Department of Bingo!
Unlike some I still have a thin shred of hope in the power of the ballot because I don't think people are stupid as a whole, just slow to learn and easily influenced.
We've had 40 years at least to prove that neo-liberal, trickle-down, perfect market economics do not work. They have demonstrated failure in tangible ways that show up at your dinner table every day as you CCPI substitute pet food for people food and wear out your cheap off shored rags in weeks and not years. Your quality of life is declining and it's harder to disguise.
This is not the inevitable increase of entropy, it's the result of management decisions made by our government to enrich our elites at the expense of everyone else.
Fortunately conditions like this do not persist. Whenever there are too many of us and not enough of them there is a revolution. The propaganda becomes repetitive and unbelievable, the cognitive dissonance too much to overcome.
You are not alone. Millions of people see the same things you do, think the same things you think. Including the elites, that's why they are worried and are investing so heavily in more propaganda and more coercive tools for the suppression of mass sentiment. Submit to the charms of illusion or the iron boot of oppression, it matters not as long as you submit.
But ultimately they are dependent on your voluntary submission. They make the calculation that they can distract you with bright and shiny objects or so disillusion you that apathy seems rebellion.
My cynicism is dark and deep, but not that deep. Nope, I'm actually an optimistic sort of guy- not that it does any good.
I think that politicians, who remain at least nominally subject to a process of public approval, and pundits/media news people, who are more directly and immediately dependent on their audience, are open to influence from the populace and ignore it at their peril.
Ways to show that are by showing up at the polls and voting Third Party, changing your registration to a Third Party, or by voting for Third Party candidates like Teachout and Wu in major party primaries. If nothing else you can make Chuck Todd's head explode which is always fun.
I approach this incrementally and pragmatically. If we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, it is still evil. If the current conditions persist more radical solutions than mine will gain urgency.
If I seem like a centrist, I AM! My beliefs are rooted in the core of New Deal Democracy and Keynesian Economics. It is Andrew Cuomo and his corrupt crony capitalism and double dealing 'bi-partisanship' that prop up the corpse of the New York Republican Party as a Boogieman too scary to dare deserting a Democratic Party that has abandoned every principle and promise.
I am not afraid.
I'd prefer that it not come to pitchforks and torches because I'm more comfortable not being poked and fire has a disturbing tendency to spread beyond your magical circle of intent, but you use the tools you have and if you doubt their efficacy in a modern environment I invite a closer study of recent developments where overwhelming power has not produced the desired results. Humans are a recalcitrant and obstinate lot.
Should you live and vote in New York as a registered Democrat I invite you today to take positive action and indicate your disapproval of Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul.
Vote for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.
It is really the very least you can do. Read more about Turnout for Teachout and Wu
WeAreChange.org: non-camping, Occupy-like movement in Europe ramps up to 100 cities, in over 2 months. Lawrence Lessig, take note!
WeAreChange.org is the best thing to come out of the 911 movement, IMO, and they've continued their fearless (and occasionally foolish, IMO) work as 911 fades from our collective memory. Luke Rudkowski founded We Are Change, and I first became aware of this new movement about 2 days ago, as he was interviewed by Max Keiser on RT television. Read more about WeAreChange.org: non-camping, Occupy-like movement in Europe ramps up to 100 cities, in over 2 months. Lawrence Lessig, take note!
The 2005 Florida Bill, signed in April 2005, broadened the meaning of (legitimate) self-defense in Florida. At least, that is how I can try to phrase it best. But you don't have to take my word.
The relevant keywords are these: Chapter 2005-27, Laws of Florida. Read more about Keywords to find the text of the 2005 Florida Law enacting "stand-your-ground"
(cross posted at The Montana Maven )
Or so Dimitri Orlov would like us to ponder. It's not a new idea, but it is an idea that doesn't get much play in the media and in our discussions with neighbors. We are told over and over that voting is the patriotic thing to do. People died for the right to vote. We get little flag stickers to put on our coats like the purple fingers of Iraqi voters. That the conventional wisdom. So why do so many Americans sit the elections out? And at the same time, if Americans do participate why do we hear over and over from pundits and comments on the blogs that those folks in Kansas and other reddish places just don't get it. "Why do they vote against their own self interests? " progressives ask. The wags note that these voters are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. But on the other hand, vast numbers of people including women and minorities vote for the blue team and get nothing substantial out of that too. So what's up? And yes, why do they even vote at all?
Orlov is a linguist and an engineer who has a blog called Club Orlov. He has also written several books, one of which, "Reinventing Collapse", I am reading for advice on how to survive such a collapse besides our two month's supply of Nalley's Chili and two generators. He emigrated to the U.S. in the mid-Seventies and made several trips back to Russia during the Soviet rule and then after the Soviet collapse. He believes that there are many lessons we in the U.S. can learn from the collapse of the other late 20th century super power. That there are more similarities than differences between the two super powers, as Orlov describes them, gave me pause. It's always interesting to look at a common question through a different set of glasses.
Both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. derived their identities from being either capitalist or communist and the "extreme adherence to one or the other" as opposed to healthier countries that mix it up is what Orlov believes led to the doom of one and the coming doom of the other. Ideologies are all well and good, he says, if they actually work. But when it becomes clear that the average working citizen is not doing so well, the legitimacy of the rigid system begins to unravel and finally collapse. He points out that Albert Camus made the observation that the two superpowers were more alike than not back in the 1950s. Camus said that a specific failure of both systems was their inability "to provide creative, meaningful work." This Orlov says leads to mass depression. Read more about Don't Feed the Animals. Why People Who Don't Vote Could Be the Smart Ones and the Real Rebels
Given that the author was kind enough to send me a free copy, the least I can do is blog about his rather wonderful little book, which I can honestly say is compelling enough to have sucked me in for reading almost half of it upon opening. Generation Atheist is a brilliantly simple concept that will warm the cockles of nontheists everywhere. Read more about Atheism in Personal Narrative: "Generation Atheism" by Dan Riley
Conversation at the bar:
“Did you see those mass demonstrations in Madrid? And the cops were brutal. But the people kept coming. ” says the Anarchist Rancher Gal.
“Them people ought to accept austerity,” says Neighbor Guy.
“What is austerity?” ARG says.
Deer in headlights.
“Let me help you out. You work in the county clerk's office. It means telling you that you can’t retire, they are reducing your salary, and when you do retire, there will be no pension money for you. Meanwhile the wealthy (in this case, the Spanish wealthy) have enough money to pay back all the debt. They think the people in those Madrid streets are turds. (pause) Them people are you. “ Read more about "Them People"
"The reality is that representative democracy, at the core, has to be about people voting, has to be about people engaging in political parties, has to be about people having contact with elected representatives, and having faith and trust in elected representatives, as well as those representatives demonstrating they can exercise political power effectively and make decisions that tend to be approved of," said Wilks-Heeg." Read more about A chicken or egg story
At The Agonist appears a thread entitled Liberals Are Fapping. The specific thread subject doesn't really matter (something about how Republican dying demographics are killing the party, and how the same could just as easily happen to the Dems).
The specifics don't matter because liberals are always fapping. It's who they are, it's what they do. Read more about Thread title of the day
After opposing the Job Guarantee proposal as part of the broader MMT policy program in service of the goals of public purpose, full employment with a living wage and price stability, and for many weeks now, combining with Mike Sankowski and Carlos Mucha to found “Monetary Realism” and also saying: Read more about That's Not All!
I'm reading an interview of Jill Stein by Steve Horn at TruthOut, done in Madison, WI this past December 15th. Quite interesting and highly recommended. At one point in the interview, Ms. Stein says that she has had Ron Paul supporters say that if Paul is not the nominee, they are going to vote for her, because she is the only one talking about civil liberties. Take that, liberals!! Read more about Jill Stein Interview