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Author Topic: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause  (Read 8883 times)

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jgiffin

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So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« on: December 19, 2015, 11:23:32 AM »
Congress passed, and the president signed, the $1.1 TRILLION omnibus spending bill. Here are the votes if you want to see the position taken by your local charlatan.

     Senate: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/114-2015/s339
     House:  https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/114-2015/h705

So, this is what the political system has degenerated into - everyone throws all the spending they want (on behalf of their corporate masters or special interest groups) into one bill and characterize anyone who opposes it as "shutting down the government."

I'd call them treasonous bastards but doing so would be slanderous to traitors and the illegitimate. They avoid having to vote up or down on each individual bill by lumping it into an all-or-nothing monstrosity. It's easy to vote "yes" on supporting the Cowboy Poetry Festival (true story, bro) when you don't have to vote on funding it.

Republicans, Democrats, whatever. They're all the same, treating the taxpaying public like a never-ending trough at which they and their incestuous fuckbuddies can gorge themselves ad infinitum. It's time we stop supporting regime change overseas and start it here.



Reverend Al

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2015, 10:09:25 PM »
Issues like this are one of the reasons I've decided to no longer vote.  It doesn't matter whose name is on the door, who's sitting at a particular desk, or in a particular chair--it's just different people doing the same bullshit as their predecessors.  Besides, I'm convinced my vote doesn't matter anyway.
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way

BikerDude

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 11:32:30 AM »
Every Rep and Senator in my state voted Yea.
Personally I don't mind government spending. I mind what the government spends on. I agree that it is so often pork rather than stuff that benefits the public at large.

I will vote if there is someone to vote for.
Hillary 'VS' Trump?
Cmon get serious.
I still can't get over Trump.
A public career as a laughing stock and now he actually stands a chance.
Un-fucking-believable.



« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 11:38:04 AM by BikerDude »

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jgiffin

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2015, 04:56:09 PM »
Precisely. And that's the shit-sandwich they're preparing for us. Who do you vote for? The vapid billionaire reality-TV star who says he'll take on the system and fix all the problems but demonstrates no understanding of the substantive issues? Or perhaps the woman trucking more scandals, flip-flops, and outright lies than any candidate in US presidential history?

I can't. It's just too much.

Two parties. One fiction. Zero choice.

Reverend Al

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 12:50:33 AM »
Precisely. And that's the shit-sandwich they're preparing for us. Who do you vote for? The vapid billionaire reality-TV star who says he'll take on the system and fix all the problems but demonstrates no understanding of the substantive issues? Or perhaps the woman trucking more scandals, flip-flops, and outright lies than any candidate in US presidential history?

I can't. It's just too much.

Two parties. One fiction. Zero choice.

That's the main reason I'm no longer voting--I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the person I think would do the best job, and none of 'em give a shit about you unless your bank account  has at least nine digits on the left side of the decimal anyway.
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way

BikerDude

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 09:01:11 AM »
Precisely. And that's the shit-sandwich they're preparing for us. Who do you vote for? The vapid billionaire reality-TV star who says he'll take on the system and fix all the problems but demonstrates no understanding of the substantive issues? Or perhaps the woman trucking more scandals, flip-flops, and outright lies than any candidate in US presidential history?

I can't. It's just too much.

Two parties. One fiction. Zero choice.

That's the main reason I'm no longer voting--I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the person I think would do the best job, and none of 'em give a shit about you unless your bank account  has at least nine digits on the left side of the decimal anyway.

The reality is that probably 99% of the votes are essentially a vote against the other candidate than for anyone. That's the game. It's a shell game. If it's all about controversy then no candidate has to live up to anything. Promises are generally vague sound bites without specifics and as often as not a reference to the other sides vague sound bites.
If you keep people angry it's very easy to direct them. Generally it's all about convincing people to willingly abdicate any form of representation. Hence the irony of hatred of Government in the context of electoral politics. That's the game. Keep people's eye off the ball. Make them feel like they need to support something because the only other option is frightening.

Out here we are all his children

LotsaBadKarma

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 02:52:28 AM »
Issues like this are one of the reasons I've decided to no longer vote.  It doesn't matter whose name is on the door, who's sitting at a particular desk, or in a particular chair--it's just different people doing the same bullshit as their predecessors.  Besides, I'm convinced my vote doesn't matter anyway.

+1.

"The person who casts the vote decides nothing. The person who counts the vote decides everything." Don't remember exactly who said this, maybe Stalin, maybe Lenin (I am the walrus). The thing that keeps me from opening up arteries over all this shit is an interview I heard where I learned that basically our government has been corrupt almost since its inception so this is nothing new. It's not any particular office holder who might be corrupt, it's the whole fucking system so, in my opinion, it's basically a lost cause. There is no fixing it, I just have to ride it out. But there is a certain feeling of lightness associated with giving up hope, like there's nothing I can do that will affect the outcome so I can say, in all sincerity "fuck it".

Reverend Al

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 11:47:43 PM »
"The person who casts the vote decides nothing. The person who counts the vote decides everything." Don't remember exactly who said this, maybe Stalin, maybe Lenin (I am the walrus). The thing that keeps me from opening up arteries over all this shit is an interview I heard where I learned that basically our government has been corrupt almost since its inception so this is nothing new. It's not any particular office holder who might be corrupt, it's the whole fucking system so, in my opinion, it's basically a lost cause. There is no fixing it, I just have to ride it out. But there is a certain feeling of lightness associated with giving up hope, like there's nothing I can do that will affect the outcome so I can say, in all sincerity "fuck it".

Fuckin' A, man.  The only way to "fix" our political system (and our legal system, for that matter) here in the U.S. is to scrap the whole thing and start over from scratch.  Unfortunately, the people who would be responsible for doing such a thing would very likely be the same people who are part of the currently corrupt system, so the new system would be just as corrupt as the current one; the same bullshit in a new bag.  Besides, the people running the current system don't want things to change, so it's a moot point anyway.

So, yeah, I have no problems with no longer playing their rigged game.
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way

LotsaBadKarma

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 01:00:05 PM »
I agree that our current system has been set up to be corrupted and needs to go but in future I think no more elections. I have a couple of reasons for this belief. First, and I include myself here, is that the average American is just too goddamned stupid to be trusted with the vote. Using myself as an example I no longer care to research candidates and their voting records or other indicators that would reveal what their future attitude toward the proles would be. Secondly, a system that relies on general elections to select office holders/power brokers is set up to be corrupted. For example, why would a person spend tens and maybe hundreds of millions of dollars to gain an office that pays a paltry $400K a year? The argument that people have shot back at me when I say this is that they're not spending their own money. Exactly. So who is the owner of the money that they're spending and what kind of favors will be expected in return for that funding? And if you're not one of those who can afford to contribute the maximum amount what kind of attention can you expect?
So elections might get replaced with a system of random selection, a draft if you will, where you serve for a year and then go home. And the limits of government are strict. Fix the fuckin' potholes, protect us from invasion, and after that shut the fuck up. And remember that whatever I care to put into my body is none of your fucking business. It is the ultimate private property issue so if I want to spark a J the only thing anybody in government can say is "no bogarting allowed, pass that motherfucker along". And when two representatives disagree on an issue fisticuffs are not only allowed, they are required under the law. Okay, maybe I'm over the line here. But I think I made my point.

jgiffin

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 06:08:56 PM »
Some very good and interesting ideas up in here.

I agree with Al that we can't expect the existing two-party structure to "fix" itself. Revolution has to come like a shotgun blast from the outside. Radical change proposed from the inside is quickly enveloped and suffocated by the surrounding corruption. I disagree those currently in-charge are responsible for initiating revolution. It's precisely because THEY'VE created a recalcitrant and representatively irresponsive system that revolution is needed.

LotsaBadKarma be thinking like a radical. I like that. However, I'm not quite so discouraged by the electorate as to substitute voting for random selection of representatives. The problem is we don't, properly speaking, "elect" our candidates so much as "select" them from a pre-approved list of party hacks. Once they've limited the possibilities to one, two, or three politicians who are party-men, the vote doesn't matter: they win. Deconstruct the parties by removing their power and presence over ballots, elections, and processes. They've rigged the system. Burn the system down and that benefit is destroyed. The result way be much like the random selection LotsaBadKarma endorses (e.g., hundreds of candidates on a ballot or, perhaps, solely write-in candidacies) but the right of sufferage survives.

Reverend Al

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 07:42:25 PM »
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way

LotsaBadKarma

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 12:40:22 PM »
LotsaBadKarma be thinking like a radical. I like that. However, I'm not quite so discouraged by the electorate as to substitute voting for random selection of representatives. The problem is we don't, properly speaking, "elect" our candidates so much as "select" them from a pre-approved list of party hacks. Once they've limited the possibilities to one, two, or three politicians who are party-men, the vote doesn't matter: they win. Deconstruct the parties by removing their power and presence over ballots, elections, and processes. They've rigged the system. Burn the system down and that benefit is destroyed. The result way be much like the random selection LotsaBadKarma endorses (e.g., hundreds of candidates on a ballot or, perhaps, solely write-in candidacies) but the right of sufferage survives.

Actually I was thinking something like a computer generated lottery by social security number or something like that. You get picked and you go, that's it. And only for one year. And you earn what you would have made back in the real world. Housing for all reps, including the prez, and meals are provided so you don't have to spend what money you have for housing, food, etc.
As far as deconstructing the parties goes I don't think we can rely on anyone in power to make changes like that. Kinda like the corruption issue, you have to follow the money. If real law was written that strictly prohibited corruption in government, i. e. taking money to influence legislation in favor of corporations or massively rich individuals, the very people who would be most hurt by that law would be the same  ones writing it. Kinda like the insider trading fiasco. Martha Stewart gets 2 years in steel city for insider trading but when the pukes in power wrote the law they somehow exempted themselves.
If the system went to a random selection via lottery type system there would be no favors owed for campaign financing because the people who seek to influence the conduct of elected reps wouldn't know who they were until they were in office. Once in office activities are strictly monitored so as to prevent payments of any type from those same movers and shakers. I'm only going this far because I have seen the old adage about "absolute power" proven true too many times and, to be honest, I don't believe that there are a sufficient number of humans on the planet that could be trusted to not abuse the power inherent in elected office to allow for a fair and equitable system.
This is a most excellent conversation. I am enjoying it immensely.

jgiffin

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 01:52:37 PM »
That sounds reminiscent of Rawls' social lottery theory. In part, it says everyone's starting point in life results from the random circumstances into which they are born (class, wealth, talents, family, etc). No one had any role in setting the circumstances and, therefore, can't possibly "deserve" it.

He - or someone else, I can't recall - extrapolated that into an argument that in a "fair" society all members should be willing to participate in an annual lottery which would randomly determine their positions for the year. If they're not willing to do that, it might mean the deck is already stacked.

BikerDude

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 10:06:35 AM »
I think we need to begin to have some requirement for these fucking jerks.
There is no job that doesn't list a certain set of basic requirements.
But insanely a person can be President if they are a good enough bullshitter to make people believe they can do it.
History has pretty clearly shown that we have very often put people in positions to make very important decisions for all of us with exactly zero expertise at all. Most commonly in matters of foreign policy.
And even with education we aren't out of the woods.
We send these people to elite ivy league schools where they are systematically imbued the perception of themselves as elites and then they go into government and they are so self centered and impervious to any suggestion that they don't fucking know what they are doing that they just fly blindly into wars and misadventures based on their own idiotically simple minded perception of reality.
I give you the Dick himself as an example.
Quote
Mr. Russert: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Vice President Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I've talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who's a professor at Brandeis, but an Iraqi, he's written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately, and is a part of the democratic opposition and resistance. The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.
Despite the fact that people who actually had experience in the middle east said over and over again that we would not be "greeted as liberators". The dick got played by people using us for a power play.
I mean we had basically been bombing them off and on for a decade and had 2 previous military incursions. How delusional do you need to be to think they would roll out the red carpet.
Didn't matter.
Just one example but Vietnam was the same sort of bullshit.

So the trick is how do you get people who are very well educated but still possessing of humility?
Pretty difficult but it's absolutely essential to success.

Out here we are all his children

BikerDude

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Re: So This is How Liberty Dies - With Thunderous Applause
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 10:21:32 AM »
The thing to remember IMO is that Government used to be much more representative of more than a narrow range of Corporate and wealthy interests. And not all that long ago.
It has been systematically occupied mostly over the last 4 or 5 decades.
Which un-coincidentally coincides with the emergence of mass media.
The strategy has been to get the average person to dislike government while at the same time drastically increasing the amount of lobbying and money put into controlling government.
The lessons of our grand parents and their parents have been forgotten.
The working class once has some power. And it was a hard fought battle to secure it.But the landscape has been systematically changed to remove all influence from the working class.
Manufacturing has been sent over seas. Not because it's cheaper. That's the bullshit explanation. Once upon a time if the teamsters or someone went on strike they had to be negotiated with. Not any more.
And the foreign workers thing is likewise bullshit. Any one who works in any high tech jobs can see that the percentage of foreign workers is off the scale.
These are jobs that the company still needs to fill and they will do everything they can not to employ american workers.

Video of a company that specializes in teaching company's how to get around hiring American workers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

 It's been an ongoing strategy for decades. Systematically removing all influence from labor and convincing the general populace to support an agenda based on lies. Or to simply abdicate representation entirely and become docile. And the fact that they've bought the government just makes it easy. It's good cop bad cop. Neither cop in good. "Hate the government and support our policies as the cure".
They are the fucking government. They want you to want less government. They want it all. The "cure" is the whole point of the exercise.
And as wages stagnate and the middle class recedes and income inequality increases the sheep do the bidding of their masters. 
The average person has been taught to adopt policies that are the policies of "management". The message is controlled and people are sheep. Very simple.
Tell them something often enough and they go along. And ironically they really believe they are revolutionary.
Ha! Laughable man!
The first step is for people to wake up.
Next step is to begin to remove that strangle hold that these 2 parties have systematically gained over the election process. Job one is to address ballot access.But citizen united show that things are all moving in the other direction. Money rules and we have the best government money can buy. At least until people really do wake up and smell what they are being fed.
Forget "social issues". They don't matter. It's all about money.
But people who's economy has been devastated will turn to Donald Trump as their savior. This just shows that it's probably hopeless.
There probably is no limit to people's gullibility and stupidity.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 12:08:54 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

 

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