the99strikesback

Random rantings and ravings on politics, social issues and other weird stuff by an ordinary guy interested in history, science, philosophy and metaphysics.
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What they just don’t seem to get, is that the White population may be 70%, but all 70% are not, never have been, never will be Right Wing. 

In fact the giant hole in the current Right Wing argument that ‘we don’t need Latinos, we need more White people’, is that very fact. Even if they turned out more Whites, they wouldn’t all vote hard right. It’s kind of obvious, to those of us planted in reality, that most people are appalled by the turn the GOP has taken. 

“If immigration is killed for the reasons stated, then the Republican Party has consciously made the decision to become a quasi-nationalist party. ”

This argument is just part of an incredible mental journey that the Right is going through now. Life inside their bubble will be a hell for the next decade.

Teens and Facebook are what they are. Threats should be investigated, sure. Maybe parents should be fined, if the threat is serious enough. But to ruin a kid’s life for mouthing off is not acceptable. 

The South is becoming unbearable.

- Voter suppression


- All out assault on women and their right to make their own decisions


- Refusal to implement Obamacare ,thus keeping millions upon millions in a substandard state.


- New amendments popping up in the wake of DOMA banning gay marriage
- A complete disregard for environmental health and safety. Fracking is everywhere down South and god help you if you live next to an almost certainly under-regulated refinery. Your town may not be there next week.


- And last but not least, a criminal justice system that LOVES ruining little people. Just because.

People should be held accountable for what they say in the court of public opinion. But it’s a pity adults can get away with saying whatever they like while a teen gets to sit in jail with a ridiculous bail set for him. Meanwhile in the parallel world that has become America, Rush Limbaugh types will never see the inside of a jail cell. Because it’s a lot easier to jail a teen playing video games or caught with his own stash than to tackle the real problems facing this country.

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Well, that’s one way of solving the problem - not.

"Chinese authorities have given courts the powers to hand down the death penalty in serious pollution cases, state media said, as the government tries to assuage growing public anger at environmental desecration. …"

China warns it will execute serious polluters

Fear and panic

Great article on Edward Snowden.

This is a tricky one. In the aftermath of 9-11 people willingly gave up some civil liberties at the behest of the Bush administration. For all the caterwauling now, the mainstream media and most people forget - what’s being done now is legal. 

The Patriot Act. It took ten years for folks to understand what they signed off on and also signed away (their privacy). Now come the complaints. And there is talk of redressing the excesses of the Patriot Act. Secret courts finding secret verdicts and this is legal?

Like the situation in Syria this is a problem with no pretty solutions. In a high tech digital information world, information access and privacy has become the new battlefield. Some sort of high level cursory search is necessary. Balancing respect for privacy with accessing info on the real enemies will be a hard dance to master. And there will never be total safeguards against these tools being used by the ideologically driven or the corrupt. There can only be rational safeguards and protocols and clearly delineated punishments that are spelled out.

It is definitely time to redress the excesses of the Patriot Act and strengthen any and all safeguards and protocols. Then pray that we never see another Nixon or Cheney in a position of power.

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“In an attempt to fuel its youthful but increasingly exhausted fighting force during World War II, the Nazis reportedly turned to addictive and potentially dangerous substances, including a form of what is known today as the illegal drug methamphetamine, currently a rising problem in Europe.” - Huffington Post

Why is this no surprise?

Those guys were far more messed up than people realize. Hitler’s ‘strange’ sex habits with his live-in niece; the belief that they were descended from a super-advanced civilization that disappeared thru race-mixing; the belief that they were aligned with massive occult forces that would insure their victory.

They were mid-20th century offshoots of an ancient right-wing authoritarian (RWA) tree. Sparta, the first branch from that tree, was the worlds first truly pathological nation-state. N. Korea is just the latest. The antebellum South suffered the same pathology as Nazi Germany - as does the GOP/Tea Party of today. The same underlying pathology (RWA) has similar symptoms in any day and age. Bad leaders, bad family dynamics, anger issues, paranoia and deep insecurity, possibly bad sexual tendencies, and now, add to that, bad drugs.

And in the end…a bad result.

“The biggest single conceptual failure of my argument for war is that I gave absurdly little thought to the post-invasion phase. I was aware that the Bush administration was deploying far too few troops to the front for a workable occupation while blatantly lying about the war’s likely costs. I assumed that its real plan was to decapitate the Iraqi leadership, install a more pliant and less brutal military figure in Saddam’s place, and call it democracy.”

 

Throwing Bush under the bus won’t make up for your nice ride on that bus.

Colin Powell on why he supported the Iraq War -

The argument I made at the time was more prosaic. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, the United States and its allies forced Iraq to promise, among other things, to submit to United Nations inspections to verify that it had vacated its unconventional weapons and was not building more of them (especially nuclear weapons). Iraq never fully complied with these terms. Over more than a decade, Saddam Hussein vacillated between complying with some of the terms and complying with none of them. (Richard Butler, the U.N. chief weapons inspector, was among many of those who testified about Iraq’s years of noncompliance.) I followed this throughout the nineties frustrated at Saddam’s ability to evade full compliance for so many years.

My logic in supporting the war boiled down to the following:

  • The truce terms of the Gulf War requiring a complete, verified shutdown of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were valid and necessary.
  • Iraq had refused to comply fully with these terms.
  • Therefore, it was appropriate for the United States to threaten — and if necessary, carry out — war in order to force Iraq to comply.

Looking back, I have several regrets. We now know that Iraq no longer had any unconventional weapons program. Over the years, this has come to be seen as retrospectively obvious. It was not. While the Bush administration deliberately twisted and overhyped evidence of weapons of mass destruction, the legitimate evidence did show, albeit less dramatically than the administration said, that Iraq had active unconventional weapons programs. This was the judgment of fellow Western intelligence agencies. It was also a logical inference from Saddam Hussein’s refusal to fully comply with U.N. demands even after threatened with invasion. (That Iraq refused full compliance was documented at the time by Hans Blix, Butler’s successor, but this has largely been brushed aside in the retrospective critique.)

The absence of weapons of mass destruction is the most crucial element of my argument that I got wrong, though the part I have the least regret for getting wrong, as it was very hard to know at the time.

Sorry, this explanation is just too little too late. It sounds like you are making excuses, Mr. Powell. The U.S. felt obligated to police Iraq on behalf of the U.N? Don’t think so.  He does however go on to say:

What’s more, I also thought that the anti-interventionist left’s sociological analysis of the debate taking place was correct. Somehow, supporting the war was cool and a sign of seriousness, creating waves of social pressure on politicians and commentators in a way that prevented a fair debate.

Well, thanks for that anyway, This article is worth reading in its’ entirety.

On November 6, a solid majority of California voters supported Proposition 30. The ballot initiative, which temporarily raises the sales tax and increases income taxes for the wealthy, will generate an estimated $6 billion per year to help stabilize the state’s dismal finances. The vote was a landmark event in California, the state that launched a national anti-tax revolt by passing Proposition 13 in 1978. And for Governor Jerry Brown—who was serving as a much younger governor back then—the triumph was particularly sweet.

We should not underestimate how thoroughly significant prop 13 was back in 1978. It ushered in a 30 year era of government downsizing (all based on white property owners who didn’t want to pay for services for ‘those people’). It gave Grover Norquist his template for congress. It has strangled govt for over a generation…until now. 

As prop 13 should not be underestimated so too one shouldn’t underestimate the incredible psychological impact of prop 30 in California. It is a watershed moment that augers a new period of respect for govt when done right. This is the BIGGEST indicator of a dawning progressive era - the willingness to recognize the necessity of govt and its proper funding. No more shrinking govt to a size so small you could ‘drown it in a bathtub’.

Truth
Image from: My Village Idiot is Missing (Facebook)

Truth
Image from: My Village Idiot is Missing (Facebook)

More Truth about raising taxes

$200,000.00 in 1945 had the same buying power as $2,535,640.45 in 2012.

So anyone earning today’s equivalent of 2.5 million in 1945 was paying 94% in taxes. Taxes were raised to such a level largely to pay off war debt.

Sound familiar?

We should never again go to war without first knowing how to pay for it. Our safety nets certainly should not be plundered to pay for it.

A thorough look at the history of U.S. taxes: History of Tax Rates

I think we’ve reached a tipping point. 

This is different. Everybody feels it. I think we may actually get real gun control legislation…soon. 

So much change queued up:

- The prospect of real gun control

- Taxes WILL go up on the rich and America wants it that way. The Occupy Wall St. argument has won out and been vindicated. This will strike to the core of the GOP more than anything else. It’s their raison d’être. 

- Same-sex marriage approved by a majority of voters in 4 states. Not courts, voters! So far so fast. Less than a decade.

- Recreational pot in two states.

- The California GOP is thoroughly dead. A democratic supermajority for the foreseeable future. Get ready for some MAJOR changes now that Republicans have no numerical means to obstruct. California today is the nation tomorrow.

- Obamacare is the law of the land, upheld in the Supreme Court, and here to stay. It will serve as the foundation for decent health care in 21st century America. And there will be many improvements to make.

- Despite everything Wall St. threw at her, Elizabeth Warren is not just a US senator, she sits on the banking committee.

- Hillary looks formidable for 2016. Not ‘inevitable’ just ready. 

The GOP is in demographic death throes. It has alienated single women (including divorced), Hispanics, and millennials, three of the fastest growing groups in the American electorate percentage-wise. The Democrats now have enormous electoral might in too many swing states. The GOP may not see the White House again for a while.

Dare I say it? A progressive era is at hand. This time, when you hear a right-winger cry about ‘I want my country back’, you can sympathize (Nah, maybe not). The Right has lost America. ‘What does the GOP stand for now?’ - you’ll hear a lot of that.

image: veracitystew.com

political tipping point
Image: politicalhumor.about.com

political tipping point

Image: politicalhumor.about.com

We Have To End Republican Nihilism

When you see a political party that openly flaunts these attacks on the American constitutional balance and the country’s credit for purely partisan reasons, you begin to see how deep the rot has gone. This is not a party worthy of any role in government. It’s a destructive, self-interested faction, threatening the stability of this country’s constitution and economy. Obama is absolutely right not to yield on this. This anti-conservative radicalism is anti-American, uncivil and unpatriotic.

It must not be appeased. It has to be ended.

It’s up to true conservatives like Sullivan, Frum, Brooks, Scarborough and others to take back conservatism from the crazies who posture and pose as conservatives. The authoritarians, posing as conservative freedom-lovers, have had their way with the GOP and left it a shambles. Repair will be long, difficult, and painful. Calling out authoritarian craziness for what it is is a huge start. But I yearn for the day when the actual terms ‘authoritarian’ and ‘authoritarianism’ are used and used regularly. Pull back the linguistic curtain and expose the cancer for what it is. Name it what it is. Names and words matter. No more hiding behind nice words like ‘conservative’ and ‘conservatism’. No one but an authoritarian wants to be governed by an authoritarian.

andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com