Dennis Loo

Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo
Location
Los Angeles, California,
Birthday
December 31
Title
Professor of Sociology
Company
Cal Poly Pomona
Bio
Author of Globalization and the Demolition of Society; Co-Editor/Author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member, co-author of "Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them" statement, dog and fruit tree lover. Published poet. Winner of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award, Project Censored Award and the Nation Magazine's Most Valuable Campaign Award. Punahou and Harvard Honor Graduate. Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An archive of close to 500 postings of mine can be found at my blogspot blog, Dennis Loo, link below. I publish regularly at dennisloo.com, worldcantwait.net (link below) and also at OpEd News and sometimes at Counterpunch.

DECEMBER 20, 2011 12:36PM

Why “The Lesser of Two Evils” Isn’t (Expanded)

Rate: 9 Flag

This is an expanded version of an article that was first published at dennisloo.com. 

Whenever the election cycle starts up, some people tell us that they feel that they have no choice but ”to hold their noses” and vote for the “lesser evil,” by which they usually mean the Democratic candidate (although there’s a right-wing version of this in which they choose the Republican when they’d really rather have the libertarian).

One respondent to a recent Energy Insiders Poll in National Journal about the [Keystone XL] pipeline explained that these groups will reluctantly come back to the President: “Environmentalists will not be happy, but they have nowhere else to go, since they scorn Republicans.”  

                                          Jessica Goad and Stephen Lacey

For the last few presidential race cycles we’ve heard people from the left and from the Democratic Party tell us “this is the most important election in your lifetime.”

It’s funny how for several times in a row it’s been the “most important election in your lifetime.”

And what have we gotten by this process?

People have been holding their noses so long that some of them have suffered some brain damage from lack of oxygen.

In an episode of the TV show “The Simpsons,” Homer finds himself in an alien spaceship orbiting Earth. The aliens have managed to kidnap the Republican and Democratic Party nominees for president and have them imprisoned in capsules on their ship. Hitting buttons randomly on the ship’s control, Homer inadvertently jettisons the two candidates into deep space. Doh! After this, Homer somehow manages to steer the spaceship back to Earth and upon landing in Washington, D.C. finds the two aliens, disguised as the two presidential candidates, giving campaign speeches together on the Capitol steps. Homer unmasks the aliens, revealing them to be two very large, very grotesque, octopus-looking creatures. The crowd gasps. The aliens hesitate for a moment. Then one of them says to the crowd: “It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us!” There is a pause and then somewhere from the crowd says: “He’s right!”[1]

Is he?

                                                                                                  Dennis Loo[2] 

We’ve gotten the most egregious violations of the rule of law under the former Constitutional Law professor, Barack Obama, who has assassinated American citizens with drones without trial and without convictions, just on his say so as president.

This former Constitutional Law professor told Sen. Carl Levin to take out of the NDAA before Congress passed it the language that would have excluded American citizens on U.S. soil from being summarily arrested and indefinitely detained.

Not that I think that the bill is any more acceptable by exempting American citizens, but the point is that Obama is to the right of those who proposed and passed this – and I say this as a strict descriptor – fascist law.

The only thing worse than this law would be mandated executions on the spot of people that the authorities regard as a threat. That is the next step beyond the NDAA. And, in fact, we’ve had incidents in which exactly that has occurred: where an individual has been summarily executed, except that it hasn’t yet been put down on paper as a mandate. Obama did this with drone attacks in assassinating al-Alwaki and others, including a child who was, I suppose, “collateral damage.”

So let’s be straight on what the situation is, shall we?

What is this business of elections, since according to the news and the government this is where it’s at, this is where the people get to have their say and decide what’s going to happen.

Let’s put this in context: If you were a member of the 1% and enjoyed your luxuries and lifestyle more than justice and fairness, would you allow one of the two major political parties in this country or any candidate for office to actually pose a threat to your multi-millions and multi-billions?

Would you put the American Empire with its nearly 800 military bases, its military industrial congressional complex, its CIA, DHS, NSA, DIA, NYPD, and all the rest of the damn acronyms up to a popular (grimace) vote?

Would you allow the public to have the power to unseat your de facto rule through the simple process, god forbid, of voting?

Would you? If you did, you probably got your money from an inheritance and can’t think straight.

Wouldn’t you make sure that the people who were the nominees on the ballot were in your pocket before the votes were counted?

And if anyone somehow slipped through the cracks and got elected or who had an epiphany while in office and turned against you, getting it into their head that they were going to tell the people the truth (I know, it’s a wild thought, but imagine it for a moment), wouldn’t you make sure that they were muzzled or disgraced or disappeared in an accident?

The Occupy Movement has shown that the people have somewhere else to go besides trailing after and pleading with Democrats to do something other than enriching the plutocrats and raining death upon people abroad.

The anti-Vietnam War movement had somewhere else to go besides begging the Democrats to please “give peace a chance.”

The civil rights movement and the black power movement of the 1960s had somewhere else to go besides waiting for Democrats to end racist oppression.

The women’s movement had somewhere else to go besides being respectful and asking Democrats to honor the rights and autonomy of women.

The trade union movement and the unemployed and the poor had somewhere else to go besides putting their hopes and dreams and fates in the hands of the Democrats.

Do the people of this country who can think straight and who are not all wooly headed from fear and complacency have somewhere else to go besides voting for Obama again after he has shown repeatedly since winning office that he is like your partner who abuses you because he knows that you will never leave him and have nowhere to go? “Sure, I know you don’t like what I’m doing, but at least I’m not the other guy.”

Do you have somewhere else to go? Do we have something else to do besides being played for fools every four years?

I think we do. And history shows that we do, including very recent history.

As GOP pollster Frank Luntz openly admitted in front of a crowd of Republican governors this month: "I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death. They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Scaring them is good. Scaring them some more is even better.

Notice that Luntz, the GOP pollster, didn’t say he was scared to death that people would vote for Democrats. What scares him to death is that Occupy has been challenging the basis for and legitimacy of both the GOP and the Democratic Parties: the notion that capitalism is the best of all possible worlds. While the individuals within Occupy have varying views about the source of the problem and the solution to it, they all agree that the symptoms are products of the existing power structures. Luntz recognizes this, he realizes how threatening this is to that system, and it is what scares him and the rest of the 1%.

Metaphorically, the river has overrun its banks and is threatening to engulf the land. It is no longer confined to the safety and security of the Banks.

When your adversaries tell you that the path you should take if you want to change things is a path that your adversaries advocate and celebrate, you need to take stock and ask yourself: if this is something that my adversaries endorse, doesn’t that mean there’s something innocuous to them about this path? If the people who endorse it are the people who do the very things that I think are awful, then shouldn’t I be doing something other than what they recommend?

As I wrote recently in an essay entitled “On Elections and the Sources of Real Political Power,” elections and the existing political institutions and their publicly viewed processes are not the actual sites of real political power. They are, instead, the outer shell of real political power. They are a charade designed to present the false view that the people are really in charge and that our elected representatives are doing our bidding so that the intolerable and unjust policies and everyday workings of that system are not revealed for what they really are: the exercise of economic and political dictatorship over the 99% by the 1% in the interests of the 1%.

The real sources of political power rest on the foundation of persuasion and coercion. If authorities can no longer persuade people that what they are doing is legitimate, then they must resort to more deception, manipulation, misdirection, and force in order to stay in power. Obama’s candidacy and his presidency from the beginning were a ruse to deceive people into believing that he would change the widely reviled policies of Bush and Cheney. His real character is now more widely understood and as he carries out the interests of the 1% and does ever more shocking things he opens the eyes of more people.

At the same time, all too many people are still ensnared in the utterly mistaken “lesser of two evils” and “democracy = voting” notion and are not yet pursuing the path that will really make a difference. That path is the independent actions of the people, not tied to and not beholden to, the existing political parties or their approved of channels and processes. That, as Luntz’s honest admissions of fright about Occupy shows, is where the real action lies. That is where a real difference has been made in the past and where a real difference now and in the future will be made.

If the real sources of political power are coercion and persuasion and not elections and show speeches on the floor of Congress or nationally televised speeches from the Oval Office, then participating in the sham of elections only helps to legitimize the illegitimacy of the system and its representatives. If you really want to do something worth doing and if you really are interested in real change, then you should aim your work at delegitimizing the existing system and its processes and representatives, not further legitimating them. If you do this, then your work will be a) attacked by those who you are fighting against because you will actually be doing something effective, and b) you will be working not in vain but helping to bring into being a revolutionary change. And that is where it’s at folks.


[1] "Treehouse of Horror VII" 
Episode #801 4F02, 
Original Airdate: 10/27/96

[2]  Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips, Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006, p. xxiii.

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Finally, American politics explained: "People have been holding their noses so long that some of them have suffered some brain damage from lack of oxygen." Very well put!
Bottom line though, Dennis, is that in November 2012, the election will be between the Republican candidate and the Democratic Candidate. A third party (without a nominee) is in motion—and it expects to have a spot on the ballot in all 50 states…with a nominee to be named later. But I suggest that will be a dismal failure…garnering less votes than Ross Perot when he ran. The real choice will be between the candidates of the two major parties.

I am baffled by the people who support a third party…as to why they suppose their candidates will not be as corrupted by the power gained (were they to miraculously win) as the candidates of the major parties. It makes no sense to suppose they would be immune.

In any case, I think the politicians ARE doing more of what the people want than some of the people posting here in OS think they are doing. In fact, I think most politicians send out feelers to determine what actions they can take that will produce the most votes…and then head in that direction. They are doing what the people want…as they determine what the people want.

I think many of the people suggesting that politicians are not doing what the people want…are actually saying that the politicians are not doing what THEY want. And often “what THEY want” is unrealistic and unreasonable.

I guess the path you suggest seems reasonable to you, Dennis…and I wish you the best in gaining traction for it, but any “do it independently” or “stay home rather than vote” or “vote for a third party” will, in my opinion, only insure a Republican victory. And since the conservative Republican base is actually saying that Newt Gingrich is not conservative enough for them (tantamount to liberals claiming Barney Frank is not liberal enough for them)…a Republican victory will be an extreme conservative victory…and an extreme conservative victory will actually push us off the cliff you seem to think we’ve already fallen off.

Anything other than a Democratic Party victory this year is a disaster for America and the world.
In some cases politicians really do respond to the wishes of the voters in substantial ways, even if they would much rather ignore the voters. But if a politician knows he can count on certain blocks of voters no matter what he does, then those blocks of voters can safely be ignored in favour of buying off less slavishly loyal voters and lobbyists.

We have seen some rhetorical movement by Obama in response to the Occupy movement, I think because it is clear to Obama and his handlers that a significant part of Obama's base is disenchanted and may not stand for a lot more betrayal. But if this base says, in effect, "Aw, we were just kidding, you know you can always count on us", then Obama's second term will be even worse than the first. And the next "Democratic" candidate will be an even better Republican than Obama has been.
If one were to readonly comic books as apisa's attitudes seem to indicate, they'd forget that obama campaigned on a peace platform, a platform which promised transparency.

Consequently, they'd be unaware that two inherited wars have morphed into overt and covert wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, (Kenya, Uganda Burundi), Libya, Syria, Iraq, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras, and Iran.

They'd be unaware of the erosion of the major provisions of the Bill of Rights.

They be ignorant of the fact that not only is Guantanamo still open, but Bagram prison holds four times as many prisoners than Guantanamo did at its height.

They'd have no knowledge of the number of corporate individuals who wrecked the economy who now serve within this administration.

They'd have no knowledge of the fact that obama has effectively revoked the writ of habeus corpus and the posse comitatus act.

And so much more destruction to the country that it would take a book to detail.

In an earlier post today, frank referred to obama as a good and decent man. It begs the question as to what a;isa would characterize as a bad and indecent man.

obama is a war criminal, guilty of both genocide and support of torture, and only a sociopathic passive aggressive personality-disordered person like frank, would willingly blind themselves to such facts.

Barton, You're words ring true, but perhaps You've not been here long enough to know that frank is tone deaf to any transgressions of his lord and master.

frank fancies himself an agnostic, when truly he is the pre-eminent pope of the church of obama - he literally believes obama walks on water.
You're absolutely right, Dennis. The only way to really make a difference in politics is through organizing and protesting.

Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the Republican nomination, the 2012 election will be a choice between Corporate Tool A and Corporate Tool B. The only substantive difference between them is that Corporate Tool A will have an easier time getting liberals to go along with him.
Fascism has come in the night
All the lefties also went right
They said, "You're not free."
You said, "Let me be!"
But gave up without a fight.

Don't bother to whine or to cry
If they hear you, you surely will die
They'll take you to places
Separate you by races
And teach you about "Occupy."

You've all become flabby as blimps
You chatter like monkeys and chimps
You talk a good fight
But prepare for flight
You're nothing but weasels and wimps.

So put on your jackboots today
And follow whatever they say
Then bow your head down
And get your nose brown
For fascism's here now to stay.
Simple, short -- for the moment: Just want to express my appreciation for the continuation of this thread and the discussions. Some of the back-and-forths remind me (on first reactive level of reading) of the long-ago joke about three people and the rabbi. The first person presented his complaint. [I'm assuming for brevity's sake all persons here are gender male (*).] It contains several accusations against person #2. The rabbi nods and says, "you are right". Person #2 states his exactly opposite position (also in the form of accusation? ... don't quite remember that one). The rabbi nods, and says "you are right". Person #3 pipes up in outraged dismay, pointing out what he sees as the untenable opposition of the two. And the rabbi says "and you, too, sir are absolutely right".

Maybe somebody else remembers this better than I. Any way, it's getting late here and I must get off the computer, but I can say (again) how very glad I am to find this continuation. Gives me something to look forward to here on OS. Thanks all. [Not so "short" after all ... sorry :-( ;-).]
Bart: Thank you very much!

Frank: You drank deeply of the Kool-Aid and no amount of evidence to the contrary seems to affect your viewpoint. To say as you do that "The real choice will be between the candidates of the two major parties" reflects that you haven't been paying attention to what's been afoot (as Mark details) and that you haven't really read my post. As Kemstone correctly notes too, there is not a choice here if you can't think beyond the "choice" of the electoral circus.

Sky:

I think that we're in transition to full blown fascism and very far down that road, but that we are a mixed state at this point with the future nature of it in doubt in the sense that the overflowing of the river of the people into direct political contest in the streets is still to be determined. Occupy represents a tantalizing taste of what is possible.

Thank you podunkmarte.
frank rarely reads ANYTHING (but comic books and childrens' nursery rhymes). He's too busy bloviating his delusions de jour.

His latest today: "I abhor him (gingrich) and his ideas of government, but I suspect he is going to succeed. Get ready for President Gingrich."

Frank Apisa
DECEMBER 21, 2011 12:21 PM

This, despite there is hardly any substantive polling organization not reporting on newt's plummeting poll numbers.

frank just likes to hear the hollow sound of his own delusional words as he hopscotches from blog post to blog post proving that he's THE biggest horse's as* to ever post on OS.
Dennis, you wrote: Frank: You drank deeply of the Kool-Aid and no amount of evidence to the contrary seems to affect your viewpoint. To say as you do that "The real choice will be between the candidates of the two major parties" reflects that you haven't been paying attention to what's been afoot (as Mark details) and that you haven't really read my post. As Kemstone correctly notes too, there is not a choice here if you can't think beyond the "choice" of the electoral circus.

I have read your essay…in fact, I’ve read it several times.

Okay…go with you choice…your path.

I’d be willing to bet considerable money that on January 20th, 2012…either the nominee of the Republican Party or the nominee of the Democratic Party will be sworn in as President. I’d be willing to bet that the nominee of one of those two parties will more than likely be sworn in the election after that and the election after that also.

I’d also be willing to bet a large sum that you would not be willing to take that bet, because that path you are talking about is a dream…a fantasy.

If, by the way, by some chance a third party arises and manages to elect someone other than a Democrat or a Republican…within two more election cycles people like you will be talking about how they too have been corrupted.

Respectfully as possible, Dennis, I’ve been paying attention to what is afoot. I just do not like to indulge in wishful thinking when realism and pragmatism is in order.

If the Democratic nominee does not win next November--our next president will be the Republican nominee...and that nominee will be from the furthest extreme of the right wing of that party.

I do not want to see that happen...and I think anyone thinking clearly doesn't either.
delusional sociopathic passive-aggressive personality disorder unleashed.
Frank:

Since you've read my post more than once, you would realize that \

a) I'm not putting forward a third party as the answer, and
b) that history tells us that it's immaterial which major party gets its presidential nominee into the White House.

Very recent history tells us this too: what has happened to the national security state under Obama compared to Bush? If you've been paying attention you'd already know the answer to that: Obama has not undone what Bush did and not only that, he's gone even further in the wrong direction.

The movements that I cite in my post show that who was president and what his party affiliation was didn't determine the outcome. The mass movements did.

Who started the war on Vietnam? A Democrat. Who escalated that war? A Democrat. Who began drawing down and eventually ending US troop involvement in Vietnam? Nixon and then Ford, both Republicans.
frank is so enamored by his own "eloquent" words that he never realized that you're supposed to read the post BEFORE commenting.
Dennis, I appreciate your response.

You are essentially advocating defeating the Democratic candidate for president.

It is my opinion that having a Republican in the Oval Office will harm the country long-term more than having a Democrat there. The judicial nominations are important…and no matter what anyone says about it making no difference which party is in office…IT DOES in that area.

Apparently you disagree with me, but that is what makes a horse race.

I’ve expressed my opinion that defeating Obama will be more harmful to America (and by extension, the world) than by allowing a Republican to get the office. I’ve tried to do is respectfully and reasonably. Not sure what else to say.
Frank:

I'm not advocating a party for office. My main point is that what matters in public policy making is that who is the office holder is not as important as what the political atmosphere in the country is and that that atmosphere is determined by whether or not there is a mass movement present and influential. Major progressive legislation and judicial and executive actions have occurred because of social movements, not who was in office. Reactionary changes have also occurred due to movements. In recent decades those changes have occurred because of the neoliberal movement, an elite movement.

The view that you have that the Republicans are worse than the Democrats is not supported by an examination of Obama's presidency nor that of prior presidents such as Clinton. It is a mistake for people to think otherwise, rather like that old saying of putting the cart before the horse. Your faith in the electoral process is not sustained by a close study of how politics actually work.
Just got back from golf, Dennis. I appreciate what you are saying…but I disagree with the direction in which your philosophy will lead. I understand that you are not necessarily “advocating a party for office”, but I think the direction you are advocating for leads in the wrong direction. I acknowledge that reasonable, intelligent, well-intentioned people can agree more with your position than mine, but I submit that reasonable, intelligent, well-intentioned people can agree with me also.

Earlier you wrote:

Who started the war on Vietnam? A Democrat. Who escalated that war? A Democrat. Who began drawing down and eventually ending US troop involvement in Vietnam? Nixon and then Ford, both Republicans.

Okay, I will grant that.

However, on the Supreme Court today we see Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito…all appointed by Republicans…and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer appointed by Democrats.

I personally want to see more Justices and jurists in the Federal judiciary like Ginsburg and Breyer…and a lot fewer like Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito.

That is of over-riding concern to me. That truly will contribute to the political atmosphere you mention in your remarks.
I suspect we will get more of what I want (what I consider to be a better political atmosphere) with a Democrat in the White House than with a Republican…especially with the kinds of Republicans now being proposed.

I also recognize that we are probably not ever going to agree on this.
Perhaps I could also ask this question of you, Dennis.

What do you see as the best possible, reasonably attainable outcome for the coming presidential election?

The result you would most like to see...the one you consider best for the country and the rest of the world?
Frank:

Whether or not reasonable people can agree with a position or not does not go to the question of whether or not a position is correct. Reasonable people used to think that you could not change the passage of time, no matter how fast an object was moving. Einstein's work showed those reasonable views to be wrong.

Many reasonable people in this country think that there is a difference between the GOP and the Democrats. An examination of Obama shows this reasonable view to be wrong. Moreover, an examination over history shows this reasonable view to be wrong. The primary difference between the GOP and the Democrats is who their main social base is and who they are appealing to with their rhetoric. They are both neoliberals today and have been for the past thirty to forty years.

As I said before in this string, the reactionaries already have a majority on the Supreme Court.

Your belief that it makes a difference who wins the election is not shared by the right wing in this country who recognize that what matters is what the dominant intepretive framing is of the major issues of the day, not who is in office. That is why they are overall in charge - because through their media empire centered in Fox News, they set the agenda overall.

The Occupy movement has helped to shift that balance to the left and that is why it is so important and why it needs all of our support. Chasing the Democrats' tails is based on sleight of hand tricks by the Democrats and the media who propagate the false notion that they are different.

How is what Obama has done in national security any different than Bush? Obama's actually worse and this makes sense if you understand that there's a ruling elite in this country and that they are moving things in a certain direction, something that I get into in depth in my two books.
Whether or not reasonable people can agree with a position or not does not go to the question of whether or not a position is correct.

I’ll grant you that, Dennis.

Many reasonable people in this country think that there is a difference between the GOP and the Democrats. An examination of Obama shows this reasonable view to be wrong.

Try putting that into a syllogism and you will see how illogical it is. With all the respect in the world, Dennis, you are simply wedded to that view…it is not the result of logical inference.

As I said before in this string, the reactionaries already have a majority on the Supreme Court.

Okay, I will grant you that you already said it…and that it is so. But does that place less obligation on us to try to change that? There was a time when the reactionaries did not have a majority. Now they do. I am interested in not having that majority become greater…and I am interested in turning it around if possible.

Your belief that it makes a difference who wins the election is not shared by the right wing in this country who recognize that what matters is what the dominant intepretive framing is of the major issues of the day, not who is in office.

To paraphrase a wise cyber friend of mine, whether or not the right wing in this country shares my views on this…does not go to the question of whether or not my view is correct.

The Occupy movement has helped to shift that balance to the left and that is why it is so important and why it needs all of our support.

In my opinion, the Occupy movement was a joke. If it could gain leaders (like you, for instance) and develop a true agenda…rather than the rationalization agenda being circulated…it might be able to do great good for our nation—and by extension, the world.
Frank:

If you're "interested in turning it around if possible," and it is possible, then don't do what is worthless and in fact, worse than worthless, do what is worthwhile. Support mass struggle and those who expose the truth. Don't support reactionaries, whether they call themselves Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Don't contribute to misleading people. If you spent a fraction of the time that you have attacking those who were actually speaking truth (e.g., those who were exposing what Obama was doing) and instead exposing the facts, then you'd actually be doing some good.

You said before that you thought the Occupy movement was visionary and now you're saying it's a joke. Which is it?
Dennis, you wrote:

If you're "interested in turning it around if possible," and it is possible, then don't do what is worthless and in fact, worse than worthless, do what is worthwhile. Support mass struggle and those who expose the truth. Don't support reactionaries, whether they call themselves Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Don't contribute to misleading people. If you spent a fraction of the time that you have attacking those who were actually speaking truth (e.g., those who were exposing what Obama was doing) and instead exposing the facts, then you'd actually be doing some good.

I feel I am doing as much as you or any of the others. If you want to think the only one “actually speaking truth”…are those constantly denigrating and castigating Barack Obama, that is your right. Do it, if you must. But in my opinion, that is not doing much good…and may well lead to much more damage to our country. This is something upon which we disagree. We also disagree on the worth of Obama. I see him as having gotten as much as possible out of an almost hopeless situation. I do not see anyone else that I sincerely think could have gotten appreciably more.

You said before that you thought the Occupy movement was visionary and now you're saying it's a joke. Which is it?

Not sure where I said it was “visionary” or the context in which I said (if I did), but one reason why I quote the exact words I am commenting on is so that we can actually see what was written.

If I said the Occupy movement was visionary…it must have been very early in its existence, when I still thought it might have some real value to improving our country and the world. I quickly soured on the movement when I realized it was essentially an aimless, leaderless rabble with no reasonable agenda. “A joke” certainly sums up my opinion of it now.

If you give me the “visionary” quote in context, I will comment further.

We are going to have an election next November, Dennis, and I still would be interested in what you think would be the most helpful realistic outcome of that election. What realistic (meaning seems reasonable to expect to happen) result of that election do you think would best help the position you are advocating?
Dennis commented: "You said before that you thought the Occupy movement was visionary and now you're saying it's a joke. Which is it?"

Dennis, it is not necessary to be either. The one with the misfiring neurons has said on more than one occasion that he LOVES to argue (and is proud to have been thrown off of three discussion boards).

When he's not here, hectoring others, he hones his "skills" by arguing with himself.

He claims that he's a happy guy, but his constant contradictory positions buttress the fact that in reality he suffers from low self-esteem.

The guy needs serious psychiatric help.

Anyone expecting coherence from frank has unrealistic expectations.
apisa says: "If you want to think the only one “actually speaking truth”…are those constantly denigrating and castigating Barack Obama, that is your right. Do it, if you must. But in my opinion, that is not doing much good…and may well lead to much more damage to our country."


"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149
May 7, 1918

I've printed these words several times but frank still doesn't understand them.

There is NO-ONE more base, servile, nor morally treasonable than apisa.

apisa thinks and will continue to believe that morals are a genus of mushrooms and principles administer schools.

he IS a lost cause, a delusional "never was" who should be in a padded cell for the protection of all.

An ex-strip club manager attempting to match wits with professors, historians, economists, and all sorts of learned peoples.

If he wasn't real, a creative cartoonist would have to invent him.
Frank:

On December 18 in the comments thread of my immediately previous post you said:

"The OWS thing was a great happening; a visionary movement..."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: for whatever reason you don't seem to get that I'm talking about a radically different way of looking at this than you do. When you say that Obama has done the best that he can you sidestep the fact that Obama, for example - which is a point I make in my post - insisted that the NDAA be worse than it was in the initial draft. He didn't have to do it. No one asked him to do it and the GOP wasn't asking him to do it. He did it. He included American citizens in the bill and Americans picked up within the US. You have to be oblivious to facts not to see that. You said you read it more than once. Why didn't you notice this? How can you go on about how Obama's been forced to do all of this when the record shows that he has voluntarily gone further to the right than he was being "forced to" by anyone?

It's really a waste of time to debate you on this when you don't take facts into account. I appreciate the fact that you are being civil now compared to before when you just yelled at me for my criticisms about Obama. But you aren't dealing with facts.

Thank you mrvoulezvous.
Dennis, even when You nail down frank with his own words, he always finds a devious way to wiggle out of them.

As I've commented, he is so enamored by himself, that he doesn't know what he says, maybe reads, but doesn't comprehend blog posts before commenting, and the fact that he seems to be calmer than years past, is simply a manifestation of his passive-aggressive sociopathy.

He'll, soon, be back here, offering some mealy-mouthed slogan to justify his latest lie.
Dennis,

I asked for the “visionary movement” in context….and here is what you wrote:

"The OWS thing was a great happening; a visionary movement..."

BUT HERE IS WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE:

The OWS thing was a great happening; a visionary movement …I had high hopes for it. But at some point it became meaningless assembly primarily intent on disruption.

The point of my “visionary movement” was just to set up the fact that I quickly saw it to be a meaningless assembly primarily intent on disruption.

You know that!

Yet earlier here you asked: You said before that you thought the Occupy movement was visionary and now you're saying it's a joke. Which is it?

You were distorting the thrust of my comments in order to pretend I was being inconsistent.

No need for that, Dennis.

We simply disagree…and I respect your right to have the opinions you have.

But you aren't dealing with facts.

I am dealing with facts, Dennis. Your version of the facts! And in this case just discussed, your version of the facts were tainted.
I should of backed my prediction by a small wager, Dennis.

The guy is truly repulsive, repugnant and an unapologetic liar.
Frank:

It's true that you then said you thought that Occupy then became primarily interested in disruption. The problem here really is that you don't understand what Occupy is about. Of course they're interested in disruption. Any movement that isn't interested in disruption isn't serious. You can't have a movement and not disrupt the normal course of events.

When you start talking about facts and are willing to face the facts about what Obama has actually been doing, then I'll be delighted to comment back to you and take your comments seriously. Until you do, however, you're just blowing hot air in which you opine but your opinions don't have any foundation in facts.
It's true that you then said you thought that Occupy then became primarily interested in disruption.

Well, why didn’t you mention that earlier…and why did you ask the question that made it seem I was being inconsistent?

The problem here really is that you don't understand what Occupy is about. Of course they're interested in disruption. Any movement that isn't interested in disruption isn't serious. You can't have a movement and not disrupt the normal course of events.

I was not talking about the fact that they were interested in disruption, Dennis…I was talking about the FACT that they became PRIMARILY interested in disruption.

They had no agenda for anything else that I could see…and neither could most open minded people.

When you start talking about facts and are willing to face the facts about what Obama has actually been doing, then I'll be delighted to comment back to you and take your comments seriously.

I am totally willing to do so…and have been right along, Dennis. I know, just like the rest of the world knows, what Obama has and has not done that pleases and angers various factions. There’s no getting away from that.

My disagreement is with the assessment you put on those facts.

You see Obama in a primarily negative light…and I see him as a pragmatic guy getting as much as he can out of a pile of dung. He is working with a sow’s ear…and you apparently want to see him fashion it into a silk purse with gold trim…while I am willing to accept that such expectations are unrealistic.

Until you do, however, you're just blowing hot air in which you opine but your opinions don't have any foundation in facts.

I am not blowing hot air. And my opinions are based on the same facts that you are using. I just see those facts in a different light from you.

Back to the other thing we were talking about:

FACT: By selectively editing the “visionary moment” quote…and then asking your question that made it seem I was being inconsistent in my evaluation of the Occupy Movement…there was an intentional distortion of the thrust of my comments.

That is a FACT, Dennis.

I am dealing with that FACT.

You are avoiding dealing with me dealing with that FACT.

Why don’t we deal with this item?

Why did you attempt to make it look as though I was being inconsistent?
Brilliant post, Dennis. I'm tired of choosing over the lesser of 2 evils. Thank you for bringing some alternatives to light. Rated.
apisa: "Why did you attempt to make it look as though I was being inconsistent?"

you really are a horse's as*. NOBODY needs to make you look inconsistent. you ARE inconsistent.

you hardly know your as* from your elbow, yet you go gallivanting around from blog to blog pretending you are mr. knowityall, frequently contraDICKting things you've said.

i guess you're just to freaking old to see what a bunch of bullish*t your misfiring neurons present - the one and only laughingstock of OS.

Get meds.
Hi Dennis:
This post is highly rated! Frank has truly and deeply drunk the Obamalade and no amount of reality smacking him the face will make him see otherwise.( Has Frank ever wondered why this fascistic law the National Defense Authorization Act is going forward,spear headed by KEY Democratic Party politicians in conjunction with the Republicans? Why has Obama and Holder NOT even said a mumbling word over the outrageous and egregious execution of Troy Davis in Georgia a few months ago? This is something that really upset many,many people in the African- American community- as well as many other people all over the country and the world. Many of those people had hoped and believed that this would not happen, but the system must march forward and impose it's dictatorship over us all. I also appreciate the comments from others on this site like markinjapan,Bart Hawkins Kreps, and Kemstone ,skypixieo and others. In any case, Happy Holidays to all.
Thanks Erica - yes, there are alternatives!

Thank you Mark and Carol!

Frank: Think about this - if you say in one clause of a sentence that you think Occupy was "visionary" and then in the next clause you say that they really only wanted to be disruptive, and then in response to my next posting, you say that you think Occupy is a joke, do you see any inconsistencies here?

How does something that is visionary turn into a joke so quickly? Even if you thought the movement was mistaken in the eventual direction of a movement, how does it go from the high praise of "visionary" to a "joke?" At best you can say that you thought they took a wrong turn. But anything that deserves the accolade of visionary doesn't turn into a joke, not in the space of a few weeks it doesn't.

This wild swing in sentiment on your part indicates that you really aren't seriously understanding what a movement of this import (the most important mass movement since the 1960s) is and that you sliver back and forth like mercury from one position to another.

If you want to dwell longer on this particular issue, it's your right, but I'll not be commenting on it further with you.
Frank: Think about this - if you say in one clause of a sentence that you think Occupy was "visionary" and then in the next clause you say that they really only wanted to be disruptive, and then in response to my next posting, you say that you think Occupy is a joke, do you see any inconsistencies here?

No, there are no inconsistencies at all in that—it is a logical and reasonable line of progression. And I suspect you realize that. Actually, the two sentences I originally wrote should have been just one. The “But” should have been uncapitalized with a comma in front of it rather than capitalized and with a period in front. The first part merely set up the second statement. The fact is…even if I did not word it exactly as you would want me to…I initially considered the Occupy Movement to be something valuable…and quickly realized it was a loser…a joke.

How does something that is visionary turn into a joke so quickly?

I don’t know…but I suspect it always was a joke that happened to look good at first, superficial glance.

Even if you thought the movement was mistaken in the eventual direction of a movement, how does it go from the high praise of "visionary" to a "joke?" At best you can say that you thought they took a wrong turn. But anything that deserves the accolade of visionary doesn't turn into a joke, not in the space of a few weeks it doesn't.

No, Dennis, I can say exactly what I said and it is, as I mentioned above, a logical, reasonable progression. That kind of thing happens in life…and certainly has happened to a lot of people who originally supported Obama and quickly switched to disappointment and, in some cases, disgust.

Not sure why you think it so strange???


This wild swing in sentiment on your part indicates that you really aren't seriously understanding what a movement of this import (the most important mass movement since the 1960s) is and that you sliver back and forth like mercury from one position to another.

Respectfully, Dennis, it really doesn’t. First of all, it wasn’t a “wild swing”…it was a swing m0tivated by a lack of seriousness and purpose on the part of a movement that I thought originally had those things. I was hopeful. A movement was needed, and I thought this was it. But it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t. In any case, the movement will probably be remembered as one of the biggest farces of the new century. It accomplished nothing…although if some real leaders came along, it still could jump out of the joke category and into something that could make a decent contribution. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

If you want to dwell longer on this particular issue, it's your right, but I'll not be commenting on it further with you.

Okay, I think we’ve run this about as far as it can go. Thanks for sharing your take on it, Dennis. I appreciate that even though we obviously are very far apart on the issue.
frank you belong in a circus sideshow. The barker could hail: hear ye, hear ye, come watch the stupid old goat contort himself to the point of appearing to be a twisted pretzel.

The more you talk, the bigger a putz you make yourself out to be, and you think others aren't laughing at you, as you flail aimlessly!
Dnnis, I don't know whether to applaud, laugh or cry at your expending so much energy to explain what should have long ago been evident to any thinking person in this country. Or whether to simply cry at personality cultists like Apisa.