Take One Last Look

( – promoted by kestrel9000)

Before-it-blows

Some of you who were around when I first started posting at DailyKos a little over two years ago may remember the ‘OPOL flame wars’ as kos himself put it.  Many of my ideas provoked great animosity in the dkos community.  I was called every name under the sun, was threatened with banishment, and was the object of great wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I was bitterly and enthusiastically criticized for saying things like:

The 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen.

The war on terrorism is a bogus invention meant to justify war profiteering.

The rise of the neocons amounted to a fascist coup.

The democrats enabled the neocons and in some cases were complicit in their crimes.

Our political system is broken and corrupt to the bone.

Bush and Cheney should be impeached.

The Bush administration committed war crimes.

Our government is enslaved to the evil of the Military Industrial Complex.

The American dream is just another lie.

Our government has no intentions of ever leaving Iraq.

We are running out of time to save the humans.

After all that has transpired over the past two years, these ideas seem much less inflammatory today.  A casual reading of DailyKos these days suggests that most kossacks now agree with many if not all of these statements.  The hideous nature of our present reality can no longer be denied by thinking people.  The horror we face has begun to sink in.

Naomi Wolf – Blackwater Fascism

The propaganda machine we are subjected to from cradle to grave in this country is a powerful force.  We are taught that this is ‘the greatest country in the world’, though we are not told why.  American exceptionalism is drilled into us incessantly until it becomes one of those core beliefs not subject to deep questioning.  It is hard for us to face that we are NOT the good guys, NOT the land of the free and the home of the brave, not really even a democracy, just a pretend one.  The real power in America is not the vote – it’s the buck.

America is Tyranny

In my view the time for action is nearly past.  If we don’t act decisively and soon, all will be lost.  More and better Democrats is not the answer, and the reason is because the system is so corrupt that it taints anyone who gets near it.  What we so desperately need (IMHO) is radical reform of our government and political system.  A good start would be mandated public financing, outlawing all but the most benign lobbying, and to make lying in the course of one’s official duties as an elected or appointed official, a major crime with severe penalties.  

If we fail to do those things at a minimum, we will all die in due course of planetary neglect.  The only question that remains, it seems to me, is do we give up or fight back?

Everybody Knows

As for me, I’d rather die fighting back than live under tyranny and just watch passively as life on earth is extinguished by a bunch of venal idiots.    

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129 comments

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    • OPOL on June 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm
      Author

    Please share your thoughts.

    • Edger on June 22, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    But I think it just might….

    Starting with the deceptively simple story of an ant, Dan Dennett unleashes a dazzling sequence of ideas, making a powerful case for the existence of “memes” — a term coined by Richard Dawkins for mental concepts that are literally alive and capable of spreading from brain to brain. On the way, look out for:

    + a powerful one-sentence secret of happiness

    + a compelling insight into terrorists’ motivation

    + a chilling view of Islam

    And just when you think you know where the talk’s heading, it dramatically shifts direction and questions some of western culture’s fundamental assumptions.

    Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers: TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

    Thanks for a great essay OPOL. Again… 🙂

  1. The other options imo are unworkable.

    Reform of the democratic party?  If 11/06 elections say anything, it’s that reform of the party is impossible.  My own new congressperson (NY-20) voted for the war and for the FISA bill.  Evidently, she doesn’t know why “we” sent her to DC.

    Civil disobedience?  Not going to happen on a wide enough scale to do anything.  I have no objection to jail, but I don’t want to go if it accomplishes nothing.

    Revolution?  Gas is already $4.269 here and not a peep.  It’s not like bread in France or salt in India.  So I don’t see it.

    The Resistance Party otoh is something that can grow out of the netroots and there’s time to do something with it before 2012.  Sign me up.

  2. that we are all within our own hearts right now trying to deal with the anger, pain, frustration of what is happening.

    When that process is complete, the reaching out will begin. And then I say…look out!!!!

    • Edger on June 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    what I’ve been trying all along to do, and try to act like what I’d like the rest of the world to act like, without trying to convince anyone of anything.

    Except maybe that the 110th congress is the legislative branch… of the bush administration. And that Nancy Pelosi is an undercover republican mole in disguise. 😉

  3. clear months after the Nov 2006 elections. my view?  the Dems are worthless and another way to say: REPUBLICAN. and that includes Bill Clinton and his eight years. policy wonk my ass… passed legislation because he had no choice… my ass!!!

    i know how it feels to be bashed about the head for saying such things. my biggest concern, though, is wasting time believing Democrats. when we think they will work for us, it holds us back from making any decisions to break with them and and and…

    and the whole kit and caboodle is so damned hard to believe… that this is happening. and yet. here we are.

    i’ll say it again, for the 100th or 500th time: target congressional seats in 2010. go after Nancy Pelosi NOW. and Harry Reid when he’s up.

    and be loud about it…it’s a calling card… getting nancy out and getting Cindy in.

    • Alma on June 22, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Or at least a mix of a few of them.

    Our total election system needs revamped.  The way we do primaries, funding, everything.  I also would like to see more than two parties that can make a run for things, but other than a few independents, that hasn’t happened.

    And this is a must:)

    and to make lying in the course of one’s official duties as an elected or appointed official, a major crime with severe penalties.

  4. a global anti-globalist party.

    Not just the military-industrial complex these globo-fux operate light years above governments in their domination of every area of human endeavor.

    There is an increasing global 911 truth movement and the wearechange method seems to be harassing and exposing the key players in a big way.

    I was too radical to be tolerated by kos and other politically oriented places too.  I can only hope the notion the neither political party represents the best interests of any human being becomes mainstream.  Then and only then can the healing process begin.

  5. and would like to be inspired about the possible, take a look at this conversation between Pete Seeger and Majora Carter from This Brave Nation.

  6. Since you are getting to the heart of the matter (a rarity on the blogs) (and since we seem to be in complete agreement).

    Except for attempted reform of the Democratic party (which to me is a dead end, since the real power structures will remain in place), I wouldn’t rule out any of your suggested tactics. Various groups and individuals will want to attack the problem in their own ways, and that’s fine, since no one really knows for sure what will work, and since the problem will most likely have to be fought on a variety of fronts (as long as there is no infighting among the various groups).

    People have to start looking at the labor movement for a way forward (IMHO), since they are already organized and some parts of that movement are militant, while the rest of us are mostly just milling around.

    I submit the longshoremen’s actions against the war and the California Nurses’ campaign for national health care as examples of the labor movement’s willingness and ability to be an orgainzed political force.

    I also encourage people to support the efforts at mass mobilization by the antiwar movement, which should be taking shape this year.

    I would also warn people that whatever path is taken, it will require more than a quick fix. People have been fighting this battle for generations.

    I am for a Resistance Party, but I would like to know how this would differ from the Democrats, the Greens, and the various socialist parties.

    Also be aware: organizing a political party from the ground up is a life’s work, a major effort.

  7. I also submit the anarchist revolution of 1930s Spain as the model of a way forward that sooner or later progressives will have to consider.

    • geomoo on June 22, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I like the name Constitution Party.  The party would identify the enemies of constitutional government, especially in the form of economic policies and the corporations which benefit from them.  The party would recognize the long-standing conflict between “free trade” and democracy and would choose democracy.  The party will have only one purpose–restore constitutional government to the U.S., either under the current constitution, a new constitution, or the current one with changes such as a few suggested above re lobbying and campaigning.

    The power of this party would come from its single-minded focus.  Avid pro-lifers invited to work alongside lifelong advocates of the right to choose.  NRA members working with those dedicated to gun control.  We all agree that we want to fight out these issues peacefully in a functioning constitutional republic.  Making this happen would require giving a functioning constitutional government higher priority than any of our pet issues.  It would require discipline, selflessness, and the patience to put aside working on other pressing issues.

    This week I have been disheartened to learn how small a group we represent.  My liberal friends are not exercised at all–it’s just more of the same to them.  So the first goal is to stir people to greater concern.

    Putting this in motion would require us to engage with conservatives with single-issue intensity.  When discussion or debate starts, we immediately say that we need to have a functioning government if we have any hopes of settling these issues.  Find agreement on the crimes of this government and work towards agreement that our constitutional problems over-ride any other concerns.  I think we can work alongside passionate conservatives.

    Some may say I’m a dreamer,

    but I’m not the only one.

    I hope some day you’ll join us,

    and the world will lives as one.

  8. to make an impact on people’s consciousnesses.

  9. This is concrete and within the realm of possibility.

  10. OPOL

    davidseth

    masslass

    Alma

    geomoo

    kestrel9000

    Anyone else?  Feel free to jump in and join us.  I’m happy to

    be the keeper of the list…

  11. Photobucket

  12. Not quite sure how that would play out, though, in reality.  Do we resist here in front of God and everyone or do we need a “coded” entrance somewhere?  Oh, I guess I’m thinking of the Underground Resistance to Nazi Germany!  (It all begins to feel somewhat like that, knowing what we know.)

    But I don’t think resistance should be limited — as I believe we need several forms of action.

    Right now, I would gladly commit to calling Nancy Pelosi’s office every single day for a month or longer, if necessary, to express how I feel about Impeachment being off the table and how I feel about her positions down the line — you can get a little in every day!

    Right now, we’re also faced with a very great possibility there WILL be an attack on Iran — another IMPERATIVE to add to your Pelosi call list.

    But, I really feel that there needs to be a unified commitment no matter what course is chosen.  In another words, choose an action and everyone committed to the idea of Resistance, acts on it uniformly!  Sporadic and lackadaisical action WON’T CUT IT!

    If you really think about it, MONEY is the source of all evil in our government.  Understatement of all.  Think of it, those in our government can and do pretty much what they want for themselves and with our money, thinking that we are or will be none the wiser for what they do.  So, one possible theme, and I think hugely important is to develop a theme getting MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.  This is the only way we can hope to achieve an honest government.  

    Setting a dollar limit for each candidate, a dollar limit for air time, etc.  Setting a dollar limit of contributions by corporations and a time limit by them in their lobbying efforts.  In other words, across the board LIMITS for contributions and lobbying, etc.

    Last, but not least, we MUST NOT STOP calling for Impeachment of these mass criminals — it is the first step toward return to the rule of law.  It would provide future governmental officials with “terra firma” for their performances in our government, as well as help to restore faith in us and in the world, in fact.

    One of the reasons the Repugs (bastards) have been successful is because they are UNIFIED.  So, I’m saying, if we want to do something — first, choose an action, then be unified in that action.  A straggly effort here and there, need I say, won’t cut it!

    O.K., these are some off-the-cuff at random thoughts I have right now.  

    Thanks, OPOL, for trying to open up and engage each of us in ideas as to how we can attempt to turn things around.

  13. would be to decide (quickly) on an action, have a sign-up sheet, if necessary — act, then report!

  14. “… they’ve got us by the balls”, and as I might add, their grip is tightening. Good selection of videos by the way.

    Starting from where we are now and trying to make significant change, reversing direction, is going to be extremely difficult. We’ve waited much too long. Democracy is now mostly for show. It doesn’t matter who we elect, the outcome is always the same. More power for the ruling elite, less power for the people. These past 7 years have seen an acceleration in this direction more than most of us could have imagined. However, the beginnings are rooted many decades ago.

    There is a severe lack of leadership for any serious resistance movement. The Internet and the blogs are pretty much the extent of it and what goes on there, well we can be sure it is monitored. As long as we only type and comment we don’t worry them too much. I’m saddened to think where we are headed and for the future of our children and their children and theirs.

    I don’t have an answer other than to keep trying by every means available to us but my fear is that, barring some huge unforeseen catastrophe, the empire will never be brought down until it slowly dies of rot from within.

    Your writing inspires many of us. Please continue your efforts in helping to keep this most important issue alive.

  15. …strongly object to your advocacy of public financing of elections.  See the data on this here for starters.

    Further, legal restrictions on activist speech (by lobbyists) and on political speech (your idea for punishment of politicians) is fundamentally opposed to the First Amendment, and you offer NO substantive case for why they would be beneficial.

    Whether or not you have been significantly correct in suggesting what ails us, your suggestions for “solutions” strike me as anathema to a free nation.  And I would contend that your offering them as solutions to these problems without making a substantive case for them on their own merits is demagoguery.  You are using people’s anger at these things for the benefit of these positions OPOL, and without making a substantive case, I believe my charge is apt.

  16. There is a group working on organizing this for Sept. 11th with build up strikes around July 4th.

    But I don’t think we need to wait.  We need to state our refusal to cooperate with this corrupt system now and in every way we can.  I’ll write more on this in the next couple of days.  

    • RUKind on June 24, 2008 at 5:36 am

    It’s pretty easy to fake a “heart attack” assassination. Not that anyone would actually do that to an opposition comedian.

    • RUKind on June 24, 2008 at 7:16 am

    The Monkey Wrench Gang is a novel written by American author Edward Abbey (1927-1989), published in 1975.

    Easily Abbey’s most famous fiction work, the novel concerns the use of sabotage to protest environmentally damaging activities in the American Southwest, and was so influential that the term “monkeywrench” has come to mean, besides sabotage and damage to machines, any violence, sabotage, activism, law-making, or law-breaking to preserve wilderness, wild spaces and ecosystems. It is the bible of what some critics call “eco terrorists”.

    We need Freedom Monkey Wrenchers who can creatively and leagally create chaos and confusion in all sorts of areas of flow of goods, resources, information, disinformation. WE NEED TO TAKE THEM OUT OFF THIER GAME.

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