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In fact, I've kind of been doing that since forever.  Surprisingly the Secret Police have never contacted me about it or attempted to dissuade me from my activities, nor have the regular police.  Then there's my internet writing, where I have, among other things, at times advocated Occupy takeovers of major US ports and government facilities, but somehow this advocacy failed to result in my apartment being targeted by a drone, or my being whisked off to a CIA black site.  I can't imagine why not.  My posting schedule must correspond with lunch hour at the fusion center or something.  

Actually I feel a little insulted by the failure of ninja assassin squads to be sent against me: Don't they know this is what's supposed to happen in a police state to people who speak freely?  I rather resent the devious illusion of freedom the government has so dishonestly created all around me my entire life.  How dare they maintain such a diabolical deception in the face of anecdotal abuses proving it's all a sham?  It's not as if governments were comprised of vast numbers of real human beings, the overwhelming majority of whom are law-abiding citizens.

No, in truth government consists of tentacular Lovecraftian creatures from beyond our dimension embodying all that is unholy and evil, and their failure to victimize me like the people in the cherry-picked anecdotes that feed my outrage is simply a monstrous ruse.  I could hit the lottery and end up one of the people wrongfully incarcerated in America, or one of the people brutalized by bullying psycho cops.  Then again, I could get struck by lightning or eaten by a cougar (and not the good kind) on my way to protest these things, and yet somehow - quite naively, I'm sure - the oblivious sheeple don't seem to feel oppressed or terrorized by Mother Nature or the Newtonian mechanics that keeps killing people on the roads.  

Some will claim it's because the political and social reality of their daily lives don't jibe with the fear culture promoted by all levels of media, but those people are just brainwashed...somehow into feeling the opposite of all the propaganda surrounding them.  Those pathetic automatons neither retreat into walled fortresses at the threat of crime shoved down their throat every day by news reports or believe themselves to be living in The Matrix simply because they can see the shortcomings and damaging processes that unfold in real human civilizations.  What kind of lunatic does not live their lives in fear?  I'll tell you what kind: The kind who's actually on the other side, and is themselves malevolent.  Yup.  Those who do not live their lives quivering in abject terror like a tarsier on a bad acid trip must be servants of the omnipotent evil clawing at the fabric of the cosmos every moment of the day and yet that cleverly avoids manifesting in the lives of the vast majority of us.

Speaking seriously, I grant that I'm on the privileged side of things demographically - white, middle-class background - so I wouldn't suffer the added attention and harassment that so many minorities do just because of how they look.  That's the real "police state," and it's overwhelmingly a community issue that people can and are standing up against substantively - such as the landmark lawsuit in New York against the city's racist stop-and-frisk policy.  But surely I'm enough of a loudmouth that I must piss off enough people to have faced some kind of retaliation for advertising my utmost loathing for Republicans, conservatives, tax derangement, gun nuts, religionists, bigots, fascists, and corporations?  If so, I must have missed it.  It's a damn shame, too - I would probably have felt validated by it.

Maybe the wingnuts in this area are just really lazy, or maybe it has to do with the fact that my contempt for them is expressed with confidence and not with an attitude of spazzy, whiny emo bitching that might as well translate as "I got my head regularly dunked in toilets in high school, and am nostalgic for those days.  Can you please help me reminisce?"  And it's not just the local level: I sent an email to Lindsey Graham demanding his resignation after he suggested that the Boston marathon bombers shouldn't have Miranda rights, and the language in the email was not polite.  We heard about that anecdote where that one lady in Utah was investigated by the Capitol Police for trying to get a meeting with Orrin Hatch, so supposedly communications with Senators are somehow a delicate matter.  But I totally forgot I was supposed to be afraid - in fact, I forgot I was supposed to be respectful - when I wrote the email.  Oops.  

Undoubtedly the email's in a file somewhere now, and Herr Graham likely never saw it let alone plans to take my advice, but it wasn't an empty gesture.  See, you can do those things in a free society.  You can lambaste public officials, demand their resignations, and impugn the species of their parentage.  It's not because they want to let you do that, or because a piece of paper says they have to, but because we don't give them a choice in the matter.  If someone came to my door in a badge wanting to ask questions about my criticism, that would piss me off into the stratosphere.  

I'd look for excuses to do it more often, in more ways, and more provocatively, and I'd lodge complaints with whatever authority dared to investigate it and all other relevant authorities, against every individual involved in doing so, explore legal options, etc. etc.  I'd go to wherever this institution's offices were and set up a meeting in person with supervisors to demand answers over it.  Anecdotal abuse happens, but it's self-defeating for the guilty parties - if they do it too much, eventually they run into an asshole like me, and I would create all sorts of work for them.  And who wants more work?  The irony is that it works both ways: I don't want them imposing the obligation on me to have to stand up to them, but if they do, that would piss me off all the more because they're making me do more work than is necessary.  And that would give me the energy to do it.  I demand the freedom to be lazy!

Part of the sick cleverness that had allowed the Bush regime to operate with impunity was that they seemed to understand assholes like me: They were careful to avoid doing the kind of things that would send us into high gear against them - things like a military draft, or moving directly against their critics rather than just creating a nebulous atmosphere of fear.  They knew to avoid making it personal with us, and that's part of why I think their attitude was so vindictive and petulant in symbolic terms: I think they understood the limits of the power they were grabbing, and hated the shit out of the fact that it couldn't be more absolute.  

As long as the troops they were killing were volunteers and the victims distant foreigners rather than people in our own communities, the anger would remain at a simmer rather than boiling over.  Ditto for only kidnapping and torturing foreigners, with the exception of their trial balloon victim - a non-white American, Jose Padilla, which proved a bridge too far when the courts intervened.  It's a shameful fact, but being human means that most of us can't get as motivated to defend people who are farther away from our identity as we can for those closer, or ourselves.  We can intellectually state that all people are equally worthy of defending, but the energy that drives political upheavals originates in the brain stem, not the cerebrum.  There would have been a civil war if Bush had tried to invade Iraq with draftees, but instead there was largely idle criticism.  Because it's true that...  

You can have anything you want, but you better not take it from me.  

-Guns 'N Roses, Welcome to the Jungle

Freedom is not something another person gives you.  It is not a concession, or a benevolent gift, or a default circumstance in the absence of external pressure.  It is something you do.  Something you do.  So, like everything else you do, it is something rooted in the decision to do it.  Everything else identified superficially as "freedom" flows secondarily from that decision - the explicit rights, laws, government reforms, and living standards that distinguish healthy free societies from oppressive ones come because people decided to make them that way.  And societies that can't seem to get it together are like that because people won't choose, or don't know how to choose, or can't even fathom that they have a choice.  They proceed on the logic of passive continuation and fatalism, or fall victim to the limbic frenzy of ideology-driven revolution that thinks a flamethrower can save people from drowning.

It's bizarre that some people think I have to apologize for feeling free and proving it, like there is some sort of pious moral obligation to believe I'm not because you can cite anecdotes where people have been victimized by the system.  The fact is we can and must fight for those people because we're free - because we are not victims of the system as they are, and because we know the system can be much better than it generally is.  Because we know that police officers, prosecutors, judges, juries, soldiers, civil servants, prison guards, and everyone else you can mention are just people with their own families, friends, communities, and like most a general desire to see themselves as good and decent.  They are, in other words, us and we are them.  They are members of our families and communities.  

To the extent they're insulated from your concerns and you're alienated from the reality of their jobs, that's a gulf that has to be bridged to reassert the natural, healthy practice of self-government and accountability to each other.  That's all democracy ever was and all it ever will be, no matter how elaborate it becomes: Just people forming networks of communication, feedback, support, and assertive accountability with the institutions they depend upon for justice, opportunity, and security.  There are places in America where these networks are moribund, fallen into decay or into the hands of petty local or state-level tyrants.  And there are places where they're vibrantly active (California, for instance, recently raised rich people's taxes - how do you like them apples, ALEC?).  

Rebuilding them on a federal level is a larger challenge and a longer slog, but there is no level of politics where the least powerful person on Earth ceases to be consequential.  There is no cosmic castle moat where the events that unfold in cascading infinity simply stop and are replaced by the arbitrary will of elites - that is a consensual fantasy of both the elites and their victims, for both to rationalize events in ways that make them feel better about themselves.  The elites (or at least the ones who are not actively sadistic) can convince themselves their actions don't significantly harm others, and the people who are harmed can learn to cope by ascribing their suffering to inexorable fate because a world of decisions is extremely unstable and insecure compared to one of prewritten destinies unfolding.

Freedom, once decided upon within the heart and mind of a person or a culture, is encoded into their social DNA and no fire is hot enough to burn it away.  A thousand years of darkness and chaos could not eradicate the Roman freedom, but merely sent it to sleep until it awakened in Venice and the other Renaissance city-states.  And even under tyrannical 20th century governments and clownishly corrupt 21st century ones, Italians live free.  Nothing short of their annihilation as a people would change that, and even then if anyone else were to inherit their culture they might also inherit its spirit.  So if you believe you live in a police state in America, I pity you.  I pity your fear and the limits it places on your ability to imagine and create a better, more humane society.  

People have confronted the absolute worst in this country and extracted a better future out of it by appealing to the best in us and our history, and those who live and breathe shadows have never done so.  The surly misanthrope can't see beyond their own fears and frustrations to the world of choices and surprises all around them - it's all a sham, all a fake, all a lie, all futile and doomed.  Negative anecdotes are taken as the norm simply because they fit a preferred attitude, and the actual norm they see all around them is dismissed as a besieged citadel destined to collapse into the horrors that swarm every corner of their imagination.  I read historical accounts, so I know these people lived in every era and never change.  

On rare occasions, reality is bad enough to reflect their beliefs - e.g., 1938-1945.  Other times they're lonely voices of misery and pessimism while the rest of the world is too busy making progress to care.  I particularly enjoy reading the 19th century voices who sincerely believed that both politics and science had reached their utmost, absolute pinnacle and that it would be all downhill from there.  Now that we have the steam engine and Sir Whatshisface has articulated the principles of gas behavior, and Lord So-and-So has written the complete treatise on political theory, surely the picture is complete and history is at an end.  But this time they really mean it.  This time they're really really sure nothing good can come of the present.  

You've probably heard the nonsense statement "Nobody goes there - it's too crowded."  It's used as an example of a self-negating or paradoxical statement.  Another example, when routinely stated in public without any negative consequences whatsoever (other than the scorn of one's peers), is "America is a police state."  Whenever someone says that, the only proper response is...

Ah ha, gotcha!  You've really slipped up now.  I'm with the Secret Police, so you're now under arrest for subversion!  Don't bother crying for help, everyone else here is Secret Police too.  We've been on to you for months.  It was your 718th utterance of 'America is a police state' just now that finally crossed the threshold where we could act.  See that Chuck E. Cheese over there?  That's just a front - the basement is actually a black site.  You're in for it now!  But if you cooperate, we'll consider letting a hot chick in a Catwoman outfit conduct your enhanced interrogation.  Now name names!  Who else is part of your secret underground movement, other than the folks on your website, SecretUndergroundMovement.org?
Morally, I know it's mean to toy with hysterical people.  It's just when they start characterizing their run-in with a meter maid like they were the Tank Man in Tiananmen Square, you really have to take them down a peg just for the sake of maintaining the general IQ and sanity of the discussion.  Anyway, the point is, most people in America enjoy political and social freedom, and most of those who have to face unjust limits on it (e.g., minorities who suffer from racial profiling) generally have options and recourse, and can harness the support of people of good will nationwide when their issue becomes widely known.  Like that girl in Florida who nearly had her life ruined for being curious about chemistry because her school and the local cops are authoritarian bastards - people stood up and defended her, and now her future looks a lot brighter and those authorities were hopefully taught a lesson.

So the upshot is not that things are good or bad, because in modern history it's mostly a blend of the two.  It's that we can affect the ratio.  America was in turmoil down on Earth when it sent its people to walk on the Moon, and yet was relatively oblivious and comfortable when it sent its people on a mass-murder spree to conquer Iraq - like the triumphal and prosperous Athenians declaring war on Syracuse out of sheer greed for more plunder and glory.  Oprah Winfrey is a self-made billionaire and Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States, so that's pretty damn huge social progress on multiple fronts.  I would say our key challenges as a society concern equality of economic opportunity, and the more unified we as activists are in focusing on that, the more powerfully our message resonates with the people in general.

Just a bunch of thoughts.  Take them or leave them as you will.  

 

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Comment Preferences

  •  Since nothing's ever happened to you (15+ / 0-)

    therefore the system works and is wonderful and our government would never, ever use domestic surveillance to crack down on dissent.  

    Between a well-known dark and continuing American history of decades of the use of domestic surveillance co-ordinated specifically to disrupt and intimidate dissent and your personal anecdote of sunny times, I'm gonna go with the history.

    Thanks, though.

    •  I'm gonna go with history too. (9+ / 0-)

      The history of people living free in spite of those problems and building a better future by constructively confronting them.  And the history of people who took darker, more negative paths going nowhere.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you keep saying there is nothing to confront (9+ / 0-)

        The premise of your diary is that domestic surveillance is either non-existent or so insignificant it could never be a threat.

        Recent history says otherwise.

        Those who want to build a better future should support efforts to fight back constructively against domestic surveillance.

        •  There's no such premise here. (7+ / 0-)

          You just need everything to be black-and-white.  Either I agree that it's the Apocalypse or I'm saying everyone in America lives in a Canadian family TV show.  Either it's a police state or it's Mayberry.  Why can't you deal with complex reality?

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:54:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Progressives should resist domestic surveillance (6+ / 0-)

            It has nothing to do with how bad anyone thinks "everything" is at the moment.

            It's highly ironic that the guy accusing me of being unable to "deal with complex reality" is the one who posts diary after diary about how everything is fine, domestic surveillance is not a problem, DKos is a "libertarian" website of a cult of Snowden worshippers, etc., etc.  

            You constantly and incorrectly cast your opponents as deranged doomsayers.  If you tone down the absurd generalizations, you will find that most of us, like me, are quite in tune with reality and enjoy rational and empirical discussion much more than empty insults.

            •  Your characterizations have nothing to do with (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rich in PA, Deep Texan, Patate, second gen

              my diaries.  I hope some day you find someone who writes like you claim I do so that what you're saying makes sense, but right now that's not the case.

              Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

              by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:33:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yet the following are your recent diaries: (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sychotic1, triv33, FrankRose

                Speaks for itself:
                New Coke Kos: DKos Now a Libertarian Website

                The one where you say Snowden is a coward run-away whose info we should ignore:

                If MLK Had Acted Like Snowden

                And the current one where you allege your opponents feel the USA is a "horrible police state" (your words):
                I Just Signed A Bunch of Petitions In This Horrible Police State America

                •  The second half of this statement is a lie: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Deep Texan, Patate
                  The one where you say Snowden is a coward run-away whose info we should ignore:
                  I've never said or even implied that we should ignore his info.
                  And the current one where you allege your opponents feel the USA is a "horrible police state" (your words):
                  Do you deny it?

                  Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                  by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:38:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your diaries speak for themselves (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Demeter Rising

                    Your drive to shoot the messenger and subsequent attempt to insist domestic surveillance is not a problem suggest you feel his information should be ignored.  If you feel it should not be ignored, you have chosen a strange way to go about promoting your concern.

                    As for the USA, I personally would say developments since 2000 have been pretty ominous.  I would not label us a "horrible police state", but we have taken concerted strides in that direction.

                    We ignore those strides at our own peril.

                    •  And again, you just can't control yourself. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Deep Texan, Patate, second gen

                      No matter what I say or how carefully I explain it, you have this set of beliefs about what my positions are that you've carved in stone and nothing will change how you characterize them.  You make false statements, and when they're pointed out you make more false statements to defend the first batch.  Just stop it.  Stop reacting and think.

                      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:12:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Reality hurts (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Shamash, FrankRose

                        Your recent diaries do not engage with reality.  Your epistolary technique is to caricaturize your opponents, then retreat to a shell when called on it.

                        Endlessly repeating that your opponents have a pre-formed "set of beliefs" that disallow accession to your plane of wisdom is not an argument.

                        It's an empty assertion of power.  And as such, meaningless.

                        •  I'm sure reality does hurt. You. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Deep Texan, Patate, second gen

                          It hurts people who are emotionally invested in self-important, self-vindicating fantasies.  You're saying things that are demonstrably false about the positions I've taken and you accept no responsibility for it.  Somehow your feelings on the issues involve give you a license to lie.

                          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:23:33 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I counter your statements with reason and evidence (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie, Nattiq

                            You cannot demonstrate any "fantasies" I promote, because there are none.

                            You make outlandish claims and distort your opponents as wild-eyed lunatics, and react with furious anger if your motives and statements are held up to the scrutiny of reason.

                            My only license is to reality and logic.  So let's continue (or discontinue) our discussion in the arena of reality and not in the arid, empty vapors of meta-assertions that your opponent is driven by delusions (non-demonstrable, of course).

                          •  Don't pop a blood vessel over this lot (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rithmck, FrankRose, kbman

                            Troub just can't stand not writing about Edward Snowden directly. This is his "indirect" edition. And it's a Two-Fer! He can even fancy himself a Blog Wit Winner, while he's not writing about Snowden.

                            I wonder how long awhile is in Troub-Time?

                            PS, last Snowden/NSA diary for a while, I promise.

                            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                            by lunachickie on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:52:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you only have a problem with federal (6+ / 0-)

              surveillance, or also state and local surveillance?

              Because state and local police are getting warrants to spy on people in their jurisdictions, too. And they do this by asking for warrants, ex parte, in courts that almost never refuse to grant those warrants, too.

          •  Its their brain make-up, Troubadour (4+ / 0-)

            There is no room for complexity, aka reality,  in there....your brilliant analysis of reality scares them. Limited brains are conditioned for junk and that's what they will insist on...

            They will not hear you because your nutritious words don't satisfy their cravings for fat.Offer them some junk, they will all swallow in big gulps while being in complete agreement with you.

            Ignore...

            "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

            by zenox on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:34:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know, I know. Pearls before swine and such. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenox, Deep Texan, Patate

              Which isn't to say they're swine, just that reason just isn't their language.  Which makes me a bit baffled as to why they're liberals.  How can anyone be so incredibly hostile to reason and yet come here?  I think maybe my diary about Daily Kos turning Libertarian might be closer to the truth than I thought.

              Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

              by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:55:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Words and labels are worthless (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Troubadour, Patate

                ...unless they are attached to a value. Therefore, the "extreme" mindset is absolutist (don't deal with ambiguity and complexity) whether it defines itself "liberal" or " conservative." We can call ourselves whatever we want while we become our opponents when our ideology is in the extreme. In other words North pole is no different than the South pole (no north or south or up or down in the space but the standpoint of extreme oppositions being the same) other than being called different names and being located in opposition.

                Remember the "progressives" joining the teabaggers, chanting "kill the bill" in unison? One might think one is liberal and progressive opposing the conservative far right but in extremes the far swing of extreme motion meets and becomes one with the opposition.

                A true liberal is the person who is free of the extremes, right and the left.

                Best...

                "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

                by zenox on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:29:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Global warming is not Aristotelian (0+ / 0-)

                  Understanding reality is not a matter of achieving the mean between two absolute positions.

                  Sometims the extreme position is true.

                  Understanding reality is a difficult and complex lifelong journey of endless effort.  

                  Sometimes reality is an "extreme" position, sometimes it is an Aristotelian "mean".  

                  There's no shortcut to the truth by always striking an "extreme" position just because it is extreme, or a "balanced" position just because it appears balanced.  

                  The best we can do is commit to the search for truth and adhere as closely to the goal of achieving it as our limited faculties allow us.  

                  •  Extremism isn't defined by the location (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zenox

                    of a set of issues on a spectrum.  It's defined by the psychology that demands every issue be reduced to a black-and-white absurdity.  A Communist can be reasonable.  Having views outside the norm is no excuse to maul reality.

                    Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                    by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:51:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One can be true to reality from many perspectives (0+ / 0-)

                      Not all who you consider extremists are delusional.

                      Reactionaries, centrists, and far leftists must contend with reality and not mangle it to suit their program.

                      All can fall victim to defrauding the real.

                      What I am contending to you is that your opponents are not a monolithic front who base their thinking on misrepresentations of the actual.

                      Many of us insist to one another as well as to all sides that reality must be honored.

                  •  Global warming is a scientific fact (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Troubadour, Nattiq

                    ...not  a mindset based value. Facts are not extreme. They are set by confirmed measurements and observations by multiple persons.

                    You are mixing apples with oranges. There is a psychology of absolute worldview which is anti science. Science proves reality as ambiguous.

                    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

                    by zenox on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:21:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not an exact analogy (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zenox

                      Your point is fair.

                      In my inarticulate way, I was trying to point out that views outside the mainstream are not necessarily false.  And in the history of science, that has often been the case as well.

                      Political views are slippery.  When reasoning about them, it is thus harder to arrive at what is true, or good.  

                      In any particular time and place, when you confine yourself  to determining the mean between two extremes and assert that as "true", that is faulty thinking.  

      •  I really said this (7+ / 0-)

        earlier tonight,
        I wish Occupy had staying power.
        Did MLK quit when he was arrested? Or others when they were sprayed with water hoses and attacked by dogs? The tools of oppression in this country are not new rather evolving. If you believe in your cause, you should expect such actions.n

        This space for lease

        by Drewid on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:31:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is (5+ / 0-)

          that people are too comfortable to be willing to make the sacrifice.

          The civil rights movement worked because African Americans had suffered a long train of abuses and their daily lives were made miserable by racism.

          While the problems the Occupy movement addressed are very real and very harmful to many Americans, not many people are willing to pay the price you are asking to change it because, despite the problems, most Americans (even those not affluent by our standards) live like kings compared to the rest of the world.

          It took 25% unemployment with no safety net to get the New Deal passed.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

          by Dragon5616 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:40:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The civil rights movement worked (6+ / 0-)

            because of those things, yes, but also because the civil rights movement had people who knew how to organize, and who were patient and persistent.

            Occupy was disorganized, and its activists lacked patience and persistence. Unfortunately. There are still real issues that need to be addressed.

            •  I don't think organization (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Troubadour, FrankRose

              is the key. I think desperation is.

              Absolutely there are issues to be addressed and we must never give up the fight. But being willing to be arrested or physically abused requires a very, very strong motivation. That's all I'm saying.

              "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

              by Dragon5616 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:06:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Plenty of OWS protesters (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dragon5616, Deep Texan, Troubadour

                were arrested, pepper sprayed, etc. Yet the movement, pffft!

                Organization. Patience. Persistence. Desperation isn't enough.

                •  You are right. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Troubadour

                  Desperation isn't enough, but it is a prerequisite, in my view. Yes, OWS protestors suffered those things--and then they stopped. I would argue the movement stopped because not enough people were desperate enough to continue to pay the price.

                  "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

                  by Dragon5616 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:33:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Dr. King and others (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Troubadour

                    were willing to and did die for their cause. They were desperate because, in the South, they were legally prevented from pursuing their dreams.

                    Dr. King died so his children could attend school, sit at lunch counters, stay at motels, live somewhere besides the "colored" part of town, and become what their talents allowed them to be. It wasn't just difficult to overcome that in the Jim Crow South, it was nearly impossible.

                    Are people as desperate to make taxes more progressive or business more regulated as blacks in America were in the 1950's and 60's to gain basic civil rights? Are they as desperate as the starving Okies were in the Great Depression? I think not. It requires a lot for people to act in a revolutionary manner.

                    I am not minimizing the issues that OWS addressed at all. In many ways conditions are just as threatening as Jim Crow and much more pernicious. But are they intolerable? Apparently not.

                    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

                    by Dragon5616 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:06:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  If you really believe in your cause, (0+ / 0-)

                and that your cause is right and true, you'd risk it. The arrested part is easy, can you take a beating is the hard part.

                This space for lease

                by Drewid on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:25:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah you are right, (0+ / 0-)

            we are a distracted people.

            This space for lease

            by Drewid on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:21:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  In fact, the brutality of the response (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Troubadour

          from the PTB has reduced dramatically from the 60s to now.
          Dogs, rock salt, firehoses, baton charges were standard features in the Civil Rights marches and anti-Vietnam War demos, people got killed, many people got injured. Police and National Guard didn't use "non-lethal" means, they were seriously dangerous.
          The Occupy folks claiming that pepper spray is some kind of new level of brutality, exhibit their lack of perspective.
          If you think tear gas is bad, try CS gas, the orange stuff. Made you double up, puking, blinded, practically paralyzed. No longer allowed for domestic use.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:53:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And efforts are underway to get tasers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CwV

            and pepper spray either banned or seriously limited because of the small but nontrivial number of deaths they've caused.  But some folks would rather talk about how brutal it is and turn that into their definition of an entire country than act to change it.

            Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

            by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:55:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, but I see that as an example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Troubadour

      of a rogue government operation coming to light and...what happens? Not a crackdown on the dissenters, but quite the opposite. The rogue operation is shut down, and legislation passed to force government to be more open.

      •  The NSA program hasn't been shut down (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, Dogs are fuzzy

        And there's no momentum in Congress to do so.

        Most Democrats and many writers on this site are not urging to end the NSA program, nor to pass legislation for more open government.  

        They are urging us to look the other way and carry on as before.

        •  For one thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Troubadour

          nothing has come to light so far about the NSA program that is illegal.

          There is no momentum in Congress to shut down the NSA program so far, because there is no momentum, so far, among the voting public who elects those Congress members to do so.

          That's the way it typically works in "police states" with democratically elected representatives.

          •  OK, so you support the NSA program? (0+ / 0-)

            Just making sure I understand.

            Congress has momentum among its members for many things that the voting public does not call for, know about, or have interest in.  Sometimes public outcry produces legislation.  More often, it's a more complex calculus.

            Representative democracies are a tangle of entrenched practice, vested interests and cross-cutting forces.  It's not as simple as democratic desire automatically producing law (examples abound: gun control, for one).

            And by the way, 65% of Americans want Congressional hearings on the NSA programs.  So most of your fellows actually do care and demand, at the very least, scrutiny of the program.  

            Why are you suggesting I said we live in a "police state"?  That is false.  I said no such thing.

  •  Hey, aren't you ... (6+ / 0-)

    ... The Troubador? What happend to the "The"? As NSA Shift Supervisor in charge of daily kos surveillance between 4:30 am and 5:05 am, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to report that to the United Nations.  

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 01:35:24 AM PDT

  •  Petitions? What need are there for petitions in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, Sychotic1, Nattiq

    a utopia like the u.s.

    One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns. --- John Oliver

    by voroki on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 02:16:45 AM PDT

  •  Of course they let you sign petitions (12+ / 0-)

    Why wouldn't they?  Petitions are essentially 99.9999% useless but give the illusion that the Powers-That-Be care about what you think.   Thus goading many ordinary citizens into the same thought process.

    The beauty of today's America is that there is no need for harsh coercion on a broad scale because almost no one cares about anything to start with, and when a few do, they are easily sated.  You know, by allowing them to sign a petition or some such thing.

  •  I'm disappointed actually. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm disappointed that there's no goddamned dirt on the Obama administration.

    Snowden stole hundreds if not thousands of documents, and the only thing he can say is that there might be abuse?!

    What the fuck Barack?! How can you be so fucking clean?!  All this time I privately hoped the haters were right that you were thuggin' when you weren't at the teleprompter. But now I see that all that fist-bumpin' swag on the outside is nothing but Harvard on the inside.

    Fuck that bidness homie. It's time to get it crack-a-lackin'.

  •  spying still wrong (9+ / 0-)

    Even though nothing happened to you.

    Some people have never been in a car wreck but wrecks do happen.

    We probably cant prevent car wrecks but spying we can.

    And one being comfortable with others being soied on? WRONG!

    People will work to eliminate this needless threat to our lives.

    Yall can thank us later.

    Or not.

    •  What's with the attitude? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Patate

      And what's with the "Yall can thank us later"?  You're think you're some sort of special hero above and beyond others working on this because you get emotional about it?

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 04:00:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoa, nellie.... (6+ / 0-)

        That's not remotely 'attitude-laced'. If you want to see 'attittude' I'm more than happy to provide.

        That is a very basic, down to earth reply, posted as I waited for coffee to finish.

        Perhaps the exclamation point by 'wrong' in capital letters seems like attitude.

        Your reply is well over the top, based in a faulty interpretation of a comment, you have run the ball to the wrong end of the field and are engaged in a peculiar form of excessive celebration.

        Again, you have not seen attitude from me.

        I don't think of my self as special. I think of myself as having no reason to be spied upon, I am no threat to anybody, I break 2 laws - speeding and pot - and the rest of the time I help the sick and the poor or keep to myself.

        Your friends at the NSA know this (that's still not attitude, that's just a tiny jab).

        •  Exactly - that's not special. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Patate, fou

          That's not even controversial.  So don't act like you're an embattled minority, or like America is a police state when you just cavalierly throw out the fact that you smoke weed in a public forum.  Even if you lived in a green state, aren't you afraid the Feds will descend on your house with machine guns drawn?  Of course not.  You're a rational person.  Me too.

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 04:55:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have an attitude. (6+ / 0-)

            And you don't think you do.

            it reeks, buddy.

            That said, I live in fear of the feds and the police.

            All the time.

            Ever hear of those motherfucking asshole facist cowboy morons raiding the wrong house?

            Just because they aren't out to get you doesn't mean they won't fuck up and get you anyway when they should have got somebody else.

            •  Yes, I've heard of them raiding the wrong house. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deep Texan, Patate, fou

              I've also heard of gas leak explosions, car wrecks, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, stray bullets, home-invasion robberies, serial killers, aneurysms, lightning strikes, and asteroid impacts.  So clearly I'm supposed to be crouched in a fetal ball in an underground, hermetically sealed lead bunker.

              Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

              by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:11:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You forgot swimming pools! (4+ / 0-)




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:17:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't forget them. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CwV, Deep Texan, Patate, fou

                  It's just the Internet Content Authority is censoring all mention of swimming pools today, as you can clearly see by the fact that this conversation isn't happening.

                  Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                  by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:19:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Hey... water is a really dangerous thing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Troubadour

                  It kills lots of people wach year, particularly children, it causes huge property damage, it gangs up on humankind as a tsunami....

                  Really, we should prohibit water: I know it's good for us sometimes, but really, the bad of water outweighs the good.

                  Let us stick to gatorade.

                  •  I hear the Navy is testing ULF infrasound (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fou

                    surveillance equipment.  Theoretically, they could hear your conversations on the other side of the world through the vibrations in a swimming pool.  I also hear from a reliable source (Infowars) that they have a "weather weapon" that could be used to create an Abyss-like water tentacle that could strangle people and then just evaporate.

                    Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                    by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:10:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Now THIS is scary: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, Sychotic1, kbman
        You're think you're some sort of special hero above and beyond others working on this because you get emotional about it?
        Who were you describing again, now?




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 04:56:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The guy who said "you'll thank us" (3+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Patate, fou
          Hidden by:
          Victor Ward

          like I'm not part of it.  I don't have to stand for that bullshit.

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:23:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kbman

            You've been doing your best to give many people the impression you AREN'T part of that solution.

            So yes, you do have to stand for that, unless you're content with merely receiving backslaps from those who already agree with you, in which case you can proceed with being mildly offended.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:05:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't given the slightest bit of impression (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Patate, fou

              that I'm on the other side of this issue.  Some folks are just so out of their minds deranged they can't handle anything other than total uniformity of thought on all matters.  We're all just supposed to clap in unison no matter how crazy the Crazy gets, for Holocaust analogies and "America is a fascist police state."  It's me who should be asking those people whether they're seriously on board with this issue.  

              Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

              by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:07:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A belated reply: (0+ / 0-)

                I find it truly, and literally astounding the degree to which you project.

                Nobody is even remotely demanding the conformity of thought you seem so completely convinced they're demanding.

                If anything, their unwillingness to conform to the complacency advocates view on this matter is proof positive they are NOT merely content to clap in unison.

                Your diagnosis of "crazy" due to the usage of "hyperbolic" metaphors for comparison purposes when discussing the potential impact of these surveillance practices, makes clear, to me at least, that you completely miss the point.

                You're extremely intelligent. That you cannot see the value in having a robust, though possibly unpleasant discussion about these topics is rather perplexing to me.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
                ~ Jerry Garcia

                by DeadHead on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 02:02:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Me. He was decribing me (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead, Sychotic1, protectspice, kbman

          and my horrible attitude, my hatred of America, my derision of baby deer, and my penchant for frog-stomping.

          Did you know I open doors for ladies, and then trip them as they walk through?

          And I go through department stores removing that "do not remove" tag off of new bedding.

          My evil knows no bounds.

    •  Or it could be like the time I had soldiers (4+ / 0-)

      quartered in my basement (my wife let them stay there for some reason).

      As far as I could tell, they had no measurable impact on my freedom, but since it was unconstitutional, I strove to have them gone ASAP.

      And have never regretted that one bit!

  •  The secret laws of the rubber stamp court (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, Sychotic1

    are written in sand and vapor.
    Our Bill of Rights are becoming a museum piece with as much modern day relevance as the quill pen that wrote them.
    Our Constitution is dying of old age and nobody seems to notice or care.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 03:47:30 AM PDT

    •  And lo a six-headed beast did arise out of (7+ / 0-)

      the waters, and upon its heads were the six names of Babylon.  And The Beast did say unto the fishermen before it, "Hi, my name's Sam.  Sorry to scare ya, folks.  Anyone for tennis?"  And the fishermen did scream and flee.

      Anyway, as to the secret court, it's already learning one of the paradoxes of modern society: That hiding draws attention.  We can and should reject its authority and refuse to grant it legitimacy.  But "secret laws" are not laws at all, and as long as we understand and insist on that, our work is not rock science.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 03:58:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When your local police seek a warrant (4+ / 0-)

      to search a house in your neighborhood, how often do you think the magistrate refuses their request?

      It's roughly the batting average as the FISA court, if not higher.

      The difference, of course, is that instead of someone listening to your telephone conversation, the local cops are likely to be riffling through your bedside night table or going through your medicine cabinet.

      And, since they make a mess of your stuff, you probably are going to know you've been searched.

      •  This is a very critical point. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy, crystal eyes, Patate

        The most urgent venue for needed civil liberties reform is how local law enforcement treats people.  It's not a sexy topic, and doesn't feed anyone's grandiose fantasies, but it's the brick and mortar of the 4th Amendment.  We've neglected it too long, and dealing with it will only strengthen our ability to deal with federal-level issues.

        Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

        by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:01:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But, but, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, zenox, Deep Texan, Patate

    The secret police in the US are just trying to lull you into complacency, Troubador.  It's part of Obama's secret plan to turn this country into a Muslim police state, dontcha know. Oh and by the way, you've been on double secret probation. :/

    If I had my way, I would repeal the 2nd Amendment. Since I can't have my way, I support a ban on all assault weapons. Now!

    by Tchrldy on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 04:09:59 AM PDT

  •  As a surly misanthrope, I must protest! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Deep Texan, Patate

    And besides, this diary only attains a measly-ass SIX on the Rant-o-meter, pretty lame for such a talented polemicist!

    Yer goin squishy on us, Troub......Don't be a squish!

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 04:19:04 AM PDT

  •  Two reasons why you think they haven't come after (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, FrankRose

    you

    1.  You're harmless.
    2.  The fallacy of inductive reasoning.

    Of course, they could be watching you and know more about you than your mother or closest friend, but you'll never know.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:15:07 AM PDT

    •  And as long as we discard Occam's Razor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, fou

      that logic can justify believing pretty much anything.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:46:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And your explanation is no doubt the simplest. lol (0+ / 0-)

        And, in any case, the principle of Occam's Razor (which is not a logical operator, but a reasoning strategy) has nothing to do with inductive reasoning or the fallacy of inductive reasoning.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:05:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Occam's Razor, or parsimony, is a necessity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, Patate

          of logical thought.  Not because the simplest explanation is always the correct one, but that the frequency of a given explanation being true is proportional to the plausibility of its requisite assumptions.  

          You propose that I might be under specific surveillance and not know it.  That's certainly possible.  It's also possible that a ninja assassin could be crouching behind the shower curtain waiting to garrote me the next time I take a dump.  Since we're entertaining these possibilities purely because of their emotional potency, obviously I should be more concerned about the ninja assassin than the snoop.  

          In fact, I should write diaries about how my requests for information about ninja assassins from government agencies have been ignored, and how there is currently no way to verify that the government is not sending out ninja assassins to kill me.

          The fact that I'm having to explain the most basic common here is really fucked up.  Your comment and others like it are Freeper-level logic.    

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:20:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant post! Tipped and recd (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Deep Texan, Patate, fou

    Thanks for this. Enjoyed reading it. I don't see too many recs so far but it is always the case when someone offers wisdom instead of gobs of gratification goop. If you had written a diary yelling "US is the devil incarnate and Obama is its only begotten son, secretly destroying the planet earth," you would probably receive at least 400+ recs here. They love that kind of shit.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 05:49:52 AM PDT

  •  OK, I'm now officially a fan of Troubadour! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Deep Texan, Patate, fou

    This says what I've been saying to myself every time I read some alarmist calling America a fascist police state.
    They are WRONG. And the proof is in their own posts. If this was a FPS, with the awesome technology that allows the NSA to eavesdrop on your very thoughts, we'd all have been rounded up and shot years ago.
    At the height of the BushCheney error, some of America's darkest hours, half a million people surrounded the White House and not all of them were polite about it. And only the ones that planned to get arrested, did. That ain't no police state, baby.
    Obviously, we're not perfect, never have been and probably never will be. The Preamble puts it: "in order to form a more perfect union" indicating that right from the start it had issues and the founders didn't figure they'd all be worked out EVER, hence "More perfect" not "Perfect".
    If you think this is a police state, I suggest that you spend some time in a real police state, you'll kiss the ground when you return home.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:14:18 AM PDT

    •  agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, Troubadour, Patate

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:45:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No one who calls America a police state is going (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, Patate, fou

      to set foot in a real one.  Their relationship to actual oppression is like some nerd teenager's relationship to girls: Lots of fantasy, but abject terror of really dealing with them.  

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is, apparently, the incurable illness of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, Troubadour, Patate

      the modern left: take a legitimate problem and give it an exaggerated response to the point where nobody will listen anymore.

      Apparently they don't live in a world where there can be serious problems with something like the Patriot Act without it meaning we live in a totalitarian SURVEILLANCE STATE! If a cop behaves badly anywhere in the country, it's further proof we live in a POLICE STATE! The NSA doing dubious stuff means EVERY PHONECALL IS BEING RECORDED AND YOU HAVE NO PRIVACY!!!

      I worked on one of those haunted house TV shows recently, and I simply couldn't figure out if the people being interviewed actually believed what they were saying or if they were all just having fun collaborating on this very elaborate fantasy. I'm starting to suspect there's something similar going on around here: "This NSA stuff is very serious, but hey, let's see how far I can take it over the top, because that's how my hobby goes and the audience wants it." It's like Andy Kaufman in his wresting days, except the stakes are serious.

      Non futuis apud Boston

      by kenlac on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:26:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's my sense too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patate, CwV

        The left in general doesn't feel at home unless it's isolated and irrelevant, so they just take things further and further until they get there.  And then they're like "Hey, where'd everybody go?  We've been abandoned!  You bastards!"

        Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

        by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:18:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Going against the grain becomes a habit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour

          an addiction, a lifestyle and it's predicated on a certain amount of victimhood. Some of that is actual and some is perceived, some is self inflicted and some is externally sourced.
          But when things go our way, it's hard to readjust and say "Look, we won one!" It ruins our romantic hero pose.
          I think this is the source of some of the ODS on the Left, we can't adjust to an America where we were able to elect and re-elect a black president. After 50-60 years of fighting for Civil Rights, that's just too much win to deal with.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:53:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ha ha ! :-))) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, protectspice, Roadbed Guy
    I Just Signed a Bunch of Petitions
    that, if they weren't efforts to get referenda on upcoming ballots, served only to get your name on a bunch of solicitation lists.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:26:06 AM PDT

    •  "Solicitation lists." The horror! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, Patate, fou

      Someone might ask me for political contributions or to volunteer for a cause.  What a fuckin' nightmare!

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:44:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i know right (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, Patate

        about a cause...  i care for!!!

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:46:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One can do that (0+ / 0-)

        without being on someone's list. :-)

        Of course, as long as you realize that the petition you're signing is worthless as a petition, all is cool.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No more "worthless" than expressing an opinion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patate, Deep Texan

          verbally, and yet here we both are doing that.

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:27:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The petition at least costs a postage stamp (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour, Roadbed Guy

            and is supposed to be accompanied by a nice check. That's what it's for.  :-)

            In the same way, I'm not a "member" of the ACLU or Planned Parenthood or any of those groups.  Membership doesn't mean anything.  But I do send them money during one of their annual "matching grant" campaigns . . . which, as I'm sure you've noticed, never seem to transpire as part of a membership renewal. :-)

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:32:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Point is, there's no such thing as a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Patate, Deep Texan

              meaningless exercise of political expression.  

              Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

              by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:37:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Some are more meaningful (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Troubadour

                (or less meaningless) than others.

                As always in Our Great Land, the most meaningful ones are actual interpersonal interactions . . . and money.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:38:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  True. The most meaningful political expressions (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Patate, Deep Texan

                  always come at a cost, whether social or financial.  Things need to be said because people aren't saying them, which usually only happens when the literal or perceived social costs have gotten too high.  

                  Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

                  by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:42:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  "Freedom's just another word for... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Sychotic1

    'whatever I want it to mean'".

    Seems to be where the privileged 21st century mindset has arrived.

    Non futuis apud Boston

    by kenlac on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 06:32:42 AM PDT

  •  "Freedom is a state of mind"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nogo postal

    Is it a fair paraphrase of your diary that free people are those who don't live in fear? Also that we have so little to fear, at least compared to fully grown police states, that we should not change our actions?

    I'd point out that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and there are plenty of things to be vigilant about. For example, execution without trial at the will of the executive branch? The time to abolish such a practice is before you're the one executed.

    If you're satisfied that political speech is unhindered right now, remember the times when it hasn't been, and consider that fighting against the next version of McCarthyism would be much easier without a surveillance state in effect.

    The recourse we have against government abuses is too weak and needs to be reinforced. We don't have a Warren Court or a Frank Church any more.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 07:30:54 AM PDT

    •  Yes and no. (0+ / 0-)
      Is it a fair paraphrase of your diary that free people are those who don't live in fear? Also that we have so little to fear, at least compared to fully grown police states, that we should not change our actions?
      Very few people on Earth lack for excuses to fear.  What separates the free from the unfree is the decision to play an active, constructive, and intelligent role in shaping events.  In other words, to not be fear's bitch, either by hiding or by turning into a raving lunatic.

      I agree with you by and large.  Vigilance.  But the calm and thoughtful vigilance of sincere and intelligent people shaping their nation's destiny, not the seeing-enemies-in-the-shadows vigilance of a child experiencing Night Terrors.

      By and large I trust the ACLU, and lend my support to them, but also just exercise my own rights and judgments in daily life to uphold the values of our society against bigots and bullies.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:27:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ya know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag

    What is missing? Your inability to feel strongly enough about anything to have your govt arrest you? Seriously in your life when you had the opportunity..maybe saw it on your local TV during the Bush years..or Keystone..
      Two years ago through FOIA i got my FBI file..A lot was redacted..but ran 26 pages dating back to 1972 through 2008..the early years were mostly BS written reports by a junkie informant..yet they remain in the file..
       Actions concerning military places were super red flags..action involving AIM were super red flags..In 2005 and 006 I had visits to my home..same in 2008 before the Democratic convention here in Denver..
      So keep your activism limited to "writing and posting "without your name..and please continue your "biting sarcasm"..

      One pic of me wearing my colors before ten days fasting in Jeffco Co. Jail...
     (No my actions did not change anything..but it allowed me to know that I was capable of standing up (or sitting down for what was important to me and others..

    http://www.denverpost.com/...

    "You can't close the door when the wall's caved in."

    •  I applaud your actions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patate

      but you simply prove my point.  If the charges were accurate (the article doesn't quote anyone disputing them), you weren't arrested for protesting - you engaged in civil disobedience and deliberately sought to be arrested and jailed in order to highlight your issues.  In other words, you engaged with law enforcement institutions civilly rather than being their victim.  Thank you for doing so, but I hope you appreciate the paradox it highlights: While you are helping to keep America free by doing things like that, you must also acknowledge that it is free and that hysterical rhetoric discredits issues attached to it.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:46:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  aw (0+ / 0-)

        Those were the words of the judge...
        You are very keen in bring up the Civil rights struggle (which by the way continues) Most arrests were not like Rosa Parks..most people arrested were charged and convicted of trespassing..fail to obey..etc

        The thousands arrested protesting Iraq were charged and convicted for misdemeanors...Almost all arrests and convictions for non-violent protest are such..

           Your total ignorance on this simply demonstrates that your personal political philosophy distances you from physical,, visible , protest to anything you deeply believe is wrong...

          Cool..but change seldom take place because of invisible protest...

        "You can't close  the door when the wall's caved in..

        •  Clearly you want this to be about me (0+ / 0-)

          rather than about the subject.  Okay, I'll bite.  I'm a fighter - that's my wiring.  You don't want me next to you in a peaceful protest with a possibility of cops engaging in violence.  If I was personally present and saw a cop brutalizing some woman, I would go berserk and bring down all sorts of shit on everyone around me.  

          That's not macho posturing, it's a fact.  I am a fighter, and I'm not there beside you at protests because I would fuck things up for everyone including myself the moment a cop did something inexcusable.  And despite your contemptuous attitude toward me, I still have gratitude toward you for the fact that people like you protest so that people like me only have to fight with words and self-expression rather than fists or worse.  

          The rage I feel at injustice burns like the Sun, and trust me when I say you can't imagine it.  But I've learned over the course of my life to be philosophical and perceive the world around me rather than being flotsam on currents of emotion.  I'm happy for you that you have both the moral clarity and the emotional wiring to be a passive resister.  I only have the former.  Now try to exercise some of that moral clarity by responding to what I've honestly shared with something other than contempt.

          Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

          by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 09:58:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ya know... (0+ / 0-)

            There could be reasons your lengthy "You are a fool if you do read this." latest diary...

            How many Recs did you get? do you believe that the 10's of thousands that visit and on occasion comment here don't get you? No they do care...

            Folks here? there are those who inform us of Science.. Art..
            specific issues...advocate groups because they belong...Just humans that share with us a personal experience..in wonderful words...

            But you? Without belonging to anything...without providing information not gleaned from da tubs...without..even in your comments demonstrating empathy and/or information

            You will look aback at the good old days..when you got over a hundred comments and 20 recs as the good times...
            ....and you will tell yourself..the Kos Community did it because only you were writing the truth..

            Tap yer "My toes are better than yer toes." toes..

            https://www.youtube.com/...

            "Opa, Calvin is pinching me!"

          •  ya know... (0+ / 0-)

            I would believe your bullshit...if you could demonstrate how you...like so many before you...were able to demonstrate how you demonstrated your rage through the filter of true non-violent restance...then ..maybe....

            But without true non-violent action your "rage" has certainly nothing to do with your immediate world...
            You are the kid..on any level of school..who seldom raises your hand in class...but at recess..or whatever comes  later express yourself...

            What do you bring to the table? Write a goddamn play...create some music...take some photos..or...
              Find out..what local group helping people really matters...and go and ask them how YOU can help...

            ....You are a LAZY ACTIVIST...and until you spend some time and energy to a person or group really making a difference in a persons life? .. Keep posting your witty satire that..if you were a play or TV series would be cancelled...

            "OPA...I didn't mean to hit Kendell!"

  •  Another home run Troubadour. Keep them coming. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, fou

    "Aux ames bien nees, la valeur n'attend point le nombre des annees" Pierre Corneille.

    by Patate on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:03:21 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of "Freedom" and "Police State"-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    Didja know that you can't get Facebook in China, but you can get this Great Orange Satan of ours?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 08:48:59 AM PDT

  •  Oh, ok. I understand now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Nattiq
    They knew to avoid making it personal with us,
    they seemed to understand assholes like me: They were careful to avoid doing the kind of things that would send us into high gear against them
    It's a shameful fact, but being human means that most of us can't get as motivated to defend people who are farther away from our identity as we can for those closer, or ourselves.
    You are just a self-proclaimed asshole with no self-awareness who does nothing but sign petitions and yells erudite and complex insults at people he doesn't like.

    After your explanation I can now join the government, lol, in dismissing you as an ineffective but loud armchair blowhard.

    Out of curiosity, do you ever go back and read what you have written a couple of days after you have calmed down? You seem to think only other people bring attitude to the table, lol.

    Your attitude over the last few days has fascinated me, anthropologically, lol. But now that you point out that it is just a matter of privilege combined with lack of empathy and foresight, the mystery is pretty much solved.

    Good luck and have fun storming your particular castle!

    •  Yikes. Reading comprehension fail. (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      Nattiq

      We're gonna need a bigger pooper scooper.

      Assumptions begin with ass and end with shit.

      by Troubadour on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 10:22:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, lol (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nattiq

        As I said, no self-awareness. You have no idea how you come off and why you get so much grief, do you?

        I comprehend the words you write, which you do well, btw.  I can even sometimes comprehend what you are trying to say beneath all the vitriol and derision. I just can't help reducing what you seem to THINK you are saying to your actual message. Which can always be reduced to the same six words: Everyone I don't like is a moron. And there are a LOT of people you don't like!

        Are you aware that that is what you do? And that the people who support you do so just because they don't like the same people, but are not as erudite as you?

        Over and over, variations on a theme: Everyone I don't like is a moron. And you make DAMN sure they know it, lol. I won't get into the psychiatry, lol, but it is obvious.

        Which of course makes your ending here pretty much hilarious...and sad at the same time...

        and the more unified we as activists are in focusing on that, the more powerfully our message resonates with the people in general.
        Do you really see yourself as trying to unify people, lol?
      •  Here try an empathy exercise. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nattiq

        Go back and read this diary as if someone else had written it and YOU were the one who had the opposite view point. See how the author comes off, see what he is trying to say to you.

  •  oh ..befor I go (0+ / 0-)

    Rage is an initial emotion when we are surprised by something serious...especially the attack murder of family..
    Before i was 22 I had seen men women and children riddles with bullets...before i was 22, waiting for my medial discharge at Fitzsimmons there were 12 suicides in 6 weeks...
    ...and then..the first time i could vote? ....Richard Nixon won his second term... yeah i felt rage...but i was a kid...I had not really studied Gandhi or Dr. King...but i did meet Caesar Chavez ....
    What he taught me is the greater the force..the greater the grace...it is important to force   the oppressors to expose themselves....and if you truly believe the 1% of the 1% are not the script writers?   ...cool..

    If you truly believe that it is not the 1% of the 1% cool...
    Rage drains you of survival skills..

    "OPA, I want Mac 'n cheese and cookies!"...Calvin (5)

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