We need more than words.

Yesterday, President Obama spoke to a crowd at The ARC arts schoolhouse about the real deficit in our nation – which has nothing to do with our national budget. He said, “A relentlessly growing deficit of opportunity is a bigger threat to our future than our rapidly shrinking fiscal deficit.” The President explained that the lack of economic mobility in our country has led to the wealthy staying wealthy, and the working poor finding it harder than ever to get out of poverty.

He said that this is an American problem, not one that people face in other first-world nations. President Obama said, “It is harder today for a child born in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies, countries like Canada or Germany or France.” The president was referring to the perpetuation of trickle-down economics, which started in the late 1970s and created an ever-widening wealth gap in our nation. He called on Congress to pass legislation that could reverse this economic inequality – like universal preschool, a minimum wage hike, and the Paycheck Fairness Act. And, his speech brought back images of the old social contract – the so-called American Dream – when a child's economic future would “not be determined by the ZIP code he's born into, but by the strength of his work ethic and scope of his dreams.”

Once upon a time, these principles were not just ideals in our nation, but policies that gave everyone an equal chance at success. Today, the system is rigged, and it's harder than ever for those born at the bottom of the income ladder to climb their way to the top. President Obama's speech cut right to the core of some of the biggest issues in our nation, but we need more than words to fix this broken system. It's time for our elected leaders to get to to work at restoring the American Dream.

Comments

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#1

Granted, we do need more than just words. However, you have to give the man credit. Standing up and calling it like it is takes guts. It is always the first big step towards any change. Whether or not this President has the commitment to take his words further than the pulpit remain to be scene; however, I have high hopes. Not because of the Presidents track record; but rather, because it is his last term and last chance to make good on his campaign promises and oath of office. It's his last chance to redeem himself; and, he has nothing to lose. Let us hope and pray he follows through.

eatroots's picture
eatroots 9 years 8 weeks ago
#2

The rise of modern day real estate feudalism: How a majority of Americans are missing out on the gains of the new rentier class.

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/modern-day-feudalism-real-estate-land...

Feudalism was a set of customs in medieval Europe that setup a society in which relationships were based on holding land in exchange for service and labor. There is a modern day movement that is silently pushing out the middle class from truly owning real estate. In my view, there is no coincidence with the contracting US middle class and the massive expansion of “all cash” buyers. For most working Americans buying a home with all cash is so far removed from economic reality that it is not even an option.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 8 weeks ago
#3

Conservatives see nothing wrong when a worker with a full time job still qualifies for food stamps. They call them 'takers'. May I propose that the class which walked off with ninety-three percent of the newly produced wealth in the U.S. last year are the real 'takers'.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 8 weeks ago
#4

It would have taken more "guts" to have given that speech at an ALEC meeting. Politicians frequently tailor their speeches to the group they are addressing telling them what they want to hear. It would have taken more "guts" to have really fought for the things that came out of his mouth in the first years of his Presidency. He's proven to be nothing but a low-life scoundrel politician who says pretty things to those who want to hear them and then sell them out. He only says what he says now because he knows that it won't amount to anything and the ruling class knows it so will let it pass. Except it gives FOX snooze more gripe points to whine about. It may make some people "feel" better emotionally, temporarily, but they are all empty words that won't amount to anything. If Obama wanted to really make a difference, he would be telling the people to rise up and overthrow the tyrannical ruling class. He would fess up and tell the world that he knows that he is merely a puppet of the ruling class and if he didn't play ball with them...they'd redo the JFK thing on him.

Vegasman56 9 years 8 weeks ago
#5

Pres. Obama’s speech on December 4, 2013 parallel with, Thom Hartman’s new book

The crash of 2016, the plot to destroy America and what we can do to stop,

it’s worth picking it up. At the same time it reflects lot of Richard Wilkinson book the Spirit level on how inequality destroys society. There are links below which will take you to it.

President Obama talked about jobs and the economy at a Center for American Progress event. He focused on income inequality, increasing the minimum wage, and the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Click here to watch. It’s on C-SPAN. Here is a TED talk given by Richard Wilkinson The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, words cannot explain how true this is, we once wore number one in the world, we are no longer number one Then there is the Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer,"Rich people don't create jobs"

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 8 weeks ago
#6

Yes, the "system is rigged". But: "It's time for our elected leaders to get to to work at restoring the American Dream." will never fix the problem if you keep voting for them and chiding them to do their jobs. They just won't listen. We need to do something well beyond the failed "rigged" democratic system...because real democracy is dead in America.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 8 weeks ago
#7

Thank you, Vegasman56, for those links. I almost clicked on them before, when you posted them, but was taken away before I could. Thanks for posting them again. Listening to Nick Hanauer's banned Ted Talks "Rich people don't create jobs" he said "If it were true, that rich people create jobs...then we should be swimming in jobs right now".

Only the consumer creates jobs. The businesses will only hire people only if they are driven to do so by the demand of the consumer. And if consumers don't have jobs they can't buy the goods which drives the businesses to hire people.

And an even more eye-opening question is why was it banned by Ted Talks? So Ted Talks is not so open minded but rather owned (or cowed) by the wealthy class. I guess what makes it so hard hitting is the fact that Nick Hanauer is one of the wealthy class who is telling it like it really is.

Richard Wilkinson's Ted Talks:
"If Americans want to experience the American Dream they should go to Denmark.."

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 8 weeks ago
#8

Solving the deficit is an easy problem. You look at the revenue and the non-paid for appropriations. If they do not match, then either raise revenue or decrease the items appropriated and not paid for. For example, there are many items now in the budget which have been traditionally paid for by special assigned taxes or other revenue sourc3es. those item in governmental action which are already paid for on a current annual expenditure basis should not be considered. Among these are Social Security and the provision for highway and road construction and maintenance paid for by the fuel taxes. Excess over expenditures in these items have the excess funds placed into trust funds according to law. If this type of governmental benefits ever become a contributor to the national debt, they solution is to raise the appropriate taxes supporting those benefits.

All governmental appropriations should have a tax assigned to pay for that appropriated benefit. To do otherwise is not being good representatives. No item should be "paid from the general fund". One loses responsibility when that occurs. Furthermore the public easily understands the necessity for the tax when it is applied for a generally accepted benefit.

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 9 years 8 weeks ago
#9

my article "The 'Tyranny' Of Capitalism, 'Idolatry Of Money' And 'Trickle-Down' Economics" at http://www.nationofchange.org/tyranny-capitalism-idolatry-money-and-tric...

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 9 years 8 weeks ago
#10

While President Obama declared an end to the war on budget deficits and pledged instead to fight the "deficit of opportunity" for the poor and middle class, he is acting far too timid to stir the pot and instigate a real national conversation on inequality. As for the Republican leadership, they have yet to realize that there is even a problem. "A high concentration of wealth at the top is less likely to result in the broad-based consumer spending that drives the economy," the president said.

President Obama and the Democrats see the government's role as providing a security net. As my colleague Michael Greaney states: "The fact is that government was never intended to try and take care of people’s individual wants and needs, but to provide and protect the environment within which people can take care of themselves. In an emergency, of course, it’s perfectly legitimate for the government to step in and redistribute enough wealth to keep people going until they can get back on their feet, but we seem now to live in a permanent state of emergency."

President Obama has failed the American people, especially the poor and propertyless who are increasingly dependent on ever-lower-paying jobs, taxpayer-supported welfare financed through tax extraction and national debt, and charity.

President Obama has yet to declare CONCENTRATED OWNERSHIP of the non-human productive capital assets of American enterprise as the main culprit to the inability of the 99 percent to expand and strengthen their source of income and increasingly become "customers with money" to purchase the products and services the economy is capable of producing. Never has Obama, during his political career, used the term "ownership" of the means of production to educate the electorate of the necessity to OWN productive capital assets. And without a clear understanding of the problem and a goal projection, there can be no successful PLAN to correct the income and wealth inequality that has resulted ever since American entered the age of the Industrial Revolution, when the nation began its shift from labor intensive production to non-human physical productive capital means of production. Such assets, due to the unjust structure of the financial system, allows the ownership class to continually monopolize ALL future productive capital investment––ownership.President Obama never has advocated that we must respect the traditional understanding of private property as a natural right, inherent in each person, albeit limited in its exercise. He has failed to declare that the reliance on past savings as the only source of financing for economic growth necessarily means that only those people who can afford to cut consumption and save significantly will receive the benefits of economic growth as investor owners instead of wage or welfare recipients.

President Obama has never once pointed out that as job destroying and labor devaluing technology advances and the scale of economic growth becomes too expensive for the resources of average people, only the rich will own the enterprises that generate the bulk of production. This is the greed or "hoggist" capitalism that is practiced in America. Everyone other than the rich who own capital is limited to wages or sub-economic microenterprises, unless the rich decide to be generous and voluntarily surrender some of their wealth so that others can own productive capital, too.

President Obama is part of the problem in that he has stepped into the ranks of those who, within this past savings paradigm, see as the alternative to having a few rich people monopolize ownership to change what “ownership” means. By changing what ownership means, the State (whether the central government or the local community) decides what and how much of the fruits of ownership go to those who hold legal title, and what and how much is distributed in some fashion to others in the local community or the nation at large. This makes title a meaningless concept, abolishes private property, and is socialism, by whatever label.

President Obama needs to acknowledge that if we restrict financing of economic growth to what can be withheld from consumption out of what has been produced in the past, we are necessarily trapped into either capitalism (concentrated private ownership of productive capital) or socialism (concentrated State ownership or control of productive capital).

President Obama needs to see that there is a way out: a source of financing economic growth that does not depend on how much consumption can be reduced.

Instead of using the present value of past reductions in consumption to finance economic growth, it is possible—even preferable—to finance economic growth using the present value of future increases in production. In other words, shift from a “past savings” system, to a “future savings” system.

The way out is to turn the present value of future marketable goods and services into money—which is what commercial and central banks were invented to do, not finance non-productive government spending. People who currently own no capital can become owners of the productive capital that is displacing them from their jobs by buying capital on credit, and paying for it with the profits received from the capital in the future.

Most new capital is financed this way, anyway, but only by people who have collateral. Replacing traditional collateral with capital credit insurance and reinsurance solves that problem. Corporations don’t need to finance growth by accumulating cash. They can pay out all earnings as tax-deductible dividends (fully taxable as ordinary income to the recipient), and issue new equity to finance growth.

As more people become capital owners, entitlements can be phased out, and the savings applied to paying down the national debt.

The focus needs to be on OWNERSHIP CREATION, not JOBS CREATION, which has been Obama's pitch thus far. Thus the challenge is to reform the system to provide equal opportunity for ALL Americans to acquire ownership of FUTURE wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital assets with "FUTURE SAVINGS" (earnings) generated by the investments. Thus, over time EVERY American citizen will be able to accumulate a viable, income-generating capital estate portfolio to provide a second income to their wages earned from job employment or provide a sustainable income without the need to be employed in a job or dependent on welfare or charity.For solutions see "Financing Economic Growth With 'FUTURE SAVINGS': Solutions To Protect America From Economic Decline" at NationOfChange.org http://www.nationofchange.org/financing-future-economic-growth-future-savings-solutions-protect-america-economic-decline-137450624Support the Capital Homestead Act athttp://www.cesj.org/homestead/index.htm andhttp://www.cesj.org/homestead/summary-cha.htm

This should be the message that President Obama should deliver.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#11

Vegasman56 ~ I just checked out those two TED talks. Thanks! That was some great stuff.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 9 years 8 weeks ago
#12

The Clinton Democrats cut the rungs off of the proverbial ladder out of poverty, and liberals (if not progressives) applauded. Lib media immediately responded by raising the Middle Class Only banner. Not everyone can work, due to health or circumstances, and there simply aren't jobs for all who need one right now. The US has shipped out the bulk of our manufacturing and tech jobs while significantly increasing the number of people desperate for jobs.Americans say, "There is NO excuse for being jobless!" This generation decided that those who are not of current use to employers no longer have basic human rights to food and shelter. That's a profound societal change.

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 9 years 8 weeks ago
#13

If you or somebody in the public eye reveals the election fraud that is committed by Republicans, the whole country would improve instantaneously.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#14

Thom, it is a rare moment when I disagree with you on anything. But having read your opening post of the day, there's one little thing you've said that doesn't quite ring true for me. It's in that last paragraph where you mention policies of a bygone era which, you say, gave everyone an "equal chance at success". I don't believe there was ever a time in this country when everyone had an equal chance. It just happens to be a whole lot worse now than it was when we were growing up. (And by the way Thom, you and I are exactly the same age.) - Aliceinwonderland

ScottFromOz 9 years 8 weeks ago
#15

They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 8 weeks ago
#16

Prerequisite to restoration of the American Dream is restoration of Representative Government. Rule by and for only the rich violates the good government contract /agreement between we the people and our lawmakers.

In a true democracy authority comes from the people, not from smart ALEC billionaires manipulating alcoholic and crazed religious House members. Until we rid ourselves of these self serving public servants the American Dream will remain the nightmare it currently has become.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 8 weeks ago
#17

If only the truth could set us free. Between the recent speeches by the Pope, President Obama, and todays 20 second recording of Ted Kennedy, we'd all certainly be free from trickle down tyranny....if only!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#18

No matter what President Obama might be saying today, it should be viewed in the context of his proven penchant for deceptive rhetoric.

Never forget how Obama the Orator promised us "change we can believe in," which included public-option/single-payer health care, enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act to restore the union movement and -- most of all -- the restoration of our constitutional rights. Then, exactly as he had promised his One Percent masters, he shape-shifted into Barack the Betrayer, wantonly breaking more campaign promises than any U.S. president, thereby proving himself the most brazen liar in our nation's history.

Moreover, by his methodical and escalating assault on what little remains of our constitutional rights, he has proven himself the most tyrannical president in U.S. history -- infinitely worse than Richard Milhous Nixon.

Therefore anyone who is idiotic enough believe any seemingly progressive remarks Barack Obama might utter today is not only the most gullible of marks but utterly deserving of whatever political victimization results.

Indeed this attempt by Barack the Betrayer to again con us by assuming a progressive disguise is tantamount to publicly declaring the entire USian citizenry is stupid -- in truth the most insulting attempt at political deception I have witnessed in this lifetime of nearly 74 years.

The obvious question is what diabolical motive prompts this newest attempt at deception.

My guess is that Obama's ploy is the opening gun of a One Percent offensive to counter the growing demand for a viable Third Party, perhaps even one that is avowedly socialist. Its significance, particularly in the wake of Socialist Alternative City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant's victory in Seattle, is that the USian Ruling Class is now at last genuinely frightened -- all the more so since Kshama's party affiliation defines her as not merely a socialist but a Marxist of the Leon Trotsky (pro-democracy/anti-Stalinist/anti-Maoist) faction.

Despite the outrageousness of Barack the Betrayer's most recent Big Lie performance, we should nevertheless perhaps celebrate it for what it represents: a capitalist aristocracy grown so terrified of the rising tide of Working Class anger, the Wall Street barons have commanded their most notorious liar to attempt yet another con job.

Hopefully we the people have been burned enough times we will recognize it for the deception it is -- and seize the never-more-opportune time to build party powerful enough to take back the government from the obscenely wealthy thieves who have stolen it.

Yes, it is true, I am again just a tiny bit hopefull, the formerlty extinguished candle of my optimism re-lit by Kshama Sawant, who could indeed become our latter-day La Pasionaria, inspiring us to recognize our Working Class identity and stand together in an unprecedented solidarity of resistance and achievement.

(A link to Kshama's victory speech, in which she urges worker whose jobs are being outsourced to take over their factories, is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxmWhRiP8Zs . It seems I have waited all this lifetime to hear such words. La Pasionaria indeed!)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#19
Quote Loren Bliss:The obvious question is what diabolical motive prompts this newest attempt at deception.

Loren Bliss ~ Thanks for that most insightful perspective. I must say that every time I hear Washington do or say anything right the thought of ulterior motive crosses my mind. (The same could easily be said of the Holy See. But that's another topic.) Your suggestion makes a lot of sense; and, I certainly hope you are right. One thing that the Reich Wing of fascists always seem to forget is that in times of great oppression are great opportunity for the oppressed to seize on. Hoisted by their own petard so to speak. Let us hope this is the case.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#20

Damnit, I made some drooling-moron errors -- trying to post here and cook my dinner at the same time (yet another classic example of a male's utter inability to multi-task) -- and am now locked out of the post, thus prohibited from making corrections. Is there a new time limit on editing here? (Never ran into this before, and now because of dropped connectives and fumble-fingered misspellings ["hopefull," "formertly." etc. ad nauseam], I look like the idiot some of my critics claim I am. Grrrrrr...)

bobbler's picture
bobbler 9 years 8 weeks ago
#21

Surprising to hear Obama talk like a democrat, when there is no upcoming election. Liberals everywhere feel betrayed by obama talking like a liberal to get elected, then governing as a moderate conservative.. Surely its obvious by now, big moneys controlling effect on politics (fascism) has pushed both parties to the right of the people.

But Obama has pinpointed probably the single worst problem today (the trickle up economicis embraced by both parties since Reagan (conservative economics sending American jobs over seas for the enrichment of the 1-percent.. Which is not surprising since this same big money is puppet master over both parties)..

So this same income disparity has enabled a very few today, to buy congress out from under the people. After 30 years of trickle-up economics, we have billionaires, and one billionaire could divvy up to create a thousand millionaires.. Allowing Individuals the power to buy congress, because they got lucky by the whim of the market (or by being born into money), defeats the constitutional separation of powers that the founders went thru great pains to install into the foundation of our government (all this for naught, when a few rich guys can bypass The election process and simply buy congress). A seat in congress goes for a little over a million dollars, and the best funded candidate won 9:10 times, proving that although people still vote, money controls the outcome Of the election process.

Obama said the right words today. But excuse me for being skeptical, I want to see some action..

Of course it makes sense to return to pre-reagan economics. Back then big business paid 70-90-percent taxes.. Taxes were dramatically lowered the next 30years until today they pay 10-percent (with the loop holes).. If conservative economics had any merit (lower taxes equal jobs), America would be bursting at the seams full of jobs.. Liberals, have been correct all along of course, and not at all surprised that we have the lowest taxes in a generation, and there is only 1-job for every 5-looking for work.

Workers unions built the middle class, and made America's economy strong (lots f people with money to spend). So called free trade NAFTA/CRAFTA, etc, is a euphemism for abandoning the american worker, and sending our jobs overseas basically to sweat shop countries).

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#22

Loren- as always, your post is spot-on. I don't know enough about past presidents (those in office prior to 1965) to have an opinion as to whether Obama is the biggest liar of them all. But you've no problem convincing me of the liar that he is. I never take his speeches seriously; not since the beginning of his first term. But on a lighter note, Kshama's Sawant's victory in Seattle sounds like something to rejoice about!

I've heard some murmerings that Elizabeth Warren could run against Hillary Clinton on the Democratic ticket in 2016. I think I love Warren even more than I hate Clinton, which is saying a helluva lot. In fact, Elizabeth Warren's candidacy would compel me to vote Democratic again, without a moment's hesitation! I would even go door-to-door for Warren, something I've never been willing to do for any other candidate.

Mr. 10K, great posts! You're on a roll tonight, buddy. Keep up the good work! (Trickle-down tyranny... Ha-Hah! Bull's eye.) - Aliceinwonderland

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#23

Hello, Marc, and thank you. My locked-out grumble was NOT a response to your comment, which didn't come up on my screen until after I posted the growl.

Apropos ulterior motives, one of the first things you learn as a political reporter is that -- with a few very notable exceptions -- most USian politicians whether Republican (overt fascist) or Democrat (closet fascist) are the personification of hidden agendas and, yes, ulterior motives as well. The most common example of the former is doing whatever is necessary to please the One Percent; the most common example of the latter is doing whatever will make the most money in the shortest time. With either of the two major parties, the unspoken reality is "run for office; become an oppressor; get rich beyond imagination." When you reflect on that reality, it leaps into sharp focus why most of our politicians have the mindsets of banana-republic tyrants.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#24

Loren, not to worry. You've already proven yourself among the best writers ever to grace this blog. And your comment about males and multi-tasking cracks me up.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#25

Thank you, Alice. First time I heard Kshama speak, the things she was saying -- indictments of capitalism I never imagined I would hear an USian candidate have the courage to say -- it literally brought tears to my eyes, the sort of tears one associates with liberation and people dancing in the street. While I had long recognized the intellectual intensity of my commitment to socialism, I don't think I quite realized the magnitude of its emotional component until that moment.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#26
Quote Loren Bliss:With either of the two major parties, the unspoken reality is "run for office; become an oppressor; get rich beyond imagination." When you reflect on that reality, it leaps into sharp focus why most of our politicians have the mindsets of banana-republic tyrants.

Loren Bliss ~ Yes! That's for sure. It is also why they are so short-sided and stupid. I guess that is why history, logic, and Marx seem to suggest they are a short lived bunch. Current events would be hard pressed to argue with that contention. Perhaps fear of the future is what compels their desperate and hasty agenda--in the same way rats scatter frantically to leave a sinking ship.

As far as your corrections are concerned Aliceinwonderland is right. You have already shown what you are made of. A few minor typos isn't going to change that. I too like to proof my writings excessively and have run into the lock-out phenomenon on more than one occasion. I know it can be quite frustrating. As far as it is concerned and why it happens I don't have solid explanation other then ...it happens. Apparently this time it happened at the same time I was responding to you. That might have something to do with it. If you notice my reply is to post #17 and your post got bumped up to #19 before I posted my reply. That is why the reply in my post has the wrong number on it. It could have been a computer/server/internet glitch that was partially my fault. I'm sure it had no nefarious reason behind it because in the past it has happened to me at random without rhyme or reason. It probably has more to do with interaction between posters and unperfected software than anything else. Nevertheless, it is most annoying that we cannot regain access to edit some of our posts and others we can. Why that is so is a very good question for the monitor or webmaster.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 8 weeks ago
#27

He's said a lot of things, talk is cheap!

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#28

Apropos males and multi-tasking, it's true so there's no shame in admitting it. Apropos females and multi-tasking, I had a secretary years ago in Manhattan who could type dictation -- flawlessly -- and carry on a completely unrelated conversation at the same time. From my perspective, "awesome" doesn't even begin to cover her multi-tasking abilities. Dunno whether the male-female difference in this ability is conditioned or innate, but over the years I've seen so many examples of it, I don't question of its reality.

Apropos Elizabeth Warren, were she to win the White House, I fear her presidency would be terminated in the same way JFK's was, though if her vice-president were Bernie Sanders, the fact he's a declared socialist might offer her some real protection. However as a politically astute friend of mine has pointed out, Warren can actually do more good in the Senate.

The real question is how to keep Hillary out of the presidency. But at least a lot of people are awakening to the fact Hillary is even more of a fascist than Obama. See for example http://truth-out.org/news/item/20381-does-hillarys-silence-on-iran-deal-...

In this same context I have suspected for years the so-called "Hillarycare" health-reform plan was intended to fail. Note for example the public outrage deliberately provoked by secret hearings, an outrage underscored by the "leak" Hillarycare was to be tied to a massive campaign for forcible civilian disarmament. But the smoking gun, as it were, was the huge sum of contributions Slick Willie then got from the health insurors for his 1996 presidential campaign.

Apropos presidential dishonesty, LBJ comes close to Obama in the sense that he ran as the peace candidate -- this while he and his henchmen were scheming to escalate Vietnam into a major war.

But LBJ kept all his other promises, and in this domestic-policy sense -- the War on Poverty et al -- he was seemingly the most radical president in U.S. history. (I say "seemingly" because, as those of us who covered it or worked in it [I did both] soon discovered to our fury, much of it was not just eyewash but was actually designed to fail -- perhaps even to give the Right the ammunition they subsequently used to turn it into a war against the poor. ) (Yes, the USian One Percent is indeed that diabolically far-sighted. The worst mistake the Left has ever made is to underestimate its capacity for evil.)

Meanwhile, Obama is the only USian president I know of, now or ever, who not only broke all of his significant campaign promises but did a 180-degree turnabout in his approach to governance as well, for which note his "transparency" pledges in contrast to the secret-police/total-surveillance state he has imposed.

(Gotta say good night as I've about four hours worth of chores to do yet tonight...and tomorrow comes way too early. 'Night all.)

bobbler's picture
bobbler 9 years 8 weeks ago
#29

I would vote for warren too, without holding my nose., I fear Hillary will be just another cookie cutter moderate conservative that talks like a liberal to get elected, like both Clinton and Obama did).

Can we get those """WARREN FOR PRES""" Things on FB., Like the ones I keep seeing for Clinton?

NOW IS THE TIME,

to try and upprta people's choice for president., wait until the primaries, and we will get candidates chosen by corporate money (to be our only choices).

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#30

Loren- the older I get, and the longer I witness the evils of capitalism in technicolor, the more I hunger for socialism. I'm with you on that. And I would have loved to hear Kshama's speech. If it brought tears to your eyes, it must have been pretty darn good.

As to your concern that a Warren presidency might be terminated the same way JFK's was, I share that concern. But I don't think this would be unique to her, necessarily. Anyone in that position who poses a threat to the almighty plutocrats had better be careful, employing the most airtight security measures 21 Century innovation can muster.

How do you think Ms. Warren's safety would be more secure if she had Bernie Sanders for vice-president? And why does your friend think she'd be more effective in the Senate than the White House? Just curious... - AIW

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#31

Alice...Checked back just as I was shutting off the computer, and glad I did. Two points: My earliest post of the evening contains a link to Kshama's victory speech, which will enable you to hear with a real socialist sounds like and also give you a sense of what a powerful speaker she is. Notice how she gets the crowd going. Google for her other speeches, especially at labor rallies, and you'll get an even clearer picture. She's already won over the Seattle union rank-and-file, which means that for the first time since the 30s, we've got unionized workers thinking about class struggle, which could well be the first step for a nationwide resurrection of the kind of labor militancy that makes the Ruling Class tremble in fear.

Apropos Bernie Sanders, if indeed he's a real socialist -- not just talking the talk but ready to walk the walk -- the thought of him in the White House has got to be the One Percent's worst nightmare, not the least because he could use the bully pulpit to agitate a nationwide socialist party into being.

As to Ms. Warren in the Senate, my friend thinks that seat gives her far more disruptive power because she can focus specifically on the class struggle and use her position as she is already using it, to call attention to the fact the USian Working Class -- that is, all of us in the 99 Percent -- is by far the most savagely oppressed Working Class in the industrial world. In the White House, or so my friend reasons, Ms. Warren's options would be far more restricted by the demands of the office as well as by protocol. As for me, I haven't decided whether I agree or not...it's something I am thinking about. But if she runs, I'll work my butt off for her, if she'll have me, which I say because many Democrats would fear an association with me because of my outspoken Left-ness.

LB

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#32

Loren- Like you, I decided to check ze blog before hittin' the hay. I'm a night owl, perhaps more than is good for me... but old habits die hard. And like you, I'm not sure whether I agree with your friend either, altho it does sound like an educated opinion at the least. Anyway in the event that she does run for the oval office, I'd be very surprised if she didn't welcome your support. But in the meantime, I'm delighted to have her in the senate.

By the way... I find your outspoken "left-ness" (and passion!) more than a little refreshing.

I can't say whether Bernie Sanders is a real socialist. But I am certain the guy is for real. He (along with Ms. Warren) is among those rare politicians who I actually trust. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest senators this lame-ass country has ever had. You're damned right he's the plutocrats' worst nightmare! Bernie fights so hard for us that occasionally, I worry about him having a heart attack from all the stress. The man is a jewel among rat turds, and a lifeline to sanity. We can't afford to lose him. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. I'll check out Kshama's speech tomorrow. Can't wait to hear it!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#33

Loren Bliss and AliceinWonderland ~ How about a Warren/Kucinich ticket? Last I looked Dennis wasn't too busy. I've been praying for Dennis to be in the white house since 2004. I'm sure his presence on the ticket would discourage any underhanded mischief. Besides, it would be a nice way to promote him from a mere Rep. in the House to President of the Senate. That's much more of the title that he deserves anyway--if not the Presidency itself.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#34

I've voted for Kucinich in past presidential elections, without embarrassment or regret. I would have picked him over Obama, even before Obama's first term. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#35

Aliceinwonderland ~ Same here. I'll never forget how the Democratic Party in 2008 extricated him from the primaries here in California before I even had an opportunity to vote for him. As far as I was concerned he was the number one candidate. I almost lost interest in the election after he was railroaded. I almost resigned from the party myself. Reluctantly I cast a vote for John Edwards just one day before his scandal nullified that vote. I was very PO'd and felt both thoroughly screwed and betrayed. As far as I was concerned Hillary and Barack weren't even worth considering. Bottom of the barrel. That should be the name of the Democratic party--"The Bottom Of The Barrel Party!"

Of course when it comes to seeking out the least qualified people for the job of POTUS, both parties exceed at that task.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#36

Alice and Marc...For many reasons, I couldn't support Kucinich. Here's one reason: http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/kucinich-switches-vote...

Alice...I'm a night person also. Spent years working at morning newspapers, where the hours used to become more nocturnal as one was promoted. First newspaper job, copy boy, age 16, my shift was 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. or 4 p.m. to midnight (The Grand Rapids Herald, 1956-1957). As the news editor, second in command to the managing editor (The Daily Record, Morristown N.J., 1967-1969), my hours were 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. I've worked day-side jobs (ugh!), but since my formative years in journalism (1956-1959 and 1962-1969), I've never been happily diurnal. (The missing three years went to the active duty portion of a six-year U.S. Army enlistment. Did my overseas service in Korea; luck of the draw, was honorably discharged just before the Vietnam reserve call-up.)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#37

Loren ~ I respect that you have many reasons; however, the only thing that article expressed was his flipping over the vote that passed the ACA. Quite frankly, if Sen. Ted Kennedy was that flexible back in the seventies we might just have a single payer system today instead of a for profit insurance system on steroids that is posing as a major obstacle to progress. I'm sure that fact weighed in heavily on the Senator's decision. In retrospect I support Dennis's decision; although at the time--like you--I did not.

I'm not arguing that Dennis is a better choice than Bernie. All I wish to say is that if Bernie declines the offer, Dennis would be my close second choice to run with Elizabeth. Remember, we are merely discussing idealistic goals. What the future deals us may fall painfully short. A bit of compromise now may indeed seem like a pipe dream then. Let us not allow our hopes to get so high now that we become hopelessly discouraged by the events in the near future. I truly believe that one objective in the current ulterior motives previously discussed that is being sought is simple mass discouragement from participation in government. First we are fed a bill of lofty promises. Then that bill is torn to threads in front of our eyes like a shipwrecked boat on a pile of rocks. That is a goal we must all be determined to not allow to see the light of day.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#38

Marc...Can't address the Kucinich matter now as I have a very full day that's already started. But I'll return to the question this evening it you're interested. My objections to him include not just his positions on certain critical issues but his allegedly less-than-admirable conduct as a mayor.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#39

Loren ~ Thanks. I look forward to hearing your perspective. Perhaps while you are at it you could mention those members of Congress you do approve of. I would be most interested to hear your insights.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#40

Marc...this has turned out be an overwhelmingly busy day that's running far into the evening. Hence my short answer on Kucinich: accoirding to some very credible sources, among them Gore Vidal, he's a pacifist. The last pacifist in a position of global power was Neville Chamberlain. Need I say more?

Apropos pacifism itself, its ultimate irony is that it only works when the threat of violence is implicit if pacifist options are rejected. Two examples: one is Martin Luther King Jr., whose demands for racial justice were underscored by the implied threat that violence was sure to follow if pacifist solutions were rejected by the Ruling Class (which of course they were, but the rejection was so gradual it fooled the nation into submission, exactly as intended); two is Mohandas K. Gandhi, whose paficist movement liberated India from the British only because the Brits recognized the alternative -- a violent revolution agitated and armed by what was then the NKVD (later the KGB) and more importantly by GRU (the Red Army intelligence organization founded by Leon Trotsky, the most formidably effective cadre of professional revolutionaries in human history, as proven not only in the old Russian Empire, but in China, Vietnam. Cuba, etc.). Had India thus joined the Soviet Bloc, the national anthem of the People's Republic of China -- The East Is Red -- would have become literally true.

Without such backing as was provided by the Soviet Union, pacifists are either ignored or liquidated, precisely as is occurring with ever greater frequency today.

Particularly in a socialist context, pacifism is in fact suicidal. It is rendered so by the fact the capitalists will always seek the overthrow of any socialist government, and unless there is effective resistance -- as there was not, for example, in Allende's Chile or Franco's Spain -- the capitalists will always win.

Ugly truth, yes, but that's realpolitik -- and, thanks to five thiousand years of patriarchy, the nature of the world in which we live.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#41

Loren ~ I thank you deeply for that observation. Pardon my lack of experience; but, I will have to reserve comment until I have time to absorb all that you have offered; as, it is quite a mouth full

As far as Kucinich is concerned; you will have to pardon me because quite frankly I myself consider myself a pacifist. I see no gain from proceeding along any agenda of conquest or aggression from any perspective available. From my perspective the only thing we have to gain is objective within a course of action. Anything else is failure.

Having said that, I am most interested in any idea as to how any other agenda has a potential of success in today's world paradigm? To me the best hope of success depends upon many factors--first and foremost the factors of common will. To me the best hope of achieving this ends is through the technique of pacifism.

Please correct me if I am wrong; but, the way I understand it, the will of the people must take precedence over the will of the minority. How is physical force ever going to replace the will of the people?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#42

Apropos to #42 Nelson Mandela. Here we have the case of a man who lived the life of pure pacifism with spectacular results. No army the world has ever seen will ever match the results of Nelson Mandela; and, this does not even begin to account for the future of the results of the life works of Nelson Mandela. How do you respond to the inquiry that perhaps there is a third level of inequality that hasn't yet been addressed by the current world paradigm? A third level of inequality that indeed can be addressed by the asset of the common good and universal reason? A third level of human rights that equites with human beings far beyond any state of human rights or equality? A third level of human rights that equates with human spiritual equality? Imagination is only limited by creativity; and, creativity is only limited by imagination, Perhaps it is time to abandon our perception of reality for a more preferable one. We are only limited by our imagination, therefore, we are only limited by our creativity. Let our creativity define who we are and our ambition define who we aspire to be.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 8 weeks ago
#43

Please Marc do not apologize to me (or anyone else) for who you are. I have never condemned a person for being a pacifist and in fact admire their (your) courage. I am a fervent advocate of nonviolence, though I am also aware that sometimes the violence of an oppressor will not allow nonviolence to succeed.

For example -- and apropos physical force and the will of the people -- think what happens when one is conquered, as in Europe by the fascists of Berlin and Rome, as in Asia by the fascists of Tokyo, or as in today's Latin America by the fascists of Washington D.C..

Think of the French Resistance, in which Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Juliette Greco all served valiantly. (Greco was the only movie star on whom I ever had a teenage crush, this in 1958 after seeing her breathtaking performance as Mina in The Roots of Heaven, a film that was decades ahead of its time.)

More poignantly, think of the Soviet partizanska. Because the Nazis had defined all Slavs as untermenschen -- people fit only for enslavenent and extermination -- theirs was a much more desperate struggle than anything that occurred in Western Europe. Soviet teens, especially young women, showed themselves to be the most defiantly courageous freedom fighters the modern world has ever known. Here are the stories of two such people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinaida_Portnova  and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoya_Kosmodemyanskaya 

Pacifism is wonderful when it works. But sometimes -- when the enemy is as savage as the Nazis were -- other responses are required.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#44

Loren ~ You make a great argument. After careful consideration I must concur. Thank you for pointing that out.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#45

Loren ~ Back to the original topic--Dennis Kucinich. Pacifism comes in various levels. In his stage character even Bruce Lee purported to be a pacifist. He stated that his art was, "The art of fighting without fighting." Of course he resorted to fighting when needed and with astonishingly decisive results. Just because one is dedicated to exhausting all options of peace doesn't mean that they are incapable of resorting to physical force when necessary. When a pacifist is pressed to the wall they usually come out fighting like a tiger and take their opponents by surprise and to task.

Comparing Dennis Kucinich with Neville Chamberlain--a man who literally gave away a country--is not a fair comparison. Dennis has been libeled and slandered quite effectively by the Reich Wing media machine for being a wimp. He's a small man who looks wimpy. Yet, he obviously instills fear in his political opponents and the 1%. Despite his stature and reputation in Congress he fights like a tiger. He displays no fear of any one or fear to say anything. Even with the ACA vote he was very reluctant to concede. In the article you provided he is quoted as saying that he listened to his constituents who demanded that he change his vote because they believed that anything was better than nothing. The recent news that Vermont is taking the next step to turn the ACA into a single-payer system shows that Dennis probably made the right decision. Quite frankly, one of the main characteristics I want in the person who occupies the oval office is the ability to listen to their constituents and act accordingly. Dennis has also demonstrated the ability to swallow his pride and admit he was wrong. To me those are characteristics that I place much higher than the ability to sign an order for a preemptive strike on a defenseless nation.

You have adequately made your argument that pacifism has its place as does aggression. In matters of social inequality, international aggression, political tyranny, or class struggle I agree that resorting to violence, or merely seriously threatening to do so, may indeed be the only solution to detour a greater evil. The founding fathers realized that and set up the Constitution accordingly. They saw both ends of the shotgun themselves and wanted to spare as many future generations from that horror as possible. That is particularly why someone with pacifist leaning is uniquely qualified to manage the halls of Washington DC. The POTUS--unlike our media would have us believe--does not need the skills of Bruce Lee or the movie-like characteristics of a Dirty Harry or a Rambo. I still fail to see why Dennis Kucinich would not make a fine running mate for Elizabeth Warren; or, for that matter, a fine President of the United States? The Reich Wing has spent enough time, money, and effort to discredit the man to show that his occupancy of the oval office is their worst nightmare. Who better to shield and protect Elizabeth Warren than such a conservative nemesis?

What could he have possibly done, that I obviously don't know of, that would have you compare him with Neville Chamberlain?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 8 weeks ago
#46

Lorin and Marc, I anticipate this'll be one of my longer posts. You guys give me much to respond to, so here goes...

Loren, I understand all too well how you came to love those post-midnight hours. It's been a pattern with me for the last fifty years, staying up all hours of the night. As a creative person I crave the solitude, the quiet time, when I can write, compose my music or read without distraction.

By the way, I did check out the video of Kshama's victory speech in Seattle. This woman rocks! I loved her. She speaks with clarity and power, just as you've described her. It renews my sense of hope for the next generation of adults, listening to someone like this. I noticed other speeches of Kshama's displayed on the side bar, so I'll have to re-visit that link and watch them too.

Also noteworthy is the young rap artist who took the mike a few minutes later. WOW. Other than this, words evade me. Do you recall that part of the video, Loren? If not, check out this brilliant, fiery young poet! The guy is simply amazing.

For a long time I dismissed rap, tagging it "blabber-mouth music"... 'til one day I heard a rap song with a message worth hearing. I discovered that, quite the contrary, it's a viable art form; not all thuggish, misogynist drivel. Let's not forget, the corporate media will emphasize the worst of any genre created by America's untouchables. Turns out there's more to rap music than "wham-bam" and "kill-the-pig". It's a powerful way to deliver political messages, if one has the talent. And this guy blew me away.

The kind of labor militancy Loren speaks of is long overdue in our country. Since growing up in the fifties & sixties, the so-called "golden era" for workers, I've watched this steady decline and it hasn't been pretty. There's got to be a limit to how much abuse people can tolerate in their efforts to provide for themselves and their families. Those Walmart "associates" and fast food workers out there, striking all over the country right now, are so courageous to be walking off the job. When you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, that's a very big deal, and many of these folks have children. In those circumstances, there's not much keeping you and yours off the streets. You're just one paycheck away from being discarded, joining the ranks of the homeless.

Loren, when you answered my question about Ms. Warren's safety as prez, and how she might be protected with a vice prez like Bernie Sanders, my thought was - DUH. Why I hadn't connected those dots myself, I can't say, because it makes perfect sense and is so obvious. Bump off the German Shephard and now there's a Pit Bull to be dealt with! Great fantasy, anyhoo...

You've stated that we're the "most savagely oppressed working class in the developed world". More than the Chinese or the Russians? I'd like your take on that, Loren.

It intrigues me when you disclose tidbits from your background. Sounds like you were a prodigy of sorts, still a kid when your career began. Photo journalism definitely suits you. That age & circumstance spared you from getting sucked into the Vietnam War is indeed a blessing.

What about Dennis Kucinich's behavior as mayor did you find so objectionable, by the way?

And Loren, I checked out the link you provided, to that article about Senator Kucinich and the Affordable Care Act. Having read the article, I must say, there's not a thing in it that would give me doubts about his integrity. With all due respect I ask you: what the heck was the poor man supposed to do?! All I see is a guy struggling to make the best of a no-win situation. At the risk of putting you at odds with me, Loren, I'll have to confess that were I in his shoes, I probably would have handled it very similarly. I agree that the ACA sucks, but it's still better than nothing, and that was the choice he had: ACA or nothing.

Kucinich had put up a helluva fight for single payer. Unfortunately President Obama, in his relentlessly lame quest for bipartisanship, dropped the ball on single payer healthcare immediately, before the debate had scarcely begun. Single payer advocates were denied a seat at the proverbial table, kept out of the discussion altogether. Even that watered-down public option Pelosi had promised us went down the toilet, despite the efforts of Kucinich and his allies (what few he had).

I have to agree with Marc on this. Kucinich was not to blame for the position that ultimately, he got forced into. And frankly, I think none the less of him for it. He fought the ACA to the bitter end until finally, when it was either that or nothing, he grudgingly relented. What's more, I think Marc's characterization of Kucinich is spot-on: a small, wimpy-looking guy with the heart of a tiger. Despite outer appearances, he's a force to be reckoned with, which is why the elites hate him so much.

Marc shares much wisdom on the inescapable reality of the cards that are dealt us, and this unwelcome balancing act of juggling our ideals with the choices available. It's always frustrating and disheartening to settle for so much less than we need and deserve... especially when it comes to the simple necessities of life, held as ransom by the piggish One Percent.

When it comes to pacifism - to be or not to be - that's a hard question with no clear-cut answer. From his perspective as historian, Thom has said repeatedly that no lasting change has ever come from violence. There's a lot of truth to that. Marc's mention of Mandela's spectacular victory is indeed fitting. I think it was Ghandi who said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" (or something like that). But I also agree with Loren when he points out how nonviolence would never have cut it with the Nazis. Having said that, I still have serious doubts about our prospects for winning a violent conflict with these oligarchs who could easily out-gun us. In our circumstances, creativity and imagination could be our only salvation.

Loren's observations on the clever tactics of psychological manipulation, used against us by the ruling class, never fail to grab my attention. Noam Chomsky puts much emphasis on this as well. Your assessment of how the hard-won gains of the civil rights movement were slowly destroyed brings to mind that old frog-in-the-water metaphor, where the frog ends up boiling to death after the water is gradually heated. When we fall asleep at the wheel, failing to recognize the cunning of our enemies, we pay a heavy price.

One last thing before I go, on an unrelated topic. I too have run up against the random arbitrariness of an edit button made available on only some of my posts. And yes, Marc, it is frustrating. When you do manage to edit a post, it gets moved down to the end of the blog, which can be a problem when you're replying to something. I don't know how easy it is to get answers from appropriate sources. But I wanted to commiserate with you on that.

Anyway my friends, guess I've rambled long enough. Sure has been fun though. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 8 weeks ago
#47
Quote Aliceinwonderland:There's a lot of truth to that. Marc's mention of Mandela's spectacular victory is indeed fitting. I think it was Ghandi who said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" (or something like that). But I also agree with Loren when he points out how nonviolence would never have cut it with the Nazis. Having said that, I still have serious doubts about our prospects for winning a violent conflict with these oligarchs who could easily out-gun us. In our circumstances, creativity and imagination could be our only salvation.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Thanks for those kind words! By the way, Gandhi also said,

Quote Gandhi:An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind.
I particularly love that quote.

Two particular problems arise when you deal with a bully. First and foremost, when fighting fire with fire, you must become a bigger bully in order to address the problem. If you succeed you gain a reputation that invites more bullies to challenge you. If you don't you have the choice of forming an alliance with other bullies --who now you are subservient to--or submitting to the original bully by putting yourself back into the same place you started in. The Nazi menace was defeated by much bigger bullies--namely the Pentagon and the KGB. The world is free of the third Reich; but, now has to contend with the fourth Reich. Where does this course of action lead to--the fifth Reich? Personally, I hope and pray that the world never sees the entity that is capable of taking down the Pentagon.

Back to the school yard bully. As the old saying goes, there are more than one way to skin a rat. (I like cats so I chose to refer to rats instead.) In this nation we are conditioned to believe that might makes right. It is a conditioning that is so rooted in our psyche that we often fail to see the forest through the trees. Let us approach the bully from an "outside the box" creative "rock-paper-scissor" perspective. Any 80 pound, underdeveloped nerd can easily take down a 300 pound, muscle bound football jock with a little imagination. First, the knowledge of germs and viruses can cripple anyone. Blow a little infected air the way of the nostrils of the brute and you will send him to a sick bed. In a confrontation a knowledge of the anatomy is most useful. If the brute throws all his weight into a punch simply turning the head slightly will cause his small hand bones to collide with your dense skull bone and the bones in his hand will literally shatter upon impact; thus, rendering him defenseless. If the brute grabs you driving the heal of your foot down upon his big toe will send him hopping away, hobbled in agony. Finally, you can simply go over his head. Bring the school Principal, Teacher, Yard Aid, or even contact the child's parents will quickly end a rather unpleasant confrontation. The bottom line here is that hatred and anger make us stupid and unable to see the simple ways to resolve our problems. As a result we react rather than respond; and, in doing so, we create bigger and badder problems. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said,

Quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.

Personally, I do not want to see the manifestation of the entity that is capable of defeating the Pentagon in my lifetime. This madness has to stop here. The war to end all wars has not yet been fought; and, when it is, it will not be fought with armies, weapons, or violence.

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 7 weeks ago
#48

Marc and Alice -- Again my apology for being so late to the fair: it's been a real bastard of a totally FUBAR'd week.

Apropos Kucinich, you have me thinking I may be not just wrong but gravely wrong in my dismissal of him.

At this point however -- and I dearly hope this does not alienate either or both of you -- I should note (as I have before on this site), that I am nearly as much a Second Amendment fundamentalist as I am a First Amendment fundamentalist. And in that context, because I am neither a stranger to the realm of grizzly bear and mountain lion -- a domain in which we humans are not at the top of the food chain -- nor a stranger to the bipedal world of would-be killers, where my skill with a handgun has a couple of times been lifesaving though without the discharge of even a single round, I profoundly object to any efforts to outlaw civilian possession of handguns. Indeed I believe Kucinich is the only U.S, politician to have proposed a total ban on civilian handgun possession -- which of course would leave those of us who are law-abiding at the utter mercy of criminals who, as in England, will remain armed no matter what.

In a much lighter vein, and at the risk of sounding like an unreconstructed male-chauvanist pig, anyone who foolishly imagines Kucinich to be a wimp has obviously never gazed upon his stunningly gorgeous red-haired wife, who is also an intellectual powerhouse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Kucinich

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 7 weeks ago
#49

Loren, no apologies needed! The only gripe I have with your post is the goddam acronym. Sorry my friend, but acronyms are one of my pet peeves on this blog, because I don't understand them at least half the time, which drives me crazy. It's almost like another language. If I want to exert the effort to learn another language, I'd prefer SPANISH, thank you! (I can hear Marc groaning when he reads this…)

Anyway I really appreciate your willingness to hear us out in defense of Kucinich. You are one who happens to have very strong opinions, yet I see that you are capable of being open to others' opinions; even swayed by them on occasion. Both are traits I value highly, in those who possess them.

And no, your Second Amendment fundamentalism does not alienate me; not even a little bit. Your reasoning makes perfect sense. I would never insist on outlawing civilians' handguns, although background checks and licensing of such weapons would be nice. I think that's all that most of us gun-control advocates are suggesting. Whether Kucinich wants to outlaw 'em all across the board, I can't say, not having heard him speak on this topic.

One more thing, Loren, before I go… dyed-in-the-wool feminist amazon that I am, I would never begrudge any man his inalienable right to admire - and comment on - a stunningly gorgeous redheaded woman, or even a blond haired woman… long as the comment is respectful as yours certainly is. That does not make you a male-chauvinist pig; reconstructed, resurrected or otherwise. 'Til next time… - Aliceinwonderland

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 7 weeks ago
#50

Alice: FUBAR is an acronym for a military term of art. The protocol for transmitting it via radio is Foxtrot Uniform Bravo Alpha Romeo. An example of such usage would be, "Objective is now Foxtrot Uniform Bravo Alpha Romeo." Un-acronymized, it means Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. Such was my week; likewise this week and next week too.

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