In These Times
With liberty and justice for all...
Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and the Kind of Discourse We Need
‘Liberal’? No. ‘Progressive’? Nah. How About ‘Democratic Socialist’?
It Goes Way Beyond Flint: America Has a Lead Crisis that Stretches from Coast to Coast
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Playbook Against Bernie Sanders Is a Lot Like Her 2008 Playbook Against Obama
Rewriting the Progressive Playbook
Not Your Grandfather’s Black Freedom Movement: An Interview with BYP100’s Charlene Carruthers
The Changing Tide in Argentina: An Assault on the Public Sector and a Shift Towards Austerity
We Don’t Need To Break Up the Big Banks. We Need To Put Them Under Democratic Control.
Israel’s Occupation Continues Because Economic and Political Elites Around the World Benefit From It
The Other Keystone: The Alberta Clipper, the Pipeline No One Is Talking About
Forget Techno-Optimism: We Can’t Innovate Our Way Out of Inequality
The Group of Artists That’s Winning Fair Pay By Targeting Nonprofits
New York’s ‘Carwasheros’ Push for Safer, Fairer Workplaces
How One City Is Making Sure Bosses Comply With Wage Theft and Paid Sick Leave Laws
The Robots Are Coming. Whether They’ll Be Job Terminators or Job Transformers Is Up to Us.
Christopher Hitchens’ Latest, Posthumous Essay Collection Stings Without a Point
2,054 Days of Solitary Confinement
Where Are the Black Panthers and Corporate Philanthropists When We Need Them?
Scattering Karl’s Ashes
The Lessons of Zapatista Women Activists for Today’s Social Movements
GIVE A GIFT
if you like this, check out:
On Bill and Hillary Clinton’s First Date in 1971, They Crossed a Picket Line
Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and the Kind of Discourse We Need
‘Liberal’? No. ‘Progressive’? Nah. How About ‘Democratic Socialist’?
It Goes Way Beyond Flint: America Has a Lead Crisis that Stretches from Coast to Coast
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Playbook Against Bernie Sanders Is a Lot Like Her 2008 Playbook Against Obama
If, as media seems to agree, Republicans (corporations) gain strength in the Congress, based on their actions and rhetoric, here's what to expect: R's want to privatize Social Security, cut taxes for the rich, log the national forests, expand offshore gas and oil drilling, privatize highways and waterways, and continue to outsource government. R's are tireless in protecting the rights of Corporations. Bush left his legacy on the Supreme Court where the Citizens United decision protects corporate rights to personhood, to spend as much money as they like for elections, and to fabulously fund the Congress. Mussolini (and some dictionaries) define fascism as control of the government by corporations. Do we not have that ? http://www.seconnecticut.com/corporations.htm R's will oppose using taxpayer money for all those deadbeats who are unemployed and can't find work. Companies should be able to cut wages, benefits, and bust uppity unions so they don't get in the way. Anyway most work can be offshored to low-wage countries, so unions don't matter much any more. You have a right to enjoy the Wal-Mart plantation economy. Poorly paid people are not able to support a robust economy, but then, if you got yours, it won't matter to you. R's are tough on crime. When Ronald Reagan invoked the southern strategy, declared war on drugs, privatized the prison industry, and oversaw drug running into poor communities, he not only made the US number one in incarcerations, he made the policy creating a new Jim Crow. He implemented the R's racist strategy. See The The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander if you have any doubts its about institutionalized racism. Republicans responded to the 9/11 emergency by passing tax cuts for the wealthy and going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was difficult to make the case for war in Iraq, but that's when torture proved effective. None of it was paid for, but Cheney reminded us that deficits were not important. Although Republicans (like Senator Lieberman) never have money for people, they never have a problem funding war (or prisons). Security, like the military, has been a gusher of money for well connected contractors. It's their jobs program. Republicans are for small government. They have no problem if their President suspends habeas corpus, disappears people, wiretaps without oversight, datamines internet search records, financial and commercial records, to torture, to override the Bill of Rights, or to relieves Congress of its war making powers and its oversight responsibility. A strong President can override the Congress with signing statements. You support all that out of respect for the Constitution. Right ? R's recognize global warming is a hoax. You can see the pictures of glaciers melting rapidly, the polar ice caps shrinking, fresh water becoming precious commodity, fisheries collapsing, species going extinct at an alarming rate. CO2 levels at record levels, massive forest fires, and just ignore the models predicting much more warming and more violent storms. It's a good bet that as the arctic tundra melts that massive amounts of methane will be released. Methane is much more potent as a greenhouse gas than is CO2. Gwynne Dyer's book,: Climate Wars, explains why water scarcity could lead to food shortages, warming will cause sea level rise, and why poor countries, some nuclear armed, would go to war if they can't feed their people. Steven Hawking thinks our planet could look like Venus. Anyway R's won't want to allow any legislation capping carbon emissions. It's not cost effective to save the planet. R's will obstruct or water down practically everything that Obama proposes., knowing that his success would get in the way of their election prospects, Think you vote will count ? http://www.seconnecticut.com/elections.htm continued at http://www.seconnecticut.com/TeaParty.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-07-26 09:17:25
Almost everyone agrees that health insurance reform is necessary. The US system costs twice as much as other developed nations, it doesn't cover everyone, it is a major cause of bankruptcy, it results in many unnecessary deaths, and its outcomes are not comparatively good. So who would oppose attempts to fix it ? Republicans, who claim to be pro-life and Christian, and their talk radio allies. That's who. They would do it for the money, for political gain, for campaign contributions from corporate interests: pharma, for-profit hospitals, They have nothing constructive to offer, but they have demonstrated their ability to put us on a fast path to the bottom. Republicans, rather than attempting to cover everyone, seek to exclude: they don't see a problem that insurance companies exclude sick people, they definitely want to exclude immigrants, and they (and their religious allies) seek to keep women in their place without choice. A simple solution, like expansion of Medicare eligibility to everyone, is not politically possible because it is too difficult to stop paying off corporate cronies. See http://www.seconnecticut.com/healthcare.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-03-08 18:27:10
Wow....is right Jimmy.....Sorry about you shoulder problems , I have a few aches and pains in the shoulder and back area , so I do understand...When your back or shoulders hurt , sitting or standing can be difficult , so take care..... As far as the Republican or Democratic parties , like everything else in Amerika , it is a total contradiction , say one thing do another....My analogy is that politics in Amerika is like those cheesey soap operas on the tube ( personally I don't watch them because they are so fake ), but I do watch politics because.... 1) politics is real ; real people real problems... 2) when we were children , we were always told to pay attention to curtain affairs But politics is also like those cheap soap operas , because everybodies got their little fallacious arguments going , the whole thing is nothing more than an ego trip.... There is an old saying ; " arrogance leads to incompetence ', to me this is the essence of the problem , and noboby seems to see this... Is the emperor naked ? ? ? Ya damn skippy he is....... Have a good day Jimmy , and take care of the shoulder.... true
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-25 14:29:54
Back to my hospital visit. I have found a good reason that TORT reform is needed first hand today while in my hospital bed. I suffered from an infection in my shoulder which has been a problem for some years now. I became nauseous and couldn't hold down meals or medications for my shoulder to relieve the pain. I lasted two days of extreme pain before I finally succumbed to the awful realization that I couldn't wait to see my regular doctor and I had to go to the emergency room. Arriving at the hospital I was extremely dehydrated and shaking a bit and upon examination I failed some test and was rushed to the front of the line and before I knew it I had every doctor in the emergency room looking down on me threw the bright examination light. Apparently when you get this dehydrated you show signs of heart failure and they quickly realized this and had saline solution hard lined into my arteries. I was fully recovered and ready to go home in about 30 min. All they had to do was give me a prescription for antibiotics for my infection and Ondansetron (anti nausea med) and they were all aware of this. Under questioning due to a scratch on my head I got in the morning from feeling a bit weak form the dehydration they had to do a battery of tests to make sure I didn't have a concussion, internal bleeding of the brain, etc, etc... In the end I had a cat scan, god knows how much they cost, then a trained doctor had to be called in to read the results. They needed a psychiatrist to okay me for taking so long to go to the hospital. I am sure they have rules about this with their own insurers about protecting themselves... maybe I was trying to kill myself? They had to observe me for 6 hours to rule out the concussion even though I passed all the light and physical tests. They now need me to follow up with their own shoulder surgeon to make sure the issue is addressed so the infection won't reoccur. Truly the list goes on my friends. I went in there before 2pm this afternoon and I just got home an hour or so ago. It was a joke. There were people in there with gun shots in them, broken bones, horrible illnesses and I required all this attention? It is all driven from their fear of lawsuits and they don't care how many unnecessary procedures they do to me because my insurance will pay for them, no questions asked. But if they missed that blood clot in my head? They would have been sued for what half a billion dollars? If you guys have any thoughts on why this isn't being addressed in the health-care reform legislation I would like to hear them. Other than that I have had a difficult day and need some rest. I wish I just went down to CVS and talked to a pharmacist. They would have told me to buy some sea sickness over the counter medicine to hold me over till my regular doctor appointment on Monday and I would have been fine. I wouldn't doubt that my insurance will be billed above $50,000.00 for this escapade. If it wasn't a true story I would think it to be a joke. I am so ashamed that I broke down and went in. Take Care, Jim... out.
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-25 00:43:36
Wow, I just got back from the hospital and my inbox is full of people that disagree with me, of course it is :) I won't make but one point at the end but I do have some observations which I hope helps us to continue the debate no matter how far it has morphed from the original text we are commenting on. Blackhorse: Reading your posts is hard for me because I am so enamored with your literary skills I can't believe how you spin things around to contradict with my opinions so beautifully. It is quite possibly a new sort of poetry reading your revelations. Whether because of my own limits of intelligence, I don't know, but the only flaw to your colorful retorts and opinions is that I get so distracted with the construction of your sentences that I find myself missing the hard core points. Luckily for me you aren't on a soap box because you chose to post these comments in print and after reading them two or three times they start to sink in. To you my friend this is a compliment and I hope you see that it truly is. I especially see and agree with your points about not all Republicans are conservative. I agree with you there and may I point out that many of these Republicans have been targeted in the next election for true conservative republicans. This I don't mean to imply makes them further to the right it just means that they have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar so to speak and I hope will lose in their respective primaries. George: I appreciate your reaching across the isle so to speak and especially your points about these "preemptive" wars that the presidents seem to be getting ourselves into lately. I would like to point out that these "police actions" or whatever the terminology of the day all have in common. None of them have been voted and approved wars by congress. Not that all of the wars approved by congress have been noble and productive but we will never know the true consequences of inaction so it is hard to say whether they were worth it in the end. But you are correct, all of these wars go against what the founding fathers tried to say with the constitution of the United States and I oppose them on that rationale. I wonder what would have happened had we chosen to had a preemptive war against Hitler back in the early 1930's? Chances are that some other horrendous problem would have happened in its stead? Although I would find it hard to believe that any course would have been worse than what the 3rd Richt did do...
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-25 00:43:05
Additionally Jimmy , in reading some of your other posts , it is apparent that your political ideology is in the way....You sir may believe in small gov't and the likes, but your party bosses are involved in the bamboozlement of you and your thinking ; which is clearly in juxtaposition against your own best intersets...Small gov't , ya right this is were you justify the trillions Buckfush spent on the so-called war on terror.... Your so-called conservative ideologies have nothing to do with this question...In fact , my advice to you sir , would be to suspend your political beliefs for the moment , and look at the situation from a purely economic historial perspective...In other words , follow the MONEY , it will led you right back to were you started......The so-called federalist conservatives and their little minions.... Good day.....
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-23 15:20:16
Jimmy , I don't know what history you have reading , but big gov't , small gov't , is not the point....When corporations , and Blackhorse has yet to see a corporation that is leftist in it's political ideology ; but when corporations inject massive somes of money into gov't , thats fascism... Yes ol' Hitler was getting monies from corporations, what do you think got Joe Kennedy in trouble as Ambassador to England , why did ol' Prescott Bush get in trouble , FOR SELLING PETRO AND IRON ORE to the Nazis....Both where involved in funnelling monies to THE NAZIS...It makes little difference were the money comes from.... Communist Russia fell not because the ideology of communism was flawed (it may be , but thats another discussion ) it fell because Wall Street pulled it money out of the so-called communist model and injected into the capitalist one....Point blank.... This is why this recent Supreme Court ruling is so important , because now big corporations from around the globe can inject massive sums of money into Amerikan elections...These decisions were made by who ; rightwing so-called libertaian , federalist types.... Now it is my humble understanding that most of these types of individuals are CONSERVATIVES....So sir, Blackhorse would conclude that your reference to my point on fascism being , as you have stated " obtuse" is in fact mute...I am sure you will not agree , but such is the way of Amerikans.......True. Blackhorse is not aware of any so-called leftist corporate machine that has the resourse to accomplish said task...Maybe you Jimmy can enlighten me on this point of reference by naming one ? ? ? Please..........
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-23 15:00:33
Instead of arguing about labels maybe there are some things we can agree on. * The President should not be so strong as to override the other branches of government. He should not be able to go to war on his own initiative. You are right that Obama has not rejected the additional authority that W assumed. We hoped for better. * Pre-emptive war was not only used by the Nazis when they invaded Poland, it was invoked by the U.S. to invade Iraq. Evidence used to justify the war with Iraq was false and, if there were any accountability, amount to war crimes. * Torture ought not to be an issue. There should have been accountability for those who authorized it. They have been let off the hook. *If we continue to fund a military that is powerful enough to attempt world-wide empire, the U.S. will destroy itself. * At the moment, the military-industrial complex consumes most of the resources that are available. Mike Gravel put it this way in his fine book, A Political Odyssey: "Wasteful defense spending has helped bring us failing schools, crumbling physical infrastructure, a backward national rail system, 47 million Americans without health insurance, and 37 million living in poverty. Cutting the defense budget in half would do nothing to undermine our security and that giant sound you'd hear would be the sigh of relief from a suffering world. Then we could concentrate those resources on solving our disgraceful problems at home.". All those billions did nothing to stop a few determined individuals with box cutters. * Our civil liberties have been drastically shrunk. The Bill of Rights doesn't seem to mean much any more. Corporations rule. * Your comments about States are a little off. Romney actually opposed the Massachusetts version of health reform...but probably claims credit for it now. California was bilked out of billions of dollars by Enron's creative use of the power grid, anti-taxers limited its revenue streams, prisons were filled to bursting at great expense, and then the economy collapsed. I thought the Civil War defeated the States Rights movement. In general, about Republicans... See http://www.seconnecticut.com/republicans.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-02-20 18:41:26
I would first like to thank everybody for their opinions and that is what we are talking about; our own opinions. I recognize that mine are different than yours and I enjoy that they are. George, I can't believe that you are of the opinion that Fascism is "Right Wing" It is anything but right wing. People of the "Right" are mostly Conservative and Constitutionalists. They believe in small government and states rights. If there was no Right Wing we still would have slavery today. Republicans arguments were that the Constitution grants equal rights to all men and that is what we, in the end, were fighting the Revolution for. All Democrats fought against the war and didn't want free slaves. Fascism at the time was gaining popularity in Europe. First Spain then Italy and Germany. These were individuals and their party taking over all aspects of government. They took over corporations that were deemed necessities of the state, they took over health-care, they took over the militarism of these countries in an effort to Nationalize and Socialize most aspects of the economy. These people were pro Union and used a strong populist push and pride in ones heritage, nationality, and race to motivate and impassioned the workers of the Union. You can see what the Nazis did to health-care where they instituted death panels for the good of the suffering handicap or mentally challenged people. That is exactly what Fascism is and there is no other way to describe it. Your examples of a rally where people are cheering at the CPAC meeting doesn't hold water because you can say the some thing but multiply it by a factor of 10 for many of Obamas rallies. I don't believe water-boarding is torture. I think it is extreme and shouldn't be used as described by the Geneva convention or on our own citizens in civilian courts. Terrorists are not covered by these rules of law. In fact the Geneva convention allows for the execution of enemy combatants that are not dressed in uniform as they qualify as spies. These people can justifiably be shot on the spot as spies in the rules of war. I would also like to remind you that besides water-boarding Obama has all the powers that Bush had and he has not handed them back to other branches of government. If Bushes ideas were so "Right wing" or "Fascist" as you say how come Obama still holds onto them? With regards to health-care, Republicans do want health-care reform. One example is what Romney was able to do in Massachusetts where 98% of Ma. residents are covered by insurance and he never had to raise taxes at all. If you combine that with other Republican initiatives like TORT reform and let insurance companies compete across state lines insurance reform can be accomplished. The biggest reason for increasing costs of health-care is that the hospitals are being forced to charge the insured people enough to cover all the uninsured people that they can't turn away. For example in Ca. they are raising Blue Cross premiums by a whopping 30% or something and the reason for that is mostly do to illegal immigrants getting free care. If your state chooses to be progressive and encourage illegal immigrants to immigrate there you have to pay the price. Ca. will soon be bankrupt and I really don't care because they chose to make laws that protect and encourage illegal immigrants to live there. Excuse me my head hurts. You guys got me thinking :)
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-20 05:33:48
Well, yes Fascism is defined as the corporate control of government, but it is certainly a right-wing phenomenon. Witness the cheering crowd of conservatives at CPAC. Dick Cheney, the man who helped legitimize torture, renditions, secret prisons, universal phone taps, pre-emptive war, and practically unlimited use of resources for war, speaks stirringly of bringing down our sitting President. These same people, knowing the dysfunction of our health care system, cheer that they can throw up obstacles to any kind of reform. Meanwhile, they know people in the US are dying for lack of proper care. They call themselves 'pro-life' with the same hypocrisy that they call themselves 'conservative'. So, yes the US has prison camps too, but that just makes the point. To avoid total disaster (which appears imminent), we need a Constitutional Convention to accomplish a number of things: I repeat: It was bad enough that the Supreme Court ruled the Corporation is a person with all the rights that implies, it was worse when it ruled that the only purpose of the Corporation is profit, and it almost certainly will destroy US governance as we know it to allow virtually unlimited amounts of money to buy elections. More at http://www.seconnecticut.com/fascism.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-02-19 19:02:11
Antoine, You have instead of contradicting my point just reinforced it haven't you? I stated Chomsky used old polling data to support his story, up to a year old. You disagree with me and you point to a Reuters story where a poll is close to what Chomsky has stated. I followed the link and the poll you are referring to was taken on Nov 9th. That is my point it is over 3 months old and is a single Reuters poll. It doesn't say that it is a scientific poll, so it could have been taken exclusively by people at a Welfare Clinic. Look at every poll out there today and tell me there is support for government controlled health care. Our founding fathers set up the constitution to limit the size and power of government for just that point. They were trying to protect us from what you see happening in most countries around the world. A Capitalistic society will always outperform a socialist one. Blackhorse, your comment about Fascism is obtuse. Are you trying to tell me that Corporate Germany ran Hitler and his staff? Fascism is another form of the far left, it is very close to Socialism and Communism. I don't care what Wikipedia or other dictionaries say it is, I would argue that it is just another way of big government trying to run the lives of the (as they see them) "ignorant masses". I would like to note that Wikipedia's information are anything but facts. One of the people deeply embedded in the Global Warming propaganda spent many years to misrepresent facts on Wikipedia by making programs to delete information that didn't agree with his own agenda. Quite, ingenious of him to do that in the 1990's but it just goes to show you that history and dictionaries are written by people with agendas and beliefs of their own. Just like you always hear about the Nazi prison camps but you never hear about our own camps here in America where we unlawfully kept peoples of Japanese heritage.
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-18 19:04:49
Keber , by definition " Fascism is the corporate control of gov't .......
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-17 14:53:48
Keber....The Blackhorse spells it with a " K " , amerika.....
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-17 06:11:45
Nice job blackhorse. Drop the F-bomb and mention Hitler. Way to have intelligent dialogue here. And our country is spelled with a "c" like this: America.
Posted by Eric Keber on 2010-02-16 16:50:37
No surprizes here....Fascism is definitely on the attack....In this humble ' horses opinion , the horizon is covered with the trillions of dollars that the corporate industrial complex has pillaged and or plundered from the Amerikan tax payer..... One simple action that regular folks can take is to remove your assets from the large corporate owned banks and place that money in a locally owned neighborhood bank or county run credit union... With the majority of Amerikan citizens understanding these issues at a reported 4th grade level , it is difficult to assume a more pro-active strategy , basically because most citizens do not truely understand the problem with the Supreme Court ruling in this manner.... Who says Hilter lost the war ? ? ? ps...Whats happening Whattheheck , long time no hear from , hope all is well , the former redhorse here...
Posted by blackhorse on 2010-02-16 14:25:38
@jimmy appreciate the apology, although really not necessary, it takes a lot more to offend me :). "Chomsky used polling data to show that there is a majority support for the public option in the health care bill. This is far from the truth..." Actually Chomsky seems to be right on that matter, at least if you look at number from December http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5B20OL20091203 - but please feel free to show me some better sources reflecting how "far from the truth" Chomsky was.
Posted by Antoine on 2010-02-09 18:25:10
Rasmussen was criticized around the country for his poll showing Brown within a point of Coakley. Almost every news network and print media proclaimed the biases in all of Rasmussen's polls even though to this point historically his polls have been spot on. The day before Rasmussen printed his polling data there was a poll by the UNH affiliated program that put Coakley some 30 odd points ahead of Brown. Where is the outrage against this polling company in regards to the final outcome of the election? I would like to use this example to show that liberals or democrats in general get a free pass with the Main Stream Media (MSM). When we do find a new way of financing elections we must address this issue of the MSM's obvious bias towards the democrats and we must calculate this in the solution. If you have the media in bed with the democrat party or any party or issue you must recognize that this is a type of advertising or advocacy for the party of liberal democrats. Pew research did research on the election of 2008 and found that Fox news was the most unbiased news organization during the election. There are many numbers to back up that the Obama and McCain camps were treated fairly and equally during the election cycle exclusively by Fox News and no other TV outlet. Yet there is an outcry by the white house and some media to censor Fox news as a biased news organization. This is not far from what we see going on in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez and we should be concerned about this behavior. You can see this in the results on their own website here: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1011/color-of-news-coverage
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-09 11:22:46
@Antoine I shut off the email notice unintentionally so I am sorry for the late response. I didn't mean that mine was more important, it was just that my response dealt with the point you were trying to make is all and I thought you might include in your statement a accumulation of posts rather than just shoot holes in one persons post? You are correct in using any method you choose and I apologize for implying differently. With regards to the algebra and number crunching, I am directly contradicting points Chomsky used in his article, however I am not disagreeing with anything you have said. So I am guilty of exactly what I was being critical of you in your post. I am aware of the power of the independents in Mass, as I am one of them, but what the article implies is not about independents. Chomsky is making excuses for the loss in Ma. and he is implying that there was little to no popular support for Brown in Ma. but on the contrary the liberals were just not motivated to visit poling stations and make their voices heard. I beg to differ and I support that with the math (algebra) and the link for locations of the poling stations where Brown won. Brown lost in the affluent areas (the rich) he lost in the urban areas (the rich and the poor) but he hands down won in almost every blue collar neighborhood. Chomsky by selecting polls that are up to a year old and using his algebra trick is trying to manipulate the data and turn this into a win by Brown only because of rich fat cats and the disenfranchisement of the poor. Chomsky used polling data to show that there is a majority support for the public option in the health care bill. This is far from the truth and dishonest Chomsky can't just pick and choose polls then add them up and say there was that much support. For example: you can't just take everybody that supports the current bill and add that to people that support the public option and claim that this combined support is uniform. On the contrary if you add the public option you must assume that you will lose some of the people that support the current bill. I am just trying to point this fact out and I am trying to show how he is manipulating the data. I am also trying to do so in an unbiased fashion, one that I claim to have but I am not sure if I am able to deliver because of my own biases that I am blind to see. Antoine, I appreciate your statements and maybe I was offended that your comment didn't address my issues that I had posted before your comment. It is an example of my respect for your opinions as opposed to my contempt for other posters significance. I also agree with you in many ways that our finance of people running for office is broken and I think we should look "outside the box" for solutions like the one you mentioned from France even. I also stated that in an earlier post as I am sure you are aware. Brown didn't have the money, he didn't have the machine in place, he didn't have the backing of corporate Ma. or America; yet he still won. In doing that he was able to do it under the worst of scenarios. Everybody including Chomsky stated that Browns biggest enemy is a large turn out. In fact that is exactly what happened. There was a huge turn out for an election of this sort. With the perfect storm set against Brown and a relatively large turn out for this election there was no way he should have won the election. Some how he was able to win with all this stacked against him and with that there should be some hope for us as Americans and comments from some Canadians (LOL) that we are not forced to accept whomever is chosen or forced down our throat in an election. We the people have that power and we have free elections to choose and Brown win is an excellent example of just that.
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-09 11:13:36
@jimmy "Did you miss my comment completely", sorry I did not realize your comment was more important than others. "Let me do some simple algebra for you. Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 in Ma so even though only 38% of the Dems were “very interested” their superior percentage overall in Massachusetts give them more than twice as many voters “very interested” in the election overall.", true, but since your are from Massachusetts, you also know that "there are more independents than Democrats and Republicans combined." (source: CNN). "as long as the bias is against a conservative it is allowable?", of course not, bias journalism goes against the principles of good journalism, unfortunately ratings matter most. Personally, I would rather see a system similar to the French one, where every politicians speech, ads, interviews are all equally timed and where negative advertising is forbidden. Also, having more than 2 parties would be a nice change in the US.
Posted by Antoine on 2010-02-06 19:14:11
"I see in the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption of high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war." Abraham Lincoln, November 21, 1864 Everybody knows most corporations are born out of privilege and privilege begats privilege. The poor and soon to be eliminated middle class have not been represented since organized labor lost its way. America was at her best when Corporations were forced to gain a social conscience and provide a living wage and decent working conditions for their workers. Unfortunately, greed and corruption infiltrated both, corporations and organized labor. If we don't find our way back to when organized labor was more than a bargaining instrument but also a safety net for working families, and corporations felt an obligation to be socially responsible our country will certainly fall to anarchy.
Posted by Justice 22 on 2010-02-06 11:32:26
@ Antoine, Did you miss my comments completely or are you just choosing to make an argument with one posters comments and completely ignore the elephant in the room? How is it that Fahrenheit 911 was allowed to air during the 2004 campaign with no censor or adjudication by this BCRA while "Hillary" was? I mean this is really comparing apples to oranges because "HIllary" wasn't even made to go against a sitting president it was merely targeting a primary candidate. Humiliating none the less that this group stepped up for Hillary Clinton's defense while she never even made it to the final election. You see this group or over-seer of viewer "fairness" made a big to do about noting seeing as the woman never competed for the grand prize, wasting whomever's political capital for not, meanwhile showing the organization / overseers corruptness. This is why your statement about this decision allowing for "electioneering communication" is baseless. the electioneering is already occurring but you fail to see it unless it is pointed at your political slant. All the more reason for the Supreme court to issue the finding that they had to. To read the letter of the law and found in favor of the constitution rather than a hodgepodge group/committee of the BCRA being entrusted with this power. You see this "electioneering" didn't vet our sitting president at all while doing article after article critical of McCain. Just because the organizations that were doing the crime were media outlets doen't mean that organizations like GE through their ownership of NBC and therefore MSNBC didn't view their media bias against the republican. Can we therfore argue that as long as the bias is against a conservative it is allowable? Look at the findings of this pew research poll. While every person in the world knows that Fox news is in the tank for the republican party... Otherwise every other media outlet must therefore be in the tank for the Democrats correct? Well, Pew reasearch did their own investigation and the numbers don't lie. you see here are the results followed by the link. BEST (FOXNEWS) Positive Obama Stories 25% Positive McCain Stories 22% Negative Obama Stories 40% Negative McCain Stories 40% WORST (MSNBC) Positive Obama Stories 73% Positive McCain Stories 10% Negative Obama Stories 14% Negative McCain Stories 43% TOTAL COVERAGE (all media added together - 2,412 stories from 48 outlets) Positive Obama Stories 36% Positive McCain Stories 14% Negative Obama Stories 29% Negative McCain Stories 57% http://www.journalism.org/node/13436
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-05 23:05:56
@mason boyer "Since I know you are not a stupid man, I can only assume that your vague word choice (
Posted by Antoine on 2010-02-05 20:11:18
"The decision heralds even further corporate takeover of the U.S. political system." Perhaps. As I see it the unions also will be able to do the same as corporations. IMO neither is legal, fair or ethical. There is absolutely never going to be an issue, a candidate, or a party for which all members or shareholders are united. Therefore my money will go to many whose policies I abhor. The best we can hope for is that there will be such an increase in political hype that the shear weight of it will fall on deaf ears. I didn't even bother to vote in the primary this Tuesday, since I am an independent, I had no ballot. Illinois forces a choice of Republican or Democrat ballots. This time, should a voter decline to pick a candidate, an election judge will point out, "You missed one." Sharpening my pitchfork :-(
Posted by whattheheck on 2010-02-05 08:53:39
@ Therealjg, You make some very good points about the Brown Campaign as I am from Boston I followed it closely. I went to the final debate where Coakley refused to debate Brown one on one throughout the whole campaign and she still lost miserably. Outside the debate on that cold night the only Coakley supporters were Union thugs who admitted to me on video that they were only there because they were being paid $50 and they knew that if they didn't show up they wouldn't get put on the next job by their union boss. Here is the video link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S518s32jjic I am sure that guy got sacked the next day when his boss saw him on video... poor guy. There were about 50 Coakley supporters 45 were yellow shirted tin knocker union thugs and about 5 plain clothes people, and I would say about 100 - 150 plain clothed people for Brown. The districts that Coakley won in Massachusetts were the richest suburbs (Brookline, Newton, Dover..etc and she won all the cities where you have to either be very rich to live there or very poor to get free housing). Brown won every blue-collar middle class town in the state, not the rich suburbs as you falsely claim. Norm did you look at the itemized poll final counts? Every town where the high and mighty financial fat cats lived in was won by your liberal Coakley. Brown only won the blue collar towns. I can't believe somebody of your intelligence could over see that unless you have an agenda where you are intentionally trying to deceive people like me who read and respect your work. I feel very betrayed by your propaganda and I can't fathom where or why you have fallen to such a level to intentionally lie to people who love and respect you. Who got to you Mr Chomsky? You used to look out for the working man and protect us, are you now just another elite looking out for your next pay check? Read this town by town map. Norm every elite town in the state voted for Coakley! http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2010/senate/results.html I would like to add to your perverted view of this election where you state and I quote: "High turnouts in the wealthy suburbs, and low ones in largely Democratic urban areas, helped elect Brown.
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-05 01:56:45
Noam, you said: "Brown
Posted by therealjg on 2010-02-05 00:36:56
Didn't Barack Obama out spend McCain by three to one in the last election? How is that fair? Will this law even the playing field? If not then there is a simple solution, you must amend the constitution. By the letter of the law and considering free speech the decision by the supreme court was correct. I just wish we could make a law that each person (lets stipulate a maximum of three contestants) must spend the same amount? Lets say $80mil for Pres, 20 for Senate, 10 for congress...etc, etc... Why must we let these people feel indebted to those who donated to their campaigns? Look at Obama, he is blatantly in the pocket of those who donated the most to his campaign (SEIU, GE, Big insurance, big banks, big pharmaceuticals, and I would inject that how the stimulus is being overwhelmingly spent in districts that voted for him you could add them in there too). I would venture to guess that Bush was under the same obligations. One thing that I must point out is there was a double standard in this situation where the show about "Hillary" wasn't allowed to be shown but Fahrenheit 911 was in 2004, that is a complete double standard and a travesty of our recent elections. A simple law clearly stating what is fair and not fair must be written to avoid this double standard. I wouldn't mind using tax dollars on these campaigns within limits and giving them to the contestants. At least this money will be spent in America going into the pockets of Americans who produce, distribute, and sell these political adds.
Posted by jimmy on 2010-02-04 21:59:13
A few weeks ago I took an on-line poll in which the question was who was my favorite news person: Charles Gibson, Lou Dobbs, Dianne Sawyer and so on. It gave me sort of a perverse pleasure to write in the 'other' category Noam Chomsky. My view changed entirely when I read 'Manufacturing Consent' some years ago. Chomsky is almost never on except in marginal media. He is, to my of thinking, well informed, scholarly, and often said to be one of our leading intellectuals. He writes prolifically, so it is not difficult to know his views. I'm sure the large majority barely have heard of him. There are other voices that I think are trustworthy, like Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Ralph Nader, and others. A healthy skepticism is prudent now. Print media has been steadily weakening, broadcast news degrading rapidly, corporate misinformation killed responsible healthcare reform, and the recent Supreme Count decision portends a storm of corporate political propaganda. Unless there is other than corporate media, we will not solve any of the major problems that we have: be it financial, healthcare, climate, population, governance, infrastructure, or turning around our ill-fated attempt to build an empire by military force. Infotainment assures that people will pretty much not know what is happening. I credit talk radio for the 'tea parties'. A story I find most ominous is the one that Chalmers Johnson tells: He has written at least three fine books. See his video, you need about an hour and a flash-enabled computer (rather you can watch you-tube), at http://www.seconnecticut.com/empire.htm You can argue about the first Amendment, but the fact is that Corporate media are the loudest voices, they are about to get stronger as a result of the SC decision, and voices like Chomsky's are the ones you will NOT hear. We will, as a result, stay on our fast-path to the bottom. Oh, and about democracy. You're right. We don't have it. Polls show a large gap between what our government does and what people would like. More at http://www.seconnecticut.com/democracy.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-02-04 19:45:25
Mr. Chomsky states "a far-reaching decision that overturns a century of precedents restricting corporate contributions to federal campaigns". This is a bald-faced lie. Corporations and unions are restricted from contributing to federal campaigns. It's against the law. Still. However, a person, (or group of persons, i.e. corporation) now have the right to voice their opinions. It's guaranteed in the first amendment. "Congress shall pass no law...infringing on the freedom of speech". The New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Houston Chronicle, etc are CORPORATIONS. Do you really believe they won't lobby on behalf of laws that help them (e.g. the "Fairness Doctrine")? All that happened is ALL corporations can have their say. Like all the progressives, you assume we are all mindless robots who buy whatever is advertised, so if Exxon endorses a candidate that supports off-shore drilling, we don't get the connection. What Mr. Chomsky wants is to ONLY allow the New York Times to speak. All dissenters silenced. The scary thing is four justices out of nine can't read the plain English of the first Amendment.
Posted by Kenny on 2010-02-04 18:01:52
George wrote: "It was bad enough that the Supreme Court ruled the Corporation is a person with all the rights that implies..." Was this really what they ruled? Because that's not what the court said. The court's ruling said that First Amendment protections cannot be suspended by the government. Do you think the government should have the power to ban videos, leaflets, books, websites or any other form of speech simply because it's funded by a corporation? You talked a lot about fascism in your comment above, but apparently you're willing to accommodate something very much akin to it a little more than you let on.
Posted by Eric Keber on 2010-02-04 17:16:52
Will you liberals, leftists, non-progressives, independents, hippies, republicans, and democrats, stop referring to our form of government as a Democracy. Despite our government seemingly headed toward a socialist-fascist state, we are not now, nor ever have been a democracy (majority rules). WE, AMERICA, IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!!! (representative/defenders of our constitutional rights). We're NOT a damn democracy!!! Chomsky and The King and Despot in the White House can both take their democracy, socialism, fascism to hell... Let freedom and the right to be an individual, not a slave of the state, RING ON... "Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable [abominable] cruelty of one or a very few." - John Adams "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%." - Thomas Jefferson "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin "Democracy was the right of the people to choose their own tyrant." - James Madison "We are a Republican Government, Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy...it has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity." - Alexander Hamilton
Posted by Black Con Rep on 2010-02-04 16:38:40
Corporations are creations of the state and they should exist only to the extent that they have a public benefit. Their charters should be removed if they are not good citizens. (Most are not.) Just as tobacco companies propagandized to allow continued damage to public health, fossil fuel burners put out a fog of disinformation so that they can continue to use the atmosphere as a toxic waste dump, Bankers use taxpayer money to pay bonuses and lobby so that financial speculation can continue to spin out of control, Media giants battle so that concentrated media can continue to spout misinformation, the insurance industry aggressively advertises so that health care reform will not interrupt the profits of crony capitalism, brokers are lobbying to see that all that Social Security money gets privatized, and just about every Congressional district has companies that want to keep the US the world's largest arms supplier. That is why we are on a fast path to the bottom. Control of the government by corporations is, by definition, fascism. The need to be at perpetual war, to support third-world dictators, to fund the world's largest military is the policy driven by multinational corporations. Their greed is unlimited. It was bad enough that the Supreme Court ruled the Corporation is a person with all the rights that implies, it was worse when it ruled that the only purpose of the Corporation is profit, and it almost certainly will destroy US governance as we know it to allow virtually unlimited amounts of money to buy elections. The economy should be designed to serve people, not corporations. If we are to return to a civilized state, the myth of corporate person-hood should be overturned with a Constitutional Amendment. It is important that elections not be bought with big money because, if allowed, people will have no real voice. More at http://www.seconnecticut.com/corporations.htm
Posted by George Penman on 2010-02-04 15:57:09
Professor Chomsky is a bit late. Corporations have had control of the United States of America prior to this Supreme Court ruling. It was News Corporations that won the presidency for Barry Hussein Soetoro. Interestingly these same corporations have always been exempted from campaign finance laws. Corporations own every aspect of our lives government included what the Supremes did have no affect on that. http://creatingorwellianworld-view-alaphiah.blogspot.com
Posted by William Bobee on 2010-02-04 15:32:39
Mr. Chomsky, I discovered you when I was in high school, and I devoured much of your work. And although I have since departed from your worldview, I do owe you some gratitude for helping me to develop critical thinking skills. Your argument here is based entirely on a faulty premise. You say, in your second paragraph: "the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government may not ban corporations from political spending on elections." Since I know you are not a stupid man, I can only assume that your vague word choice ("on elections") is intentional, as the rest of your argument depends on this implication that the court's decision allows for unchecked corporate spending on all aspects of an election. This is a clear, blatant, and purposeful misrepresentation of the court's decision. The ruling only applies to political speech; the ruling does not touch the remaining myriad of campaign finance laws in McCain-Feingold or elsewhere, such as restrictions on direct contributions to campaigns. Thus, the article descends into demagoguery... Yes, the decision does indeed overturn "a century of precedents," but the SCOTUS is obligated to the Constitution, not "precedents." The contemporary devotion to "precedent" in Constitutional law is the progressives neat (and rather effective, sadly) means of subverting that pesky old document... In light of the clearly disingenuous nature of your argument here, I find your conclusion to be both appalling and illuminating. Yes, the court's decision on 21 January does raise "significant new barriers" to the progressive agenda on health care, the environment, and energy policies: The court's decision will enable more speech in more ways about the policies being martialed through Congress by the Progressives/Obama. And, as we have seen, the more we talk about these policies the more people don't like them, and the more people that don't like them, the less likely they are to pass. In other words: working as intended.
Posted by mason boyer on 2010-02-04 14:58:21
Chomsky is supposed to be a Very Smart Man, yet in this entire article he doesn't make one argument supporting his contention that the federal government has the Constitutional power to ban speech by corporations. In fact, the First Amendment plainly reads "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...". The burden is therefore on Chomsky to tell us why he thinks Congress is allowed to abridge the freedom of speech in this instance.
Posted by Eric Keber on 2010-02-04 13:18:41
The corporate person has been evolving for a very long time. It's difficult to place any trust in the neoliberals pledging to act on the issue when they have been the primary beneficiaries of the abuses of corporate privilege. The politicians have only acted in opposition to corporate privilege when it would benefit them personally, not because of some lofty ideals about democracy. Term limits is a necessity. Term limits would work to switch the focus from a national stage to a local forum and would reinvigorate voter participation on a local level. Register, vote and work to unseat any incumbent regardless of party or position until term limits can be established. Reexamine the Fairness Doctrine. Institute a tax on corporations to fund equal time on commercial networks, as well as publicly financed journalism. A stronger, more vibrant, and independent news source. Ban any corporation open to foreign investors from participating in political speech. In the short term, demand Single Payer healthcare reform. Single Payer, in addition to building social solidarity, would amputate the corporate tentacle currently exerting a stranglehold on one-sixth of our economy.
Posted by leftover on 2010-02-04 06:07:38
The question is, what's to be done? Term limits? Include office staff and lobbyists? I believe that, among other approaches, it is high time to demolish the two party system. A Congress full of "parties" like most other current democracies would provide a much larger array of options for the average voter to (potentially) make a connection with and we'd see, for example, how much progressives actually have in common with say, Libertarians AND our reps would (likely? Hopefully?) spend a lot more time building coalitions that truly reflect the desire of the majority not the desires of the plutocracy. (Yes, I know, democracy is not purely majority rule but that's where the courts come in.) OK, so I went after "the system" on this one rather than the specific topic but it really is at the root here - Isn't our vote supposed to be what counter acts the money?
Posted by Da-T on 2010-02-03 19:25:33
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