Recent comments

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Would You Hire Her to Flip Hamburgers?   13 hours 30 min ago

    drc2, I have drawn a line, call it whatever you like, but I will not cast a vote for another war monger. Obama has blooded my hands enough.

    My nature is not cynical but my notion toward politics is very cynical and justifiable as well. We've chomp at this before, about our political system. I find your insights to be sincere and well considered, but I find your political prospective naive at times. I'm sure you feel the same about my ideology when it comes Consumer Unions. With that said, I find no hope in our government system or the political classes that manage it.

    Neither political party or their candidates, have the political will or courage to do the right thing anymore, if they ever did.

  • Drunk college students no longer allowed to have sex in CA   13 hours 30 min ago
    Quote Semi permeable memebrain:

    OK That is all good, but I am just hoping at some point someone can actually answer some of the other points i have raised. Narratives that tend to not address nuance are generally authoritative and without integrative capability

    The direct answer to your question is yes, yes they can still get drunk and have sex. There can however be consequences if one of the two participants decides to change their minds "after" the fact and cry assault.

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Would You Hire Her to Flip Hamburgers?   13 hours 39 min ago

    who isn't a politician? this is earth, not heaven. thom is a politician; he just isn't running for office. electoral politics is the ONLY way forward, unless you expect a revolution.

  • Female Aggression: How Gender-Role Imperatives Turn “Nice” Girls into Mean Girls   13 hours 42 min ago

    Girls can be extremely toxic. Their cliquishness is all about exclusion. And as one who never conformed to the "sugar & spice" thing, I was ostracized by other girls while growing up. And even among girls, bullying can get physical.

    Children can be very mean. This is why I've never been partial to children. - AIW

  • Is Capitalism A "Moral" Economic System?   13 hours 48 min ago

    To rehearse the question a bit:

    "Capitalism" is a "moral" economic system, but only when you accept its definition of morality and ideological form of capital(ism). If you agree with Ayn Rand, the morality of capitalism is precisely in its ability to reward that individual with the superiority to take it. If human nature and the world is run by such Alpha Male Social Darwinists, then the Libertarian State is the perfect lack of collective authority and defender of Private Property to allow such "striving."

    If it looks too much like the world we have, listen to the moral arguments being made against the poor, against the transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor and other social needs for the society governed by the State. Those wastrel food stamps cause debt! The structural tax breaks and market dynamics favoring big Money are enforced by the State or ignored where the rules get in the way. Can't have all that financial insecurity if we bring down the banksters. Think of all the little people who would get hurt.

    If you want a democratic society and measure morality by democratic standards, Piketty and Graeber can both give you all you need to know about the morality of capitalism and why it needs to be socially constrained and controlled to be an asset in the political/social economy. Capitalism tends toward divergence of wealth and the rest of us, not towards convergence. The latter arguments are all mythic or foolish. Capitalism and Democracy do not mix well, but they can make a great vinagrette. Not too much capitalism, please, because it makes it too sour.

  • Stop calling it "The Islamic State"   13 hours 51 min ago

    War is big business, and fear sells war. Fear also feeds into fascism, which is what we are living under now. Our corporatized media is using fear to sell war and fascism to the American people. And that scares me more than anything. - AIW

  • Is Capitalism A "Moral" Economic System?   13 hours 52 min ago

    I must also say that it is within the responsibilities of government to use "force" to stop financial "fraud." Such is the action of using the military and/or police to persecute and prosecute people who use deception to steal from others. Since fraud is a crime, I have no problem with using "force" to stop it.

  • New York Climate March documentary   13 hours 59 min ago

    Amen, brother .ren, and thinking "peace" changes the game and clarifies the vision. When the object is to live together in a sustainable relationship, 'giving the other side" what they need is not exactly "giving." Nor are "they" 'the other side.'

    Domestic peace is also about a sustainable balance within the social economy. The interest of a democratic state (with various models and scales) is in the broad participation of its citizens in "power" and political decision-making. Democratic leaders should appreciate well-vetted representation as they decide what is politically smart as well as wise. "Peace" does not countenance "dominator" institutions and powers at home as it rejects warfare abroad. Security and transparency go together rather than being in conflict. Even as privacy becomes compromised, "secrecy" is the problem.

    Gotta' "study war no more." Thinking peace will tell you everything you need to know about war, something even the study of war seems not to. Thinking peace will also expose the flawed 'thinking' of "capitalism." And climate change, and just about everything where power is involved.

  • Is Capitalism A "Moral" Economic System?   13 hours 59 min ago

    A point that needs to be emphasized is that capitalism puts too much emphasis on stopping the use of coercion ("force"). However, one thing that needs to be of equal or greater emphasis is deception ("fraud"). The problem with capitalism put into practice is that the interactions between businesses and customers can be plagued with deceit. Whenever I enter a business with the intention to buy something, I have to remind my own self that EVERYTHING in the store is using marketing psychology to get me to buy more, more, and more. When I see the store employees smiling and being nice to people, I know that it is because that is their job. They are paid to do it. Do they really like me? Do they really care about me? Would they really want to be nice to me outside of the context of selling me something? All I can say is "not necessarily!"

    Also, there are the beautiful displays and entertaining television commercials. Do the people who make these things that influence our culture, not to mention our buying habits, really give a ripened fig about you and me? "Not necessarily!"

    It is also insulting to culture and even organized religion when businesses set up "holiday sales" two or three months before those holidays happen. This again is the result of marketing psychology. It is the art of persuading people that what they want is what they need.

    Am I saying that business people should start treating people ("customers") like trash in order to be honest? Am I saying that business displays and commercial advertisements should be taken out of public knowledge? No, I am not.

    What I am saying is that customers from the moment they enter a business need to always keep in mind the presence of marketing psychology is everywhere, trying to get you to think that what you want is what you need. Also, the salepersons in a business need to always acknowledge to the customers that why they are there is to sell something so that the element of deceit is minimized. Just because a salesperson is not your friend does not necessarily mean that they are bad or evil people. In fact, it is possible for both salesperson and customer to be nice to each other with no deceit if the presence of marketing psychology is acknowledged by both parties.

    I must also include that there is the presence of marketing psychology if you enter a business with no intention to buy something!

  • New York Climate March documentary   14 hours 13 min ago

    Many of the people filmed in the streets were saying things like, capitalism is the problem causing climate change. Most expressed that with words that were at best metonymic, like we have to fight capitalism. Which is kind of a problem because most of them are capitalism.

    When they vote they are voting capitalism.

    We think in the same words of capitalism's power when we want to change. It's a mass failure of imagination to keep doing that.

    So fighting is probably the wrong, deeply enculturated concept for imagining change.

    When Walt Kelly did that oft-quoted poster for the first Earth Day, 1970, he used his comic strip character Pogo to say:

    We have met the enemy and he is us.

    I guess a lot of people knew then the revolution wouldn't be televised.

    Forty four years later we are still learning, over and over, who the enemy is. Perhaps we need to start thinking in different terms than war.

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Would You Hire Her to Flip Hamburgers?   14 hours 15 min ago

    Reply to #9:

    One can assess the cynicism of the system and the pathologies of those who have identified themselves with its mission and institutions without becoming a cynic. I would advise against ingesting the cynicism while also being able to appreciate a broadly maleable "human nature" that can become twisted and ugly, but which also has a variety of beautiful forms and contradictions across the global range.

    If we wish to address the pathologies and perversions of what we see as moral human nature or our "real and true being," we have to admit that we only have blueprints and patterns as well as some examples of "success." What we have is a plethora of mixed results with real people who are never "perfect" nor pure "monsters." In between, we have all those stories in the Naked City.

    There are very few "single issues" which swing my vote against a record I support. Even her support for Israel does not trump her work on the economy or her voice of sanity on domestic issues. The politics of Israel do not allow much wiggle room, and while I deplore that fact, I cannot punish those in our camp who are part of that quicksand.

    The point about who will and will not be allowed to run for President along with Hillary is where the "lie" becomes a red herring. The GOPimps have not shown themselves capable of finding an electable and rational candidate who can survive their own clown parade and poop throwing shows. The Texas Two Stepper, Aqua Buddha Rand or jeez, not the last Bush Crime Family brother!

    Are they going to run on bringing peace to the Middle East? Are they going to question Israel about Gaza? Are they going to go after the banksters? So, is there any way to have an alternative to the Left without getting Hillary Squared?

    Would the Greater Evil help the Resistance organize the Left or just give the Center more cred as the insanity has no voice of moderation or slowness to act? I am not a fan of the Greater Evil organizing theory, so I suggest the organizing is part of the present agenda even if you don't get any Democratic Party support from the top.

    I treat electoral politics as what it is, which is something, but not what we want it to be. To get the latter, it will take a lot more than election campaigns. Or, the election campaigns will be the product of the organizing and constituency building that need not be branded by party to bring electoral power.

    When and if there is a disruption of the current parties, that 'Third Party' can be a player in the sorting out of the new alliances. Unless that disruption involves a democratic update in electoral design, the new party will adopt the features of one of the duopoly dance partners in a new pathology.

  • Drunk college students no longer allowed to have sex in CA   14 hours 20 min ago

    Semi, the word is “accept” not “except”.

    You’re making this issue way more complicated than it needs to be. The point of this law is to clarify that if someone you want sex with is unconscious, or too passed-out drunk, or too drugged to give consent, then you’ve no right to initiate sex with that person and can be prosecuted for rape. It’s really that simple. Take it or leave it.

    You say you believe there is “a tendency to see all men as the causative agent in this problem and therefore all men should share in the punishment in situations where such women were unable to express themselves.” This “all men” lament is bullshit and sounds whiney to me, Semi. Obviously “all men” are not rapists and not “all men” are interested in initiating or pushing sex on women who are incapacitated and therefore unable to communicate.

    Let’s keep this simple. Anyone who is too out-of-it to communicate is off limits. I don’t know how to make it any plainer than that.

    Whichever gender you happen to be, sex is NOT an entitlement, with the exception of masturbation. Everyone has the right to accept or decline an invitation for sex. When both people are drunk but not passed out and both are active participants, this law doesn't apply. But when you take sexual liberties with someone too incapacitated to communicate, you're denying that person the right to accept or decline, which is the definition of rape. - AIW

  • "Rape Culture Claims Another Victim: Teen Ends Life After Photo Of Her Alleged Gang Rape Goes Viral"   14 hours 22 min ago

    Semi permeable posted this story about California's "Yes Means Yes" sex assault bill on another thread, but it's another example of how legislation can serve to ameliorate, if not entirely rectify, rape culture.

  • "With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty"-Obama   14 hours 23 min ago

    No support here for labor. What do you expect from a Neoliberal Republican?

    Worker Groups 'Alarmed' White House May Delay New Minimum Wage, Overtime Rule


    ...For years, labor groups had demanded that Congress or the executive branch rectify what they deemed an injustice, and last September it appeared they had finally gotten their wish. The White House announced that as of 2015, home care workers would be covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Great Depression-era law that established minimum wage and time-and-a-half overtime pay for hourly workers.

    But MSNBC first reported on Friday that the Labor Department was thinking about holding off on the rule's implementation due to concerns from unnamed stakeholders.

    "We're flabberghasted," said Deane Beebe, spokeswoman for PHI, an advocacy group for home care workers.

    article continues...

  • Stop calling it "The Islamic State"   14 hours 39 min ago
    Quote Steve.I.Am:

    Here's a crazy idea . . . if we don't want Muslims around the world to think that we are engaging in a new Crusade, maybe the media should stop referring to the terrorist group as "The Islamic State."

    12/17/2004 - Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (formerly al-Qa'ida in Iraq)

    What do you suggest we call them?

  • New York Climate March documentary   14 hours 40 min ago

    I think it should be agreed that the revolution will not be televised, thank you Gill Scott Heron! The question is whether the internet will be to the swift or the powerful, and we, the former, had better keep in shape and watch our connections while seeing "the news" for what story we are supposed to be living in. Basic hermeneutics.

    Keeping control of the tea houses was about being able to talk among ourselves without the universal surveilance state. Having some ability to have rights, if not to "privacy" per se, may be more about how transparent we can make the State than how much we can do "in secret."

    It might even be a positive step to move our "intelligence" below the media surface instead of making an issue about FAUX or why MSNBC is still war contractor media. Not having someone to be the target of corporate/governmental suppression could be useful. Letting them think that the media is theirs and we with it could be a lot better than having them move to cut us off at the underground network.

    But no, you won't see the revolution coming on tv, and when it happens it will take some time to take over the media and end the counter-revolutionary messaging.

  • Daily Topics - Tuesday September 30th, 2014   14 hours 51 min ago

    I'm wondering if it would be possible--in a practical sense--to change the Supreme Court so that it has to have exactly one member from each circuit court, and that every case from a particular circuit automatically requires the recusal of the justice from that circuit.

  • Drunk college students no longer allowed to have sex in CA   14 hours 53 min ago

    Those two brothers need to buy a 3-D Printer and create the doll babe of their dreams. It would save a lot on booze. So sad.

  • Media Report: Dirty Hippie Communists riot in Hong Kong   14 hours 57 min ago

    The coverage I heard this morning on Democracy Now punctured any populist or social justice dimension to the opposition to Chinese control of their elections. While there are a number of people dedicated to preserving their financial leverage and 'traditions,' it is not to preserve 'democracy' from the totalitarian giant, China. It is to maintain their economic casino and piracy haven.

    At some point, the gap between wealth and poverty becomes incompatible with any democratic social vision. What will tip the scales of disgust toward something other than barfing? When does it become clear that there is nothing morally imperative about the "established order" and preservation of entropy?

    I think the democratic images of Hong Kong are right up there with Kiev. So inspiring!

  • Drunk college students no longer allowed to have sex in CA   14 hours 59 min ago

    Thank goodness for Drc2! You covered the bases brilliantly, and it was such a pleasure to read those two posts.

    I actually knew two brothers who believed that an inebriated woman is fair game to be used for sex, even if she's passed out. I don't think the attitude is limited to those two, either. They're rapists, or at least engage in rapist thinking, but they'd deny it.

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: Would You Hire Her to Flip Hamburgers?   15 hours 5 min ago

    drc2, I obviously agree with your assessment of Hillary, however, Elizabeth Warren's stance on Israel is as vicious and sadistic as Israeli hawks. That is why, I would not vote for her regardless. I won't cast a vote for a war hawk.

    If Warren's economic policies are to be taken seriously, then it doesn't matter, she will not be permitted to run for the presidency. I'm highly suspicious of the Senator anyway, but I've become very cynical towards politics in general, with good reason me thinks.

  • Stop calling it "The Islamic State"   15 hours 8 min ago

    Rather than worry about what we call them, we could stop doing our long-running and totally convincing role as their Great Satan in the West is Best PNAC Theater of Exceptionalism. It is all too real, so my thought is that we close this show and strike the sets.

    Then the people there can decide what The Islamic State means for them in all their variety and unity.

    We could have more than one Bill Moyers, you know. All it takes is a real public media. Darn!

  • Media Report: Dirty Hippie Communists riot in Hong Kong   15 hours 13 min ago

    The United States media has a history of hijacking political protests to install Neoliberal political and derivative economic policies. Notice the Hong Kong protests is touted as a demand for “Democracy” and “freedom.” But the Hong Kong protest is also about economic policies and conditions not unlike those found right here in the good old US of A. This is more US propaganda to steer populist uprising to serve the 1%. Obama’s administration is a perfect example of this switch and bait political tactic.

    Occupy Central: Hong Kong’s Fight Against Neoliberalism


    As stories on Occupy Central flood the front pages of the mainstream news media, both the BBC and CNN have published handy “explainers” that confuse more than they explain, making no real effort to dig into the economic roots of discontent. The “Beeb” went as far as to ask whether “Hong Kong’s future as a financial centre” was “threatened” – giving us some insight into where the global establishment’s priorities lie.

    But regardless of what the BBC wants the world to believe, Occupy Central isn’t so much a fight for democracy as a fight for social justice. It’s true that Hong Kongers are angry over Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs, whether these be immigration from China, encroachments on the freedom of the press, or the nationalistic-propagandistic “moral and national education” program. These issues, while serious, pale in comparison to the increasingly difficult realities of everyday life in Hong Kong. As City University of Hong Kong professor Toby Carroll points out, one in five Hong Kongers live below the poverty line, while inequality has risen to levels among the highest in the world. Wages haven’t increased in line with inflation – meaning they’ve fallen in real terms. The minimum wage, only introduced in 2010, is set at HK$28 (US$3.60) an hour – less than half of that even in the United States. There are no collective bargaining rights, no unemployment benefits and no pension. The average workweek is 49 hours – in case you thought 40 was rough. Housing prices are among the highest in the world. Even the neoliberal Economist placed Hong Kong top of its crony capitalism index by some distance.

    Article continues…

    Note that the article says 1 in 5 Hong Kong residents live below the poverty line. But in the United States 80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey.

    If that is not a shock, take a look at this poverty map of the United States.

    America's Poor: Where Poverty Is Rising In America (INFOGRAPHIC)

    Max Keiser has some interesting comments on Hong Kong's economic problems and the flood of spectulative capital that is jacking up house prices and rents.

  • Media Report: Dirty Hippie Communists riot in Hong Kong   15 hours 13 min ago

    I was working in Shanghai when the Berkely policeman sprayed the sitting students with the warfare grade pepper spray at point blank. Of course it was reported on CNN and pictured in Newspapers. That morning the Chinese Engineer that I worked with discussed with me how shocked at the violence they were but also felt that we were a violent nation. If you remember Tianmin Square they showed force with the tanks but did not run over the protestor. We would have run over the protestor. As our police become more militarized what will we become?

  • Drunk college students no longer allowed to have sex in CA   15 hours 16 min ago

    Semi, if your question is whether or not some fool will not respect a woman or appreciate the yes means yes, and nothing less,--or whether some stupid girl will decide to shag some guy for less than smart reasons, I think I covered that with, of course it will.

    I have no idea what "nuance" you find unaddressed in the Yes means Yes (and nothing less) change away from predation to real consent and mutuality. I would like guys to appreciate the step up in class this is for men instead of treating it like more ways shlubs can be seduced and taken by "women." The woman you fuck is not your enemy or conquest. You are lucky if she feels the same way. You also get to appreciate friendships that are not about sex.

    So, what is missing from our answers, SP? Women are also responsible for communicating, but when addressing rape culture, the first step is mutual respect and real consent, not what some guy presumes it to be. There is no "blue balls" defense, no my penis made me do it. Not even "she led me on."

    A reasonable discussion of "rape culture" will address the commercialization of sex and female images and fashion. It could also deal with the male suit and lack of peacockery. In the past, men flashed a lot of feathers and mating symbols too. It is the repression and obsession that makes being honest about our sexuality difficult and/or scary. Rape Culture is decidedly unsexy in the sense of sensuality and intimacy, so this culture shift away from "the chase" and "seduction" is good for sex.

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Why the Web of Life is Dying...

Could you survive with just half of your organs? Think about it. What if you had just half your brain, one kidney, half of your heart, one lung, half a liver and only half of your skin? It would be pretty hard to survive right? Sure, you could survive losing just one kidney or half of your liver, but at some point, losing pieces from all of your organs would be too much and you would die.