Recent comments

  • Banal Canal   16 hours 38 min ago

    Worth the trouble to understand that institutions rule, not people.

    Institutions are a human technology designed to achieve a purpose. As a technology, they are designed with the same logic as machines. Machines are not like people. They have no empathy, no feelings, no living features that can develop into a whole emotional maturity. That potential for human relationship is entirely absent. It of coure upsets a real live human beings, but the institutions still rule despite our outrage. We find those same characteristics in psychopaths and sociopaths, and that discovery becomes the subject of much concern, though of course with little result if those types are in positions of power within ruling institutions. People who work in institutions are part of the machinery, just as software programs are part of the machinery of computers.

    People can choose not to take part as these institution's operating software, that's the difference between programmed software and behaviorally programmed human beings. it took Chomsky to reveal that freedom of choice discrepancy in the logic of Skinner's work in Behaviorism. (Note that Chomsky has become a ruling institution's pariah since.) Software is just a set of logical directions that move energy around in a way that mimics the human rational capacity -- which is only one small capacity of a whole human being. Whole people can be much more than rational. They can choose to be much more, software has to be given directions, it does not have that capacity.

    Unfortunately, if we step outside these ruling institutions and choose to create indigenous cultures that reflect our whole human potential, the machines run by the people who choose not to step outside grind on anyway. They call upon other machinery, using a network of laws as their rationale, like the military machines, or police machines, created to service the power machinery, to remove us from whatever locale in which we've chosen to become whole, sustaining, earth-centered and nurturing communities. No, cultures do not get on endangered species lists. That hasn't been codified into institutional law, probably won't be. You can attempt to humanize institutions with iconic names like Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan or Koch, but human names or not, the institutions names are applied to are still machines.

    Banality is an excellent word to apply to this process, doug.

    Hannah Arendt's Original Articles on "the Banality of Evil" in the New Yorker Archive.

    Quote The Banality of Evil:

    Arendt's book introduced the expression and concept "the banality of evil".[4] Her thesis is that Eichmann was not a fanatic or sociopath, but an extremely average person who relied on cliché rather than thinking for himself and was motivated by professional promotion rather than ideology. Banality, in this sense, is not that Eichmann's actions were ordinary, or that there is a potential Eichmann in all of us, but that his actions were motivated by a sort of stupidity which was wholly unexceptional.[5] She never denied that Eichmann was an anti-semite, nor that he was fully responsible for his actions, but argued that these characteristics were secondary to his stupidity.

    This concept has been frequently misunderstood. In his 2010 history of the Second World War, Moral Combat, British historian Michael Burleigh calls the expression a "cliché" and gives many documented examples of gratuitous acts of cruelty by those involved in the Holocaust, including Eichmann.[6] Arendt certainly did not disagree about the fact of gratuitous cruelty, but "banality of evil" is unrelated to this question. Similarly, the first attempted rebuttal of Arendt's thesis relied on a misreading of this phrase, claiming Arendt meant that there was nothing exceptional about the Holocaust.[7][8]

    You see, the institutions of Naziism are sociopathic, psychopathic, the people are just banal little bureaucrats doing their jobs, which by extension are sociopathic and psychopathic in nature. That's how Arendt was using the phrase. Anything used without the whole human being's thinking process is employed without as a thoughtless cliché.

    Ward Churchill, as an outspoken critic of global neoliberalism -- sometimes referred to as capitalism -- spoke out from what he had adopted as an indigenous peoples' perspective after 911 when he used Hannah's banality of evil reference by calling the people in the destroyed Trade Center buildings that were icons of global neoliberalism "little Eichmans." Power and its various banal minions in the management network do not appreciate that kind of criticism. The attack on Ward Churchill's teaching position in the education system after that was relentless.

    Beware if you choose to stand in the way of the relentless machinery of our ruling institutions. Of course anyone knows that who thinks about it.

  • Rev. Fischer's Rationalizations: Jesus would anally rape another person for the State.   16 hours 44 min ago

    First a Christian needs to realize that the work and judgement of Jesus is not equal to their own works. In other words Jesus' decision to destroy evil and as a result his robe is dipped in blood is NOT the same as Rev. Fisher's robe dipped in blood, nor is his judgement the same judgement of Jesus'.
    Second, a Christian should always read a few verses before and after a particular verse to get a context. Not just grab 1 verse to support a radical political agenda. In Revelation 19:11 it states "11And I saw the heaven having been opened, and lo, a white horse, and he who is sitting upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth he judge and war". Point of fact, the perfect knowledge of Jesus would not necessitate torture to gain information. Nor would torturing be considered faithful, true, nor righteous. Thirdly, the "job" of a Christian is faith in Jesus' works and to pray,without ceasing, not to second guess Jesus' judgement and decide who's blood should be spilled. Fouth, today is not the return of Jesus and even on that day his armies are pure and clean that would be without blood. Rev.19:14. Fifth, I would suggest to Rev. Fischer if a country made it illegal to read the bible would he follow that nations laws so strictly and burn all bibles? Lastly, there is even a theological divide on the blood on the robe is it 1) the blood Jesus she'd on the cross to defeat Satan ? With the many references to the blood of Christ or it the blood of destroyed evil men?

    Reich wing nuts from Nazi Germany to the present have tried to take a tunnel vision view of 1 verse or word to justify atrocity.

    I would gladly debate Rev. Fischer anytime as he told Tom "anytime". However, he's a nutcase not worth debating, just debunking on the World wide web.

    LOL

    JOHN

  • 50 (Dem.) U.S. Senators Urging Redskins Name Change   17 hours 23 min ago

    'FCC rejects “Redskins” claim (and the argument that the term is constitutionally unprotected “hate speech”)'

    and:

    "Hate speech. Banzhaf asserts that the term “Redskins” constitutes hate speech and incites violence against Indians. There are no provisions in the Act or the Commission’s rules banning hate speech. We have recognized that, under the principles enunciated in Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Commission can take enforcement action based on broadcast speech that “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” We will not do so, however, unless a local court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the speech at issue meets the Brandenburgtest. Here, Banzhaf has not proffered any evidence that a court has found broadcasting the word “Redskins” to meet theBrandenburg test…."

  • 2ed Amendment "Remedies": Thom Repeats Gun Nut Talking Points   17 hours 44 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mjolnir:

    Do you deny that (s)COTUS routinely uses the Federalist papers, period documents, and even Blackstone and English common law to provide interpretive "context" for divining the "Framer's" intentions?

    Sure when applicable. But these sources should NOT be used to claim that they represent the intent of the Constitution or early laws when THE CONSTITUTION AND THOSE EARLY LAWS PART WAYS with these historical roots.

    Can we agree that if that happens the person making the argument is not being honest? Yes or no?

    Emphasis mine. Who, IYO, is the arbiter of determining "applicability"? You? Me? For better or for worse we have 9 people hired to do that job. You have no way of judging the witness's "honesty" except through the filter of your own prejudice.

  • I plead for Thom to read this about that distorted Christian guy's stance on torture on today's show.   17 hours 53 min ago

    Very nice drc. For whatever reason, Revelation is a book that is almost never even referenced in my church. I often question what they do choose to fixate upon, but the lack of Revelation is not an issue with me.

    As if biblical inerrancy is not cumbersome enough, I can see why the literal translation the Daniel redux of Revelation is avoided like the plague. Perhaps it's my lack of exposure to Revelation in my church setting that makes me look askance at other Christians who seem to take to Revelation like a duck to water.

    The John who penned Revelation seems to have gotten ahold of some very good drugs as that story unfolds. Perhaps the avoidance of Revelation is a tip of the cap by my church to the "just say no" crowd.

    Back to the original post, justifying Jesus as torturer via Revelation references is all the nudge I need to either avoid that book altogether OR read that book in a different light (an entirely metaphorical light as it was obviously intended) within the context of the times that it was written ..... under the imperial domination of Rome.

  • The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...   18 hours 15 min ago

    One that was forgotten here:

    In the 1980's the Reagan Administration eliminated the tax deduction for Credit Card Interest. We were sold it by the banksters and the Right Wing elitistist that mostly the wealthy posessesed credit cards. But their design to take down wages and give us easy credit to lessen the blow all at once but gradually it would make sure average people would would go into debt just to stay afloat and maintain their current living status as our wages were attacked, and our jobs were shipped out of the country. The banksters are borrowing money at less than 1% now issuing credit cards, and raising credit card rates to people with really good credit to well into the mid 20% levels. And it's legal. That use to be called loan sharking. But as usual the Right wing bankster hypicrits still call it loan sharking only for lower level loan issuers or lower class people who threaten to eat some of their profits.

  • The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...   18 hours 23 min ago

    I like your analyses Loren but its we the people that hold all the power we just don't want it ,we have traded it for safety,survival and responsibility .When enough folks see that they are voting for there own demise they will say enough and the power holders will change .

    The world is beginning to awake from its millenia sleep our culture is about to write a new story based on what is so not based from old books or older cultural myths which where based on fallacy.

    The new frontiers of science and the wisest of spiritual understandings have met at the crossroads ! We are at the Threshold of a new universal human and planet that understands we are all ONE .

    Critical mass is arising and will soon have a ripple effect on our whole way of life .We will put in place new guiding principles for humanity that we are not seperate from each other and there is enough to go around for all of us .

    The next 10-20 years are the most important it's like a birthing process to move from a primitive understanding to one of a more highly evolved state all beings in the universe move through this stage .Its just humans are so stubborn and cling to there old mistaken beliefs about life and what we are all doing here .So change on this planet is very slow and is killing us .We had better change fast I agree but you can only do that through what you believe as beliefs create behaviours that's why Organised Religion is the problem not the solution.

  • US Hubris: US Totally Missing the Danger Around the Sony “The Interview” Movie.   18 hours 33 min ago
    Quote Antifascist:

    ..... dangerous megalomaniacal dictator of North Korea who possesses nuclear weapons .....

    Thorough canvas of the big picture Anti, as always.

    The simple fact of this movie being a satirical comedy of all possible genres whose storyline is to assassinate the ruthless and very paranoid dictator of North Korea who possesses nukes is lost on Obama. Making this all about freedom of speech (for Americans) while the citizens of North Korea are barely given the freedom to eat enough, let alone all the other freedoms they will never know under this dictator.

    I would expect no less from the average American being led around by our pop culture and media, but Obama comes off as just another American hayseed when he beats the freedom of speech drum on this one. I don't think the word "hubris" sufficiently expresses the extent of this Hollywood farce as Obama flexes his American Hero muscle in front of the camera.

  • The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...   20 hours 2 min ago

    You hit the nail on the head there Thom with your statement about winner takes all capitalism .The guiding principles of our culture are that we all seperate from each other and survival of the fittest add this to an economic system that at its core ,and as its purpose has to make a profit .This we call profit survival mentality.

    Humans believe that there is not enough to go around so greed, fierce competition and individualism super-seeds the common good or highest good of all remember life is tough billions live in poverty around the planet .

    The dominant forces are wealth equals power so ownership of stuff is called being wealthy .So yes the system is rigged because the rich and powerfull created the system based on what they believed about your cultural story ?

    What about changing to a system where people can use the stuff of life without having to own it ?

    This would be called a Use and Access economic model as opposed to a power and possessions economy.So the first thing we would do is reduce the economy not try and grow it endlessly ? If we began to share and cooperate with each other and redefine wealth as access to the stuff of life and availability .The western model is absurd training everyone to have there own copy of everything and paying enourmous amounts of money to buy the things they hardly use during the time that they own these items.

    Two thirds of the planet would love to have use of many products that we individually own in the west.The easiest way to do this is not try and grow the worlds economy attempting for everyone to to able to buy the same stuff but rather create a new economy that gives everyone access to and use of the same things .

    And how good would that be for the Ecology of our dying ecosystem ,fewer consumer items produced per person ,people are generally happy when they can get access to and use the things they feel they need and this is wealth.

    Hey it's about time we matured as a species .We are being kept in the dark knowledge is power the new spirituality encourages the movement of power from the hands of the select few to the hands of the many .We need to localise our economies through decentralisation take the power back to we the people .

    We need to create lots of little economies not one big one as is the case now. And as the gap between the rich and poor accelatates social system's will break down and civility will disappear .

  • Banal Canal   20 hours 14 min ago

    Would the Amish be forced to relocate if their land was needed for fracking?

  • A Warren Run Would Change Everything   20 hours 33 min ago

    AIW, I will respond, but I'm at work right now, so I'll get back to you tomorrow evening or Sunday..

  • You are known by the company you keep   21 hours 11 min ago

    death-of-a-nation-the-timor-conspiracy is relevant to the op.

    US, Aus, UK and others killed 200,000 Timorese. Maybe the US has to commit genocide every generation or even decade.

    Death of A Nation — The Timor ConspiracyJohn Pilger 1994, 1999 1:16:29

    On December 7, 1975 with the complicity of many Western governments including the US, the UK, and Australia, Indonesia secretly invaded the small nation of East Timor. In the intervening 18 years, an estimated 200,000 East Timorese or one third of the population, had been slaughtered by the Indonesian military — using US and British planes to bombard the island, while Western defence ministers proclaimed ignorance. As John Pilger tapes an Australian diplomat admitting that East Timor was considered “expendable”, no one watching the massacre can excuse the geopolitical machinations that led to this genocide…

    Death Of A Nation — The Timor Conspiracy (1994)The Timor Conspiracy — Update (1999)

    But one can't acknowledge it was wrong lest it be spun as an apology tour. Just don a flag pin and loudly proclaim how awesome the US is.

  • Banal Canal   21 hours 28 min ago

    The Panama clip shows the pristine country side indigenous peoples are known for in their living styles. The US may end up polluting the water source making it uninhabitable and thus free for the taking. The US knows how to contaminate (see WV, VA, SC, TX). Or maybe teach the elites how to taint. Taint by numbers might be part of the GA school curriculum for mercenaries that produced the death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala-(Venezuela too, unsuccessfully).

    "We live in continuous dialogue with nature" said one of the natives. Certain dams have been halted for endangered species before, now what about endangered culture? Their whole living region ought to be designated a protected park, like wild life reserves are. Leave them alone and learn from them the skills of ecological stewardship.

  • Sony vs North Korea   21 hours 32 min ago
  • A Harrowing Report on how our most vulnerable are not Being Protected   21 hours 38 min ago

    And it's all feeding the war monster instead of us. Have fun paying your taxes.

  • DIY marijuana   21 hours 40 min ago

    WOW great tips from a real pro!

  • Spritual Rape of Mary ... Thom, did you really want to go there?   21 hours 41 min ago

    You betcha.

  • 1.4 Million Illegal Immmigrant Driver's Licenses in CA   21 hours 45 min ago

    I thought Oregon was a solid blue state.

    The GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014 got 37% of the vote.

    Measure 88 (drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants) got 32% in favor.

  • Banal Canal   21 hours 48 min ago

    war-by-other-means covers the tactic of hooking developing countries on the loans from those supposed to help, and it is war. The US is no better than a loan shark, only instead of breaking knees when the borrower is behind it foments austerity, privatization, looting of natural resources, insurrections if necessary with a possible coup.

  • A Warren Run Would Change Everything   22 hours 16 min ago

    But Richard, respectfully... how are we the "ordinary" citizens ever going to achieve the sort of collective action you're describing without politicians legislating and enacting the kinds of policies that re-empower us?! Lacking that, how have we a prayer of a chance to influence foreign policy ever again? I think Marc raises excellent points.

    Back in the days of the Vietnam War, when we had a bigger, stronger middle class, we were able to mobilize and help put the brakes on that war through the sort of mass movement only within the reach of an educated, prosperous and empowered citizenry. Without public intervention and protest, the Vietnam War could have dragged on much longer and wiped out a few more million people, mostly Vietnamese but with significantly more American casualties than what we had. Back in the 1960s and '70s, this country was not the banana republic we have now. - AIW

  • Banal Canal   22 hours 22 min ago

    Absolutely agree with both of you two. Abby Martin of Russia Today Breaking the Set program yesterday had on John Perkins who is one of my favorite authors about how capitalists try to hook 3rd world country's leaders into taking a big loans to which a large chunk of money gets put into the pockets of those leaders then the people get stuck with crippling austerity. If the country has trouble paying off their debt the capitalist send in the jackals to crush the leaders. But on this show they are mostly talking about Cuba and the recent changes in US/Cuban relations. John Perkins appears at 14 minutes into the show.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q05q3lKsuQw

  • Rebranding The Koch Bros.   22 hours 34 min ago

    By the way Dyno, what is your point? Are you suggesting progressive activists could learn a thing or two from tactics fascists use to further their agenda, so that progressive movements can work more effectively towards achieving their goals? Or are you saying you think it’s just swell how the Koch Brothers and their ilk learned by trial & error, creating propaganda that guarantees mass hypnosis and generations of willing slaves?

    Just curious… - AIW

  • The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...   22 hours 34 min ago

    You've eloborated on what I meant by "elect those that will stand up to the anti-labor forces". I'm not talking about just those that are pro-union. I'm talking about those that will do everything possible to provide plenty of good paying jobs in the USA. Changing to trade policies that favor American workers would be very good way. Two of my friends lost their jobs when Japaneese company, Bridgestone, bought American company, Firestone and they closed the Memphis Firestone tire plant. One, a blue collar worker, who ran a floor sweeper got on with Northwest Airlines as a baggage handler and prospered well. The other who was white collar in managment wound up working for temporary agencies. If tarrifs were put on imported tires to the point that imported tires would be too expensive to sell in the USA there would be more good paying jobs making tires in the USA for the USA. That is but an example of the thousands of things that need to be done . The same could go for many other industries. A CEO is usually not a patriot who wants to help his working class countrymen. A CEO pledeges his alligance to the almighty dollar and the working class needs to be protected from him. FED EX, a Memphised based company has many good paying jobs. They even have unionized pilots but the people sorting packages in the hub are all part time workers so CEO Fred Smith doesn't have to pay benefits on them. Except for pilots. any FED EX employee mentioning a union will be fired for some other reason. So says my wife who was a FED EX employee. Getting the right people in office, that's the ticket.

  • Spritual Rape of Mary ... Thom, did you really want to go there?   22 hours 39 min ago

    How about that! :-) Feels good doesn't it?

  • If Oil Stays Cheap and Plentiful.....   22 hours 40 min ago
    Quote Mauiman2:
    Quote chilidog:
    Quote Mauiman2:

    Do you have any idea how much tax there is on a gallon of gasoline.

    Obviously not enough. We consumer more than we produce, and the traders supplying the shortage want to kill us.

    Not true, we are exporting gasoline like crazy right now. Diesel is another story.

    All that shale oil is very light oil, lots of gasoline in a barrallel of shale oil. Refiners doing everything they can to maximize diesel.

    I was referring to oil.

Currently Chatting

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.