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Charles Pierce at Esquire has distilled into a single paragraph more truths about the nature of our presidency, as currently constituted, than should be allowed.  

In other words, it's a deadly rant.

Before getting to the paragraph-long rant of his I've included below, let's first look at what set him off, which is this tidbit from The New York Times:

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators' demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.
So here we have the White House a) refusing access to the legal rationale behind the president's assumed right to kill Americans anywhere he or she chooses, including ostensibly within the borders of the United States, while b) kowtowing to GOP whining for more information about the anti-Obama distraction machine that is Benghazi.

Which is why Pierce, smoke pouring out of his ears, concluded a recent piece in this way:

This is what happens when you elect someone -- anyone -- to the presidency as that office is presently constituted. Of all the various Washington mystery cults, the one at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue is the most impenetrable. This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment -- is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future. The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that's become the precise job description.
Reading this, I cringe. I cringe because of how painfully obvious its truths have become.


Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:07 PM PST.

Also republished by The Rebel Alliance.

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    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:07:12 PM PST

  •  I want to say this began with Nixon, but I'm not (20+ / 0-)

    that naive.  It's become worse and worse over the decades, and while I think the worst was in the Bush years with starting wars, torturing prisoners and generally refusing to allow people to even show up when Congress subpoenaed them, but I'll agree that the Presidency is above the law.  And sadly, the person occupying that office has the ability to pardon any and everyone who breaks the law at his request.  

    I'll just say I like this President and his actions a whole lot more than the last one so while I also decry the lawbreaking and allowing other lawbreakers of the Bush presidency era to go unpunished, I don't see anyone capable of changing the way things work in Washington.  Does that make me a bad person?  Perhaps...

    •  1789. Insufficient Checks. nt (11+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:36:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, though insufficient checks is (48+ / 0-)

        an insufficient explanation. The country was founded and built on the blood of people of color, and it's never stopped killing and stealing from people of color. I'd say a turning point came, however, when Truman founded the National Security State, and then a half century later when communism faded, depriving the US of its pretext for imperialism, Bush created a new one with his "war on terror," which Prez Obama has "perfected" with his reliance on covert, drone-heavy dirty wars.

        What's somewhat notable about today is the lack of people in Congress willing to push back and the lack of political movements able to. It's fallen on Rand Paul to take a stand, albeit in a predictably America-centric way.

        As for activism, I'll link to another righteous rant, which applies to a range of issues, including this one:

        It would be incredibly worthwhile to exercise some self-examination at this point, to question the entire value of building these ad hoc organizations at the edges of the halls of power, and then working through polite channels and gentle nudges to get as much progress as possible, as long as it doesn’t disrupt being able to sit in on meetings with senior Administration officials and the like.

        We talk a lot about broken models. The DC progressive model is broken. It does nothing but facilitate the injustices readily evident in this case. A good use of time at the next board meeting would consist of a moment of self-examination, and maybe entertaining a motion for dissolution. Those of us demanding justice and accountability will always have to fight for it, and maybe next time we could use some colleagues with more than a squirt gun.

        •  Too bad Rand (or Ron, for that matter) is such a (9+ / 0-)

          nut job on most other issues. We could use a whole lot of smart libertarians, and civil libertarians in particular, in Congress -- instead of the craven, narcissistic lickspittle toadies we've mostly got.

          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Kombema on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:38:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We had Dems who confronted excessive executive (17+ / 0-)

            power in the 70s.  The likes of Ervin, Cox, and Rodino exposed the lies, the overreach, and the cover-ups of the Nixon WH.  21 months after a landslide re-election, Tricky Dick was driven from office b/c of his view that, if the president did it, it wasn't illegal.

            Today, we have unaccountable executive power that constitutes Nixon on steroids.  There was a post-9/11 naked executive power grab by the prior WH, and there has been a ratification, if not an extension, of that grab by the current WH.   Except for the occasional righteous rant like Pierce's, however, few seem to care.

            At this point, I'm really not sure what we can do to restore something resembling a balance between the branches in the "national security" field.  

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:39:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It does seem like the horse is almost out of the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RFK Lives, PhilJD

              barn at this point. As you note, and we were warned time and again, to no avail, once a freedom is relinquished, it's almost impossible to get it back.

              We're like sheep to the slaughter. Easy come easy go, I guess.

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:47:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  There are a few (10+ / 0-)

            Senators sounding good notes -- like Wyden and Mark Udall -- but they are, by various accounts, under enormous pressure from the White House and will likely fold, as Democratic Sens tend to.

            Udall, for his part, says he wants to be able to assess the admin's legal case for its TK program before deciding whether to confirm Brennan.

            •  Still mostly kibuki, I'd say, though -- much as I (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              david mizner, apimomfan2

              respect Wyden and Udall. The Dem Party has tremendous ability to punish them if they get out of line, and so they'll in the end be good boys and not create too much grief.

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:49:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I don't see how he can support Brennan as long as (7+ / 0-)

              he can get no answer to the question about whether Brennan feels they have the right to kill anyone in this Country without any due process and based on secret evidence.
              http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

              Indeed it does. In fact, it is repellent to think that any member of the Senate Intelligence Committee - which claims to conduct oversight over the intelligence community - would vote to confirm Obama's CIA director while both the president and the nominee simply ignore their most basic question about what the president believes his own powers to be when it comes to targeting US citizens for assassination on US soil.

              Udall also pointed to this New York Times article from yesterday detailing the growing anger on the part of several Democratic senators, including him, over the lack of transparency regarding the multiple legal opinions that purport to authorize the president's assassination power. Not only does the Obama administration refuse to make these legal memoranda public - senators have been repeatedly demanding for more than full year to see them - but they only two weeks ago permitted members to look at two of those memos, but "were available to be viewed only for a limited time and only by senators themselves, not their lawyers and experts." Said Udall in response to my questions yesterday: "Congress needs to fulfill its oversight function. This can't happen when members only have a short time to review complicated legal documents — as I did two weeks ago — and without any expert staff assistance or access to delve more deeply into the details."

              Critically, the documents that are being concealed by the Obama administration are not operational plans or sensitive secrets. They are legal documents that, like the leaked white paper, simply purport to set forth the president's legal powers of execution and assassination. As Democratic lawyers relentlessly pointed out when the Bush administration also concealed legal memos authorizing presidential powers, keeping such documents secret is literally tantamount to maintaining "secret law". These are legal principles governing what the president can and cannot do - purported law - and US citizens are being barred from knowing what those legal claims are.

              (emphasis mine)

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:55:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  truman recognized it was out of control (32+ / 0-)

          in his op-ed dec 1963. the cia should not be operational he said. also in the book plain speaking by miller. WW2 changed america. the absolute power we held at his close is what corrupted the american state. and absolutely when the berlin wall fell, a new enemy had to be found to justify a world wide military.

          war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

          by just want to comment on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:47:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  In the eyes of the corporatocracy.... (8+ / 0-)

          ...

          The country was founded and built on the blood of people of color, and it's never stopped killing and stealing from people of color.
          ....

          ...this is now who we all are.
          They do not see our color, just our expendability.

          Nameless, faceless humans to be manipulated, used up and cast by the wayside when it is expedient to support the bottom line.

          I long for those naive years when i had hope and belief that the good fight would prevail.

          •  agreed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, flowerfarmer, lotlizard

            I've been making this argument for a while.  Not many people were outraged for the past few decades when unemployment was at depression era levels in the poor urban areas of this country.  The media didn't cover it and most people didn't know it existed.  And the politicians only supported policies that made it worse (drug war, for profit prisons, etc).   Some of it was racism but more so I believe it was that those communities had no political power and their ills could be turned into profits.

            Guess what?  That's who you are now.  

            "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

            by onemadson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:36:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  very scary "those communities had no political (0+ / 0-)

              power"

              people on the lowest rung of our society have always had all they can do to keep alive; the"official" identification needed to vote is reputed to subject them to penalties, among other explanations for their historic nonparticipation in the process

              now many in the working class are feeling something similar: a loss of connection to the center of power, such as it was when fdr and his cohort expressed and delivered the people's agenda

              but that was a long time ago and before the media became massive and supreme, and have conditioned the public to complacency regarding the conduct of the, not "its"' govt

      •  I'm thinking they should have included (5+ / 0-)

        Tribune of the People as a way to check on the checks and balances. It seemed they were aware, Washington even wrote of it directly, that the inevitable outcome of factionalism is tyranny and corruption.


        We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

        by Jim P on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:14:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Trubunes of the People in Rome (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Helpless

          were almost immediately corrupted as soon as they became insiders. Eventually the powers of the Tribunes were given to the Emperors.

          The problem can only be addressed by empowering outsiders through such means as class-action suits, FOIA, meaningful whistle-blower protections, the recall, and much more. However, putting Constitutional amendments to majority popular vote, as in the California initiative, goes much too far.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:37:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd settle for whistle-blower protections (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snoopydawg, aliasalias

            Recall?  In a perfect world, but our Congress will never go for it.

            Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

            by Helpless on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:28:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There's a good work of fiction (0+ / 0-)

            by Steven Saylor called "Rome" detailing a Roman family from 1000 BC - 1 BC.  There was one chapter in which an abusive tribune used his office to persecute a patrician he disliked.

            "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

            by TLS66 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:24:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My favorite author of Roman mysteries. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TLS66, PhilJD

              Still, the Tribune functioned on the people's behalf for most of the period before Sulla.

              John Maddox Robert's "SPQR" series comes in a close second to Saylor.


              We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

              by Jim P on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:55:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've read both Maddox Roberts and Saylor (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Jim P

                Have to agree with you.  I think Saylor's writing is perhaps a bit less on the humor and his writing style more epic. His book "Catalina's Riddle" rivals Colleen McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series in sheer epic panorama.  Maddox Robert's "SPQR" books are good for a light read .. perhaps in bed or on the beach.  If you want something with more heft, turn to Saylor.

                Of course, Roberts cdoes have some epic books as well. His books "Hannibal's Children" and "The Seven Hills" fit that description very nicely.  It's a shame I haven'rt seen a third book in that series.

                "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

                by TLS66 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:11:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thing with Saylor is his detail (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TLS66

                  of Roman daily life, which hooked me. Plus the characters, most of all, The Finder. Bonus: all the tales are plausible within the known historical record of the public figures. His first case for Cicero is built around Cicero's actual trial speech, for instance. Although Saylor's mysteries aren't really all that mysterious.

                  Mr Saylor, btw, is very gracious and quick to respond to emails and questions.

                  Roberts, too, gives good detail of daily life. And a light and enjoyable read. Much fun! And I'm also disappointed that the third book has not appeared.

                  If you are interested in alternate history, I can't recommend the 1632 series more highly.

                  I tried McCullough once long ago. I have to try again.


                  We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

                  by Jim P on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:32:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  OT, but Jim, I just love your sig n/t (4+ / 0-)


          Information is power. But; like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. Aaron Swartz ~1986-2013~

          by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:21:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The countours (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        of the War making authority of the President aren't well defined, and coupled with an AUMF that was open ended and very broad and you wind up where we are.

        As long as the AUMF remains in force, the President is going to have a decent legal claim to base these actions on, as Armando showed.

        We have to repeal the AUMF - this has to be a central focus of our efforts in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2016.

        Because the only place liberals have any significant influence is there.  It used to be that activists had clout within the party - but that went away when OFA became the place where activists did their work.  In the past, a Democratic President had to at least to listen to groups like the ADA or the Unions.  But Obama built his own activist organization, and so the independent voices that existed previously are now completely marginalized, and reduced to fuming in silence.  

        I don't think people have realized the significance of OFA, and the power it has given Obama within the party. Understand that every Democratic Senator is desperate to benefit from OFA - and that limits their space to oppose Obama.

        Depressingly, the nomination looks like it is Hillary's for the taking.  Unlike 2008, where there was ample sign that Hillary was vulnerable, I see nothing that suggests she won't the nomination in a walk.

        Obama's Secretary of State isn't likely to change these policies.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:56:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (4+ / 0-)
          We have to repeal the AUMF - this has to be a central focus of our efforts in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2016.
          Idiots in Congress never sunset the legislation.

          I think just about any legislation should have a sunset clause.

          If it's important enough to pass a law once, it should be important enough to pass another one.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:20:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  British Empire. Ours is a clone with some (0+ / 0-)

        modifications.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:49:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  1789 expected the President to be weak (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        Weak by today's standards, anyway. The Federalist Papers reasoned that real power would be in the hands of the people holding the checkbook, the House of Representatives.

        It is perpetual war that undermined this idea.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:59:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You like this President ... (12+ / 0-)

      and his actions more. But what about the next one? The Republican one, who will take every expansion of power Obama enabled and double down on it? Is your home out of drone range?

      A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

      by edg on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:20:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course not. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiot, artmartin, Hoosier Al, hooper

        My mission is to help support those politicians who I believe can direct this country in the direction I want.  I realize my influence is basically unnoticed since I can't contribute tens of thousands or even millions of dollars, but I will contribute what I can, be it money, time, effort, a voice, whatever, and I don't have to love my choice to choose them over someone who represents what I loathe.

        I can't undermine the government by myself and I'm not going to go support someone who can't affect change even though the change they'd like is what I'd like myself.  I am pragmatic, which may not satisfy many here at Kos.

        •  Pragmatic? (10+ / 0-)

          'who I believe can direct this country in the direction I want.' The direction this administration is taking isn't even Democratic let alone democratic. It's not a question of a pragmatic direction it's the opposite it's supporting the direction that you oppose. This administration and the established D party machine along with the media, including the so called progressive left, has effectively neutered all opposition to Axelrod's 'world as we find it.' There is no democratic or even moderate 'way forward' through our useless electoral system. The Democrat's at this time are much more effective at implementing 'oligarchical collectivism'. Obama is an effective PR marketing spokesperson who has double speak down to a rhetorical art form. Trouble is in order to believe what he's saying requires double think. The way forward he preached is the Third Way and is no direction home.      

               

      •  or the next Dem president (6+ / 0-)

        who, if current trends continue, will be another ThirdWay/DLC/neoliberal acolyte?  

        Will we watch as they, too become more deeply entrenched with those who purchase his/her seat and continue farther down the path of gutting the Constitution and destroying our economy?

        Some things are almost as bad as the GOP, sometimes they're worse.  At least with GOP leaders, its possible to mount a loyal opposition from the progressive flank and expose their corruption and insanity.   Can't do that as easily with corrupt ThirdWay/DLC/neolib Dems.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:58:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's the same question I asked devoted Bush fans (0+ / 0-)

        and I got no response, or at least one that made any sense.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:59:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's an incredibly frustrating challenge for (25+ / 0-)

      democratic Democratic advocates today.

      Not only is the office itself no longer subject to the checks and balances of the past, but ironically we have no idea to what extent any president is able to act as free agent, in either word or deed.  If the latter is true, to a far greater
      extent than has existed in the past, then it would explain
      all of the inconsistencies, disconnections, and other illogical behaviors that are otherwise inexplicable.

      Assuming also the office itself while theoretically allowing greater exercise of power is controlled by forces beyond the person of the particular president would render criticism of Obama irrelevant, but it would also render the ability to petition and protest meaningless.  The antithesis of a hopeful truth unless one chooses to place hope in an event(s) beyond human control.

      I think the two "issues" that will clarify for even the marginally informed the truth about how and why our government operates will be what we are calling austerity and global climate change.

      More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

      by blueoasis on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:21:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It actually started with Wilson and the sedition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD

      prosecutions during WW I and then the Palmer Raids after the war: Hello, National Security State.

    •  Was it? (3+ / 0-)
      ...and while I think the worst was in the Bush years with starting wars, torturing prisoners and generally refusing to allow people to even show up when Congress subpoenaed them...
      Or did people just talk about it more? I guess it's not starting  war when we bomb in other countries because hey nobody declared it, is rendition to other countries actually not torture because we don't know if or how many have been? Of course you may be right about "allowing people" to do what any citizen in America is required to do.
      I'll just say I like this President and his actions a whole lot more than the last one so while I also decry the lawbreaking and allowing other lawbreakers of the Bush presidency era to go unpunished, I don't see anyone capable of changing the way things work in Washington.
      That is because everybody quit trying because of the D behind the name. I look forward to the day when the name carries an R maybe people will try again.

      There are no sacred cows.

      by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:07:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama certainly has the legal authority (4+ / 0-)

      to change the way things work in Washington.  That he chooses not to do so means that he has other priorities.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:40:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been a big supporter of the President (27+ / 0-)

    and definitely felt an Obama loss last year would be the end of civilization.
    However, I pretty much agree with the opinion above and am ready to have an end to all of the crap associated with the war on terror.
    We need to get started now, because even if we have enough faith in Obama's character to use his power wisely,
    we don't know who will be Pres. in 2016.
    However, while we have to hammer the executive on this, we have to hammer Congress even harder because they stopped the closing of Gitmo, etc. We also have to hammer them both on selections to the federal judiciary, and we also have to weed out neo-cons from the Pentagon. ETc.  

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:23:34 PM PST

    •  If you have faith in the character of a person (36+ / 0-)

      you know absolutely nothing about, who was marketed to you like soap or cigarettes, you're engaged in magical thinking and it's not likely that rational arguments will ever persuade you of anything.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:28:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who really knows any of these people? (38+ / 0-)

        I think it was fair to believe that a teacher of constitutional law and community organizer who was against the Iraq War from day one wouldn't turn out to be Lyndon Johnson jr. Who could've guessed? We can know them well enough, but as Charles Piece writes:

        This is what happens when you elect someone -- anyone -- to the presidency as that office is presently constituted.
        Power corrupts and at the end of the day no one can be trusted with it. Not even those folks who claim they're incorruptible.

        “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

        by Jason Hackman on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:30:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, this sums it up for me perfectly. (8+ / 0-)

          Oh, I used to be disgusted
          Now I try to be amused
          ~~ Elvis Costello

          by smileycreek on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:05:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The last guy to actually claim aloud that... (19+ / 0-)

          ...he was incorruptible was Dick "I am not a crook" Nixon.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:48:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I guessed - accurately... (23+ / 0-)

          ... in '07 when Obama did not support impeaching Dumbya and was iffy about even investigating the lies and war crimes of Dumbya and Dickie (this article is why I never supported Obama - and previous articles or statements by the other 'frontrunner candidates' who had the same opinion is why I didn't support them either), and then again when Obama voted in favor of the FISA fiasco '08, followed three days later by announcing that if he were elected he'd increase funding for and expand Dumbya's 'office of faith-based initiatives' that Dumbya created with an executive order.

          Since Obama was a Con Law prof and allegedly knew the Constitution, he should have signed an immediate counter-executive order his first day in office to disband the 'office of faith-based initiatives' on the grounds that it is the toe in the door to establishing a state religion and violates the separation of church and state, and he should have taken steps to repeal the Patriot Act, MCA '06 (instead he added MCA '09), FISA fiasco '08, and all of those things have been extended beyond their expiration date so we do not have our constitutional rights reinstated yet.  Later, after he was elected, I saw an announcement that he'd selected a 'religious adviser' and wondered how a secular executive for a secular nation with a secular constitution could justify hiring a religious adviser.

          The signs were there before Obama was nominated..., but difficult to distinguish because all the "frontrunner candidates" spewed the same opinions.  Shame on them for being carbon copies of each other and not giving us any choice.

          Obama was never playing eleven dimensional chess.  The signs that he'd be a benevolent dictator were all there, but people wanted to believe otherwise..., and because McCain chose the Stupid One for his sidekick, we had no choice but to elect Obama because no one in their right mind wanted anyone as, or more, stupid than Dumbya within walking distance of the Oval Office.  Obama can credit Mooselina with his winning the presidency in '08.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:10:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If Pres. Obama had satisfied all my requirements (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            artmartin, fou, isabelle hayes

            in office he would not have been re-elected. He has to govern as Pres. of all the people, in light of the political realities of the moment, or he wouldn't be there.

            We dropped the ball, expecting magic after 2008, expecting him to dictate everything to our satisfaction, and we let the gop up off the mat, let them get their second wind with the Senate stall on HCR, and they came back and beat us down in 2010.
            Now we have a big hill to climb, but we did get halfway back up there in 2012.
            We have to keep fighting and keep climbing.
            We need to push Obama forward rather than just whining and blaming.
            That's what he's said all along, to his credit.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:34:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why do we need to "push" Obama? (17+ / 0-)

              If he's an adult and knows he has to do the right thing, why doesn't he just act like an adult and do it?

              I remember his acceptance speech in '08 where he said we had to "make him" do whatever (what's right).  I thought that was an odd statement then, and I still think it's an odd statement.

              An adult with a conscience just simply does what's right without having to be pushed, made to, or coerced in any way.

              So.... why hasn't Obama led the way on repealing the laws that took away our rights?

              Patriot Act
              MCA '06 (he added MCA '09, to his detriment)
              FISA fiasco '08
              'office of faith-based initiatives'

              Since Obama was a con law prof, he has to know those are all unconstitutional and illegal.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:07:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This has puzzled me too. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Don midwest, NonnyO, apimomfan2

                Obama isn't a child and surely knows right from wrong, so why does he need to be 'pushed'?

                Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

                by Bollox Ref on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:36:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  If we do not push, he will not have the political (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                isabelle hayes, hooper

                leverage.
                The office of "faith-based initiatives" as you know, involves a lot of the powerful interests that are the core of the gop.
                Eventually it will evaporate, but those interests must be beaten politically. Right now, as a consequence of the 2010 election, you're still seeing the gop pass anti-woman/anti-choice measures across the country.
                We must beat them politically.
                I don't like the OFBI either. Some of the stuff they do may be good. It'd be good to push them to do more for the poor.

                You know what happened with Gitmo. He set up a good plan to close it, and Congress got scared. That was part and parcel of a big pushback by the neocons and their whores in Congress on Nat. security.
                When we get the House back, we can repeal that crap.

                First question. Why? Because Obama doesn't and never did have a "magic lefty wand"  that he could wave around and go "Poof, gitmo closed." "Poof, this." " Poof,that." We must stay engaged. We let up in 2010 and we had disaster. We stood firm in 2012, and millions of Ameican heroes stood for hours in line to vote, and we have more leverage, and more power. We still have an obstinate enemy, and we still have some chickenshit Dems, but they are less chickenshit. So keep griping about the Constitution. I agree. I think it's necessary.

                You can't make this stuff up.

                by David54 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:47:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  He was elected and re-elected (7+ / 0-)

                  That brings "leverage" to do what's right by the people who voted for him..., not give the corporations and banks and Wall Street whatever they want.

                  Remember health care?

                  How many petitions were signed, how many phone calls, emails, faxes were sent to not only Obama but our Congress Critters to pass a not-for-profit single-payer health insurance?

                  We asked, pushed, pleaded, begged, demanded.  The only spine and standing up to anyone I saw was Obama and Congress Critters blaming each other saying it'll never pass and standing up to the people who put them in office..., and meanwhile they gave it all away to insurance, medical, and pharmaceutical corporations so they can be the next in line for record-setting profits after oil, mercenary, and military-industrial corporations have done so since '01.

                  Yeah, pushing will do a lot of good.  Not.

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:38:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No (7+ / 0-)

                  When he refuses to push and relies on others to do it for him, it's dishonest.  His opponents aren't fools, they know he's just playing a game.

                  Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                  by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:09:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My new sig line (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lotlizard, NonnyO

                    Puts the "make me do it" approach in a more realistic context.

                    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                    by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:38:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Excellent Sig Line! (0+ / 0-)

                      I've copied it to save in case I need to use it in the future.

                      Yup.  Precisely what Obama does.  And a few Congress Critters who are tyrants-in-training do the same thing.

                      This whole thing of writing to us to sign their silly petitions (busy work so we don't write emails demanding they do the right thing instead) coupled with asking for donations is irritating.

                      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                      by NonnyO on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:56:01 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I saw it on a Social Security advocacy FB page (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NonnyO

                        They quoted it in the context of dividing young people against seniors to push for cuts to SS benefits.  It's an abhorrent practice, but one that is used often by Third Way and conservative groups.

                        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                        by Betty Pinson on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:47:20 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Close down the drone program (6+ / 0-)

                  He can say Poof and make that go away. He could have vetoed NDAA or the re-authorization of the Patriot Act. You can't blame congress for President Obama signing an extension of the warrentless wiretapping program. Nobody's forcing that down his throat. No big donors, no cowardly blue dog Democrats.

                  Sure there are many things that he's not in control of, but there some that he is and in those cases it's alarming to see him do nothing to roll back Bush Administration policy.

                  “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” - Helen Keller

                  by Jason Hackman on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:24:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  We pushed like hell. He decided it was more (8+ / 0-)

                  important to keep the insurance industry and the banks writing him checks than to worry about us.

                  So he threw away the House, in the most pathetic mid-term effort seen from a sitting President in my life time.  It's hard to even give him credit for trying.

                  Don't blame us for the fact that partially engaged voters stayed home in 2010.

                  Blame the fact that the people we elected didn't bother to regulate Wall Street, do fuck-all to create jobs, even try to raise the minimum wage, follow through on their promises to protect the right to organize, or pass a health care bill the People supported.

                  As long as we let corrupt shit bags pick our candidates, it doesn't matter if we get the House back.  We saw how these "New Democrat" fucks wasted the biggest majorities in a generation.

                  We have to master better before more matters.

                  income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                  by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:28:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I disagree; in the current system, pro-oligarch (7+ / 0-)

                criminality is the default setting--that's Pierce's point--but if somehow we proles give the bastards the impression that we in our united millions are going to overpower the police & end modern capitalism over a certain issue, then we get our way.

                We have to create this impression permanently, for all issues.  We should not actually physically do this in any violent or illegal sense, but as their reaction to Occupy reaffirms (as did their reaction to the 60s), those who have power & are inclined to use violence see in our protest--a demand for power--their own projected inclination to use violence.  That scares them, & then they must choose to either become violent or do what we say.

                Those in D.C. do not Give A Fuck about us unless we are pushing them.  In their face, on their TVs.  Showing them, most importantly, that we are paying attention to them, instead of going about our desperate plummeting-wage lives in an iOpate fog, without any regard to what they're doing & why.  Obama obviously cared, once, & still kind of does, but he's too obedient to the system to do the right thing unless he feels he has no choice.  He's decided to be incrementalist at best; he's afraid of social upheaval like all the rest of them.  He has to be pushed, shoved, kept on course toward our will be our persistent demand.  If FDR needed public demonstration then, how much MORE does Obama need it now.

              •  This is so true, its up to him (4+ / 0-)

                and it speaks so much to his real character when he triangulates and engages in deceptive communication strategies to avoid something so simple: doing the right thing, the morally, ethically and legally correct thing instead of falling back on triangulation and political expediency.

                Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:08:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  He hasn't had (6+ / 0-)

              any problem 'dictating' things that we dislike.

              And, now it is time for his defenders to face the facts, rather than accusing his critics of being unrealistic.

              What you wrote is a really good example of magical thinking:

              We need to push Obama forward rather than just whining and blaming.

              Good luck with that.

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:44:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If he'd stuck to the campaign promises that got (3+ / 0-)

              him elected by the largest margin in over 20 years he'd never have been re-elected?

              Because America is just way too conservative to elect the guy it elected.

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:23:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Who cares? (0+ / 0-)

              If being reelected is the way he decided how to act, he should not be reelected.

              "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

              by cardboardurinal on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:56:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Benevolent dictator? (8+ / 0-)

            nothing benevolent about this administration as far as I can see. What benevolent about this Orwellian endless war on terra, or a police security state here in der Homeland? Nothing benevolent about having fraudsters and  neocon/neoliberal  corporatist global Visigoths plundering our economies and installing neo- feudalism as the NWO. Benevolent does not declare the world a battle field where anyone can be killed if the dictator and his secret Savak Spooks. Obama may look better then the scary alternatives who threaten theocracy and want to probe my vagina but the agenda implemented by this adminstration is not benevolent on any level domestically or internationally.

            Where's my habeas corpus?    

        •  The President has always said it is up to us, the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chmood

          people, to keep pushing for what's right.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:28:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "If you can't stop me, it's your fault you get (6+ / 0-)

            hurt".

            You understand why that's absolutely fucking disgusting abuserspeak, right?

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:30:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  because he sure as hell isn't going to do it... (5+ / 0-)

            I don't remember any big push for indefinite detentions, expansion of the odious Patriot Act, having Terror Tuesdays in the War House where he and a few unelected people decide from playing card bios who lives and who dies (I missed the rally for that one).
            What about 'signature strikes' where the US doesn't even have a name but kills for reasons based on behavioral traits, where they go, who they see etc. ?
            How about 'double tap' where the second strike doesn't come until people have come to the aid of victims in the bombing,?
            How about the bombing of funerals, weddings and social gatherings?
            I missed any notice or update about ALL those 'pushes'.

            Also how can I leave out ,who pressured him to select people like  Rahm Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Daley, Immelt and a few other execs ?

            Did I miss the petition for those guys, was it on the same day one went out for appointing rabid opponents of Social Security to a key spot to attack it under the appropriately nicknamed Cat Food Commission?

            I could go on but it just makes me sick to keep thinking of more things belonging on my short list.

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:26:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •   community organizer who was against the Iraq War (15+ / 0-)

          That entire talking point was based on a vote he never made since he wasn't in the Senate. After seeing him in office, I sincerely doubt he would have voted against the Iraq war if he had been a Senator. That wouldn't have been Bipartisan behavior.

          You have to hand it to the packagers of this President. They really understood that the majority of  their base has a innate inability to critically address facts. Emotion is what they wanted to appeal too and they did that in a big way.

          So much so that even after he took office and the lawlessness continued unabated and covered far more, the faithful started with "We haven't given him enough time" . Then when enough time had passed and more and more facts were revealed to make the original reasons for electing him look silly, the supporters had to pivot and cover the Presidents record and go after Romney in a big way.

          Amazingly enough many actually believed he had to do what he did in his first term and as soon as he was re-elected he would Pivot to the left and somehow undo what he did. .  

          As much as I hate were the country is headed, as a former Marketing and Salesperson, I have to hand it to his Campaign staff. Not only were the slick as  used car salespeople, they had a level of Chutzpah that made Karl Rove look like a rank amateur. No one could ever accuse them of not doing their jobs.

          They made mincemeat of Rove. Hey, that's something even if the country is going to hell in a trashed hand basket.

          •  hear, hear! (10+ / 0-)

            I was duped during the 2008 election. But as soon I saw his cabinet and within the first weeks, some of his policies, especially the whole "we can't be look back and apply justice to war criminals" line, I was disabused of my naiveté.

            I've been apoplectic about how others keep defending him, not with facts, but because they simply can't bring themselves accept that they were wrong. I think the reality that the Dems are as bad the Reps leaves too many people without any faith, so they can't let go.

            That's because their faith is misplace. Instead of having faith in a system, we need to have faith in ourselves; the faith to envision a better way and find a path toward that way.

            •  Yeah I Have a Diary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vigilant meerkat, lotlizard

              on here from Dec 2008 about Geithner.

               I'd have to go over his statements to see how many absolutes in his statements where he went 180 degrees on. They were slick enough to leave him some outs on a few things.

              There should be a chart on it with check marks like a product grid.

              lol

          •  they did win the marketing award for the campaign (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dburn, lotlizard

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:27:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I voted for him in the primary... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dburn

            ...because even though I was almost certain Obama would have voted for the Iraq war, Hillary actually did.

            I felt (and feel) that under no circumstances could she be allowed to benefit from that behavior.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:21:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  the office is like The Ring. Power corrupts (5+ / 0-)

          was one of the core messages of Lord of the Rings. (The other was that if you don't nip it in the bud, you'll still have a scorched earth when you finally wake up and fight.)

          Humans have had stories to tell this cautionary tale since the beginning of time, yet we keep supporting system which give people power and we almost never stand up when an abuse of power begins.

          This whole "I trust Obama, so it's okay" thinking is sickening to me. First, I don't trust anyone who has power over others. Second, once you give him that trust, he has even more power and will quickly become corrupted. It's not an if, it's a when.

          I'm angry with all my fellow citizens for letting things get here.

        •  After Citizens United (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jason Hackman, aliasalias, apimomfan2

          This fact is even more relevant, more dangerous.  We now have leaders in both parties whose allegiance is given to those who fund their million and billion dollar campaigns.  

          The donors call the shots, not the voters who put these people in office.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:04:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's not Lyndon Johnson Junior. There's almost no (6+ / 0-)

          butter with served with these guns.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:22:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  More like the anti-LBJ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            isabelle hayes, lotlizard

            LBJ escalated the Vietnam War to get the Great Society (including Medicare) and civil rights, or so the story goes.  

            A case could be made that  POTUS concluded that the cost of Vietnam ultimately doomed the Great Society, and the backlash to civil rights threw up Teabag Nation.  Reverse the strategy and avoid the Mother of All Quagmires, the neo-con dream of Armageddon.  So LGBT rights were soft-pedaled, women's rights to their own bodies are up for discussion by lunatics, and ground will be given on the safety net in return for not invading Iran.   Drone wars don't count, as the body count is allegedly less, the smallest number of Our Boys and Girls are put at risk (a key point for the VSP) and some number of defense contractors get paid- not as much as before, but enough.

            Plus screaming about Guns/God/Gays and the deficit keeps the GOP busy while the real work (whatever that may be) gets done.   Not invading Iran or trying to clear and hold the entire Silk Road-- priceless.  Hey, this is the most charitable interpretation I can come up with.  

            I happen not to believe that this would be a good or necessary deal:  my inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean that I should have peace, Social Security and all rights to my uterus all at the same time.  

            "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

            by LucyandByron on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:10:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama also voted FOR every war funding bill (6+ / 0-)

          that came down the pike while he talked about his opposition and he didn't have to wait to be sworn in to get corrupted, just look at his FISA vote, the one he was going to filibuster but went back and supported.
          Again his walk was much different than his talk and it still is in case anyone still can't notice it.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:07:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, you're right. I do know something about him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoExistNow, tytalus

        and I don't depend on the marketing for that judgment.
        I listen to what he says and the reasons for his actions.
        I didn't expect perfection or sainthood or magic from him in the first place.
        He never suggested he was capable of those either.

        Anyone, even a saint, who became Pres. when he did had to take over the most powerful country in the world, with a dysfunctional Congress, an executive branch of literally millions of people and massively complicated systems, a Pentagon crawling with neocons and religious righties, (and DoJ) , and a runaway, criminal Wall Street running the world as a massive organized crime conspiracy.

        We are where we are. We have to push the President, as he has said himself time and again, it's up to us.
        We have to take back the House, and clean up the Senate.
        We have to restore integrity to the Pentagon and to the judiciary, and we have to rein in Wall Street/MIC.
        These are all part of the reason we got to where we are now.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:27:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why are you babbling about saints? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          katiec, 4kedtongue, vigilant meerkat

          It's like there's a tape you need to play, and you don't care if anyone is pushing the button.  

          Goddamnit, you're just going to recite the mantra that lets you get to sleep with a clear conscience despite the evil you've decided to support.

          You don't know shit about a guy just because you heard him give a speech written by an advertising agent.  That's got nothing to do with your assertions that the President is the most powerful and least powerful person on Earth at the same time.

          It's about the utterly false sense of familiarity that idiots let themselves be duped into experiencing.  You don't know the President - you know what his lighting guy did and what his make up girl did and what his financial backers wanted him to say.

          We have to take back the Democratic Party.  If we (and by we, I mean workers.  You may or may not be part of this we.) can do that then the rest matters.

          Otherwise it doesn't.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:35:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  good then help push Obama to drop his appeal (5+ / 0-)

          in the Hedges v Obama case where the fight is over indefinite detention under the military on American soil.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Hedges v. Obama[note 1][1][2] is a lawsuit filed January 13, 2012 against the Obama Administration and Members of the U.S. Congress[3] by a group including former New York Times reporter and current Truthdig columnist Christopher Hedges challenging the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA)[4] which permits the U.S. government to indefinitely detain people who are part of or substantially support Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States.[5]

          The plaintiffs contend that Section 1021(b)(2) of the law allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to groups engaged in hostilities against the U.S. such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban[4] respectively that the NDAA arms the U.S. military with the ability to imprison indefinitely journalists, activists and human-rights workers based on vague allegations.[6]

          The principal allegation made by the plaintiffs against the NDAA is that the vagueness of critical terms in the NDAA could be interpreted by the U.S. federal government in a way that authorizes them to label journalists and political activists who interview or support outspoken critics of the Obama administration’s policies as “covered persons,” meaning that they have given “substantial support” to terrorists or other “associated groups”.[7]

          A federal court in New York has issued a permanent injunction blocking the indefinite detention powers of the NDAA but the injunction was stayed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals pending appeal by the Obama Administration.

          (emphasis mine)

          Here's more....http://www.truthdig.com/...

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:33:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Re (0+ / 0-)

      Lots of people thought a 2004 Bush win would be the end of civilization. We're still here.

      I voted for Obama (unwillingly) but if Romney had won, we'd just suffer through it the way we always do. I strongly suspect that there are feedback mechanisms in the bowels of the government that prevent the President from going too far off the rails in any case (for example: I believe that Kissinger "helped" Nixon take care of nuclear codes when it looked like Nixon was too insane to handle it).

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Faith based on (6+ / 0-)

      the executive's illegal anti-democratic power grab is not at all democratic. The separation of powers, checks and balances, the structure of our system, the constitution, the bill of rights and even the declaration of independence have been reinterpreted and power has been ceded. Faith in the president's character is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Wise use of an executives power? All of the branches of our government are by-partisanly complicit. Look at Harry or look at who this administration appoints.    

      'The law is king' said Thomas Paine.

      How to you propose to accomplish any of your excellent remedies when we the people have no hammer. Weeding out the neocons is impossible as there are nothing but weeds in all the branches. Congress and Justice are just extensions of the by-partisan coup that's been a long time in the making.

      "The pump don't work cause the Vandals took the handles.''            

  •  Who even knows anymore who pulls the (34+ / 0-)

    strings behind Guantanamo, torture, drone programs, extrajudicial rendition and assassination. Case hardened fascists like Bush and Cheney brought it to the forefront. And now the magic genie who brings security, peace and freedom through war and human rights violation won't get back in the bottle.
    Shame on Obama and the DOJ for their secret police state mentality.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:25:23 PM PST

    •  Who may be in question, but where those strings (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, lotlizard

      are pulled is not. It's Langley, VA.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:40:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The DC "mystery cults" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        the author of the Esquire article seems to be referring to.

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:13:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're kidding, right? Notice that PBO has (9+ / 0-)

      prosecuted neither the banksters nor the war criminals, in both cases as a matter of explicit principal -- I.e., doing so would destabilize the system.  I would add to Ike's famous complex:  the military-industrial-"intelligence"-financial-fossil fuel complex.  It's a plutocracy because it's more open to new blood than a pure oligarchy is; and the perfect exemplar is Dick Cheney, politician, Sec. of Defense, rewarded with CEO position of oil-industry giant Halliburton -- for which he was totally unqualified and screwed up brutally -- and then de facto President whose war more than makes Halliburton whole for the losses he caused while he was the CEO.

      •  Destabilize the system? (5+ / 0-)

        That excuse has been offered for several years now and it doesn't hold water.  

        The solutions forced on us by those who tried to peddle the "destabilization" excuse haven't worked.  OTOH, there are many solid examples of past corrective actions that have worked and will again.

        Those who cling to these beliefs need to spend more time reviewing history.  Breaking up banks and putting crooks in jail has worked before.  Holding war criminals accountable and reaffirming the Constitutional provisions that define civil rights has been done in the past, with good results.  

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:18:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes - I was just kidding. It took your omniscience (0+ / 0-)

        to pick up on that.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:45:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Power unleashed (25+ / 0-)

    because the system of checks and balances is broken.

    Our legislative branch is corrupted and polarized.
    Our judicial branch is stacked with politicos.
    The President can write his own parameters.

    The only limits on power are those of  political expediency.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:26:39 PM PST

    •  The System has always been broken (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, greenearth, Just Bob

      We fix bits of it, and others seek to break it further to their own wills. This will not end as long as politics is the art of deciding questions for which there is no method of decision.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:41:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has never been broken like this. (11+ / 0-)

        Our founders envisioned a system that was always in a perpetual state of "tug of war" with each of the three branches using their power against the other two.  What has happened is that the three branches are not competing but are colluding.  Much like an economic market dominated by large firms in cooperation, it stacks the playing field so that the consumer and other competitors never get a fair shake.  In the case of governmental collusion, it is the ordinary person whose voice is not heard and whose pleas fall on deaf ears.

        Congress should be pissed off at the usurpation of power of the executive branch, instead they go along with it.  The third branch, the courts, should have seen the power grab as unconstitutional but the courts are stacked with ideologues who believe in the supremacy of the executive branch.  The media who are some supposed to keep the public well informed so that the people can use their power to reset the power balance are busy chasing money and only feel maligned when they are not invited to the cool kids party.  

        We have seen a media this broken before, we have seen an economy this unjust before but we have never seen all of our branches of government working so hard to maintain the injustice before.

        •  The fatal flaw in that vision of a system is (6+ / 0-)

          that it relies on competition and a "war" mentality amongst the branches.

          That seeds the way we approach every single thing.

          Your description also leaves out what should be the most important piece of governing: the people.

          Since elections are bought and rigged and we've all basically agreed to have our First Amendment rights curtailed, there is no place in this system for the people to have a say over their own governance. We are just chattel in the capitalist games of the elite class.

          We all need to imagine a world where governance is a cooperative venture. Where nothing is allowed to happen without the consent of those who would be effected by it.

          Cooperative venture are harder. Harder than competitive ones. If you play games, you learn this. Instead of learning your "opponents" weaknesses and exploiting them for your own gain, you have to learn your comrades weaknesses and how to either help them improve or develop ways of working together which can compensate.

          I play this card game with my gaming friends called Hanabi. It's a simple concept. Yet, we've never achieved the highest score possible. In a range of 0-25, we've never gotten above 22. We've learned that getting above 20 is pretty damned impressive. But, I'm much more satisfied with the experience of getting everybody to 20, than I would be in a game where I got to 25 and everybody else was a loser. The chatter after a game, sorting out what happened and how people were trying to communicate versus how others interpreted is fascinating. In it you learn how other people think, how you interpret things, how you are interpreted and just how difficult it is, even this very simplistic setting to figure out how to work together to achieve the highest possible results.

          One could call those highest possible result 'perfection', I suppose. But, I would say that perfection is the game where everyone feels they did the best they could with each other. And sometimes that means getting a 10 because you know you're playing with someone who has memory problems, or someone who can't see colors, or someone who has had a very upsetting day and needs to the comfort of playing but can't focus well.

          Hanabi is the Japanese word for fireworks. You wouldn't think a cooperative game would be very fiery. But, in fact, it is. When you play for yourself, you don't have the pressure to perform for the sake of others. When you play cooperatively, you get angrier with yourself for making mistakes and you get more worked up trying to get other people to understand you or get them to communicate more effectively. Just as we are more upset with our teammates when we lose as a team - because there is a sense of betrayal if someone is doing their best - we get more upset in cooperative games than in competitive ones.

          What this tells me is that we're actually wired to be more driven to perform well and to help each other perform well when we work cooperatively. Since, this planet is one large inter-connected eco-organism, all humans need to start thinking in terms of cooperative survival rather than competitive survivalism. The trajectory of so-called Social Darwinism is pretty clear by now.

          •  Sounds much like traditional Asian social values. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            They've always emphasized harmony and cooperation.

            At the cost of perhaps not sufficiently rewarding individual initiative etc.

            Nevertheless, the wheels seem to be coming off the Western adversarial, dog-eat-dog competition model.

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

            by lotlizard on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:34:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Democracy is hard (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        Our history is full of examples of government veering and making course corrections.  It comes with the package.  When things go wrong, we're supposed to acknowledge it and make corrections.  

        We're not protecting our governing principles these days, we're allowing leaders to make excuses for veering way off course.  

        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:21:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I guess we've come to a point where the (36+ / 0-)

    Constitution is little more than a piece of parchment with writing on it.

    Looks nice on display and all, but abiding by it? That's so pre-9/11.

    Maybe that's the new objective of Constitutional Law, or for that matter law school in general - to figure out ways of getting around it.

    See: John Yoo, et al.

    Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

    by Pescadero Bill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:32:10 PM PST

    •  For Instance - As Commander in Chief of our (50+ / 0-)

      Armed Forces, the President has the authority to decide in time of declared war or hostilities who is an enemy combatant, and to target them for assasination.

      Despite the fact that no President has ever argued in over 120 years that this gives them the authority to issue orders to kill Americans without trial, it apparently has always been the case.

      John Yoo couldn't cook that shit up - but Armando did.  And at least dozens around here ate it up with a fucking spoon.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:32:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent comment. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Don midwest, corvo

        A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

        by edg on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:25:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  IOKIYAAD. (13+ / 0-)

        Most of us here are just as brainlessly partisan as the goppers are.  They wave their red pennant, we wave our blue pennant.  And all that matters is the blue team winning---even if we do the very same things once in office (such as pass a Republican health care plan and introduce a Republican immigration plan).

      •  I still don't understand why American (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sneakers563, koNko

        citizens are sacrosanct when Iraqi and Afghan citizens aren't.  War is war.  We seem to live in a fantasy where only soldiers die in wars.  We seem to think that cynical claims of American citizenship should protect terrorists living in other countries.  Some of us even think terrorism is a construct, not a reality. Good luck with that.

        I also find it laughable that anyone in the world thinks libertarians have anything to offer.  They're Ayn Rand on steroids.  You gotta be a Hamsher fan if you're thinking libertarian.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:13:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's called a coalition. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bewild, corvo, Hunter Acosta, lotlizard

          We have different worldviews but there are areas in which we agree. Although they are fundamentally different philosophies there are a number of significant points of agreement between progressives and libertarians. We would've done well 10 years ago to join forces with the libertarians to fight against the war on terror and the national security state.

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:24:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well Republicans and I agree on some (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Icicle68

            things, too.  They get up in the morning, go to work, buy groceries.  All things we share.  I wouldn't consider a coalition with them because they're also batshit crazy.  I'd suggest you take the same attitude toward libertarians unless you secretly love the Somali lifestyle.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:40:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Batshit crazy democrats too (7+ / 0-)

              Anyone who supports the military industrial complex, the violation of the bill of rights, the mass incarceration of poor people of color, and the merger of corporations and state...to me this is batshit crazy. Unfortunately that describes many democrats. But I have a coalition with some of these batshit crazies when it comes to fighting for reproductive freedom.

              "Today is who you are" - my wife

              by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:05:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We are known by the company we keep. (0+ / 0-)

                I prefer not to support people who think I'm prey.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:39:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I cannot agree that it's ok to preserve my (5+ / 0-)

                liberties if the cost is accepting the blatant murder of kids halfway around the world and overt rule by banks at home.

                "I am scared of losing something" is no justification for active participation in evil.

                income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:10:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you in disagreement with find common cause? (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree with no one person on every issue. Yet I believe that working with others on one issue is advantageous to working alone. I'm chided for saying that libertarians and progressives should work together on issues they both care about (war, empire, military-industrial complex, civil liberties, national security state, drones, surveillance, indefinite detention, executive kill lists, police state, prison insdustrial complex, war on drugs, mass incarceration, etc) because we disagree on other issues. Now I'm being chided for saying that progressives work together with democrats on issues in common? I'm not saying we don't fight them on the issues we disagree about. But if I want to get something done I don't first make sure that I agree with someone about every other issue in the world before I ask them if they'll help me on that particular thing...I didn't think this was a controversial matter...now I wonder if we're talking about something different than I think we're talking about...

                  "Today is who you are" - my wife

                  by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:36:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Shallow and inane post. (7+ / 0-)

              Lurked's point was about political coalition, which is about sharing political values, not about daily habits. There are values that progressives and libertarians share, such as limiting the powers of the government to detain/imprison people, torture people, and kill people. Both progressives and libertarians want due process respected and want serious checks and limits on the Executive's power to do these things.

              Further, this flippant and ignorant comment that many use about Somalia is not helpful. The people of that country are victims of years of internal warfare, external interference, endemic poverty and a host of serious issues. Pretending that it is the lack of a strong central government that is the root of Somali misery is stupid and does not respect their suffering. It is a cheap trick to score points, and people love to use it even though they have literally no knowledge of the history of Somalia.

              •  That's a nice cover story, which (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Don midwest

                is why I used a rhetorical device to rebut it.  It's an excuse for legitimizing a philosophy that's not even in the same room with the concept of governance and the common good.  

                It's a defense of greed and selfishness that is exactly and precisely the opposite of the desires of the Founders - that we put aside our personal desires and subject them to the common good from time to time, that we sustain a union despite our individuality as state units or person units, that we take our job as citizens seriously and exercise our rights thoughtfully.

                Somalia, by the way, is merely an example of what living in chaos and anarchy looks like.  It's a country that's not able to put the good of the many over the desires of the various factions.  It's what libertarians and survivalists dream about, a world where they can destroy at will and never face consequences.  

                Defend them any way you like: what you're defending is indefensible but you certainly have the right to try.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:34:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sorry that someone convinced you that (5+ / 0-)

                  Anarchy and Chaos are in any way synonymous, or that Somalia is in a state of Anarchy.

                  Anarchy means "Without Rulers".  Somalia is not without rulers.  Somalia has all too many rulers, many who see the world as you do and who believe firmly that strong men should be free to kill anyone they label an enemy.

                  It's easier to have these conversations if you trouble yourself to look up the words that you don't understand.

                  income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                  by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Anarchism (4+ / 0-)

                  is a society based on the egalitarian principles of mutual aid and collective self management.

                  Thus, the chaos of a dog eat dog society (as seen in capitalism, for example) would not exist in anarchic society, because since hierarchy is opposed and discouraged as much as possible, no one would be allowed by the communities to govern as an individual. Instead, the people manage their own affairs by collective cooperation, using direct democracy in participatory communities.

                  It is highly organized, economically sound and efficient, and anything but chaos.

                  Federations are formed by cooperating participatory communities entering into agreement by free association, thus forming networks that are local, regional, and even international in scale.

                  But decisions are made from the bottom up, rather than top down. Thus, it is anarchic, without rulers, since the people manage themselves with direct democracy. Delegates to federal committees are elected or rotated, and come from the community, live in the community, and receive mandates/instructions from it, and are recallable immediately if necessary, in the case that they try to assume authority as individuals.  

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:58:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Like I said, your cover story is (0+ / 0-)

                    convincing enough for you, so have at it.  Just don't expect me to be baffled by clever word smithing or humiliated by my obvious lack of dictionary skills.  You tried hard, you failed.  The people you find attractive enough to cooperate with are repulsive to me.

                    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                    by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:07:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4kedtongue, isabelle hayes, lotlizard

                  American right wing libertarianism is a contradiction in terms. The word libertarian predates the right wing movement which labels itself thusly, and derives from the concept of libertarian socialism from Europe in the 1800s.

                  Yep, the original libertarians were (and still are) socialists! But they were non-authoritarian socialists (anarchists) and believed in real freedom and liberty from hierarchy and thus, from the State as well.

                  The term "libertarian" as used by free market zealots is completely incorrect, since there is nothing at all truly libertarian about wage slavery in the capitalist market place, in which people sell their labor (their actual physical bodies) to the ruling class; to those who have control of the land, tools and equipment used in production.

                  How is such exploitation and wage slavery anything resembling liberty? This is another example of left wing terms being co-opted, in Orwellian fashion, by the right.

                  The same applies to the term "anarcho-capitalism." Capitalism is never without a ruling class, and never without wage slavery, and never without oppression of the working class, and thus it cannot be described as "without rulers".

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:11:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Completely agree that seeking common ground (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4kedtongue, Nada Lemming

              with Republicans is a fool's errand.

              Pity no one informed the President.

              When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

              by PhilJD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:27:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  A state has far fewer obligations to those not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          under its jurisdiction than it does citizens and resident aliens. That's the nature of the state.

          The issue ultimately is a betrayal of those under one's charge.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:43:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  American citizens must commit treason to be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, truong son traveler

          enemy combatants.

          No one can be convicted of treason without two witnesses to an overt act, if we feel like paying attention to that useless bit of paper our last two Presidents have decided is irrelevant.

          We currently have citizens being "tried" and sentenced to death for treason, and a White House that's pretending not using the word changes something.

          Every executive in history that has ever had this authority has, within a few years, started using it to kill domestic political enemies.

          That's why it matters.  The path from where we now are to domestic campaigns of terror is very, very short.

          I'm not entirely sure why you're rambling about Libertarians right now, unless it's for your own entertainment.  Given your bizarre rant about how great it is for civilians to be targeted for murder because scary scary war terrorists pissy pants, I'm not convinced looking for logic or reason is a productive use of time.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:16:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No one claims American citizens are sacrosanct (0+ / 0-)

          in an actual firefight. If John Walker Lindh had been killed rather than captured while coalition forces engaged the Taliban, his death would have raised no constitutional questions.

          That hypothetical has almost nothing in common with the all-too-real targeted assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, other than Made in America on the weapons.

          And oh yes, terrorism is very real. Bombing wedding parties and targeting first responders certainly fit any sane definition of the term.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:24:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe that's why Kos asked him back. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW
      •  Hunter moved on from revulsion at white phosphorus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        … use against children, to a long running, front page, Romney-what-a-dolt diary series.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:43:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Hunter has next to nothing to say about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard

          Cluster Munitions now that it's a Democrat trying to destroy the treaty banning them.

          That said, ignoring issues because "your guy" is the bad guy this time around still isn't as shady as actively excusing and justifying war crimes.

          John Yoo at least could say that he was "just serving his client".  

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:32:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not all lawyers are the same, ya know, n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  If Our System Was Ever Much Good at Governing (21+ / 0-)

    an industrial economy, and I've believed for years it is not, the policies we've followed for the past 40 years have completely overwhelmed its design and concept by now.

    One timeless failing of the design of the Presidency I've mentioned before is a failing of the system to apply its own internal logic broadly enough. The division of war powers was a big step forward in resisting the rise of an imperial presidency. However there is another threatening kind of presidency, and that would be a criminal presidency. I'm not deeply informed about this aspect of the framers' debates, so I don't know if any of them saw this coming, but the system they finally bequeathed us certainly does not.

    And so we've had a number of criminal administrations over our history.

    Enforcement powers are left entirely with the Executive Branch, so as we saw under Bush and Nixon, a would-be criminal President only needs to appoint a few loyalists in key investigative and prosecutorial positions, and then the sole check on a criminal presidency is the radical, usually-impractical remedy of removal on impeachment.

    While there's no question that Nixon and Bush [or President Cheney] personally had philosophies of criminal governance, I tend to doubt that that of either Reagan or Obama. In their cases I think it's more the nature and power of the financial and military/security sectors and their representation in all Administrations that is as likely the cause of their criminality or support of it.

    I don't think our system can be governed lawfully or democratically.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:35:00 PM PST

  •  Only a minor quibble. (14+ / 0-)
    Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that's become the precise job description.
    We elect a person who is not yet a criminal. I think Senator obama was sincere when he ran against the extreme nature of the powers Bush claimed to have. I think once he saw the full scope of the Presidency he decided that not only did he want to keep the powers that Bush claimed but he also decided he wanted even more. I also believe that he is sincere when he says that he will only use those powers for good and that is why so many of his supporters aren't as against them with him in power.

    The problem lies in the big picture. It lies in the fact that we tend to elect people like Bush, Cheney, Reagan, Nixon... occasionally and those people don't align with the things we believe.

    It's why I never understood Republucans when they backed these powers for Bush when there was a good chance Hillary would be the next President.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:46:40 PM PST

  •  Not just the presidency. The SOS, SecDef, and (33+ / 0-)

    CIA head are all inherently war criminal positions.  But that's not new, it goes way back.  The President then awards them Medals of Freedom (Kissinger, Albright, Tenet, etc.)  It became this way long ago, probably in full with the assassination of Kennedy.  What happens is a matter of timing and circumstance, such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the neocon opportunity for complete world domination thru military force and war.  Obama is simply carrying forth with the ongoing agenda of the oligarchy.

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:47:04 PM PST

  •  The thing I most wanted (36+ / 0-)

    And find myself still wanting since Shrub flew back to Texas for the last time, was the roll back of the Executive powers accumulated by the Cheny-Bush residency.

    That was the thing I thought Obama would accomplish relatively quickly, regardless of his political ideology.

    Since, I have been reminded: absolute power corrupts, absolutely. I have stopped expecting, but I mourn for what comes from this so called "Forward" thinking ...  this "neo-liberal suckitude"

    Thanks for the Pierce.

    “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

    by cosmic debris on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:57:30 PM PST

  •  Funny (25+ / 0-)

    Last night I was reading Clinton's 1998 speech on why we had to bomb Iraq.

    Prewar intel

    To sum up...all the WMD programs ended in 1991.

    So not only Bush, but Clinton (and Blair) had no problem bombing the shit out of a country based on no solid information.

    Bush, Clinton, and Tony Blair are still part of the respected members of the Western world.

    Why?

    Can you explain to me how we can continue to threaten nations, and indeed attack them, kill people by the thousands, and not have a damn system (press, Congress, Judicial) in place that gives a damn?

    And we run around with some kind of attitude like we are the shit when it comes to 'Human Rights'.

  •  Yes (24+ / 0-)

    The moment President Obama decided NOT to litigate the sins of the Bush Administration he, and his advisers, became party to those crimes. AND with the increased action of the drones and targeted killings he has doubled down on them.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:44:56 PM PST

  •  I can feel an army of pouts approaching this (0+ / 0-)

    post. Some sincere.

  •  there are 2 problems with that opinion piece (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, fou, kalmoth, shrike

    first the office of the president as constructed is one where in you have to place all your 'eggs' in a single basket and hope the man elected is a good one. The framers understood this, it's why they created the electoral college because they didn't trust the 'common man'

    second these powers he so abhores are not going way and frankly most of them shouldn't. They're realities of an increasing complicated world so then who should wield them? Congress? Don't make me laugh not only is Congress on both sides so utterly broken and dysfunctional but it's also corrupt. Yes I know the president and the office is not above temptation either but it's a lot easier to watch that single office then the 220 members of the House needed to get things down or the 51 (or 60 if the GOP is throwing a hissy fit) to get things done in the Senate.

    And good luck removing said members of Congress

    So no I disagree with that opinion and find it poorly thought out.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:56:36 PM PST

    •  That's fine, but it's authoritarian, not... (28+ / 0-)

      progressive. You're more than welcome to believe illegality perpetrated in secret by a country's executive is necessary, but that isn't democratic and it isn't progressive. The setup of the false dichotomy - that our only other option is illegality perpetrated by the legislature - doesn't change the fact that believing Government is above the Law is authoritarian, whatever its perceived merits or necessity.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:22:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ah but we're not an unfettered democracy (0+ / 0-)

        we never have been and the 'illegality' being discussed is not something that has actually been decided in a court of law so I would appricate it if you don't act like it has.

        Now as to whether it's 'progressive' idk and frankly I don't really care for the current setup. I  would much rather have a system like Germany's that encourages differing opinions without punishing them with no political representation.

        But make no mistake government is whether beignly or not authoritarian by it's very conception. The only question is where is the line? And what are the limits?

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:28:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Confirming what I said above. The administration.. (8+ / 0-)

          has successfully kept Courts from reviewing any of these powers. Allowing the claim that laws crafted by our representative republic don't apply to what government does. The method of abdicating the responsibility to adhere to our legal system isn't nearly as interesting as the abdication itself.

          And no, government is not by necessity authoritarian. Democratic republicanism with strong adherence to human rights and without a prediliction toward secrecy can function without giving into the authoritarian instinct.

          Nothing about the status quo we are discussing is a "given". None of it. All of these claims otherwise result from either a lack of imagination or a (less common but more cynical) desire to narrow the space for debate.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:41:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry but you're wrong (0+ / 0-)

            the United States of America has never been an unfettered democracy and frankly it's at best been an indirect democracy but it hardly was convinced that way.

            My basic point remains that if you don't like how the system is set up then you should work on changing the system.

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:08:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who said anything about unfettered democracy? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat, Hunter Acosta

              And no, your original point seems to have been that these authoritarian powers are an indelible fact of our political system, and our only choice is who wields those powers. Your argument that the system should be changed appeared only to revolve around introducing new ideologies and ideas into the system that will wield those powers.

              "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

              by 2020adam on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:16:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  going to reply to both comments here (0+ / 0-)

                No my original point is that government by it's very construction is 'authoritarian' you can't get away from that. Government exists to say what should and should not be done.

                What you seem to want is for your opinion to be the one that counts which to me seems more like anarchy then anything else.

                Further I would point out that remedies already exist for you if you think the government is behaving 'unlawfully'. You can vote out the legislature and vote in those that agree with you or you could go all in and amend the constitution.  The government has been making decesions for us (which seems to be how you define authoritiarian) since it's conception. You don't like those decesions? Then change the government  style(which would be my choice as I think our government style is antiquated) or change the people leading it.

                PS my suggestion is for a complete overhaul of the system and make it a paralimentarian style one where in seats are done by proportion with 5% being the cut off etc etc. That's hardly new ideologies.

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:32:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Feel free to 'adjust' our language however... (9+ / 0-)

                  you wish, but government isn't by necessity authoritarian just like it isn't necessarily democratic (hey, if we aren't governed by robots, there must be some people involved, right?).

                  You're discussing as necessary a situation in which government makes rules but isn't fully governed by them and doesn't fully inform the governed what it is doing.

                  I'm talking about a society in which the governed and government are treated the same by that government. Where government is ruled by its laws just as completely and vigorously as the governed are.

                  It isn't authoritarian for people to come together and decide the rules they wish to live by. It isn't even authoritarian for them to decide that there will be obstacles between the popular will and government, such as protections for minority groups or deference to non-democratic adjudicators when the rules they've chosen come into conflict or lack necessary clarity to govern a particular situation.

                  There isn't even some slippery slope between the two. Some non-democratic policies enhance the goal of full participation and equal treatment. Others are actively anti-democratic, furthering the effort to concentrate power and cut people out of decision-making process. There can be interesting debate about which policies do which, but enhancing democratic legitimacy through non-democratic means simply is not authoritarian.

                  "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

                  by 2020adam on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:14:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not adjusting anything (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm trying to understand your POV and frankly you're not helping with this. If I got something wrong then say so but explain more and state less.

                    And there's worlds of difference between 'authoririan' and 'democratic'. The first is an intergal part of 'government' the second isn't. Don't believe me? Then please name me a functioning state that does not dictate to its people.

                    Look this is starting to break down and I personally would like to avoid this

                    Your centeral claim seems to be that the government is being 'unlawful' by ignoring its own laws.

                    This is simply not true, the AUFA passed by Congress enables the president to pursue terrorists as best as he can. That's drone strikes right now. As I said if you want to change that I think you should look to Congress then.

                    As to authoritarianism, it is the very definition of the term for the few to decide the rules of the many. If you want to redefine authoritarianism to mean something else that's up to you but I've stated my definition and it's the commmon one. I'm not going to argue this further then you.

                    2 questions though

                    1. Is your issue the strikes or the method?
                    2. Are you an anarchist?

                    I'm just curious so please answer honestly and I truly mean nothing untoward by the questions just would like to understand your POV better.

                    In the time that I have been given,
                    I am what I am

                    by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:34:50 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  1) My issue is targeted killings far from any... (7+ / 0-)

                      recognizable battlefield, not the method (which is only notable because sending troops or helicopter gunships or traditional bombers to places where nobody is shooting at us is seen as starting a war, whereas tiny pilotless bombers let us believe we're doing something else).

                      Sophistry about what constitutes "imminence" and such don't change the fact that people who aren't engaged in a violent act against us are being killed without any resort to any legal method. We can use whatever comforting narrative we like about what they're planning or what their pattern of movement says about the kind of person they are, but it is not lawful to kill people who are not engaging in violence against us.

                      2) No, and I really have no idea where you keep getting the idea that democratic legitimacy has anything to do with anarchy. I've stated a number of times in very certain terms that it is acceptable and desirable to utilize nondemocratic institutions when they bolster democratic legitimacy. That has no relationship to the concept of society without rules.

                      The question is whether the People play a significant role in creating and legitimizing those rules, and whether their government is itself governed by those rules, not whether rules themselves are to be created or mobs are to freely write and rewrite the rules.

                      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

                      by 2020adam on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:01:29 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                        1. Well I disagree and in point of fact I would say the sophistry is to pretend that the word 'battlefield' has meaning in a war against terrorists.

                        They're not going to simply line up in some deserted desert in single file to be killed one at a time. And better targeted then untargeted which is the only alternative I see

                        On this we just are not going to agree, I do thank you however for sharing your POV

                        2. I was merely curious, you seemed very disclined to grant that governments by their construction have to be authoritative to one extent or another. And in point of fact I was talking about government which is not the same thing as democraticin terms of anarchy. I wished and still do to understand your POV.

                        As to the question well it depends on what you mean by 'significant role' as in the USA the 'significant role' the People play is in choosing those that will represent them both in writing the laws and in then enforcing the laws. That's it nothign more nothing less. The mob is certainly not free to write and rewrite as they wish.

                        This has been a fascinating discussion but I do not want  let it carry on too far and be considered something other then sharing of POV (I'm still learning the 'rule' on that as it were). Thus I leave it here and you with the last word if you wish

                        cheers

                        In the time that I have been given,
                        I am what I am

                        by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:21:46 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ah, the war against terrorists. Yes, then... (8+ / 0-)

                          disagreement is inevitable. No such thing as a war against terrorists, imho. Like waging war against blitzkriegers or against guerrilla warriors. Can't go to war against a tactic. Trying to kill everyone who contemplates or even discusses using a particular tactic is perpetual war, which isn't really war, it's just being destructive.

                          Inside that militaristic, we-have-to-kill-everyone-before-they-kill-us-or-anyone-our-government-calls-friend mindset, though, you are right. Everyone who dislikes us and who contemplates and discusses scaring us with violence will not in fact line up neatly in an empty dessert. And if our primary objective - the one that trumps and negates any competing objective - is to obliterate anyone who does so, then we do indeed have to find the most cost effective, least politically damaging way to kill kill kill.

                          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

                          by 2020adam on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:07:29 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Neither one of you (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          joanneleon, truong son traveler

                          in this discussion seems to have any real understanding of the term anarchy, as used in anarchist theory.

                          Anarchism is not without order, it is simply an egalitarian society that uses direct democracy and eschews hierarchy. There are ways to have a highly organized, effective society without the domination from elites, using bottom up management of the community.

                          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                          by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:23:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm going to disagree with you there (0+ / 0-)

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:29:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That means nothing... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            truong son traveler

                            if you don't tell me what you disagree with.

                            You don't agree with my definition? Or you don't agree with the philosophy?

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:04:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  my apologies for not being clearer (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes I disagree with your definition and the philosophy.

                            Anarchy is about the dissolution of order and it's hardly egalitarian. If you want bottom up management then you want a democratic or republic style of goverance.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:21:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's a repost of a comment I made elsewhere (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lotlizard

                            You are completely misinformed.

                            The word anarchism, as used by anarchists,  means no ruler, no authority. It does not mean no structure. It certainly doesn't mean no organization.

                            http://infoshop.org/....

                               

                            The word "anarchy" is from the Greek, prefix an (or a), meaning "not," "the want of," "the absence of," or "the lack of", plus archos, meaning "a ruler," "director", "chief," "person in charge," or "authority." Or, as Peter Kropotkin put it, Anarchy comes from the Greek words meaning "contrary to authority." [Anarchism, p. 284]

                                While the Greek words anarchos and anarchia are often taken to mean "having no government" or "being without a government," as can be seen, the strict, original meaning of anarchism was not simply "no government." "An-archy" means "without a ruler," or more generally, "without authority," and it is in this sense that anarchists have continually used the word. For example, we find Kropotkin arguing that anarchism "attacks not only capital, but also the main sources of the power of capitalism: law, authority, and the State." [Op. Cit., p. 150] For anarchists, anarchy means "not necessarily absence of order, as is generally supposed, but an absence of rule." [Benjamin Tucker, Instead of a Book, p. 13] Hence David Weick's excellent summary:

                                    "Anarchism can be understood as the generic social and political idea that expresses negation of all power, sovereignty, domination, and hierarchical division, and a will to their dissolution. . . Anarchism is therefore more than anti-statism . . . [even if] government (the state) . . . is, appropriately, the central focus of anarchist critique." [Reinventing Anarchy, p. 139]

                                For this reason, rather than being purely anti-government or anti-state, anarchism is primarily a movement against hierarchy. Why? Because hierarchy is the organisational structure that embodies authority. Since the state is the "highest" form of hierarchy, anarchists are, by definition, anti-state; but this is not a sufficient definition of anarchism. This means that real anarchists are opposed to all forms of hierarchical organisation, not only the state.

                            Here's a good definition from Kropotkin:

                            http://www.marxists.org/....

                               

                            ANARCHISM (from the Gr. an and archos, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.
                            And horizontally structured participatory communities (communes) in which people collectively self manage the community by consensus, without hierarchy, using general assemblies, in which every member of the community has an equal voice, is not government in the sense of a centralized state with a bureaucracy that governs the people from above. Commonly, anarchist communities have meetings in which people come to agreement through the process of consensus. For larger groups in regional of national level, federations of smaller groups are formed in which mandated, recallable delegates are selected by the worker community to represent in the federation the express decisions of the groups. Thus, there is no ruler or authority over the grass roots, local communities and worker syndicates.  Each community is self managing of its own affairs, with decisions that involve regional cooperation coming from the federations which serve a purely administrative function, rather than as a ruling, central government.

                            It is direct democracy, and is not representational democracy seen in "democratic" republics which in practice isn't really democracy at all.

                            Anarchy is certainly not chaos. Capitalism and the so-called free market is far closure to chaos than anarchism.

                            And anarchism is NOT survival of the fittest. That would be right wing, Ayn Randian free market concepts, not anarchism. Anarchism is based on the concept of mutual aid, in which people work together, socially helping and sharing with each other. If you knew anything about anarchism you would know that.

                            As to anarchist societies, there have been several in history, the most prominent example being the anarchist managed regions in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in which to varying degrees 8 million people were directly and indirectly involved, and which lasted almost three years. In the most heavily concentrated anarchist areas money was abolished, and widely in the anarchist regions industry and agriculture was collectivized, and throughout these regions anarchist worker federations were formed. Production increased, health care was provided, people self-managed the workplace using anarchist organizational principles.

                            Not to mention that indigenous "primitive" humans have been living in anarchist communities for years.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:01:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't agree but I'm not sure this is the venue (0+ / 0-)

                            to talk more about this though I would like to

                            What I will say is even 'consenus' is authority because it's highly unlikely you will have unianimous consent all the time. Eventually you will have a minority and majorty and what then?

                            You can not have leadership without authority it's just impossible even if that authority is so affimable that you do not even notice it.

                            I don't want to go off topic too much and I'm not sure about this topic so this is my last reply here but I would welcome further discussion at another time and another place

                            cheers

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:37:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ps (0+ / 0-)

                            management implies 'elites' of some sort there's no real way to avoid that.

                            If you give someone power to make a decesions others can not you have created a difference between those parties.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:23:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nope... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            Again, you're not at all informed enough to be commenting as if knowledgeable on this topic.

                            Management can be accomplished collectively. A body of elites can be avoided using direct democracy methods.

                            Community general assemblies or other worker groups can give permission to administrate, but that isn't the same as giving power or authority. In anarchist organizations, typically in larger organizations, committees are formed with delegates who are re-callable and mandated by the group. This means the delegates have no authority of their own, but rather are authorized to act only in accordance with the wishes of the group which delegated representation. The delegate remains in contact with the group, and the deliberations of the group are passed on to the delegate who must act in accordance with instructions. If the delegate usurps his limited role, he/she may be recalled immediately.

                            Sometimes delegates are rotated among members of the group, and sometimes they are elected, but there is no fixed term of office, and they have no autonomy to act with their own authority.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:12:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  look this is a pleasant conversation (0+ / 0-)

                            and very interesting so lay off the insults because frankly I don't think you know what you're talkign about either and you certainly don't seem to know what anarchy is but I have been trying to keep this civil so I've left that out

                            You don't agree? Fine but no need to be disagreeable.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:39:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're making up your own facts (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            and that is the real insult here. My pointing out you are lacking in knowledge about anarchism is not intended to be an insult. It is simply an observation based on your comments.

                            If you want to keep things civil, stick to factual commentary.

                            Do some reading on anarchism to get a better sense of this. Read Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Malatesta, and others. But don't just make up stuff out of whole cloth. You're not the only one around here who is clueless about the topic. It's not entirely your fault, since detailed information of anarchism has been sparse in the history books. History is written by elites.

                            I've been astounded by what I've learned, and it is far from what most people surmise about anarchism.

                            But I won't stand by and let people propagate the misinformation if I happen to read such nonsense.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:55:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no I am not (0+ / 0-)

                            Proudhon and company are welcome to define anarchy however they personally wish that doesn't mean I agree or am obligated to.

                            You want to believe anarchy is some elgitarian paradise that's up to you but don't expect me to agree and don't expect me to allow you to insult me simply because I won't toe your line.

                            I've stuck to facts, offering up individual philosphers no matter how inspirational to you or influencial is about as factual as me offering my own opinion on the matter.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:10:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  PS I've read Kropotkin (0+ / 0-)

                            when I was reading up about the 'communist' revolution in 1916 in Russia. Frankly I'm not impressed because he ignores the very problems I've pointed out to you. Rail against 'elites' all you want group decesion making requires authority because you will never unfaillingly have unaminous consent.

                            Not to mention I found his stance on 'competive urges' at best conflicting and at worst hypocritical as he never really defines what exactly makes a government authoritative or unjust.

                            His comments about indigenious people are typical of this line of philosphy but they ignore the centeral problem inherent to this style of goverance. Namely size, such groups are always limited by size in their efforts and as history has shown it is far more advantageous to be a nation then a collection of hundreds of city states or thousands of communes.

                            Was that proof enough? I can go on as I've read about these philosphies I just reject them largely as unimplementable.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:17:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            You misrepresent how anarchist society works. You've made so many inaccurate inferences that I won't labor to disabuse you of your willful ignorance.

                            But regarding this:

                             

                            Rail against 'elites' all you want group decesion making requires authority because you will never unfaillingly have unaminous consent.
                            Broad consensus is usually limited to small groups, and is never required to be unanimous, and larger federations apparently use the vote, seeking majority approval, rather than broad consensus, although that is certainly thought to be desirable. So, again you're way off in your understanding.

                            As to this:

                            "Namely size, such groups are always limited by size in their efforts and as history has shown it is far more advantageous to be a nation then a collection of hundreds of city states or thousands of communes.
                            You obviously don't have a clue as to how this works, and you're unaware that nearly 8 million people in the anarchist regions of Spain during the Spanish Civil War, under the worst of possible circumstances, managed quite well to collectivize industry and agriculture for almost three years, using the system of federated worker's groups and community assemblies.

                            And yet you assume this can't work, while forgetting what a disastrous failure capitalism has been.

                            You're simply parroting what you think works or doesn't based on nothing more than your attitude, rather than evidence. And your alternative, namely capitalism, is on the verge after centuries of corruption of destroying the planetary ecosystem due to unrestrained greed.

                            Yep, you've got all the answers...

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:40:24 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  3 years even if they had been (0+ / 0-)

                            as successful as you claim proves nothing, it's not even a blink in human history

                            You want to prove the validity of anarchy? Then come find me when you have a nation that has lasted a generation or 2

                            And I assume nothing there has yet to be a long term (1-2 generations) anarchist government that has not been an absurd failure.

                            Sure capitalism isn't perfect but it's far and away preferable to anarchy and that's just a fact that you can't disprove.

                            And as I said and you have agreed there's no such thing as 'consenus' in larger groups, just majorities. You can try and cover that up all you want but it is and will remain the biggest most gaping hole in validity of anarchism.  People don't get along perfectly, people don't agree perfectly that's just how it is.

                            You can accuse me of 'not understanding' or being 'not factual' or anything else but that's just a desperate attempt to change the focus from that fundamental problem of anarchy.

                            Want to prove me wrong? Then actually prove it, go establish a community, grow it into something approaching a state and then 'governor' it without  majorities and authoritiy.

                            It simply will not work and that is why anarchism is as unfeasible currently as marxism.

                            The only one parroting things here is you and frankly I've had about enough of the insults from someone that clearly doesn't know what they are talking about so good bye and as you probably need the last word more then I; I give it to you.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:03:25 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are going to have to start citing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            all of the supposed sources that you're founding your opinions on. It seems to me you're making up your assertions.

                            There have been indigenous peoples who have lived for centuries according to anarchist principles, and almost every family is anarchist among adults, if you think about it. People in a family argue, and fight over which direction to go, eventually coming together in agreement, with no one person always deciding every issue. That's anarchism. It's the bedrock of our entire society, in a way. Libertarian socialism (anarchism) is everywhere, once you learn how to recognize it. Every time you give aid to a friend, without expecting payment, because you know your friend would do the same if the circumstances were reversed, you're engaging in dangerous revolutionary activities. LOL.

                            And three years of anarchist organization with 8 million people during wartime is quite remarkable, despite your flippant dismissal of that outstanding achievement.

                            And you didn't touch on my remarks about capitalism, which is obviously amounting to not only a dismal failure of epic proportion, but may actually lead to our extinction.

                            It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, despite evidence it is not working.

                            But I doubt that people will wake up in time, sadly.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:17:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You can define anarchism anyway you want... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            But don't assume you won't be challenged concerning your uninformed notions.

                            And it seems to me the thinkers who have originated the concepts get to define their own concepts as they deem appropriate.

                            And no, I don't expect agreement... I think that is your particular problem, not mine.

                            But I do expect factuality.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:45:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Belief that Government should get its legitimacy.. (8+ / 0-)

              from the People does not in itself require unfettered democracy. A number of reasonable checks can be placed on the democratic impulse without changing the basic equation.

              But lawless government and secret decision-making aren't simply 'erring on the side of republicanism'. They aren't somehow more closely adhering to the true original concept of government considered by the signers of our Constitution, just because the document wasn't purely democratic

              "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

              by 2020adam on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:24:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The limits (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4kedtongue, TheMomCat, lotlizard

          are/were the Law, our sacred documents ie the bill of rights and constitution, the system of checks and balances and the separation of powers. Then there is/was the electoral system which is representational. Your argument seems to be hung on  authoritarianism and ignores the actual structures laws and concepts of our republic.      

          •  no my argument is on the actual structure of (0+ / 0-)

            goverment in general and ours in specific

            It's simply wrong to argue that government is never in some way authoritarian as that defeats the very purpose of government. Sure good ones like ours (and ours is generally good) have inherent checks and balances to assure that said authoritarian measures are not allowed to run rampant but they are still there.

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:40:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  what the hell (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat

              does this have to do with our current state of affairs? Of course all governments regardless of whether they representational republic, a parliamentary democracy or a monarchy, plutocracy, any system has at it's heart authority.  The only authority these governments have is the consent of the people. Once they cross the line and offer no civilized parliamentary access to address the grievances of the people it governs then humans can and do withdraw their consent to be governed. Same with governments and nation states that run amok and globally abuse the power vested in their authority and abuse the rights that people have established throughout history as inalienable human and civil rights. Absolute garbage as far as an argument for abuse of power and totally anti-democratic and an illogical fail. Your pathetic and so off topic it's a waste of time to even reply to you. Why are you a Democrat? You seem to me to be a advocate for authoritarianism and a fascist to boot.          

      •  I was going to respond but you said it for me... (25+ / 0-)

        ...The idea that the complexity of the modern world must yield to authoritarian government in the hands of one leader AND that it's possibly to effectively "watch" that single leader even though s/he has the power of secrecy firmly gripped poses just a few moral, ethical and practical problems for me.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:02:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's meant specifically to dodge those problems... (9+ / 0-)

          rather than challenge them head on. The argument that any policy is inevitable or obvious or a fact of life is supposed to label you as unserious and its proponent as a realist. We're left chasing our tails, while the proponent (wittingly or otherwise) is left with the comfort that this is just the way it is, no matter what any softheaded philosopher lacking knowledge of the hard facts of reality has to say.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:43:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus Christ. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shrike

          Obama is an authoritarian king now?!  Since when did he dissolve the Congress and nullify their ability to impeach and remove him from office?!

          This is some Breitbart bullshit.

          •  You know that's a strawman (13+ / 0-)

            Obama is killing people we don't know, for reasons we don't know, under legal justifications we don't know, and refuses to allow even minimal judicial oversight. That is authoritarian. He doesn't have absolute power, of course, but hell, not even dictators do.

            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:51:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, and he's a damned YUPPIE + (0+ / 0-)

              a Reagan fan. That. Is. A. Fact. T and R!!

              Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

              by orlbucfan on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:46:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  and that's just as much a strawman (0+ / 0-)

              we know the reasons, we know the legal reasoning and we even largely know the 'who'

              In the time that I have been given,
              I am what I am

              by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:43:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is that so? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TheMomCat, lotlizard

                Reasons: You are aware, I assume, of the practice of "signature strikes":

                Originally that term was used to suggest the specific “signature” of a known high-level terrorist, such as his vehicle parked at a meeting place. But the word evolved to mean the “signature” of militants in general — for instance, young men toting arms in an area controlled by extremist groups. Such strikes have prompted the greatest conflict inside the Obama administration, with some officials questioning whether killing unidentified fighters is legally justified or worth the local backlash.
                Are you saying you know the exact circumstances when such a signature strike occurs? If so, please do tell us.

                Legal justification: The recently-leaked white paper is only a part of the legal reasoning, not the whole. For example, the administration still refuses to say whether or not they think they can kill Americans on American soil with no judicial oversight.

                The "who": Lindsey Graham says we've killed 4500 people with drones. How many of them do you know? If it's not at least 2251, you don't get to use the word "largely."

                "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:52:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  except that's not even backed (0+ / 0-)

                  by an anymous source let alone an actual one.

                  But let's just say that for a moment there's some truth to that, that the adminstration is indiscriminately killing armed men in an area controlled by extremist groups. Personally I wouldn't agree with that but my personal disaapproval doesn't translate into it being illegal.

                  That said until there's proof that's just speculation.

                  As to your number, are you seriously suggesting the US government can't locate people? I get that semantically you have a point but the whole thrust behind drone stikes is to go after specific targets and yes others will be killed in the process but much more likely then not they are also terrorists.

                  As to Graham don't get me started on that self serving hypocrite.

                  In the time that I have been given,
                  I am what I am

                  by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:45:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wait, so you weren't aware? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TheMomCat, BradyB, lotlizard

                    The NY Times didn't just make up signature strikes. Their existence is not in doubt (each word a different link); all it takes is a simple Google search to see this.

                    Anyway, I didn't bring them up to argue legality. You claimed we know the reasons people are being killed. I pointed out that we don't know the specifics of who qualifies for a "signature strike." Since you didn't even know they happened, it appears that 'we' includes you.

                    As to your number, are you seriously suggesting the US government can't locate people?
                    Yes. Governments make mistakes. Technology malfunctions. Soldiers get over-eager. This is kind of the entire reason we don't let the government throw whoever they want into jail; or at least, why we used to not let them.
                    yes others will be killed in the process but much more likely then not they are also terrorists.
                    You have any evidence for that?
                    As to Graham don't get me started on that self serving hypocrite.
                    Oh don't get me wrong, I 100% agree, but AFAIK nobody's disputing his figure.

                    So I ask again: Do you know the identities of 2251 people we've killed with drone strikes? If not, you don't get to say you "largely know the 'who.'"

                    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                    by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:00:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you're moving the goal posts here (0+ / 0-)

                      and I'm not going to play that game nor will I 'reward' you by trying to.

                      The point isn't whether you or I know it's whether the government does.

                      Let's go back to the point here, drone strikes to target specific individuals are not only legal by the AUMF but they are no different then ordering in warplanes or a strike team in legality. Drones are just faster, cheaper and represent less risk.

                      The rest is just distractions.

                      In the time that I have been given,
                      I am what I am

                      by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:11:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Whatever usefulnes this conversation had (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TheMomCat, SpecialKinFlag

                        is quickly getting lost.

                        You claimed that the NY Times's description of signature strikes was just "speculation." I provided a great deal of sources to prove that no, it's a fact. You proceed to ignore all of that and persist in saying:

                        Let's go back to the point here, drone strikes to target specific individuals are not only legal by the AUMF but they are no different then ordering in warplanes or a strike team in legality.
                        So let me repeat, just in case I was not clear enough before: We are not just targeting specific individuals. We are killing people we don't know based on "patterns of behavior." This is not speculation, this is fact; it is certainly not a "distraction."

                        Finally, I can't let this slip by:

                        The point isn't whether you or I know it's whether the government does.
                        Wrong. It is about whether you or I know. How can you possibly support a program that's killing people when you don't even know who's being killed?

                        "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                        by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:21:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no I claimed they were (0+ / 0-)

                          unsubstanicated because I had never seen proof of them but regardless it's tangential to my point which is what started this

                          You responded to me, not the other way around so this is about my point not whatever you want to make it abuot.

                          And you need to know absolutely everything? Then I suggest you run for president, probably the closest you'll ever come

                          In the time that I have been given,
                          I am what I am

                          by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:35:52 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You claimed that we know the reasons (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, LaEscapee, lotlizard

                            drone strikes happen. I demonstrated that we don't, by citing the practice of signature strikes. That is, in fact, directly addressing your point. If you don't have a good argument in response, at least admit that, instead of dragging us into meta-argumentative circles.

                            And you need to know absolutely everything?
                            That's be nice. But no, I'd be satisfied with at least knowing on what basis the government is killing people in secret with no oversight. I don't feel this is asking too much.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:54:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  just to indulge you (0+ / 0-)

                            you realize your own articles list the reasons for those strikes? thus you still can not claim you don't know the reasons. Unless you are just not reading the full article?

                            Well that's your judgement, I don't think most people would agree.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:10:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Some of the reasons (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lotlizard

                            We know, in general, the policies the government uses to conduct the signature strikes. We don't know the specifics. We also don't know which kinds of signature strikes they believe they could make in the future, which is kind of important.

                            Well that's your judgement, I don't think most people would agree.
                            If the government can kill people in secret, with no oversight, and not tell anyone who they're killing or why, then we might as well be living in a dictatorship. I dearly hope you're wrong that most people would be fine with that.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:29:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so we pile what ifs on what ifs (0+ / 0-)

                            and eventually there's a problem?

                            yeah that's just so presausive

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:02:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  *sigh* (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lotlizard

                            You're not even arguing anymore. It's not a "what if"; this:

                            the government can kill people in secret, with no oversight, and not tell anyone who they're killing or why
                            is the policy you've been advocating for throughout this entire thread. If you're not willing to own up to that, this debate has utterly lost purpose. Then again, it's getting late anyway, so maybe that's a good thing.

                            If you make a substantive point, I'll respond in kind. If you continue in refusing to respond to my arguments and dancing around the issues, then you can go ahead and have the last word.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:15:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the funny thing about your claim (0+ / 0-)

                            is who the US strikes with drones is hardly a secret when pretty much everyone knows it.

                            Do you even understand what a secret is?

                            You keep drawing up strawman and saying I support them when in fact I don't. Yes I think drone strikes are necessary but this caricature you have in your head vs my actual argument does not line up.

                            Respond or not I don't really care as I think any usefulness of this conversation is passing. You standfasting refuse to consider anything but your own opinion and if people don't agree you get all bent out of shape about it. Well that's going to happen because not everyone thinks like you and that's not a bad thing.

                            Expand your mind a little, consider things you wouldn't. At the very least you'll be able to meet my argument on the merits of it and not what you've been doing

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:40:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I suppose this is substantive (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lotlizard
                            who the US strikes with drones is hardly a secret when pretty much everyone knows it.
                            Give me 50 names, then. If Graham's number of 4500 is anywhere close to accurate, and "pretty much everyone knows" who the US kills, this should be easy.
                            You keep drawing up strawman and saying I support them when in fact I don't. Yes I think drone strikes are necessary but this caricature you have in your head vs my actual argument does not line up.
                            So you think they're necessary, but you don't support them? Or did I misunderstand this paragraph?
                            You standfasting refuse to consider anything but your own opinion and if people don't agree you get all bent out of shape about it. Well that's going to happen because not everyone thinks like you and that's not a bad thing.
                            Give me a break. I'm in academia; the entire institution is designed around disagreement and no two people thinking alike. I have considered your opinions, and I've rejected them. What you interpret as being "bent out of state" is forceful argumentation.

                            And let me just say that being told to "expand my mind" and "meet arguments on their merits" by you, given your behavior in these discussions, is quite rich.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:52:25 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  took me about 10 seconds (0+ / 0-)

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            And fyi being an academic doesn't mean you can't be closed minded about some things. But for the sake of argument even if you have considered my points and rejected tehm what makes your rejection any difference then mine? Why is it that your opinion is so much better?

                            Here's a hint, it's not.  You are no better or worse then me regardless of where we fall on this topic. And while I certainly am not going to be lectured at about behavior by someone that has adopted a holier then thou attitude (not to mention continually misquoted me) I do wish we could have discussed this more objectively.  Morever I accept that is just as much my fault as it is yours, I just don't know what to do about it other then continually try to keep things as civil as I can.

                            However I fear that impossible so long as some people are convinced of the 'higher morality' of their opinions. And that their 'absolute certainity' gives them the right to act and say as they wish.

                            I think we've reached a fundamental disagreement here because I long ago thought about and rejected the very opinions you hold sacrosanct and you apparently don't agree with mine.

                            So I'm done here, I thank you for your time. I'm sure you'll want last word so take it

                            good bye

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:15:41 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  addendum (0+ / 0-)

                            this would go in the first comment if I could edit

                            I think drone strikes are necessary, I wish they were not. I am concerned about where they might lead to but then I don't see much choice. I would personally much rather the entirity of AQ surrender themselves en mass to the Hague to be put to a fair trial and have their day in court. Not to mention AQ withdraw their declaration of war.

                            But till AQ does that, well they declared war on us and if that's what they want then so be it.

                            I'm sure you'll call me a facist and all sort of other fun names for my praticality. I really don't care. I didn't make the world the way it is and I'm misanthropic enough to doubt humanity is changing anytime soon. Thus like actors we act out our part. It sucks but then life and being an adult sucks more then it doesn't.

                            That's truly my thoughts on the matter, have fun berating them.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This'll be my last word, then (0+ / 0-)

                            1) Self-pity does not become you. You'll notice that I haven't actually insulted you or called you names once, in any of our discussions.

                            2) While I lost interest in counting the number of names in that Wikipedia article, the vast majority of the people killed were described as "militants" (how do we know they were militants? Especially since the admin counts all military-aged men as combatants), "women," or "children." So no, you don't really know who they are.

                            3) Why is my opinion better than yours? The blunt answer is, because it's based on empathy instead of "us vs them"-ism. It recognizes that (a) collateral damage is no less wrong because it's unintended; (b) by increasing anti-US sentiment, long-term drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill; (c) giving the government the ability to kill people in secret with no oversight will lead to huge trouble. As far as I can recall, the only response you've given to these three points is "But we're at war with the terrorists!" That's not an argument.

                            Incidentally, just because my opinion is better than yours doesn't mean I'm better than you. Please don't conflate the two. And I've never once misquoted you; all I've done is not quoted unnecessary parts of sentences. I'm still confused as to what you think I characterized your position as.

                            Two last points:

                            However I fear that impossible so long as some people are convinced of the 'higher morality' of their opinions. And that their 'absolute certainity' gives them the right to act and say as they wish.
                            That's highly ironic, considering this is the exact behavior of the US government and supporters of drone strikes: We're better than the terrorists, we're "absolutely certain" who the terrorists are, so we can do whatever we want to kill them.
                            But till AQ does that, well they declared war on us and if that's what they want then so be it.
                            Funny, I wasn't aware a gaggle of criminals could declare war. Could you please point me to where AQ's government passed a resolution declaring war on the US?

                            This is not a war. Terrorists are not an army, and the world is not a battlefield. All that is merely propaganda to justify US imperialism. Those are truly my thoughts on the matter, and you can do whatever you wish with them.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:01:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I had not intended to respond further here (0+ / 0-)

                            But you asked for AQ's declaration of war, well here it is: http://www.pbs.org/... (sorry the editor seems to be down)

                            No worries as it seems most people ignored it. I know I wasn't aware of it until almost 10 years after the fact and even if you would have known about it you likely would have just brushed if off. After all what could they do? And I mean a group of terrrorists declare war on the mightest nation in the world? Utterly laughable right?

                            Well 15 years later you have your answer but you seem dead set on repeating the past.

                            Since I am responding let me address somethings

                            1) I don't give a flying fuck about your pity or anything from you. I was simply stating my expectations from having 'talked' and I use that word incredibly loosely with several people on this topic. At this point I simply expect from experience to be called a facist and more because of the rather smug superiority people against drone strikes seem to have. If that doesn't include you then you have my apologies for erroneously including you in that but in what is to me a last ditch attempt for us to actually communicate I wanted to be absolutely clear.

                            2. That is utterly irrelevant you declared the strikes 'secret' they are not if I can so easily call them up. Granted you might have to do some work but you could if you wanted and come up with just about every name in all the strikes. And If you or me could do that are you going to seriously suggest the government can not?

                            3. The irony of that smug statement almost leaves me stunned. So you accuse me of 'us vs them' mentality while engaging in it yourself? After all you  (and pretty much everyone else I've talked to on this topic in this diary) have divided this into 'us vs them'. Yes colleteral damage is wrong but for the upteen time I await your suggestion for better. As to your other claim there's absolutely no evidence for that at all but if you actually do have evidence that drone strikes are increasing terrorists ranks I encourage you to forward that to the DoD as I think they would be interested

                            And yes you're right I have no empathy for murderers and terrorists. Further it boggles my mind that anyone would, these people made their choices and regardless of what life has done to them NOTHING justifies their decesion to kill innoncents. I save my empathy for those that deserve it like the victims of the Madraid train bombing or the British bombing or 9.11 not for terrorists. Not now, not ever.

                            4.  What ever on the misquote, I'm more convinced now then before that what you did was not precisely intentional and I'm willing to let it go

                            5. What in the hell do you want the US to do? Europe has abandoned it's military effectively content to rely on America to project power and act as the world's policeman. Now personally I've had just about enough of that and would really like to see a minimium of 10% reduction in defense spending if not 20% with said money going equally to renewables and mass transit. However we're back to reality and reality is only the US is capable of acting right now.

                            Till that changes it is what it is and all the empathy in the world can't change that.

                            Unless you ask me to provide anything else this will be my last reply to you, while this has been contentious at times not to mention really annoying I want to say thank you again for your time.  I won't say it's been fun but it's been interesting for sure

                            cheers

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 01:02:30 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I heard this (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat, lotlizard

                            Senator Lists the Death Toll From U.S. Drones at 4,700 People

                            As long as that is cool with you everything should be fine. Personally I think he is full of shit and should have paid more attention in math class.

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:59:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yes because we should believe Graham (0+ / 0-)

                            when it's convient

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:00:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dig pardner (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            you fool no one

                            Clap clap divert divert That shit is done get over it we are now allowed to say President Obama is more to the right than any of us would ever accept. If he just told the truth he still would have won because the other side are idiots.

                            I personally am tired of being either lied to or ignored but because the sheeple follow, that is special of the day. I can't say that though because how dare I point out the fact that they both suck and represent then same people. Hold my tongue they say never utter a dirty word they say it will get better they say.

                            Not unless you grab your nuts and make it so is what I say.  

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:13:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  dig pardner? (0+ / 0-)

                            and what the hell is that word jumble supposed to mean?

                            You know what I am tired of? People pretending the world is black and white. It's not, never has been and never well

                            if you have a coherent response maybe I'll come back but if not then let's just stop

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:42:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You didn't (0+ / 0-)

                            that was the clue.

                            Text Momcat and ask what i mean better yet maybe you should contact an admin and see what their opinion is of your interactions.

                            You have been around enough to know what the answer will be even though you do feign to not understand the english language. You see I know it shocking but I have seen your kind often what I enjoy is you can't stop and think you hold the upper hand and all the while people laugh.

                            Dig brother dig I'll meet you next to the brimstone

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:51:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've already reported MomCat for abuse of HRs (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LaEscapee, TheMomCat

                            so I could care less what his/her opinion is. I thought this an attempt for an honest discussion I see I was mistaken. Very well since it was not I'll just ignore you

                            Though for the record your response did and still does not  make  sense to me and that has nothing to do with feigning 'to not understand the english language'. I think the mere fact that we are conversing in english would make it obvious I do but then you like MomCat seem to see enemeis every where and I can't figure out just what it is I am supposed to have done to you.

                            I largely stand by my record, yes sometimes I have screwed up but then most people do. I'm sure even you are not perfect.......

                            you know whatever not like you care or even are going to be honest about any attempt I make to even try and understand you. Still you take care as even though you seem to wish nothing but malicious things to me the feeling is not mutual.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:01:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I take back what I said (0+ / 0-)

                            It is white and it is black and both of them are poor being sent to die for the rich mans wars. It's undeniable why are you mad at me when I have no control over the fact President Obama is the one signing the orders?

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:16:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And just so you know (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TheMomCat

                            your attempt with "black and white" to suck me in to your issues won't work. Nice to see you again though.

                            There are no sacred cows.

                            by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:03:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  The gist of the diary is... (8+ / 0-)

            ...that the individual who holds the office is irrelevant -- it's The Office which has amassed more power than the constitution ever intended it to have.  Actually, it has taken dozens of administrations, both Dem and Repub, to amass the powers now claimed / possessed by the current administration.  And, as with every administration which came before this one, it works to amass even more power which the next administration inherits.

            The Ceiling reached by Bush is the Floor on which Obama walked in on.

            It's not that Obama must be checked, it's The Presidency which must be checked. The Congress and the Courts need to step up.

            At what point does a president, given this administration's insistence that it has the authority (legally constituted in secret) to target and kill citizens it determines (in secret) pose a threat to the safety of those who live here, become an authoritarian king?  Is it when the person making those decisions has the letter 'R' after his/her name?

            Jesus Christ, indeed.

        •  it's not about yielding (0+ / 0-)

          the fact is it's always been there. The great debate as it were has always been about degrees and severity.

          In the time that I have been given,
          I am what I am

          by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:43:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

          I was searching for that sentence, particularly the end part.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:33:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh! Gee! Where could we possibly rerthink all of (5+ / 0-)

      these patently obvious deficincies?

      THAT'S RIGHT. The Second American Constitutional Convention!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:42:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent argument! (7+ / 0-)

      For an authoritarian state.

      I live in one. Sometimes it works. More often not so well.

      Not just because it depends who is on top and what they can do, but also because of their limits to control and what others do under the umbrella they hold.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:58:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you realize that governmetn (0+ / 0-)

        by construction is going to be 'authoritarian'? That the purpose of government is to tell you what you can and can not do (in the best case for teh common good of all)?

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:11:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is the "Anarchist's paradox" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban

          Finally we have a dictatorship of one or a very few in some cases and that seems to be less functional beyond a point.

          But between governments, there are various degrees of informing and gaining consent, and exercising rule of law or men.

          Personally, I think people are mutually dependent by nature, that personal autonomy is over-rated and civilization dependent on the concept of government. The negative example is the freedom and personal autonomy enjoyed by some in failing states, particularly by those holding guns.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:13:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  but that's exactly my point (0+ / 0-)

            the government is saying that we have informed you and this is what we are going to do

            if you don't like it then by all means vote in new people or lobby for a consitutional convention but to label it 'illegal' just becuase you don't like it or agree with it is wrong.

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:43:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But they haven't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard

              What they have done is said "We will do this when we deem it to be necessary for the reasons we like, that you have no right to question because it's our secret".

              And the facts of various cases that have come to light (not by disclosure but by discovery) raise questions of international law, which also happens to be US law when a treaty has be ratified.

              If you are unfamiliar with the cases of extra-judcial actions taken by both the Bush and Obama administrations, perhaps you should study this before going further, you are digging yourself deeper.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:00:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  needless to say we're not going to agree there (0+ / 0-)

                you see 'extra-judcial actions' I see a progression of methodology and technology allowing us to persue not just our enemeies but the enemies of most of the world.

                :shrug: sorry but thank you for the discussion

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:32:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So then, you are OK with Abu Ghraib? (0+ / 0-)

                  As long as you don't have to face the messy details and Big Daddy takes care of it for you?

                  When drones become the new normal (world if headed toward that) we can pick-up the discussion again.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:36:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Anarchism (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko, ActivistGuy

            does not seek to end mutual interdependency, in fact, encouraging it in society and manifesting it as a way of life is the basic goal.

            Living collectively, without the destructive social effects of hierarchy, is anarchism. When a separate government entity is created that is hierarchically above the people, and in control of the populace, mutual interdependency is obstructed by an outside power. How can people be truly interdependent when they have no autonomy, as a group, over their own affairs?

            Most people don't have a clue about what anarchist theory is all about, but that doesn't stop them from speaking about it as if knowledgeable.

            Government as a controlling entity staffed by elites is replaced by networks of participatory communities (federations, which are local, regional, and even international in scale) based on free association and agreement, which manage themselves by direct democracy in the form of general assemblies and worker groups which directly decide how their lives will be lived.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:41:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

              I understand the various concepts of anarchy (you mention only one).

              It's philosophically and emotionally appealing, but it's another utopian ideal that simply does not work on a scale larger than small groups.

              Great way to run a family or a small business partnership or a gentleman farmer's commune, but fails miserably in the world at large because people are not as altruistic, fair or generous as you would hope, and nations even less so.

              The automatic reply would be "government is the disease", but actually it is not, humans are the disease.

              Anarchy: Hot House Flower.  That's my conclusion after flirting with the idea in my mis-spent youth and fining myself doing most of the work.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:16:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Prove your thesis that it doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

                Because lacking that, you're merely guessing.

                You're making assumptions about human nature that are not at all proven science, and are ignoring other known traits that humans have evolved.

                As to your notion of anarchism being "utopian" it is simply a different way of social organization that is no more utopian than capitalism, with its "invisible hand" of Adam Smith governing all motivations of greed to magically end up benefiting society. Heh. Ridiculous, but that's the system you support. One which absurdly elevates greed as a panacea to end poverty.

                Anarchists have no illusions of perfection, and know life is hard no matter what social structure we adopt, and thus want to make the best of human life by using mutual aid rather than mutual competition.

                You're basically espousing Ayn Randian notions of social Darwinism which you're accepted as unquestioned fact.

                There is evidence that humans have evolved as social animals, rather than as solitary ones. We do instinctively help each other. Human evolution is based on tribal cooperation, as well as competitive struggle. Efficiency of effort is better with cooperation and teamwork. That is as much of a survival factor as competitive struggle. We are complex animals, and not defined by one trait. We can think, and learn, and aren't trapped by one negative trait which supersedes all others.

                Human nature has a lot to do with what kind of environment we are raised in, and the American go-for-the-jugular mentality is not exactly the only expression of human existence.

                Oh, and while there are various concepts of anarchism (some being legitimate, and others misnomers) I'm referring to the broad category of what is known as social anarchism, since that has the majority of support. It includes mutualism, collectivism, communism, and syndicalism, all of which share common principles.

                And it does work: the experience in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in which some eight million people successfully turned to anarchist approaches (all the more significant since it occurred during an awful wartime environment), demonstrates that it can work.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:32:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Can't prove a negative (0+ / 0-)

                  You quote the one case quoted by all self-professed anarchists; a brief, isolated case of a small group of like-minded people.

                  IOW, as I said, "Hot House Flower".

                  Well, lots of things work temporarally in isolation.  

                  And absent the necessary conditions, they fail.

                  In practical terms, anarchy is not a robust system capable of being sustained on a necessary scale to be relevant in the real world.

                  Please go back and read my previous comments; your example bolsters my argument.

                  I have thought, worked and lived my way through this.

                  Now let's take it to the next step: are the principles involved useful in other more coherent and practical systems, or are they unique to anarchy and only applicable then?

                  I'm asking you to break out of the box doctrine puts you in.

                  Actually, I'm about a close to the polar opposite of Ayn Rand as it gets (ironically, in a time when I was rather captivated by the concept of anarchism as you frame it, my girlfriend was a die-hard objectivist, which lead to some pretty interesting kitchen table debates, LOL), so I found your statement quite humorous.

                  Ayn Rand was a moral idiot, emotional cripple and self-dilusional hypocrite with - Ha Ha - an inability to reason objectively, and would laugh in my face when I talk about human interdependence.

                  But what I understand now I did not then, is that humans are very reliably imperfect and failure-prone, enamored of the concept of independence and autonomy, yet utterly dependent on social groupings and do best in situations where there is coherent social structure including rules, ideally formed by consensus but when that fails, by leaders with authority (which supposes they have followers).

                  History keeps proving that. We want to reject it, but it happens over and over.

                  I'm comfortable with that. I have come to expect it, accept it and plan for it, as a parent and a boss.

                  And BTW, as the boss of an R+D group populated by some pretty bright bulbs, I try my best to run an organization based on a collegiate model and the principal of meritocracy because it think that gives people the most space to do well, but we also have some strict rules (including practical stuff like deliverables, schedules, etc.) and 4 cardinal rules printed on every report and agenda:

                  - do what you say
                  - say what you do
                  - silence is agreement
                  - see, think, do

                  My goal is to not have to boss anyone or to do so as little as possible but most people (including me) benefit from having one because it creates accountability and purpose we otherwise lack, left to our own devices.

                  I really don't think anarchy works outside of the hothouse.

                  We are not that good. We want to be, but we are not.

                  You may think differently and that's OK, but you don't have a real example to prove it.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:53:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

                    You keep ignoring the examples that prove anarchism works. And I've only scratched the surface. There is also the Paris Commune, the Anarchists in the Ukraine , and several other examples. But you'll likely poo poo these examples as well, if you so easily dismiss the Spanish example.

                    This discussion is like so many others I've been in here on dkos. I supply evidence, and people shoot it down while ignoring the glaring evidence in front of our very eyes, ongoing in our capitalist nation that is on the brink of destroying the planet.

                    Capitalism has failed. We are making no progress to replace fossil fuels as an energy source. We're destroying the planetary environment and our own human habitats, which is about as insane a form of government as imaginable. Poverty is rampant, economic inequality between classes is increasing, economic waste and corruption is wide spread, the wealthy class almost completely dominates our government, and our military expenditures to keep imperialist capitalism safely expanding is funding a shadow government known as the military industrial complex.

                    I think I'll pass... thanks.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:32:56 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  BTW ... (0+ / 0-)

                  Rereading your above comment, I have to say you really do not understand what I was getting at or are projecting a lot.

                  Perhaps my use of the word "Utopian" triggered an adverse reaction.

                  But that is what I meant, i.e., belief in an idealistic doctrine.

                  And by the way, 8 million people did not practice anarchy during the Spanish Civil War as you claim, that is urban myth promoted by "social anarchists" but not really supported by historical fact.

                  And I have to ask, if it worked so well, why did a Fascist Dictatorship follow?

                  Seems not to have been effective for long.

                  Lastly ... Social Darwinism ... that is an observable phenomena not a philosophy.

                  But I'm glad you mentioned it because, in fact, it is the reason we need, um, morals, principals, institutions and hierarchy. If we let people run amuck, Social Darwinism rears it's ugly head every time. Set your watch by it.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:07:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Cite your sources regarding (0+ / 0-)

                    the Spanish Civil War.

                    History of this war was completely muddled by the press of those years, and during those years communism (the authoritarian USSR variety) was popular among the intellectual class in the press corps, and thus reporters often took statements by the Stalinist influenced Republican government (and in some cases, even statements by the fascists), as fact.

                    The Stalinists had enormous influence in the Republic, since they were the only nation supplying substantial amounts of weapons to the anti-fascist forces. They censored the press, and engaged in counter-revolutionary tactics. Yep, the communists were against communism if it meant letting the anarchism of the CNT-FAI or even the communist anti-Stalinism of the POUM look good. So they did not allow the news to get published, and the international press, sometimes none the wiser, went along with the version of the news reported by the Republic.

                    The best histories are those reported by people on the ground, who were witness to the events, and there are several books by historians who have reported the facts. One book, Homage to Catalonia, by Orwell, who fought in the war and had to flee Spain to escape the Republican persecution of the POUM (an anti-Stalinist, Marxist political group who had a militia), gives a fascinating first hand account by a respected writer. While not specifically about anarchists, it tells the story of news suppression and the corrupting influence of the Stalinist forces.

                    Huge areas of Spain were collectivized. In fact, it was so widespread the government had to write a decree legalizing collectivization (in an underhanded ploy to get control of the process in order to suppress it). Why would the Republican government legalize collectivization (which was already an accomplished fact in anarchist regions) if it wasn't already fait accomplii? They were not at all in favor of the anarchist activities, so why legalize them? Because by so doing,  they thought they gain authority over the process. With such authority, they could begin to shut it down. This is one of many facts that tell the real story.

                    If all you read is Wikipedia or some history text, you will be getting a very slanted version of the events. Most of the news of anarchist developments were filtered through a capitalist, communist, or even fascist lens, and the real story is still very muddled.

                    As to why the war against the fascists was lost, that is a very complex issue that goes beyond the time requirements to delve into this. Fighting against the fascists were the Republican government, and various citizen militias, the largest of which were the anarchists. The Stalinist influenced powers that be channeled artillery to their own sympathizers and away from the anarchist and POUM militias. They also diverted troops from the front to put down the social revolution  that was underway far from the front. The Western nations (USA, France, England) refused to give arms to the anti-fascist forces, and FDR even allowed sales from American companies to elements backing the fascists.

                    It was as if fascism was preferred over left wing socialism. Even the Stalinist influenced communists were thought of as right wing authoritarians. It was a very strange mix of influences. In the end, the fascists had better support, getting arms from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

                    And as to the 8 million who were either directly or indirectly involved in anarchist collectives, this is not at all a stretch, considering the size of the anarchist influenced regions. But even if the number was half that (which is certainly no exaggeration) it is still a large amount of people. Not all of these were anarchists, but they were in anarchist controlled regions, and many of them indirectly were part of the effort, if not directly active.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:19:01 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Personal autonomony is essential to human (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            isabelle hayes, koNko

            happiness and collectivism is clearly not a panacea for all of societies ills.

            A healthy society encourages both collective and individual responsibilities.

            An unhealthy society concentrates power at all costs and compels individuals to obey authority.

            Concentrated power is seductive to those who seek to command, destroy and steal.

            Liberals are constantly losing ground because of their very dependency on a corrupt power structure that excels at suppressing and subverting challenges to the power structure.

            The whole decade needs an asterisk.

            by James Kresnik on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:13:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A balance of both is needed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko

              Both personal autonomy, as well as mutual aid/collectivism.

              But going after each others' throats is (ahem) counter productive. That is not what I mean by personal autonomy.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:00:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That requires (0+ / 0-)

                A degree of enlightenment, self-disapline and empathy humanity lacks in abundance, hence my conclusion it's a utopian ideal.

                Paradoxically, the people best suited to thrive in non-heiarchal systems tend to be the product of strong families with a benign dictatorship of Mommy and Daddy who give their off-spring those qualities that promote self-reliance, self-control, social skills and the understanding that people are, in fact, mutually-dependant.

                Go figure!

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:41:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, nonsense (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  koNko

                  It's no more utopian than the alleged miracles of the free market system and claims of an "invisible hand" that magically governs the economy. LOL.

                  Capitalism is the most utopian ideal ever devised, and yet it is failing so miserably we will be lucky as a species to survive through the end of the century.

                  You actually think the greed and mutual antagonism encouraged by free market competition is closer to our evolved biological/psychological nature than mutual aid? If so, how is accentuating the worst trait better for our survival? On the other hand, we also have inborn tendencies to mutual aid. Isn't it better to accentuate that, instead?

                  It all depends on the environment people are raised in. Raise kids for centuries in a capitalist, right wing dog eat dog society, all the while brain washing them to think of existence as social Darwinism, and it is no surprise that people conceive of life as all out competition between individuals, despite an evolution that indicates we are social animals who succeed with teamwork.

                  Raise people in a more egalitarian society, and it will bring out the inborn instinct to teamwork and mutual aid.

                  And yes, authority is okay if it is justified, such as the authority of the parent over the vulnerable children. But children grow up, and are supposed to become adults at some point. In capitalism under the authority of the state, we are perpetual children.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:00:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Who is preaching the miracles .... (0+ / 0-)

                    .. of the Free Market System?  Etc.

                    Where are you getting this stuff?

                    Capitalism is the most utopian ideal ever devised, and yet it is failing so miserably we will be lucky as a species to survive through the end of the century.

                    You actually think the greed and mutual antagonism encouraged by free market competition is closer to our evolved biological/psychological nature than mutual aid? If so, how is accentuating the worst trait better for our survival? On the other hand, we also have inborn tendencies to mutual aid. Isn't it better to accentuate that, instead?

                    Did I say anything even remotely resembling the above?  Where?

                    I most certainly believe in egalitarian meritocracy and try to practice it in my daily life and home (as a parent/spouse) and work (as a boss/colleague), but neither is magically self-perpetuating or possible to create in a vacuum.

                    What you and I agree on (quite a lot, actually) are, in fact, ideas that have evolved over centuries and are values and principles that can be applied in various ways.

                    I simply do not believe Anarchy is the best or most productive way to apply them.

                    Please don't feel bad about that; I also think the "pure" conceptions of communism, collectivism, capitalism etc. all have their defects.

                    But some of them are a bit more robust as working systems up to a point.

                    Hell, even Capitalism applied in an enlightened way can actually work, and long as there are enough police, accountants and white collar prisons to keep the bad actors in check.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:20:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  However (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm glad to see we also agree on "the tyranny of Mommy and Daddy", otherwise, I'd have to report you to the mods.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:22:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  More stuff. (0+ / 0-)

                    Couple of thoughts:

                    I. Primitive societies due tend to promote shared burdens and collective solutions, and often, the idea that the individual is subordinate to or inseparable from the group, but we also find they tend to have pretty-well defined social hierarchies, typically with pretty well-defiend roles for everyone.

                    There is a reason; survival. Because, without the advantages of modern societies, people find themselves subordinate to, and at the mercy of their environment, and so:

                    - face reality almost daily
                    - share common goals
                    - find it's more effective to go with the flow than against it, hence, cooperation and exploitation of opportunities

                    Take that wiring and plug the machine into a modern society and the problems become:

                    - some people are insulated/alienated from reality
                    - burdens are less equally shared and advantage is taken
                    - absent immediate consequences, people think they can game the system (including nature)

                    Collectively, we have failed to evolve in ways necessary to compensate for the complexity of our situation.

                    Your thoughts?

                    II. It's not totally hopeless because technology (computers. communications) give us useful tools to adapt is we use them correctly. Not solutions, but tools that could facilitate other ways of working than we do with help from our faithful servants, soulless machines.

                    For example, some countries are already using the internet as a means to re-create the public square, and it can be very effective if made universally available.

                    Your thoughts?

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:00:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Read up on the Spanish Civil War (0+ / 0-)

                      Anarchism was called "la idea" by the Spanish peasants, who had rather naturally gravitated to collectivism (essentially an anarchist approach) in villages since medieval times. They were well accustomed to anarchist life without having given it a name, before Bakunin's time.

                      These peasants, as well as urban industrial workers, were introduced to anarchist theory (the writings of Bakunin) in the 1800s, and they formed various anarchist unions, the most prominent being the CNT which had at one time 1.5 million members (remember, this is huge for Spain).

                      As a result of the influence of these ideas and the natural receptivity they had for anarchist thought, they had decades of experience using anarchist methods of organization on a scale involving large amounts of people, considering the large membership of the CNT, as well as villages that were more or less working as collectives.

                      This advance experience in organizing according to anarchist concepts was highly instrumental in generating the success of the revolution that occurred in the midst of the war against the fascists. Despite being up against enormous odds, since a war was ongoing and the anarchist CNT had to supply 30,000 troops at the front, requiring some 200,000 workers to keep the supply lines running, with food, munitions, etc., they had managed to collectivize entire regions, including industry, hospitals, communications, utilities, agriculture. They cut out profiteering, the predator banking industry (setting up their own system of exchange and mutual banking), and increased production of food, as well as increased consumption (except in periods when the war and the resulting lack of raw materials, such as coal, prevented progress).

                      Industrial workers commented they were more eager to go to work in the factories, since the workplace was worker-managed by collectives. People felt it was their own workplace. Traditional bosses were eliminated, using a more democratic system, and people felt liberated, as if they had become free beings for the first time.

                      In short, it worked. People were better off. People felt better psychologically. People felt they had control of their own lives. The power of the fascist supporting church was eliminated. They set up their own schools and taught science instead of religion. They were respectful of woman (who fought alongside men against the fascists). They managed a militia using democratic principles, without salutes, with far less reliance on hierarchy (leaders of units were selected by the troops, and committees of delegates were formed).

                      Despite this radical method of organization of the militia, they were known to be the best force among the various militias who jointly fought against the fascists. They, in fact, began the pushback against Franco while the Government initially stood by paralyzed into inaction.

                      They universalized health care. They modernized old factories where necessary. They closed down unhealthy work places, or made changes to make the workplace safe. They got rid of hundreds of the "basement" bakeries which were infested with rats and opened some 300 new bakeries with modern, up to date ovens. On so forth. It was an amazing accomplishment.

                      We've all been brainwashed into thinking humans are so ridden with selfish, greedy motives to such a degree that it is useless to oppose it, and thus we think we must go along with a system which rewards the worst of motivations, while throwing to the wayside the "less reliable" human social tendencies to mutual aid and collectivism.

                      Most people I have discussed this with on DKos insist on parroting a long list of anti-socialist/pro-state memes that are simply made up by capitalist theorists.

                      They repeat the endless unsubstantiated notions of human nature, that we are "hierarchical" and "selfish" and such greedy monsters that only servitude to "authority", as if children, is the only way, despite reports by anthropologists (like Graeber) that while early human societies were organized in a wide array of differing forms, it remains a fact that egalitarian, non-hierarchical collective societies have existed down the the millennia. In fact, as Graeber has noted (Debt: The First 5,000 Years) communism is everywhere in almost any human society in terms of how families and close networks of friends actually coordinate socially. People share their food with family and friends. People give each other money when in need. People loan each other tools, cars, living space, and so forth, often without asking for payment. People watch over each others kids, or elderly parents. Communism, in this natural, spontaneous, leaderless form, is everywhere in the substrates of society, even in the most rabidly capitalistic nation the world has ever seen. And yet people keep parroting, as if they are repeating a known fact, that this isn't a highly significant aspect of human nature.

                      It would take days and volumes of writing to clear up all the false assertions, and I don't have time for that. It is rather sad that Americans have become so hopelessly mesmerized to the point of supporting this madness called capitalism, because they are complicit in leading us to planetary ruin.

                      I'll say this: Those who want to enslave me as a wage slave under some capitalist boss, who want to control me with leaders whose so-called representation I had practically no voice in approving, are basically attempting to have authority over me against my will. My mere vote during elections is nearly useless, since I realistically never had any say in who would be a candidate (most having enormous financial backing of the wealthy class). My god, Hillary has amassed over 50 million in net worth. Who is going to compete with that, if she runs? Only another very rich candidate. Obama had the support of some very rich families who carry a lot of weight in American politics, even if he wasn't yet rich himself. This isn't freedom. I don't really decide anything in terms of how my community, state, or nation is governed. Oh sure, you can talk up the electoral process, but a close review of the history will reveal very little true democracy for those further down the economic ladder. It's all a ruse.

                      So, thanks, but no thanks. Not buying it. My eyes have been opened, and I'm not closing them again.

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:38:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  There is a difference between officials relating (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          semiot, orlbucfan, shaharazade

          what individuals must not do and officials demanding what individuals must do. The latter is insubordinate because officials are appointed to do what they are told, not the other way around.
          Of course, officials in the executive agencies execute what the officials in the legislative bodies direct. Where we currently have problems is with the latter presuming to tell individuals what they must do, if they want to survive, and enforcing their dicta by doling out public resources and assets (in the form of money and leases) in such a manner that the disobedient don't thrive.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:05:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you're going to have to clarify that please (0+ / 0-)

            as I am unsure if you are refering to the executive or legisslative branch when you reference 'officals'

            I'll save further thoughts till then, wouldn't want to comment in error

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:27:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All office holders are officials, (6+ / 0-)

              regardless of whether they are elected by ballot or otherwise selected. Their behavior is directed, in the case of the US by a constituting document, a kind of charter, with which they take an oath to comply when they assume their official duties.
              Nowhere in the Constitution are public officials directed to set moral or religious standards for the natural persons, citizens who govern and residents within the Constitution's jurisdiction.
              It is true that, from the beginning, public officials have demonstrated scant respect for human rights, despite being reminded in the amendments that some violiations (the most likely to occur) are definitely precluded. However, the amendments are useful as a demonstration that prohibitions are ineffective because those intent on violation can always come up with exceptions (warrants, e.g.). They are also a reminder that enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution lies with the citizenry by virtue of their ability to hire and fire the office holders.
              Justice Kennedy refers to them all as "agents." You know, sort of like real estate agents, middlemen who act as directed by the principals. I'm inclined to go with "officials" at the moment because "office" is a term that has not yet fallen out of favor. "Public officials" might be even better because it reminds the office holders of whom they actually work for. "Public servants" is also good, but it really raises some people's hackles.
              You'd think the public had been a harsh task master to hear them whine.

              We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

              by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:41:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Some disobedient people have guns /eom (0+ / 0-)

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:43:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  sounds pretty fascist to me (6+ / 0-)

      But then, most Americans don't seem to have any problem with fascism, as long as it's a fascist they like. (shrug)

      The end of the Republic has well begun.  And we are already a declining Empire. When the English Empire died, the Brits at least had the good sense to step down gracefully and give up. Not us. We will go down kicking and screaming and crying the entire time--and we will take as much of the world down with us as we can.

    •  Meaning of Democracy (7+ / 0-)
      first the office of the president as constructed is one where in you have to place all your 'eggs' in a single basket and hope the man elected is a good one.
      No, it really isn't. True, at election time you're faced with a stark choice; but democracy isn't just about elections. It's also about public pressure, protests, etc. Most importantly, "hoping" you elect a "good man" is not democracy; it's oligarchy where the people provide a rubber stamp.

      The role of citizens in a democracy is to constantly question their leaders, especially the ones they support. It's to doubt the motives of all politicians, and to fight for the sake of their fellow citizens. It's not a fucking sport where you root for one side and boo another.

      second these powers he so abhores are not going way and frankly most of them shouldn't. They're realities of an increasing complicated world
      So let me get this straight. Your argument is:

      1) The world is increasingly complicated.
      2) Therefore, the US government should be able to kill people in secret, for secret reasons, under secret legal justifications, without any oversight whatsoever.

      I think you're missing a step there somewhere.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:09:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        in regards to your first paragraph:

        I'm sorry no, there's nothing in a democracy that obligates you to protest though I do think we would agree that as a citizen you have a constant obligation to keep yourself informed so that the votes you cast are the most informed ones you possible can.

        As to the good man part, that was in regards to how our government is framed.

        In regards to your second paragraph

        My point is that technology has progressed to a point that not only can I travel the world in 24 hours but that our response to our enemies and the enemies of the world in general can travel taht fast.

        You don't like that? Your choice but personally as I said I think everyone that complains about Obama's choice should be obligated to prove that they have a better way because I've grown increasingly tired of what seems like arm chair quarterbacking.

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:50:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Armchair quarterbacking" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard

          The entire point of living in a democracy is to "armchair quarterback." This claim by some that we should just trust politicians is the antithesis of democracy.

          you have a constant obligation to keep yourself informed so that the votes you cast are the most informed ones you possible can.
          How many times must I emphasize that democracy is about much more than just voting? There's an entire 2 years between elections in the US system, 4 years for the President; do you think during that time people should just leave their elected officials alone? If not--and I assume you don't--then you can't think all we do is "hope the man elected is a good one."
          My point is that technology has progressed to a point that not only can I travel the world in 24 hours but that our response to our enemies and the enemies of the world in general can travel taht fast.
          During the Cold War, the world could literally have ended at any time. The progression of technology notwithstanding, modern-day "terrorists" can in no way compare to that. No one can deny that 9/11 was an utter atrocity, but that same year, over 40,000 people died in car accidents. Are you really so scared of these idiots (and by and large, terrorists are idiots) that you're willing to let the Executive Branch kill whoever it wants, whenever it wants, in secret, with no oversight?

          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

          by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:03:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no the point of living in OUR democracy (0+ / 0-)

            is to stay informed and to cast our votes for those that can best carry out what we think should happen.

            Armchair quarterbacking is as useless in politics as it is everywhere. If you wanted someone that would react exactly like you then you should have ran for office.

            You also keep going back to this strawman you've constructed. If you are going to quote me quote the whole damn sentence please or not at all.

            I also find your 'comaprisons' rather thin. We also do everything we can to reduce car accidents should we also not do the same with terrorists that we know exist and know mean to strike at us or our allies?

            You can't seem to understand that this isn't about being scared it's simple practicality that those people will not stop thus they must be made to stop. Anything less is just quixotic I'm sorry but that's how I see it.

            As I said if Congress can get it's act together it is welcome to change the law to give itself oversight or to do anything even puttinga cat in charge of it. The passed the AUMF the president is executiing it. You can say that's a false arugment all you want doesn't change anything really till the courts agree or disagree with you.

            Seems to me a more productive use of your time would be in pressuring your representives to change the law but that's just my take

            In the time that I have been given,
            I am what I am

            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:30:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, it really isn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard

              The vast majority of politics happens in between elections. I guarantee you, corporations don't just sit still twiddling their thumbs in odd-numbered years; they're aggressively lobbying politicians as we speak.

              I quote the parts of your sentences that are relevant to my points. They are never taken out of context. And by the way, you don't get to complain about strawmen when you say things like this:

              If you wanted someone that would react exactly like you then you should have ran for office.
              Anyway. You say this:
              We also do everything we can to reduce car accidents should we also not do the same with terrorists that we know exist and know mean to strike at us or our allies?
              Really, we're doing "everything we can" to reduce car accidents? We're building elaborate public transportation systems in every city? We're spending billions of dollars on stringent safety testing of new cars? We're requiring people to go through years of training before being able to drive? Give me a break; nobody in national politics cares about car accidents and you know it.

              And if you think we should do "everything we can" to combat terrorists, why not just bomb the entire Middle East? That'd take care of the problem in a jiffy!

              Before you respond and shout strawman again, my point is that there are lots of things we shouldn't do to combat terrorists, because they would be worse than the original problem. There are plenty of ways to combat terrorism that don't involve killing people in secret with no trial and no oversight; as you may recall from our last conversation, I've elucidated some here. If the only solution you can think of to terrorism is "extrajudicial assassination," then frankly all that shows is a lack of imagination.

              You can't seem to understand that this isn't about being scared it's simple practicality that those people will not stop thus they must be made to stop. Anything less is just quixotic I'm sorry but that's how I see it.
              Actually, I'm pretty sure it is about being scared. It's not rationality that makes you picture a bunch of dudes living in caves as the Terminator.
              The passed the AUMF the president is executiing it. You can say that's a false arugment all you want doesn't change anything really till the courts agree or disagree with you.
              Well, the Obama Administration is arguing that the program is a "state secret" so the courts don't have the right to rule it legal or illegal. So there's that. The AUMF in hindsight was a huge mistake, of course, but it was about the people who caused 9/11, not "terrorists" in general.
              Seems to me a more productive use of your time would be in pressuring your representives to change the law but that's just my take
              Do you really think the drone program would stop if Congress rescinded the AUMF? And you call me naive...

              "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

              by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:15:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  if you're reduced to arugment by absurdity (0+ / 0-)

                then we're done here

                In the time that I have been given,
                I am what I am

                by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:22:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you're reduced to dismissing my arguments (0+ / 0-)

                  Without even pretending to attempt to rebut them, then yes, we are indeed done here.

                  "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                  by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:24:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  why should I respond (0+ / 0-)

                    to an abusrd argument like

                    Really, we're doing "everything we can" to reduce car accidents? We're building elaborate public transportation systems in every city? We're spending billions of dollars on stringent safety testing of new cars? We're requiring people to go through years of training before being able to drive? Give me a break; nobody in national politics cares about car accidents and you know it.
                    ?

                    Really? Seriously?

                    Sorry I won't play that game (and by the by billions do get spent on car safety both things mandated and things not mandated)

                    But sure I'll respond to the rest (no I'm not quoting you but the responses should be clear still)

                    You have repeatedly selectively quoted me saying 'hope to the select the right person' or something close but the FULL sentence shows that I was talking about the founder's intent in regards to the electoral college thus what you are using it for is dishonest and misleading.

                    And frankly you should apologize but I won't hold my breath on that one.

                    Your list ranges from semi useful to utterly useful, I've already rebutted. I will not repeat myself.

                    Really? You know what I am thinking? Well that must be a useful power to have at school. Your absolute certainity which borders on arrogance blinds you here but if you don't want to believe what I am telling you about myself then that's an insurmountable isssue because you've given yourself all the justification you need to ignore my argument and have a conversation with yourself.

                    The AUMF is the justification if you disagree then you need to either legally challenge that or get it repealed complaining about it does nothing.

                    If the program didn't stop then they would need a new justification, I can't think of one can you? If they continued then you would actually have a point. Nothing naive about any of that just logical reasoning.

                    In the time that I have been given,
                    I am what I am

                    by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:33:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How is it absurd? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lotlizard

                      More Americans die every year in car accidents than terrorists have killed in a decade. And yet it's the latter we're supposed to "defeat" by spending trillions of dollars and sacrificing our basic liberties, including the right to not be killed without a trial, to the executive branch. Please.

                      You have repeatedly selectively quoted me saying 'hope to the select the right person' or something close but the FULL sentence shows that I was talking about the founder's intent in regards to the electoral college thus what you are using it for is dishonest and misleading.
                      It was not misleading in the slightest. You have made it clear that you think the major, if not the only, role of the average citizen in our democracy is to "select the right person." Sorry, but that's not the case, and it wasn't the Founders' intent either.
                      Your list ranges from semi useful to utterly useful, I've already rebutted. I will not repeat myself.
                      Again, I'm not an expert. But then neither are you, so I wonder where your confidence that killing people is the only possible solution comes from.
                      Really? You know what I am thinking? Well that must be a useful power to have at school.
                      Al-Qaeda and related terrorist organizations are a bunch of morons. 9/11, which again was a complete moral abomination, was accomplished mainly through luck and the utter incompetence of the FBI and CIA. Therefore, this attitude that they're some kind of existential threat, or as you put it people who "must be made to stop" by any means necessary, cannot come from rationality. Fear appears to be the natural explanation. They are, after all, terrorists.
                      The AUMF is the justification if you disagree then you need to either legally challenge that or get it repealed complaining about it does nothing.
                      1) People have legally challenged it. Again, the Obama Administration claims it's a "state secret" so they don't have to justify themselves. Isn't secret law grand?
                      2) Out of curiosity, do you have a way to get the AUMF repealed that doesn't begin with complaining about it?
                      If the program didn't stop then they would need a new justification, I can't think of one can you? If they continued then you would actually have a point. Nothing naive about any of that just logical reasoning.
                      Of course I can. Presidents haven't believed they needed Congress to declare war since WWII. They'll just claim the Commander in Chief has the inherent authority to declare war against the "terrorists," and that the whole world is a battlefield, etc.

                      Thinking that any of this is about following the law in good faith is, quite frankly, naive. The policy gets decided first; the justifications get made afterward. If they were confident in their legal interpretations, they'd argue them in front of a court instead of hiding behind "state secrets."

                      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                      by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:47:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                        It's absurd because you're trying to make it so by drawing comparisons that are groundless and baseless never mind we don't spend 'trillions' which makes you guilty again of at best overexgeration

                        Bullshit you have been misleading and you got caught. Suck it up and deal with it. Further we ARE an indirect democracy. Look it up but here's the cliff notes, it means that we vote to elect people to deal with issues instead of voting on it directly.

                        We've had this discussion before so please stop pretending the sum total of my response is 'kill them all'. It's embarrassing for you especially when yuo link to the chain.

                        Yeah some bunch of morons, WTC 1992, 2002, Madrd train bombing etc etc. Do you even know what the word moron means?

                        Congress passed AUMF they can repeal it I would think that would be obvious

                        Actually presidents have used AUMF before the 1950s too. You have half a point but in this topic it doesn't apply because AUMF is a defacto declaration of war.

                        In the time that I have been given,
                        I am what I am

                        by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:18:30 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "Groundless and baseless" (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          lotlizard

                          I thought this was about protecting Americans from being killed. Car accidents kill Americans just as easily as terrorists do--more easily, actually. And the "trillions" was a reference to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (and yes, I am aware Bush started those).

                          Bullshit you have been misleading and you got caught. Suck it up and deal with it.
                          Tell you what: If you admit you were wrong about signature strikes, I'll apologize for being "misleading" (though I'm still unsure what you believe I characterized your position as).
                          Further we ARE an indirect democracy. Look it up but here's the cliff notes, it means that we vote to elect people to deal with issues instead of voting on it directly.
                          I am aware. There are still many ways citizens can impact the political process other than voting.
                          We've had this discussion before so please stop pretending the sum total of my response is 'kill them all'.
                          You harp about strawmen and then you pull stunts like this. I'm not saying you only believe we should kill them all; I'm asking why you're so confident that killing people in secret with no oversight is necessary when you're not any more of an expert than I am.
                          Yeah some bunch of morons, WTC 1992, 2002, Madrd train bombing etc etc. Do you even know what the word moron means?
                          It doesn't take a lot of intelligence to set off a bomb.
                          Congress passed AUMF they can repeal it I would think that would be obvious
                          And how are we supposed to get them to repeal it without complaining about it?
                          Actually presidents have used AUMF before the 1950s too. You have half a point but in this topic it doesn't apply because AUMF is a defacto declaration of war.
                          My argument is that, even without the AUMF, the President will claim authority to wage war without Congressional assent, so I can't see how this is relevant.

                          "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                          by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:27:12 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  you're reaching (0+ / 0-)

                            iraq (a mistake) is over, afganistant is winind down ergo we're not spending trillions ergo waht I said. And I see we should only try and protect ourselves from things which kill over a certain abitraty amount. Well I guess we shouldn't be concerned about lightening strikes or toranados either by your logic.

                            Wrong in regards to what? I'm not going to just blindly agree to something suggested by someone I am rapidly starting to not trust.

                            Odd then that you're not using those methods.

                            As I have said REPEATEDLY what are our alternatives? Doing nothing is unacceptable, Congress neither wants this nor can handle it. Just what do you propose because it's easy to complain it's another thing entirely to offer a meaningful alternative.

                            Yeah that's why the WTC was bombed so many times and train bombing is an epidemic in Spain.

                            If yuo're going to complain do something about it

                            And your argument is specious till that happens, might as well argue the sun is going to turn purple

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:58:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We DID spend trillions (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lotlizard

                            And for all we know, we'll spend trillions more when someone, perhaps the next Repub president, decides we need to invade Iran to prevent "terrorism."

                            Well I guess we shouldn't be concerned about lightening strikes or toranados either by your logic.
                            I wouldn't want the government to kill people in secret with no oversight to protect us from lightning or tornadoes either.

                            Look, I'm not saying do nothing about terrorism. I'm saying that killing people we don't know in secret with no oversight is immoral, likely illegal, and in any event ineffective. There are much better options available.

                            Wrong in regards to what? I'm not going to just blindly agree to something suggested by someone I am rapidly starting to not trust.
                            Wrong that signature strikes are just "speculation." And I frankly don't care whether or not you trust me; what's at issue here are my arguments, not my personal integrity.
                            Odd then that you're not using those methods.
                            I personally do not have the time, platform, or resources. Maybe in a few years. Plenty of people I respect, though, are using those methods.
                            Just what do you propose because it's easy to complain it's another thing entirely to offer a meaningful alternative.
                            I have offered alternatives. You've rejected them, but they've been offered. Again, I repeat: If you are not an expert, why are you so convinced that killing people in secret with no oversight is necessary to curb terrorism?
                            Yeah that's why the WTC was bombed so many times and train bombing is an epidemic in Spain.
                            From what I can tell, they were bombed once in 1993 prior to 9/11. I'm having trouble finding other examples of train bombings in Spain than the (terrible) one of 2004. Do you have links to back up your claims? (Honest question.)
                            If yuo're going to complain do something about it

                            And your argument is specious till that happens, might as well argue the sun is going to turn purple

                            Even if I am the worst, laziest person on the planet, that doesn't make my arguments "specious." They stand and fall on their own.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:11:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  did != are (0+ / 0-)

                            there is a difference and yes Iraq should never have happened and was so mismanaged that it still angers me

                            people keep repeating 'no oversight' as if it's this magic word that means so much. What oversight do you want? A dysfunctional congress that can't pass a basic budget? a court system hardly designed for speed and certainly not for something like this?

                            Without doing more research then I care to right now I'll say this, drone strikes seem to be on occassion directed more towards either targets of oppurtunity and the criteria for determing that seems to be based on the behavior and demographics invovled. Not having yet looked fully into this I have no clue how often since things occur. Personally I'm for now against that because it is my opinion we should out strikes against known terrorists to help keep civilian cauasalities down. However at the end of the day I can't know everything about every strike and thus till proven otherwise I would support such strikes as I think the adminstration should not have to prove a negative which is impossible.

                            Your alternatives are not feasible as I have said before, you're welcome to prove me wrong on that but as you have your opinion so too do I.

                            My comment was snark at the absurdity of you claiming bombings were so easy. If they were then well I think you should be able to follow the logic now

                            It is specious if it hasn't happened, you can't argue on what ifs. Well you can choose to but don't expect me to or to agree with you to. You can't prove that it will happen only that it could which is the very definition of specious. It's like me demanding you defend yourself from a robbery taht has never happened and might never happen but you're still guilty of because it just might happen.

                            In the time that I have been given,
                            I am what I am

                            by duhban on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:52:59 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm too tired to give full arguments (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lotlizard

                            So I'll just give a sentence or two on each and call it a night. You can respond, or not; whatever floats your boat.

                            What oversight do you want? A dysfunctional congress that can't pass a basic budget? a court system hardly designed for speed and certainly not for something like this?
                            The latter. We don't need speed; after all, when they say "imminent" the administration really means "may commit a terrorist act sometime in the future." And I don't know why you think the courts aren't designed for "something like this"--terrorism is a crime, and crime is what courts deal with.

                            I don't understand your position in this next paragraph. First you say you oppose signature strikes, then you say you support them because the administration "can't prove a negative" (which negative?). In any event, all I really want you to say is "I was wrong that talk about signature strikes was just speculation."

                            Your alternatives are not feasible as I have said before, you're welcome to prove me wrong on that but as you have your opinion so too do I.
                            At least they don't create more terrorists than they stop, which is more than I can say for drone strikes.
                            My comment was snark at the absurdity of you claiming bombings were so easy. If they were then well I think you should be able to follow the logic now
                            Any idiot can set off a bomb, but they need a lot of luck to do so. Happy now?

                            I quite honestly have no idea what you're talking about in this last paragraph.

                            "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

                            by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:18:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Perfect example of the urge to dictatorship. (7+ / 0-)

      1) The world is big and scary and "complicated." We need someone big and strong to protect us.
      2) Our enemies are not just going to sit there and kill themselves! We need someone big and strong and violent to protect us.
      3) Our protector should not be restrained by the people or by and other branch of government! They are all stupid and corrupt and will just get in his way!
      4) Anyway we've never really been "free"! What is "freedom" anyway?
      5) If you disagree you are an anarchist.

      All Hail Big Brother!

      (It's also telling that the poster says we have to trust the "man" who gets elected, not the person. Big Sister just doesn't have the same ring to it.)

  •  Also from Esquire: Seal Team Hero "screwed" by US (6+ / 0-)

    Which was pretty soundly debunked. It appears, IMO, that Esquire has an agenda - to make POTUS look bad.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:56:43 PM PST

  •  Well, he's kowtowing to GOP whining (14+ / 0-)

    so that he can cover up the same illegal arguments that justified torture so he can get the guy who ran the said torture program for the CIA appointed as CIA Director.

    Somehow I can see a pattern.


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:58:33 PM PST

    •  Brennan didn't run the torture program. (0+ / 0-)

      Where did you get that little piece of misinformation?

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:48:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe from secret agent Google? (4+ / 0-)

        http://www.salon.com/...
        Then there is Brennan’s December 5, 2005 appearance on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, in which he vehemently defended the Bush administration’s use of rendition — one of the key tools to subject detainees to torture:

        JOHN BRENNAN: I think over the past decade it has picked up some speed because of the nature of the terrorist threat right now but essentially it’s a practice the United States and other countries have used to transport suspected terrorists from a country, usually where they’re captured to another country, either their country of origin or a country where they can be questioned, detained or brought to justice. . . .

        MARGARET WARNER: So was Secretary Rice correct today when she called it a vital tool in combating terrorism?

        JOHN BRENNAN: I think it’s an absolutely vital tool. I have been intimately familiar now over the past decade with the cases of rendition that the U.S. Government has been involved in. And I can say without a doubt that it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives

        .
        In November, 2007, Brennan — in an interview with CBS News’ Harry Smith — issued a ringing endorsement for so-called “enhanced interrogation tactics” short of waterboarding:

        SMITH: You know, this all becomes such a giant issue because the president has gone on record so many times saying the United States does not torture. If we acknowledge that this kind of activity [waterboarding] goes on, you know, what does that mean, exactly, I guess?

        Mr. BRENNAN: Well, the CIA has acknowledged that it has detained about 100 terrorists since 9/11, and about a third of them have been subjected to what the CIA refers to as enhanced interrogation tactics, and only a small proportion of those have in fact been subjected to the most serious types of enhanced procedures.

        SMITH: Right. And you say some of this has born fruit.

        Mr. BRENNAN: There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives. And let’s not forget, these are hardened terrorists who have been responsible for 9/11, who have shown no remorse at all for the deaths of 3,000 innocents.

        (emphasis mine)
        http://www.newyorker.com/...

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:22:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's nothing in there about running anything. (0+ / 0-)

          And none of it even discusses the torture program which was being run out of the CIA.

          So, I guess the answer to my question is "Nowhere, I sorta remembered wrong."

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:11:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He's always kowtowing to the right wing (0+ / 0-)

      He's free to hold the left in contempt because "Where else are they gonna go?"

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:47:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charles P. Pierce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0

    Where was he when Bush/Cheney perfected the method their successors now/will follow?

    Agee with much of what he has to say but also wonder about his agenda.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:07:35 PM PST

    •  He's a liberal (12+ / 0-)

      As a fellow liberal, I find our desire and ability to call bullshit on our leaders a feature, not a bug.

      His blog is must-read. Seriously. Bookmark it.

      •  Didn't say it was a bug. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego

        You may look at my comment elsewhere linking to a Bill Moyers segment with John Nichols and Bruce Fein where they deep a lot deep and argue with stronger reasoning about the roots of this problem.

        What I take away from Pierce's various Esquire pieces is his framing often seems calculated to provoke - fair enough if that is his purpose.

        BTW, "Liberal" does not certify "right" or "reasonable", it's a philosophy and a brand and milage may vary depending on road conditions. I find some Liberal pundits to be frequently mistaken about some things, and at times, taking positions I find curiously illiberal.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:07:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a fair criticism of Pierce (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orlbucfan, koNko, lotlizard
          What I take away from Pierce's various Esquire pieces is his framing often seems calculated to provoke - fair enough if that is his purpose.
          He's similar to Matt Taibbi in that regard. Paul Ryan is the "Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver" Lindsay Graham is "Huckleberry Closetcase." He opens a recent piece with: "Nothing good can come from loading a whole bunch of angry honkies onto a bus and moving them from one place to another." I generally find it pretty funny, but some his phrasing can be extreme. But he's not a shill for the Republican party or anything like that.
          •  Taibbi seems to do a LOT more research (0+ / 0-)

            I agree he can be a bit of a provocateur, but he usually puts a substantial effort into researching and justifying his positions.

            BTW, I'm not actually objecting to people writing provocative things, just suggesting that when they due we should ask why; often they have good reasons.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:43:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Um. Don't wonder. Google. Dude's writing on... (15+ / 0-)

      "Idiot America" takes Mr Bush as a primary case study. The bone he picks is not a partisan one.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:35:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I will search him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        I'm curious where he stood on impeachment of Bush/Cheney because I cannot recall him as one of the voices in the wilderness at that time.

        Guess I have a fundamental mistrust of "rants", I always wonder about motives (including my own) when it comes to that.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:00:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's a sports writer by trade. (4+ / 0-)

          It's not his job to have a public opinion on every issue you've ever cared about. This idea that everyone who wants to be taken seriously as a critic of the President must have a documented record of doing the same on some particular issue of import from the past is poison. It's elitist bullshit and relies on the nonsense claim that only those who've always publicly cared as much as you have about national American politics deserve a voice on the subject. Newcomers and converts need not apply, only the lifelong faithful allowed.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:23:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chill out. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not setting the requirements you seem to suggest, you are beginning to project.

            I merely questioned his motives a since his writing style is a bit provocative and prosecutorial, yet hasn't got much depth of detail.

            Since he makes such a big issue about Obama's use of executive privilege (something I'm already on the record for basically agreeing with) I don't think it's a stretch for me to ask where he was on the issue in the previous administration.

            And please note, I stated it as a question.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:52:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  These days (4+ / 0-)

            sports writers, drama critics, comedians and assorted bloggers and hacktivists are just about the only people willing to take on the anti-democratic DC establishment. What you call rants are the voices raised in opposition to the propaganda and fake narratives along with kabuki, we are assaulted with daily.    

  •  What will be said about Obama in 25 years-- (7+ / 0-)

    that he was another step in a decline or that he presented the moment we began to come to our senses.  We and he need to decide pronto.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:36:05 PM PST

  •  If you're not familiar with Charlie Pierce... (11+ / 0-)

    You should probably read some of his writing as opposed to implying he's a tool of the Republican party.

    Paul Ryan as the "zombie-eyed granny starver?" That was Pierce. And he has plenty of credibility.

  •  Can we now speak about what... (5+ / 0-)

    ...it really means to support "more and better democrats"?

    Or can we now talk about the yellow brick road down which that leads us?

    "Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.” Vaclav Havel

    by dharmasyd on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:20:31 PM PST

  •  The handwriting was on the wall in '07 (14+ / 0-)

    ... when Obama didn't support impeachment and was iffy, at best, about even investigating the lies and war crimes..., and in '08 when he voted for the FISA fiasco '08 after he said he would not if the telecom immunity was intact.  He lied.  He voted for it the second time when Nancy impeachment-is-off-the-table Pelosi brought that POS legislation back to life suddenly one Friday morning.  Obama was looking forward... to being able to use those illegal powers for himself.

    I refer, once again, to Bill Moyers Journal interview of John Nichols and Bruce Fein on 13 July 2007 and Nichols' description of presidential powers put into the metaphorical cherry wood box and who would inherit them after Dumbya....

    Chris Hedges is correct about the health care subsidies to corporations and Obama codifying the illegalities put in place by the Bush administration...
    "... remember [Obama] he's not even restored Habeas Corpus."

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:31:52 PM PST

    •  I added Bruce Fein (8+ / 0-)

      to my  list of "heroes" after that interview. I have it bookmarked as a reminder of what our principles of justice and respect for the law should be.

      The current administration is as bad as the last.


      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

      by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:19:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but the Dems went along with Bush (8+ / 0-)

      in 2007 and that was the big thing... the infrastructure of the party had been corrupted.

      here's one of my favorite gems (Schumer as first responder to 2008 crashed economy):

      Congressional Leaders Stunned by Warnings
      Mr. Schumer added, “History was sort of hanging over it, like this was a moment.”

      When Mr. Schumer described the meeting as “somber,” Mr. Dodd cut in. “Somber doesn’t begin to justify the words,” he said. “We have never heard language like this.”

      now remember, that initial bail out was prompted and supported by Dems. and also remember that the initial figure of 700 bn was about what the rethugs/BushCo wanted to steal invest from social security fund into the stock market and privatize... i find it a stunning coincidence.

      anyway, does this mean we so-called Dem/Obama haters will stopped being hit on the head for stating what was obvious in 2007?

      •  Probably not... :-( (9+ / 0-)

        There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

        Yeah, some coincidence, eh?  I wish I could say that with a tone of snarkiness.

        I think we all know, or suspect, that if our SSI/SSDI funds were turned over to Casino Wall Street that the investment bankers would take their cut off the top and the rest would be lost ... and find its way to the Cayman Islands or other offshore accounts where no one pays taxes.

        I remember Enron and other companies that folded - like the USPS is doing now, too - who thought they could get some kind of return on their funds invested in Wall Street.  They're forgetting the first rule of casinos:  The House Always Wins - Always.

        If our SSI/SSDI ends up at Wall Street, we all know darn good and well we can kiss that money goodbye - permanently.  [Remember, the I stands for Insurance, and these are NOT "entitlement/welfare" programs.  WE The People pay for them.]

        I knew Obama would be a disappointment, but even I didn't think he'd disappoint us THIS badly.  [You have no idea how badly I wanted to be wrong in thinking he'd disappoint us and sell us all down the tubes.  I really did want him to prove me wrong.]

        I also thought the Dems in Congress would fight harder for us.  No such luck.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:37:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think the thing that the Framer's failed to see (5+ / 0-)

    was the speed and ubiquity of information.

    The centralized nature of ALL information and the speed at which it travels must have been unimaginable to the Framers.

    It would be like someone having the power of God.

    In terms of our situation, we are at the mercy of a wealth, information, resource, and power disparity that has not been seen in human history.

    It drives me bonkers when people say things like tyranny never wins, or freedom always triumphs. Tyranny has never had these powers and freedom has never faced such a foe.

    Peace~

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:10:01 AM PST

  •  And this my friends (11+ / 0-)

    is the closest I have seen any "mainstream" voice come to explaining why the anarcho-socialist views of my youth have been getting a renewed consideration in recent years.  The great warning sign was when a Democratic White House and Congress justified letting torturers, and worse, those who set a policy of torture, walk away claiming without contradiction to have honorably served the will of the American people.   That warrantless spying on American citizens was not only tolerated, but bragged about without consequence.  

    Dismiss slippery slope arguments?  Then how is it now A-OK for the US government to send a flying death robot for the specific purpose of killing a 16-year-old US citizen, with no legal process, no trial, to this date not even any charges offered against him.  And again, he wasn't killed in the attack on his father, nor in any earlier failed effort to kill his father.  We sent our flying death robot to kill this minor two weeks after we'd killed his father. The 16-year-old was killed in our names, with weapons we paid for, at the order of the most "liberal"
    president our system will provide us.  And there isn't diddly-squat we can do about this path we're on.  We call that relationship between people and power "democracy".

    The anarchists have said all along that this is the inherent nature of government, that in the end any government ends up doing just this.  We see it happening right in front of us and we know we are utterly powerless in this land of liberty and democracy to change this course, so we resign ourselves to the fact that these things will be done in our names, using our money.  Some will deal with that by embracing and justifying the state assassination of minors by flying death robot.  The rest of us just shrug our shoulders and say "what can you do?"  Short of a mass popular uprising, not a damned thing will change the course we're on, and our authorities have proven within the last two years, beyond any shadow of a doubt that they can and will crush completely any movement that seems to offer the opportunity for such an uprising.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:31:58 AM PST

  •  The Constitution has always accommodated (6+ / 0-)

    immoral behavior from the days of slavery to the present. But, the fault lies not with the executive, but with the law makers. The Congress may have been tricked into passing the AUMF, giving the executive dictatorial powers under the umbrella of waging an endless war against ragtag disorganized malcontents around the globe, but the Congress has had many opportunities to rescind that command to kill terrorists wherever they are found and has refused.
    Why? Because it makes law makers feel omnipotent to have created a killing machine without having to dirty their own hands. The law, it turns out, is a wonderful shield behind which to hide human responsibility. That was true in the days of Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin and it is true today. When the law is unjust, the rule of law is a tyrant.

    Would you rather have an impersonal tyrant or a flesh and blood one? Republicans prefer the latter because the head of a flesh and blood tyrant can be offed. And, it's not just a theory. Saddam Hussein and the tyrant of Lybia are recent examples.

    The drones aren't unlawful; they're immoral. Killing people we don't like is immoral. Defense is an in-the-moment action. Preemptive or delayed defense is dishonest -- i.e. unjust. Some religions would have us believe that behavior that's obedient to some deity's decree is ipso facto moral. It's not. Decrees from a deity are more ephemeral and harder to pin down than the tenets of man-made law.

    You'd think "Thou shalt not kill" would be indisputable, but you'd be wrong. That particular injunction provides good evidence that prohibitions are easy to get around ("free spech shall not be infringed" is another one). All that is necessary to evade a prohibition is to call the act something else. Call it

    justice
    capital punishment
    due process
    protection
    security
    vengeance
    execution

    "In the beginning was the word" and then came the lie, Satan's contribution.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:55:26 AM PST

  •  It is good to have a single figurehead (7+ / 0-)

    onto whom the collective karma for a lifestyle made possible only through global plunder and mass murder can be dumped. in 'The King Must Die' the king was sacrificed every year.  I think 4-8 years is more practical, given the logistics of industrialized killing.

  •  Scary shit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, shaharazade

    I really think our freedom is endangered. We can't let this happen.

  •  I have a question (4+ / 0-)

    Is Charles Pierce against the killing of these targeted individuals or is he against the method used:drones?

    Also, does Pierce offer an alternative?

    Byw, drones do scare me too bu I think it they are the harbinger of future war tech. The logic will be: There won't be as much " shock and awe" and destruction of life, landscape, infrastructure and property as it used to be. Moreover, I think the future wars will be pure tech, or better yet, waged from the internet, for the hearts and the minds. Me? I can't wait till all these wars to end and we finally grow up as the human kind.

    American presidents criminal? I disagree. They are what they need go be. They have choices to make which we gave them the power to do so. They cannot afford to be what we want them to be at all times. Like I said, they have difficult choices to make.

    I would not compare our current White House with the previous one in tterms of "criminality." There is no comparison.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:44:33 AM PST

    •  Have you considered... (6+ / 0-)

      what happens when other countries get drones and use them?  All that has been done in other countries, whether it's war or gobbling up of resources on behalf of the United States, will come back to haunt us.  We used to have pretty good protection with two oceans and allies to the North and South....with drones...not so much.  You can't just say that the United States has free will to carry out so called "righteous" killings without any due process, while the rest of the world has no right.  It's absurd to think the American President, our ELECTED leader, has no one to answer to.  He is what he needs to be?  Really?  Who is making that call when we don't know what's actually going on.  

    •  Pierce is a pro-constitutional (10+ / 0-)

      pro-law liberal (I place less faith than he does in the law) and he's been a long-time critic of the "war on terror," in particularly its covert nature. He's likened the President Obama's dirty wars to Reagan's wars in Central America, which in his view are a unique threat to democracy.

      He wrote a piece I couldn't find in which he said something like: you can argue that such military action is necessary but sooner or later you end up killing nuns.

  •  Who is Barack Obama? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RF, shaharazade

    I read the rant in Esquire and some of the comments. If the comments are true then he was something other than a legal scholar, and I'm being generous in that. Has he actually authored any articles on law? Was his application for professorship at Chicago Law summarily rejected, only to be overridden by the Board of Regents?

    Being a legal scholar and an expert on Constitutional law was important for my support. I looked forward to having an accomplished intellectual in office. The drone strikes, his embrace of the Patriot Act his failure to close Gitmo and his very authoritarian nature in office have seemed contrary to the Obama that I supported. I'm wondering if I have any idea of who he is.

  •  The Rule of Law is Dead in America (11+ / 0-)

    I was recently discussing with a friend my total disgust with how we have moved so far from being a Constitutional state to the point the rule of law is pretty much dead.

    We now have a Presidency that wages war without any formal declaration, and keeps a secret list of not just obvious enemy combatants, but US citizens, who are subject to execution totally without regard to the law at the whim of the Executive. The protections of the fourth amendment are so shredded that it is pretty much a joke to even reference it anymore. It is only going to be months, not even years, before we have predator drones routinely patrolling the skies of the United States.

    Congress is pretty much dysfunctional So we have no oversight, no controls, no reviews. The Star Chamber is pretty much running the country. Obama has taken all the tools of the Imperial Presidency put in place by predecessors since the 1980′s, and run like a marathon runner with them.

    The fact we are still running a gulag in Cuba, instead of bringing the prisoners to the US and subjecting them to an honest series of trials, just pretty much says it all.

    You know, I was so hopeful when Obama spoke, and emphasized he was a Constitutional scholar, and understood the need to restore the rule of law. I even got to shake the man’s hand. My staff and I had helped the Secret Service set up Assembly Hall for his appearance here during his first campaign, so I got to come to the entrance late and be escorted to the very front line cattle gate below the stage, where he would be passing by after he came down the stairs of the stage after his speech.

    At this point, I am done. I do not plan to give another dime to any candidate for any office.

    We have, in fact, pretty much become an Orwellian police state at this point, where constant war is good, and we will starve granny and make her eat cat food before we stop lining the pockets of the military industrial complex (which Dwight Eisenhower saw coming and warned us about) with cost overruns, fraud, cheating, and unneeded and useless and overpriced supplies and hardware.

    Charles Pierce us spot on. He goes straight to the jugular. And the last paragraph packs a powerful punch. Because it is the TRUTH. In caps.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:33:26 AM PST

    •  Agree rule of law sham, like national security (5+ / 0-)

      This diary has a short paragraph which summarizes how bad it has become.

      Your comment is another short comment that should be a deeply profound criticisms that demands a reply.

      Yet, given the corporate take over, and the main stream media complicity, people don't realize this.

      An example of what you are saying is that national security is shown to be a sham. I added the bold in the quotation.

      It is not news that the US government systematically abuses its secrecy powers to shield its actions from public scrutiny, democratic accountability, and judicial review. But sometimes that abuse is so extreme, so glaring, that it is worth taking note of, as it reveals its purported concern over national security to be a complete sham.
      Such is the case with the Obama DOJ's behavior in the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the CIA to compel a response to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about Obama's CIA assassination program. That FOIA request seeks nothing sensitive, but rather only the most basic and benign information about the "targeted killing" program: such as "the putative legal basis for carrying out targeted killings; any restrictions on those who may be targeted; any civilian casualties; any geographic limits on the program; the number of targeted killings that the agency has carried out."
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      My hunch is that you follow Glenn Greenwald and know about his most recent book about the two tier justice system.

      Here is a link to all his columns at the Guardian.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    •  your dimes make you feel like a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, HeartlandLiberal

      player in the casino. It's time to shut the casino down with legislation ending all private campaign funding and media tollbooths and their Court protection. Either incumbents are accountable on this issue or they should be voted out. If they compromise they will be voted against until there in an accountable Congress. Free speech means when you talk they listen.

  •  What USA become - banksters, security, energy (9+ / 0-)

    The Feb 28  Rolling Stone brought it all home. The dates of the on line articles are different than the magazine.

    Long article by Matt Taibbi which was covered here at DK

    The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.
    People may have outrage fatigue about Wall Street, and more stories about billionaire greedheads getting away with more stealing often cease to amaze. But the HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching­ sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated­ with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder – well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    Then there was the article on Aaron Swartz - shows the lengths the security state will go to protect the 1%

    The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz

    He was a child prodigy, an Internet pioneer and an activist who refused to back down - even when the feds tried to break him

    The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz
    He was a child prodigy, an Internet pioneer and an activist who refused to back down - even when the feds tried to break him

    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    Then the article I read first which is behind a fire wall unless you subscribe "Al Gore's Grim Warning" about his new book "The Future." How energy destroys the planet.

    Suggest subscribe to print version of Rolling Stone - very inexpensive and excellent articles. Tiabbi alone is worth the price. I really enjoy having reading material in hand.

  •  And Pierce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, shaharazade

    only made a small start.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:45:40 AM PST

  •  Don't cringe, own it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout, ffour, 3goldens

    You actively pushed the reelection of President Obama even when most all of his disgusting behavior was well documented already. So it's not as though you have much credibility venting in 2013.  

  •  I deserve dozens of HR for saying this about Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ffour, 3goldens, shaharazade, aliasalias
    This is what happens when you elect someone -- anyone -- to the presidency as that office is presently constituted. Of all the various Washington mystery cults, the one at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue is the most impenetrable. This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment -- is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future. The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that's become the precise job description.
    •  It is even worse than this -- just out (8+ / 0-)

      this comment by Glenn Greenwald follows the Pierce quotation from Esquire

      my snark is that the extreme language in Pierce's article if said in the wrong place, or at the wrong time here at dailykos would have brought down many HR's with some even trying to get me banned from this site

      but there are bigger issues than the game of politics

      here is the Greenwald statement. Suggest you read his whole article.

      That language may sound extreme. But it's actually mild when set next to the powers that the current president not only claims but has used. The fact that he does it all in secret - insists that even the "law" that authorizes him to do it cannot be seen by the public - is precisely why Pierce is so right when he says that "the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior". To allow a political leader to claim those kinds of of powers, and to exercise them in secret, guarantee chronic criminality.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/...
  •  it's an accurate rant as far as it goes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, lotlizard

    but it stops before it even begins to reach the real truth.   The corruption, the above the law aspects. apply equally well to the Congress and the entire bureaucracy, and is pretty much true about the Supreme Court, though in places throughout the judiciary I think there are still good individual judges, just as a few in Congress and some Presidents are better than others (all have promised their souls to the system to some degree) and some professional staffers that believe in their missions.

    In addition, we may focus on the executive branch as it is easier to see and comprehend the actions of one or small handful of individuals and place blame.  But the executive at least still functions to some degree.  Congress has become a joke and outright threat to the security of this nation.  By continually being unable to act, for years, even decades, without some absolute overriding crisis,  the executive continues to amass power.

    The whole government needs cleaning up.  Money will always distort the system of government,  but we've let it get past a sustainable and healthy point.

  •  Are any of you going to call for impeachment? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, mallyroyal, ffour

    Just askin'.

    A guy who's the head of an Orwellian police state who can put any of us on a kill list should be removed from office immediately, no?

    Never mind that removal of an authoritarian is inconceivable in a police state. Let's assume for now that our "police state" nevertheless allows for democratically elected representatives to remove the President from office.

    Which of you will be the first to publically call for his impeachment?

    •  It would be pointless (9+ / 0-)

      Biden wouldn't be any better, Boehner's third in line, and it wouldn't succeed anyway. As much as you may believe otherwise, most of the "purists" are pragmatic in some regards.

      (Incidentally, the removal of an authoritarian is not "inconceivable"; indeed, it happens all the time. Of course, it tends to occur at the hands of the military.)

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:03:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My, what a large, red herring you have. n/t (5+ / 0-)
      •  Bright Red. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaEscapee

        My senator chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with all this due-process-free-kill-list-drone-a-palooza-perfectly-legal-stuff-that even the lawyers on her staff can't see.

        And there ain't a Republican alive in D.C. who doesn't respect power administered through the barrel of a gun or a good, old-fashioned terrorist lynching -- even if they have to begrudgingly praise the president for continuing and enhancing the policies of THEIR guy -- the one who held the office before Obama.

        But since we don't know what legal underpinnings support the administration's claims of legality -- nor will we ever know them -- how can we prove that the president is, in fact, perpetrating impeachable offenses?

        Let's see how red that herring is when the next Republican becomes the Commander in Chief of the War on Terror.

    •  You're an idiot (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      Hiderate away.

      Sorry but it's about time you grasp the fact that only republicans think disagreement = impeachment. Try and keep up

      There are no sacred cows.

      by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:37:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I see. You charge the President with breaking (0+ / 0-)

        the law, and you claim that that's mere disagreement?!

        Disagreement would be taking issue with lawful behavior. This diary essentially calls the President a criminal.

        If you're going to claim the President is a criminal, then it seems only logical to call for his impeachment and removal from office.

        The President swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. The claim that he's a criminal is a claim that he violated that oath and should be removed from office.

        Pretty cowardly to make such charges and then back away from their full implication.

        •  You're not getting it, the job description (4+ / 0-)

          according to the diarists calls for criminality.  Replacing Obama would only change criminals.  Maybe the conservative progressives and liberals are correct, Obama is the lesser of two criminals.  

          "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:18:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

            Presidents can do what they want to do. We've had many Presidents that never engaged in activities contrary to their oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Saying that any occupant of the Oval Office is a defacto criminal is pure nonsense, especially when the person making the charge can't name a single law that's been broken.

            I don't understand why anyone who would decry targeted killings without trial, would nevertheless judge every President as a criminal without any finding of fact.

            Also, such an argument creates a false equivalence between the use of force and war crimes. It essentially conflates the two.  We give police officers the authority to use force against people without trial. We grant them the authority to kill those they have reasonable cause to believe are endangering the lives of U.S. citizens. Obama's use of drones is perfectly analogous. There's nothing criminal about it.

            Of course, Obama or any other President could abuse that authority. But charging them with such abuses requires actual evidence, not a paragraph rant pining for the good ole days when the President couldn't own or target people who were deemed 5/5ths human.

            •  I'm referrring to a helluva lot more than drones (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LaEscapee, TheMomCat, allenjo

              and targeted assassinations.  And just because I didn't mention them, there are plenty of facts.  It's useless and a waste of time to discuss that here.  

              "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:09:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Facts aren't evidence of criminal wrongdoing. (0+ / 0-)

                It's a fact that Obama targeted two US citizens for killing without trial. It's a fact that person A shot person B. In order to argue that those facts are evidence of criminal wrongdoing, you have to cite what law or laws were broken, and then cite corroborating evidence as part of an argument justifying the charge of criminality.

                You have no such argument. You're incapable of making such an argument, not only because you don't have evidence, but also because you lack the intellectual aptitude. Clearly. You can't even make the distinction between facts and evidence.  

                Waste of time indeed.

                •  You just showed how idiotic you are. You (0+ / 0-)

                  don't even know someone and you resort to that bullshit.  Don't talk to me you little child.

                  "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

                  by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:40:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No argument. No intelligence. No guts. (0+ / 0-)

                    No argument: You resort to name calling because you have no evidence of your belief that this President is a criminal.

                    No intelligence: You resort to name calling because when asked to provide a rigorous justification of your claim that the President is a criminal, you simply point to "facts" because you believe "facts" are in and of themselves evidence of criminal behavior. You have no idea that the inferences you've drawn require further corroborating evidence because you believe your intellectually lazy and dishonest, knee-jerk beliefs are evidence.

                    No guts: You publically claim this President is a criminal and you lack the courage to call for his impeachment. You sit here, day after day, calling this President weak, dumb, naive, dangerous, criminal; and yet, when push comes to shove, you won't demand accountability. You whine that greedy bankers aren't prosecuted, and yet you won't demand no accountability. You claim that this President is singularly responsible for operating a gulag (Gitmo), and for failing to prosecute Bush and Cheney, and yet you demand no accountability because ... what'd you say again? It "wouldn't do anything."

                    Well perhaps you're right Big Al. Your daily whining is pretty worthless. At least you're "big" enough to admit that.

            •  It's actually (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheMomCat

              3/5ths but one would think you knew that as often as you allude to the fact that any critic ascribes to that belief.

              There are no sacred cows.

              by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:02:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Don't start with me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, TheMomCat

          What you need to do is take off the rose colored glasses, read the law and examine the history.

          I couldn't give two shits how many rainbows you believe fly out that mans ass. Until you realize that no matter who breaks the law it's  breaking the law you have no standing in  any conversation dealing adherence to the law, and neither does his administration.

          There are no sacred cows.

          by LaEscapee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:40:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  In reality, the Republicans like Obama (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, LaEscapee, lotlizard

        he's doing things they never would have gotten away with under Bush. The Republican House will never impeach him and not just because they approve of the kill list, it would expose the Bush administration to prosecution for war crimes. Removing the lid on that can of worms would tank this country's global credibility for decades.

        No one, Democrat or Republican, has the courage or the moral fortitude to do call for impeachment and  virtualy indict every president since we let Ronald Reagan off the hook for Iran Contra.


        "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
        TheStarsHollowGazette.com

        by TheMomCat on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:16:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i already did (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaEscapee, TheMomCat

      Three years ago when he became an accomplice to torture after the fact.  

  •  Finally, people are waking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, ffour, 3goldens, aliasalias

    up to the damage that BO is doing.

    Finally.

    He is a completely failed president.

    He is a huge political success, though: he manages a 55% approval rating despite his policy and moral failings.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:22:37 AM PST

  •  I have to keep reminding myself (8+ / 0-)

    that you're The Troubadour, and not Troubadour.

    Reminding myself of this always pays off. :-)

    Tipped and recced, a thousand times if I only could.

  •  the comments in this thread... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdsnebraska

    they deliver. Sometimes not quite what their authors intended, but they do deliver.

  •  More mischief has come from the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, 3goldens

    Commander-In-Chief powers than everything else combined.

    We need (yes, groan, we do.) a constitutional amendment clarifying the Presidency only in its CinC role.

    As a separate branch, and for almost all purposes, the Executive should have its own powers, checked in the traditional ways.

    As CinC, the President should be explicitly subservient to the Congress under its authority to declare war and maintain an army.

    We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

    by bmcphail on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:03:59 AM PST

    •  This is why separation of powers so important (4+ / 0-)

      Bruce Fein makes the claim that separation of powers is more important for civil liberties than the bill of rights

      •  In case I was unclear (0+ / 0-)

        Given the tendency of the Presidency to use the practically unchecked CinC power to embroil the country in adventure after adventure, I firmly believe that in military matters and in the CinC role only, the military chain of command should terminate with Congress, with the CinC merely the CEO.

        Ability to react to emergencies? Delegated through legislation.

        We are the principled ones, remember? We don't get to use the black hats' tricks even when it would benefit us. Political Compass: -6.88, -6.41

        by bmcphail on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:28:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The last president who tried to reverse (5+ / 0-)

    the creep of imperial dominion had a very bad day in Dallas:

    At the height of the Cold War, JFK risked committing the greatest crime in human history: starting a nuclear war. Horrified by the specter of nuclear annihilation, Kennedy gradually turned away from his long-held Cold Warrior beliefs and toward a policy of lasting peace. But to the military and intelligence agencies in the United States, who were committed to winning the Cold War at any cost, Kennedy’s change of heart was a direct threat to their power and influence. Once these dark "Unspeakable" forces recognized that Kennedy’s interests were in direct opposition to their own, they tagged him as a dangerous traitor, plotted his assassination, and orchestrated the subsequent cover-up.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:57:57 AM PST

  •  President as Scapegoat (4+ / 0-)

    We load the President up with all the things we'd rather not know about, but want done anyway. It's a tacit bargain. We won't call them on it if they won't acknowledge they're doing it in our names. It's a form of consensual moral cowardice, and America has always been good at it.

    It's de rigeur for an imperial power.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:57:24 AM PST

  •  Am I getting this right ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard

    It reads as if Our President would rather submit to Republican demands for "incriminating" notes, memos and records of the Bengazi affair than accede to Democratic requests for access to the legal memos justifying the the President's Shinigami Deathnote superpower.

  •  Oh Great. Obama inches toward another war (4+ / 0-)

    sends small number of troops to Niger

    a base for Drones,

    With Little More Than a Note, Obama Deploys US Troops To Niger
    West African that will host fleet of US drones will also have armed US soldiers with "boots on the ground"

    In the era of executive authority—almost entirely enabled by the annually renewed Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted after the events of 9/11—the question remains, at what point will Congress reassert its right to control declarations of war and at what point will the US public begin to question a "war on terror" that can deploy US soldiers in a foreign nation with the quick delivery of a simple presidential note?
    http://www.commondreams.org/...
  •  Could anyone govern with principles uncompromised? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth

    I think not.
    What remains in the world of men [sic] after we accede to Machiavelli's reminder ----"...they are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger and covetous of gain."--- is how we address venality, not whether any political leader can be exempt.  I am not less offended than Pierce by the President's actions, be it in the killing of Americans overseas,  the Guantanamo policy, etc.  
    Then if there is anything to believe about today's news out of the UK regarding the confessions of the convicted UK terrorists trained in Pakistan, it is that there are people in the world who want to kill people like me however they can.  I'm not averse to stopping them by ethically compromised means because there may be no better choice.  Preaching righteousness may feel good but it's no less foolish.  What if it's us or them?  There are never uncompromised principles, just reasons we act.

  •  All around the world (4+ / 0-)

    the major political parties are resembling each other. In Greece, in Italy, in Germany, everywhere. The major political parties are becoming authoritarian, corrupt, and on the side of the 1%.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:39:06 AM PST

  •  One criminal? We elect a slew of them at the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater

    local, state and federal level election after election.   Our system is broken.   How many more ways can it be said or demonstrated.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:57:08 AM PST

  •  Whoa, when did this become common wisdom? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt
    This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics...
    Many liberals? Bullshit. Silence is complicity though, that's the kernel of CW here from which denials do fail...

    The irrationally open-ended AUMF must be retired, expired, ended ASAP. FWIW, I don't care about the weapons (e.g., drones) or targeting Americans who have joined foreign enemies. Bombing in countries without a Congressional act of war is a departure from Constitutional law, morality. and practical politics. It's unconstitutional and without an AUMF its illegal nature can not be escaped.

    Congress is MIA and the WH takes advantage of that.

    It's up to Congress to assert its role and rescind the AUMF.  

  •  A lot of us were saying this 10 years ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, lotlizard

    when Democrats rubber stamped every unconstitutional executive power-grab they had in front of them.  

    Once you give the executive branch extended powers, you can forget about ever taking them away.  

    Remember the "sunset provision" in the patriot act?  

    That shit is never going away.  You can thank BOTH parties for that.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:16:32 PM PST

  •  Economic reasons for guns, military (0+ / 0-)

    Yes the empire is in trouble. The priorities have been placed in our fears, and so, the defense budget is overblown and there are more guns than American citizens.
    Yet, as sensible as reducing both of these is, both are resisted for economic reasons.
    Surprisingly, the push by some for more and more guns is not much different than cigarette manufacturers pushing their products, despite health concerns.
    More obvious, if the defense budget is cut, if military personnel are reduced, leading to a decline in one of the US largest industries, many jobs would be lost. Why not take these people, with the money saved, and create a better country - safer roads, a real electrical grid, cleaner energy. It would also lead to new industries which could even export, such as green energy products.

    Learn from history; plan long term. cheap scooters and ATVs

    by pegasusdba on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:41:00 PM PST

  •  Props to Pierce for being (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming, Don midwest, lotlizard

    intellectually honest about the drone killings. If this were bush we'd all be raging for impeachment:

    "This is why the argument many liberals are making -- that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment -- is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future."
    But weren't you berating Greenwald for the same argument just the other day?
  •  surprised more people haven't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    come to this realization.

    Parliament of whores...

    The entire system is a tragedy.

    The era of procrastination, half-measures, soothing & baffling expedients, & delays, is coming to a close. We are entering a period of consequences - Churchill

    by PrometheusUnbound on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:16:05 PM PST

    •  go to commondreams.org (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, truong son traveler

      look at their stories and comments

      they have been on issues like this for years

      here on DK - more and better democrats means generally buy into the two party system to formulate the issues

      but many real issues are not on the table of the two parties

      war, peace, jobs, etc

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