ours so that it works just so in that golden mean between anarchy and totalitarianism.” And I think you really don’t understand the nature of democracy or the nature of the social compact model of government (due in large part to your Aynish religion). Balance is not a goal set in stone. It is a perpetually moving target. Seeking balance is a journey without end. The fight to defend rights and liberty against those who would be tyrants – economically as well as politically – is a never-ending struggle.

  65. Blouise, If you like Albert Brooks I suggest his novel, 2030. It is about the “youngs” and the “olds” and how the “youngs” resent the “olds” for having to work their asses off to support them. It’s funny and thought provoking.

  66. I could care less what the SPLC has to say about anything. As I already noted above they are nothing but a scam.

  67. Because defending the rights of minorities and the poor is, of course, a bad thing while selectively supporting parts of a document that members of Oath Keepers clearly don’t understand in a proper legal context while promoting religiosity within our ranks in contravention of the 1st Amendment is a good thing.
    :roll:

  68. SPLC is not defending anything. They manufacture hate the same way that the KKK, Al Sharpton do. They do it to profit from it. The SPLC is a fraud. Did you not read the articles above exposing them for being money chasers? Funny that an org that supposedly supports blacks seems to do anything to keep them from working for them.

  69. Its funny how looking back at history we can support patriots and cheer them on for fighting the good fight……but when we view people like that today we view them as bizarre or crazy. Even today citing the Founding Fathers is treated as radical thought. THAT is what is insane.

  70. Sam,

    You cite a report by the Capital Research Center, an ultraconservative group largely funded by the Koch family, the Scaifes, and the Bradleys. CRC is well known for smear and disinformation campaigns. They went after the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society during the tobacco litigation a few years ago. Of course, the fact Phillip Morris, the giant tobacco company, gave them many thousands of dollars has nothing to do with it. Don’t pee on my shoe and try to convince me it is raining.

    As for your other link, it has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League thus:

    “American Renaissance, a white supremacist journal and companion Website. The journal, which Taylor edits, promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes articles on the supposed decline of American society because of integrationist social policies.

    Source: http://archive.adl.org/Learn/Ext_US/jared_taylor/default.asp?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_America&xpicked=2&item=taylor

    It is said that, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” Now that we know what kind of company you keep and admire, we consider ourselves forewarned.

  71. Remember in the 60s how the Peace Movement was viewed as radicals . How they stood up to the War mongering US govt. How the hippies were viewed with scorn while they stood up to The Man? Most of those hippies have grown up to BE The Man. They advocate compliance. They advocate strict rules. They advocate nanny state. Its rather ironic i think.

  72. Otte, those links, the second one i believe was only quoting a story that broke in the Mongtomery Ala newspaper. A legit article. I just grabbed the link out of a search engine

  73. OS:

    there is still plenty of land and resources to go around if the government would sell off its land holdings. Most of which is not national parks.

    There is a concentration of wealth in the hands of Washington, DC.

  74. Sam,

    Unlike you, I actually know people who have worked for the SLPC and I know first hand what kind of work they do. They take on important cases pro bono that other lawyers would not touch because they are often expensive with no return on investment while being simply the right thing to do ethically and legally. I feel perfectly confident in saying that what you’re selling is unmitigated neoconservative crapola.

  75. Sam the article is from 1994 edition and unreadable. Other then that, a perfectly legit source for 2013.

  76. Sam:

    “Most of those hippies have grown up to BE The Man. They advocate compliance. They advocate strict rules. They advocate nanny state. Its rather ironic i think.”

    Naw, not at all. They werent against the war, just America in general. At least the leaders were. The rank and file just wanted to smoke dope and engage in “free” love. Protesting was a small price to pay for meeting hot “chicks.”

  77. Oh…”Oathkeepers”?

    I thought it was “Goatkeepers,” like in the movie “Men Who Stare at Goats.”
    Never mind.

    I asked a self-described “Oathkeeper,” to quote me the oath he was keeping. He’s a nice guy, ex-military, didn’t take offense.

    It was a standard-sounding, military oath, pledging to follow the orders of the Commander-In-Chief (the President), and to uphold the Constitution.

    I told the Oathkeeper, “Fine with me. That means you follow the laws of the Federal government, no insurrection against the Commander-In-Chief, no Sedition or Treason, as defined in the Constitution.”

    Wanna-be insurrectionist poseurs encourage others in violent revolution, by preaching its necessity. After the next, glorious, ill-fated, short-lived (literally), “shot heard round the world,” these pseudo-revolutionary dilettantes will be quickly located, in their undisclosed location, under the bed.

    If we want to change things, economic pressure is the only choice. We already pay, and arm, civilian and military authorities to deal with insurrection. It’s right up their alley.

    This is a swinging rap session, as the Czechoslovakian Brothers used to say.

  78. SWM, Congrats. C-Span does a great job broadcasting some of the best commencement speeches. One of my recent favs was Amy Poehler @ BU. I hope you get to hear a good one. Is you child going to work or grad school?

  79. I am sorry Gene, its a sham and I refuse to provide them any credit. They are gold digging frauds out to drain the bank accounts of donors. They are thieves.

    I am far from neo-conservative. That is laughable actually. I pretty much hate the Republican party. In bed with Wall Street for longer and deeper than the Democrats. Hijacked by religious nuts. I hate war as well and think we need to cut our defense spending in half.

  80. Bob check the oath again. I think you read it wrong.

    “I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

    and here is the officers oath in addition

    , [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[1]

    Now let me explain this to you since you clearly do not understand it. The oath first and foremost is to the US Constitution. I suggest you pay particular attention to Amendments 1-10. Because once a President gives orders to violate those he has himself broken the Constitution which means he is committing treason. That means his orders are also invalid.

    Now unless you want to argue that the german people should not have opposed their orders from the Nazis you would then agree that the Presidents orders violating the Bill of Rights should NOT be followed.

  81. SWM, a good pair of running shoes would be a suggested graduation present if she’s going to chase ambulances.

  82. nick, She is a runner but she is not going to be chasing ambulances or doing corporate work. ;). Thank you, lee.

  83. I do agree though Bob that economic pressure will be the game changer and violence will not be needed. I have no doubt that an economic strike by the American people IS coming and will cripple our govt and force change the same way it did in Egypt.

    Imagine if all the American people stopped buying things they did not absolutely need. It could easily collapse the economy,

  84. OS,
    time for new shoes! :) I enjoy citations to Koch brothers employed stooges.
    Swarthmore,
    Congrats on the graduation. Tell her good luck on the bar exam!
    Sam,
    I think it is up to the courts to decide when someone or some agency has violated the constitution, isn’t it?

  85. Nick,

    Chasing ambulances is honorable work but I suspect she’ll be applying her skills in a more meaningful direction.

    The young people I know are far too busy preparing for and working to advance their careers … Revolution is for the militia types, a mentality they view from a disdainful distance.

    What I want to know is where were all the battlers against the tyranny of government when the house to house searches in Boston were taking place. Cowering in place?

  86. Dear Mike,
    To your request ‘I cope with that by trying to report the world around me as I see it and hope that someone much wiser than me, who … will come along to help provide ideas that can save us all.’
    If you can wade through Bob Altemeyer’s book the “The Authoritarians”, you can read Martha Stout’s book “The Sociopath Next Door” and the Inuit had a solution.

  87. “Most of those hippies have grown up to BE The Man. They advocate compliance. They advocate strict rules. They advocate nanny state. Its rather ironic i think.”

    Sam,

    I am one of those hippies and I never was the man. My career was about helping people and service to the community. As far as rules go I’m a lgt more libertarian than Ron/Rand Paul. Now as far as advocating a “nanny state” isn’t that a rather pejorative term invented by Ultra-Conservatives to disparage programs like Social Security, Medicare and Welfare? It is an imprecise term of vacuous meaning that has become a meme for those who’d rather not think to deeply. I’ll take your word for it that you are not a neo-conservative and hate the Republican Party. Why then though do you use their false memes to make your argument?

  88. SwM,

    Getting regular treatments from massotherapist which is helping.

    As to feeling better … Two days ago I was part of a small group that met with two of the Sandy Hook fathers for one on one discussions regarding firearm violence. I now fully understand the look of extreme disappointment and loathing on Biden’s face during Obama’s news conference announcing the defeat of the measure. Talking with those two fathers was meeting the reality of firearm violence straight up.

  89. Published on Friday, May 3, 2013 by In These Times

    Boston and Beyond: Terrorism at Home and Abroad

    When we experience terror at home, we must remember the United States’ use of terror abroad.

    by Noam Chomsky

    https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/03-5

    Excerpt:

    In his book Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines and the Rise of the Surveillance State, the historian Alfred McCoy explores in depth the U.S. pacification of the Philippines after an invasion that killed hundreds of thousands through savagery and torture.

    The conquerors established a sophisticated surveillance and control system, using the most advanced technology of the day to ensure obedience, with consequences for the Philippines that reach to the present.

    And as McCoy demonstrates, it wasn’t long before the successes found their way home, where such methods were employed to control the domestic population—in softer ways to be sure, but not very attractive ones.

    We can expect the same. The dangers of unexamined and unregulated monopoly power, particularly in the state executive, are hardly news. The right reaction is not passive acquiescence.

  90. Blouise, I admire your commitment. Did you catch the clip of possible GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz addressing the NRA?

  91. One of your own

    SPLC — milking old northern liberals for decades
    Posted by William A. Jacobson Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2:18pm
    Clinical Professor of Law,
    Cornell Law School

    I have written so many times about the fundraising charade conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, in which “hate group” numbers are inflated and fear mongering is used to pump up SPLC’s massive endowment used to pay enormous salaries.

    As with the proverbial broken clock, SPLC occasionally is right about a particular hate group and occasionally does good work, but mostly it has politicized itself as part of a strategy to demonize the Tea Party and those who disagree with SPLC on social issues in order to keep itself relevant to donors. SPLC even listed Rand Paul as a extremist to watch.

  92. SwM,

    Oh yeah … But let’s not take this thread off topic … Gotta run anyway to pick out some landscaping trees.

  93. “In his book Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines and the Rise of the Surveillance State, the historian Alfred McCoy explores in depth the U.S. pacification of the Philippines after an invasion that killed hundreds of thousands through savagery and torture.”

    AP,

    Interesting catch since today the Philippines has the craziest gun culture in the world and politicians who run for office need armies: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/philippines-guns-black-market_n_3058567.html

    This was detailed on HBO’s new show “Vice” in a powerful segment that leaves the impression that the country has devolved into Politicians, as gang leaders, who control various areas of the country. Could be the shape of things to come here.

  94. Samuel,
    We get it. you don’t like the SPLC. I am sure it has nothing at all to do with the millions of dollars they have won for clients ranging from a mother whose young son was murdered by the clan, to their work in the tobacco lawsuits. We get it. They go after fronts for hate groups.

    Like them or not, I have met Morris Dees and have seen him in action in court. He is a formidable litigator and a most personable guy. You will just have to forgive me if I think both propaganda sites you linked to above are, shall we say, creative when it comes to manipulating facts.

    Character assassination by demonizing is one of the favorite tactics used by groups such as the swiftboaters, ALEC, and neo-nazis. Frank Luntz has made a good living figuring out how to best implement the “Big Lie” as a political tool. It is actually a variant of the strawman fallacy combined with ad hominem attacks.

  95. Thanks, Mike S., for both this posting and the Huffington Post link.

    Regarding one of yesterday’s threads, but related to where we may be headed:

    EDITORIAL: A Stasi for Palm Beach
    The sheriff wants a gossip ministry to call his own

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/3/a-stasi-for-palm-beach/

    The Department of Homeland Security is using these local grants to do what the department itself is prohibited from doing. Shortly after 9/11, George W. Bush prepared to create a federal Big Brother hotline called “Operation Tips” that sought to enlist citizens to turn in neighbors for “suspicious” activity. House Republicans added a provision to the law ensuring that the agency could never do it.

    It was a dumb idea at the federal level, and it’s a dumb idea in Palm Beach County. Trained police professionals are paid to observe people, notice things, investigate and take matters to the district attorney at the appropriate point, and make sure civil liberties are protected. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s far better than fundamentally transforming the country in the image of the Eastern Bloc.

    “Community Partners Against Terrorism” / “C-PAT”

    http://www.allianceofdelray.com/item_list.asp?subcat=193&subtitle=Community+Partners+Against+Terrorism

  96. Otteray, I find it sad that you dismiss the above article as hatemongering propaganda which tells me you did not even read it. Why? Because it was written by a respected Liberal Law professor for Cornell. Can I laugh now?

    William A. Jacobson is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School. Prof. Jacobson is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. At Harvard he was Senior Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and Director of Litigation for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.

    Prior to joining the Cornell law faculty in 2007, Prof. Jacobson had a highly successful civil litigation and arbitration practice in Providence, Rhode Island, concentrating in investment, employment, and business disputes in the securities industry, including many high profile cases reported in leading newspapers and magazines.

  97. Swarthmore mom:
    Congratulations to your daughter. I still remember the thread in which the pros and cons of various law schools were being discussed. How quickly three years go by.

  98. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-recorded-fbi-boston

    Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

    A former FBI counterterrorism agent claims on CNN that this is the case

    by Glenn Greenwald
    Saturday 4 May 2013 08.22 EDT

    Excerpts:

    The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are.

    …..

    Despite the extreme secrecy behind which these surveillance programs operate, there have been periodic reports of serious abuse. Two Democratic Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have been warning for years that Americans would be “stunned” to learn what the US government is doing in terms of secret surveillance.

    …..

    Mass surveillance is the hallmark of a tyrannical political culture. But whatever one’s views on that, the more that is known about what the US government and its surveillance agencies are doing, the better. This admission by this former FBI agent on CNN gives a very good sense for just how limitless these activities are.

    =======

    And here’s the rub: In spite of all that’s come to light in recent months and years, if related what I know, many here wouldn’t believe it.

  99. Truly grim reading, Mike, but I certainly agree with you regarding the direction the country is taking. I don’t _want_ a violent revolution–does anyone actually _want_ that? And at this point, I don’t believe one is necessary to effect positive change. But like you, I honestly don’t know what needs to be done to bring about that (to me) necessary return to a Constitutional state. I do believe unless the trend is reversed, that we will see significant social violence in the future in this country, if not an actual civil war. Not because people _want_ a revolution, but because they can see no other way to undo the real or perceived erosion of our rights under the Constitution, and the attendant increase in power of the government over the people–not _by_ the people.

  100. Sam,
    Your quotation of the oath is exactly as I remember it. Like the second amendment, it’s all one sentence. You cannot pick which parts of the sentence to uphold. Which is, coincidentally, what’s done with the second amendment.
    This is exactly what folks do with the Constitution. Pick and choose which parts you want to uphold, ignore the rest.
    The Supreme Court, ultimately, or lower Federal Courts, interpret what is Constitutional and what isn’t.
    Not individual “Oathkeepers.”
    So, if you’re upholding the Constitution, you don’t get to decide what’s Constitutional. You uphold all of it.
    I’m still cool with what the oath says, and what the second amendment says. All of it, not fragments.
    Sam, you sound like you missed out on the ’60s. Too bad. George Will spent the era in Divinity School. Missed the defining moment of his generation.
    You display a subtle soupcon of resentment toward the old hippies. Most of ’em are still old hippies, by the way. Still don’t quite fit in. “Ne’er-do-wells,” as one deceased hippie used to say. It doesn’t sound like you know any.

  101. Liberal law professor? Got any more smoke and mirrors? Jacobson is a well known as a conservative. Some would say he is a right wing ultraconservative. He is also known as a ‘Birther’ who questions President Obama being a US citizen.

    Argumentum ad verecundiam. It is more lame when the appeal is to a crank. Birthers and Truthers are cranks.

    Sam, you don’t like the SPLC. That’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion. Let’s just leave it at that.

  102. OS,

    “It is actually a variant of the strawman fallacy combined with ad hominem attacks.”

    Bingo. As is a vast majority of propaganda. That particular combination of tactics is a favorite among the Disciples of Goebbels Atwater.

  103. ” I also believe that “armed” revolution never works towards positive changes.”

    Hmmm Seems to have worked in 1776 with a bunch of hayseed farmers against the most powerful military in the world at that time.

  104. Bob K.,

    “So, if you’re upholding the Constitution, you don’t get to decide what’s Constitutional. You uphold all of it.
    I’m still cool with what the oath says, and what the second amendment says. All of it, not fragments.”

    That’s pretty funny considering how you want to use an unconditional clause to curtail an expressly stated right by imposing the imaginary “militia requirement” in contravention to how SCOTUS has interpreted the 2nd over the years. Reminds me of that saying about motes, beams and eyes.

    It’s simple irony but it makes me chuckle.

    But I digress.

  105. Mike A.,

    It does seem like yesterday, doesn’t it? Or in the words of my favorite Marxist, Groucho, “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”

  106. After reading over the comments that are actually relevant to Mike’s fine article, something just occurred to me. When the Occupy movement got started last yer, the reaction of most authorities was revealing. Overreaction, actually.

    The 1% are terrified of the rest of us. They truly fear the masses, and their response to Occupy Wall Street revealed far more than they realized. Add to that the blocking of funds to WikiLeaks by credit card companies, followed by the aggressive chasing down of Julian Assange for not using a condom shows the lengths to which they are willing to go.

    They are scared. Unfortunately, even the most docile animal will bite you when frightened. Where this is going no one knows, but the elites are afraid.

  107. Bob I know lots of old hippies. Most of them are massive hypocrites. Some of the most arrogant people as well. The damage the baby boomers are doing to this nation is unprecedented.

    Also I as I said, the oath is first and foremost to the US Constitution. Once the govt begins to bypass that and becomes unconstitutional, their orders become invalid.

    I suggest you sit back and actually read or reread the writings of Madison, Jefferson, Mason, Henry etc. They pretty much viewed govt as a necessary evil and not the end all be all no matter how much the progressives wish to rewrite it in their quest for a Big Brother nanny state. The progressives have been using the liberals and blue dogs to achieve their means. That is not going to last much longer. Too many liberals are waking up to the insane fanaticism of the progressives.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”- Patrick Henry

    btw, the SPLC is and always will be a fraud. A scam that preys upon the naive and well intentioned. In fact they might be the largest hate group of them all.

  108. Otteray, one day you will realize that the occupy crowd whom you support and the Tea Party are actually fighting the same fight and the same enemies. They are kept divided by social issues that are wounds that are kept open by those either unwilling to see past the hate of the other side and more importantly by those who wish to keep the masses divided.

    Think about that minute. You say the 1% fears the masses. That is true. So how to keep the masses off them? Easy. Keep them busy fighting each other over stupid social issues. I say stupid in comparison to the violation of the Constitution and the robbery of ALL of our pockets.

    When you bash the Tea Party or the Tea Party bashes the occupy crowd, the only thing you achieve is doing the devils work for Wall Street. Stop fighting each other. Social issues can wait.

  109. ap. Assange should be given a medal. Its a travesty what the worlds governments are doing to him.

    In times of Universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”- Orwell

  110. Sam,

    “So how to keep the masses off them? Easy. Keep them busy fighting each other over stupid social issues. I say stupid in comparison to the violation of the Constitution and the robbery of ALL of our pockets.”

    “The damage the baby boomers are doing to this nation is unprecedented.”

    —————————————————————-

    You might follow your own advice.

  111. Sam 1, May 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    ap. Assange should be given a medal. Its a travesty what the worlds governments are doing to him.

    In times of Universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”- Orwell

    =====

    Agreed.

    —–

    Six Whistleblowers Charged Under the Espionage Act

    Thursday, 02 May 2013 09:10

    By John Light and Lauren Feeney, Moyers & Company | Report

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/16120-six-whistleblowers-charged-under-the-espionage-act

  112. gbk,

    If he did that, he’d lose his Koch Sucker Merit Badge.

    ************

    Bob K.,

    You trickster you.

  113. Sam,

    You are new here so I don’t know what’s with you. However, this SPLC obsession does seem like trollish diversion from the topic. I just sayin…………..

  114. Bron: During the 19th century (1800s) we were slaughtering Indians still living in their stone age, stealing their land and resources, exploiting their near virgin territory like crazy, and capturing and holding blacks as slaves, for cheap labor working farms.

    What is your thesis, again? Crime pays?

  115. Mike Spindell,

    Thank you for your time writing these articles. And the commenters here. Just your writing them is a much needed peaceful act of revolt attempting to improve our collective plight.

    Many of us having promoting peaceful revolt against whole groups of bad policies in an attempt to get the USA back on the correct path for decades.

    Sometimes I’ve found out I was wrong or supporting the wrong group of local/DC polecats. I just make the adjustments & move forward.

    One example of a peaceful revolt my wife & I use is we’ve taken our hobby garden & expanded it by 3 or 4 times the size it used to be to revolt against the FDA/USDA/Walmart/Monsanto toxic crap.

    Now I see most everyone in our rural area planting their own veggie gardens.

    We’ve got another peaceful revolt ongoing against electric/fuel industries/FERC….

    It seems most of the things I’m involved with/websites I visit are all engaged in some kind of peaceful revolt against the corruption that has gone out of control.

    Zerohedge/jsmineset focuses on world/USA market/currency corruptions & that is at the very heart of all the corruption.

    Another major peaceful revolt against corruption is from the help of Alex Jones/Infowars & their Operation Paul Revere Contest the past 3-4 months.

    I’m not sure how many entries there were? 500… 5000? But I have seen many very nice entries.

    If anyone is interested start below.

    The 1st link is just the google search results.

    The 2nd one is a nice 3 plus minute clip.

    The 3rd is a very nicely done forty minute clip.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=infowars.com%2Fcontest#q=infowars.com/contest&tbs=qdr:m&ei=9nmFUfL5BoPe8ASTsYGYAg&start=0&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.45960087,d.dmQ&fp=303eca252fa8d1af&biw=1280&bih=881

  116. Since Wall Street’s Richness is fueled by Main Street’s Indebtness, then a nonviolent revolution for the 99% would be to become debt free.

    I said it once and I will say it again: Wall Street makes its’ ‘longest green’ off of interest from loans & credit cards (CNBC Analyst Jim Cramer). If the 99% would create a 5-7 year plan to become debt free, and remain debt free, not only would Wall Street change overnight, but every entity connected to loans (housing & auto industry, higher education institutions) & the credit industry would have to change the way that they do business.

    Unfortunately, there would also be major job losses due to the jobs that these industries provide (if these industry are unable to survive or adapt to the 99% becoming debt free).

  117. re above post of the New Orleans video.
    “Police department spokesman Bob Young said it has stored 552 guns that were confiscated after Katrina, through Dec. 31, 2005. Police have said they only took guns that were stolen or found in abandoned homes”
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-08-nra-katrina_N.htm
    NRA to settle suit over Katrina gun seizures.
    I don’t know where that video came from, who made but it certainly does not show more then the NRA version of events.

  118. I think it is when people meet up with those who sustained such great loss, as the 2 fathers with whom Blouise met, that it truly gets through that this is an issue about people and not the NRA and their ridiculous efforts to exaggerate and fear monger among their members in order to roil them up against any and all efforts to curtail gun violence.

  119. tony c:

    “Bron: During the 19th century (1800s) we were slaughtering Indians still living in their stone age, stealing their land and resources, exploiting their near virgin territory like crazy, and capturing and holding blacks as slaves, for cheap labor working farms.

    What is your thesis, again? Crime pays?”

    I would expect you would say that, no surprise there.

  120. Bron,
    The Three Mouseketeers were Portholes, Atholes, Salamis, and Dark Onion. That seems like more than three. It’s a religious mystery.

    The three Mouseketeers were background-checked, and found ineligible to carry muskets.

  121. **
    I don’t know where that video came from, who made but it certainly does not show more then the NRA version of events.
    leejcaroll 1, May 4, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I think it is when people meet up with those who sustained such great loss, as the 2 fathers with whom Blouise met, that it truly gets through that this is an issue about people and not the NRA and their ridiculous efforts to exaggerate and fear monger among their members in order to roil them up against any and all efforts to curtail gun violence. **

    Lee,

    One kid that ends up in a wheel chair from a nut with a gun is a tragedy, but to disarm the approximately 1 million people, in the US in 2010, latest numbers, who used their guns to stop violent acts themselves & others that would be irresponsible & insane on your part & others supporting your position.

    A former Chicago prosecutor, a member of an outfit called LEAP points out that 80% of Chicago’s gun crimes are involved in the drug war, a war were outfits like the CIA help smuggle the drugs in.

    In other words end the drug war & you end up getting rid of most gun violence is their point.

    How many people were killed/injured by Monsanto/Walmart unsafe food/products last year?

    I think many supporting the ongoing assault against the Bill of Rights are either insincere commie/nazi types or willfully ignorant of the issues at stake.

    The latest stats I’ve seen show about 800,000 people a year are killed by medical industry’s screwups & only 42,000 approx. die related to guns.

    Current crime rates are dropping like a rock as more people in the US are becoming armed. Violent crime rate is down 49% in the last 20 years, even as the economy gets worst.

    And what was the final results of the Sandy Hook investigation? Was the nutcase on big pharma’s suicide pills, & that those pills are what caused the shooting?

    Maybe those fathers of the dead kids would be better served if they knew if their kids died because of the medical/big Pharma/MD nutcases.

    We now know that appears to be the case of the Colorado shooting & many of the others, not the guns but the big Pharma pills.

    Everyone born in the USA was given the gift of the Bill of Rights/Constitution at birth & they’d be a fool/ill-responsible to give up even one comma of their Rights/Responsibilities to them.

    If some wish not to have liberties, if the responsibility of the burden are to great for them to handle, they are free to move to Nazi controlled England or maybe Mexico or North Korea. That way they won’t have to worry about defending themselves from being raped,robbed, etc…..

    I know, you might be one who’s mind could never be changed, but there are others reading this that may be open to investigating what are the true facts of these multiple issues Meds/Docs/Guns.

    One thing is for sure,commie/nazi American hating Trash Bloomberg, Como, Obama, Biden & many others have destroyed themselves politically over these Bill of Rights issues.

    I’m sorry for you & others it’s cold,clear,cut n dried, but there is no middle ground.

    Americans are either free & have Rights or they don’t.

  122. I wont bother to respond to some of the ridiculous conclusions you have jumped to other then to say, as I and others have repeatedly said, no one is going to disarm you. Background checks are not disarming but you continue to go to the extreme because you evidently cannot consider there might be a middle ground.

  123. Mean while Murder Inc, the MIC, continues to grind threw humanity.

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/israel-confirms-game-changing-airstrike-120704578.html

    Israel jets fly over E. Lebanon, head north over Beirut, after striking targets in Syria
    Israeli military activity is reported in Lebanon Saturday, May 4 and not just over Syria.
    US sources said earlier Israeli warplanes had struck targets in Syria including a chemical weapons depot outside Damascus, firing missiles remotely from Lebanese air space and the Golan starting Friday and continuing up until early Saturday, May 3. An Israeli spokesman confirmed only an air strike in Syria against a shipment of long-range surface missiles.
    The latest reports from Lebanon point to expanding Israeli military activity inside Lebanon as well.

    They describe Israeli warplanes as flying “at a medium altitude over the Eastern and Western Mountain ranges of the Beqaa Valley.” debkafile: Hizballah strongholds are located in this region which is close to the Syrian border. Other warplanes were described as heading north over Beirut.

    One Lebanese source claimed Israeli ground troops had descended from the Mt. Dov-Hermon range, crossed the Lebanese border and entered the Shebaa Farms region.
    None of these reports are confirmed by Israel, Lebanon or Syria. But debkafile notes that if Israeli troops have indeed penetrated Lebanon to a depth of 5-7 kilometers and reached the Shebaa Farms, they have taken up positions opposite the 30 Syrian Shiite villages guarded by incoming Iranian elite Basij militiamen.

    debkafile reported exclusively Friday that thousands of Basij militiamen had just been airlifted from Iran to Syria, establishing an Iranian military presence opposite Israel from Syria as well as Lebanon. They joined a comparable number of Hizballah militiamen fighting for the Bashar regime.

    More…

  124. Bron, One is an Ivy Leaguer, one is a college professor w/o tenure, and the last one is well…very logical.

  125. Lee,

    Just maybe the middle ground you are searching for is that we first try out your background checks for a decade or so against the war mongers, like GE or United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in the United Technologies Building in Hartford, Connecticut.

    Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, isn’t a large chunk of their economies based on making weapons of war? Weren’t there some shootings/terror attacks in those states recently?

    Oh well, meaningless acts of violence by nutcases or state nutcases is to complicated for my mind to sort out, they all just look like nutcases to me.

    Not one comma will I or millions of others give up, ever!

    But to lighten my tone up a bit I’ll put a smile up. :)

  126. nick spinelli:

    have you heard about Obama’s pick for sec commerce? A real POS by all appearences. Crooked as Al Capone from what I am reading.

  127. “It is the false shame of fools to try to conceal wounds that have not healed.” – Horace

  128. OK, now I feel at home, here. What a relief!
    I was wondering why so many seemingly rational adults were commenting on Mike’s article.
    I had predicted, earlier, that this would bring the crazies out of the woodwork. I was premature.
    The crazies just get up later in the day, apparently.
    I was wondering if I’d wandered into the wrong blog.

    Oky1, you got it straight. Tomorrow, my liberal/progressive/commie/nazi friends and I, will be going house-to-house, eating up all of your guns.
    Nom, nom, nom! Run away! Run away!

  129. Bob K.,

    What kind of wine goes with guns? And do Nazis eat them with sauerkraut and beet salad? Curious minds want to know.

  130. Bob Kauten,

    What? You have no evidence of fact, you site no law, you haven’t even a common sense plea.

    All you see to have is ad hominem attacks & Na Na Na Boo Boo

    Quit wasting American’s time on this gun grabbing crap & go arrest some of GW’s/Obama’s, Glen Beck’s & Bloomberg’s murdering Wallst/London Bankers/Insurance creeps, the source of 99.99% of all crime!

    And lighten up a bit!

    “Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Sieg heil! LOL;)

    Hitler Helmke Gun Control Rant

  131. leejcaroll,

    When a society prizes its weapons more than its children, deep seated problems are at play.

    In May of 1970 the campuses of Kent State and Jackson State witnessed the firearm killings of 6 students with the University of New Mexico experiencing 11 bayoneted students. No National Guardsmen, State or Local Police were ever convicted so the term murder can not be legitimately used to describe the atrocities.

    That was when it started. That lawmakers are unwilling to do anything about firearm violence even now that the killing has spread to 6 year old students in their classrooms should come as no surprise to anyone … from State sponsored to Citizen sponsored, sh*t rolls downhill.

    We are a society unwilling to and incapable of protecting our own children. No revolution is going to fix that … but we’re working on it.

    I’m 68 years old and I sincerely doubt I will see much movement on the issue of firearm violence in my lifetime, but back in the 60’s/70’s when I was getting my scalp burned for being a n*gger-lover I never expected to see a black man elected President in my lifetime so … who knows, maybe I will see some sanity brought to the issue of firearm violence before I die. Whatever the case, I’m d*mn well going to do my part.

  132. Blouise,
    Yesterday the 4th of May was the 43rd anniversary of the killings at Kent State. Some things never change.

  133. raf,

    A Gallup Poll taken immediately after the Kent State shootings showed that 58 percent of respondents blamed the students, 11 percent blamed the National Guard … the problem is deep seated

  134. Gene H.,
    No wine goes with sauerkraut. Whine goes with sauerkraut, if you hate sauerkraut.
    No wine goes with borscht, for the commie side of our personalities.
    Beer is best with Bangers and mash.
    I hate Illinois Nazis.

    Oky1,
    This is as light as I ever get. Ever had “light” beer?

  135. I see this as cyclical. There’s a Ying and Yang to democracy as we veer between security and liberty. We’re heading in the righthand lane now but sooner or later we get bored with it and bounce back to the left. The turn signal is on. See the decline of fundamentalists, the ebbing of right wing politics, the general agreement that we need to be nicer to one another. Why so gloomy Mike? The dawn is as inevitable as the dusk.

  136. Bron, Yes, I’m very aware of the Pritzker family. There is a great book about the Jewish underworld[mostly attorneys that worked w/ the Cosa Nostra] called Supermob. The main person profiled is the infamous Stanly Korshak, a shadowy attorney who held meetings only in restaurants and on the street..never taking notes. He ran Hollywood up until his death. This cabal was based in Chicago and was mostly comprised of 1st generation Russian Jews. The Pritzker family was knee deep in this club. This woman is the granddaughter of the patriarch. It’s a great read.

  137. sort of off topic:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beth-haynes-md/americans-lack-health-insurance_b_3077068.html

    good article on health care.

    “How many Americans have proper health insurance?

    Most estimates in the news are that 50 million individuals — 15 percent of Americans — are without health insurance. But in fact, very few Americans have health insurance… because what people call health insurance really isn’t insurance at all.

    Thanks to this quirk, when we are at our most vulnerable, we are less protected. To see why this is so, consumers must understand what insurance should and shouldn’t do.

    What is insurance? Think about your auto, life and homeowner’s insurance. Each of these is designed as a means to pay for unexpected, unpredictable, very expensive occurrences outside of the control of the policyholder. Insurance is a means of financially protecting people from the risk of unlikely but high-cost events. To build up sufficient funds, the insured pays a premium calculated on their specific chance of experiencing a covered event. Insurance companies can only stay solvent if what they take in as premiums is greater than what they pay out in claims (plus business expenses and a competitive profit).

    So what is it we have that we call health insurance but isn’t? We have the prepayment of medical expenses. We expect our “insurance” to cover predictable, relatively inexpensive events like health maintenance checks, minor illnesses and injuries — and to pay for them with minimal out of pocket spending. Under Obamacare, these expectations will be mandated by law. The new law actually makes it illegal for insurance companies to charge individuals premiums equal to their risk of making claims. It’s like having a law requiring homeowner’s insurance to pay for lawn care, house painting and water heater replacement, while at the same time prohibiting the companies from operating an actuarially sound business.”

  138. I am reading Washington’s Farewell Address…..Mike, I think we were warned then as well….

  139. Bron: What is insurance? Think about your auto, life and homeowner’s insurance. Each of these is designed as a means to pay for unexpected, unpredictable, very expensive occurrences outside of the control of the policyholder.

    I know you are quoting somebody, but his premise is false, or at least misleading. None of the descriptors he uses is a necessary component of insurance; death is expected, and often relatively predictable, and often not that expensive. A man with a million dollar life insurance policy is not necessarily going to actually incur a million dollars worth of expenses should he die.

    Insurance has a very simple mathematical justification; some expenses and events have extremely low average costs per person, but extremely high specific costs. Therefore, one can protect oneself from the bad luck economics of a high specific cost by joining with others and paying the average cost, plus some overhead for administration and taking precautions against free riders and frauds.

    That can apply to routine expenses as well; especially if sometimes the routine expense can become an extreme expense. There is a definite value in applying insurance to a routine expense; it accomplishes two things.

    First, and foremost, it can eliminate any decision or language needed in a policy to try and define what is covered and what is not. It can simplify the insurance policy; for example, all prescription drugs (as defined by the FDA) are covered with a co-pay of $5.

    That might increase the premiums, but ultimately the insured do not care, because the necessary increase in premiums is something the insured would have had to pay anyway, if they paid for routine prescriptions on their own. It also can actually decrease the overhead for the insurance company; because without checks, lawsuits over coverage, and filing decisions to make, all those prescription claims can become completely automated, require zero human intervention, and cost them less than a penny.

    The second benefit this delivers is that it allows coverage of the outlier cases, say very expensive drugs, that would otherwise not be worth the overhead of insuring. If the average expense of an HIV drug is one cent but the specific cost is $1000 a day, and we ONLY offered insurance on such drugs, you do not have an actuarially sound insurance offer; the overhead of administration and other such insurance factors will far outweigh the average cost to people, and the expense of free riders and frauds is part of that cost. However, when combined with the coverage of routine drugs, the added cost of covering things like HIV drugs becomes an increase of a penny in the premiums; i.e. the ratio of overhead to premium remains small, and in the entire population of insured, the HIV free riders and frauds, also remain a tiny fraction of the whole, instead of being hyper-concentrated into a single population (as would be the case for an HIV only insurance policy).

    Likewise, in health insurance, raising the premium in order to cover routine checkups that most policy holders are willing to do anyway can simplify the policy and reduce the overhead of decision making, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

    I can imagine doing the same for car insurance; an increased premium to provide blanket coverage of routine oil changes, tire changes, tuneups, and other fixes could simplify the policy, reduce the decision and claim processing load via automation, increase efficiency, pay for itself, and potentially even reduce accidents. (Fewer bald tires, blowouts, broken brake lights, limited visibility due to bad wipers, etc). For policy holders: They would pay for those things anyway, but making it part of the premium spreads the payments out over the year, and makes them more likely to promptly correct any problems that arise (because they are entitled and it no longer represents an unusual expense for them).

  140. mespo,

    The return of a pendulum depends upon the force behind it. While there is some indication of a slowing of the pendulum swing toward fascist authoritarianism, it is not an unreasonable based on the facts to observe that the pendulum has yet reached apogee and is on the return path just yet. Slowing is not reversal.

  141. Gene: It is also possible that the slowing is an indication of approaching the goal, and/or the difficulty of executing the next steps (like the complete destruction of any economic safety net and the elimination of rules and regulations that cost them profits).

    I am not so sure it is cyclic at all. Some things that appear cyclic are not, really. Consider the cheetah and its prey; it may appear that over the generations one species is on average slightly faster than the other at various times, presenting the illusion of a cycle or pendulum; but there is an underlying monotonically increasing factor (running speed) that is asymptotically approaching a limit for both.

    For us, that hidden monotonic variable may be something like our decreasing ability to effect any change or mount an effective rebellion. Even under kings that was higher in the past than it is now, kings did not have the weapons and surveillance ability that they have now, and were more physically accessible in the past.

    But every time we do find a way (the pendulum swings our way) the sociopaths find a way to plug those leaks in their system (e.g. gerrymandering; and the pendulum swings their way), and one more route to freedom has been shut down for us.

  142. oath of office to protect and defend the US … defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC,

  143. BobK: “Oky1, you got it straight. Tomorrow, my liberal/progressive/commie/nazi friends and I, will be going house-to-house, eating up all of your guns.”
    **
    I was actually going to volunteer to be part of the confiscatory dining group but then I re-read your posting and saw that you had said “guns” and not “buns” as I first thought. I’d go raiding for buns, hot, buttered buns for sure, and hope there were scrambled eggs in attendance also, but guns? Not so much. If you want to get a breakfast-food crusade gong though you can count me in, I’m there. :-)

  144. Several commenters above have pointed out that a war of revolution will not attain the goals the participants want it to.

    That is backed up by a statement of a couple of investigators who have been doing an autopsy on the Iraq war:

    … all wars are an infernal machine in which the persons most infected with hate inevitably flourish and are promoted.

    (America’s Words of Peace and Acts of War).

  145. In the last year I’ve called & written more of our govt Reps then I have in all other 50+ years combined. The Wallst/London Bank/Insurance mafia remains at the top of my focus as they are the criminal masterminds behind most all these different disasters in ever sector of the economy the US & the world faces today.

    I suggest that there is something beyond fear & that people should get off their knees & be taking peaceful actions of revolt against those corrupt aholes while they still have the chance to do so.

    Do not give into violence, that’s what the corrupt aholes want you to do.

    I believe peaceful actions & exposing them to as many others you can is the way to putting their evil intent to an end.

    **Obviously, the role of a radically expanded surveillance and police state is not to protect us from terrorists the government created – and continues to create for its political theater – but to undermine and subvert opposition to the government and the establishment status quo.

    In order for a police state to work effectively, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be subverted and rendered useless as well. Political enemies of the elite must not be allowed access to counsel or appear before judges.

    The United States is rapidly becoming a third world dictatorship where enemies of the state disappear. It is a long-term project going back decades. **

    More….

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-new-normal-boston-bombing-suspect-interrogated-without-counsel.html

  146. Oky1 (whichever personality I’m speaking with),

    If you get your info from prisonplanet, infowars, and Alex Jones, it explains a lot.

  147. Tony,

    Not only are the patterns of history cyclical, they are muti-phasic. It’s a room full of pendulums all operating at a different frequency. Some pendulums loose their momentum all together and stop functioning. Others get stuck from time to time at an apogee before moving again, but on aggregate I think the cyclical nature holds true. Cyclic is simply shorthand for what is in reality a much more complex set of individual behaviors that on a large enough scale manifest cyclically even if a particular pendulum may have variant/deviant behavior.

  148. OKY1, I had not seen the video you provided above and if there was no disingenuous editing it is indeed shocking but not unknown or unanticipated. Many people that have posted to this site have complained repeatedly that Congress has made a point of abdicating its right to declare war (or put the brakes to one) for decades. They have been all to happy to leave the decision to the Executive. That Sessions seemed surprised by Panetta’s answers was almost comic, so deep is the hypocrisy of Congress regarding the abandonment of their authority on that front.

    Not carping at you, we are probably on the same page regarding who gets to declare war. I’m watching episode 3 of Vice, an HBO series Mike S talked about yesterday in one of the threads: the dirty weapons war in Iraq and the lingering, monstrous effects thereof has put me in a really pissy mood- it makes the ‘red-line’ concept of chemical weapons in Syria almost laughable.

    Thanks for the heads up on the show Mike.

  149. lottakatz,

    I believe the first place I saw that clip was live on Cspan.

    Spooky ugh, UN & Nato running our military not our congress.

    I think the USC is very clear on who has that authority.

    Not all people in our govt are evil.

    Most of them want to be helpful in fixing these messes, but they have to be careful or they’ll be fired or worst.

    They are trying to get the info out to the public the best they can.

    The trick for us is to find govt leaders we can have trust in.

    I like Ron Paul better then Rand Paul. Maybe Rand is having to cave on positions for political reasons?

    Ron stated he knew we couldn’t just get rid of programs like SSI,etc..

    Where it gets tricky is people like the teachers unions, etc. have to figure out how to work with many of the people who hold Alex Jones type positions. And the Jones type have reciprocate.

    While these different groups share many concerns against corruption in govt, banking/insurance/transnational corporations good will towards each other gets harmed when jackazzes like Wisconsin’s gov. Scott Walker comes out the gates & attacks unions instead of corporate corruption first.

    The last thing the corrupt evil b*stards can have is for We the People to set some of these social issues aside for now & reform politically in the middle.

    I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but very soon the US will look just like the people rioting across Europe & other places around the world.

  150. Oky1: “Spooky ugh, UN & Nato running our military not our congress.”
    *
    They don’t. America is the greatest military power in the world- the history of the world and does nothing militarily it does not want to do, that isn’t in its interest, or perceived to be in its interest. NATO didn’t seek coalition support for the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan, we sought coalition partners to give it the gloss of legitimacy. We only seek a consensus among our allies (and who knows what that costs?) to avoid looking like a mongering beast.

  151. Oky1,

    Lottakatz is correct, Oky1.

    The US specifically pursued a unilateral strategy after 9-11 despite world sympathy (at the time) and the support of NATO:

    “‘If it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty,’ stated NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, after a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on the evening of 12 September.”

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-692B87B6-09165270/natolive/news_18569.htm

  152. Chris Hedges / Julian Assange interviews:

    “The Death of Truth”

    “This interview is a joint project of Truthdig and The Nation magazine.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/dig/item/the_death_of_truth_20130505/

    (http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/listen_chris_hedges_interviews_julian_assange_20130505/)

    From, “The Death of Truth”:

    “Assange, Manning and WikiLeaks, by making public in 2010 half a million internal documents from the Pentagon and the State Department, along with the 2007 video of U.S. helicopter pilots nonchalantly gunning down Iraqi civilians, including children, and two Reuters journalists, effectively exposed the empire’s hypocrisy, indiscriminate violence and its use of torture, lies, bribery and crude tactics of intimidation. WikiLeaks shone a spotlight into the inner workings of empire—the most important role of a press—and for this it has become empire’s prey. Those around the globe with the computer skills to search out the secrets of empire are now those whom empire fears most. If we lose this battle, if these rebels are defeated, it means the dark night of corporate totalitarianism. If we win, if the corporate state is unmasked, it can be destroyed.”

    “The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.”

    Given what I know is going on in this country — a domestic “program” that hasn’t yet come to light… I, too, fear for us…

  153. Blouise, I am 60 (and 3/4rts) so I remember Kent State all too well. I did not know about the polling you cite. With all we saw on TV and the reporting (back in the days when reporters more often did their job and reported on ‘real news’ and did not add their own spin) I am appalled people still sw it as the fault of the students.
    I am also with you, I never thought we would ever see any other then a white man for president (still waiting for woman, Jew, non Christian, but maybe the female barrier will break while I am still here.)
    My hopes are yours, we will see action taken on firearm violence.
    (Don’t know if you saw the 3 D pistol is a donedeal. only the firing pin is metal so supposedly it is undetectable for scanners)
    Even if we were to get the congress to take action people like the scum (as far as I am concerned, although if it is doable guess sooner or later someone decides to do it) that created this gun will make sure the law(s) becomes meaningless.

  154. Definitely a thought provoking article (all to the good, I say). I read most but do not have time to read all. Which means that very few will read what I have to say.

    Not one response, nor the article, is correct in their assessment of the left and right divide in the US. There is no viable (meaning politically effective) left in the US. The Democrats (at least those who are in support of the policies of their party) are center right. The Progressives are center, mostly. Do I really need to tell you why?

    Secondly, if as many of you attest, we now have a corporate state fast leading to a police state, then one might easily see the government as a foreign power. That is, it is foreign to its founding principles, the Constitution and the wishes of most of its population. This corporate rule is supported by a bought Congress (despite being elected).

    The prospect of an armed revolution against this foreign power is not such an alien thought. The defeat of such a revolution would be swift and fruitless. Better to think of establishing a new party to counter corporatism. However, there is already a party waiting in the wings that is gaining political expertise as it waits. I suggest (and I am not a member of this party) that you learn what the Green Party stands for. And, no, it is not just about environmentalism. I’m not saying it is the perfect solution, but it may be a way towards one.

Comments are closed.