Top Comments: A selection worth reading……. With updates

From the Daily Kos thread, here are a few comments that struck me.

I am going to keep adding more, rolling updates, I believe ek calls it. Especially ones that contain some form of solution. A good record I think.

General Smedley Butler (US Marines) said it best:

Sick of serving the ruling class, he retired in 1931 at the ripe age of 50, and summarized his service as follows;

   “I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purifly Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested… . Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents.”

Indeed.

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!

by bigtimecynic

The great lie is that we need the rich

That the only way to create capital and therefore new business is through the wealth of the rich is just plain wrong. In fact, they do a lousy job of it. They put their money in speculation (the stock market) and debt backed instruments (mortgages), and finance their very expensive lifestyles. When they do spend it on businesses they put their money in various acquisition funds. This is ridiculous. A far more reasonable and efficient system would be to finance business through broad base savings. Investing capital in new businesses is risky but if you spread that out over a large number of businesses and banks and limit the percentage of capital that any single bank can invest, the system has to work if the economy is working.

I would not say to eat the rich, but I would say to replace their only useful function with a broad based system of making capital available. We should all be entrepreneurs and not have to kiss the asses of the rich to do it.

by The Wizard

Comment and reply…


I find this kind of talk disturbing and (0+ / 0-)

depressing. I’m not sure I fit in at dailykos any more, and I’m somewhat frightened by the populist and revolutionary fervor I see on the rise, combined with the pro-gun stance of the majority here. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but given what has happened during past economic crises I’m not sure. I’m not really sure what to do.

This sig is the former home of a witty Monty Python quote.

by AaronInSanDiego

      You know what’s disturbing/ depressing?

     Working full time, even two jobs, for sixteen years, and realizing that you will never, EVER be able to get ahead – or even break even – because wages remain flat…while your bosses and their class-peers pay themselves enough to buy new houses and new Harleys and new SUVs and take their families on Caribbean vacations…and blame business lapses on you, and give you the heave ho when their bad planning causes them to be unable to weather downturns in the economy.

     Realizing that the American Dream was just that, a dream, and nothing more, ever – and nobody wants to admit it, while we starve and struggle to avoid being thrown into the street.

     If you’re just now waking up to it – to what my life and the rest of ours has been for so long – how come you were comatose the past 20 years?

     “Don’t be a janitor on the Death Star!” – Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

     by bellatrys

 Wow

You know, stuff like that could become dangerous to their positions of power and influence.  What a righteous rant.  Worthy of 1776 IMO.

Here’s what I’d do: end corporate person-hood.  End the legal fiction that a corporation has rights on par with natural persons.  I am not now, nor have I ever been a Communist.  I’m not even against business per se.  But this shit has got to stop and someone – THE ONES WHO GOT US INTO THE MESS – have got to be held personally responsible.

Let’s start with Cheney, that fuck.  He’s not a corporation, but the bastard personifies EVIL and he did it IN OUR NAMES.  Starting to hold people personally responsible for the lies and bullshit… I can’t think of a better place to start or a guy who deserves it more.

by Paper Cup

This has been coming a long time….

Despite my attempts to dismiss it (within my own mind) as ridiculous, there is a simple fact that no one with a conscience can ignore:

There is something very, very wrong with this country. Those of us who have been screwed by the system 6 ways to Sunday know what I mean, as does anyone with friends and relatives who are proof positive that things do not work.

I see Wall Street CEOs walk, and I see friends of mine get busted for possession of an ounce and a half of pot and they’re never seen or heard from again. One example of thousands, but this has been a long time coming.

Fortunately, some of us are prepared for it when we get to the “break out the firearms” phase.

by Jaimas


There has always been a ruling class and

there always be.  No matter what form of government.  Our rants and outrage make us feel better but in reality accomplishes nothing.  They are laughing at us behind the curtains in their mansions.

You can’t cheat an honest man.

by thestructureguy

SOLIDARITY

As Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed would say:

   “The pursuit of full humanity cannot be carried out in isolation or individualism, but only in fellowship and solidarity.”

   “At the point of dialogical encounters there are neither utter ignoramuses nor perfect sages; there are only people who are attempting, together, to learn more than they now know.”

   “Dialogue – the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world.”

Demographics do not equal destiny.

by dr fatman

Bingo!

 

There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt-until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties. – Gore Vidal

We cannot win a war crime – Dancewater, July 27, 2008

by unclejohn

This is so so true.

If, instead of propping up criminally fraudulent financial companies, those TRILLION$ actually went to:

  1. education – a college education to any one who makes their grades.  A special education for every needful child. A full funding of sciences and arts educations from grade school up. And so on.

  2. safety net – shelters for the homeless. Public kitchens for the hungry.  Clinics dispersed throughout cities and rural areas for public health.

  3. HEALTH CARE, HEALTH CARE, HEALTH CARE.  If people had single payer health care, they could leave their jobs – which some/many of us despise – and do work that we LOVE.  Just think how much more productive that would be! Never in all the debates has anyone ever suggested that the cost of Universal Health Care would be TRILLION$ of Dollar$.  Yet, a trillion here and a trillion there… and we, the people, still do not have health care.  The bank executives do. WE do NOT.

  4. energy infrastructure, research, change-out subsidies.

  5. aid to poor countries to provide public education.  Most poor children that end up in madrassas do so because that is the ONLY option for ANY education in their countries.

There, that’s not even One Trillion Dollars. Nope, not even one.  Bush spent about THREE and Obama is about to toss another One Trillion Dollars $$$ on the fire.

God, it is getting hot in here. But the spending is bringing Zero Relief.

Fire Summers. Fire Geithner.  Fire all the Rubinites.

Hire Krugman. Or at least listen to him.  

Government money should be spent from the bottom up – FDR style – not from the top down – Reagan style.  There’s a reason that was called voo-doo economics – it is!

droogie6655321 lives!

by YucatanMan

Progressive taxation worked

for such radical leftists as Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford. Ike had a marginal top tax rate of 91%, and Nixon and Ford 70%.

The cap gains tax was also a lot higher.  

Yes, there were ‘loopholes’, but there was a lot of money collected back then, money that was used for the commonwealth of all the people.

I don’t want to deny the rich their day in the sun, I just want them to pay their fair share.

Support Progressive Radio

by shpilk

We need a revolution.

Straight up. We need to organize and start a movement. Even just a cultural movement – like an Anti Greed Society. Something to focus us so we don’t just spin out on rants and agreeing with each other.

Which, it was a great rant, btw!

“The company of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the company of those who think they’ve found it.” – Terry Pratchett

by christineNYC

Powerful diary…

I want to fight but whom to fight?  The people are brainwashed and we are powerless to do anything about it.  We don’t have the power to fight so we can only talk about things weakly to ourselves.  

We are the Proles in 1984 whom the party lets do whatever they like because we are no threat.

by michlawa2


 We need to support

the real economy first–ya know, the one where people actually do real work to make stuff and do stuff for people?  That one.  This whole financial crisis is certainly affecting the real economy, but the roots of the crisis are in the shadow banking system that catered to people making imaginary profits with exotic financial instruments.  

The shadow banking system must be decoupled from the real economy–say by nationalizing the huge banks and other institutions that are infected with all the worthless paper stuff, breaking them up into manageable parts, saving those parts that still are solvent, discarding the parts that are not, etc.  

Meanwhile, the money that is being poured into bailouts should instead go to the real economy to do things like prevent home foreclosures, do useful things that create jobs, etc.  Rather like the initial stimulus package, only bigger and better focused.  The  idea should be to serve the needs of people and clear away the wreckage of the collapsed old financial order as expeditiously as possible.

by out of left field


The last time there was such disparity

in America between the wealthy class and the rest, things changed (1920’s).  Yes, it took literally a generation to change the inequality – but those are precisely the generation of people who are in charge now.

Most of this new voting age grew up where everyone got a medal for winning and everything was team oriented, even though some things did remain including the ME, ME, ME generation (i.e. fashion and materialistism for instance).

They are truly a group who believe in equality for all and that winning isn’t always everything.  They see less skin color than generations before them.  They are also highly competitive.

I do STILL have hope.

6.13 4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

by MarciaJ720

And so many more good ones.

Interesting times my friends!

54 comments

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  1. And no longer tin foil hat territory?

    Photobucket

    I know this is kinda a weird essay, lol.

    But I thought it was very interesting how folks responded…

    Plus I dint have the energy to write something, but wanted to keep the theme going!

    Is Revolution in the air? What form will it take.be given?

    • RiaD on March 23, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    tinfoil hat territory, imo.

  2. … the comments were very interesting.

    You quoted one of the comments that struck me — about being so afraid of the “populist and revolutionary fervor.”

    I find this to be the most challenging attitude and I can’t say I don’t have my share of imaginings of crazed violent revolutionaries going wild in the streets.

    Added to that, Obama saying on 60 Minutes that he is not going to “govern from anger,” and my confusion is complete.

    Obama admits he’s angry.  We are also angry.  Obama says to channel that anger — which doesn’t negate it.  And we are trying to channel our anger as well.

    Why is Obama’s channeling of his anger assumed to be constructive, while ours is painted as scary and destructive?

    I don’t have answers, but I see this theme emerging and would like to understand it better.

  3. We fight with our brains, then our minds

    then with tools, and use the best tool for the job.

    Whenever and wherever possible, financially disinvest from bad parts of the plutocratic system.

    Remove any and all wealth from wall street. Move your 401 to the safest investments possible.

    Maximize your tax deductions. If the IRS has a problem with that, tell them to bother the top 5% earners.

    Cancel your cable TV subscription. It is as plain as day that all you’re doing is paying for lies and advertising BS.

    Don’t accept any long-term contracts for discretionary services. Stop all auto-pay arrangements with all vendors.

    Fuck Wall-Mart and Target (Trust me, they’re even worse than Wal-Mart).

    Use your retirement to pay off your home. If the bastards dare to take your house, then demand the mortgage documents from the mortgage company. If you’re about to go belly up, run up your credit cards on survival gear then burn it.

    Move your money to a safe local bank or credit union.  

    Find local business who care about your community. Get to know who you can rely on in a crisis.

    If possible, set up just-in-case barter arrangements.

    If you like the First Amendment, advise everyone you know to do the above.

    If you happen to like the Second Amendment, gear up and sharpen your skills.  

    Now we have our general strike, and we didn’t even have to walk off the job. Brothers and Sisters, don’t rely on the powerful. You’re an American, use your power.

    DC – America’s own little Green Zone. -Pescadero Bill

    by James Kresnik

       *

          Amen. (

         The potential power of a well-informed and equally organized public that can stay on focus is greater than ‘theirs’ as to what the US Constitution demands.

         “Its a grave digger’s song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice…” -Flipper

         by Skid

  4. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

    In trying to decide how bad things really are, I swing between speculating whether we are in the beginnings of a new era–the New Dark Ages–having seen this country going from…

    This: Space exploration; ever-expanding innovation, and scientific breakthroughs; unions gaining enough power to win benefits like job security, health care, and other benefits for workers; Americans manufacturing products for consumption by its own citizens, and for export around the world; and opportunities for education, etc…

    To this:  Fundamentalism trumping science; exploration being relegated to the back burners; union-busting with job outsourcing, cutting back wages and cutting back or eliminating healthcare and retirement benefits entirely; higher education becoming more and more expensive; home ownership becoming a liability rather than an asset; etc, etc.

    …or if these times are just a temporary glitch that can be overcome with enough effort, activism and determination.

    I’d like to think (hope) it’s the latter.  Anyway, IMHO, it’s better to do something to change things for the better than to sit back doing nothing, and ensuring that things won’t get better.

  5. I think not…

    Concentrated wealth has caused the collapse of: Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom, Western Rome, Pre-Islamic Mecca (Islam is, in part, a reaction to concentrated wealth), Byzantium (before the battle of Manzikurt and the loss of it’s Anatolian heartland), Medieval Japan, Hapsburg Spain, Bourbon France, Romanov Russia, Manchu China, Nationalist China, Coolidge/Hoover America (triggering the great depression, WWII and the Holocaust) and now the Great Meltdown (or Great Recession).  

    The last two brought to you courtesy of the Republican party.

    In the case of (at least) Rome and Medieval Japan,the wealthy and powerful used their influence to avoid paying taxes.  The lack of revenue kept Rome from fielding armies big enough to control it’s borders, despite Rome having access to all the resources of Western Civilization (when Western Civilization extended to the Euphrates and included all of Egypt and North Africa). In the case of Japan, there was no invasion, society just collapsed. In both cases a multicenturied dark age ensued.

    The stunning thing, is the people who had the most to lose, the wealthy and powerfull are the ones most unwilling to fund the perpetuation of the state – a state that protects property rights, ie. their wealth.  

    This has occurred time in and out of history.  

    I believe our founding fathers thought they had the answer to this: free contract tied to democracy (to ensure a level playing field for bargaining of contracts). For 70 years they appeared correct.  The U.S. had the broadest distribution in world history up to 1860 even with 3 million people held as slaves in the south.  What they hadn’t anticipated was the creation of the modern limited liability corporation in 1862. 30 years later wealth was more concentrated than ever and we saw the creation of the class that is about to destroy the United States as we have known it through out our lives.  

    Since 1973 wages have remained the same, but GNP has gone up 150%.  All those gains have gone to the supply side rich. That’s trillions and trillions of dollars year in and year out for decades.  Our society is top heavy and poised for collapse.  

    The concentration of wealth in the 1920 helped contribute to that collapse. That lead to the Great Depression and as Winston Churchill suggested in his “Finest Hour Speach” before the Battle of Britain, nearly took us to a new dark age.  As he predicted in that speach, if England won that battle a new golden age would appear. And so it did: global economic out put doubled between 1945 and 1973 – that right in less than 30 years the economy of the world grew more than it had the preceding 11,000 years. During those year in the U.S. wages grew with increased in GNP accross the board.  

    The rich are about to destroy themselves once again and bring civilization down with them – as they have countless times in history.  

    As Warren Buffet says: “What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

    Welcome to the new dark age. .

    by The Wonder Moron

  6. (all images are linked to the main page — some definitely not work-safe)


    First, the only image I’ve seen from him that’s complimentary in nature:




    Here’s a few others, of the more standard kind — generally trashing BushCo, Faux and Reich-wing pundits and, even more recently (tho not in the collection below), AIG execs:


     


     



  7. This comment struck me as particularly interesting….

    What will we as a people do if it dawns on us our country is going down the drain and there are people who have made vast fortunes not only betting on it but making it all but inevitable?

    This country was born from revolution and it may take another revolution to save it.  I have never seen such a common despair and mounting anger among people….it is carrying over from the Bush years and people are beginning to feel swindled not just by republicans, not just by democrats, not just by congress….but by the entire interwoven fabric of corruption and deceit that is our government, the corporations, the media.

  8. yes, the information available is “vague” but really that’s expected when it is secret proceeding.

    feinstein already said not likely to be a public report and the proceeding is anticipated to take ONE YEAR!


  9. LABOR CREATES ALL WEALTH

    Tell that to the magicians of leveraged derivatives — slight of hand and nothing there.  

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