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Posted: 17 June 2013 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Cloak-I think it’s fairer to say that this “overdue tune-up” you speak of is never going to happen, not while the constructs that we’ve built to prevent such solutions still exist.

Actually, that’s completely unfair.  Tune-ups happen with pretty good regularity in this country. 

Look, I’m not saying that the Libertarian-socialist vision of society is exactly the way things should work. I’m just saying that anything that is remotely close to it is better than this. That’s what we should be shooting for, instead of repeatedly placing our hope in the next slick package that the Rebloodlicans or Democrips introduce to us.

And it is not about finding a system that “I could be happy in”. I am more concerned about my two daughters’ futures.

It is exactly about you finding a system you can be happy in. That’s for your daughter’s benefit. And yours.

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Posted: 17 June 2013 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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VYAZMA - 17 June 2013 09:26 AM

Actually, that’s completely unfair.  Tune-ups happen with pretty good regularity in this country.

I’d welcome a tune-up whole-heartedly, but it would have to be one massive tune-up, of the likes of something even more significant than Roosevelt’s New Deal, and I don’t have much faith that anything like that is going to happen anytime soon. How likely do you see that happening, now that our political system is almost completely under the control of a small group of people? The liberal class, who has been the engine for most of the positive sociological process our country has experienced, is almost completely dead. Most of them has been polarized, divided, and turned into an army of apathetic, helpless, and confused consumers who are more worried about the next version of the iPhone than what is happening to this country, and consequently, the world. Unemployment has barely budged in a positive direction, and Washington and its economists continually lie about the real numbers. The national debt is so high now that it’s absolutely impossible to pay off without just saying “screw it” and canceling the debt, which also doesn’t seem likely. Meanwhile, average people are repeatedly having to foot the bill while the profits of those who put us where we currently are continue to soar higher into the stratosphere at record levels. Not to mention that outsourcing and exponential technological advancement (the biggest job-killing elephant in the room of this capitalistic system) continue to increase, putting more and more people out of the job market that they rely on. We’re at the point where we barely care about the fact that most of presidents, including Obama, are potential war criminals.

I haven’t even gotten into the myriads of civil liberties that have been completely eviscerated by our “political process” over the last 40-50 years, the same political process that we are counting on to “save” us. And then there’s climate change and environmental destruction, a problem that this current system is completely paralyzed from solving, and perhaps even opposed to fixing.

In light of the current circumstances, friend, you’ll have to pardon me for my lack of faith in this current system.

It is exactly about you finding a system you can be happy in. That’s for your daughter’s benefit. And yours.

I’m fine with that, as long as you understand that this isn’t just about me. My concern is for our civilization, not just my own personal preferences.

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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Posted: 17 June 2013 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

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Posted: 17 June 2013 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Lois - 17 June 2013 03:25 PM
mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

I was joking with TimB, I have no interest in public office.

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Posted: 17 June 2013 11:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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mid atlantic - 17 June 2013 11:01 PM
Lois - 17 June 2013 03:25 PM
mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

I was joking with TimB, I have no interest in public office.

I like Plato’s suggestion from the Republic: Elect the wisest philosopher who abhors governing to become King. Can you picture the Platonists who followed the publication of that?

“So who should be King? Certainly, I shall not!”
So the people overwhelmingly voted him as King.

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Posted: 18 June 2013 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Scott Mayers - 17 June 2013 11:42 PM
mid atlantic - 17 June 2013 11:01 PM
Lois - 17 June 2013 03:25 PM
mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

I was joking with TimB, I have no interest in public office.

I like Plato’s suggestion from the Republic: Elect the wisest philosopher who abhors governing to become King. Can you picture the Platonists who followed the publication of that?

“So who should be King? Certainly, I shall not!”
So the people overwhelmingly voted him as King.

The problem here is that power corrupts. Obama is a clear example of this. Power and wealth can be intoxicating, and it’s very easy to change your philosophy about life when someone is offering you more power and wealth than you ever imagined. Truth is, Obama sold out. Most people will. And I’m one of those who believe that Obama was actually once a decent guy.

Sure, there may be a few people in this world who would not cave, but they are so rare, that the idea of giving one person or a group of people so much control or influence is nothing more than simply asking for trouble. Your hypothetical good-natured philosopher would be subject to the same pressures, and the chances are, he’d probably cave too.

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Posted: 19 June 2013 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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It is also possible that the president has a lot less power to do either good or bad than what we think.

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Posted: 19 June 2013 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Cloak - 18 June 2013 07:30 PM
Scott Mayers - 17 June 2013 11:42 PM
mid atlantic - 17 June 2013 11:01 PM
Lois - 17 June 2013 03:25 PM
mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

I was joking with TimB, I have no interest in public office.

I like Plato’s suggestion from the Republic: Elect the wisest philosopher who abhors governing to become King. Can you picture the Platonists who followed the publication of that?


Yes, which is why the founding fathers made three branches of government, independent,  with as little overlap as possible.  I guess they couldn’t predict how that system would become as corrupt as a monarchy, which they were trying to avoid. Nothing stops political corruption.  It will break down every system.

 

“So who should be King? Certainly, I shall not!”
So the people overwhelmingly voted him as King.

The problem here is that power corrupts. Obama is a clear example of this. Power and wealth can be intoxicating, and it’s very easy to change your philosophy about life when someone is offering you more power and wealth than you ever imagined. Truth is, Obama sold out. Most people will. And I’m one of those who believe that Obama was actually once a decent guy.

Sure, there may be a few people in this world who would not cave, but they are so rare, that the idea of giving one person or a group of people so much control or influence is nothing more than simply asking for trouble. Your hypothetical good-natured philosopher would be subject to the same pressures, and the chances are, he’d probably cave too.

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Posted: 19 June 2013 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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mid atlantic - 17 June 2013 11:01 PM
Lois - 17 June 2013 03:25 PM
mid atlantic - 16 June 2013 10:50 PM
TimB - 16 June 2013 12:44 PM

BTW, mid, You seem to be pretty cool.  Perhaps you could test your assertion by running for office.

I’m under 35.

But if I had the opportunity to run for political office, I might - just for experimental purposes!

You can be a Senator at 30 or a Represntative at 25.  You can be even younger for some state elected positions, some as young as 18.

You have to start somewhere.  You can’t get elected president without having some previous elected experience.
If you’re under 18, you’ll have to wait.  But you could get started by helping with someone else’s campaign.  Why twiddle your thumbs? You might learn something.

Lois

I was joking with TimB, I have no interest in public office.

Ok, but you can’t change much without it.

Lois

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Posted: 19 June 2013 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Lois - 19 June 2013 07:08 AM

Yes, which is why the founding fathers made three branches of government, independent,  with as little overlap as possible.  I guess they couldn’t predict how that system would become as corrupt as a monarchy, which they were trying to avoid. Nothing stops political corruption.  It will break down every system.

Yes, and apparently, they somehow thought it unfathomable that the three most powerful groups in the country could just as easily team up and work together.

When you develop a society that combines centralized power systems with an economic system that incentivizes corruption, you eventually get a system like this one.

Until we grow out of the deceptive notion that this is the best system that we can produce, and that its extreme failures are just “necessary evils”, we will continue to watch as our corporate masters, whether through the Republican or Democratic parties, eviscerate the bill of rights, and use the constitution as toilet paper.

But of course, there’s always the next “election” right? Because we know that actually changes things….right? See you at the booth!

Orwell, Huxley, here we come.

[ Edited: 19 June 2013 02:32 PM by Cloak ]
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- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 22 June 2013 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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(CLICK HERE) Open your eyes, people. See what is happening outside of your borders to innocent people.

What exactly will it take….?

[ Edited: 22 June 2013 11:08 AM by Cloak ]
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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 22 June 2013 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Until we grow out of the deceptive notion that this is the best system that we can produce, and that its extreme failures are just “necessary evils”, we will continue to watch as our corporate masters, whether through the Republican or Democratic parties, eviscerate the bill of rights, and use the constitution as toilet paper.

Cloak, the best way to prevent the above is to, as we used to say, get involved. Either join a movement to curtail the evils you mention (and there are no “necessary evils” just evils) or form one. If you believe strongly enough that parts of the system are flawed then do something about it. Our history is peppered with individuals who felt as you do from the original rebels to Caesar Chavez and many more. And yes the ballot box works. That’s how we defeated the “corporate masters” and their puppets a la Karl Rove to put Obama in the White House, and despite what you think of his performance he’s a hellova lot better than the “have more” puppet and corporate candidate we kept out of power.

Obama’s main problem is in getting a handle on what he actually controls. The NSA “scandal” is a classic example. No he isn’t omniscient but he needs to take a closer look at the various depts under his purview. The Executive Branch has grown with the needs of a growing population and now employs over three million people (which is why the Reps. whine about cutting gov’t spending). That plus the stonewalling by the Teabaggers in the House has curtailed and in some cases prevented needed legislation from passing. But hey, just having the Tea Party IN Congress, albeit an ultraconservative group should tell you something about the power of the ballot. They consider themselves a grassroots political faction and have been very effective throughout both of his admins. BTW the Republican Party began as a third party with Linoln as their second candidate before the people dumped the Whigs.

Drone strikes are another’s example of a prez. Listening to his military advisors. Sometimes they have to be reined in as their main purpose is to protect us from the “bad guys”. Drones are too easy to be used recklessly as the operators are no where near the front to actually get a handle on the local intell. It seems that they see a group of men and drop a missle on them. It’s indiscriminate and needs to be used only when that group has been found to be actual terrorists. Personally, I don’t like the idea of “collateral damage”, especially when we’re not at war with Pakistan. So, if you feel strongly about drones then write your congressman and senators, go on YouTube and state your case, plan a street march, start a petition around, run for congress in your district, join an anti drone movement and be prepared for flag waving patriots who don’t feel as you do for whatever reason because they’re following their own aims and goals. The system may not be utopia as Plato Envisioned it but it still works if enough of us make it work. Complacency and apathy will allow for corruption. Believe me, the “haves” rely on it. “Drink your beer, watch the game and leave governing to us”.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 22 June 2013 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 22 June 2013 04:05 AM

Until we grow out of the deceptive notion that this is the best system that we can produce, and that its extreme failures are just “necessary evils”, we will continue to watch as our corporate masters, whether through the Republican or Democratic parties, eviscerate the bill of rights, and use the constitution as toilet paper.

Cloak, the best way to prevent the above is to, as we used to say, get involved. Either join a movement to curtail the evils you mention (and there are no “necessary evils” just evils) or form one. If you believe strongly enough that parts of the system are flawed then do something about it. Our history is peppered with individuals who felt as you do from the original rebels to Caesar Chavez and many more. And yes the ballot box works. That’s how we defeated the “corporate masters” and their puppets a la Karl Rove to put Obama in the White House, and despite what you think of his performance he’s a hellova lot better than the “have more” puppet and corporate candidate we kept out of power.

Obama’s main problem is in getting a handle on what he actually controls. The NSA “scandal” is a classic example. No he isn’t omniscient but he needs to take a closer look at the various depts under his purview. The Executive Branch has grown with the needs of a growing population and now employs over three million people (which is why the Reps. whine about cutting gov’t spending). That plus the stonewalling by the Teabaggers in the House has curtailed and in some cases prevented needed legislation from passing. But hey, just having the Tea Party IN Congress, albeit an ultraconservative group should tell you something about the power of the ballot. They consider themselves a grassroots political faction and have been very effective throughout both of his admins. BTW the Republican Party began as a third party with Linoln as their second candidate before the people dumped the Whigs.

Drone strikes are another’s example of a prez. Listening to his military advisors. Sometimes they have to be reined in as their main purpose is to protect us from the “bad guys”. Drones are too easy to be used recklessly as the operators are no where near the front to actually get a handle on the local intell. It seems that they see a group of men and drop a missle on them. It’s indiscriminate and needs to be used only when that group has been found to be actual terrorists. Personally, I don’t like the idea of “collateral damage”, especially when we’re not at war with Pakistan. So, if you feel strongly about drones then write your congressman and senators, go on YouTube and state your case, plan a street march, start a petition around, run for congress in your district, join an anti drone movement and be prepared for flag waving patriots who don’t feel as you do for whatever reason because they’re following their own aims and goals. The system may not be utopia as Plato Envisioned it but it still works if enough of us make it work. Complacency and apathy will allow for corruption. Believe me, the “haves” rely on it. “Drink your beer, watch the game and leave governing to us”.


Cap’t Jack

I am involved. I support a number of social movements, both financially and physically when possible. I don’t just talk. I’ve been in the streets rallying with others. I’ve directly engaged the “flag-wavers. Most of them aren’t a problem, as long as you know how to respectfully approach them and kindly explain your concerns to them. It comes down to how you respond to their hate speech. You can usually tell which ones are worth your time and which ones aren’t. I’ve brought food and water specifically for those types, so that I can sit with them and discuss my concerns with them, without them feeling like I’m an enemy to the things that they love. The problem is that both sides have allowed this situation to become so ridiculously polarized, that people can’t have a fair discussion about the issues without seeing the other person as “the enemy”. I’m 30 years old, and I’ve been writing to politicians since I was in my mid teens. I still do. If I didn’t think that there was still a sliver of hope, I wouldn’t be wasting my time. Bottom line: I’m not the complacent or apathetic one.

What bothers me so much here is the left’s perpetual insistence to only speak about Obama in languages of absolution, no matter how severe the grievance is. If something doesn’t get done, it’s always because of “Republican obstruction”. If some scandal surfaces, it’s because Obama “never really knew about it until now”. If we hear about atrocities committed in the name of “freedom” or the elusive “War on Terror”, they chalk it up to Obama’s incompetence, and say things like “well, he’s trying to get a handle on things” or “he’s not omniscient”. It’s as if the majority of the “liberal” base (as if they can truly still be called liberal anymore) is committed to justifying everything he does, or distancing him from every single bad thing that happens in his administration. This is extremely annoying and it almost feels like talking to an answer machine (“press “1” for our answer to scandals, and press “2” for our answer to atrocities”).

A little over half a century ago, the type of stuff that Obama’s administration gets away with would have caused massive marches on the White House, protests, and labor strikes. (CLICK) We can’t even get this administration to support us on the most basic things. Whatever happened to you guys? Almost every single victory for the people that occurred throughout history was pioneered by the liberal class. Yet, now you people barely even speak up anymore, unless it’s in support of Obama and in disdain for those “corporate-loving” Republicans. Instead, it always comes down to being “well, at least it’s not Romney or McCain!” Is that all that matters now? I thought the elections were over. Why are we still talking about them? (CLICK) Why aren’t we confronting real issues here?

You want to know why the Tea Party flooded the House? It’s actually much simpler than you may think. As small as they are (in comparison to the liberal class), they won because they actually believed what they preached, and they put boots to the ground. They simply outdid the liberals. They were so serious that they even scared the heck out of the Republican Party. People can demonize them and talk as much crap about them as they want, but the real difference is that they actually did something.  In the meantime, liberals sat back in their online circles and bragged about their perceived moral superiority over those “evil Rethuglicans”. Even the Republican party recognized their power, which is why they ended up blackballing Ron Paul in order to keep him out of the mainstream public eye. I personally know a large number of former young liberals who directly switched to Libertarian during those times, because they no longer felt that the democrats had any real viable solutions anymore.

(CLICK) I’m the one that is arguing against complacency and apathy. I want the liberal class to get pissed off again, get out of their houses, and join their fellow brothers and sisters (including those on the right) in sending a message to the White House. If not, if they instead continue to choose to focus on engaging in intellectual circle jerks about their perceived “moral superiority” over everyone else, then we are done as a country. We will continue to slip into a sweatshop culture, where education, wages, and even our basic civil rights, will continue to be slashed to make room for bigger corporate profits. And our children will get it even worse…

[ Edited: 22 June 2013 11:50 AM by Cloak ]
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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 22 June 2013 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Cloak - 22 June 2013 11:18 AM

I’m 30 years old, and I’ve been writing to politicians since I was in my mid teens.

You’re 30? I thought you were 40-something, haha. We are about the same age then; maybe that’s why we don’t see the democrat/republican dichotomy the same as our “elders”.

What bothers me so much here is the left’s perpetual insistence to only speak about Obama in languages of absolution, no matter how severe the grievance is. If something doesn’t get done, it’s always because of “Republican obstruction”. If some scandal surfaces, it’s because Obama “never really knew about it until now”. If we hear about atrocities committed in the name of “freedom” or the elusive “War on Terror”, they chalk it up to Obama’s incompetence, and say things like “well, he’s trying to get a handle on things” or “he’s not omniscient”. It’s as if the majority of the “liberal” base (as if they can truly still be called liberal anymore) is committed to justifying everything he does, or distancing him from every single bad thing that happens in his administration. This is extremely annoying and it almost feels like talking to an answer machine (“press “1” for our answer to scandals, and press “2” for our answer to atrocities”).

The ones who believe this are probably hopeless, in this regard. They drool over Obama - his “Blackness” has something to do with it, IMO.

[ Edited: 22 June 2013 11:58 PM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 23 June 2013 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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(CLICK) I’m the one that is arguing against complacency and apathy. I want the liberal class to get pissed off again, get out of their houses, and join their fellow brothers and sisters (including those on the right) in sending a message to the White House. If not, if they instead continue to choose to focus on engaging in intellectual circle jerks about their perceived “moral superiority” over everyone else, then we are done as a country. We will continue to slip into a sweatshop culture, where education, wages, and even our basic civil rights, will continue to be slashed to make room for bigger corporate profits. And our children will get it even worse…

Excellent idea Cloak and I’m glad to hear that people your age are beginning to become more active, no matter what the cause. BTW don’t vilify me as an apologist for Obama, and what I said about not being omniscient is correct. All too often presidents allow themselves to be surrounded either by yes men or those who want to protect him or the reputation of the office. that being said, I totally agree with your contention that no public officeholder be they dog catcher or president is above the criticism of the people. let’s make certain however that that criticism is justified and not propaganda, rumor, or innuendoes, e.g. Birthers and truthers. There’s a hellova lot of misinformation out there and red herrings abound. Bringing things back into focus gives us something to shoot for, like jobs, the debt, intervention in foreign countries and many of the issues you mention. What I do criticize the prez. For is not clearing up the crap from the previous admin. and getting a handle on the drone and surveillance issue. Those problems need clearing up ASAP. He also needs to push for legislation on the growing AGW problem by encouraging green energy that would benefit us all, even the fat cats. FYI, I got started as an activist in college, joined a campus organization to stop the Vietnam war, marched, passed out petitions, marched for Civil Rights issues and pushed for an amendment that would allow our generation to vote, I.e. the 26 Amendment. I’m still active in our local teacher’s union and have been for 25 years. I’m turning 65 this year and plan to stay politically active until they kick me in a hole. And when I say I’m a liberal dem. it refers to the above; you could say I’m a pragmatic progressive who abhors apathy, super patriotism, and corporate greed. I’m also an egalitarian if that really means anything to you. But above all, I’m an educator and most interested in clearing up the myriad problems we have in our educational system. It’s my own little corner if the Workd in which to make a difference.

You’re right about the liberal class needing to get pissed off again. I’ve been preaching this for years. Change has to come from those who are willing to get out there and do the leg work, man the phones, write congressmen, run for office and hell, march. Fist pumping in the bar does nothing but make you thirsty. Pulling both sides back to the center however is going to be a tough job and it’s going to take cool heads in order to pull it off. How do we get people to stop listening to The media hype, trolling on the Internet, and snipping at each other via Facebook? Your generation is much more adept than we are at tackling this problem. Any solutions? Oh, and BTW don’t either or yourself into a corner and just give up. You guys just might pull it off and bring us back together.


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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