Our Militarized Police Tossed a Stun Grenade at a Baby

Occupied armies are walking America’s streets. Right now, a 1-year-old toddler with severe burns is clinging to life in a Georgia hospital, after a SWAT team barged into the house where he and his family were staying, and mistakenly threw a flash-bang grenade into his crib. This past Wednesday, members of the Cornelia, Georgia police department’s SWAT team entered the house where the toddler and his family were staying, searching for an alleged drug dealer who they say was living in the home as well, and who was armed and dangerous.

Because the suspected drug dealer had previous weapons charges, the SWAT team members had a no-knock warrant, which meant they could enter the house without warning, and without checking to see if there were children inside the home. Now, a little boy is struggling to survive. Unfortunately, incidents like this are becoming all too common in America today.

That’s because America’s police forces have become like occupied armies, hyper-militarized for the benefit of our nation’s military industrial complex. All across our country, local cops are kicking in doors, SWAT teams are carrying weapons of war, and warrants are becoming things of the past. Fortunately, there’s a way to change all of this, restore sanity to local policing, and to put weapons of war back where they belong.

Back in 1994, the Clinton administration created something called the COPS program. The federal Community Oriented Policing Services program provides resources for local police forces across America, intended to help those forces become more involved in their communities.

The goal of the program is to create more police officers like Madison, Wisconsin police officer Katie Adler. Unlike regular patrol cops, Adler spends much of her time in crime-ridden at-risk neighborhoods, getting to know the people she serves, and building lasting relationships along the way. She is the perfect example of community policing.

Meanwhile, European countries have been relying on community policing for years.

Take Sweden for example. Back in 1972, the Swedish government created a national center for research, development and coordination of policing, with the goal of fighting and reducing crime at its social and community levels. And in 1992, local policing committees began popping up across Sweden. These committees, in 200+ communities across Sweden, work hand-in-hand with local police forces, community leaders, schools and other groups to improve living conditions and to reduce crime.

Unfortunately, funding for community policing back here in America has seen a steady decline since the COPS program was first introduced. In 2010, $792 million was allotted in the form of federal grants under the COPS program for local police forces across the country; By 2012, that number had shrunken to just $199 million.

Now, there are fewer and fewer Officer Katie’s, and more and more hyper-militarized local police forces, that are breaking down doors first, and asking questions later. Rather than being viewed as community members, America’s police forces are being increasingly viewed as occupying armies, and that needs to change.

Community policing needs to be a priority in our country once again. But the changes shouldn’t stop there. We also need to put weapons of war back in the hands of real military forces, like the National Guard, and pay our cops better while holding them to higher standards. Only then can we make sure no more1-year-old toddlers are hanging on to life by a thread because a flash-bang grenade went off in their cribs.

Comments

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#1

Matt, anyone who is a teacher by profession must adhere to boundaries, such as not getting romantically involved with one's students. It is simply inappropriate. The fact that the teacher was only in her twenties, or that it was a lesbian relationship, is irrelevant. What makes it a breach of ethics is that it violated the teacher-student boundary. I'm surprised that you put so little, if any, emphasis on that, which to me, stands out as the only relevant issue here. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#2

Matt suggests, regarding drug prohibition, that we "think of the other law[s] we should change. Speeding, underaged drinking, gun ownership and concealed carry, bigomy or polygamy, prostitution, praying in schools, etc…"

You've really outdone yourself this time, schoolteacher. That's one of the lamest arguments I've seen you cough up yet! So full of holes…

Sorry you lost someone to "drugs", whatever they were. The fact that she started with pot doesn't prove anything where pot is concerned. Some people, by virtue of addiction-prone personalities or heredity, are incapable of indulging in any kind of mind-altering substances without it taking over their lives. That is unfortunate. However it doesn't justify prohibition. What business is it of the government's, or law enforcement's, what I or anyone else wishes to do in private or among consenting adults with similar tastes? Whose safety are we jeopardizing? Whose rights are we trampling on, Matt? Because that's really what these laws should be for, enabling us all to coexist peacefully, with a minimum amount of strife. The less that people are victimized by the behavior of others, the more peacefully they can coexist together in a society, and the more civilized that society is. It's really that simple. Laws should exist to help prevent us from hurting one another, which should be the bottom line…. but isn't. Not in today's world, where money trumps all else.

My personal habits, and my friend Nancy's personal habits, and my cousin Kevin's personal habits, are not your concern. Nor should they be the concern of the police or the court system, because they affect nobody but me, and Nancy, and Kevin. So this stuff we're using isn't illegal because we're jeopardizing anyone's safety, nor is it illegal because we're trampling on anyone's rights, or causing a public annoyance.

Please don't misunderstand me, Matt. I'm not announcing to the world that I am a pot smoker; I'm being hypothetical here to make a point. Whether I smoke pot or not is nobody's business. It needn't concern anyone else for reasons I've already stated. My point is that since pot prohibition isn't protecting anyone's safety, security, peace and quiet or whatever, and since pot prohibition has no moral justification, it is not a legitimate law. It exists solely for the purpose of keeping the corporate elite in control, so that they can continue to profit off of us, our needs and wants and personal habits. We're their livestock as it were, their "cash cows".

Sounds rhetorical, doesn't it! And preposterous; right, mister schoolteacher? Well, it isn't. I could easily substantiate these assertions with historical facts. I could write a very long post, just explaining the real motives behind pot prohibition, with enough historical anecdotes to support my thesis. But it's been a very long day; I'm kinda tired. So for now, I'll simply clarify that the only reason pot and hemp are illegal is because (1) the oligarchs can't monopolize and control it; therefore they can't profit from it, and (2) the oligarchs don't want the many products made from pot & hemp to be in direct competition with those raw materials and finished products they can monopolize, which protects their expected profits and bottom line… at the expense of our freedom, autonomy and privacy.

There is not even a legitimate health argument that can be made against marijuana. No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose. There are no statistics on lung cancers caused by marijuana either. Even from that angle, prohibitionists haven't a leg to stand on.

I think a similar argument can be made regarding prostitution. Any activity that involves two consenting adults, where there are no victims, should not be treated as a crime. I happen to find the whole idea of prostitution rather revolting, but I'll still defend that choice for anyone wishing to partake in it. Prostitution, like pot, has been around for millennia; they're not going to go away just because you or anyone else disapproves. And why should they? Who the hell are you to tell other people what they can or cannot do, anyway?

Now for the grand finale, I'll get to your other examples. Speeding kills. (Got an argument for that, Matt?) Underaged drinking also has been known to have lethal consequences. (Since adolescent brains are not fully developed, alcohol is more toxic to that age group.) Guns kill, don't they? All activities and/or objects with the potential of harming or killing people warrant laws that regulate them, which benefits everyone individually and collectively.

"Bigomy" (spelled "bigamy", English teacher!) should be a crime because you're hurting another person by marrying that person illegitimately, under false pretense. This can have injurious legal consequences as well as cause significant emotional harm. Such abuse definitely warrants criminal status. (Polygamy? That's a little more complicated; let's save polygamy for another discussion.)

Praying in schools? Come on Matt, we've already gone the rounds with that one. Wanna get into another tug-of-war over the separation of church and state? Sorry, I'm in no mood for that. Like I said, it's been a long day. - Aliceinwonderland

ChicagoMatt 8 years 26 weeks ago
#3

Alice - we're actually agreeing on something. I'm all for legalizing drugs. And prostitution. And anything else between consenting adults.

I also think the natural progression of the gay rights movement, which is drawing to a close because it's winning, will be for a polygamy-rights movement. If you believe, like I do, that two men or two women should be allowed the legal protections of marriage, why not three or more people as well? If my wife and I want to legally bind ourselves to another couple, and we are all able-minded adults, then why shouldn't we be able to? Or, if a man or woman want multiple spouses, why not? Like the guy on Sister Wives. If those three or four women all want to be legally married to the same man, and get the government benefits that come along with marriage, they should be able to.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#4

No argument, Matt! Not where polygamy fits the description you just gave it. However when it manifests as one man with several wives, as it has with certain religious cults I've heard of from time to time, and some of those "wives" are young girls below the age of consent, I've got a problem with that. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 26 weeks ago
#5

Chi Matt -- When you speak of individualism, I hear free markets. Is that what I should hear?

I think all those decisions (smoking pot, sex with students, polygamy etc) should be made by an informed public. Anyone have any ideas how we can inform them?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#6

Me too, Chuck. That word, "individualism", is just another word the conservatives have ruined. Like the word "liberal". - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 26 weeks ago
#7

Aliceinwonderland ~ Thanks for one of the best posts I've ever read. Please allow me to tip my hat. Also thanks for making me roll on the floor and laugh my a$$ off. Shear brilliance and said so very, very, VERY WELL!! Take a bow!

ChicagoMatt 8 years 26 weeks ago
#8

Alice - I thought of another thing that should be legal but isn't. Assisted suicide. If you're 18, of sound mind, and just want a large dose of morphine and a place to use it peacefully, I think they should allow that. For whatever reason - if you're terminally ill, old and lonely, whatever. As long as you're able to make that decision, the person (doctor) who helps you shouldn't be punished.

Chuck - I've been thinking about your question all day - exactly what do I mean by individualism? It's hard to define for me, because I can think of exceptions to almost every scenario. I think the best way to describe it is to focus on taking care of yourself and your family first, your town, or neighborhood if you're in a bigger city, second, then state, then country. It means not relying on or even expecting help from the government, like people who refuse welfare out of princple, even if they qualify for it. It means blaming yourself for your failures, rather than looking at the system itself as the cause.

For example: If the question is, "Why am I 45 and still living paycheck to paycheck?"

Individualist answer: I made bad choices, had bad luck, didn't apply myself enough, etc...

Collectivist answer: Society is keeping me down, the whole system is corrupt, etc...

As an individualist, I might say things like, "I think the government should pass laws that restaurants must put calorie counts on their menu items. That way I can make better-informed choices." But I would NEVER say something like, "They should ban sodas of a certain size, like they did in NYC, to save people from themselves."

As an individualist, I look at my retirment planning as my own responsibility. I don't expect to be taken care of by the government just because I reach a certain age. Social Security will be supplemental for me, not my main source of retirement income.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#9

Wow Mark, I had no idea it was that funny. Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

Hey now people, it's bullshit-bustin' time! - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 26 weeks ago
#10

Aliceinwonderland ~ You didn't realize it was funny? Seriously? When I read...

Quote Aliceinwonderland: "Bigomy" (spelled "bigamy", English teacher!)

...I laughed so hard I amost passed out. otflmao Keep up the good work.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#11

Matt, we're on the same page with assisted suicide. Matters of birth & death are so deeply personal. We all should be free to decide when it's time to go. Dying on one's own terms is dying with dignity. Sometimes death is so sudden and unanticipated that even without the law standing in one's way, the sequence and pace of events make such choices impossible. But I believe everyone has that right, long as the situation allows it. Certainly the law mustn't be the only barrier to this option for someone terminally ill, with nothing to look forward to. Here in Oregon where I live, assisted suicide is legal. I feel fortunate to have that burden lifted at least.

As for the rest of your post, Matt, we are light years apart. What you have articulated is a philosophy I've heard quite a bit over the past thirty years or more, and it is one that I reject. What's more, Matt, for a guy who refuses to call himself "conservative", you sure talk the old conservative line much of the time!

"As an individualist, I look at my retirment planning as my own responsibility", says Matt. "I don't expect to be taken care of by the government just because I reach a certain age. Social Security will be supplemental for me, not my main source of retirement income." Well goodie-goodie for you. Would you like a standing ovation?

Recently I highlighted two words that conservatives have systematically ruined for this generation of Americans: "liberal" and "individual" (or "individualism"). I reject this Ayn Randian, fascist lie that we are meant to all be separated from each other, completely on our own, each left to our own devices. No shared, mutual interdependence with other members of society shall be allowed to prevail. Among Ms. Rand's recruits are those TV pundits who deliver that same old message to us, every single day: "No interdependence will be tolerated! You're on your own!"

I hate to break it to ya Matt, but that's not how humans were meant to live. It's a bogus lie, aggressively endorsed by the power elite to keep us small fry discouraged, frightened and disempowered. Because when people are discouraged, frightened and disempowered, it's easier to break their spirits and pacify them so they can be controlled, ultimately to be exploited, discarded and left to rot. That's the essence of predatory, cannabalistic capitalism such as we're dealing with now. Workers, war veterans, old people, sick people, the poor, all expendable! All on their own!

What fascinates me no end is how those promoting this philosophy will, with amazing consistency, ignore how the system is rigged against all but the richest few. After our jobs have been outsourced by no fault of our own, or rendered obsolete by automation, or we get disabled or sick and our lifeline's been cut off, we're told we're lazy, that we're incompetent, that we are "moochers", that earned benefits like Social Security and unemployment insurance are "entitlements" we've no right to expect (even after we've paid into them) and that our personal failures are always to blame when shit happens and our luck runs out. Same thing if we're bankrupted by medical bills. Lose your job, lose your health… Hey that's your problem, you're on your own!

Why should society (that is, us all collectively, as citizens of that society) have to pay to take care of sick people? Why have a safety net, or certain shared interests known as "the commons"? Even if such necessities as healthcare, education and clean water would be substantially cheaper, as well as unconditionally available to everyone as parts of the commons, it's evil socialism! Can't have all these "moochers" getting anything for free! Let'em wither and rot, those stupid lazy bums. Serves 'em right. Right, Matt?! Yet so many of you call yourselves Christians. From where I sit, you're all a goddam bunch of fools.

It is an Ayn Randian core belief that unless we're born into wealth, or are fortunately enough to acquire it, our total worth as human beings rests solely on our employability. It's a cold-hearted, cruel, ruthless belief system that, if entrenched in the principles that underlie socioeconomic policies, can be tantamount to a death sentence for the more vulnerable members of that society.

I am sick of you guys preaching all this bullshit about "applying" ourselves, "bettering" ourselves, being "responsible" ad nauseam. It all sounds so smug, so sanctimonious. And there's not a goddam thing in your whole screed on "individualism", Matt, that I haven't heard a thousand & one times already. You drank the kool-aid. I'm not buying it. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#12

P.S. Matt, one more thing you might not know about Ayn Rand: At the end of her life, that bitch was on Medicare and Social Security! One would have to be familiar with Ayn Rand and what her schpeel was all about to appreciate the brazen hypocrisy of this neocon fascist witch taking "hand-outs" from the government. After a lifetime of preaching that people needing and taking earned benefits from the government were the lowest forms of life on Planet Earth, she couldn't even live by her own "individualistic" code of virtue! - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 26 weeks ago
#13

Well said, AIW! The real moochers, the Ayn Randian idolizers, (Ayn Rand is their real "savior and lord") have been mooching on the commons for many decades. They are like a cancer that is sapping the strength of their host. They are the real parasites. It is the cesspool of corrupt capitalism that disguises itself as something holy. And the sanctimonious laissez faire harpies shriek nonsense to their gullible toadies who will eventually turn this nation to ashes. And after the revolution, the Phoenix will rise again from those ashes as it did from beheading corrupt kings and Royalist dandies and lead-filled Czars. All corrupt empires fall eventually! Just keep pushing, Capitalist Pigs, and see what happens to your empire!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#14

Thanks Palin.

Welcome to Fascism 101, the merging of corporations and government! That's the real definition, no matter how many dictionaries were censored by corporate fascists.

That ideology is destroying our country. I'll stand up to it wherever I see it, hear it, smell it...

It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 26 weeks ago
#15

Chi Matt -- Thank you for your thoughful reply. I especially respect it, because you knew you would be beat on personally by us (that includes me).

My first comment is do you think individualism would build a better society? Darwin looked at 2 to 4 billion years worth of species and came to the conclusion that the more highly evoled species were built on love and co-operation. It seems that individualism is the antithesis of co-operation.

I think such things as the ban on large size sodas should be decided democratically (by the way democratically does not mean by consensus). I think the one true freedom is that the 99% get to decide the rules, laws, regulations etc. Incidentally, I think the existence of the large size drinks was decided by the 1%.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 26 weeks ago
#16
P.S. Matt, one more thing you might not know about Ayn Rand: At the end of her life, that bitch was on Medicareand Social Security!

I have no problem with people getting money back from programs they were forced to pay into in the first place. The same thing with FEMA - when a Red State has a disaster and the lefties call them hypocrits for calling in FEMA. Their tax dollars paid for it.

It is my understanding that there is no upper income cutoff for collecting social security. Even Bill Gates will get it when he reaches that age. And he's entitled to it if he paid into it. Not sure about Medicare.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 26 weeks ago
#17

By the way, I only read one of Rand's books - Atlas Shrugged - when I was 19. I barely remember it.

A lot of what you say makes sense though, about caring for the sick and people who fall through the cracks. I think we would disagree on where the burden falls in those cases. The smaller the level of government that's in charge of something, the better (usually). Water distribution? Works well on the city level. Police and fire? Same thing. Military? Better left to the Feds. Healthcare - I'd go with the state level at the maximum. Minimum wage laws? City level. I applaud Seattle's $15 an hour decision.

What fascinates me no end is how those promoting this philosophy will, with amazing consistency, ignore how the system is rigged against all but the richest few.

That's because you think the majority of people are as disgruntled as you. I think the majority of people are happy or content like me. The last statistic I heard was that 1 in 6 Americans are living in poverty. No, that's not right. But only a pessimist would look at that and think the whole system has to be done away with. An optimist looks at that and says, "Five out of six people are middle-class or better, and those people probably like the status quo just fine. Especially when compared against the rest of the world. Those five out of six people don't want to risk losing what they have on a roll-of-the-dice system change that promises to make things better. It's too risky. (Or, more likely, they aren't paying attention in the first place.)"

The best way to help people in poverty - I believe - is through charity. I know this is a righty talking point, and you've been hearing it your whole life and you're sick of it, but it's how I feel most of the time - the federal government, even if well-intentioned, will just make a mess of things, and be inefficient in the process. You're better off giving $100 to charity if you really want to help people, than having that same $100 taken from you in taxes to get lost in the Federal bureaucracy.

Yet so many of you call yourselves Christians. From where I sit, you're all a goddam bunch of fools.

And, even if you don't like to admit it, for your Socialist Utopia to work well, you will need willing participation from at least some of the people you keep calling fools. It will never work if half of the country is against it and looks for ways around it. And the polarization only gets worse when each side calls the other side names.

In a polarized climate like today's, Conservatism wins. Because nothing major can get done, which is what Conservatives want. The best thing Progressives can do is to keep calling people on the other side names. It just pushes them further into their ideology.

Thom gets that by the way, which is why he is always respectful to his Conservative callers. As the #1 Progressive radio show, he knows he has to set a good example.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 26 weeks ago
#18
My first comment is do you think individualism would build a better society?

I think, with most societal issues, the smaller the level it's being done at, the better. It's human nature to take care of yourself, your family, the people closest to you (tribalism), first. This country is much too large and too diverse for programs that address societal problems to work well at the federal level.

Incidentally, I think the existence of the large size drinks was decided by the 1%.

Michael Pollan actually talks about this in "The Omnivore's Dilemma". He tells the story of a fast food restaurant owner who noticed people felt gluttonous ordering two large sodas, but would pay extra for a single soda that was double the size.

When I first heard about the soda ban in NYC, I thought it would be smart for someone to invent a thing that would hold 4 20-ounce sodas together, with four straws that gather into one straw. Then you could say, technically, it was four drinks, even if you sold them as a single unit.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 26 weeks ago
#19

Matt, it is a reich-wing lie that government "just makes a mess of things…." unless of course, government seats are occupied by politicians who hate government and are hellbent on "proving" that government "just makes a mess of things" by not doing their jobs.

I don't believe a majority of Americans are happy and content. Ever hear of Occupy and Moral Mondays? Walmart and fast food worker strikes and protests? (Just four examples...) Mainstream corporate media would have you believe Americans are "happy" and "content", and since you obviously are happy and content, I will leave you to your happiness and contentment. - AIW

P.S. "Socialist Utopia"? Good night, Matt. This conversation is over.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 25 weeks ago
#20

ChicagoMatt and Aliceinwonderland ~ I'll just add this thought -- Ignorance is bliss!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#21

Chi Matt -- You really should study history. It seems the evidence is overwhelmingly against you.

Quote Chi Matt:I think, with most societal issues, the smaller the level it's being done at, the better. It's human nature to take care of yourself, your family, the people closest to you (tribalism), first. This country is much too large and too diverse for programs that address societal problems to work well at the federal level.

I think the Articles of Confederation, Charter Mongering and the Eurozone show you are wrong. Also, ALEC loves to work at the state level. In other words, the 1% love your philosophy.

Quote Chi Matt:Michael Pollan actually talks about this in "The Omnivore's Dilemma". He tells the story of a fast food restaurant owner who noticed people felt gluttonous ordering two large sodas, but would pay extra for a single soda that was double the size.

Do you think you are providing any new information by saying selling "snake oil" is easy?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#22

Chi Matt -- I forgot my favorite example of smaller level govt being better -- Clive Bundy. All his neighbors were terrified of him or at least they filed a lot of complaints.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#23
This conversation is over.

Ok. I'll post this in case anyone else is reading.

I don't believe a majority of Americans are happy and content. Ever hear of Occupy and Moral Mondays? Walmart and fast food worker strikes and protests?

Of course I've heard of them - I listen to Progressive radio. Do you know how many protesters there were at any of these things? I think the Moral Mondays protests had the biggest crowds, mainly because they had church backing. (I've said before, Progressives get their message across best when they focus on morality.)

The recent fast-food protest at the McDonalds Corporate Headquarters just outside of Chicago, was the first story on the news that night. They said that about 1,500 people showed up, and the helicopter video seemed to show that as well. 1,500 people, in a metro area of under 10 million? That's less than the crowd at a movie theater on the opening weekend of a movie. Do you see why I think the majority of people are happy or at least content? What makes more sense - there is a huge evil elitist conspiracy to keep the crowds down at the protests, or the majority of people don't care enough to show up?

If someone reading this can point me towards a website with stats on Progressive protests, preferably with pictures, I would appreciate it.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#24

Assuming Progressives are right - that there is a conspiracy against the working class and they alone (The Progressives) are smart enough to see through it, then yes, ignorance might just be bliss. Judging from Thom's blogs and the comments, it seems a lot of you are very unhappy. I'd like to see Thom write a positive blog for a change.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#25

Chuck - of all of the regulars on this site, you make me do the most research. I'm sitting here, trying to enjoy my summer vacation, and then you bring up things like "Charter Mongering", and I have to go look it up, read a bunch of sites, etc... It's like having a second job. Bravo.

Of course, I think this is true of most online "research" - it's too easy just to find facts that back up the notion you went into the search with in the first place.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#26

Chi Matt -- I am mostly just a loudspeaker for Thom. You would not have to look up very much if you listened to every hour of Thom.

Of course, the progressive movement is not very large yet. We are currently just trying to give warning of what is to come. Since all the media, except Thom and FSTV, want the masses to be calm, you will not hear much. The strong progressive movements of the past had much worse conditions. In 1900 the 90th percentile of income was at the poverty level. I think the current poverty level is the 20th percentile. The 1933 progressive movement was inspired by 33% unemployment level. We are currently no where near that. Thom's book the "Crash of 2016" is about that. Thom is predicting that crash will bring about the strong progressive movement whose whereabouts you keep asking about. Ravi Batra's book "The New Golden Age" gives the same message.

On this blog we keep telling everyone that those conditions are coming due to Reagonomics. We would all like to avoid that crash.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#27

I used to listen to Thom for about 90 minutes, when I had a longer commute. Then I got about 30 minutes per day. Now that they switched his time, I'm lucky to get 15. I may have to start doing the podcast.

On a related note, the new guy in Thom's old slot is not good. Whoever made this decision needs to rethink it.

Of course, the progressive movement is not very large yet. We are currently just trying to give warning of what is to come. Since all the media, except Thom and FSTV, want the masses to be calm, you will not hear much.

I know I keep making these connections, but it's hard not to - what you just said sounds like something an extreme right-winger might say. Or one of these survivalists who are just waiting for societal collapse. Cheering it on even. Or even a white supremecist. "We aren't large yet, and you don't hear much about us, but it's coming..."

Of course, I hope the calamity that Thom thinks will bring about a Progressive movement never comes. And, if it does come, do you think the Libertarians would see an equal swell in their movement? Left-minded people will look to the government for help, and right-minded people will blame the government for the situation in the first place.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#28

Chi Matt -- You need to read Ralph Nader's new book "Unstoppable".

Quote Chi Matt:I know I keep making these connections, but it's hard not to - what you just said sounds like something an extreme right-winger might say.

Nader points out 29 (as I remember) major issues where the far right and progressives agree. He thinks they currently are and in the future will join forces. Government is a set of rules, regulations and agreements (it is nothing more). Both the left and right want to change the rules, or, in your words, they both are blaming the current government. In my view, the left wants to change the rules to protect us from the 1%, and the libertarians want to give freedom to the 1% to devour the lower 47%.

Quote Chi Matt:On a related note, the new guy in Thom's old slot is not good. Whoever made this decision needs to rethink it.

All the reprogramming was due to Ed Schulz saying he did not want to do his radio program anymore. There was not much thinking that went to the process, because there was no time. Is Sam Seder the guy you have to listen to now?

Quote Chi Matt: I may have to start doing the podcast.

When Clear Channel kicked Tom off the air in LA, I subscribed to Thom's podcasts. I recommend it. It is $60 per year.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 25 weeks ago
#29

Matt, when you start throwing tired old conservative cliches at me like "socialist utopia", that's my cue to end the discussion.

This is the shit I used to hear TV pundits spouting off all the time. Whenever they "interviewed" people opposed to privatizing the commons, challenging basic principles and core beliefs of crony capitalists, advocating the kinds of policies that benefit everyone regardless of income or wealth (such as universal single-payer healthcare, for example, or public education, or public anything), these guardians of the status-quo would tag whatever their guests were endorsing as "socialism" or "utopia", or "socialist utopia", as if this whole concept of the public good was just some pie-in-the-sky leftist fantasy, nothing to be taken seriously. Dismissive, disingenuous, and so bloody arrogant! Their way of thwarting progressive change is to trivialize it to death.

Once someone starts patronizing me, the conversation is over, unless another blogger decides to pick up from where I left off. Some folks have a higher tolerance for bullshit than I do. Power to them! But I'm not going to put up with it. I value my time too much to engage in ongoing discussions with anyone who stoops to knee-jerk condescension of this sort. It turns me off. - Aliceinwonderland

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#30
All the reprogramming was due to Ed Schulz saying he did not want to do his radio program anymore. There was not much thinking that went to the process, because there was no time. Is Sam Seder the guy you have to listen to now?

We get Jeff Santos here. He's awful. He takes 30 seconds to say what could be said in 5 seconds. It's frustrating to hear a guy stumble over a sentence, when you already know what he's trying to say.

The Conservative radio show that he's up against isn't that great either. No I have to spend that post-work, pre-dinner time interacting with my actual family members, if you can imagine...

I did not realize it was Ed's choice to stop. Did he give a reason? Whenever programming gets changed around, I always assume there is some executive at the radio station who needs to justify their position by changing things.

We get that a lot in education too - administrators at the district level who are in charge of something that's working just fine, but they need to show that they are doing something, so they change things.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#31
Nader points out 29 (as I remember) major issues where the far right and progressives agree. He thinks they currently are and in the future will join forces.

What I would really like to see, and I would support any candidate that ran on this platform, is whole-issue, big compromises. Like, for example, rather than both sides fighting over the minimum wage hike, I'd like to see one side give in completely, but in exchange for the other side giving in completely on another issue.

Dems get $15 an hour minimum wage, Reps get a lower tax rate for everyone.

Dems get single-payer healthcare, Reps get school vouchers.

And so on...

I think that's the best way to get anything done anymore. Have each side decide their three biggest wants, then come up with compromises for both sides to get them both.

Fighting over each issue isn't doing anyone any good. But both sides think they're fighting the "good fight".

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#32

Chi Matt -- Wouldn't it be wonderful if issues had only 2 sides.

Quote Chi Matt:Dems get $15 an hour minimum wage, Reps get a lower tax rate for everyone.

I think we should be deciding whether we should make the min wage $15 to keep people out of poverty ore should we make it $22 to keep up with producitivity.

Quote Chi Matt:But both sides think they're fighting the "good fight".

After the meeting in the Caucus Room Restaurant, why do you think the republicans think they are fighting the "good fight"? The only way I can see that repugs think they are fighting the good fight is if they think the billionaires should run the country for the billionaire's benefit.

ChicagoMatt 8 years 25 weeks ago
#33
After the meeting in the Caucus Room Restaurant, why do you think the republicans think they are fighting the "good fight"?

From what Thom and other Progressives have said about the Caucus Room meeting, it sounds like the Republicans - the opposition party at that time - were just agreeing to oppose the man and party in power. That's why it's called the opposition party. I wonder if Democrats had similar meetings after the elections of Republican presidents.

The only difference, which we can all agree on, is the Republicans have a more united front. They really do march in lock-step.

Isn't part of being a Conservative being resistant to change? Obama's entire mantra was "change". Are we surprised that Conservatives got together to resist it?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 25 weeks ago
#34

Chi Matt -- You sound like Newt Gingrich. The most telling comment was the republican who said we can't pass that it will make the prez look good. If your motive is to damage the party in power and not help the country, I think that would be the definition of not fighting the good fight. Is there any time in history where the dems did something like that? If so, how often?

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