Let’s Be Very Clear About The Criminal Reality We Are Facing

(8PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

While it is important to point out the inconsistencies and lies that are the hallmark of most of our public institutions we also need to start with some firm foundations to future essays and comments. I feel one of the first things we need to face is that the situation we face today is no longer a political struggle between conservatives and liberals or even reactionaries and progressives. As has been brought out by several people here at DD the struggle is between criminal entities (most large corporations, big banks, traditional organized crime, the military (yes I believe much though not all of the military has become a criminal enterprise), the covert ops part of the intel agencies, the MSM (the worst of the lot), the federal government and many state and local governments. No, it is not a matter of “incompetence” that has brought us to this situation but of what I consider criminal behavior.

There are two aspects of criminal behavior. The first, obviously, is the breaking of laws on the books–well, in this country with more laws (I’m sure) than any entity that has ever existed, it is pretty easy for anyone to break the law but still even if you look at major statutes the fact is that major corporations and the elites escape the law while the poor do not. The Federal government now no longer even pretends to follow the law, for example, the Geneva Conventions and protocols are routinely ignored despite the fact that they are the law. Of course, laws against fraud were ignored during and after the financial crisis. Disappearance of trillions from DOD elicited no action and no response from the media, criminal fraud by contractors in Iraq almost completely ignored by any agencies and, generally, underreported in the MSM. The list can go on and on and this blog has at one time or another reported on nearly all of them. These aren’t arguments over policy but clear criminality that, in a healthy society, would have been prosecuted. This criminality and corruption has rapidly increased in recent years.

The second aspect of criminal behavior I would like to describe as follows:

The deliberate attempt by private interests to undermine public welfare, public spaces, public health and the future of the species for financial gain.

This aspect of criminality is far worse than simply breaking particular laws. It is about the deliberate destruction of society and government itself. I suggest to you that this has been the conscious and deliberate intention of most (not all) of the ruling elite for the past few decades but particularly since the stolen election of 2000. I believe their intention was then and is now the looting of the entire world and the destruction of American society and any other society for the purpose of instituting a New World Order based on a global imperial system on the macro-level and various modes of neofeudal social arrangements at the local level with most of the population either expendable or in a state of serfdom. This system is not in place yet and can be stopped but this is the agenda of most of the power players.

As has been made abundantly clear on this blog, the Obama administration is only cosmetically different than the previous administration. The differences are largely cultural rather than political. We can mostly agree here that we are no longer fooled by the Kabuki of Obama and his allies in Congress. Obama simply is beside the point.  

The worst of the lot and the people we should be addressing and lobbying are not the official politicians but the political operatives in the Ministry of Truth, aka the MSM. These are the people with the power and all efforts need to be directed at the moguls and operatives in that field. Many are now, as they have been since the 1950’s intelligence agents who are direct spokesmen/women of the intel agencies. But now even those who are not directly government agents are so tied into the politics of corporate America that they have no other choice other than toe the line of the MSM narrative or never work again. Sometimes journalists can get away with real reporting as long as they don’t step on the toes of the power players–there are good stories out there and sometimes things slip through the cracks about important matters. But the major themes of our history since the end of WWII cannot be addressed other than in a very circumspect way. I will list a few of the issues that are forbidden or downplayed:

  1. The power of covert and black operations and their involvement with Wall Street and the City of London;
  2. The assassinations of the 1960’s which changed the face of world history in dramatic fashion;
  3. Unaccounted and missing money from government agencies particularly the Pentagon (in the trillions of dollars)–interesting that the MSM is forbidden to inquire into that;
  4. 9/11 and the Global War on Terror (GWOT)–it can be talked about but only one official narrative is ever allowed–no rational evidence has ever been presented for any of the rationales for any aspect of the GWOT;
  5. the actual economic conditions, i.e., the fact that the U.S. standard of living has dramatically been lowered for the average non-rich person since the late seventies and comparing that to a similar analysis of other developed countries;
  6. Anything scientific is largely ignored–for example, the health care “debate” never included clear facts and figures as well as cogent analysis by scholars–only vague notions that were usually certifiably false. Also, reporting on environmental issues largely ignores calculating the real costs of pollution or good risk analysis techniques that are standard for all businesses. There are, for example, several rather dramatic scenarios that could happen that would see dramatic and permanent changes that could cause catastrophic results. Most dramatically ignored is nearly a century of social science research that could inform us on issues of criminal justice, war and peace, terrorism, education and so on. Great work has been done on all these issues yet it is almost 100% banned from the MSM unless used to bolster the official narrative and even then it is rarely used.
  7. In the sense of what is called “hard news” (as opposed to sports, weather, business etc. news) no logic, no complete historical perspective(i.e., independent of the corporate/gov’t narrative), and nothing close to “objective” journalism exists in any mainstream media outlet of any kind in the United States. Almost everything is politically influenced–not that it should be any different–I prefer POV journalism it’s much more honest and it’s far easier to filter out bias. Though the MSM claims to be objective there is no regime to evaluate truth–if a powerful person says the Moon is made of green cheese it is given as much time and validity as a scientist who uses scientific criteria to establish the facts–in fact the more powerful the person the more “true” his/her statements are. Almost every major premise of the mainstream media is unexamined and based on faith alone,e.g., American Exceptionalism and other similar notions and myths. Other systems are radically misinterpreted like Islam and socialism such that the actual reality of those ideological constructs are usually turned on their heads in the most ignorant and biased way imaginable.

So what do I mean “we have to get clear?” I mean that those of us who are in opposition to the system need to understand that we have to work to make clear to ourselves and to others that this is no longer a system in need of reform but a system that must be stopped.

We are past the point of reform. We are past the point that the system can “right” itself. Not because powerful people are corrupt but because we are each deeply corrupt in the way we live and think. We have lost any rational basis for morality. We tend to believe that life is about indulging in fantasies and whims. We believe that we are still children and should watch movies and play games as much as possible. We believe that we should be getting chemical erections at age 80 while denying health and dental care to children who will suffer for the rest of their lives because we deny them the most basic and inexpensive kinds of preventive care. We have to face that reality and we are all complicit including me. We have to change, I have to change.

To me the final straw for me has been the oil catastrophe in the gulf. My friend and I go to the ocean and are staggered by grief. Many of us here express that grief. But that grief has to turn to resolve or it will become a disease and kill our spirits. We cannot stand by while the vast majority of Americans don’t give a fuck about anything but their petty indulgences and silly pastimes. If there is such a thing as right and wrong, and I believe there is, then the direction of our society is deeply, deeply wrong. We are literally becoming the Great Satan in the full sense of the word. By honoring and idealizing the living of separate lives unconnected to community and of self-indulgence and the belittling and practically outlawing of public good we are practicing deep evil to an extent unknown in history considering the high stakes involved and the rational solutions to major problems that are available.

In my view, unlike my friend who believes that after this incident in the Gulf of Mexico that this is “the end of the world”, I believe we have a chance and a good one at that because I believe in magic (I’ve seen it work). The task is to take clear action without a attaching to much importance to specific results to eliminate the toxicity within us through combining inner and outer work. So, in the work we each do to remedy the situation we should not be viewing the enemy as outside us but as living within each of us. That part of us that is strictly selfish–who wishes for our little satisfactions particularly those things that separate us from people we can have healthy relations with, needs to be seen and dealt with probably through specific outer tasks as a kind of yoga. It is the only way we can make our efforts resonate enough to cut through the massive narcissism that dominates our culture.  


Skip to comment form

  1. banger

    As I indicated this oil disaster and the institutional and public reactions to it are just so ugly it is beyond outrage for me.

  2. wilberforce

    that is the problem?

    What is the definition then of criminality?

    I don’t personally have a lot of interest in what is or isn’t illegal.

    Is it legal to bomb civilians under American laws? Probably not, but the US has done it intentionally for at least 60 years, and is in fact expanding the practice.  

    They make the laws, therefore law and criminality is more or less meaningless –just as it was in days of Royal Decree.

    it seems to me the issue is more about morals or ‘right path’ than breaking laws set by lawbreakers.

    Government is the problem.

    In a sense, what is a corporation–but a limited form of Government. Competing with others, screwing their populace / workers, and making alliances — when it suits them.

    That’s why Government and Corporate Power together are so scary–and what we see so clearly in the Gulf and in the MI Complex — and why Mussilini and Hitler were the best at merging the two.

    Until now.

    The solution is to vastly reduce the power of Government and Corporations. Reducing their potential alliances is a small start-but need much more.  

  3. Lasthorseman



    And that does not include the globalist parasite organizations CFR,Bilderberg, Trilateral,IMF and WHO.

    The End of the World happens everyday mostly because few understand the mission of the elite.  De-population.

  4. taoskier

    Obama is essentially an actor.

    As has been made abundantly clear on this blog, the Obama administration is only cosmetically different than the previous administration. The differences are largely cultural rather than political. We can mostly agree here that we are no longer fooled by the Kabuki of Obama and his allies in Congress. Obama simply is beside the point.  

  5. the white tiger

    I suggest to you that this has been the conscious and deliberate intention of most (not all) of the ruling elite for the past few decades but particularly since the stolen election of 2000. I believe their intention was then and is now the looting of the entire world and the destruction of American society and any other society for the purpose of instituting a New World Order based on a global imperial system on the macro-level and various modes of neofeudal social arrangements at the local level with most of the population either expendable or in a state of serfdom. This system is not in place yet and can be stopped but this is the agenda of most of the power players.

    For me also, the oilpocalypse was the turning point.  I no longer believe that Americans can stop themselves.  Gaia will have to stop us.  There seems to be no way to stop humans from destroying our environment beyond its capacity to nurture us at our present population level.  

    I am seriously wondering what you think can be done.

    The only thing I see at this point is depopulation via ecological crisis.  The elite will survive in greater numbers, at least initially, because they will be able to insulate themselves to some degree.  Just being able to travel to a less devastated location will insulate them.  Ultimately, they may be too stupid to pick the right location and not have friends when they need them the most.

    The devastation seems to be the only way to force humans to reevaluate.  

    I believe in something that can be called magic, but there are limits to everything, including magic or what I would prefer to call miracles (tho’ not from on high).

  6. bigsurtree

    solidifies around a core set of beliefs built upon this artificial code, a world of symbols, representing the unnamed, authentic interface between man and his experiences with the natural world. Language itself sets up this Cartesian Cogito. It has a tendency to remove individuals from their surroundings and to live instead in their minds, finding relief in their symbols and then searching for people who may be symbolically similar.

    We need a new form of communicating that utilizes language for the benefit of man and nature. For certainly we are of her. At present, man is used by language and not the other way around. The answer I think is hidden in the poetry of nature, a place where man can rediscover his pre-symbolic roots. Walt Whitman saw this critical need in the 19th Century, but his Leaves of Grass had no impact in a culture that could not understand.

    But we will try again, banger—–Nice essay and thanks for the time—————————————-

  7. banger

    We start with ourselves and move to our colleagues, friends and family. The infection exists in us and is very deep.

    First we need to see that the very fact we think the way we do on DD is difficult and takes a lot of energy to swim contrary to the currents of our culture. Each of us pays a price we need to acknowledge ourselves and each other–just existing is doing pretty damn good.

    Second we need to see the forces of self-centered narcissism within each of us that actually weaken us whether it is consumerism or indulging in clearly harmful escapism. To sum up what the great mystic Vivekananda said “be strong.”

    Third we help each other to face the ugly fucking truth and not hide or allow each other to hide in all the usual places like nostalgia, wishful thinking, petulance, moral superiority and high horse-ism (I’m guilt of that one a lot).

    Fourth we start to inquire rigorously into alternatives to the way we live–where we live, how we live, how we make our living and so on. Not that we have to make some huge change and all run away to some commune.

    Finally, we try to build community in whatever way we can without fantasies. Ultimately it is the formation of alternative communities based on an articulated common belief system and moral order not unlike the early Christians did in the Roman Empire.

    That’s a tall order–but I want to make it clear that electing “better” Democrats doesn’t mean much at this point. And signing petitions and calling Congress is a waste of time, in my view. Even street demonstrations unless they are seriously disruptive are kind of pointless as well.  

  8. Edger

    in 1982.

    Before the internet ‘comedy’ of the Carlin and Lenny Bruce variety, and Science Fiction, were a couple of the few ways to express subversive thought.

    How do you best defeat your political and social enemies? Give them good reasons to join you willingly! It doesn’t have to be hit ’em over the head propaganda, sometimes just the example will suffice. James P. Hogan does a masterful job of “convert thy enemy” in Voyage from Yesteryear. This isn’t some slam-bang, faster-than-light, wishful-thinking space colony story. It’s a carefully thought out and very convincing picture of a future I, personally, wouldn’t mind seeing. This is a book I read when I despair of the results of current political trends. Is it ridiculous to read the same story a dozen or so times? Maybe, but if you can call up some hope for the human race, even for a short time, so what if you have memorized some of the dialogue?

    Voyage from Yesteryear opens with the end of the current space era, the launch of an interstellar probe ship. No magical faster-than-light drives, just pluggin’ away with what we know now. Some farsighted people see that while such a slow probe can’t carry passengers, it can carry material and information to create colonists if a suitable star system is found, and robot educators to carry the colony through the early times. With freedom and technology, the colony thrives. The only problem is, after a series of wars and decimation of population, the various remaining powers on Earth decide to “rescue” the lost colony.


    The “lost” colony, being rich in resources, fusion-powered, robot-assisted, doesn’t fit the mold of the Earth that the expedition left behind, and challenges the drones and conventional thinkers to a dangerous extent. The colonists don’t push anyone, or even seriously try to persuade people to their way of thinking. They simply exist, and welcome anyone who accepts personal freedom and responsibility as a way of life. When I first read this book, I was reminded of Eric Frank Russell’s classic short story “And Then There Were None”, with a military-oriented expedition to a similar “lost colony” experiencing mass desertion of people. The hardest part of the equation, from the point of view of the entrenched, conventional-minded groups, is that the first and biggest losses are the talented, unconventional thinkers who are the earliest to recognize that they have bowed down to incompetence and politics far too long. Both Russell and Hogan see no need to actually coerce anyone into joining what amounts to rebellion against the old system, example being enough for anyone who is capable of clear thought and self-responsibility.

    Make ripples…

  9. Arctor

    Every incumbent other than Ron Paul and Russ Feingold should be voted out of office for havinh no essential integrity,despite the inevitable return of the GOP to power. We would still be up against the same enemy but at least we would have a chance to reform an opposition party. Besides, how can anyone in good conscience support either party.  

  10. RUKind

    Says it all. Be the change. Lead by power of example. One by one.

    Be the change.

    Be louder!



    And, BTW, this is a 24/7 all in effort. No down time, folks.

    Be well.

  11. AndyS In Colorado

    I think we also have to look at the role of technology in all this .. the degree to which the agenda of neo-feudalism can be either supported or frustrated by the technological means.

    Thanks for this — I was only able to skim it at this time, though you always frighten me ;).

  12. bigsurtree

    with the limits and logic of mass consumption and mass production. But these limits have also come face to face with an unsustainable world population. The management of local and world economies through the manipulation of money, and acting as if it is real wealth itself, will only make things worse.

    The only real values are in the earth and how man manages to get along with her. The political notion that everybody or any group should be free to compete for control of nature by acquiring money and influence may have been an improvement on feudalism, but being able to blow yourselves up and contaminate the planet doesn’t say much.

    The current institutions of governance (here and in the other nation states) are anachronistic, a holdout from old ideas of class based prerogatives and the natural order.

    The American Government appears to now be totally paralyzed, incapable of identifying essential needs of the Republic and, even more frightening, its very role. In fact, it appears to have thrown in the towel.

    It’s unclear whether Americans or humankind will experience a psychic transformation in order to “right the ship” and come up with new approaches to collective self management (based upon moral principles), but it’s always been a challenge that has never lacked for people of principle to address, and it probably never will. But I agree with the essayist that these principles must be defined, refined and reiterated over and over again. DD is certainly an appropriate venue.

  13. wilberforce

    but hope that made sense….

  14. banger

    And each generation enforces and follows or avoids them. We have a situation where laws are routinely violated much more than in the past when there was at least an attempt to appear to be following them. In Iraq, for example, many of the Geneva Conventions were violated without an attempt to hide them as in My Lai. Yes, Vietnam involved often routine atrocity and torture was practiced but it was not official policy. Nor, as far as I know was there any sort of situation in ‘Nam equivalent to Abu Ghraib, Bagram or Guantanomo.

    Look at immigration: the laws are routinely ignored that is why Arizona has instituted draconian measures. The federal government has not been and is not serious about enforcing immigration laws. Why? Because selective enforcement of immigration laws allows wages to stay low and working conditions to remain squalid. We can argue about whether these laws are good or bad but the fact is there are a lot of illegal immigrants and they are essential to the economy.

    My point is that lack of interest in laws as moral imperatives is the norm and that the avoidance of not just laws but interest in the public good has dramatically diminished and at the wrong time in history since the end-result of this attitude is environmental and social degradation.

    Again, in order to deal with this shit we need to start with ourselves.

  15. banger

    More of a hired gun Executive Vice-President for Public Relations. The guy is bright and very astute. He knows what he’s doing and appears to be under no illusions about what his job actually is. On the whole he’s doing a pretty good job don’t you think?

    The main thing we have to understand that Obama and other politicians don’t matter. What matters is the MSM. You want political change start there.

  16. taoskier

    I don’t disagree, just a different tangent.

    My point is that Obama’s greatest skill is that of an actor. I have no doubt that Obama could be an accomplished Hollywood actor if he had decided to take that path.

    Obama performs, and he is quite good at it.

  17. metamars

    I can agree that solving the media problem is 50% of our problem. But you can attack that before, after, or at the same time that you make an assault on other anti-democratic infrastructure.

    I recommend a simultaneous attack. Why put off anything that could help?

    Now, if you, personally, want to focus on the media problem, that’s just fine with me. You sound serious about not taking it lying down, which makes me very happy, I must say. (I’ve come to think of the blogosphere increasingly as not much more than a vent hole.) I wrote a proposal, years ago, borne out of my frustration with the complete lack of independent investigation into 911 by our lamestream media, which collectively could easily have afforded it. Alas, I seem to have lost that paper, which was called “putting the NY Times Out of Business”

    However, I’ve recently re-thought the problem, a little bit, due to my recent work on a proposal for creating a democratic infrastructure/ecosystem. Partly because I was rushing, I didn’t put a lot of time into it. However, for Day 1 efforts, the decreased scope may actually help attract volunteers and contributors.

    In a nutshell, instead of essentially re-creating a new, internet – based media (which would nevertheless embrace “fluff” – non-serious fiction which so many people distract themselves with), instead we just recreate the commercials, and package them with the ‘standard’ fare. (Well, not exactly, but read on.) Like with the super bowl, the commercials, themselves, will draw millions of people. However, unlike the Super Bowl, we are not selling stuff, most of which is probably in the area of “manufactured want” and not “need”. No, we instead will create “uncommercials”.

    As an example: Instead of a commercial for Coca Cola which shows attractive, happy young people, we have a funny, but pointed commercial, with a tooth fairy who is on the lazy side. Our tooth fairy friend says, “Hey, kids, help me out! I’m getting old, so if you want to get rid of your teeth, don’t put them under a pillow! No, just watch me as I put a tooth in a glass of soda pop. (Time lapse photography ensues.) 8 hours later, the tooth has dissolved. When Junior tells GrandDad and GrandMa about his/her bizarre encounter with the senior Tooth Fairy, they express skepticism. As they laugh, though, you can see that half their teeth are missing.

    Distribution of content is via peer-to-peer networking, which is probably at least an order of magnitude cheaper for the source distributor. (I had made calculations in my now apparently lost paper.) A set top box which connects to both the internet, and the family TV, allows people to watch the “uncommercialized” media in the family living room. Aside from rip-roaring commercials, in this stripped down proposal, the programs are the regular stuff.

    To get people to switch from their normal provider, to the new providers, I outlined a “gift cue”, which I don’t want to describe now.

    If you’re interested, I could upload some more details.

    Also, for the more advanced idea, I posted ideas for shows in the zmag forum, under the same username.

    One thing we have now, that we didn’t have when I first started working on my original proposal, is theRealNews.com. For some wacky reason, they still insist on publishing discrete stories, instead of merging all segments that appear on the same day, together.

    Having a flagship newsprogram is a huge plus, and they are much closer to that than a few years ago.

  18. metamars

    He’s selling food that’ll make you fat, diabetic, and maybe even kill you, but he does it with a smile, so you kind of feel good about it.

    I used to think of GW Bush as a natural-born doorman, who was way out of his element.

    Because Obama is charismatic, I tend to think of him as more dangerous than Bush.  

  19. DawnoftheRedSun

    American political history.  We can go all the way back to the Filipino- American war and find incidences of water boarding and torture.  Every historian is well aware of the United States government constantly breaking international and domestic criminal law.  However, in the last ten years or so the US government has repeatedly, flagrantly, and openly violated the law without even bothering to cover it up.  When you have the vice president of the US admitting to the ordering of torture….How much more of a concrete precedent can you set?  It is just disturbing that those responsible for these crimes are completely confident in the belief that they will NEVER face consequences for these actions.

  20. banger

    that the American people fucking love violence and torture.

  21. wilberforce

    can pass a law and make anything legal, you can have a perfectly legal war, or you can have an undeclared war where millions die like Vietnam: the result is the same.

    The problems we face are deeper than laws–actually the problem is that we appoint other people  to make laws and decisions for us in the first place.  You can’t seriously expect somewhat  less than 1000 people total to control all 300,000,000 Americans and expect good results, can you?

    It’s simply impossible. The pressures and rewards are to great.

  22. banger

    Reagan sets the standard for me. Loved his suits and gestures.

  23. icosa

    “The elite will survive in greater numbers, at least initially, because they will be able to insulate themselves to some degree.  Just being able to travel to a less devastated location will insulate them.”  I believe it is there that their Ark is prepared.  

  24. wolverine06
  25. Lady Libertine

    but… what else can we do?

    we think the way we do on DD is difficult and takes a lot of energy to swim contrary to the currents of our culture. Each of us pays a price we need to acknowledge ourselves and each other–just existing is doing pretty damn good.

    agree again, yet… I cant NOT do it, and I venture to say, neither can most here. Cant pay the price of not being who I am, or betraying who I am.

    It is the starting point, the baseline. We take it from there.

  26. banger

    It destroys the social contract particularly if the government itself breaks its own laws–it means, to me that the government is a criminal regime and we owe it no obedience only resistance.

  27. banger

    exist as a choice. They simply represent different demographics so they try to manipulate tribal symbols to get elected. But even if they are elected they don’t do anything much except vote money for war and they both do it to the same degree. Chris Hedges compares all of this to professional wrestling.

    I honestly think, as I stated, that the differences are largely cultural not substantive.

  28. RUKind

    If there is a political Venn diagram, I exist at the intersection of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. I take about half of what each of them puts out. It’s refreshing that they’re in the House and each a burr under their party’s saddles.

  29. banger

    You are right SF certainly used to act as a repository of all kinds of ideas that were excluded from the mainstream.

    My view is that all segments of the population are necessary. I believe all the political factions we see, liberals, conservatives, reactionaries, radicals etc. have a positive role to play in the organism that is society. You see those forces at work in all relatively complex systems. You have to have flexibility and exploration but also you need some force that keeps a sense of continuity. Life exists on the edge of chaos too much order or too much disorder are both harmful. My critique of contemporary culture is that each force is not doing its proper job. The distortion is that all sides seem to agree that endless growth and self-indulgence is the proper way to go — in short, we have a cancerous situation thus the criminal nature of all our major social institutions.  

  30. wilberforce

    them no obedience anyway.

    And that’s an important point.

    The draft was legal.  

    But to obey it was wrong.

  31. wolverine06

    that there is a double standard. There are two sets of laws, the ones for the elites and the ones for everyone else. When a double standard exists, there can be no justice. And that is all we really ask for: justice, fairness, the “Golden Rule”. It is for this reason that the rule of law is important, because it is based upon a set of “universal” morals. Case in point are the Geneva and Hague Convetions. Another example is the Magna Carta.

    A good place to start for understanding our slow march from barbarism and tribal existance is here in the Liberty Library. It is these landmark documents that form the basis of our society. From them, we can derive maxims and tenets that are historically based in our very nature.

    I agree with banger that the constitution is broken. However, I am not sure if it can be repaired. Maybe it can, but more likely it can’t. I think the best chance we have in repairing it is thru the fourth estate combined with campaign finance and election reform.

    No matter what needs to happen in order to fix what is broken, another pillar in this fight must include an insistance on moving to 100% renewable energy sources. This can be achieved inside or outside of the political arena.

    Somewhere down the line, we violated one of the maxims of “good government”. IMHO, I believe that lasthorseman has hit the nail on the head: Secret Government

  32. wilberforce

    The Socratic problem that Banger is referring to is quite different from a double standard.  I think.

    What I’m trying to say is that, it really doesn’t matter what is legal or illegal, if those who make the laws are put there in an un-democratic way–as they are in the US, and most other places.

    Who cares what someone who essentially works for Bank Of America or Lockheed-Martin claims is or is not a ” law ” ?  I sure don’t.

    It’s no more meaningful than if my cat proclaimed a new law, an old law, any law.


    All of that is just a silly construct.

    I can proclaim  ” law ” too.

    I say we must all eat man pig on Sunday.

    Someone, somewhere has surely made that a “law”– I have no doubt.

    That’s all a load of crap.

    The reality is: what do they do.

    Was bombing Hiroshima legal?

    Was the draft legal?

    Is the death penalty legal?

    Is Man-Pig consumption legal on Sundays? Mondays?

    The main point is here: who cares. Those things were fucking wrong.

    And more to the point: is a tax for endless war legal?

    And should people pay it?

    Very different questions.

    By trusting “law,” you’re essentially saying to your jailer–don’t jail yourself any less then you jail me.

    It’s ridiculous.  

  33. banger

    We need lots of creative ideas like that–I’ve often thought creating a matrix that could showcase and spread such ideas for comment and for playing with.  

  34. metamars

    A brief description is here.

    While the idea is to make the uncommercials so compelling that people are eager to switch from their current provider just to  have access to the uncommercials, one wants to create additional incentives for propagating the new network.  

  35. metamars

    I found my notes from my zmag forum posting. See

    Program Ideas for a Full Media Bypass

    In particular, for Day 1 implementation, see the parts about “uncommercial glue”

  36. banger

    It’s an important question. I believe we have to establish by some relatively rational means what is right and wrong. I think there is a way to establish it and am working on a project to do just that.

  37. banger

    I’ve heard that from a lot of people but I don’t agree. Mainly for this reason: no matter the actual reality of the situation symbolism counts for a lot. As a symbol he is healthier than Bush. Bush represented the sickest aspects of America. Obama, however cynical he and his handlers are at least pays lip-service to a more decent America–lip-service does count for something in my book.

    Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

    –Francois De La Rochefoucauld

  38. wolverine06

    it basically breaks down to the “Golden Rule“.

  39. wilberforce

    and powers of all sorts try to take that from us.  


    Basic Training

    Fox CNN MSNBC Free Republic Daily Kos

    All these things and many more (successfully) try to divorce us from what we intrinsically know to be true.  

    We do know that hurting anything without cause is wrong.  No not all of us, all the time, but most, most of the time.  

    Look at small children; learn from them–and also learn what they need to see from us.

    If we tell them it’s OK to randomly crush insects, shoot birds, stomp on each other in the playground etc etc… then they assuredly will. But by and large they won’t feel right about it.

    We have both sorts of behavior within us intrinsically — but which direction we choose to act on is often environmental. We look for guidance.

    Ironically, in government–we look for guidance from the very sort of personalities that should never be in charge. The one’s that want to be– far to much. The one’s that decided smashing bugs was really fun. Many have pointed this out about GWB, but it applies very much across the board.

    But the real problem is not the few lunatics in charge — it’s the rest of us: 300,000,000 Americans vs 450 in the house, 52 in the Senate, and 1 the white house.

    Staggering numbers. Crazy percentage.

    Why do we set up such a thing?  

    Why do we put up with it?

    I don’t have the answer to that–entirely. But I think there lies the real problem. It’s something we really need to discuss.

    Laws are a construct of the powers of the time. Always have been.

    Socrates claimed that the state had the power to put him to death–because it had allowed his parents to marry-which caused him to be born, so therefore they could terminate him.

    Ludicrous every step of the way.

    But that’s the cannon of logic that gives us what the west has offered.

    Every college in the US teaches that, as if it were true, as if it were noble. And I assume they do in Europe as well.

    It’s at the root of our problem–ideas like that.

  40. metamars

    So far, nobody has stepped up to actually implement the idea. It’s almost unbelievable that there are more than enough potentially good ideas out there, which nevertheless don’t get supported. Even adopting an experimental attitude would be very healthy: “We have a program that we think would make a difference, so let’s try it, and if we fail, we’ll at least learn what doesn’t work, and why.” (Noam Chomsky did morally support my media idea, BTW.)

    The lack of evidence for such a positive attitude is depressing enough that I basically don’t think about it. I’m guessing that a lot of this has to do with a lack of imagination, but, whatever.  I just focus on throwing ideas out there, and when and if I can personally implement them, I will.

    Hopefully, theoretically connecting the dots between otherwise disparate ideas for democratic infrastructure will push some other people over the edge from just theorizing to helping with implementation, as they (hopefully) grasp the potential for synergy. I half-completed a paper on this subject, recently.

    My currently suspended website, democracyabc.org, was supposed to function partly as a home to new democratic ideas. If you create your own “matrix”, I wish you luck with it. It’s definitely needed.

  41. banger
  42. banger

    Which is why there are such dramatic divisions in society and why everything is getting steadily worse in terms of our collective psyche. I think we need to unravel these assumptions, some of which you list, and try to see the logic. I see nothing wrong, for example, with Socrates contention from a logical perspective it is consistent with his philosophy. Most people that have ever lived believe community values are more important than the value of the individual. It was the unique historical accident of the breakdown of religion in Europe that caused the Protestant Reformation that inspired the idea of individual conscience as the agent of salvation not an institution or a community. This, in turn, set the stage (through some more twists and turns) for the 18th century enlightenment which tends to influence intellectuals in the U.S.

    I suggest that we look at what the ultimate source of morality is–of course we can only do so from our cultural viewpoint, but do it we must because right now we are more confused in terms of messages we send out to children that I can’t see a way out of this mess.

  43. banger

    one person or even a couple of people. I reject the notion that anyone “owns” ideas (I oppose most copyright laws and support the open source approach).

    My current project is to find the underpinnings of ethics and try to establish a dialogue. For me that is a book project rather than a web-site. It turns out that getting ideas out of the soup of the online environment is very hard. The level of thought on the web is very superficial because few people take the time to build a framework for the ideas they have.

    I agree with you about ideas. There are many great ones out there and for them to work collaboration is necessary. I’ve been involved in some attempts but they break down, usually, over ego issues. Ego issues come from the fact our society actively does not nurture us and, in fact, tells us we have no right to be here. The idea of competition makes cooperation very difficult in our culture and we are at the stage right now of experiencing the law of diminishing returns on the efficacy of competition. I think competition vs. cooperation is the issue of the day. My goal is to show how individual benefit comes from a communitarian spirit.

  44. metamars

    Another one of my motivations for “Putting the NY Times Out Of Business” was to support valuable players, such as bradblog.com, which was suffering (at the time, anyway) due to scarcity of funds. If all of the visitors to bradblog ponied up .50/ month, I’m guessing that supporting brad would have been no problem.

    I developed this idea a fair amount – it’s important. We aren’t talking about being concerned about people getting rich, but rather about them being comfortable and independent, so they can focus on doing what they are (hopefully) talented at.

    I also suggested tiered membership, so that more financially able subscribers can help subsidize the memberships of poorer subscribers.

    Also, getting most of your content from pre-existing sources means that you’re dealing with copyrighted works. Whether anybody agrees with copyrights and royalties, or not, it’s the law, and thus a requirement. The set-top box absolutely needs to support digital rights.

    Finally, are you aware, at all, of the history of great musicians (think Mozart and Wagner, in his earlier years) who suffered due to lack of copyright or royalty arrangements? I’m not against copyrights, and patents, at all, I’m just against extending them forever, and allowing patenting natural gene sequences, and such. Also, in the case of life-saving drugs, some compensated, forceful exemptions to patent rights should be considered.

  45. metamars

    Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. Furthermore, I also envisioned different providers, who differed in their philosophical or political orientations. Subscribing in the system would eventually allow you to also select your preferred “uncommercial” providers.

    So, if you’re liberal, you can select liberal uncommercial providers (or none at all, if that’s you’re preference, btw). And if you’re conservative, you can select conservative uncommercial providers.

    However, if you’re smart, you will select liberal, conservative, libertarian, and green uncommercial providers. So says yours truly. :-)

Leave a Reply