Why ordinary citizens have no say...
The United States could be at the forefront of creating a global green economy that runs on renewable energy. Unfortunately, we can’t beat our addiction to big money. Over the weekend, the International Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, released a new report on the actions that need to be taken right now to prevent any further devastation from climate change and global warming.
While the report looks at climate change solutions on a global level, it also points out that here in the U.S., we need to enact some type of major climate change legislation, like a carbon tax, by the end of this decade, if we want to have any hopes of preventing the most catastrophic and devastating effects of global warming and climate change yet. Thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, that’s a lot easier said than done.
Because of their decisions in cases like Citizens United and McCutcheon, the fossil fuel industry, with help from oil billionaires like the Koch Brothers, owns Republicans in Washington, and even owns some Democrats from coal and oil states. If our politics and democratic process weren’t owned by corporate interests and the wealthy elite, if we had an actual democracy instead of an oligarchy, we could be leading the world when it comes to phasing out fossil fuels, and creating a clean and green economy.
Instead, we're killing our planet and ourselves because the Supreme Court gave our government to millionaires, billionaires, and corporate interests who care more about money than the fate of the only planet we can call home. But how did we get to this point in American history, where money from billionaire brothers and corporate interests is more important than human lives and the fate of our planet?
Many history books suggest it all began in 1886. Back in 1886, the Supreme Court heard Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad, which on the surface was a fairly straightforward case about the taxation of railroad properties. And while the decision in the case wasn’t controversial or out of the ordinary, the precedent that it set was.
That’s because Santa Clara marked the first time in history that the Supreme Court - or at least a non-binding headnote in a Supreme Court case - had said that the Fourteenth Amendment gave constitutional protections to corporations, just like it did to real live human beings.
To put that in perspective, the Supreme Court didn’t recognize women under the Constitution until 1920, and didn't give full rights to African-Americans until 1954. Now, fast-forward to 1962, when conservationist and activist Rachel Carson published the book Silent Spring, and to 1965, when Ralph Nader published his book Unsafe at Any Speed. Both of those works helped to ignite a consumers’ movement, which woke Americans up, and got them active and civically engaged.
In response to this mass awakening of the American public, in August of 1971, then tobacco-lawyer Lewis Powell wrote the infamous “Powell Memo” to a friend of his at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In that memo, Powell called for corporate America to become more aggressive in shaping politics and law in the United States.
The Powell Memo and its contents sparked the creation of several high-profile right-wing think tanks, including The Heritage Foundation and ALEC. It also laid the groundwork for the far more politically-involved U.S. Chamber of Commerce that we see today. A few months later, Richard Nixon put Powell on the Supreme Court, where in a series of close cases like Buckley and First National Bank, the ideas of corporate power Powell put forth in his memo were made into law by the Court he was now part of.
Decisions in cases like First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti and Buckley v. Valeo greatly increased the powers and influences of corporations in America, and led directly to today's notions of corporate free speech and corporate personhood that were nailed into law by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen’s United decision.
Fortunately, there’s a way to stop all of this madness, and to take money out of politics: amend the Constitution. Skeptics argue that amending the Constitution to say that money is not speech - and thus not protected by the First Amendment - and that corporations are not people - and thus are not protected by the Fourteenth Amendment - is too hard a task.
But back in 1971, when thousands of young Americans were being sent over to the battlefields of Vietnam to die, massive anti-war demonstrations sprung up nationwide, to protest the fact that young Americans were old enough to go off to war, and but not old enough to vote. Barry McGuire's song "Eve of Destruction" led the charge. Thanks to those massive anti-war demonstrations, the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, was passed in just five months.
Like then, Americans today are outraged. And we have the power and means to influence change and to put in place the policies that are needed to save our planet and the human race. The new IPCC report points out that converting to a clean and green economy as soon as tomorrow would cost just a fraction of economic growth. In fact, investments in renewable energy would help to end unemployment by putting millions of Americans back to work.
But we aren’t doing any of that, because a small handful of super wealthy people who sitting on trillions of tons of carbon in the form of coal, oil and gas own our politicians in Washington, and are thus blocking any type of meaningful climate change legislation. It’s time to start a new citizen’s movement, and get a Constitutional amendment passed that says that corporations are not people, and that money is not speech.
That might be the only way to save our planet and the human race from a complete climate change catastrophe. Although I have no affiliation with them at all, I have to recommend www.movetoamend.org as the best group doing work in this area. Check them out and sign up for the battle. The world - or at least the fate of humans on this world - is literally at stake.
I haven't exactly been shy about using the word "Fascist", have I? (tsk tsk) I see no reason to be constrained within the parameters of politeness when what has been done to us by the piggish 1% is so goddam rude. - AIW
Quote Aliceinwonderland:I haven't exactly been shy about using the word "Fascist", have I? (tsk tsk)
Aliceinwonderland ~ Absolutely not! You are one of the few who have been refreshingly crystal clear and sincere every time you post. Now, if we can just convince the author of, "Cracking the Code" to be as crystal clear and sincere we might start making some real headway in our struggle with this fascist, Neo Nazi, Conservative regime.
Hey There 4 ~ Keep up the great work! All my cats agree with you 100%.
Marc, I really appreciate your kind words... about me. But why be so hard on Thom? Like I pointed out to the venerable Loren Bliss awhile back, we're way to the left of a majority of Americans... unfortunately. As a public figure, Thom is trying to influence as many people as possible. I strongly suspect he uses less potent language than we do, not because he's less radical than us but to avoid alienating people who might otherwise listen. Anyone who's got the wherewithall and the desire to educate the public is providing a valuable service; not just to us but to humanity.
I don't think it's fair to question Thom's sincerity. He does beautiful work and is an articulate messenger... in my humble opinion, anyhow. I really wish he was able to engage with us here, at least a little bit, and speak for himself. But since he isn't, I am unable to resist the impulse to defend him on occasion. I've learned a lot from that guy and am in awe of how much he & Louise have accomplished. Thom's done more for the betterment of humanity than all of us put together. And he's so friggin' smart! Smart, with a heart. My kinda guy...
In light of all the criticism Thom has received on this blog, I find it laughable when certain individuals (who I won't name!) accuse us of worshipping him like he "walks on water". The hell we do. And hey, even I have criticized Thom on occasion! I think he's way too kind towards Obama, who I lost respect for eons ago. Oh well. But insincere?! I don't think so. - Aliceinwonderland
The trouble began with the creation of The United States when fat, self-serving senators and judges as "insiders" got first dibs on America's resources for themselves and their supporters as the country was settled.
Government bilking by ditch and canal diggers and their associated mining operatives, like Dupont, who were already here exploiting the land, began on Day One of the United States. Before corporations were old insurance giants and their trust companies, staffed with devious manipulators of history and fortunes, who by design have guaranteed themselves, their heirs and assigns the present wealth which oppresses us as a free country in 2014 and keeps our technology stagnant.
The costumes and characters have changed, but it is essentially the same group of bad actors who got hold early on and have dragged us into war, sickness, violence, poverty, ignorance with ruses and pretenses.
They ought to be dragged off their yachts, put in a line-up, identified, and confined in interrment camps for the morally ill. Perhaps old prisoner of war facilities might be re-developed by Carlyle-Marriott for this meaningful purpose, to cleanse our society of these ticks, flukes, and other parasites.
Quote Aliceinwonderland:But why be so hard on Thom?
Aliceinwonderland ~ I do this because of Thom's own words. Essentially, time is running out on climate change and the human race. The time has come and gone to take our gloves off. Thom has a unique advantage in this race to survival to put his words where his mouth is. It may not make any difference; however, to not try is to concede victory; and a conceded victory means extinction. Like you said it might take more time to reach the unreachable amongst us and using such terms may alienate them. However, time is a luxury we do not have. Do you have a better suggestion? My ears are open!!
Seems to me that if the government will back down when confronted by only 100 armed civilians over a few cows (Bundy ranch/US Gov dispute in Nevada) then the many hundreds of thousands of well armed civilians can put down a government that lets the 1% get away with outright theft of our economy. Look what has happened all around the world when citizens amass and overthrow their tyrannous governments.
Right now, the Eastern Ukrainians are rebelling against the US backed Nazi government now in power in Kiev and doing a pretty good job of it. And it is so ludicrous, but not unexpected, for our government officials to spout off their hypocrisy propaganda against the East Ukrainians and what the US claims is Russian help in rebelling. I laugh at silly ass Kerry and Obama and every one of those idiot government officials who now complain that Russia isn't playing fair. If Russia really is helping the rebels in Eastern Ukraine....sooooooo what!!!! What the hell do you think the US and NATO countries did in helping those Nazis overthrow the original Kiev, Ukraine government. They started this whole mess to begin with. I'll laugh my ass off if Russia manages to solidify their hold on all of Ukraine. The US is in it's desperate death throes due to it's evil baby killing hegemonic war machine they've launched against sovereign countries over the last couple of decades or so.
Not even the local police in Eastern Ukraine would fall in lock-step with the Kiev Nazi regime. Good for them...setting a very good example of how local authorities should side with the citizens of those communities against a tyrannous government.
But, I don't know if progressives in the US will ever have the gumption to really actively stand up, armed, against their government. Most have already given away their guns or never had them to begin with. They are still deluded with the belief in hope and the ballot box even though it is a rigged system. And just like all those other places that feigned a system of democracy...it really was a rigged system in favor of the plutocracy...just like here in the US.
Progressives think that all they have to do is go out and suffer getting tear gassed or heads banged in by the police. They must think that they will gain sympathy or empathy from the majority voters in order to get more Democrats in office. But Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans. It wouldn't matter if 100% of Congress and the President were Democrats...you'd still see the 1% screwing the rest of us...because the Democrat politicians are owned by the 1% ever as much as are the Republicans.
There's only one thing that will change things for the better...and the 100 civilians in Nevada proved that. Progressives are too politically correct and rely on "hope"...they'll never rile people up to the point where they go against the government armed..which is the only thing that will change things. And since the Republicans are the only ones with guns, I think it is a pretty far gone conclusion who is going to rule the roost from now on!
DAnneMarc: Couldn't agree more! But in addition I think Thom's debate strategy which tends to aviod this more aggressive language is also effective. His amiable approach probably pulls more content out of his guests, but quite often their replys are nothing more than Fox talking points anyway. He realizes many of his opponents are sincerely misinformed and I think he truly feels sorry for them....so why beat them up. How many times do you feel bad about yourself after losing your patience in replying to Kend?...case in point! Thom has to be professional...we don't...LOL!
Aliceinwonderland: You're by far the least shy with the word "Fascist," and I applaud you. I'm with you. I scream at the weak responses our politicians often give when interviewed on Sunday morning talk shows etc. I find myself answering over them with far more effective results.....in my mind anyway. I wouldn't be invited back either!......
Had ordinary citzens been in control as in Democratic Socialism, we would have been Green since the the Jimmy Carter presidency. We all know big oil with their big money is the reason the planet is going to become inhabitable. It's going below 20 tonight in Upstate NY...record cold territory....Rest in peace if you can, Koch heads! There....that was rude, and I don't give a damn.
Marc, I think 10-K has answered your reply to me as well as I could have. It's all about strategy. Check out his post #11.
The way you talk about Thom, if I didn't listen to the man myself, that last post of yours would give me the impression that Thom doesn't take global warming very seriously. Quite the contrary, I hear Thom speak about this issue all the time. I'll even go so far as to say he gives global warming more space on his show than most issues. His active interest and background in the sciences gives him more credibility than someone like me who's not a science buff. I've heard him debate climate deniers numerous times; often those debates end with the denier getting angry and going off in a huff. Thom's also appeared on various documentaries and TV shows, addressing this issue. He gives it all kinds of coverage; on the radio, on TV, on this blog… Frankly, I don't know how else he can "put his words where his mouth is". So how is he "conceding" victory, then? And if he uses stronger language and adopts more of an aggressive, in-yer-face demeanor, and alienates some of his audience, how is that benefiting anyone or furthering the cause?
You ask me if I have a better suggestion… better than what?! - Aliceinwonderland
By the way "leighmf"... great post! Amen sister. - AIW
Quote Aliceinwonderland:You ask me if I have a better suggestion… better than what?! - Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland and 2950-10K ~ I applaud you both for defending Thom; however, as Thom himself has said, we have till 2020 to completely turn around this country's policy on Carbon Emissions. The One Percent are sitting on Trillions of Tons of this stuff, and they intend to sell and burn every ounce of it. If they do, we are all dead.
Perhaps I am just a very impatient person. However, if we don't get on the ball people, game over. The time to raise hell is now and not after it is too late. Thom's current strategy--for that matter the entire Progressive platform's current strategy--is a game loser. The time to step up to the plate and give it all we got is now. If we wait we get what we deserve.
One last note. Even if we do step up the strategy we will probably lose. There is too much standing in our way. In my opinion waiting to raise hell is not an option. Personally, I hope Thom knows what he is doing and I am just being presumptuous. However, in the grand scheme of things, I would much rather die fighting they trying to appease the very people who are responsible for my demise.
That is all I have to say on this matter!
Marc, just for the record, I've heard Thom talking about the definition of fascism and how that applies here and now. I've heard him discuss this many times on his radio show. And for what Thom is trying to accomplish, this is much more effective than name-calling. Not being a public figure, I might have that luxury; but if Thom used that approach, it would just give our adversaries ammunition to discredit him. - AIW
Palin- Are you rejoicing that some well-to-do rancher in Nevada could get away with using public land (land belonging to we the taxpayers) for his beef cattle to graze on? Are your serious?! Am I interpreting the final paragraph of your last post correctly? So what makes that okay? Cattle do a lot of damage to land. What gives this guy the right to feed his cattle on public land for free? Meanwhile all other ranchers, those operating lawfully, must pay to feed their livestock while this Bundy dude gets a free ride. Think that's fair?
Suppose the government was having a conflict with a resident of some neighborhood in Harlem - or Detroit or Oakland - instead of a Nevada ranch... Ya think the outcome would be the same, with the government backing down? Ever notice how different the outcomes to these dramas tend to be when a rogue citizen just happens to be a rich white man? There are different facets to this picture, at least from my perspective.
I still think an armed uprising against the U.S. govenment, the greatest terrorist organization on earth, would amount to little more than a tragic joke at our expense. I don't know about the rest of you, but I get awfully tired of people spouting off like guns are the answer to everything. As Loren has suggested, the 1% would think nothing of nuking a major city in response to a violent uprising. Our lives are no more valuable to these fascist pigs than the Afghans' or Iraquis'. I'd much rather see something like a massive taxpayers' revolt; so huge, there wouldn't be enough room in their prisons for us all. How 'bout that? And what if everyone started refusing to go to work? That could bring the wheels of commerce to a grinding halt in no time. What if all college grads started refusing to pay off their student debts?! Sometimes nonviolent tactics can be more effective, with a lot less bloodshed. - Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland ~ Just for the record... You are probably right. First, I get wound up too easily. Second, we are probably damned if we do or damned if we don't anyway. No sense on getting on each others nerves in the time we have left. Please accept my apologies. You too Thom. You're really doing an outstanding job and I really do appreciate and applaud you! Have a good evening everyone!
On the contrary, AIW, I think that rancher, just like many other well to do welfare queens, should have their cattle or any other valuable assets confiscated until they pay up all of the taxes they owe. Just as I think that all of the corporations, and other wealthy entities who have gotten a free ride by bribing legislators who write the tax laws favorable to wealth and who have hidden their wealth in off shore banks (welfare queens all) should have all their property and means of production procured until they pay up. The US loves to use the "Sanctions" word with other countries. Now, they need to use the "sanctions" word against the rich scum in this country who have been gaming the system.
What I was just trying to point out was that the Rancher situation proves that a mob with guns can make the government back down. They can overthrow governments. If people in other countries, who have overthrown their governments with rocks and barricades, then masses of well armed citizens shouldn't have much problem. Sure a few citizens here or there, even if they had the latest in hi-tech weapons would not stand a chance. But if the masses were large enough it would definitely work to change things. When you keep doing the same dumb things over and over again and it only gets worse...that's really kinda lame.
Our forefathers were up against a well trained fighting force armed with the latest technology of their day....and they won. The thing that keeps people from overthrowing their powerful tyrants is their chicken-hearted, cowardly fear of them...thinking they are too overpowering. Our oppressors just love all that Gandhi and MLK talk and all those encouragements to vote once again. They are harbingers of false hope that will keep us all imprisoned by our own cowardice. The only "movement" that will work will not be through the ballot box or emailing or calling or writing letters to your "representatives". They're all laughing at you. They know you are going to be too cowardly to fight them en mass with real tools of persuasion. They know you're all going to keep feeding the "hope monster", signing petitions, etc.
They only thing that seems to work, as those 100 armed citizens proved, was to stand up to and out number those others with guns. Force is the only language they understand. And it obviously works!
Now, if our government sends in many thousands of armed troops and enforces their will upon those right wing assholes then maybe I might have to change my thinking a bit! ;-} But I think our government is to lily-livered, chicken-sh1t to go against armed right wingers. Because the Kochs and others like them would have a field day in propaganda...wouldn't they?
Okay Palin, sorry I misunderstood your point about the rancher's "right" to our public land. However I disagree about what a mob with guns has just "proven". Had they wanted to, those feds could have had another Ruby Ridge or Waco-type scenario that left the whole stinking lot of 'em dead in the field. It could have been quite a bloodbath. But for whatever reason, the feds chose to back off this time. Like I heard Thom (or Ed Schultz) speculating earlier today, the feds might not want that kind of drama because it makes them look bad, both here and abroad. However I still wouldn't put it past them to send in armed troops on another occasion. They've used swat teams for much lesser offenses, like their stupid drug raids for example.
That aside, I really don't think these right-wing assholes are as formidable as they seem to think they are. Please don't get me wrong; I'm no fan of the U.S. government, especially this corporate-fascist version we're dealing with now! But when it comes to right-wing macho creeps like Mr. Bundy the rancher and his yahoo mob of gun-toting fools, I couldn't care less who wins and who loses, because they ALL stink from where I sit. - Aliceinwonderland
One more point before I call it a night, guys. I am more sympathetic to the Ruby Ridge folks than these ranchers. The Ruby Ridge folks were not my ilk; I've no use for their religious fanaticism or their xenophobic worldview. But they were living out in the sticks, minding their own business and not hurting anyone when for no reason, they got ambushed by armed government intruders and killed. All but the dad perished; even the children were murdered.
As for Waco, the government overstepped there too. What bothered me most about that scenario was the deaths of all those kids. I didn't give a rat's ass about David Koresh (sp?) the bible-thumping pervert, but there was no excuse for incinerating those kids. - AIW
It's our cars. Americans believe they have a sacred right to drive as much as they wish. At least since the late1960s, early 1970s, people have resisted investing in a modern, comprehensive mass transportation system necessary to get cars off the road. Every time there has been a serious effort to address the impact of air pollution (in the US, largely caused by motor vehicles), the effort was quickly sidetracked by a new campaign against the few who smoke tobacco.
AIW: I certainly agree with almost everything you said. But, I have to point out that Ruby Ridge and Waco were just a few resisters. Yes, in both cases the children were killed. That was a terrible shame. But just like the countries the US likes to invade, who really can't defend themselves or match the hi-tech weaponry of the US, they are easy targets because they are over there and not over here or relatively isolated on compounds...except the MOVE compound in Philadelphia where the police dropped bombs on the row house which managed to wipe out quite a few units not associated with the MOVE unit.
Do you really think our government would choose to stand and fight their own civilians if it meant that many thousands of our own children would be killed by their weaponry? I think they would be more willing to compromise than shoot it out.
Not many USians are losing sleep over the killing of many thousands of Iraqi or Afghani or Pakistani children. They are not losing sleep over the thousands of deaths of children in Syria as our government aids Al Qaeda terrorists in trying to oust the Assad government.
But if it's own citizens are heavily armed and a massive insurrection breaks out in our own country, that would mean that the crooked politicians would have to make a decision to sick their military troops upon their own citizens. And it would mean that the government would be killing our children along with the citizens. So much for setting a good example to the world in "representative democracy".
Just like the government backed down in Nevada, the government would have to back down from confronting masses of well armed citizens. They would be outnumbered. And if they did persist in murdering so many citizens...they'd be hanged for war crimes when the citizens prevailed!
But, I'm afraid the only people who will be well armed and confrontational will be the right wingers. I don't see a mass armed uprising coming from those who don't even have them. Of course, it would be really foolish for any one individual or small group to take up arms against the government...they'd be squashed just like Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The one thing the citizens would lack is organization into a unifying massive force scattered throughout all the cities. The damage to the ruling elite's money making machine would be damaged...and they may even be hanged as traitors to the country should the citizens prevail. Of course, if it was a massive unified force of all right wing rednecks dumb enough to think they are fighting for liberty and freedom while being used as pawns by the likes of the Koch brothers and all the other ruling elite, then they will likely just hang the leading Democrat leaders...then they will eventually realize, maybe, that they've been had. By that time the new right wing gestapo pigs will have banned all gun ownership lest their peons finally wake up to what just happened and turn on the right wingers.
No one's going to be foolish enough to strike on their own and martyr themselves. But, what helped bring down the Mubarak regime was communication through the internet...through their mobile phones. When the word got out they were going to have a massive demonstration in Tahrir Square they all came. And I think that the US ruling elite are afraid that if people can communicate so easily, and stealthily (as in encryption), then they will have a way of unifying any mass movement. That's part of the reason why they have tried to put into place a way to monitor everyone. Most people don't use encryption or methods of obfuscation like TOR. But they could...especially the one who are really fed up with government spying.
I do hope that the government doesn't let that rancher get away with it. But, I think that it would give the right wingers a lot of anti-government propaganda (especially against Obama and the Democrat party) .
But, I say...so what? Let them bellow like cows. They're just a relatively small group of right wingers. The government's kind of target. You know, like Grenada or Panama or ....all the others...including RR and Waco and the bombing by police in Philadelphia on the MOVE compound!
Video on Philadelphia, the City That Bombed Itself. 65 homes were destroyed and a number of people were killed. Later, law suits cost Philadelphia taxpayers millions of dollars.
I live in the middle of Ohio grain farm country. The family farms are huge operations now. They receive thousands and sometimes millions in subsidies (our tax dollars)--find out what your farmers get for subsidies; the info is online. Don't be fooled by the numerous female names. They get subsidies by just having their names on the deed--the ones I know never farm--the only time they step into the field is to bring dinner.
The farmer needs to be part of the climate discussion. In order to have another row of corn or soybeans or to have full sunshine on their crops (and more in subsidy money), the landscape has been almost completely denuded of small stands of trees and fencerows. The only farmer planting trees is the lone organic farmer. The wind and snow just whips across the landscape now. My house and windows are covered in chemical-leaden soil most of the year, even in the winter. Sounds like a potential dustbowl to me. Plus their chemicals have made it difficult for bees to stick around and survive.
And the farmers we talk to about this issue seem to be uninformed or just don't care about the damage they are doing or the fact that without trees, there is NO AIR to breathe and no reason to grow crops when there are NO people.
Though my family came from farmers, I find that the modern farmer is my enemy and an enemy to the future for my children and grandchildren. They do damage the same as any large corporation and MUST BE part of the discussion and the solution.
Palin, I think any prospects for us "setting a good example to the world in representative democracy" is already a lost cause.
Yes, we the people outnumber the government forces. But they have bigger weapons. (Haven't we had this discussion before?) You're right; a majority of the armed citizens here are right-wingers. I have never liked guns and haven't owned one. However if I was a landowner threatened with "eminent domain" by some big-ass oil company, like some folks here in southwestern Oregon now are, I might re-consider. I know of no more effective means of persuading trespassers to vacate my property than backing it up with a firearm: "Wanna make it home for dinner tonight? Leave or I'll shoot!"
The sad reality, Palin, is that Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan seem worlds away to most Americans; except of course, those unfortunates sucked into the military. That part of the world is distant enough to insulate most of us from the horrifying violence our fascist empire has imposed on its inhabitants, including the children.
I think you're spot-on about the ruling elite's motivation for spying on our telephone & online communications. They're screwing us, and we know that they're screwing us, and they know that we know, and they also know there's a point where we will have reached the limit of how much abuse we are willing to tolerate. - Aliceinwonderland
Eliofight- I don't mind telling you, your posts make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. - AIW
Palindromedary, I think you might have some truth in that the authorities might become a little more respectful of the citizenry when they think they might be armed. The Black Panthers were probably the best example of the NRA ideal of citizens arming themselves to defend against government tyrranny - but don't tell those phony bastards at the NRA that, African Americans with guns is their worst nightmare and the real reason they want to arm up much of the time.
However, a society where everybody is armed might be different. I recently met someone from Sarajevo - where everybody is armed. He told me that the police there, if they have any suspicion or doubt about anybody, don't even take the risk of stopping them because of the near certainty that they be armed (and hot headed), they just shoot them down from a distance.
The reason for nonviolent resistance is not cowardice as it is, in fact, the most courageous form of resistance. It is not to be confused with running away in the face of danger from the oppressive authority and abandoning your post of resistance. It's when you stand your ground, refuse to move and just take it without violently resisting. It's when you sit down if front of the tanks and don't move and is, in fact, the most powerful form of resistance.
Non violent resistance is a method resorted to not so much because of what is considered its moral rectitude but because it is essential to movement building in the initial stages of your campaign when most of the public doesn't yet get what you're about and because it is the one most likely to succeed where the state and authority has a monopoly on violence. This is why the state and authorities always want you to adopt violent methods and send provocateurs to infiltrate your ranks or try to mischaracterize your movement as violent when it's not so they could massacre you, violently repress you or discredit you with the public.
Unless you are some kind of Leninist vanguardist you want to build a mass movement and win the support of the public. So then, particularly when your movement is new and young and most of the public still thinks you're a bunch of weird odd balls on some wild, way out trip, how you conduct yourself really matters.. When you plainly outclass your enemy you win the support of the public. Gandhi and Martin Luther King proved that it's not the "ends" that "justfy the means" but, rather, the "means" that "justify the ends".
Mark Saulys, excellent points! I salute you, brother... - AIW
Yes, my hair stands on end, too. Then my hackels get raised and someone gets his head bitten off (or a letter to the editor of the local newspaper)--like the farmer who offered to cut down my fencerows and the county worker who put the mower blade on its side and hacked my trees along (several feet from the ditch and at least 10 from the road) the road, so that the limbs are a twisted mess and invite disease and tree death.
One fencerow cut down across the road from me now lets water fill my neighbor's horse barn with water everytime it rains. The same run-off ends up coming across the road the opposite way into my yard. We are trying to beekeep and grow beecrops organically. We've NEVER drank the water from our well as the farm run-off flows to it. We didn't have these problems until the farmer came in and did his work.
I talk to my neighbors who are ALL effected by some "farm invention" and they bitch to me about it but keep silent and suffer. I guess they are hoping I'll be a hard-ass for them, which I will and enjoy doing, but they need to support me visibly. I joked with my husband about getting myself a tee-shirt with "Fighting Liberal" across the chest. I'm done with nice. I'm ready to fight.
The country life is NOT relaxing. We are always fighting against the natural gas pipeline (so the farmers can have cheap gas, which won't be cheap long), potential gas drilling, tiling across our property, telling us which trees to plant or not plant, their soil and chemicals in our yard, etc.
Aliceinwonderland, Palindromedary, and Mark Saulys ~ I have to side with Palindromedary concerning Waco and Ruby Ridge; however, for different reasons. I'm not sure if any of you are aware, but both cases involved religious fanatics who withdrew from society in order to survive the apocalypse in the Book of Revelations. In both cases, these "fanatics" stockpiled weapons and ammunition.
That is the real kicker. In case you are unfamiliar with The Book of Revelations, there is one interesting line where it states quite clearly that "He who liveth by the sword must die by the sword."
Therefore it makes no logical sense whatsoever for any self proclaimed religious "fanatic" to stockpile weapons--unless they are insane, suicidal, or have a hidden agenda. In any case I can only assume that law enforcement officials are aware of this little paradox and consider such behavior to be a clear and present threat.
Weapon ownership by average citizens--in particular the well controlled peons of the right wing--mean far less danger because their behavior is much more predictable. Also, average citizens display no probable reason to assume a clear and present threat.
Furthermore, like Aliceinwonderland suggested, if the situation got out of hand one fully armed black hawk helicopter, any tank, or several drones could have ended any confrontation quickly and in a very decisive manner. I'm not familiar enough with that story to speak for the particular situation you are talking about with a hundred armed right-wingers; however, since the two parties with one name and the media make these people their darlings I would imagine that every effort would be extended to prevent a full blown massacre.
The idea that any group of 100 armed people could actually intimidate the government into backing down is ridiculous. Don't you remember the "Levitation of the Pentagon" back in 1967? Let me remind you that 70,000 people showed up that day. The only reason they got away with that without being mercilessly mowed down is because they were completely unarmed. If the government actually opened fire on that crowd, that would have been the last mistake they ever made. The government was well aware of that fact; and, still is.
Never underestimate the power of well organized nonviolent protest, especially when a violent one doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding without popular support. You want to generate popular support you have to do what they did in China... Temp the government to fire upon unarmed civilians and broadcast it world wide. Then you will have your revolution; and, you will win.
Plutocrats, oligarchs, fascists is much to mild a term to describe the ruling upper class power elite. Among them are the worst criminals to ever walk this planet. They are willing to destroy a planet for greed and self interest. They are creating a hell on earth with global warming. They are sending all of us to our death camps. The conformists living in denial would have us all singng songs, holding hands with flower baskets, marching to our doom.
Abby Martin gives a heartfelt (she actually broke down in tears and could barely hold it together) tribute to Michael C. Ruppert, who committed suicide on Sunday, toward the last few minutes of Breaking the Set. See: Google's global surveillance plans, US rejects Child Protection Treaty, sustainability revolution:
or just download the video episode here:
Some videos with Michael C. Ruppert:
Collapse-The End of the Age of Oil video
Michael Ruppert on Max Keiser show:
Apocalypse, Man: Michael C. Ruppert on World's End (part 1)
AIW: True, they do have bigger weapons but so did the British against our forefathers.
Mark: I certainly don't think that the non-violent protesters are without a certain amount of bravery. But they all wouldn't be there if they thought that they would be shot. They all have a reasonable belief that since they are unarmed and non-violent that they won't be harmed. That's not as brave as someone who shows up armed. An armed resister would very well know that he could be shot. Kent State showed that even non-violent protesters might be shot. If all those protesters had had weapons...I doubt that the Ohio national guard, being greatly outnumbered and out weaponized, would have had the cajones to start firing into the crowds. It would have been suicide for them. And as most of our troops were in Vietnam at the time, I think the government would have had to back down.
And, yes, the Black Panthers scared the bejesus out of those in power at the time. Just goes to show that "they" won't take anyone seriously until the population is heavily armed. They won't respect you, or fear you, until the people can show that they won't be pushed around by a few ruling elite.
DAM: So, then why didn't the government fire on those 100 protesters in Nevada. Why did the feds back down? And why has the government let those Tea Party people carry weapons to various Tea Party demonstrations? They all got away with it, didn't they! But, I wonder if they were all leftist demonstrators, would they have been fired upon by the authorities? Well, of course, leftist, pacifists, gun haters wouldn't have guns anyway...and still the authorities shoot them (eg: Kent State). That's because the authorities with the guns know they will not likely get return fire from the demonstrators. Real brave men, aren't they? They weren't so brave when those 100 Nevada demonstrators showed up with all those guns. If those Nevada demonstrators, even if it was a group of 1000 or 5000 demonstrators, without guns...those BLM hotshots would have bashed heads or used tear gas or maybe even shot into the crowds.
Craig Bush: I certainly agree! They've got most people right where they want them, playing the same old rigged games...feeding them hope where there is none. Where other countries have wised up against their plutocrats and oligarchs and overthrew them...the people of the US still don't have a clue. Perhaps they haven't quite suffered enough...but it's coming! Just wait till grocery prices, as expensive as they are now, double or triple. Same with gas prices. It won't even make sense to drive to work because cost of commuting will eat up any savings. And even the cost of bus fare will be out of reach for some.
Quote Palindromedary:DAM: So, then why didn't the government fire on those 100 protesters in Nevada. Why did the feds back down? And why has the government let those Tea Party people carry weapons to various Tea Party demonstrations? They all got away with it, didn't they!
Palindromedary ~ No, they didn't, did they? Why do you think that is the case? Why do you think we all know that happened. All those phony protests were staged by the elite and the media for several reasons. #1 To create the illusion that the Bill of Rights is still the law of the land. #2 To popularize and mobilize the right wing agenda #3To scare the hell out of the left wing.
Do you really think these people got away with anything? Do you really think they accomplished anything? The only message I heard was that the right wing is nuts and well armed. Do you really think the left wing--or any other faction for that matter--could get away with such a display without Corporate blessings?
First of all, lets face it, if any unsanctioned demonstration is pulled off--violent or nonviolent--the media will black it out. This is one way to tell if something is real or not. If it's covered on TV it's probably just staged propaganda--just like the right wing demonstrations you've mentioned certainly are.
For that reason keep this in mind--the most dangerous weapon you can bring to any demonstration is your cell phone. Cover the demonstration like you were a reporter and link your phone to the cloud so that any footage is instantaneously stored far far away. Eventually, the police are going to start confiscating cell phones at demonstrations for this reason. If the footage is automatically transferred to the cloud, it won't make any difference. We have to start covering our own rear at these gatherings because the media won't. We have to get smart and guns are just going to get people killed. What good is dying when no one knows how, why, or even if it really happened?
Time to exercise axiom 3-(C) ("mastery of extant technologies") of Loren Blisses lesson from the other day. Time to master the technology of the day. One cell phone can do more damage and accomplish more than 100,000 armed vigilantes. There are examples of this everywhere. Even if they try to shut down the towers and confiscate the phones all it takes is removing the memory chip to thwart the effort and save the day.
Elioflight: Looks like they have taken every foot of tillable land right up to your tree line. I guess if your trees hang over the property line, in order to till right up to the property line they would have had to do some trimming of those trees. You've got a very nice place, though. Very much worth defending against those who would encroach upon your property. But, of course, if you have trees overhanging the road which could be a hazard to some traffic like large trucks or tractors or combines then I could understand a little tree trimming. I just hope you don't get stuck with a bill for those "services" ...or abatements tacked on to your property taxes. They can sneak up on you and, if not paid, can be cause of foreclosure. Wouldn't those corporate farmers just love to steal your property like that? DAnnemarc had pointed out the AARP article about how older Americans are being tricked into losing their property (even if they own them outright...mortgage paid off) through abatements they weren't aware of which resulted in foreclosure.
DAnM -- It is not what you say that counts. It is what the other hears. You say fascist and they hear kill all jews.
Ok, DAnnemarc, so you say the most dangerous thing demonstrators can have at a demonstration is the cell phone...to take photos of abuses? So they can not be shown on censored corporate news of which most of the people are watching? We few people who watch alternative news may see it and be outraged and blog about it but the majority of people will not see these things. And even if they do it will be slanted in favor of those who own the media.
And even if all USians see these things...what are they going to do ....vote Democrat next time? I believe that even if 100% of Congress and the President are Democrats the 1% will still get their way. So who are we trying to impress? And what will it buy them? Contrast that with masses of well armed citizens who will greatly outnumber the forces sent against them with presence in all of the major cities.
The US just does not have the man power to quell such a rebellion. Some cities are even way undermanned, with police, because they can't pay them what they want. What are they going to do... destroy all the cities trying to get to the rebels? Turn them to rubble? I don't think the ruling elite owners would like that solution very much. I think they would eventually rather come off their high horse and give a little back rather than have all their buildings blown to bits.
Fighting door to door in big cities is the worst scenario for the ruling elite. What do you think the citizen rebel will do? Stand out in some open field to fight the attacking drones...buttons pushed by some diminutive joystick and button pusher in some other location? And besides, what toll do you think it would have on those who are sent to fight and kill fellow Americans...perhaps doing a lot of "collateral damage" on people's children? Look at the local police in Donetsk, Ukraine and other Eastern Ukraine cities where they have refused to follow the orders of the new US backed Nazi government to "restore order".
The greatest thing the ruling elite fears is a massive armed rebellion...and loss of loyalty in the police and military forces. They could lose everything including being hung vigilante style by angry mobs of people. Look what's happening in the Ukraine! You don't think that could happen here?
chuckle8: I think fascism is an equal opportunity condition. Look at what the ruling elite in Israel are doing against the Palestinians. And there are quite a number of them in powerful positions in the US as well. But then there are many non-Jews up there as well.
Quote Palindromedary:Ok, DAnnemarc, so you say the most dangerous thing demonstrators can have at a demonstration is the cell phone...to take photos of abuses? So they can not be shown on censored corporate news of which most of the people are watching? We few people who watch alternative news may see it and be outraged and blog about it but the majority of people will not see these things. And even if they do it will be slanted in favor of those who own the media.
Palindromedary ~ Very true--now. However, we are far away from any revolution. There is no incentive. Also, regular TV is going the way of the dinosaur. Soon--very soon--all entertainment and news will be on demand and free. Soon--very soon--commercial media will go the way of the silent movie.
If you want to see the power of independent photojournalist I ask you to google these two names: Rodney King, and Oscar Grant. Short, yet powerful film clips that will live in infamy.
Quote Palindromedary:The US just does not have the man power to quell such a rebellion. Some cities are even way undermanned, with police, because they can't pay them what they want. What are they going to do... destroy all the cities trying to get to the rebels? Turn them to rubble? I don't think the ruling elite owners would like that solution very much. I think they would eventually rather come off their high horse and give a little back rather than have all their buildings blown to bits.
Palindromedary ~ Sure. Sounds great on paper; however, how are you going to motivate such an uprising? You don't! Period. Only the enemy can do that for you. You're only hope is to be there with the camera rolling when they do.
Both these film clips ignited riots all over the country. Two victims of injustice almost motivated the need for the national guard to be called out. Your suggestion as to how to motivate people into the street? I didn't get that? Taking over the country with the blessing of the masses is not the question. The question, is how do you get the blessing of the masses. I say the only effective way of doing that is by letting the powers that be provide that motivation themselves, film it, and let it go viral... Unless, you have a better suggestion?
By the way, destroying all the cities looking for a handful of rebels is exactly what this government has been doing around the world for 4 decades. Unless your head has been buried in the sand for the last 40 years that is really a stupid question. A handful of rebels is not going to cut it. The best they can manage to accomplish is the death of untold innocent civilians along with themselves. Only with the blessing of the masses can this endeavor succeed.
Quote DAnneMarc:By the way, destroying all the cities looking for a handful of rebels is exactly what this government has been doing around the world for 4 decades.Yes, that is very true...but in those cases it is the other people's ruling elite that own those buildings not ours. I think they would be a little more reserved about destroying their own buildings...unless they are full of asbestos that would cost a fortune to clean up...like the WTC buildings were. Then they might not care much especially if they were heavily insured...like the WTC buildings were.
And you are very correct about the questionable ability to motivate anyone, unless they are right-wing militia, and especially if they are left-wing liberals who don't own guns. Fuggeddaboutit! The right-wingers have already demonstrated their willingness to show up with guns. And the gooberment (emphasis on goober) just chickens out. The gooberment only feels their testosterone when they go up against people who don't have guns...like peaceful demonstrators...then they can bully till their heart's content. No, I sure don't see the left-wingers do anything but wine and complain. The right wingers, however, may just rally all their militia and other hate groups and ticked off ranchers and friends and try something one day. In that case, they will likely string up some Democrat politicians. And I suspect the Democrat politicians know who has the real power in the US...they know not to tick off the right-wingers too much.
Regular TV may be going the way of the dinosaur in favor of the internet but most people still get most of their news from TV and mostly from major network news and not from other news sources like RT or FSTV or Link TV or Al Jazeera. Most people are still influenced by right-wing TV.
The entertainment and news may be on-demand but it won't be free. The internet is being hijacked by profit takers. And when that happens it will be censored by them as well. It is already being censored. You can't truly have free speech if you agree to censor somethings and not others. It's not truly free if you censor it in any way, shape, or form. Even things that may be distasteful, if you censor it, it is not free. And if that is the case, where will censoring stop?
I'll surely check out those two videos that you mentioned. Thanks! I remember the LA riots and Rodney King but I'm not sure about that other guy. Oh, yes, Oscar Grant and the Oakland subway shooting...dumb ass cops shooting someone like that while the guy was in a fetal position.
Palin -- You are talking about what fascism really is. I was talking about what people hear when Thom says it on the air.
Palin -- Are you aware that all those civil rights non-violent activists going to Alabama were administered their last rites before going. They thought there would be more than 50% chance they would be killed.
chuckle8: Well, that was then, and it was obviously very dangerous thing to do...and very brave for sure. And that was just a handful of people. We don't know if there were lots of people who decided the risk was too great and didn't go.
But I just wonder how many protestors, today, would actually show up at a protest if they were pretty certain that some of them would be fired upon by police and would die. I don't think too many would actually show up. I think that most know that, after Kent State, and the flack the government got over that, that most people don't really think they will be shot at during those demonstrations.
It is very commendable, to be sure, that they do show up and demonstrate. We all owe them a great deal of gratitude. But it seems like they are just up against a brick wall and nothing will change for their efforts. A few will get roughed up, or tear gassed, or even have a head hit by a canister or bean bag causing brain damage and some may even get arrested. But no one expects the police to do another Kent State. So, I say that those who take up arms are braver (or crazier) than those who don't because those who do have a greater expectation of dying. But the result will also end up killing a lot of the opposition as well instead of just standing there and taking the abuse of some fat pig cops.
None of this is desirable and I hope it never happens (there's that "hope" word again)..and I hope things turn around before that happens. But I think it is inevitable, as things are going now. And I think that the armed right-wingers will strike out first. They have already proven the government has no balls in Nevada and during the Tea Party demonstrations where they carried guns and the government did not force their hand.
They will never respect you or fear you if you give up all your weapons or show that you will never defend yourself against their tyranny. The cumbaya crowd are just fooling themselves. The wolves are laughing at you!
Yes, AIW, I know I should have used the word "whine" and not "wine" in #43. ;-}
Palindromedary, the leadership of the Chicago Black Panthers were massacred in 1969 a few blocks from where I used to live. Public opinion was changing at the time and the police had lost much support after their violent behavior of the Democratic National Convention the previous summer but there was still enough for them that they could get away with the murders.
Some non violent protesters might not show up if there is a likleyhood of being subjeced to violence but in the important periods of history most non violent protesters were not of that sort. In the '60s it was a virtual certainty that you would be roughed up (beaten up, fire hosed, set upon by dogs, what have you) at a demonstration. People commonly wore helmets to those events by the early '70s. The Tienemen Square protesters surely knew that what happened could happen.
If the protesters at Kent State had guns the Army would've got reinforcements - but that doesn't mean you should never use guns in a popular uprising. If you've already got the public on your side you can do whatever it takes, if you don't have their support it'll be a suicide charge. The Cuban Revolution started with 20 guys and snowballed until it was overwhelming. The David Koresh people had much of the public with them in Texas and elsewhere and the millionaire rancher against the BLM and his billionaire supporters are mobilizing their best PR to win the public because they know their success depends on it.
You should only use guns if you can win that way and you generally can't without the support of the public - and you wouldn't deserve to. It wouldn't be legit for an armed, obsessed, fanatical minority to decide what's good for everybody else.
Geez Palin... I don't even remember commenting about that! Which post?
Showing your gun in public is neither a sign of strength, power, courage, or intelligence. Remember, there is a huge difference between flashing a gun and using it. Demonstrating the ability to carry a firearm in a protest is asinine at best. The reich wing has already demonstrated how much power it yields in this country when it lost the executive branch of the government to a black man in two consecutive elections. As far as I am concerned, all this flashing of firepower is nothing more than a bunch of grown men throwing a temper tantrum. It says absolutely nothing positive about the reich wing of our society other than the fact that they are angry, armed, dangerous, probably not very well endowed, and definitely not very bright.
Thom Hartmann ~ Probably the first thing we can do is to start calling our ruling oligarchy exactly what it is--fascism. We color coat our language in this nation too much. We are polite when we talk to bullies. We give them the advantage at every turn.
2950-10K ~ Well said! Very well said!!