Why I am a Radical

It’s simple really.  Radical problems require radical solutions.


1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2. thoroughgoing or extreme, esp. as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.
3. favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.


The other night I was telling my 84-year-old father (21 years career Army) about the march in Washington.  I told him that we are going to have to rise up against our government oppressors if we have any hope at all of taking our government back.

“As long as you do it with the ballot box,” he said.  Of course he’s been taught this all his life…and so have I.  Be patient.  Work within the system.

We can all see where that has led us, at least those of us who don’t refuse to see. 


“The ballot box doesn’t help when all you have to vote for are crooks,” I said to my father.  He laughed and acknowledged that was true.  Or when they steal your votes by disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, the kind of crap the repubs are up to in California, or outright theft as we have seen in every election since at least 2000.  The ballot box (as a solution) is a myth.  It is magical thinking.  It is the opiate of the masses.


When you continually choose between the lesser of two evils, what you end up with is…evil.  That has never been more abundantly clear than it is today.

When we do manage to elect good people with the best of intentions they tend to get co-opted, corrupted, or otherwise end up letting us down – if not stabbing us in the back.

Someone wrote a diary recently cautioning us not to alienate moderate republicans or conservative democrats, as if we could persuade those idiots to support intelligent positions.  Yeah right.  Anyone who still self-identifies as a republican is an enemy of everything that is desirable for our country’s future (IMHO).  And any democrat who votes against our interests might as well be a republican.  I’m sick of begging the democrats to help us.  It’s clear they’re not going to.  They’ll stroke us, tell us how cute we are and then hit us up for money – but they are not going to help us.  They all work for corporate America.  And as long as that is true, they are the enemy.

If you’re thinking I have nothing but scorn for our political system, you are right.  Just look what it has wrought.  It deserves nothing but scorn.

Now I am not talking about the American system as conceived by the founders of this nation, which we would do well to get back to, I have the utmost respect for that bit of genius.  I am talking about the corrupted parody of it that our system has since become.  I am talking about the corporate oligarchy.

“America is on the verge of losing everything it was meant to be,” I told my father.  He immediately agreed.

“It’s what Eisenhower warned us about,” he said, to which I immediately agreed.


In his farewell address to the nation on January 17, 1961, after eight years as President (and motivated no doubt by guilt over his part in establishing this dynamic), Dwight David Eisenhower had this sobering advice for America.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”  Source

The military-industrial complex, perhaps more accurately referred to as the military-industrial congressional complex, is generally defined as a coalition of the military, Wall Street bankers, industrialists and those enablers (politicians) and hangers-on (the investor elite) who profit by manufacturing arms and selling them to governments around the world without regard for how they will be used or upon whom.  Eisenhower points out that until World War II the United States did not even have an armaments industry. Even though “American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well,” the United States could “no longer risk emergency improvisation” of the country’s national defense.

So Eisenhower saw us as stuck with the need for a weapons industry but imperiled by its growing influence and power, and by its essential amorality.  Few people have ever been so right about anything.  The fact that we failed to adequately heed his warning will forever be seen as one of the great tragedies of our era, or as I have said many times, a pity beyond measure.


THIS is the beast that pulls the strings of our government.  THIS is why we must be lied to and cannot be trusted with the truth.  Because the truth is so horribly ugly that it could cause a spontaneous rebellion.  If enough of the population were to ever ‘get it’, there would be rioting in the streets, politicians would be hung in the public square, the NY Stock Exchange would be razed to the ground, the mansions of the rich would be ransacked and their occupants slain (no I don’t advocate this – I’m just sayin’).  THIS is the reason for all the lies, all the twisting of reality, the subterfuge, obfuscation, and spin.  THIS is why they have corrupted our government and usurped the power of a no longer existing free press. 


The truth is anathema to these evil fucks.  They will stop at nothing to perpetuate their lies.

There are two ways to deal with a reality like this, you can fight them or join them.  Sadly, many of those to whom we would look to for leadership in changing this awful reality have chosen to join them instead of leading us in opposing their evil agenda of perpetual war for profit.

Some uniformed officers, too, said that the Clintons were more associated with a ’60s culture than a military one, and that only time would tell if Mrs. Clinton’s appreciation of the military would go beyond niceties and expressions of concern.

Donald L. Kerrick, a retired general and former deputy national security adviser to President Clinton, acknowledged that some people inside and outside the military were skeptical of Mrs. Clinton’s intentions and wary that she would shift federal dollars to domestic programs like health care.

NY Times

In response to that last paragraph, our friend Booman at the Booman Tribune had this to say:

Apparently, the only way to have good relations with the military and be tough enough to be commander in chief is to throw money at the Pentagon and not at cherished domestic programs or health care.  Of course, no mention is made of what should be funded at the Pentagon.  Do we want to raise a few more divisions?  Do we want to improve our Veteran’s hospitals?  Do we want to build an orbiting ray-gun that can destroy underground laboratories?  It doesn’t seem to matter as long as we throw money at the Pentagon.

We have a lot of work to do in this country to provide a hospitable political climate for questioning the direction of the military-industrial-congressional complex.

from Booman’s Hillary and How the Media Drives the Military-Industrial Complex

But that is what we’re going to have to do: build provide a hospitable political climate for not only questioning but also changing (and changing in a big way) the direction of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

No one is going to give us back our government – and the ballot box (as it stands) will not help us.  We are going to have to take it back, and we will have to do so without the help of dishonest politicians – not without extraordinary pressure applied by we the people.  The first thing we have to do is purge our government of the influence of money with publicly financed campaigns and elections, and outlaw all but the most legitimate lobbying.

Then we have to purge our government of those who would continue to lie to us – ever – about anything.  It’s time to shed the secrecy, pull back the blackout curtains, and let some light into our government.  It’s time to stop living a lie.  We deserve to know what our government is doing in every circumstance.  We deserve a government that operates in plain sight and that tells us the truth.  We deserve a government that acts in ways that the American people would approve.  No more School of the Americas.  No more Abu Ghraibs.  No more Guantanamos.  No more aggressive wars.  We should all be sick of being lied to.  I know I am.

Until we face the truth that our country has been hijacked by war profiteers, we will not muster the enormous will required to change it.  We desperately need to re-purpose the MICC and turn its genius and might to peaceful pursuits.  Only then might we be able to save ourselves from global warming, the energy crisis, and all the other challenges that face us.  If we continue to foolishly pour our treasure and blood down the black hole of war we are doomed.  Our only hope is to face the truth.

I say down with the liars and down with a government that runs on lies.  We need to demand the truth, for only the truth shall set us free.

In this day and age when we face multiple crises that could spell doom for all life on earth, wars are a horrible distraction – one we can ill afford.  We must stop being tricked into supporting them.  Period!

War is barbarism.  At this point in history we should be above and beyond such degenerate madness.


WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

General Smedley Butler, Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

All wars in the modern era have been sold on the basis of black-hearted lies.  Our culture is awash in them.  Nixon, Kissinger, Reagan, Bush’s I and II will all go down in history as among the world’s greatest and most horrible liars and murderers.

Another famous advocate of lying was the man who is no doubt Karl Rove’s favorite Nazi, Joseph Goebbels.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels


Some people think it’s inflammatory or hyperbole to mention Nazis when discussing Bushco.  I respectfully disagree.  I say it’s a qualitatively accurate comparison, and I think it’s clear that Rove studied Goebbels.

“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.”


“As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

Karl Rove

And I haven’t even mentioned Leo Strauss and his central role in neocon philosophy.

Many neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz are disciples of a philosopher who believed that the elite should use deception, religious fervor and perpetual war to control the ignorant masses.


That’s a very telling quote given our present circumstances – don’t you think?

It’s all about lying, obfuscation and concealing the truth.  My friend, the preeminent French writer, Jerome a Paris sums it up nicely.

The right has perfected a very simple technique: repeat your lies on every occasion, dismiss any alternative position as partisan and extremist (or even treasonous), and cast yourself as moderate, balanced and in the mainstream. When caught in flat out lies, never admit to anything, just attack the source, attack your opponents of what you’re criticized for, and change the topic.

from Jerome’s The Reality War

Most of what most Americans believe are lies – lies that have been concocted and deliberately foisted on the entire culture so that rich and evil men can profit from the horrors of war while enjoying the support of the masses.

Knowing the history of our country and knowing that our government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed makes me a radical.

Knowing that we have the right to abolish and reform the government when it fails to serve the needs of we the people makes me a radical.

The understanding that timidity, simple solutions, or half-measures such as ‘voting for better people’ will not have any appreciable affect on the entrenched and corrupt machine our government has become makes me a radical.

The realization that our government constantly tells us all terrible lies makes me a radical.

The certain knowledge that our government spies on peaceniks and ordinary Americans as though they were heinous criminals makes me a radical.

The knowledge that our system is so compromised by corruption that it will never (in its present form) serve the people makes me a radical.

The understanding that the greed-driven dynamic dominated by the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex will doom all life on earth in the foreseeable future if not changed and changed radically makes me a radical.

The hope that we can re-purpose this evil machine and refocus our intelligence, talent and treasure on solving the very real problems of impending environmental disaster, sustainable agriculture, alternative fuels, providing food and potable water for the world’s population, providing rational and meaningful healthcare to all, fixing our broken system of public education, repairing and replacing our crumbling infrastructure and etcetera and etcetera makes me a radical.

The painful awareness that we are running out of time makes me a radical.

I refuse to fall for meaningless distractions and misdirection, and I refuse to give up and just kiss all of our asses goodbye without a fight.

And that my friends is why I am a radical.




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    • Armando on September 23, 2007 at 01:25
  1. And if so, are we a radical cult or a cult that sucks?

    • Twank on September 23, 2007 at 01:47

    Once upon a time Mel Gibson was popular, before his alleged drunken tirade against … whomever. 

    I think it was in the first “Lethal Weapon” movie that Rog’s elder daughter is kidnapped by the bad guys, and Roger (Danny Glover) and Rigs (Gibson) are in Rog’s house, waiting for the phone call with the ransom demand.

    Rigs looks at Roger and says “We’re going to get bloody on this one”

    That might be appropriate now, I don’t know.

    • Diane G on September 23, 2007 at 02:07

    We are beyond radical in my household.

    Trust nothing, radical change is needed to beat this coup d etat.  A coup that started with 3 assassinations, Bobby, Martin and John.

    Everything since has been bullshit, for the rich by the rich and against mankind.

    Hope you’ve forgiven me enough to accept kind truths.

  2. more Armando’s, and several million more Nightprowlkitty’s.  A few more Turkana’s wouldn’t hurt either.

    One Markos is enough.

    One pff is one too many.

    This concludes my sermon, please do not trample one another while exiting the First Evangelical Church of Rusty the Wondrous Redeemer.

  3. when I was full of socialist theories about economics and history. I even lived a communal life for a while, which taught me a lot about human nature, and the unwillingness of most people to actually practice the ideas of voluntary cooperation and uphold the common good. That experience kind of popped my radical bubble.

    I still like to dig down to the roots though and like to take a long long view of history. I still think unfettered capitalism, exploitation and brainwashing of the masses, which are all fueled by greed, are at the root of our country’s problems these days. Plus fear of the boogeymen who might get all the oil before we do.

    So am I still a radical? Hell if I know. What I strongly agree with here, OPOL, is that the electoral process in this country is totally corrupted as is everything that follows from it.

    It blows my mind that after all the bullshit that has happened with the last several elections that the ballot system has still not been corrected. The completely unfair gerrymandering  instigated by Delay and his henchmen has still not been corrected. The outlandish corruption regarding everything this government touches, especially in the war profiteering sector, has still gone unpunished. Blackwater is back on the beat, doncha know.

    One more thing. I’m so fucking glad this blog exists and that you are crossposting. Given the fins I saw circling in this diary in orange waters, I feel so much relief in being able to express my thoughts here.

    Thank you again you guys.

    • fatdave on September 23, 2007 at 02:21

    It’s Saturday, the sun’s over the yardarm ( pirates let me go). Is it not time for a bijou tequilaette?

    • snud on September 23, 2007 at 02:46

    H. L. Mencken:

    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

    Wish I’d thought to put that up on “Talk Like a Pirate Day”!

  4. not radical,just aware. Aware of what is going down. Our solutions may vary but your not radical, your right. Me I’m like you I cannot see how to penetrate the insane wall that seems to face any solution. It’s all played on such a surreal field that any any truth is irrelevant. 

  5. (Fuck Godwin’s Law, by the way.)

    If you are a true radical, your ideal position to advance your agenda is from within the system you oppose. For example, if you want to overthrow Hitler, what better place to be than in the Nazi uniform, with trusted access to a conference room where you might bring a briefcase bomb…Tom Cruise is trying to make a movie about that right now. If Hitler had been killed that day, how many fewer people would have died? Would Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened? Would the Cold War have happened, or would the German military started talking about “we have succeeded in purging this madman and his inner circle, we cease hostilities”?

    OPOL, you have no idea how correct you are about the BOMIC (Big Oil Military Industrial Complex). They are also in the process of implementing a full surveillance society, so that the path of resistance for any future radical that would oppose them will be fraught with peril. At this stage, I would venture that their degree of control is so complete that any radical opposition is doomed to failure. The system is too large, too interconnect, too capable of regenerating from anything short of total shutdown. And there is no way to shut it down. The entire economy is based on making arms and war to enable oil to be had to fuel cars and a consumerist lifestyle, and there is no feedback loop against that dynamic other than Mother Nature…and entropy. All Empires fall, all evil men and women die. May their spawn be feeble and few, and may we teach our children well.

    In the meantime, I refuse to collaborate.

  6. love it.

    • RiaD on September 23, 2007 at 05:19

    with a Netroots cabinet!
    & DeannaHawk for campaign manager.
    where do I send the donation?

    • tjb22 on September 23, 2007 at 06:07

    Truly.  I only differ in that I think most Americans, deep down (and sometimes not so deep), know the truth.  For whatever reason, many just choose not to publicly acknowledge it.  Why?  Some myths are just too difficult to give up.  So, our challenge is to create an environment in which enough people feel comfortable enough to openly acknowledge what we know to be true and that we can somehow feel empowered enough to fix it.  Kinda chicken-or-the-egg prospect, though..which has to come first?

  7. OPOL, you have no idea how correct you are about the BOMIC (Big Oil Military Industrial Complex). They are also in the process of implementing a full surveillance society, so that the path of resistance for any future radical that would oppose them will be fraught with peril. At this stage, I would venture that their degree of control is so complete that any radical opposition is doomed to failure.

    He’s right.

    And the most obvious reason that he is right is that a revolution cannot be organized on-line, for chrissake.

    It’s impossible for the obvious reason… surveillance.  You can’t organize revolution, for fuck’s sake, in a place monitored by the opposition.  It doesn’t make sense and it’s not happening.

    Is it?  I don’t think so.

    So, what do we do?

    A lot of you guys will probably hate this, but Markos and Armstrong’s point still holds.  We have to hold off the conservative movement through electing Dems and we have to reform the fucking party by electing more and more liberals and progressives.

    I don’t see any other way.  And, yeah, I loathe the fact that this is a long term project… particularly because these maniacs might hit Iran soon.

    But, what is the alternative to electoral politics?

    Radical means revolutionary means bypassing the electoral process.

    So, what’s the alternative?

    I’m still waiting for someone to answer that question.

    Because if you’re a revolutionary, you have to answer that question.

    • Diane G on September 23, 2007 at 15:43

    available Here

      • fatdave on September 23, 2007 at 05:54

      and I’m still alive.

  8. manipulations that we have been seeing right down the line are exactly the ways in which Hitler Germany achieved their goals. It was happening right in the faces of Germans — there were those who saw it, yet many that didn’t.

    It has all been happening right in our faces and still there are those who do not see it or do not want to see it, or are simply apathetic period. 

    Just one example only, such as the propaganda build-up for the invasion of Iraq (“war”) that we experienced, we are now experiencing the same kind of propaganda build-up to attack Iran.

    The examples are endless and on-going — still, it is happening in our faces.

    I agree with you in your assessment of what we must do in order to take back our country!  Otherwise, Americans are carving out their own destructive, sad destiny and will not realize it until it is too late!

    • icosa on September 23, 2007 at 20:11

    I am not familiar with the ‘pony’ rating but I gather it means ‘excellent’, so have rated a few comments as such.  Just to be clear…I agree, well said.

  9. then so am I…
    if we stand together we will not be moved…..

    • dkmich on September 24, 2007 at 01:10

    Who could resist a site that lets you decide between pony and wrong.

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