It’s Time to Put America First

Earlier today, the Senate and the House passed a bill that would give the new government in Ukraine $1 billion in loans and $100 million in direct aid. Today’s vote came just a day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would drop controversial IMF reforms from the Ukraine aid bill, guaranteeing Republican support. Ukraine’s new government has been in power a little over a month, and now it’s secured itself a nice little lifeline from Washington. That was fast.

Meanwhile, more than 2 million jobless Americans are still struggling to pay their bills after losing their unemployment benefits three months ago at the end of December. Sure, a group of Senators have agreed to a plan to extend unemployment benefits by another five months, but there’s really no guarantee that Republicans in the House will, you know, do their job and pass that extension.

Those Republicans are apparently all for forking over billions of dollars to an unelected government in Ukraine, but when it comes to helping out unemployed Americans, they’re suddenly up in arms screaming about the debt and the deficit. If you think this is insane, you’re not alone.

If Republicans in Congress were as committed to helping out Americans as they are to helping out the Ukrainian government, they would have extended unemployment insurance months ago. But instead, they’ve blocked extension at every chance they’ve had. And, of course there’s still a very good chance that they’ll block it once again when it comes up for a vote sometime in the next few weeks.

Republican obstruction looks even more ridiculous when you remember that those 2 million jobless people who are still without benefits paid into the unemployment insurance throughout their adult working lives. By refusing unemployment insurance, Republicans, have, in effect, said to 2 million Americans, “No, you can’t have your money back.”

Congress’ schizophrenic attitude towards Ukraine aid and jobless benefits is just one example of much bigger sickness festering in our political system right now. When it comes to helping out giant transnational corporations, the military-industrial complex, or America’s foreign policy interests, Congress will do their bidding at the drop of a hat. But when it comes to helping out every day Americans by doing things like extending unemployment benefits, suddenly Congress can’t do its job and there’s gridlock.

Former GOP congressional staffer Mike Lofgren talked about this on a recent episode of “Moyers & Company,” pointing out that this gridlock helps keep what he called America’s “deep state” in power. The preamble to our Constitution does not say that our government exists to promote the “general Welfare” of private corporations, standing armies, foreign governments, or Ukrainians. The preamble to our Constitution says that our government exists to promote the “general Welfare” of “We the People.”

It’s time for our elected representatives to start following the principles laid out in our Constitution and help everyday Americans struggling to make ends meet. A great first step would be to extend unemployment insurance right away. But one piece of legislation isn’t enough. In the long term, Congress needs to totally rethink its priorities and start, as Merle Haggard says, putting America first.


Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 9 years 10 weeks ago

Putting America first

1) stop using political parties that take money from corporations.

2) create cooperatives/ democracy at work this teaches the public what voting is all about

3) pool money to buy solar panels or other things to get people off the power grid

4) nationalize healthcare, and education

Now on the other subject: I would love it if atheists used their rights in the form of religious freedom, but many are skeptical of the leader/follower model. Thom please go to youtube and see some of the episodes of this over ten year show. They have used community television to produce the best quality call in out reach I've seen. Maybe you could go on their show or they could come on yours.

I am currently watching every episode from the beginning so I'm not up to the current days yet but its great hearing the Bush years. ANd the court cases and other news through the eyes of atheists.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 10 weeks ago

Green_TMZ -- What is the next step one can take to reach these goals? Do you have any steps that any probability of succeeding?

In my opinion, as crummy a solution as it may be, I think the Employee Free Choice Act provides the most effective way to move towards these goals. I think the best way to get EFCA passed is to vote Democratic.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 10 weeks ago

Thank you, Thom, for that information on the Mike Lofgren interview on Moyers & Moyers. I watched it and it was refreshing to hear a Republican fess up. As he said in the took quite a while of seeing various things that just didn't add up..before he came to the conclusion that the visible government was not the real government pulling the strings in this country. I'm glad he not only had the moral forthrightness to quit the Republican Party but now speaks out against the whole corrupt government...both Republican and Democrat and the many, many corporations that own them. He talked about the revolving door illustrating that most of the Generals go right into the military industrial corporate complex. And other corporate big shots get paid millions of dollars to quit and go into positions of government to "regulate" the corporations they just left. Obviously, they don't actually 'regulate' them...they use their new powers to benefit the corporations they left.

Most of us already knew these things anyway but it is refreshing that it is reiterated by someone that held such a powerful right-wing position.

They also commented on the conspiracy of government organizations and various corporate Silicon Valley and that the government couldn't do what it does without Silicon Valley. But Silicon Valley is starting to balk at cooperating with the government...that they have gone too far. And if it had not been for Snowden we may not have totally caught them at their insidious spying games.

Here's Bill Moyers' web site with the 30 minute video:

note: there is also an essay: "Anatomy of the Deep State"

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 10 weeks ago

What happened to the repuke mantra to cut spending somewhere else in order to pass any bill helping Americans? Are they going to insist on cutting Social Security, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid? That's all we ever hear from these cheap corporate whores. AMERICA DEMANDS an infrastructure bill, a green energy bill, and a bill reducing green house gases, and they had better not fuck with Social Security, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. Kick neotard ass!!

johnbest's picture
johnbest 9 years 10 weeks ago

Furthermore, send bush, cheney and rumsfeld to the Hague to be tried for crimes against humanithy, crimes against peace and war crimes. Prosecute the banksters who drove us into the Great Republican Depression of 2009. Prosecute the oil trillionaires who dirty our rivers, rail lines and oceans with crude oil. Overturn Citizens United. Impeach Scalia and Thomas. Try Cantor for treason for taking 24 of his henchmen to Israel in 2009 and telling them to ignore President Obama. If these allegations are true, he should be tried for treason and shot by firing squad in front of the Capitol.

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 9 years 10 weeks ago

I'm sorry, nothing I wrote was that complicated, and required some interim step to be done. You just DO them.

Gator Girl 9 years 10 weeks ago

If we have all of this money to give away then we have the money to help those that the GOP for the past 13 years has put out of work. We also must have the money to help businesses in THIS country open back up to bring back our jobs.

We need to keep our nose out of the rest of the world for awhile and get our own house back in order. We are quickly going down the toilet in education, employment, science - especially science and caring for our poor, elderly, veterans and disabled people while the Cock brothers sit in their fancy homes fat, dumb and happy while watching this all happen as their bank accounts get fatter and fatter.

Those two are the best examples of retroactive abortion that I have EVER seen

Gator Girl 9 years 10 weeks ago


They will NEVER cut anything which helps their corporate buddies and yes, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits and health care, education and help for children to feed and house them is EXACTLY where they want the cuts. That way it keep the poor even poorer and enslaves them - back to indentured servitude for them to use and abuse.

If you do not have money and cannot help them - all of them in the Senate and the House - then you are just a piece of crap on their shoe and not worthy of any assistance from them. The ONLY people they help are the corporations with tax cuts, allowing them to outsource jobs and off shore their money, help Wall Street and the bankers keep their money instead of it going out to the people which is where it was intended to go - that is their goal.

If we, the people, the 99%, do not get off our collective asses and hit the voting booths in the next local, township, state and national elections then it is OUR fault. Whatever it takes. Go back and read some of Howard Zinn's writings and you will see what he said about what we MUST do to take back our government. Unless and until we are willing to do that we continue to get just what we have now.

Gator Girl 9 years 10 weeks ago

Furthermore, send bush

Oh, how true everything you have said is - and how I wish that this would happen NOW!!

Willie W's picture
Willie W 9 years 10 weeks ago

Hey Mitt Romney!! Would you borrow money from China to give to the Ukraine government?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Yep, Ukraine's new unelected government has a "nice little lifeline from Washington" while Americans citizens, unemployed by no fault of their own, must make do with no lifeline at all. Swell. Have fun paying your taxes, suckers.

Ever notice how these facists love unelected governments? Dictators haven't fared too badly with them either.

God bless America. - Aliceinwonderland

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 10 weeks ago

Hopefully they will find all those missing trillions (rumsfeild /pentagon 2001 9,10 Fed /6 more) and give it to the banana repuklic puppets (Fascists)working for the Bankster elite around the world. Have all you want! soon America will borrow from martians they deal in fait currency, ask God! but then conspiracy nuts like my self think a money cartel controls the world.just another billion dollar shell game.shill gives(OUR PLEDGE to pay) bond ,bankster gives permision slips with interest Sucker born every min.stuck with the bill!! One big global shell game 99.8% of We the people ,do not print or loan money for the world .

Grand Vizier Rothschild your Time.. has come to an END (meet the flintstones)some one call the psychic!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 10 weeks ago

Of course the Republican's will go along with spending on foreign policy interests like the Ukraine situation. There's a potential new war to be had...more killing for profit. Beyond that, Republican agreement on spending "over there" is no threat to the lessening of their austerity driven economic terrorism "here." The Reagan/Bush tax cuts for the super rich have created a perfect environment for this terrorism. Blaming deficits and economic problems on unions and progressive policy, like the social safety net, is the end game for these Fascist scoundrels.

The Teapublican Party is fully confident that this economic misery they're inflicting on our working class will be viewed by more than 50% of the voters, as the fault of the person in the White House, who happens to be a Democrat. This is all being made possible thanks to Citizens United and the Fascist sponsorship and control of our Corpse Mass Media. Voting is no longer going to restore our democracy. The social contract has been broken. The Fascist private powers are now in complete control. How anything other than a complete "nonviolent?" revolution will restore power to the people is beyond me.

Karl Smiley's picture
Karl Smiley 9 years 10 weeks ago

It's my belief, the way things are falling out that the coup to overthrow the democratically elected government in Ukraine was probably orchestrated by black ops from our side. Russia's and the Crimean peoples response was inevitable. Then sanctions could be put in to stop Russia's sales of fossil fuels to Europe. The big energy companies are already pushing hard to fill that demand with our fracked gas and tar sand oil. Huge wind fall for them. Makes me think they were behind it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 10 weeks ago

So, the US is sending $18bn to the Ukraine? Except there have been reports that the US just recently took possession of Ukraine's gold...flew it back to the US (for safe keeping ;-})??

"Ukraine’s Gold Reserves Secretely Flown Out and Confiscated by the New York Federal Reserve?
The Spoils of War and Regime Change"

What better way of keeping gold out of the hands of the Russians should they take the Ukraine. What better way of keeping gold out of circulation. What better way of locking the Ukraine in debt by loaning them US dollars. Some countries were trying to break away from the petro dollar and this was a big threat to the US. Gadaffi, in Libya, was going off it and starting to circulate gold coins. NATO confiscated Libya's gold as well.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 10 weeks ago

Karl Smiley: I believe you are right! Just like the US engineered coups in other countries...Chile, Iran, and others...including the recent downfalls of Libya, Egypt, and attempted overthrow of Syria. And, of course they are itching to overthrow Maduro in Venezuela and several other left-leaning leaders in South America.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 10 weeks ago

With the last comments in mind from Karl and Palin ,bankster spin docs could field something like Oil flows from north America to Europe. Gold kept safe for Democracy! the whole time Oil prices are kept high for speculators and rockefeller!More Gold for private reserve to invest and loan to them selves.Russia is a social democracy now.a free country. Cicero's corner stone of Law Who Benefits?

Think they will give the Ukraine Bankers that is! the same % they give China and the Saudi's on that gold?

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 10 weeks ago

Actually, the difference between the Ukrainian and USian Working Classes -- why Ukrainia gets money and USia gets more austerity -- should be obvious to anyone who is not a die-hard supporter of capitalism.

The Ukrainians -- all but their oligarchs desperately impoverished -- are therefore easily exploitable for maximum profit.

Not only that, Ukraine's industrial potential is enormous. It is the breadbasket of Europe -- the most vast, most productive agricultural land on the entire continent -- and it now effectively belongs to USian imperial agrobusiness. It will thus be farmed by minimum-wage laborers. And since the new Ukrainian government includes declared fascists, its agriculture will no doubt use slave labor too. The profits to the oligarchs and their new USian overlords will be near-infinite.

Ukrainia also contains significant natural resources, including major fossil fuel deposits. (See ) And because of its post-coup chaos, there are no environmental regulations to stop or even slow the rape of the land -- which again means maximum profit for the One Percent, total subjugation of the Ukrainian Working Class.

Contrast this to the USian Imperial Homeland: it is but a husk of its former self. Its natural resources have been been bled dry by the One Percent, its industry has all been outsourced, its Working Class has been methodically disempowered by union-busting. We the People have mostly been reduced to hopeless poverty and are now being slowly exterminated by deliberately genocidal cutbacks in social services. In short, the USian homeland no longer has any of the ingredients of a functioning economy. This means the so-called American Dream is dead; it also means there will never, ever be an USian economic rebirth.

But the USian Homeland still has a charade of constitutional democracy, and -- in a few places -- still has some semblance of genuinely representative local government. Thus the One Percenters' hands remain much more tied here than in Ukrainia.

By contrast, Ukrainia is now ruled by a cabal that includes many declared neo-Nazis in significant positions of power. This means -- exactly as happened in Germany during the 1930s -- Ukrainia will soon be ruled by an exclusively neo-Nazi government. In its inevitable imposition of a torture-state, it will soon be indistinguishable from Nazi Germany or Pinochet's Chile. It will thus become a major element in the USian Empire's 21st Century plan of global conquest -- another slave-state in the USian Empire's de facto Fourth Reich.

That summarizes the main reasons the USian Empire instantly invests money in Ukrainia even as it continues to inflict ever-worsening genocidal poverty on its own people.

We the People are being cast away, discarded as if we were worn-out machinery. We are literally a surplus workforce, deemed useless and abandoned because we are no longer exploitable for significant profit. Such are the consequences of capitalism: infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue -- the deliberate rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever espoused.

As more and more of us recognize what is happening and awaken to the core truth our deepening misery is the quintessence of capitalism -- the fulfillment of all Marxist predictions about capitalism (and therefore the ultimate validation of the entire Marxist analysis) -- we by our numbers and our intensifying anger will become ever more dangerous to the One Percenters.

What then will be their response? Will it be the same as that of tyrants throughout history? If so, they will start a major war -- a war big enough to exterminate the surplus Working Class population and ruinous enough to enable the Ruling Class to abolish, forever, any last remnants of constitutional democracy. And by their continued provocation of Putin, it seems they are trying to start just such a war.

At the very least, it seems the One Percenters have convinced themselves the bloody lessons taught Darius, the Mongols, Bonaparte and Hitler no longer apply. At the very worst, their obscene, live-it-up-now-and-fuck-tomorrow arrogance -- a subset of the same capitalist greed that fosters their morally imbecillic indifference to the impending environmental apocalypse -- has rendered them equally indifferent to the fact such a war would be the death of our species.

Russia -- with a long history of having some of the most astute and farsighted intelligence analysts on the planet -- is obviously aware of all these factors. (Note that one should never underestimate Russian intelligence capabilities: One example of Russian skill is the Sepoy Mutiny of 1858, engineered by Tsarist agents, which forever stopped British Empire aggression into the underbelly of the Russian Empire. Another example is the devastatingly effective spy-saboteur-and-resistance network the Nazis eternally cursed as "the Red Orchestra," which GRU established during the late 1920s and early 1930s in anticipation of the rise of fascism and the outbreak of World War II. [See The Red Orchestra, V.E. Tarrant, John Wiley & Sons Inc.: 1995])

With those sorts of analytical capabilities backing him up, it becomes obvious why Putin is responding as he is.

That's why I'm terrified the Ukrainian Crisis is the beginning of World War III -- a war in which the USian Empire suicidally underestimates the indomitable Russian will to "fight to the death":

jkh6148's picture
jkh6148 9 years 10 weeks ago


I AM READING THOM'S CRASH OF 2016. AND the book is reminding me of something I wrote about 8 months ago before the book was released.


FACE WALL STREET and say this prayer at the opening and closing of the NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE.

REPUBLICANS believe the government should help the rich live long and prosper.

REPUBLICANS believe the government should let the rich exploit the working classes until they die from hard work and exhaustion.

REPUBLICANS believe the government should just let the poor die off from disease and starvation because they will never amount to anything anyway and are just a drain on the rich.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

But "jkh", who's gonna clean up their shit and detail & maintain their cars and yachts and private jets, and wash their windows and polish their silver and do their landscaping and cook their food and do all their errands and be nannies to their aristobrats, and chauffeur them around and work in their sweatshops ad nauseam, and shine their shoes and give them manicures and pedicures and style their hair and massage them and wash & iron their clothes and wipe their fannies and... and... You mean they'll have to do all that themselves?!! (Horrors.) Even if they have robots and various forms of automation to do their drudge work for them, who's gonna maintain all that so it functions properly? - AIW

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 10 weeks ago

Loren Bliss: "the bloody lessons taught to Darius"....This tyrant in particular strikes a nerve with me regarding how the same evil souls continue to pop up throughout history, only the names change. Most of us know that Darius and his Achaemenid Empire were greatly humiliated when the Athenians repelled the Persian invasion at Marathon in 490BC. I've always found it interesting that his son Xerxes, once in power, launched a second invasion to in part avenge the failure of his father to get the job done. We all know how that turned out too....."Battle of Salamis!" It cost the Persian Empire a fortune, their entire fleet was destroyed. Seems like I recall a similar situation much more recently regarding the Bush dynasty....when father and son had power. This time it cost the United States empire a fortune.....and now they want our Social Security bond fund to pay for their arrogance.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Lah-lah-lah, we've seen this movie before. Generation after generation, century after century, millenia after millenia... same old shit. Even the prospect of humanity's self-inflicted demise is not enough to spoil the psychopaths' little orgy. Arrogance & greed will be the death of us yet. - AIW

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 10 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: I certainly agree with your sentiment, but remember we can all easily communicate with each other now in the 21st century. That means the truth can be exposed to the all citizens despite the media attempts to distort it. That also means revolution is inevitable.....we are the millions they are the few!

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 10 weeks ago

Remember, the victom is the cause of the criminal act. After all they attracted the criminal!

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 9 years 10 weeks ago

Since the industrail revolution a modern phenomenon is taking many have so much more people around the world in comparison to 200 years ago have so much oportunity. The Shania Twains of the world work hard enough, they should pamper themselves in any law abiding way they see fit.Union trades cops ect. live like Kings by today standards eg. access to foods and luxuries a century ago we could never imagine yachts cottages trips around the world ect. Good for them.enjoy your lives.

Above Kings of the past the modern Tyrant has his/her over lords the Central banks now in place.These Banksters have the people around the world Dupped into a sleep state and can't see the Huge rip off taking place.this should be where the 99.8% Unify and stop the global gluttany!

The global interest alone paid to these modern scam artist because of War ,contraction of money supply, sell off of the commons to themselves ect. the Monopolization of the money has given this .2% the GWP Skim these crooks planned for over a century.The Crooks just printed 30 TRILLION more!!We the People 99%even more accurate 99.8% could Solve most problems of the World if the system where to change to a more equal footing.

Life liberty the pursuit of happiness!! without the money monopoly

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Bob, dear comrade, let's not blame the victims! Most of us are just trying to have a life.

Thanks, 10K. I needed that. It's folks like you that keep me coming back for more... - AIW

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 10 weeks ago

No Alice, they'll keep the butlers and maids - and their children for future use as butlers and maids - but the surplus livestock must be allowed to die off as there are so many more than needed, i.e., more than needed by the 1%, their lackeys and wannabes.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 10 weeks ago

Marx and others thought technology and the robot revolution would eliminate the need for work, i.e., it would reduce our work week. He thought it would come after the Communist Revolution. It came before and now the one percenters don't need us anymore. They won't reduce our week only us.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 10 weeks ago

Loren Bliss ~ Well said! Thanks for all that information. Again, I feel we all learned a lot from you. WWIII certainly seems to be the objective. When will despots learn that Russia is where power hungry fascist regimes go to die. I hate the idea of watching helplessly while Corporate elected psychopaths roll the dice with the future of my country. I certainly hope you are right about Putin's insights. I also hope Putin is a good chess player. What a shame when the best interests of your country lay in the hands and wisdom of the leader of another.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

"Cull the herd", Mark?! Over my dead body. But seriously, I could cry at the very thought of what technology could have done to improve our collective standard of living. Imagine a society where automation did everyone's drudge work so we could all live lives of leisure! (SIGH) But thanks to the psychopaths, the kleptocrats, the control freaks, and other members of the me-first club, that ain't gonna happen. Not in our lifetimes, certainly, and most likely never… unless we figure out how to get rid of those bastards for good, or at least strip them of their power of influence permanently.

Marc, I am no fan of Putin's. It pains me to think that cocky Russian oligarch is our one & only hope of evading World War Three. But I guess that's where we are… However, if THIS power-hungry fascist regime goes there to die, it might not be such a terrible thing, long as our loved ones aren't sacrificed to the cause. I sure am sick of these fascist clowns "rolling the dice" with our lives and the fate of this country, not to mention the fate of the world. - Aliceinwonderland

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 10 weeks ago

Alice: "aristobrats" is a truly wonderful addition to the English language. May I use it in my own writing? (With initial attribution, of course.)

2950-10K: What many people don't know is in 510 BCE, Darius disastrously invaded Scythia, which the ancient Greeks defined as roughly equivalent to modern Black-Sea Russia, the Crimea and the Ukraine. Nevertheless the true Scythia was probably much larger, perhaps as large as the old Russian Empire, since archaeology suggests a significant Scythian presence nearly as far west as modern-day Germany and as far east as China. DNA evidence meanwhile substantiates certain folk tales that claim Scythian origins for the Celts. Like the Celts, the Scythians were an equestrian people, and their horse-archers, at least 20 percent of whom were women -- were with their long-range recurve bows considered the most formidable light cavalry of their time.

But Darius was deterred neither by the vastness of the Steppe nor by the Scythians' fierce reputation, and he marched his massive army -- the era's largest and best equipped -- deep into Scythia. To make a long story short, the Scythians did as the Russians have so successfully done: they retreated and retreated and retreated -- then closed the door behind Darius and savaged his forces as they withdrew in ever-increasing panic. (For those interested in the details, see Herodotus, The Histories, in any complete translation.)

Nor have the Russians -- many of whom themselves bear Scythian genes -- forgotten this chapter of their Motherland's history: the Budenovka, for which Google, the pointed hat worn by the Red Cavalry during the Russian Civil War, was consciously patterned after the pointed hats of the Scythian horse archers, thereby implicitly linking the revolutionaries with ancient Russia.

Presumably we all know what happened to the Mongols -- the mounds of their skulls the medieval Russians made as monuments at the sites of Mongol defeats -- as we know the fates of Bonaparte and Hitler...

As to "Svyashchennaya Voyna" ("Sacred War"), do not be misled by the Soviet flag motif of the YouTube video I posted above. I chose that specifically for its English translation of the lyrics. The song remains popular in Russia today, and often accompanies the widely attended performances of the Russian Army Chorus and Dance Troupe, the successor to the Red Army Chorus and Dance Troupe: 

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 10 weeks ago

Loren Bliss: I'm fascinated by ancient history. You're absolutely correct about Darius during that time period. It may have been as early as 513 BC, that he and his army crossed the Bosporus and headed for the Danube to wage war with the Scythians. I agree, few of us are into it that much. Another tidbit related to Darius was that he founded the capital at Persepolis around that same time. It's the same Persepolis that Alexander the Great torched during his conquest of the known world almost 200 years later.

Same old thing though, out of control power hungry individuals who often left in their wake, misery, death, and destruction. I refuse to glorify any of them. The Roman Emperor, Nerva, may be the only "marginal" exception I've ever come across.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 10 weeks ago

Green -- If it cuts into corporate profits, you do not "just do them".

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Loren, I'm honored to hear how my word-twisting resonates with you, given your own command of the English language. Equally impressive is your knowledge of history. Cheers! - AIW

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 10 weeks ago

Probably the Roman Emperor for whom I have the highest regard is Marcus Aurelius.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

And the American cultural icon I have the most admiration for is Mickey Mouse. (Sorry Loren; couldn't resist!)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 10 weeks ago

And what is wrong with Marcus Aurelius--may I ask? He's my favorite Roman leader as well--not to mention my name sake. (Not to begrudge anything from Mickey Mouse.)

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 9 years 10 weeks ago

If we can pledge aid to the Ukraine, why can't we restore unemployment benefits to those who are still in dire need of a little income to keep looking for work? And why can't we do more for our returning Vets? And how about restoring ALL the money scrapped from S.N.A.P. so the lesser children can at least have decent meals at school? The Republicans seem to have no problems giving away money to every other country but ours... and we elected them to represent US! This is NOT representing us, unless all their Districts are well-heeled and are looking to make a killing again if we get ourselves in another war. This isn't right, and I surely hope EVERYONE who doesn't agree with their actions will remember all that's happened recently when they go to vote in November. It's the only way we can keep some of our tax dollars here, and see them distributed to our hungry, our economic system, and out Vets.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Hey, I've got nothing against Marcus Aurelius. I don't know doodily-do about him anyway; prior to this thread, never knew he existed! At any rate, don't be so friggin' paranoid. There's room in this galaxy for both Marcus and Mickey. - AIW

Loren Bliss's picture
Loren Bliss 9 years 10 weeks ago

Alice (and Marc), were Marcus Aurelius alive today, he'd probably pick Mickey Mouse as the definitive USian cultural icon too. Either Mickey or Elmer Fudd...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 10 weeks ago

Loren, you're a cool dude. I have tremendous respect for your intellect, knowledge and wisdom. But sometimes I just can't help myself... know what I mean? Thanks for not taking offense at my wise-ass remark. - Alice I.W.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 10 weeks ago

BMetcalf: I couldn't agree more! While the US is spending so much money in trying to overthrow various governments of other countries (either through fomenting internal dissent or supplying arms to people like Al Qaida rebels fighting in Syria) or bribing them to vote in the UN or illegally invading other countries they let the infrastructure and well being of their citizens suffer.

MontanaMuleGal's picture
MontanaMuleGal 9 years 10 weeks ago

Bravo, Loren Bliss!

Another brilliant and complex comment!

My husband, also a Vietnam combat vet, thinks you should post this as an essay on various other progressive websites.

This comment, especially, cuts to the bone:

We the People have mostly been reduced to hopeless poverty and are now being slowly exterminated by deliberately genocidal cutbacks in social services.

The term my husband uses for this treatment of citizens is “structural violence.”

On another note, for those who believe that we need to “get out there and vote the criminals out of office,” please realize that voting results on the national level are totally manipulated; that the “vote” has been taken over by those dark forces behind computerized voting machines and software which calculates the votes.

Local elections in small communities may still have integrity; although they should also be scrutinized by a non-partisan panel of count-the-vote observers.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 10 weeks ago

BMetcalfe ~ I wouldn't be so quick to lay all this at the foot of the Republicans. It takes two to tango; and, most of this obstructionism works because Democrats let it work. That aid didn't get approved of and sent to the Ukraine soley with the approval of just one branch of government that is controlled by Republicans. Also, SNAP, unemployment, and veteran's aid could all be just as easily extended with an emergency Executive Order. All that we are seeing is a carefully crafted conspiracy agenda of both parties. The two party system is a myth and an illusion. It is the Corporate Deep State that is in charge; and, we are all in deep doo doo.

I respectfully refer you to Palindromedary's links in post #4

and Loren Bliss's post #19

That pretty much says it all!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 9 weeks ago

Turkey caught on-line in doing a false flag operation that would make it look like Syria attacked Turkey as an excuse to launch a war against Syria.

Also, the US is being accused by Russia of bullying UN members into isolating Russia.

And now the EU Foreign Policy Chief is condemning Ukraine's radical Right Sector group, the same group that overthrew the Ukrainian government to begin with.

And Obama is in Saudi Arabia where it is believed that it is for conspiring to have the Saudis give the Al Qaida terrorists in Syria some US anti-aircraft missiles.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 9 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: I agree. You are absolutely correct! We just don't have a real Democracy... it's a sham. Both Republican and Democrat Parties are controlled by the covert government.

The overt government is the facade...the mask...that hides and obfuscates what really goes on. This fake democracy is what generates elusive hope and keeps people psychologically off-guard so that they will continue to act against their best interests. They keep us distracted by the ballot politics...and sneak in what they want sub rosa.

Look at in point. Just like Clinton, if the ruling powers (the covert government) had not already owned Obama before he was first elected, he would never have become President in the first place.

The Democrats are not our friends...they are even more deceitful than the Republicans who are very much more open about their representing the wealthy. There are a lot of very wealthy democrats who like to call themselves liberal or progressive...but they aren't...not really. They enjoy the same kind of brotherhood, and benefits economically (tax favoritism) with the ruling elite and benefit from it although they'd never admit it. Those are the kind of Machiavellian* people who run and control the Democrat party.
* pretend they are your friends but stab them in the back
That's the kind of thing that lets them get away with things like sending chemical weapons (via Saudi Arabia) or, now, anti-aircraft missiles (via Saudi Arabia) and establishing a Al Qaeda terrorist base inside Syria. That's the kind of thing that lets our government call Al Qaeda terrorists sometimes and then freedom fighters the next.

Al Qaeda were freedom fighters when they were fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The US supported them and sent them anti-aircraft missiles to fight the Russians.

They called them terrorists after 9/11. Then our government called them terrorists some more when Al Qaeda fought our illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq (just like the Russian invasion and occupation of Afghanistan).

And also... in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya***, and now Syria, they were and are freedom fighters again. Just wait until Al Qaeda does something that the US doesn't like, or even if they don't do anything against the US, they can still be played as terrorists once again should the US need another excuse to bomb someone.

"Al a global militant Islamist and takfiri organization founded by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam and Osama bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan...It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad and a strict interpretation of sharia law."**** Although it is considered "stateless" it has members from Saudi Arabia and is largely funded by Saudi Arabia (along with the US). Is it no wonder that some people believe that US insiders, Neocons, used their Al Qaeda freedom fighters to help them create the false flag that was 9/11?

And that's where most of our money goes to stir up violence in their attempt to rule the world...just like Hitler once had hoped. Through Operation PaperClip, Nazism live on in the US.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 9 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Interesting! The more I learn the more the elitists seem hell bent on igniting WWIII. Makes me wonder if it is the lizard brain at work; or, if there actually is a group of "lizard people" hell bent on the destruction of the human species. Nothing really makes sense unless you look for ridiculous explanations. Time to look for ridiculous solutions. Oh Great Flying Spaghetti Monster help us all.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 9 weeks ago

Palindromedary ~ Thanks for the kitty, we missed him/her/whatever. Speaking of mutual destruction, I gotta go to a wedding today. I'll try to catch you guys back later. Meow!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 9 weeks ago

Hey Loren Bliss, Marcus was the last of the 80 some odd year run of so called, "decent," Roman Emperors wlth Nerva kicking things off . I'm sure you've read Aurelius's Meditations. I've been over and over them....funny thing is, sometimes they depress me, sometimes they inspire. probably won't see this?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 9 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Hey, I've got nothing against Marcus Aurelius. I don't know doodily-do about him anyway; prior to this thread, never knew he existed!

Aliceinwonderland ~ Aurelius was one cool and awesome historical figure. He was living proof that the bulb usually shines brightest just before it burns out. His feats were true and legendary. However, relatively speaking even Aurelius was only so great. It is one thing to send others into a glorious and victorious battle and quite another thing to lead the attack on that same battle.

To this date, my favorite historical figure is still Mayor John L. Davies. What he did was 'borderline' Supernatural. My greatest hope is that someday a movie will be made of his life so that it can be shared amongst many. Far too few know that he ever even existed. In these trying times one thing we need most is to be reminded of modern day heros who have proven by their action that the bigger they are the harder they fall.

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