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Economic Terrorism

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Over the past few years, the type of terrorism that America is at risk of has taken a major shift. From the 1960s until the late 1990s, most terrorism taking place on American soil or directed towards American targets abroad has been carried out by left-wing radicals. While the threat of an attack from right-wing extremists in the Middle East poses a serious threat, our focus must become more trained to the terrorists amongst our own ranks. Many of these left-wing groups were fronts for the Soviet Union, and their targets were largely corporate, as well as various small businesses. After the fall of Soviet Russia, many of these groups collapsed due to lack of funding. Yet some have flourished in recent years due to Hollywood activists and the media darlings who head these groups. Under the guise of ecology reform and animal rights, the Earth Liberation Front, as well as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have caused millions of dollars in damaged property and harmed countless lives (many of whom are the animals they are trying to “liberate”).

According to the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Section Chief, Jeff Jarboe, between 1996 and 2002, Earth Liberation Front (ELF) alone have commited “600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million dollars.” ELF itself claims its North American members have caused damages in excess of $100 million between 1997 and 2003. In August of 2003, a Hummer dealership in an eastern suburb of Los Angeles suffered the loss of 20 Hummers, with severe damage done to another 20, as well as several Chevrolet Tahoes. Now, I’m not a big fan of the new Hummer, I find it slightly wasteful because I am for the most part a utilitarian. I do, however, recognize that some would want to drive such a vehicle, thus it is available. The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for the attack, and since then only one man, Jeffrey Luers, has been brought to court and convicted. He will serve 22 years, if we are lucky. Another widely reported case occured late in 2004. Indian Head, Md. was another target of ecoterrorism. A neighborhood had been developed 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. These houses were in close proximity to the nation’s last undisturbed magnolia bog. The Sierra Club as well as other environmental groups protested the development, but lost. The houses were completed, but not inhabited at the time of the arson. A total of 12 homes were destroyed and another 41 suffered excess damage. The cost of damages is estimated at more than $10 million. A security guard, Aaron Speed, 21, has been apprehended and will be brought to trial. Unfortunately, the maximum penalty is only 20 years for arson.

Unlike Al-Qaeda, which has been deemed a military target by President Bush, ELF has enjoyed media attention without being targeted as a major threat. The leader of ELF, Craig Rosebraugh, has not been arrested for any of these attacks, and may never will be. An international team searches for Osama Bin Laden, who remains in hiding since September 11, 2001, while Mr. Rosebraugh has been a very public figure. He has been hosted by many northeastern and western colleges, and although there is ample evidence to warrant his arrest, the FBI will not touch him. The problem is, according to the Heartland Institute, “ELF has no formal headquarters or publicly known organizational structure. Rosebraugh says he doesn’t know who is or is not a member. But he knows every detail of what they do and is well-established as the one and only authoritative ELF media contact.” The only ones punished for eco-terrorism acts are those who are directly involved. Compare this to international terrorist groups in which we would rather target those at the top. Al-Qaeda, whose many top members have been apprehended or killed, has not carried out a major international attack since September 2001, although they have tried. Yet ELF, whose top officials appear at colleges across the country, and have scheduled appearances in many cities, enjoy and take advantage of the freedoms that the United States has given them. Which has been more effective, the few minor al-Qaeda terrorist incidents, or the unchecked terrorist incidents caused by ELF? We have to do something about this soon, or suffer the consequences.

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About Andrew Hughes

  • KOB

    This is an interesting and original post, but the Indian Head fires in MD don’t appear to be ecoterrorism related.

    According to the local papers that I see the men charged in this case are not environmentalist.

    Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported, in part: “Authorities have not publicly asserted a single motive for the fires. In affidavits and statements in court, they have suggested that possible motives include drawing attention to a car club led by one of the defendants, retaliation against the security company or others, and racial bias. The six men charged with arson are white, and many of the people planning to move into the subdivision are black.”

    The complete story is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18715-2005Mar8.html

  • http://www.anyletter.blogspot.com Andrew Hughes

    Thanks for the link, it was hard to find any news out of the Indian Head fires past 2 weeks after the incident.

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    >>From the 1960s until the late 1990s, most terrorism taken place on American soil or directed towards American targets abroad, has been carried out by left-wing radicals. While the threat of an attack from right-wing extremist in the Middle East poses a serious threat, our focus must become more trained to the terrorists amongst our own ranks.

    What about the attacks by Right Wing extremists such as the Oklahoma bombing? In my book, killing well over a hundred people is a far worse crime than torching a hummer dealership.

  • SFC SKI

    Trying to compare ELF and Al-Qaida is a non-starter; ELF apparently tries not to kill any people at all whereas Al-Qaida goes out of its way to kill as many as possible, including their own volunteers. I am not saying I approve of ELF’s actions in any way. I really hate that we will devastate areas of land for new development while vacant lots abound within urban areas, but use of force will not change that.

  • http://www.kokasexton.com/tacops/modules.php?name=News&new_topic=14 TacOps Security

    Eco-terrorists seem to be a contradiction. Save the enviornment but add to pollution levels by burning everything. They meke no sense.

    http://www.tacops-security.com

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I’m pro-environment. Everyone with a brain is!

    But destroying property is NOT the way to go about this.

    Educate, educate, educate…

  • alienboy

    22 years in jail for damaging a few cars? that would be insane…

  • JR

    So how many people have actually been killed by eco-terrorists? ‘Cause I haven’t heard of any.

    Maybe the news got buried by all those other left-wing terror attacks like the Oklahoma City bombing, the two World Trade Center bombings, and all the abortion clinic bombings.

    I didn’t realize the connection between those groups and the Soviets. Is it the fluoridation that makes people want to blow up a public building?

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    The idea that all or most terrorism in the 80s was by front groups for the Soviet Union was pretty standard Cold-War propaganda. Like all propaganda it was largely bullshit.

    When the US tried to peddle that line to us Brits, we pointed out that the main terrorist threat we were fighting, the IRA, was largely funded by private sources in US!

    When someone recycles old propaganda from a war that finished 15 years ago, it’s a little difficult to take them that seriously.

  • http://paskudnyak.blogspot.com The Proprietor

    A rather interesting related article from an Indian news service (which also has implications for the outsourcing/offshoring discussion)-

    “The Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in an encounter at New Delhi on Saturday night planned to attack software companies in Bangalore besides Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun, Delhi police said on Sunday.

    The militants visited Bangalore in December last year and surveyed the location of several software companies there, joint commissioner of police (special cell) Karnal Singh told reporters.

    “They planned to hit economic installations to hinder the economic development of the country,” he said.”

  • j3!s

    To say it is ‘unfortunate’ that a young man can ‘only’ be sentenced to 20 years for the burning of uninhabited homes is a rather disgusting and misanthropic statement. Our society has its priorities completely backward. We will lock away a citizen for over a third of their life because they damaged property, harming no one; but we turn a blind eye to corporations that kill hundreds of millions of animals and destroy their natural homes, ruining our ecosystems, in fact destroying the planet itself, in the process. Disgusting.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So animals are ‘someone’ – do you talk with them regularly then? And having your property destroyed does you no harm?

    Someone certainly has their priorities backwards, but I think it might be you.

    Dave

  • john

    wow, you are slightly insane, arent you?
    Jeff Luers got 22 years for a crime that hurt no one and you are saying he should serve that long a sentence?
    thats absurd. in oregon state, rapists and murderers get anywhere from 3-7 years in prison. Jeff damaged property and hurt no one but he got 22 years. Also, he is not a member of the Earth Liberation Front and has said that from day one. Your review is not very well done.

    for accurate information, not fear mongering see:
    http://www.freefreenow.org

  • Red

    I’d have to agree with John that 22 years for setting a small fire that burned 3 SUV’s is absurd (no person was even in danger or hurt!)
    While the action may have been stupid, it wasn’t terrorism! gimme a break! when rapists and murderers serve far less time than this guy, something is wrong with this world and anyone that doesn’t see that needs to seriously take a look at their priorities and ideologies.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    JR: So how many people have actually been killed by eco-terrorists? ‘Cause I haven’t heard of any.

    The unabomber was an eco-terrorist and he killed 2 and injured 23 with his bombs.

    The ELF does endorse murder and violence of all sorts in pursuit of ‘freeing the earth’. It’s just a matter of time until some nutjob follows through on their promises.

    Earth First and ELF sponsored tree spikings have resulted in three documented deaths and some truly horrible injuries, including one recently where a logger was almost decapitated and had to basically have his head sewn back on.

    But thankfully, most of the ecoterrorists seem to be better at accidentally killing themselves than at killing others. The classic being the Peta activist who was gored by a bull while trying to put a symbolic condom on it.

    But it’s not just deaths. Take a look at the catalog of actions on the Animal Liberation Front website. They proudly catalog hundreds of crimes by the ALF and ELF all over the world. There’s not a lot of death, but there’s some pretty horrible stuff. How about writing letters to neighbors accusing employees of companies that test products on animals of being pedophiles. Real nice. ELF in England is particularly violent, maintaining a hit list of hundreds of people – including children of targets – who they plan to ambush and violently assault. Scores of people on this list have actually been attacked and beaten with sticks.

    Enough of a response about these vermin I think. Probably time to start working on an article.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Damn, forgot to close that link. Here’s a link closure.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Cars kill sixty thousand people per year in the US alone. Accidents involving SUVs are far more likely to kill the occupants of the other car, than are collisions involving ordinary small cars.

    The US has killed well over one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians so far, to protect our oil supply and feed the SUVs and “hummers”. (Oh, excuse me, and to liberate the Iraqi people, I almost forgot.)

    Terrorists blow up cafes. The ELF destroys property. The very existence of the term “eco-terrorist” is an incredibly successful example of Orwellian “newsspeak”. There is no such thing, at least not yet.

    If you think the existence of a few idealistic kids trying to make a statement about US domination of the world and destruction of the planet is our primary security problem, you must be completely insane.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    EnviroBill – do you not read the messages you’re responding to?

    >>Cars kill sixty thousand people per year in the US alone. Accidents involving SUVs are far more likely to kill the occupants of the other car, than are collisions involving ordinary small cars.< <

    This wouldn't be the case if everyone drove SUVs. Then everyone would have the higher survival rate currently enjoyed only by those who care enough about their families lives to drive SUVs.

    >>The US has killed well over one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians so far, to protect our oil supply and feed the SUVs and “hummers”. (Oh, excuse me, and to liberate the Iraqi people, I almost forgot.)< <

    Wooohoo! You did it! A double disqualification answer. Not only do you quote the endlessly debunked civilian death figure from Iraq, but you also cite the completely untrue claim that the Iraq war is about oil. You're batting 1000 on the liberal misinformation scale, boyo.

    >>Terrorists blow up cafes. The ELF destroys property. The very existence of the term “eco-terrorist” is an incredibly successful example of Orwellian “newsspeak”. There is no such thing, at least not yet. < <

    They beat, maim and kill people for political reasons and then announce it in a press release. How does that not qualify them as terrorists?

    >>If you think the existence of a few idealistic kids trying to make a statement about US domination of the world and destruction of the planet is our primary security problem, you must be completely insane.<<

    Would that be the idealistic kids sending mail bombs or the ones beating scientists and their kids unconscious in the streets? There’s nothing more idealistic than murder and child beating.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Dave,
    Sorry, you got me, I didn’t actually read the text all in blue. And I agree, many ALF activists take it way too far when they cross the line to threatening people or actually using violence.

    However, regarding the rest of your points.
    1) that’s wonderful that people “care about their families” enough to drive SUVs. If everyone cared that much, we’d us twice as much oil as we do now. But yes, collision survival rates might go up.
    Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to drive an SUV, even if they wanted to, and currently those who choose to do so increase everyone’s risk.

    But the main point, please debunk that 100,000 figure for me. I suppose they were all well-armed terrorist insurgents? or did they never happen?

    and the Iraq invasion wasn’t about oil?? HELLO. Guess you got me on that one. What the F**K do you think it’s about? As soon as we get there, we start privatizing oil fields. Are you going to tell me how we had to attack Saddam because he was such an imminent threat to our security (with no WMDs, no clear connection to bin laden, and no clear intent to attack us? much less ability?)

    Or is it because he was such an evil dictator? Please name one country we have ever liberated from an evil dictator, which does not also have oil fields. And please explain why we consistently support evil dictators everywhere else in the world. (Indonesia, for one obvious example.) For that matter, have you noticed us bringing democracy to Saudi Arabia recently?

    The mail bombs were one crazy dude, and he’s in prison. Nobody else has sent any mail bombs. The enviros stopped tree-spiking years ago. Yes, there are some wingnuts in the animal liberation world, and european ELFers get a little carried away. Our military tortures detainees with dogs and sodomizes them, when it isn’t killing them outright.

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Regarding the death toll: it came from a study team from Johns Hopkins University last October. Here’s a link:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/29/news/toll.html

    The website iraqibodycount.org “only” lists a max of 20000, but they admit that they are only basing their numbers on deaths reported in the media, and they know that the real numbers are far higher.

    With what do you “debunk” these numbers?

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Hey elitist pig,(that’s his own name for himself, check out Dave Nalle on the bar on the left)

    Now I see where you’re coming from with Iraq:
    “You’re going to ask at this point why we went into Iraq if it was not a haven of radical Islam under Sadam. But the truth is that it was an easier nut to crack than Iran,…”

    So we had to go there to find a way to kill all the radical islamic terrorists that were out to get us?

    Good thing it was an easy nut to crack, because in the process we seem to have run our military into the ground and burned out all of our diplomatic ties to everybody except Poland and Britain (until they throw out Tony Blair). And of course, the next decade will tell us how we did at stamping out radical islam. My reading of history implies that we are most likely creating a whole new generation of kids who hate us, but hey I’m just a liberal, I’m sure I don’t know as much about that as you do.

    Okay, sorry for spamming your page, I’ll shut up now.

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: This wouldn’t be the case if everyone drove SUVs. Then everyone would have the higher survival rate currently enjoyed only by those who care enough about their families lives to drive SUVs.

    Actually, no. All of the SUV occupants who are currently getting hit by smaller cars would be getting hit by other SUVs, so more of them would die.

    Basically, if you put everybody in the same size SUV, you should have about the same collision fatality rate you’d have with everybody in the same size small cars. Only now you’d have a huge increase in fatalities from rollovers. Plus, it takes more energy to propel larger vehicles, so we’d be more dependent on foriegn oil.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>But the main point, please debunk that 100,000 figure for me. I suppose they were all well-armed terrorist insurgents? or did they never happen? < <

    Why do I have to keep doing this over and over and over again? Slate has debunked it, the major media has debunked it. The guys who wrote the damned study for Lancet have admitted it's not accurate. Any sensible person who READS it realizes the methodology is totally screwed. Just read this please.

    >>and the Iraq invasion wasn’t about oil?? HELLO. Guess you got me on that one. What the F**K do you think it’s about? < <

    I'm, getting so tired of explaining the same simple things over and over again.

    1. If we wanted oil all we had to do was make friends with Saddam. He was eager to cooperate. He would have signed an exclusive deal with US companies in a second if we'd let him.

    2. Every single bit of the oil coming out of the ground in Iraq is going to profit Iraqis, not the US government or the US. This has been clearly stated numerous times and has even been written into law.

    3. The only way Americans will profit from oil in Iraq is that most of the major oil companies are muiltinationals with large US investment and involvement. This would be the case no matter what the sitution in Iraq was - they would have to go through the major multinational distributors because that's the way to get oil to market. This also would have been the case if we had not invaded Iraq. These companies control the flow of oil already. Nothing we did in Iraq helped them in any way.

    >>As soon as we get there, we start privatizing oil fields. < <

    Yes, giving them to IRAQI companies ferchrissakes.

    >>The mail bombs were one crazy dude, and he’s in prison. Nobody else has sent any mail bombs. The enviros stopped tree-spiking years ago.< <

    Did you read the ALF site. It lists bombings, tree spikings, assaults and the like within the last couple of years.

    >> Yes, there are some wingnuts in the animal liberation world, and european ELFers get a little carried away. Our military tortures detainees with dogs and sodomizes them, when it isn’t killing them outright.<<

    Our military didn’t do this, a group of inbred rednecks from western Maryland did it. Have you ever been to Cumberland Maryland? They spend all weekend sodomizing each other in the woods for fun. When they saw the Blair Witch Project they were proud to have had their cultural heritage memorialized.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Good thing it was an easy nut to crack,< <

    I said easier, not easy. You can't begin to imagine what a nightmare an invasion of Iran would have been.

    >> And of course, the next decade will tell us how we did at stamping out radical islam. < <

    Well right now it looks like we made a pretty damned good start. Or do you not follow the news?

    >>My reading of history implies that we are most likely creating a whole new generation of kids who hate us,< <

    The madrassas were already doing that anyway. When you shout 'destroy america' instead of the pledge of allegiance, that's usually a bad sign.

    >> but hey I’m just a liberal, I’m sure I don’t know as much about that as you do.<<

    That’s not because you’re a liberal, that’s because you’re ill-informed. Fortunately it’s a condition which can be remedied if you pay a little attention.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >>>>Good thing it was an easy nut to crack,< <

    >>I said easier, not easy. You can’t begin to imagine what a nightmare an invasion of Iran would have been.

    Actually, I can begin to imagine that. Which brings up the point, what have we actually accomplished? If radical islamic states are the problem, Iran is still sitting right there, only now we’ve used up about all of our new recruits and all of our allies’ patience. Nobody is going to join the military voluntarily anymore. Our National Guard units, which are supposed to be for defending their home territory, have been used and abused overseas and they aren’t going to be getting any new recruits anytime soon either. What exactly are we getting out of this war again, if it isn’t control over a rich oil region?

    Call me a flaming liberal, but wherever you put the numbers, the fact is a lot of civilians have been killed, a lot of US soldiers have been killed, a whole lot of innocent Iraqis have been detained and abused (by our military or their hired hands, who cares? It’s still the responsibility of the military, it’s their prison whether or not they subcontract out the abuse.) We have made a lot of new enemies, in the families of everyone who has been killed or abused. The primary question remains: Why did we need to go there in the first place, (disregarding Bush’s lies re: WMDs etc.), and what exactly have we gotten out of it, besides a lot of pain? Do you really believe we’ve created democracy, just like that?

    And do you really believe that all those islamic radicals hate us simply because their madrassas tell them to? In my experience, people are not that stupid. I would argue it has a lot more to do with our one-sided support of Israel and the fact that we historically have armed dictators and supported terrorists all over the world, whenever it has suited our geopolitical agenda. There’s a lot to hate about America, and until we realize that the other guy has a point, and isn’t just some ignorant moslem, we’re doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

    BTW, I read your piece re: the 100K number, and while the statistical methods they used can certainly be debated, I think relying on counts that were reported to the media is also guaranteed to come in far below the reality. Who is going around interviewing every family that lost somebody to a bomb? But in absence of hard facts we could debate that all day.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Actually, I can begin to imagine that. Which brings up the point, what have we actually accomplished?< <

    Well, we've removed a monster from power and set several countries on the path towards democracy. In addition, we've created a presence in that part of the world and sent a message to the other tyrants and reform wouldn't be a bad idea.

    >> If radical islamic states are the problem, Iran is still sitting right there, only now we’ve used up about all of our new recruits and all of our allies’ patience. < <

    Actually, now that we're doing well in Iraq the old allies are clammoring to get involved in the reconstruction, but we're being cautious about letting them in. Also, our military recruitment is bringing in huge numbers of new troops. We can expect to increase the size of the main branches of the military by a couple of hundred thousand over the next couple of years, even counting those who leave when their time of service is up.

    >>Nobody is going to join the military voluntarily anymore.< <

    Untrue. During the height of the war, with increased recruiting goals, the military met almost every recruiting target and overshot most of them. Last year we added an unprecedented 147,000 new recruits just to the full time military.

    >>Our National Guard units, which are supposed to be for defending their home territory, have been used and abused overseas and they aren’t going to be getting any new recruits anytime soon either. < <

    Yes, national guard recruitment is down. I agree that their use was inappropriate as well, but given the reduced state of the military and the time it took to rebuild from the Clinton years we had little choice.

    >>What exactly are we getting out of this war again, if it isn’t control over a rich oil region? < <

    Stabilization of the middle east, which consists mainly of showing countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran that moderation and democracy will make their lives easier and put them at less risk from us and from terrorists.

    >> Do you really believe we’ve created democracy, just like that?< <

    We haven't created democracy in Iraq - we've restored democracy to a country which was already used to sham democracy and which has a strong politically active and secularist tradition.

    >>And do you really believe that all those islamic radicals hate us simply because their madrassas tell them to?< <

    Largely true of the younger generation in the poorer countries like Afghanistan, Sudan and Yemen, yes. They wouldn't even know America existed if Al Quaeda paid teachers weren't telling them to hate America.

    >> In my experience, people are not that stupid. I would argue it has a lot more to do with our one-sided support of Israel and the fact that we historically have armed dictators and supported terrorists all over the world, whenever it has suited our geopolitical agenda. < <

    That's true for the elite leadership of the terrorists, but they fill their common ranks with the ignorant and uneducted from the poorest countries in the area.

    >>There’s a lot to hate about America, and until we realize that the other guy has a point, and isn’t just some ignorant moslem, we’re doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.<<

    I can tell you hate America, but I wonder what your motivation is.

    Dave

  • sydney

    “Actually, now that we’re doing well in Iraq the old allies are clammoring to get involved in the reconstruction, but we’re being cautious about letting them in. Also, our military recruitment is bringing in huge numbers of new troops. We can expect to increase the size of the main branches of the military by a couple of hundred thousand over the next couple of years, even counting those who leave when their time of service is up.”

    — This is hoarse shit. America is doing well in IRaq? Its’ former allies are clamouring to help us? Firstly, IRaq seems like a gigantic mess to me and most other objective observers. The only reasons other coutnries want to help is because they want to regain America’s favour in terms of healthy trade etc. That combined with a sense of guilt over watching America fuck things up at the expense of IRaqi lives. I can speak on behalf of canadians when I say this much.

    “We haven’t created democracy in Iraq – we’ve restored democracy to a country which was already used to sham democracy and which has a strong politically active and secularist tradition.”

    — a one off election in a war zone does not constitute a democracy. Not by along shot. But it will satisfy a republicans defintion of democracy since it strengthens thier justification for war (after already having started the war).

  • sydney

    “I can tell you hate America, but I wonder what your motivation is.”

    — …the most ignorant thing a person can say in any political discourse. There is nothing more sickening than the idea that anyone who critizes american government, is unpatriotic and hates America. …and it’s so fuckin typically american too (I suppose I must hate America to say that…).

    That sort of inflamatory rhetoric tears the country apart.

  • JR

    Yeah, but it tells you what Dave Nalle is all about, in case you don’t already know.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Jesus guys, he said ‘there’s a lot to hate about America’. He said it. I was just repeating him.

    But yes, I believe that unreasoning hatred of America is despicable, just as I think that unreasoning patriotism is offensive. It’s all about thinking, guys. If you hold an opinion that has no thought behind it I don’t have any respect for you. That’s the whole story.

    And BTW, that thoughtlessness is exactly characterized by the last two comments directed at me.

    Dave

  • JR

    Bill: And do you really believe that all those islamic radicals hate us simply because their madrassas tell them to? … There’s a lot to hate about America, and until we realize that the other guy has a point, and isn’t just some ignorant moslem, we’re doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes.

    If one puts some thought into it, one should be able to differentiate between what Bill is attributing to others and how he feels himself.

  • http://www.dissentnow,org Anna Lisa

    You will note that in Kaplan’s debunking of the Lancet study ( http://slate.msn.com/id/2108887/ ) his solution to the unreported deaths problem is the ‘let’s be reasonable wild guess’ technique.

    “The IBC estimates that between 14,181 and 16,312 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war—about half of them since the battlefield phase of the war ended last May. The group also notes that these figures are probably on the low side, since some deaths must have taken place outside the media’s purview.

    So, let’s call it 15,000 or—allowing for deaths that the press didn’t report—20,000 or 25,000, maybe 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed in a pre-emptive war waged (according to the latest rationale) on their behalf.”

    I think that the only thing that’s clear in all of this is that we have no idea how many Iraqi civilians died in ‘Shock and Awe’.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Interesting. That’s very close to the ‘reasonable’ guess estimate I came up with. Basically take the real, documented deaths and triple it.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >Jesus guys, he said ‘there’s a lot to hate about America’. He said it. I was just repeating him.

    No, Dave, you weren’t repeating me, you were assuming that I hate America because I can see lots of very legitimate reasons why people from other countries, who have suffered under our economic policies for decades, might hate America. There’s a significant difference.

    For your information, I love this country very much, which is the only reason I’m still here. But until we remove the current generation of so-called “leaders”, who only play on people’s fear and greed to maintain their control, we are going to continue creating wars and destruction everywhere we go.

    Ending this horrendous phase of our history, and creating something better, is my motivation. What’s yours?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Ending this horrendous phase of our history, and creating something better, is my motivation. What’s yours?<<

    Mine is to find a way to seize on the opportunities created by our current phase in history to move on to a better, more free nation. For the first time in a very long time we’re in a position where we have the potential to actually make progress towards the nation the founding fathers intended us to be.

    This is the great struggle of our times. Although the anti-freedom forces of the left have been put at least somewhat in abeyance, the anti-freedom forces of the right are trying to take their place. I want to see both defeated and America living up to its potential as the greatest, freest nation in the world.

    One of the weapons we have in fighting this fight is the truth. And when lies are spread, when someone calls this a ‘horrendous phase in our history’ based solely on adherence to the failed leftist philosophy of negativism and fear which we’ve finally started to put behind us, I’m not going to keep silent.

    Dave

  • JR

    Lies are spread when you don’t keep silent, Dave, e.g. accusing other commenters of hating America.

    Mind you, I’m not saying you should keep silent. I think you’re arguments are the best thing to happen to the left in a long time.

    Like fish in a barrel…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Mind you, I’m not saying you should keep silent. I think you’re arguments are the best thing to happen to the left in a long time.<<

    Can’t argue with you there. Anything which keeps the left focused on truth rather than deception is a move in the right direction. I think the left has a lot to contribute to the debate in this country, but they absolutely have to get over this addiction to spreading transparently self-serving misinformation. It dooms them to having what might be reasonable arguments if supported by facts trivialized and ignored. If they keep it up no one will take anything they say seriously anymore. Combined with the relentless obstructionism it’s turning them into a party which no one wants to be associated with. They’ll wake up one day and find the Green Party – who are generally a lot more honest – stealing away their best and brightest.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Ya know, Dave, thanks for sticking with this discussion, you’re doing a great job of trying to defend the right-wing-fantasy world view, I do appreciate it.

    However, it would do the debate a lot of good if you’d stop going from what I say to presuming you know why I’m saying it. Let’s face it, you don’t know shit about me.

    >someone calls this a ‘horrendous phase in our history’ based solely on adherence to the failed leftist philosophy of negativism and fear

    I call this a horrendous phase in our history because people like you are still deluding yourselves into believing there is some rational and good reason for us to unilaterally start a war that has caused at least twenty thousand civilian casualties (are you happy with that number?) as well as over fifteen hundred american soldiers’ lives. (Or is that number also more negative leftist defeatism?)

    I call this a horrendous phase in our history because people like you seem to be in charge, and because even if there is not the majority the polls might suggest, there is definitely a very large population of you people out there. WE STARTED A WAR, against people who had not attacked us. We have become the aggressor. That is not a leftist fantasy. We chose to begin dropping high explosive ordnance on cities, for our own deluded reasons, and people like you are still trying to convince yourselves it was a good idea, fifteen hundred american lives later. We’re losing more every day. If you have kids, are you going to send them to Iraq? Are you that sure that this war is worth it?

    I’d like to hear more about your view of the “anti-freedom forces of the right”, though.

    On a side note, you should stop assuming that leftists are democrats. The democrats are only one small step better than the republicans, and you’re right, the green party is a hell of a sight better than both, except in this country , except for the NE, all they do is talk and waste time on useless presidential races that they can’t win.

    However, they or other farther left organizations have already stolen the best and brightest, the dems are a joke.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Ya know, Dave, thanks for sticking with this discussion, you’re doing a great job of trying to defend the right-wing-fantasy world view, I do appreciate it.< <<

    And another ill-informed leftist mistakes me for a right-winger.

    >>However, it would do the debate a lot of good if you’d stop going from what I say to presuming you know why I’m saying it. Let’s face it, you don’t know shit about me.< <

    And you clearly haven't even managed to grasp the little about me that I've said in the last couple of posts.

    >>I call this a horrendous phase in our history because people like you are still deluding yourselves into believing there is some rational and good reason for us to unilaterally start a war that has caused at least twenty thousand civilian casualties (are you happy with that number?) as well as over fifteen hundred american soldiers’ lives. (Or is that number also more negative leftist defeatism?)< <

    I like your numbers, but not your reasoning. There are lots of good reasons to be in Iraq right now. I would freely admit the war has not been perfectly executed, but something had to be done to relieve the pressure in the Middle East, and while this is not necessarily the course I would have chosen, it's crude and clearly effective.

    >>I call this a horrendous phase in our history because people like you seem to be in charge,< <

    If only...

    >> and because even if there is not the majority the polls might suggest, there is definitely a very large population of you people out there. < <

    Who exactly ARE we people?

    >>WE STARTED A WAR, against people who had not attacked us. We have become the aggressor. That is not a leftist fantasy. We chose to begin dropping high explosive ordnance on cities, for our own deluded reasons, < <

    Which we did during the Clinton administration, I might note.

    >>and people like you are still trying to convince yourselves it was a good idea, fifteen hundred american lives later.< <

    I'm not trying to convince myself it's a good idea. It has clearly proven to be a good idea by any objective standard.

    >> We’re losing more every day. If you have kids, are you going to send them to Iraq? Are you that sure that this war is worth it?< <

    That's up to my kids. And yes, I think this war is worth it. If I were in a position of power I probably would not have invaded Iraq, but now that it's been done, it has to be given every chance to succeed because the stakes are incredibly high.

    >>I’d like to hear more about your view of the “anti-freedom forces of the right”, though.< <

    They should be obvious. A bunch of former Democrats have invaded the Republican party and are trying to pull it towards a somewhat differently twisted version of the same fascism the extreme left pushes.

    >>On a side note, you should stop assuming that leftists are democrats. The democrats are only one small step better than the republicans, and you’re right, the green party is a hell of a sight better than both, except in this country , except for the NE, all they do is talk and waste time on useless presidential races that they can’t win.< <

    Sounds strangely like the Libertarian party.

    >>However, they or other farther left organizations have already stolen the best and brightest, the dems are a joke.<<

    Which is a good thing, because if they were effective they might be dangerous. Fortunately the farther left, more extreme groups remain marginalized so long as the Dems have power, so they can’t do the harm they’d like to.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >They should be obvious. A bunch of former Democrats have invaded the Republican party and are trying to pull it towards a somewhat differently twisted version of the same fascism the extreme left pushes.

    So Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, the general crackdown on the Constitution and civil liberties under the Bush administration are actually the fault of former Democrats? This is a new one on me! Or were you referring to different anti-freedom forces from the right? Please explain.

    And just so we’re on the same page, would you mind elaborating a little on the which precise forms of fascism are pushed by the extreme left? I assume you’re referring to things like environmental legislation and gun control, but I wouldn’t want to put words in your mouth.

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >Fortunately the farther left, more extreme groups remain marginalized so long as the Dems have power, so they can’t do the harm they’d like to.

    Agreed, except for the negative slant, obviously. This is the only good thing about the recent election — there is no Democrat in the white house to mislead liberals into thinking the system is working for them.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Nobody is going to join the military voluntarily anymore.”

    LOL!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Do you really believe we’ve created democracy, just like that?”

    Are you really unaware of the recent election in Iraq?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “In my experience, people are not that stupid.”

    Your “experience” is clearly limited, and anyway, you’re fine evidence against your own point…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “There’s a lot to hate about America”

    This is not a surprising statement, coming as it is from a Leftist…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “unilaterally start a war”

    Well, that’s another lie…

  • http://www.freefreenow.com Bill

    okay, well, obviously this debate has degraded beyond the point of being worth my time any more, but Dave, I appreciate your thoughts, you seem to have some.

    RJ, you appear to be simply another brainwashed moron. Who the hell else started the war? Are you going to tell me that Osama bin Laden started it? No doubt, but he has nothing to do with Iraq. Did Saddam start it? I don’t think so. Did we have any international support? Yeah, sure, the completely dependent countries that we could threaten or cajole into sending a few troops stood proudly by our side, all our real historic allies (except for great britain, being too tied in to us to do anything else) wisely avoided involvement.

    No, as was pointed out earlier, a one-off election in a war zone is not proven democracy, dumbass. It’s a publicity stunt. Congratulations, you got lots of pictures of people voting.

    I’ll modify the point that people are not that stupid, people in this country contradict that argument, and I’m sure there are idiots in other countries too.

    And of course, some people will always be desperate or deluded enough to join the army and let the politicians tell them who to kill, but the ranks are definitely thinning now that it isn’t just about college money and “valuable job skills” anymore. Or was I imagining the recent news about failing to meet recruitment goals?

    Anyway, have fun with your war, y’all. If you’re not all just pussy armchair warriors and you’re actually enlisted, I hope you go awol and get the fuck out before you get shot, not that you care what I think. Good luck.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>So Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, the general crackdown on the Constitution and civil liberties under the Bush administration are actually the fault of former Democrats? This is a new one on me! Or were you referring to different anti-freedom forces from the right? Please explain.< <

    The anti-freedom forces on the right are the same people as the former Democrats. The so-called Neocons are a cabal of people who for the most part come from a background of being either former southern Democrats or from backgrounds where their families were Democrats one generation back. They were part of the ultra-conservative, very religious wing of the Democratic party which was gradually being marginalized and then completely split from the Democrats - fairly quietly - during the Reagan and Clinton administrations. Those who didn't quit because they were attraceted by Reagan left because they were repulsed by the amorality of Clinton.

    They ended up going into the Republican party where they fit in possibly even more badly than in the Democratic party, but the Republicans have always had this 'big tent' concept and let anyone in - which may have proven to be a mistake in retrospect.

    These are people who are socially conservative and fiscally liberal. They like big government but they're also driven by moral and religious issues. They really don't fit in either party, but there are enough of them to cause an awful lot of trouble in either one. For years they were making life hard for the Democrats, now they've brought their poison to the Republicans. And truthfully, by leaving the Democratic party they've also put it in a bad position of no longer having much political balance and thus falling farther and farther to the untennable left.

    >>And just so we’re on the same page, would you mind elaborating a little on the which precise forms of fascism are pushed by the extreme left? I assume you’re referring to things like environmental legislation and gun control, but I wouldn’t want to put words in your mouth. <<

    Environmental legislation isn’t fascist. It’s the job of the government to regulate in the public interest. Some of it goes to far, but conceptually it’s fine. Gun control, of course, is a human rights and Constitutional issue which many Democrats fall on the wrong side of, but a lot of Democrat leaders – Gore, Kerry, Dean are pro-gun and many others are at worst neutral, so it’s not something they’re ever really going to push. Remember, the Brady Bill was brought to us by Republicans, not Democrats.

    The fascism on the Democratic side comes from their desire to silence all opposition, through lawsuits, control of the media, massive disinformation campaigns – what moveon.org specializes in. It’s also manifested in their statism and repressive institutions.

    Their statism is seen in government schools, the welfare state, the anti-corporate mentality and the legislation it begets, the oppressive tax structure which penalizes achievement and entrepreneurism and encourages dependence on the state, etc. The repression is in the form of their allies in society – exclusionary organizations which foster institutional dependence, discourage competition and free markets, set one group against another, and block opportunity at every turn with the goal of keeping people dependent on the party and its surrogates. Classic examples of this are the labor unions, the teachers organizations, the NAACP and other organizations which tell ethnic americans they can’t advance on their own without the help of government.

    I guess if you want to identify fascism in both parties the difference would be between moral fascism on the part of a small number of Republicans and institutional fascism as a party-wide policy among the Democrats. To fix the Republicans you just need to purge some questionable party elements. To fix the Democrats the whole party needs to be shut down and rebuilt from the ground up.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Hmm. Interesting, not quite what I expected. However, this brings up more questions. So, you are saying that environment legislation is not fascist, because it is the job of the government to regulate in the public interest. But public schools, services for the poor, and labor unions are fascist, because they discourage free market competition and entrepreneurism.

    Something tells me that you identify whole-heartedly with the propertied class in American society. Would you prefer a return to the days of child labor, old people starving in the streets, and the absolute lowest wage possible to keep workers alive (such as we already see in the race to “globalize” the job market)?

    Do you also favor the use of the national guard or private armies to bust up strikes?

    Just to clear up the conversation, let me throw in a dictionary definition of “fascism” that I found online:

    1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
    2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.

    So you are saying that the democrats wish to employ stringent socioeconomic controls, and suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, if I hear you right.

    Hey, at least we agree about the Neocons, glad to hear it. Personally, I’m with you on the gun control thing as well. However, I fail to see how society would be improved by removing all controls over corporate greed. Please do not attempt to explain how the invisible hand of Adam Smith guarantees that the free market will eventually rid us of all negative side effects of unrestrained capitalism if only we remove all barriers to the flow of goods and services. This is well known to be a self serving crock of shit promoted by those who benefit from the lack of regulation. I trust you have a better theory.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Hmm. Interesting, not quite what I expected. < <

    I live to defy expectations.

    >>However, this brings up more questions. So, you are saying that environment legislation is not fascist, because it is the job of the government to regulate in the public interest. But public schools, services for the poor, and labor unions are fascist, because they discourage free market competition and entrepreneurism.< <

    Not exactly. The big difference between regulation and actually providing services is that services can be provided as well or better by the private sector, while the private sector can only self-regulate to a limited extent. What can be done by the private sector should be, and the government should keep an eye on it and make sure it's done fairly and without bad side effects.

    Public schools, services for the poor and unions are not fascist, unless they become apparatuses of the single central state to the detriment of the public interest. When the schools become instruments of indoctrination there's a problem. When the welfare state becomes a source of empowerment for a political faction there's a problem. When unions become an arm of government then there's a problem. And all of those are characteristic of fascist states, and to some extent we've seen all of those happening here in the US, mostly in association with the Democratic party.

    >>Something tells me that you identify whole-heartedly with the propertied class in American society. < <

    I don't differentiate between classes in America. What's good for one American should be good for all. The same open competition should give anyone a chance to advance if they have the resourcefulness and desire to do so. Success is not a zero-sum game. One man becoming wealthy doesn't mean that one other man becomes poor. It just doesn't work that way.

    >>Would you prefer a return to the days of child labor, old people starving in the streets, and the absolute lowest wage possible to keep workers alive (such as we already see in the race to “globalize” the job market)? < <

    There's no reason to return to any of that, though I think we've gone too far in restricting child labor. Market wages are higher than the minimum wage we have right now, so that's a waste of effort. I don't see outsourcing as a real problem, but if it was I wouldn't oppose reasonable measures to discourage it through sensible, Constitutional measures, such as import tarrifs on goods manufactured in certain countries.

    >>Do you also favor the use of the national guard or private armies to bust up strikes?< <

    Good lord no, unless the strikes became violent or impeded non-striking workers from going to work if that was their choice. I do favor the right to work for anyone not in a union, and the flip side of the right to join or not join a union as people choose. You shouldn't be able to ban unions from the workplace nor should unions be able to create 'closed shops'.

    >>Just to clear up the conversation, let me throw in a dictionary definition of “fascism” that I found online:< <

    The definition matches my definition.

    >>So you are saying that the democrats wish to employ stringent socioeconomic controls, and suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, if I hear you right.< <

    Absolutely. They aren't at the Mussolini or Hitler level, but you see this kind of agenda being pursued every day by leftist activists. They aren't ready to force a socialized state and censorship on us yet, but they've already stygmatized 'hate speech' and created many areas of government control over society and the economy.

    >>I fail to see how society would be improved by removing all controls over corporate greed.< <

    I don't have a problem with reasonable regulation of trade. That's part of the government's job, so long as there's no favoritism involved and no prohibitive or punitive regulation.

    >> Please do not attempt to explain how the invisible hand of Adam Smith guarantees that the free market will eventually rid us of all negative side effects of unrestrained capitalism if only we remove all barriers to the flow of goods and services. This is well known to be a self serving crock of shit promoted by those who benefit from the lack of regulation. I trust you have a better theory.<<

    Smith wasn’t that far off, but I think that a balance of corporate greed, consumer activism, marketplace competition and some reasonable government oversight can create a nice, natural equilibrium.

    As a general rule I’m with Teddy Roosevelt’s concept of the ‘Square Trade’.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Just out of curiosity, would you say that labor unions have gone too far/become too powerful, or that they were a terrible thing from the get-go and never should have happened?

    I ask because it seems pretty clear to me that without their historical presence, we would not have any of the fair market wages, workplace safety standards, and reasonable work schedules that we have today. I can definitely agree that they get out of hand in certain situations.

    I’m curious about the following, however:

    >Market wages are higher than the minimum wage we have right now, so that’s a waste of effort.

    How do you reconcile this view with the fact that millions of people in this country do in fact currently work for minimum wage?

    >I don’t have a problem with reasonable regulation of trade. That’s part of the government’s job, so long as there’s no favoritism involved and no prohibitive or punitive regulation.

    This would be nice. It seems that the current system involves huge amounts of favoritism. Present administration certainly being no exception.

    >I don’t differentiate between classes in America. What’s good for one American should be good for all. The same open competition should give anyone a chance to advance if they have the resourcefulness and desire to do so.

    Again, this would be nice. In the current American reality, however, those from the “lower” classes have the deck stacked against them every step of the way. Much of what conservatives deride as “handouts” (i.e. education benefits) are attempts to remedy this situation.

    By “stacked against them”, I refer to the implicit racism and classism of much of the business world. Not just blatant racism, but the ability of the elite to get jobs based on going to good schools, dressing well, using “proper” english which they were raised with and people from the ghetto have to learn in order to compete with them. We do not have a situation of fair, open competition, and we never have. People are not created equal in this country, and denying the existence of the problem will not fix it.

    And that’s only referring to the problems within this country. What are the chances of a mexican campesino being able to compete in the world economy on an equal footing with an educated white person in the US?

    Which could lead me back to why people might hate America, but I wouldn’t want to mention that. :-)

  • sydney

    I’m with you Bill.

    Anyone who doesn’t hate some, nay, many aspects of their country is blinded by patriotism.

    There is nothing wrong with saying you hate where you cuntry is at right now, or that you think you’re country has gone the way of greed and corruption.

    There should always be great Americans who take that stand.

    It’s very easy for someone to reduce those opinions in saying “he hates america so string him up”. But those who say things like that are truely the worst AMerica has to offer.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “some people will always be desperate or deluded enough to join the army”

    We’ve got a REAL patriot here! ;-)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Just to clear up the conversation, let me throw in a dictionary definition of “fascism” that I found online:

    “1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

    Doesn’t sound like anything in the US…

    Try France though!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Anyone who doesn’t hate some, nay, many aspects of their country is blinded by patriotism.”

    Anyone who hates the US is blinded by Leftism…

  • gonzo marx

    RJ sez…
    *We’ve got a REAL patriot here! ;-)*

    tell me, RJ..did you always wanna grow up ta be a dittohead?

    i ask because wasn’t it you that posted the “thladimide baby” bit about a ‘Nam vet, triple amputee, who served his Country…not to mention all the “wonderful” things you said about Senator Kerry with your “fellow traveler” comment…thus attempting to impugn the character of yet another decorated veteran of that War

    so…you denigrate those who serve and were wounded for their Nation…and yet deride those that hold a disparaging view of the Service as well…

    i guess it’s some kind of “neo-con” kohan that i was unaware of…like “the sound of one hand clapping”

    or ya just like to spin with no thought to internal consistency of Logic

    if there is another Explanation, i for one, would like to read it…cuz sometimes you have some decent points to make…but other times….well, spewing drivel comes to mind…

    and that’s said by a half crazed, deranged Fool…so take it “for what it’s Worth” (yep, Buffalo Springfeild sub-ref)

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “There is nothing wrong with saying you hate where you cuntry [sic] is at right now”

    Pray tell, at what historical point did you actually LIKE the US?

  • gonzo marx

    ummm..i also served…voluntarily…from 79-83

    i did so to “pay back” my Nation , in my own small way…i chose the Navy ..in part due to Heinlein..in part to see more fo the world…and i did..i liked many of the places i got to visit..but i am always an American…for better or worse

    2 years after i was Honorably discharged..i was a state liscened Administrator for Class “C” boarding homes..in Asbury Park N.J.

    i lived in the building..taking care of some retired folks, many outpatients form a local mental health care facility..others disabled on SSI…as well as half the building filled with stree people living on city welfare that had no where else to go…my second day..as an assistant administrator…i came upon 2 residents loading a small safe with cash and cocaine..i told them they had to leave…one said “make me”…he went out the second floor window..the safe followed…his partner packed and walked out..

    that was how i “served” my community for almost 5 years..

    in the Light of all that..i can safely say..i do NOT like the state of the Nation at this point..rampant greed..”deregulation” that benefits the bottom line, yet poisons the environment..a ludicrous joke for border security…”our Laws come from God” spoken by a supreme court Justice(Scalia) from the bench…and especially…our System of “checks and balances” distorted by one Party running the three branches of Government..so there i no mechanism for the Citizenry to have their Representitives investigate incidents like the torturing of prisoners in our name…or lying to the public about the reasons for a pre-emptive invasion on a soverign country…

    and on and on ad nauseum…

    RJ sez…
    *Anyone who hates the US is blinded by Leftism…*

    did i mention jingoism?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Just out of curiosity, would you say that labor unions have gone too far/become too powerful, or that they were a terrible thing from the get-go and never should have happened?< <

    I'm all for labor unions, I'm just not a big fan of the unholy alliance of labor union and political party. Or of exclusionary practices like the 'closed shop' - which in and of itself has done more to discredit unions than any other force in the last 50 years.

    >>Market wages are higher than the minimum wage we have right now, so that’s a waste of effort.

    How do you reconcile this view with the fact that millions of people in this country do in fact currently work for minimum wage?< <

    Find them for me. According to the BLS there's no such thing, and I certainly can't find them with direct research with the exception of a small number of probationary or trainee jobs designed for teenagers.

    >>Again, this would be nice. In the current American reality, however, those from the “lower” classes have the deck stacked against them every step of the way. Much of what conservatives deride as “handouts” (i.e. education benefits) are attempts to remedy this situation.< <

    I've never heard of a conservative deriding an educational program. That's not on the agenda for conservatives and it's not a 'handout' in the perjorative sense. A handout is money for nothing. Money for getting an education is money for something - an investment in society.

    >>By “stacked against them”, I refer to the implicit racism and classism of much of the business world. Not just blatant racism, but the ability of the elite to get jobs based on going to good schools, dressing well, using “proper” english which they were raised with and people from the ghetto have to learn in order to compete with them. We do not have a situation of fair, open competition, and we never have. People are not created equal in this country, and denying the existence of the problem will not fix it. < <

    You exaggerate the problem. The fact that so many have come from nothing and made good argues undeniably against your position. If some can do it then so can others. It may be more challenging, but opportunity still exists here in more abundance than anywhere else in the world regardless of race, creed or color.

    >>And that’s only referring to the problems within this country. What are the chances of a mexican campesino being able to compete in the world economy on an equal footing with an educated white person in the US?<<

    I take it you don’t live in the Southwest? Our population of Mexican immigrants is for the most part incredibly industrious. They work hard, save more money than a rich Americano can imagine, and advance themselves aggressively. If we could get more of them out of illegal status and into the legitimate economy the effects would be wonderful.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>It’s very easy for someone to reduce those opinions in saying “he hates america so string him up”. But those who say things like that are truely the worst AMerica has to offer.<<

    I think people are actually saying ‘he hates America but can’t come up with any good reasons for it’, ignore him because he’s a fool.

    Dave

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >I think people are actually saying ‘he hates America but can’t come up with any good reasons for it’, ignore him because he’s a fool.

    Um, it looks to me like I’ve come with quite a number of good reasons, I can’t help it if people are too blinded by “the empty glass is half full” reagan-era optimism to recognize a good reason to hate (american policy) when they see one.
    And enough of this “he hates america” crap anyway, I DON’T HATE AMERICA. I might hate YOUR america, if you think america is about white educated people being ahead by birthright, and other people having to struggle a lot harder for the same or slightly lesser benefits.
    The argument that “if one (black, or mexican, or asian) person can pull themself up by their bootstraps, then others can do it too” is complete horse shit. It’s a complacent response when you think a problem is somebody else’s, and you don’t want to deal with it. Yes, there will always be a few success stories from any population. Does that mean that population is on an equal footing? Obviously not. What that means is some percentage of the most driven, dedicated, intelligent and creative individuals in the population MIGHT be able pull themselves up to what the elite would consider a decent living standard, if they are also lucky.

    Compare that to children of the elite who right off the bat get to go to good schools, wear the right clothes, have a good car to start with, and have just about everything else handed to them on a silver platter. They have to actively screw up in order to not be comfortable.

    I have no doubt that mexican immigrants in the southwest are very “industrious”. That isn’t who I was referring to, I said Mexican campesino, i.e. still in Mexico, and lacking the resources and stamina to get across the border illegally, dodge the border patrol, survive across the desert, and work their way into a job in this country.

    For people who are trapped in their “third world” countries, unable to travel, and faced with the option of either farming the small plots of marginal land that aren’t controlled by multinational banana and coffee plantations, or working in the maquiladoras for starvation wages (I dont’ care if they’re “better than prevailing”, when prevailing wages are also starvation wages), there are very few options. This is not because their countries are “less ingenious” or “less motivated” than our proud nation. It is because they have inherited the legacy of four hundred years of colonialism, where the only rule was “might makes right” and the people with ironclad ships, rifles, horses and dogs were able to take whatever they wanted. We have also inherited that legacy, and we haven’t changed the balance of power ever since, all we have done is formalize it, and forget that it was ever based on naked aggression and militarism.

    >You exaggerate the problem.

    Do I? Who are you to tell me that? What do you know about it? No offense, but you are a self-proclaimed “elitist pig”. At least you’re honest, I’m not slamming you for that, but it doesn’t give me any reason to suspect that you have an in-depth knowledge of the struggle that minorities and “lower-class” people have to go through every day to survive in this country.

    >opportunity still exists here in more abundance than anywhere else in the world

    That’s the one thing I won’t contradict you on, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t hate america. This country is still a great experiment in human social progress, and I’m still very glad I was raised here and am able to live here. We started out with the intent to bring peace, liberty, economic prosperity to all of our citizens. We lost that along the way when we let the economic elite dominate the government and manipulate it for their own ends. I look forward to a day that we see that change, but it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet, and people who defend the status quo are standing in the way.

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    >I think people are actually saying ‘he hates America but can’t come up with any good reasons for it’, ignore him because he’s a fool.

    Um, it looks to me like I’ve come with quite a number of good reasons, I can’t help it if people are too blinded by “the empty glass is half full” reagan-era optimism to recognize a good reason to hate (american policy) when they see one.
    And enough of this “he hates america” crap anyway, I DON’T HATE AMERICA. I might hate YOUR america, if you think america is about white educated people being ahead by birthright, and other people having to struggle a lot harder for the same or slightly lesser benefits.
    The argument that “if one (black, or mexican, or asian) person can pull themself up by their bootstraps, then others can do it too” is complete horse shit. It’s a complacent response when you think a problem is somebody else’s, and you don’t want to deal with it. Yes, there will always be a few success stories from any population. Does that mean that population is on an equal footing? Obviously not. What that means is some percentage of the most driven, dedicated, intelligent and creative individuals in the population MIGHT be able pull themselves up to what the elite would consider a decent living standard, if they are also lucky.

    Compare that to children of the elite who right off the bat get to go to good schools, wear the right clothes, have a good car to start with, and have just about everything else handed to them on a silver platter. They have to actively screw up in order to not be comfortable.

    I have no doubt that mexican immigrants in the southwest are very “industrious”. That isn’t who I was referring to, I said Mexican campesino, i.e. still in Mexico, and lacking the resources and stamina to get across the border illegally, dodge the border patrol, survive across the desert, and work their way into a job in this country.

    For people who are trapped in their “third world” countries, unable to travel, and faced with the option of either farming the small plots of marginal land that aren’t controlled by multinational banana and coffee plantations, or working in the maquiladoras for starvation wages (I dont’ care if they’re “better than prevailing”, when prevailing wages are also starvation wages), there are very few options. This is not because their countries are “less ingenious” or “less motivated” than our proud nation. It is because they have inherited the legacy of four hundred years of colonialism, where the only rule was “might makes right” and the people with ironclad ships, rifles, horses and dogs were able to take whatever they wanted. We have also inherited that legacy, and we haven’t changed the balance of power ever since, all we have done is formalize it, and forget that it was ever based on naked aggression and militarism.

    >You exaggerate the problem.

    Do I? Who are you to tell me that? What do you know about it? No offense, but you are a self-proclaimed “elitist pig”. At least you’re honest, I’m not slamming you for that, but it doesn’t give me any reason to suspect that you have an in-depth knowledge of the struggle that minorities and “lower-class” people have to go through every day to survive in this country.

    >opportunity still exists here in more abundance than anywhere else in the world

    That’s the one thing I won’t contradict you on, and it’s one of the reasons I don’t hate america. This country is still a great experiment in human social progress, and I’m still very glad I was raised here and am able to live here. We started out with the intent to bring peace, liberty, economic prosperity to all of our citizens. We lost that along the way when we let the economic elite dominate the government and manipulate it for their own ends. I look forward to a day that we see that change, but it sure as hell hasn’t happened yet, and people who defend the status quo are standing in the way.

  • http://www.freefreenow.org Bill

    Damn, sorry for the double post, my browser told me it timed out the first time.

    Oh, and you want me to find some people who work for minimum wage? Obviously you don’t live in Oregon. Go to any fast food or convenience store and you will find them, you can’t move without tripping over somebody making minimum wage around here. Granted, it’s slightly higher here than the national standard, thank god, but that’s no thanks to people who think raising it is a waste of time.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “there i[sic] no mechanism for the Citizenry to have their Representitives investigate incidents like the torturing of prisoners in our name…”

    Gee, that was NEVER investigated?

    “or lying to the public about the reasons for a pre-emptive invasion on a soverign[sic] country…”

    Gee, that was NEVER investigated?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Oh, and you want me to find some people who work for minimum wage? Obviously you don’t live in Oregon. Go to any fast food or convenience store and you will find them, you can’t move without tripping over somebody making minimum wage around here. Granted, it’s slightly higher here than the national standard, thank god, but that’s no thanks to people who think raising it is a waste of time.<<

    Slightly higher? It’s 40% higher than the national minimum wage and just about equal to the real market-set minimum wage. And it’s a perfect example why raising the minimum wage is a waste of time. If you compare wages on the BLS tables between Oregon and states which follow the federal minimum wage which is $2 lower, on average you find workers in the same jobs earning the same wage regardless of the higher state-set minimum in Oregon. So raising the minimum wage by $2 actually did nothing to raise wages.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    oh RJ..busy beaver tonight , eh?

    as for the Abu Grahib investigation..the first level was done, within the military using NO outside oversight….

    notice how NO investigation was done about the “contrators” that were part of it?

    ya know who those “contractors” are?

    interrogators from KBR..which is the mercenary division of Haliburton..

    now..has a single word about this been a part of the public record in ANY congressional or senate investigation?

    ummm…no, there hasn’t…this from the party that spent 47 million dollars on a rampant investigation into a 20 year old land deal for $100k…

    shows where the republican priorities are..my Point here is that since the Minority CANNOT even get smoething up ni any Committee..there can be NO bipartisan oversight into the Incident….

    so i will correct myself…there has been NO congressional or Senatorial investigation into the Abu Grahib or Guantanamo incidents..

    there..a more accurate statement for you

    next..about the “investigation” into the “mistakes and misstatements” about entering into the Iraq conflict

    the has been AN investigation..by a commision appointed by Republicans…and wit the CLEAR mission statement to ONLY look into Intelligence gathering, and NOT policy makers…much to the chagrin of the White House last week when the results were announced…the lead Investigator was there with Scot McClellen(white house press secretary) for the photo op and press conference..

    did you watch it?..was interesting

    questions were asked, very straightforward answers fro the report were given…then came a question about what the investigation revealed about those in charge of oversight and putting the intelligence into the daily reports and the input form the National Security Advisor..

    the gentlemen from the Committee stated “we were told to stop short of that level and to not investigate oversight issue..those are not covered in the Report”

    so..once again..there was SOME looking into it..but it stopped very short of being both complete , or bipartisan in ANY way

    and that , RJ me boyo, is my point…

    if you were to want me investigated, and i appointed the Prosecutor, and told him where to stop the inquiries, then and wou;n not even let you ask any questions at the grand jury..all of whom i picked….

    would you consider that an Investigation?

    i wouldn’t…

    an dthat is EXACTLY what is happening in these incidents…

    so spare me your dittohead “outrage” and try and go with some actual facts if yer wanting a discussion..

    k?…thanx…bye fer now..

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Beaker Engels:

    Your habit of demanding that others “stick to the facts” after they use facts point out that you have not actually been, uh, sticking to the facts, was amusing at first, but it has become annoying.

    FWIW…

  • http://www.taospost.com MDE

    RJ – your chosen definition of ‘fascism’ in comment#54 is so unsatisfying. It ignores historical context. Fascism developed as a political philosophy early in the 20th century as a response to the worker’s movements of the late 19th. It was proposed as the efficient way to avoid the social breakdown caused by class warfare.

    State Corporatism, as envisioned by the Italian fascists before the war, would be good for everybody and the environment, too. The State, constitutionally endowed with THE FINAL SAY in all matters, would so insinuate itself into matters economic, that the capitalists’ inevitable and socially destructive drive for maximum profit could be harnessed and directed. Individuals in all classes would benefit: workers would be given a living wage enforced by the State; capitalists would be given a marketplace free of serious class warfare enforced by the State. The State would guarantee employment and consumption. Classes without reason to struggle against each other would cease to be.

    For this fascist program to become reality, people merely had to give up their decadent individualisms and accept the idea that only a State with total control over legislation, administration and legal judgment can enforce social contracts and manage economic forces. Faced with the raw moral power of the State, all must yield, individuals and corporations alike.

    So, Italy lost the war and won the peace.

    Here’s my flame:

    Now Corporate America, the bastion of enlightened fascism, is under attack. And with tiresome predictability the propagandists unpack their ideological gimmicks following the playbook put together by the German National Socialists. Here are some points we have heard from our State over the past few years:

    ·The State allows no middle ground. (“You’re either for us or against us.”)
    ·Some corporations (particularly Muslim not-for-profits and banks) are ‘against us’. The State must reign in economic freedom.
    ·Liberal rules controlling movement into and within the Nation allow those who are ‘against us’ in. The State must reign in personal freedom and increase surveillance.
    ·The war effort requires swift and efficient action. Increased flexibility to decide how money is spent must be granted to the administrative branch of the State.
    ·Novel judicial procedures controlled by the administrative branch of the State are required.
    ·Proactive violence is the only way to secure the State.
    ·The continuity of the State elite must be safeguarded. (Shadow Government, Cheney’s ‘safe place’)
    ·The State needs volunteers to fight in the war on the home front.

    The problem with all of this, as the Germans discovered, is that when you mix State extremism in the pot along with peoples’ tendencies to irrationalism and biological racism, you can produce a brand of fascism that is far from enlightened.

    Mark

  • Gorge.. W. Bush

    america is a bitch ……………….. bitch