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Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 03:19 PM PST

Home Town Heartache

by ohmproject

For those born on the farms or in the small towns of the country, homesickness among the diaspora is commonplace.  Here are some tunes that express that well in my view.

Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia

Merrimack County (NH)

Paradise (KY)

Tarkio Road (MO)

Your home town

Feel free to add links to your favorites, even you big city folk.


The best tunes are about:

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This is nothing more than a thinking-out-loud piece provoked by Kropotkin's "The Spirit of Revolt" and Greenwald's recent allusion to it.

I'm facing some moral dilemmas arising out of Occupy and am interested in how other Kossacks respond to analogous circumstances.  If you have a few minutes, maybe you can read through these hypotheticals and respond to the poll.  Elaboration in the comments would provide further, appreciated illumination.

Fear of the Crowd

Fear of the crowd is something we have all experienced.  It can present itself in a couple of different contexts:


Someone tells an ethnocentric joke in your crowd.  Most of your peers either laugh or smile in response.  You're offended, even though you're not a member of the ethnic group targeted by the joke.

Do you:

Join in the fun = -2 points
Say nothing and remain facially neutral = -1 points
Show facial disapproval = 1 point
Reprove the joke teller = 2 points
Reprove the joke teller and those who joined in = 3 points

Person Oriented:

Someone in your presence picks on someone out of rhythm with the majority because of appearance, (assumed) sexual orientation, ethnicity, some other factor or combination of elements.  Your peer group signals that its members either concur in bullying or consent to it.  You are faced with a tough choice.  Stand up to the crowd and risk alienating them or, even worse, becoming their new target, or acquiesce.


Join in the fun = -2 points
Say nothing and remain facially neutral = -1 points
Show facial disapproval = 1 point
Reprove the tormenter teller = 2 points
Reprove the tormenter and those who joined in = 3 points

Now let's take it up a notch.  Up to now, it's been fear of losing connection with some group who's revealing their immoral tendencies.  Now let's consider more concrete circumstances.

Fear of Consequences

Non-physical consequences:

You work for an organization that's doing something immoral.  Perhaps you're a soldier who witnesses a civilian slaughter and coverup.  Maybe you're a GS or Xe employee.  Maybe you're a cop who is ordered over and over to abuse peaceful protestors.

What do you do:

Up your gung ho commitment to your paymaster = -2 points
Grudgingly go along - = -1 point
Report any wrongdoing personally witnessed to the next flunkee up the line = 0 points
Quit = + 1 point
Collect the dirt, find a dependable outlet and then quit = + 2 points

Physical consequences:

You're fed up with the bullshit.  You're ready to resist The Man in all his manifestations.  You join up with a group of like-minded folks, and find yourself at a direct action resisting the foreclosure of a house.  Cops approach with billy clubs and pepper spray.


Jump up and beg them to let you go home = - 2 points
You jump up and run the other way = - 1 point
You behave like the UC-Davis resisters = + 3 points

So how did you do?  I'm a sucker for standing up to crowds, but I have enough beefs with authority these days that getting arrested is not among my goals.  Tough choices all around.  And here are words to consider:

Men of courage, not satisfied with words, but ever searching for the means to transform them into action,--men of integrity for whom the act is one with the idea, for whom prison, exile, and death are preferable to a life contrary to their principles,--intrepid souls who know that it is necessary to dare in order to succeed,-- these are the lonely sentinels who enter the battle long before the masses are sufficiently roused to raise openly the banner of insurrection and to march, arms in hand, to the conquest of their rights.

Peter Kropotkin, "The Spirit of Revolt"

Bonus points:

If your behavior on DailyKos actually conforms to this picture you've formed of yourself, give yourself an extra 3 points.


What did you score (hypthetically)?

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Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:12 AM PDT

McPocalypse Now

by ohmproject

I belong to the generation that had school drills for the Big One.  Many of us can remember the look of terror in the eyes of our parents as we sat around the TV watching President Kennedy announce the "quarantine" of Cuba on October 7, 1962.

Will the world's families once again feel that horrible terror?

(cross-posted on Docudharma)

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Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 03:10 AM PDT

Re: Droogie--Lessons for Us All

by ohmproject

Droogie's run-in with the AP contains lessons for us all in an era when Internet privacy and freedom is under attack by both governments and multinational corporations like the AP.

Anyone who keeps a blog, writes a dKos diary or comment, or even sends an email is exposing themselves to possible blowback BECAUSE NOTHING YOU DO ON THE INTERNET IS ANONYMOUS.


Below the fold is information about some urban myths about Internet privacy and anonymity.  Know the facts so that you can speak out AND protect yourself.

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Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 09:52 AM PDT

Wouldn't it be amazing if...

by ohmproject

Wouldn't it be amazing if a major party Presidential candidate advocated impeachment proceedings against the current criminal incumbents of the White House?

Wouldn't it be amazing if a major party Presidential candidate advocated a reduction in the Defense Department budget?

Wouldn't it be amazing if a major party Presidential candidate advocated single payer health care?

Wouldn't it be amazing if a major party Presidential candidate advocated repeal of the Patriot Act?

Wouldn't it be amazing if a major party Presidential candidate openly encouraged people to join labor unions?

Wouldn't it be amazing if some DFH hippy diary like this ended up on the dKos Rec list as the Dem convention began?

Wouldn't it be amazing if you added you own "wouldn't it be amazing" idea to the comments and it was "noticed" by the "powers that be?"


Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:44 AM PDT

The End of American Exceptionalism

by ohmproject

Bill Moyers' interview of Andrew Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, is a must see/read for Kossacks.  It would be nice to see Obama add Bacevich to his list of advisors and even to those being considered for National Security Advisor.

To entice you to go to the PBS site to see the video, here are a few quotes from Bacevich, a West Point grad, who lost a son in Iraq and now teaches international relations at Boston University.

Link to Moyers interview.

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The Washington Post reports today:

The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.

The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.

"So what else is new?" you may ask.  After all, the Bush Administration's attack on civil liberties and privacy has been unrelenting since they day took office.

But the next part of the report is what caught my attention:


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George Bush's good friend, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, is back in charge in Italy after a brief center-left interregnum.  As a way of implementing the law-and-order platform upon which he regained power, he has dispatched Italian troops to Rome, Milan, Naples, Florence, Genoa, Bologna, Turin, Palermo, Bari and Venice.  There are 1,000 soldiers in Rome alone.

One Italian mayor, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party that is part of Berlusconi's coalition, has issued a proclamation banning the gathering of three or more people.  (Presumably, those huddled together in Jesus' name or playing bocce ball are exempted.)

(Photo of Italian paratrooper with automatic weapon on Rome street)

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TeacherKen's diary is yet another reminder of the threat to privacy, security and freedom that we all face.  Governments around the world, with the help of multinational corporations, are rapidly eliminating the zone of privacy to which we are all entitled as living, breathing human beings.

Once upon a time, there were jurists like William O. Douglas and legislators like Frank Church who stood as bulwarks against such intrusions in the United States, but authoritarians have largely captured the American federal courts and Democrats in Congress---'nuff said.

So who's going to protect your privacy in the face of this international threat?

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Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 10:11 AM PDT

Harvard Magazine: America Sucks

by ohmproject

Elizabeth Gudrais, an associate editor of Harvard Magazine, writes in this issue of the slickly produced publication for Harvard alums that:

  1. life expectancy is declining for men in more than 50 of America's counties;
  1. America's top 1% receive a larger portion of national income than at any time since 1928;
  1. America's Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, places it in the company of Sri Lanka, Mali and Russia.

Gudrais points out that such a decline in life expenctancy is almost unprecedented except in circumstances of mass epidemic or social and economic collapse like in the former Soviet Union.

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European news sources are picking up confirmation of a long-rumored "back door" in Skype that allows police agencies worldwide to listen in on conversations.  Heise Online and Austrian broadcaster ORF both report sources confirm the existence of the Skype back door after attending a late-June meeting in Austria among interior ministry officials (the state police), ISPs, justice ministry lawyers and regulatory experts.

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cross posted at The Ohm Project (Yes, we're back up thanks to you and Computer Tyme webhosting!)

Yesterday's hearings before Rep. Ed Markey's (D-MA) House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet reminded those concerned about Internet privacy and free speech that there are a number of clear and present dangers coming from  several different sources, both private and public.

At one point, the CEO of NebuAd, a company that wants to get to know you better through "deep packet inspection" of your Internet traffic, objected to one of Chairman Markey's questions, claiming that it was the equivalent of "Have you stopped beating your wife recently?"

Markey countered:

No, no, no, it's 'Have you stopped beating the consumer?' is the question.

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