Saturday, April 18, 2015


Links to Articles on Issues that Should Concern You More than 
Democrats v. Republicans

Please choose at least one category and one article cited, and tell us why you think it’s important. 

COMMENTS UNRELATED to THESE 
SPECIFIC ISSUES WILL be DELETED.


PRIVACY v. PUBLIC SAFETY








MILITARIZATION of POLICE 
and  LOOMING TYRANNY











MONEY







BORDER SECURITY and ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION






Which of these might save us from another Clinton presidency?


42 comments:

  1. ...and the answer is, "Stop sending money to the anally retentive folks in DC".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who can dream up infinitely more ways to spend your money than they give you for the opportunity to "earn" it.

      Delete
  2. Alex Jones is either a kook or a charlatan provocateur.

    Military training like this has been going on for decades. Indeed, the people around Ft Bragg, NC know of and participate in Special Forces qualification training that takes place in Fayetteville and the surrounding countryside.

    I participated in all kinds of training in New Mexico, with real guns and real bullets, so this is nothing new.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why pick on Alex Jones? He is only one of several who have focused on this information?

      Given that inevitably "power corrupts," don't you think it might be a good idea to keep watch over government-sponsored displays of superior firepower with a weather eye?

      Once upon a time and long ago, it might have been perfectly safe to trust our government to protect us from harm and seek always to preserve and enhance our best interests. However, since unprecedented power has been granted by Court Edict to factions antithetical to the majority and disrespectful of our Founder's Vision, and put into the hands of hostile, alienated, vengeance-prone minorities who seem unable to think of little else but "getting even," I feel we have much to fear from our government, and little hope of fair treatment let alone benevolence from most sources of authority today.

      We are living under siege generated by malevolent internal forces.

      No it's nothing new. One needs only to back as far as the Charge of the Light Brigade and Gallipoli to realize we have always been governed by imbeciles and fiends to one degree or another, but doesn't mean we should accept it now just because it is supported by a long series of precedents, does it?

      If entertaining a high degree of suspicion and no little resentment of those in authority makes me a "kook," I'm frankly honored to be one. I believe myself to be in excellent company.

      "It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism – free government is founded on jealousy, and not in confidence which prescribes limited constitutions . . . In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

      "In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree."

      “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

      ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)



      Delete
    2. Of course we should keep an eye on our government and view their words and actions with skepticism.

      Why pick on Alex Jones? He's a sensationalist. Look at how normal news reported this.

      Anyone fearful of the military taking over, I got news for you: The US military has already invaded. Their bases are all over the US, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, standing in their way, other than good officers and enlisted people who would refuse to turn on their own people.

      Delete
    3. Military men are not paid to use their minds and exercise individual initiative. They are paid to take orders.

      The military is in the main –– and by necessity –– the absolute antithesis of democracy. It is a large hierarchical structure in which every person cedes his individuality to the needs and demands of the organization –– as interpreted and implemented by those in command.

      Therefore, the integrity and trustworthiness of the military depends almost entirely on WHO or WHAT occupies the Seat or Seats of Power at any given time.

      Considering what we now have –– and what we may soon have –– in command –– I have no reason whatsoever NOT to think the military may one day be used to turn against the citizenry of our country and march us off to "Re-Education Centers," etc.

      Enlisted men and subalterns to the commanding officers are not encouraged to THINK. In an Orwellian-style DICTOCRACY thinking could too easily get you killed.

      If the Founding Fathers had thought as modern men who fancy themselves hard-headed realists" seem to be thinking, the United States of America would never have come into existence.

      Perhaps "1776 and All That" really WAS a great mistake after all? As Franklin and Adams feared it certainly appear to have degenerated in JIG time, hasn't it?

      The problem as I see it: Most men (and women) are incapable of handling the blessings of liberty with even a modicum of intelligence and discretion. Hamilton was correct in his contempt for "the whim of the vulgar populace." Unfortunately, Thomas Jefferson, probably the most libertarian of all the Founders, appears to have been mistaken.

      Delete
    4. FT,
      True to some extent, but it doesn't mean that there are not military people who are not people of integrity per se.

      I have no reason whatsoever NOT to think the military may one day be used to turn against the citizenry of our country and march us off to "Re-Education Centers," etc.

      Possible, but I don't see happening in my lifetime. What say you about the timeline of such a travesty, FT?

      Delete
    5. Forgot to say...

      In an "organization" as big as the military, a hierarchy of command is essential. Otherwise, chaos results. Furthermore, somebody has to make decisions that will be followed without disruption. Military disruption means the defeat of a nation.

      Delete
    6. I clearly stated the hierarchical nature of the military, AOW. I often think, however, of the tragic example of Nazi Germany, where the vast majority of normally decent, peace-loving citizens were whipped into a frenzy by the horrific power of a weirdly charismatic demagogue, and became in effect a mindless, robotic killing machine.

      When it was al over, many of these same Germans pled for mercy from the Allies saying, "We were only following order."

      Wt makes you think we Americans would respond any differently to ROTTEN leadership?

      Human beings are basically the same wherever you go.

      I do not fear the military per se but I live in mortal terror of the politicians who have the power to order the military to do cruel, inept, dreadfully stupid things.

      The integrity of the military depends almost entirely on WHO is AT the HELM.

      Remember the Civil War.

      Delete
    7. FT,
      What makes you think we Americans would respond any differently to ROTTEN leadership?

      We're not Balkanized enough (Civil War) or trampled down enough economically (post WW1 Germany). At this point, anyway.

      Don't get me wrong: I do think we may well be headed in the direction you indicated (I have no reason whatsoever NOT to think the military may one day be used to turn against the citizenry of our country and march us off to "Re-Education Centers," etc. ), and the escalation may surprise me. At this point, however, I think that I will be in the grave before the travesties gain enough momentum to rule the day.

      Delete
    8. AOW,

      I'm trying to use my imagination, powers of perception, awareness of many of the tragedies of history and my considerable knowledge of human nature after having read much literature and lived 74 years to take "The Long View." As we all should know by now Einstein considered imagination and intuition to be much more important than acquired knowledge.

      The trouble with being a far-seeing individual -- like Cassandra in Days of Old, Scottish mathematician and philosopher, Alexander Tyler in the eighteenth-century, and the authors of classic twentieth-century futuristic dystopian fiction is that no one takes them seriously until AFTER the damage they predicted has already been done.

      The handwriting appears on the wall in big RED LETTERS, but no one bothers to read it, or if they do, they dismiss as the ravings of crackpots and alarmists.

      Delete
  3. Charleston BlackbottomApril 18, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    NYT: USA Fading as Economic Leader...

    Not the least bit surprising. USA cannot act with fiscal responsibiolity with respect to its own economy and manufacturing infrastructure so why should the global economy give it much credibility?

    For 34 years we have manage to grow the national 8debt, continue on the path of fiscal insanity, create a dwindling middle class, create a wealthy and powerful plutocracy/oligarchy, exacerbate an already volatile middle east situation, attempt to limit individual freedom and choice, and them blame t all on he wrong party.

    But this is America and we are exceptional. Just ask us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Exactly what kind of data will those LED streetlights be collecting? Seems Bradbury-ian to me. Frankly, I am so distrustful of governments that I parse the official statements, which often contain a significant amount of ambiguity.

    As for Alex Jones, I didn't read that article but rather read the outgoing links to the articles themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Orwell's dire prophecy of Doom and Gloom is rapidly materializing, AOW. The obvious objective of those now in command is to monitor ad thus control, virtually every move we make, every breath we take, –– and if possible –– every thought we think.

      Alex Jones,Glenn Beck, et al. may sound like screaming lunatics, but i's far more likely from the way things appear to be going that they are functioning more as modern-day Cassandras.

      Because they speak loudly and insistently of horrifying possibilities as though they were inevitable, they come across as strident, quasi-hysterical, "sensationalistic" alarmists. It is much too easy to dismiss them, because of the tone they use than to think that what they are saying may in fact make a great deal of sense.

      When someone seems to want to frighten us, we tend to dismiss them as "cranks."

      And then, of course, we have LORD JESUS CHRIST, The Greatest Example of All Time ever to convey a message mankind most desperately needs to heed, and looks what his very own people let happen to HIM.

      Delete
    2. FT,
      Screamers on both the Right and the Left are forever shouting that the end is near.

      Hell, this kind of watch-out-for-doom attitude is even part of a weather forecast. Just this morning, the weatherman forecast showers and storms for tomorrow. "Alert!" and "We might even have hail." These are not crises such as hurricanes or tornadoes, but you'd never know that from the words spoken, the tone of voice used, and the tense body language.

      No wonder our cortisol levels are so high. It's always "flight or fight" time.

      Delete
    3. FT,
      When someone seems to want to frighten us, we tend to dismiss them as "cranks."

      Because few options for exercising mitigating options are included, IMO.

      Certain Glenn Beck and his ilk are right part of the time -- maybe even most of the time. But these people are also performers, and their livelihoods depend on how effective their performances are.

      Stephen King advises horror writers, "When all else fails, go for the gross out."

      With the political-pundit performers, it seems to be this: "When all else fails, tell the people that the inevitable end is near -- maybe even in the next hour."

      People somehow enjoy being scared out of their wits. Adrenaline surges appear to be addictive.

      Delete
  5. As the United States retreats from the global economy another nation (or nations) will fill that vacuum.

    Also, ceding economic primacy sends the message "militarily weak." Please see Europe faces a 'real threat' from Russia, warns US army commander. The article is worth a few moments of your time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's hard to imagine Chris Christie, Booby Jindal, Marco Rubio or any of the clown car passengers can save us from anything.

    Why not just let the Walton family run the country and cut out the middle man?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because it's easier to openly defy an actual authoritarian ruler than a faux-democratic one like Obama or the Hildabeast. Caesar was a populist.

      Delete
    2. The Walton Family, which you apparently despise, Canardo, would in fact do a helluva lot better job "running the country" than the fools and fiends who have in a few short decades run us straight unto the ground.

      Your insolent contempt for individuals who have in fact achieved a great deal more than Barack Obama ever has in his entire life is ludicrous, and speaks very poorly for you. [We must not forget that OBama's background was downright toxic and totally antithetical to the ideals and principles of our founding documents. Also, his much-vaunted achievements are largely the product of Hollywood and Madison Avenue-style myth-makers and master manipulators. If this were no so, why would his academic transcripts be guarded sedulously under lock and key, and why would every attempt to delve into his true history run into a mile-high, seventy-five-foot thick stonewall after having had whole mountain ranges of contemptibly insulting, malodorous nonsense dumped all over them?]

      The enemedia has done a superb job of mischaracterizing each of the potential antidotes to the enervating specacle of what what the Reid-Pelosi-Obama triumvirate has perpetrated on this nation.

      Obama is all too obviously an enemedia-generated chimera falsely clothed in the garb of a righteous avenging angel.

      Under the spreading chestnut tree
      Where I sold you, and you sold me.


      The consummate ease with which so many seemingly sensible people supposedly on "our" side have swallowed, digested and fully assimilated the negative imagery with which the enemedia has misrepresented any number of good or potentially helpful individuals.

      To whit:

      1. Scott Walker is "uneducated."

      2. Ted Cruz is a "self-serving showboater," "a dangerous "extremist," and "a religious fanatic" eager to impose a "theocracy" on us.

      3. Rand Paul is a "loose cannon" adamantly opposed to our maintaining an adequate defense.

      4. Jeb Bush is a "fiscally irresponsible, untrustworthy, quasi-liberal."

      5. Chris Christie is so spiteful and so petty he willfully inconvenienced tens of thousands of motorists in a failed attempt to make his political enemies look bad.

      6. Marco Rubio is still "a mere boy not yet ready for prime time."

      If people on "our side" fall for this negative image-makung on the part of the enemedia, maybe "we" DO deserve to lose. –– but to the likes of HILLARY CLINTON or LIZZIE WARREN? Please don't make me laugh.

      Delete
    3. I have to agree with ducky. The Walton family has done more to destroy the mom and pop American small business economy than anyone else other than the "legislators" which enabled them to privilege the large-scale corporate form accumulate and amass corporate wealth far in excess than should ever be legally allowed.

      Delete
    4. In a laissez-faire economy, the Waltons would never have received the tax shelters, breaks, legal protections, etc. that a "natural" economy would "limit".

      Delete
    5. FT,
      Obama is all too obviously an enemedia-generated chimera falsely clothed in the garb of a righteous avenging angel.

      It's obvious to some of us. To enough of us? Not sure about that.

      Delete
    6. At least Fiorina's on the right economic track...

      Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Saturday said America was losing more businesses than it could launch because of suffocating economic regulations.

      “The heroes of the American economy are small businesses and family-owned businesses,” she said at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s First in the Nation leadership summit in Nashua, N.H.

      “For the first time in U.S. history, we are destroying more businesses than we are creating,” Fiorina continued.

      “All of the things they are doing up there are landing on us down here,” she added of big government’s actions. “The weight of the government is literally crushing the potential of the people of this nation.”

      Delete
    7. Anyone who supports our current cardboard cutout president has no right to criticize any candidate.

      Delete
    8. Thersites,
      I'd vote for Carly Fiorina in a heartbeat.

      I don't give a damn that she lacks political experience.

      Delete
    9. Carly has all the talking points down pat that's for sure.

      Delete
    10. Thersites, I think you and I had two entirely different Walton families in mind. I was thinking of the television show based on Earl Hamner, Jr's memoirs of life on "Walton's Mountain."

      I'm sure you were thinking of Sam of the Walmart phenomenon. Perhaps Ducky was too. One can never be quite sure what he thinks. (:-o

      Delete
    11. @AoW - Me3!

      @FT - Yep, different Waltons.

      Delete
  7. Street lights watching you sounds like a technological breakthrough that can be looked at two ways. Advances in science which can be used for the benefit of all, including the profitable gains of those bringing the science to the masses, is a good thing. Alternatively advancing science and technological breakthroughs that are used against the people of a country to monitor their activities and record them in the manner of Big Brother all-knowing slave owner is absolutely abhorrent.

    So what have we got in the real world? Genuinely concerned citizens seeing intrusions of Big Brother into ever more aspects of ones private life on the one hand. On the other an elitist group that capably manipulates the thoughts of the masses of people using the media and pup-culture to condition responses of others in such a way that the reactions of the other group is way beyond irrational and belongs in the never-never land of Crazytown.

    The end result is the pitiful spectacle of a county and society swirling inexorably down the drain dividing itself into circular firing squads intent on destroying "the enemy".

    Look in the mirror and the enemy may be closer than you think.

    ReplyDelete
  8. FreeThinke: There is much wrong with your disquisition on the military, starting with

    "Military men are not paid to use their minds and exercise individual initiative. They are paid to take orders."

    I don't want to pick a fight, but that just ain't so. Yes, following orders is a cornerstone of military service, but using our minds and exercising individual initiative, even by lower-ranking enlisted members, is what makes our military the best in the history of the world.

    Have you heard anyone describe the Iraq invasion and occupation as strategically idiotic but tactically brilliant? Individual initiative and adaptive thinking on the ground is all that kept our effort from completely collapsing into a rout of the invaders.

    Also, I do not believe Americans in uniform would turn on their own country. Sure, there are a few toadies who would bayonet their own neighbors and run tanks through their grandma's house if told to do so, but the vast majority have common sense morality as their guide. I don't see officers at any level (senior flag, junior flag, field grade) reaching any kind of agreement that it would be the right thing to do, and I could totally see younger combat vets telling any leadership who gave such an order to go f*ck themselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have had hands on experience with today's military, Silver Fiddle, I have not, so I must bow to your superior knowledge. However, the same thing always looks very different to different people when viewed from a variety of angles. I'm glad you have such confidence in our men at arms. I wish I could feel as sure, myself, that they would NOT 'round us up and march us off our land for getting out of line if ordered to do so. Aren't there severe penalties for disobeying a direct order?

      I have no interest in "fighting" anyone. I'm only here to share my opinions and attest to what I believe to be true. I dislike the penchant so many have for endless verbal combat, so I do my best to avoid it.

      Never having served in the military I have no firsthand knowledge, although some of my uncles, cousins, and my father's friends fought in WWII and had hair-raising tales to tell. Also, I read some of the contemporary fiction centered on the war when I was still very young, read the Rise and fall of the Third Reich when it first appeared, seen any number of "war pictures" from the 1940's and beyond. And I've been familiar with Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade, since childhood, and have formed very definite, certainly unpopular, opinions about Lincoln's War.

      I hope you realize I meant nothing personal in my remarks about the military.

      What I'm trying to say is a warning to those who imagine "It Can't Happen Here." Human beings being what they are, I have no doubt that given the right set of toxic circumstances ANYTHING could happen here.

      Our apparent belief in the basic accuracy of Forster, Huxley and Orwell's chilling, prophetic observations –– a belief I think we share –– should tell us that.

      Delete
    2. Despite getting my dander up every now and then, please know that I always read and evaluate your remarks in the most charitable light possible. I took no offense.

      Also, in this era where real-life has become indistinguishable from parody, I don't begrudge anyone any conjecture whatsoever.

      I will reiterate what I said about our officers and enlisted men and women: I don't see it happening. If such an order were given, I see the senior officers pushing back. If they instead relayed the order, I am confident officers and NCOs on the ground would not carry them out.

      What went on at the Bundy ranch in Nevada was a small example. The Federales weren't scared by armed civilians. They we're scared of a situation getting out of hand and people getting killed. Leadership there on the ground or somewhere made the smart call to stand down.

      Anyway, if the federal government wanted to whack some groups or get the population under control, there are other ways to do it.

      Delete
    3. Silver, if you study history, Western, Eastern, wherever, from the Spartans to the Samurai to the Soviets, when you see powers consistently raising and maintaining contemporaneously large standing armed forces over long periods of time, every single time, those powers fall to the consequences of that policy. It is exceedingly expensive, it entangles us in problematic world affairs, and it creates dependent classes from the very rich and powerful to the very poor.

      And it does stifle creativity, which is the main reason our vets are having a hard time in today's job market. After WWII, when the country was heavily industrialized, veterans made for a perfect fit. They made brilliant engineers, scientists, mechanics, linemen, teachers, you name it. In the new service sector economy, there's only so many relevant skill-sets they bring from that experience.

      We have to rein in the military. We can't just keep pissing our tax dollars all over the world anymore. It's been 75 years of a perpetual state of war. Enough is a enough. I'm sick of it. We all should be. And history plainly and clearly shows it will destroy us in the end.

      JMJ

      Delete
    4. Fannie Furst said

      Most of what you said makes sense, Mr. McJones, but I don't think we need to fear the armed services so much as the power brokers and big money men in the back of everything who call the shots. They are responsible for the the way we've been throwing our weight around overseas since the end of the last big war. They have the money. Money talks, and it can buy influence big time. The problem is corrupt politicians from the president on down who take their orders from outside influences who don't care a rap about the USA. The armed services by themselves are pretty decent, but they'd have to stage some kind of coup or revolution to stop themselves from being used pawns in the international chess game.

      Delete
    5. Jersey,

      I agree with your comment about large standing armies, but the subject was their threat to us internally, and I don't see that happening.

      Your conclusion about veteran unemployment is ill-informed. Consider this from WaPo:

      The jobless rate for all U.S. veterans was just 6.9 percent in October — slightly lower than it is for the population as a whole.

      But the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 9/11 stood at 10 percent...


      Employers love military veterans. We're hard workers, know how to show up on time, loyal, educated and experienced. We know how to lead and how to follow.

      The spike in unemployment for recently discharged vets is attributable to a few transitory factors.

      1. The US Army has been fighting wars this past decade, so it lowered standards and brought in marginally-employable people to throw into the maw. As the wars wound down, the Army threw these same people back out on the street and into Obama's crap economy.

      2. Recent vets are statistically more likely to have issues based upon wartime experience and the collateral fallout of substance abuse, wrecked families, upended lives, etc.

      It is a personal tragedy, and I lay it squarely at the feet of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld, and Obama ain't any better.

      Delete
    6. I don't think you understand the nature of the threat.

      JMJ

      Delete
    7. Jersey: Then please explain it to me

      Delete
    8. MAKE of THIS WHAT YOU WILL, but I THINK it APPLIES VERY WELL to the DISCUSSION:

      "The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness . . . This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs. When he first appears, he is a Protector . . . In the early days of his power he is full of smiles. . . When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies . . . and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other in order that the people may require a leader. . . Has he not also another object . . . that they may be impoverished by taxes and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and [be] therefore less likely to conspire against him?"

      ~ Plato (427-347 B. C.)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. ...and just what is that supposed to mean?

      Delete
    2. Schmuely Goldenberg said

      Good question. That's just what i was thinking, myself. Always antisemitism wherever I go. Nothing but antisemitism. Irrational hatred of my people all over the word. Why? We are good. We are smart. We are strong. We work hard. We achieve a lot, and everybody wants us dead. Why?

      Delete

IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, SO KINDLY GET OUT AND STAY OUT.

We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––
We WILL use COMMENT ERADICATION.


IN ADDITION

Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.