NOVEMBER 29, 2012 8:53PM

Election 2012 -- U.S. Faux-‘Progressives’ Chose Fascism

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I was watching my pbs station hawking for funding for the NewsHour. I called the 800- number and asked a stoically polite (once she heard my request) volunteer to transcribe my message about how the NewsHour’s media black-out of third party Green candidate Jill Stein, along with other unconscionable propagandizing for the government and the corporate elite, were the reasons I would not be offering my yearly modest donation.

Jill Stein got half a million votes. One out of 300 people voted for Stein’s moral and renewing vision for our country. 299 out of 300 did not!

“Obama fascism” has been endorsed by Democrats who have the nerve to call themselves “progressives.” That word "progressive" now makes me nauseous.

I will continue on as a doomed “liberal” because, let’s face it, in Obamaworld citizens of conscience and pro-activism are doomed. But then again, fascism dooms everyone, ultimately and collectively.

Obama will continue to give shallow and insulting lip service to the middle class and ignore the classes below it, but IN REALITY service ONLY the upper class. His amoral policies will destroy the welfare and survival of U.S. and global citizens as well as the planet itself.

Yes, Romney would have been just as evil.

There were options the faux-“progressives” refused to look for or even at.

So it goes.

The U.S. media is corrupt. The U.S. government is corrupt. Yet that did not motivate the American so-called “progressive” who chose to endorse fascism.

I grasped this consequence before the election. Nevertheless I am now caught within the five stages of grief. There is no escaping this emotional processing for those of us who did what we could to consciousness-raise among our fellows.

I wonder if I can re-generate my spirit and will -- bottom-line, hope -- to continue to communicate my learning and perspective on ongoing events to my own communities. I am wrestling with such a sense of futility and hopelessness.

Dr. Lawrence Britt is said to have closely examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes and he found 14 defining characteristics common to each. They certainly apply to the present U.S. status quo under Obama. 

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
 
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
 
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
 
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
 
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
 
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
 
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
 
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
 
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
 
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
 
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
 
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
 
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
 
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

I am mourning the tragedy of this country and its doomed future. This election 2012 certainly underscored and revealed a profound soul-lessness and/or unconsciousness of the collective American citizenry.

In my opinion, it wasn’t the Republicans or the Tea Partiers who doomed this country. It was the serious number of faux-”progressives” who enabled and joined a horrifying, amoral matrix and betrayed their awake fellow citizens.

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Sooooo........ now you know why the elite see fit to dine so luxuriously on the sheeple.
.
Thanks, sky.

I have lost my heart in doing the kind of political blogging I have done since I joined open salon. I feel like someone who was so earnestly priming a pump and who has lost the heart to keep pumping. It had become such a large part of my life style for so long, but post election I feel demoralized.

Though I received validation I am grateful for from kindred spirits such as yourself, I wonder if all that time and effort managed to raise consciousness in those who were not already on my page.

I feel sad and sobered that we as a citizenry lost opportunity and leverage. The media seduced the so-called left into the bullshit gamesmanship of election partisanship which really wasn't that partisan at all -- it was all about more exploitation of the 99%. So as time and opportunity ran out at the eleventh hour the sell out "pragmatic progressives" continued on with their lesser evil bullshit.

Obama and Romney groups both sold out to the corporate elite including with savage militarism policies. Now Obama will talk the talk of shallow opportunistic faux-populism (the games people play -- LHHIT -- "look how hard I am trying!" which is total bullshit, the messaging that will come from all the Dems in Congress, too) and insult and exploit and destroy citizen welfare more and more. The poverty in this country is staggering now. Does Obama ever seriously address it? No way.

Here is a quote from Bill Van Auken at wsws explaining the nightmare that is going on in Syria thanks to our ruthless militarism and how Obama waited until safely elected to really go even dirtier and more ruthless:

"The war in Syria, portrayed by a broad stratum of so-called liberals and “lefts” as a crisis demanding “humanitarian” intervention, has emerged with ever-greater clarity as an exercise in ruthless and brutal conquest. Washington and all of the major powers have joined in fomenting a bloody sectarian civil war and preparing ever-more direct military intervention with the aim of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad and preparing a far greater war against its ally, Iran.
The Obama administration is preparing a “deeper intervention” in Syria to “help push President Bashar al-Assad from power,” the New York Times reported on Thursday.

"The front-page lead of the Times was based on statements by unnamed US “strategists” and “senior administration officials.” Invariably, such leaks to the media are designed to prepare public opinion for what is to come, or—more likely—for what Washington has already covertly begun.

"The article notes that the Obama administration and NATO are set to approve Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot missile batteries on that country’s border with Syria next week. While the pretext for such a deployment is to protect Turkey from a nonexistent threat of missile attacks from Syria, its real purpose, the Times suggests, is to “intimidate” Syria’s air force and prevent it from bombing northern Syria border areas seized by the Western-backed “rebels.”

"This would in turn pave the way for the declaration of a no-fly zone and the imposition of a puppet regime on supposedly “liberated” territory as a key preparation for more direct US and NATO military intervention.

"In addition, according to the Times, the proposals being considered by the Obama administration include “directly providing arms to opposition fighters rather than only continuing to use other countries, especially Qatar, to do so,” and acting to “insert CIA officers or allied intelligence services on the ground in Syria, to work more closely with opposition fighters in areas that they now largely control.”

"The article states that all of these options were discussed “before the presidential election,” but that Obama’s reelection “has made the White House more willing to take risks.”

"The political implications are clear. While Obama and his aides were discussing more direct US military aggression in Syria before November 6, they wanted to postpone implementation of these plans until after the election was over, thereby assuring that the escalation of militarism did not become an issue of broader political discussion. Just as with his predecessor in the White House, Obama’s aim is to drag the American people into war without their prior knowledge, much less their consent."

end of quote

WAR WAR WAR from Obama, that "cuddly droner" and the ruthless imperialism of the US and NATO, et al.

I feel so disenfranchised from such a large community of people here and in terms of the nation -- people who consider themselves "progressives" but who are so complacent, apathetic, minimizing and/or denying it seems. Who see things apparently so profoundly differently from me. Who after so much corruption are willing to trust those so profoundly corrupt.

I feel suddenly like I have been such a beggar in a way pleading to so many, many deaf ears at open salon. Time to measure it out with the serenity prayer and take stock. Time to try to accept the things I cannot change. To do some personal grieving and inventory taking.

best, libby
There has never been a time when mass foolishness has been absent from any society. My nature has always been rather pessimistic, nevertheless there is no doubt that humanity has progressed greatly in many ways, especially over the last couple of centuries. Even in these movements towards greater understanding and acceptances of variations in individuals and ideas, huge callousnesses and cruelties have persisted, frequently abetted by the very technologies that matured through more sensible outlooks that the species acquired. No doubt these are especially dangerous times as with our greater technologies have come even greater dangers and the unthinking hungers that fiercely ravage within each of us must not be allowed to prevail and obliterate our possibilities.

As discouraging as current times seem to be, there are always threads of intelligence and creativity and mature understandings that are kept alive by the few sectors and outstanding individuals that persist in our civilization. One can easily be disdainful over much of humanity but there are still elements that are not only surprising but totally and amazingly wonderful and it is only people like you that have the strength and the understanding of what could be and the internal toughness to hold on to whatever dream of a better humanity might be where our hope can be preserved. There will always be people who mock this band of idiotic monkeys who did not have the sense to stick to the trees and who started walking and learning and discovering how strange and full of alternate possibilities the universe offers. We never win it all and are always in danger of losing many of the gains we have made but we understand that this is a fight that must not be surrendered to darkness as long as even a few of us have the spark to light up even a small patch of ground where we stand. That spark must never be permitted to die.
Incidentally, although Obama hardly needs any further issues to blacken his record, you might be interested in the US sponsored forces that have killed around 6 million Congolese uner Obama's direction.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/30/genocide-in-silence/
Jan. Thanks so much for your kind and generous comment! I feel the same about you and cherish your wisdom and the wisdom of a significant number of people here. A community within a community that deserves cherishing and supporting.

And I appreciate that I have enjoyed a readership here and I am grateful to those readers who were empathetic or open enough to read me since I joined up.

But I realized suddenly this week how frustrated and disheartened I am. How the election was a kick in the teeth and stomach to me emotionally. And the strong stance of so many open saloners who so easily endorsed the Democratic Party, despite how much evidence so many of us, Jan, have been offering up for so very long.

Back in my younger days I used to indulge in massage therapy occasionally (couldn't afford them often, but did as often as I could afford). The therapist told me I was like a big car with a huge tank of gas. She said that my large emotional gas tank kept me going for a long time, longer than many people, but when that big tank was empty I must remember that I needed extra time and fuel to re-fill the tank. To acknowledge that and not run on empty.

Suddenly I felt this week a realization that the tank had gone empty. I had a WAFM (wait a friggen minute) moment when I began to commit time and energy to writing once again, a daily ritual, and suddenly felt like I had to take stock here with my relationship with open salon as to my using the degree of time, energy and passion I had been investing in this website for so long. To renew my commitment or to redirect my heart and my time.

So many here are so distressed with the tech problems. To me they are small potatoes when you look at the HORRORS going on by the colossally corrupt people destroying the lives of human beings. I wrote on another blog it feels like people rearranging deck chairs while the Titanic is sinking. Yes, respond to the problems here with trying to communicate, but what about the degree of how horrifying social and economic and military conditions are! I had to process and not ignore this week the enormous anger and frustration that has been building in me about people at open salon whom I see as playing OSTRICHES to the enormous amorality of our government.

Jan, I also felt like a beggar suddenly and I didn't like that .. I mean I realized that is how I probably have been viewed here by too many. Pleading for the citizens of open salon to heed the horrors going on under all our noses, and despite a craven mainstream media, these horrors can be learned about, deserve to be learned about, and responded to.

I had started to collect some exciting political articles to blog about the day before yesterday and suddenly I was overcome with exhaustion and hopelessness. There were so many issues to address and suddenly I felt such frustration.

I know it has to do in part with it being post-election. I realize how committed I was since I joined to writing here to try to influence people toward the 2012 election. I realize I chose this forum rather than other possible political outlets for myself or even other outlets for my "inner reformer" because I thought I could make a difference here. That it was a win/win scenario for me here. I was getting and I was giving. And that happened. But suddenly I realize not the scope of the "win" I apparently had wanted. I tried so hard to call out the corrupt Dem and corporate sociopathic status quo.

I appreciated that open salon was a challenge for this, but in my combination of noble spirit and/or not so noble grandiosity I thought I could do more than I see myself as having done.

I also see a sea change suddenly in my voice right now. Bitter and disgusted and exasperated. I know that is not an effective voice to use. Certainly not one to use to educate which is why I had begun writing originally and which is the key to successful political writing

Open salon offered me a form of "family" to belong to emotionally and socially. I committed to it the best I could.

Jan, thanks for reaching out. The good fight is an important one. I know. You helped in my re-fueling!

To be continued ...

best, libby
xxxx
Jan, I have also been reading about the horrors in Africa on glen ford's black agenda report! thanks for the link! best, libby
All the media hype every four years makes us forget that real political change isn't and never was about elections. The value of Jill Stein's (and Ron Paul's) candidacy was that they put an alternate antiwar, anti-corporate view out there for people who were receptive to it. Now it's time to get back to the hard work of reaching out and educating people that it's not their fault that their lives are so miserable - that there are real social and political reasons why society is so f*cked up and - that through organizing we can make positive change. It is happening, believe. Around the world millions of people are opting out of corporate society and forming coops and building urban gardens to grow their own food. The problem in the US is that the movement is pretty much underground because the media doesn't report on it.

I think you need to chill out and listen to some Bob Marley, particularly Redemption Song and Get Up, Stand Up.
People like to believe they are something special, some fantastic toy put together in a blast of light by a strange super being. That if we behave ourselves we will be rewarded with wings and a harp and eternal happiness. They cannot face the facts staring them in the face between birth and death that we are animals like termites and rabbits and chipmunks and when we do things right we have a better chance of a better life than if we do things wrong but nature doesn't give a damn and meteors drop out of the sky whatever we do. Ask any dinosaur.
Good government is not a gift made from gold and diamonds donated by a being descended from the clouds, it is made from the shattered pieces of bad government that we glue back together to make things work and if we are lucky, sometimes it does work, at least for a while until a batch of stupid bastards get together to fuck it up and the reproductive rate of stupid bastards in humanity is phenomenal. Sometimes we win but very frequently we lose but if we don't pick up the pieces and somehow stick them back together we always lose. In the long run, if we don't win enough times, we disappear. We are looking at that force to make us disappear straight in the face right now and it is getting stronger every minute. Perhaps we can stop it if we keep trying. Perhaps not.
Thank you for your good post.

"WAR WAR WAR from Obama, that "cuddly droner" and the ruthless imperialism of the US and NATO, et al."

So it really goes.

Sometimes I'm thinking that they really need other big powers like Russia, China and India to stop them.

Sometimes thinking that there still might be another way. American people waking up?

I think that the really big problem of our times is the modern technology in wrong hands. I agree with Jan Sand that there has always been quite a big number of people filled with 'mass foolishness'. In our times this kind of problem becomes easily really big because of the technology.

-hv
Stuart and Jan, thanks for your responses. They are grounding and helpful.

I was walking through the underground subway connection system this past week, Monday late afternoon, and it was near 5pm rushhour. And there was a woman in one of the hallways "preaching for Jesus" -- passing out literature and begging those rushing by to stop and consider the message of Jesus, maybe to contribute or buy some literature. Did not pause long enough to check it out.

Usually when I pass by such people I feel sorry for them and repelled by them even -- judge their particular religious/social proactive earnestness as fanatical. If they were hawking a product or service I would be not at all disdainful and repelled by the effort -- which reveals something about me for sure and others I suspect in our encouraged identities as consumers more than as identifying as spiritual/religious human beings or even citizen beings. (And I have experienced the position, too, of a sidewalk pleader for people to slow down and consider a candidate or a cause myself at times -- not near often enough I am ashamed to say).

This time I was in a mood, a post-election mood (and I had no illusions -- I knew the Green Party would not be seriously raking in the votes and I was seriously certain Obama would cakewalk into re-power), anyway, I was in a very bitter mood post election of the complacency and apathy of so many fellow citizens. The 2012 election results I see as a very significant benchmark into deeper levels of corruption and citizen endangerment -- and the entrenched "Obama-denial" among so many at Open Salon as well as in my own non-cyber world, depresses me and angers me noticeably right now. My writing voice has been impacted.

Anyway re the woman with the Bible preaching to us passersby, I found myself relating more to that woman than the people streaming by her this time! I saw the passersby as spiritually shut down to a tragic degree, far more pitiable and extreme than the woman clutching the Bible and talking at us all so futilely it seemed.

I know that old story about the guy who spends years on the soapbox and a guy on the street stops and asks why he does it year after year despite being ignored. And the preacher confesses that when he began his soapbox preaching it was to change the ones going by him, but now he does it so that they won't change him! There is a lesson for me in that, too.

I know we are in a marathon fight, a perpetual good vs. evil fight, in which it becomes harder and harder to stay abreast even of what is really happening and what should be fought against because there is so much spin and seductive cronyism to stay myopic and denying of the levels of corruption. And I realize that evolving as spiritual beings is how we serve ourselves and humanity, no matter what the current obstacles.

The election was hard evidence of just how profound the lack of collective will is among still so troubling many US citizens. I read someone a while back who said foreign peoples consider US citizens hypnotized or deranged. I found myself thinking on that reference, too, as I raced to my second shift job.

So many of those New Yorkers were coming to or going to second shift jobs no doubt, those of us still lucky enough to have jobs, and all of us are all distracted and exhausted by trying to survive in our personal dimensions. We all have distractions, personal crises, and needs and responsibilities in our lives.

But I don't want to minimize the tragedy of the 2012 election. I think I had set more hope in a greater obvious pushback against the corrupt and disgusting to me status quo.

I trust I will chill fast enough. I hope I continue on as citizen of open salon. I trust my strident blaming tone will subside in my blogging, otherwise I will be a very lonely and repellent blogger.

But I do think there are a normal and natural five stages of grief post the LATEST Obama victory (many of us still recovering from and many still stuck in the original 5 stages of Obama victory grief from 2008 which includes denial and "bargaining" still so obvious and now we have those refreshed stages).

I think some of my anger is healthy. Some of it from immaturity perhaps or historical issues of frustration with communal systems.

So it goes.

best, libby
hannu, thank you for your support and insights. Growing up I was very caught up in American patriotism or jingoism. Also trusting that popular media spokespeople were the interpreters of reality and there was no necessity to seek more deeply. Propaganda existed then, too, though maybe not as ferociously as now, but maybe just as. There was a fourth estate of journalists, some, who did the right thing. There was a culture that celebrate Ralph Nader and his fight for consumer rights, etc. Anyway, as a kid I saw the US as usually wearing the white hats. The Vietnam War years were such a wakeup call.

I do remember even as a kid experiencing cognitive dissonance from listening to the second world war "demonizations" from my soldier father and he at times obviously had experienced cognitive dissonance himself from his travels and healthy exposure to foreign peoples but then there was that profound mindset, the black and white rationalization that justified participating in war during his active soldier years and at times beyond when he remembered and relayed his experiences. The bonding with his buddies against the demonized enemies trying to kill them, or kill them back.

The horrifying military technology with "sociopathic profiteering" uber people leadership is a nightmare. More and more collateral damage for the sake of rogue imperialism and unethical domestic economic exploitation!

I am heartened by the UN this week re Palestine. That is something. And it does call out the US and Israel and GB for their toxic cronyism and chronic support of injustice and exploitation!

best, libby
Ahhh…good to see the mutual admiration society meeting despite the boycott. And in full, glorious dudgeon.

Makes one wonder how the windmills possibly hold up under your combined assault.

Those of us actually working realistically to improve the lot of humanity could use your help…if you ever tire of the not very effective tilting.
Tell us, Frank, what you are so busily doing to support the oppressed of mankind and bring light into the world.
By dealing with reality rather than doing the wishing that seems the mainstay of the Mutual Admiration Society here...and by staying away from the wholesale use of hyperbole used by the MAS, I am probably doing a good deal more than you, Jan. In fact, someone keeping quiet and staying out of the fray...and just concentrating on improving his/her personal situation...probably is doing more to improve the overall lot of humanity than you good folk.

I appreciate that you and the others realize that improvements have to be made. But constantly dreaming the impossible dream is no more effective than fighting the windmills.

But specifically, here on OS, I am attempting to "bring light into the world"...by aiming at the dark world of the members of the MAS. If I can shed even a ray of sunshine into that world...no matter how small it is to the overall world...it will be an improvement.

Thanks for asking.
Frank, you are truly an inspiration. You recommend we all follow the example of, say, the Koch brothers or Mitt Romney who work very hard to improve their own lot and thereby improve the world. And there is no doubt all those bankers who put together the latest economic catastrophe worked very hard at it and were deeply rewarded by the Obama administration for their efforts to better their own lot. Now that's doing a lot for the world, isn't it? Or is it?
I am also quite interested in what you consider a "windmill". Is torture a windmill? Or perhaps murdering 6 million Congolese to get at their natural resources? Or perhaps devoting huge amounts of badly needed federal money at improving deadly nuclear devices that can only destroy the planet if they are ever used. Or, or, Hell, Frank, you read the news, don't you? They are all over the place, these windmills. Much better to sit at home, watch TV and eat potato chips. Now that's improving the world!
Frank, you are truly an inspiration. You recommend we all follow the example of, say, the Koch brothers or Mitt Romney who work very hard to improve their own lot and thereby improve the world. And there is no doubt all those bankers who put together the latest economic catastrophe worked very hard at it and were deeply rewarded by the Obama administration for their efforts to better their own lot. Now that's doing a lot for the world, isn't it? Or is it?

Jan, respectfully as possible...you really have to stop with the straw man building.

My comment:

In fact, someone keeping quiet and staying out of the fray...and just concentrating on improving his/her personal situation...probably is doing more to improve the overall lot of humanity than you good folk. is no more an endorsement of the Koch Brothers or Mitt Romney or anyone else. It said what it said…and the implications you want to derive to serve your dark mood do not change that. I do think this world would be a better place if some of the people living in the dark world would brighten their own before trying to teach others how to brighten theirs. You may not agree with that, but…hey, Rush Limbaugh often lectures others on how to be reasonable, open-minded, and courteous!

Libby is right on the button that there are problems that must be dealt with...but I think she, you, and the others of this group are on the wrong track for a solution.
Just what do you mean by "improving his personal condition" as a social effort to rid the country of major moves away from the Constitution? Are you speaking of Voltaire's advice to flee from social activity and "tend to one's own garden" which, of course means ignoring any common efforts to improve the general welfare? That was a rather defeatist attitude. You are terribly ambiguous in a very vacuous way to criticize people who are desperate to turn things around.
Tilting perhaps, but I want to hear what you have to say, Libby!
Just what do you mean by "improving his personal condition" as a social effort to rid the country of major moves away from the Constitution?

I think you are focusing on the wrong comments, Jan. If I were you, I would give greater consideration to:

“I do think this world would be a better place if some of the people living in the dark world would brighten their own before trying to teach others how to brighten theirs. You may not agree with that, but…hey, Rush Limbaugh often lectures others on how to be reasonable, open-minded, and courteous!”

I think understanding that comment might help you understand the other comment.

Are you speaking of Voltaire's advice to flee from social activity and "tend to one's own garden" which, of course means ignoring any common efforts to improve the general welfare?

Once again, further consideration of the italicized comment above would help you with a general understanding of what I am saying overall. By the way, your comment reminds me once again of the old bumper sticker “I’D RATHER BE DEAD THAN RED!” There were other choices…although the people with that bumper sticker were not able to see that there were. You might consider that it is possible to “tend one’s own garden” and still not ignore efforts to improve the general welfare. Fact is, all members of this MAS ought to consider that some of us who disagree with your excesses and generally gloomy natures are NOT ignoring effort to improve the general welfare.

That was a rather defeatist attitude.

The very last thing in the world I have is a defeatist attitude, Jan. Rather than give up and run away the way some people do, I stick around and continue the fight.

You are terribly ambiguous in a very vacuous way to criticize people who are desperate to turn things around.

I am not ambiguous nor are my comments vacuous. You ought really to get away from that kind of comment, Jan. It tends to show you have no real intellectual response to the comment, so instead you tend to denigrate it.
You have not answered my question, Frank, nor indicated anything specific except you are rather disturbed that I and the people here recognize the problems and are trying to think what can be done. Since you claim you are doing something I'm sure we would pay full attention to your plan to stop torture, stop filling banker's wallets to no effect on the economy, stop dumping huge amounts of badly needed federal money on wars to steal other countries' natural resources and stop treating whistleblowers as criminals and start fixing the problems they reveal.

These are only a few of the problems, Frank. Please donate your effective advice for just these few and if your advice is effective I'm sure we will be glad to hear more from you. Nothing complicated about that, Frank, is there?

Nothing about anything else, Frank, just these simple problems. I'm waiting eagerly for your wisdom.
You have not answered my question, Frank, nor indicated anything specific except you are rather disturbed that I and the people here recognize the problems and are trying to think what can be done.

Actually, Jan, I have responded to your questions…several times. But you want me to come up with one of those “make a wish” fantasies that you guys come up with.

I’m not going to do that.

Since you claim you are doing something…

Why do you do this so often, Jan? Put a quote from me into your post…and question me on that quotation. Stop paraphrasing what I say to suit your disposition. If I have said something you want to question…quote it…and ask your question and I will respond.


I'm sure we would pay full attention to your plan to stop torture, stop filling banker's wallets to no effect on the economy, stop dumping huge amounts of badly needed federal money on wars to steal other countries' natural resources and stop treating whistleblowers as criminals and start fixing the problems they reveal.

Asking a question here…or just making one of those “I wish” speeches you folk are so good at?

These are only a few of the problems, Frank. Please donate your effective advice for just these few and if your advice is effective I'm sure we will be glad to hear more from you. Nothing complicated about that, Frank, is there?

As I said…if you were to quote what I actually wrote…and question that, I will respond. If you want to make speeches…make ‘em. But don’t pretend you are responding to what I actually have said…and are questioning what I have actually said.

Nothing about anything else, Frank, just these simple problems. I'm waiting eagerly for your wisdom.

And as soon as you quote what I said, I will respond.

As for the solutions…are you asking for something that has a better chance of actually coming into existence than electing Jill Stein? Because if you are…almost anything else would qualify.
Frank, I don't have to quote to make a request for actual advice on what should be done for real problems. Are you saying that any solution is a fantasy? I only assumed you might know something I don't because you are continuously complaining our expression of dismay is non-productive and you have a better solution. If our suggestions are a fantasy then what progress in a different direction can you offer? In other words, to put it in common lingo, put up or shut up. So far, you have not offered anything except criticism. Let's see something positive. I'd be delighted to see it.
…because you are continuously complaining our expression of dismay is non-productive and you have a better solution.

Once again, Jan, you are paraphrasing what I write rather than actually quoting whatever it is you are in disagreement with…and in this case, you are engaging in hyperbole to the point of distortion.

Read what I actually wrote…and you will see that what I ACTUALLY WROTE is quite different from your characterization of it.

If you want to quote something I said with which you disagree…do so. I promise I will respond. I enjoy my discussions with you, but I am not going to allow it to become a “when did you stop beating your wife” thing.

Each time I respond to you…I quote what I am referencing. I did that above…and the referenced quote is hyperbole…and a distortion.
Fair enough, Frank. Here is an actual quote from one of your comments

"Those of us actually working realistically to improve the lot of humanity could use your help…if you ever tire of the not very effective tilting."

There is no doubt here that you clearly state you are working realistically to improve the state of humanity. I hope I can assume you are not merely mowing lawns or cleaning drainpipes or removing tonsils but actually are performing some service for the lot of mankind in the general direction of our unease such as the cease of torture or the increase of the living standards or the punishment of the gangsters who are operating the financial sector etc.
Up to now you are the magician waving his top hat at us assuring us it is full of pigeons and rabbits but we see no pigeons and rabbits.

Please tell us some of those realistic deeds you are performing that are realistically supporting whistleblowers and getting Wall Street miscreants punished and are stopping the US military from throwing away billions of US dollars to enrich Middle Eastern thugs to no use whatsoever for the people of the USA who are suffering greatly with the loss of homes and jobs educational opportunities and being regularly bankrupt by impossible medical expenses.
Since they are realistic, I believe I can expect to hear about your great successes in these vital areas. Please do tell us. I have supplied the proper quote.
Fair enough, Frank. Here is an actual quote from one of your comments

"Those of us actually working realistically to improve the lot of humanity could use your help…if you ever tire of the not very effective tilting."


That’s more like it, Jan. You actually quoted what I said. Of course, you then went on to suppose that “helping improve the lot of humanity” means ceasing torture; increasing the living standards; punishing gangsters (those people operating the financial sector; supporting whistleblowers; punishing Wall Street miscreants; and stopping the US military…blah, blah, blah.

Fact is, I already responded to this line of inquiry.

Here is what I wrote on this:


By dealing with reality rather than doing the wishing that seems the mainstay of the Mutual Admiration Society here...and by staying away from the wholesale use of hyperbole used by the MAS, I am probably doing a good deal more than you, Jan. In fact, someone keeping quiet and staying out of the fray...and just concentrating on improving his/her personal situation...probably is doing more to improve the overall lot of humanity than you good folk.

I appreciate that you and the others realize that improvements have to be made. But constantly dreaming the impossible dream is no more effective than fighting the windmills.

But specifically, here on OS, I am attempting to "bring light into the world"...by aiming at the dark world of the members of the MAS. If I can shed even a ray of sunshine into that world...no matter how small it is to the overall world...it will be an improvement.

Thanks for asking.


Do you get it, Jan?

By dealing with reality rather than a wish list…by staying away from hyperbole…I AM PROBABLY DOING MORE TO IMPROVE THE LOT OF HUMANITY than you folk with your hyperbole and pessimistic, dark sentiments.

In fact, people simply staying quiet rather than constantly moaning and groaning rather than projecting their their personal dissatisfaction and unhappiness onto the world are doing more.

Powerful nations, Jan, have always acted as bullies. I hope we finally get our act together…but wishing will not make it so. When I supported a realistic choice to the Republican candidate for president I was doing my best at least to try to improve the lot of humanity. You people moaned and groaned and lamented…and suggested Jill Stein WHO WENT ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. You folk refused to deal with the reality.

Frankly, it is a snap to do more than your lot, because conduct such as I see exhibited by the MAS is a net negative to the efforts to improve things.

At least, that is my opinion…and sharing my opinion in that regard with you well-intentioned, but misguided people….is one more thing I am doing to try to improve the lot of humanity. Being happier and more content in one’s own personal life does improve the overall condition of the entirety of humanity, Jan. Being stuck in the dark world of misery and malcontent…and constantly bemoaning the fact that life can be a complex row to hoe…simply drags the aggregate down.
There you go, Frank, "facing reality" by holding gullible faith in a man who has amply demonstrated repeatedly in multiple directions as we here have clearly demonstrated that he has not lived up to any of his promises and has amplified the basic damage to the USA so vividly that his predecessor would be amazed and delighted. I hate to think, after all this discussion, Frank, that you are so monstrously gullible. You almost cease to be amusing, but what the hell, the world needs clowns.
Sorry you have to think I am a clown, Jan…but that seems to be the way you handle most of these interactions.

In any case, I too find amusement in some of the discussions here. You folk seem to think it appropriate to call for the impeachment of Barack Obama for pretty much doing what the majority of Americans suggest is what they want done…yet you bemoan and lament the fact that Manning is being prosecuted for stealing and publicizing state secrets.

Do what you will. Like the Occupy movement you people were so sure would turn the world upside down…your type of thinking is going nowhere.

I will continue to try to get you sad-sacks out of the self-pity, the-sky-is-falling mode you seem stuck in. As I said, if you would only allow a bit of optimism and happiness into your life, you will be doing more to improve the overall situation for humankind than you are doing with all your handwringing.

Be happier, Jan…be more content. Spread open the curtains and let a bit of light into your life.
Frank, I am now well informed by our discussion as to what you really are and I appreciate your patience in interacting with me whom you obviously inherently hold in total contempt. You believe I am a total fool as I am equally sure it is you who profess complete foolishness. I think it was one of the Kennedy boys who said one must not accept what is but understand what could be. Reality is a slippery term under any conditions and fantasy for one person is imagination and foresight for another. The wild concepts in the early imaginings of science fiction of the 1930’s and 1940’s that were dismissed as amusing nonsense and, to use your terminology, wishful thinking, is today the solid basis of a good deal of the fruitful and financially rewarding industry of the modern world.

I sincerely doubt that even MS. Stein herself expected to be president after Election Day but all significant movements had small and difficult beginnings. Somewhere a start had to be made and was made and it now exists as a seed that can be nourished by the ultimate miseries and catastrophes incipient in Obama’s agenda which is totally obvious at this point. Realities do not come about by endorsing something very bad and expecting good to arise spontaneously out of that choice because a lack of imagination could see nothing better. Difficult and uncertain decisions are in order today because the problems are so pressing. But current energies towards brutality and militaristic dominance which are so evident in Obama’s moves have repeatedly proved to be the road to failure, aside from their repulsive inhumanity and generation of blowbacks that only made the situations worse. To endorse that is not reality, it is immense stupidity.