Definition: Looking at the world through crap colored glasses.

In 1940, the US was facing war with Hitler and Japan. There were US companies doing business with the Nazis and Nazi political support organizations holding rallies across the US. There were even a few Hitler Youth camps. During the war, Germany was likely within years of developing nuclear weapons and eventually improving V2 rockets to deliver them to the US (New York Rocket), as well as 6 to 12 months away from the mass production of jet aircraft that would have ended the Allied air superiority over Europe. Without Hitler's incredible blunder of attacking his ally Russia, Germany would have easily had the time, military capacity, oil and other raw materials to win the war.

Our grandfathers and grandmothers and in some cases fathers and mothers had every reason to see the world as hopeless. Instead, when the threat became undeniable, the US focused all of it's creative and productive capacity on the war effort, and they turned back the greatest authoritarian / fascist threat our country and the world had ever faced.

Yes, the threats to the health and even survival of a human friendly biosphere are scary as hell. Yes, our political system is a bought-off obscenity. Yes, our military and spy organizations have wrongly interfered with other governments and caused massive loss of life. Yes, 100's of millions of dollars have been spent to convince us we are all hopelessly divided into irreconcilable factions of educated versus not so well educated, religious versus not so religious, Red versus Blue versus Moderates versus I-don't-give-a-damns, politically naive versus realistically nihilist, etc. But, despite all of these seeming overwhelming obstacles, giving up still remains an illogical and immoral option.

So, for all of our sakes, if you are going to highlight another terrible problem, please also take on the basic responsibility to point out potential solutions. Celebrating despair by rehashing our failings without suggesting any solutions helps no one. I am willing to bet it won't even make you feel any better, just more angry and depressed.

As Professor Hartmann ends every one of his broadcasts, "Despair is not an option."


Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 40 weeks 6 days ago
Quote ronsears:

So, for all of our sakes, if you are going to highlight another terrible problem, please also take on the basic responsibility to point out potential solutions. Celebrating despair by rehashing our failings without suggesting any solutions helps no one. I am willing to bet it won't even make you feel any better, just more angry and depressed.

Yes, ronsears. And your potential solution is....?????

How about a benevolent dictatorship? But how do people get it? How about an educated populace? But how do people get it? How about equitable distribution of wealth? But how do people get it? How about some guts? But how do people get it? How about some intelligent, compassionate, altruistic, competent, selfless leaders? But how do people get it?

Jawing? Silly social networks?

You tell me, please. Anyone?

rs allen 40 weeks 5 days ago

"but the first question we might ask is whether what we believe is true."

Here's a solution, start with some truth for a change. All the crap came from someplace after all and if you want to know why your rose colored glasses ended up with a crap tint to them, then don't start your trip looking through those rose colored glasses.

On the way to my morning crossword puzzle fixes I came across an interesting and I thought well done oped piece this morning entitled, "Trump is making Americans see the U.S. the way the rest of the world already did". It's worth a read:

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 40 weeks 5 days ago

Yes, rs allen, worth a read and some serious pondering. Thanks.

ronsears 40 weeks 4 days ago

Thanks Alberto and rs allen for the challenges regards potential solutions and starting with the truth. Working of a few modest contributions. Will post shortly.

All the best, Ron

Alberto Ceras 2's picture
Alberto Ceras 2 40 weeks 2 days ago

How many people are really looking for ideas? A new iphone, yes. I posted this much earlier. Here again for whatever:

Years ago de Tocqueville said that “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” So they do, so they have. So long as the people of the U.S.A. refuse to amend or re-write their outdated constitution (written by a few WHITE propertied MALES on horseback for a small, mostly rural society) whatever shred of democracy that remains may be lost. The country needs real, fundamental change - change that Obama promised but failed to deliver. Here are my ideas, by no means exhaustive (I consider the first three to be the most urgent)::

1. Restriction on the number of times that a person may hold federal elective office. I'd hold it to two terms, period, with one exception permitted - a person who has held federal elective office for two terms could subsequently occupy the office of president for two terms. (I'd prefer, though a single six year term for president, no re-election).

2. An exemption-free draft for all able-bodied citizens. No exemption for members of congress or White House staff. No exemption for college students (grossly unfair and discriminatory). No exemption, period, except for health or disability.

3. Legalization and strict governmental control of the sale and consumption of drugs.

4. Transparency in government to include (a) declassification of ALL official government records five years after the date of their origin (exact, uncensored and unaltered duplicates might be filed, at the time of their origin, with a special archivist and made readily available to the public after the five year period has expired) and (b) immediate and unrestricted access to all files, records and offices of any federal department (when expressly authorized by majority vote of the full House) by a standing committee of five House members composed of three from the majority party, two from the minority, all of whom have been sworn not to divulge sensitive information.

5. Elimination of the electoral college allowing presidential elections to be decided directly by a majority of the popular vote.

6. Revision of the system for electing Senators so that, in so far as possible or practical, Senators would represent all the people, fairly and equally (each Senator would ideally represent the same number of people), through election by national or regional, rather than state, constituencies. This might prove the most difficult change to bring about, but perhaps the most important. Alternatively, each state might retain its two senators, as prescribed by Article V, but Senators would have weighted votes based on their state's population. If all else fails, the Senate could be relieved of all real power.

7. Elimination of the unconscionable (and growing) disparity in the distribution of wealth. This would require an aggressive, vigorous policy of progressive taxation and absolute limitations on inheritance.

8. Elimination of primary elections for national office with candidates to be nominated by their political parties.

9. Supreme Court nominees (maybe candidates for all Federal judgeships) to be proposed by the House, vetted by the President and approved by the Senate. For example, the House might be allowed to propose five candidates, the President to select two of the five, and the Senate to approve one of the two (or to reject both in which case the process would begin again). Both the President and the Senate might be required to act within a certain time frame.

10. Equal television time for all major party candidates for Federal elective office.

11. Elimination of special privileges (perks) and "gifts" for all members of Congress. For example, members would be required to get their health care just as any member of the public or the most humble government employee gets theirs. Also, no special clubs or spas for members, no cut-rate dining rooms, etc.

12. Federal regulation of funding for public education that would insure equitable distribution of funds nationwide based solely on student enrollment.

13. A loop-hole free, hard-nosed and effective campaign finance law. This might require that the Supreme Court overturn its recent free speech ruling (the Supreme Court's equation of money with "speech" ) or that congress enact an imaginative law to circumvent its noxious effects.

14. Opportunity for the public to decide directly, perhaps every seven or twelve years, whether or not they would like to convene a constitutional convention for the purpose of revising or amending the constitution. The question might be placed simultaneously on the ballots of each of the states and might require approval by two thirds majority of the national electorate (not the states) to carry.

Off the subject:

“most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and forth.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

A couple of lines that popped into my head as I was reading some poems of Rilke:

I have a child who lives within my head

Who runs and frolics gaily in my stead. AC2

ronsears 40 weeks 2 days ago

Alberto Ceras 2

Nice list of essential fixes for our Democracy. The only concerns I have are over #1 and #14. Also, I would add Bernie Sander's and Sherrod Brown's steps towards Single Payer health care to your list to also address the "Life" part of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Regards # 1, term limits, I think all of us benefit from longer term governance/procedural expertise from honest re-elected public servants, and I would be worried about the bureaucracy of our government becoming even more powerful if they were provided an endless group of newbies to take advantage of after each election. Sort of like the local dry cleaned at the University when I was a kid. They were literally so bad they ripped the sleeves off of one of my shirts, then pressed and put it on a hanger and bag and asked me to pay for the service! They did not care because they had an endless pool of naive new victims with each new class of students.

Regards # 14, I would be very worried about the instabilities introduced into our govenment by frequent constitutional conventions. As we speak, ALEC et al is working to get us into exactly such a constitutional convention to enshrine corporate rights over citizen's rights and who knows what other fascist crap. Again to use an analogy, you really need to be very carefull when you start messing around with the structural design of an aircraft while in flight. You need to make sure first, that you know exactly what you are doing and the changes will in fact make the plane fly better, and second, that the temporary interim states as you make your changes are themselves flightworthy. If you can not be absolutely confident about both of these elements, you have a responsibility to not make any structural changes. Note that does not mean you should not be working to repair all the damage done by the infestation of rats chewing on the wiring, as well as getting rid of the rats themselves.

But such concerns are academic until we have the larger political and personal tools in hand to accomplish at least the first steps in achieving each goal on your list. Do you have some initial steps to achieving one of your goals where I can do something to help out? (Note, I have submitted some such practical approaches to some more modest goals, but they have not been vetted yet and posted on this site.)

All the best, Ron

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