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View Diary: NSA's patriotic war on t-shirt parody (133 comments)

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  •  That's too bad but it's irrelevant. (1+ / 0-)
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    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      it's exactly on point. yes, the guy's first amendment rights should be protected, even by those of us who disagree with him. but the tee-shirt is a bullshit framing, and buying one is rewarding a right wing loon.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 08:19:24 PM PST

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      •  Oh, well, I don't want to buy one from him. (0+ / 0-)

        I take your word for it that he's a right wing loon and it doesn't change the fact that "the only time the government listens" isn't all that right wing when judged by itself, and labeling it as "framing" somewhat distorts matters.

      •  And yet (0+ / 0-)

        its pretty funny, even if their motivations are off target.

        It's just funny and ironic, LL.

        And it has truth. You must be doing very well financially to not see the humor, because for some of us, there isn't a whole lot of listening going on from the elites who control government. They throw just enough crumbs to prevent a massive revolt, and no more.

        Meanwhile, the drones continue and the war crimes are becoming a way of life for government.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:43:23 PM PST

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        •  it's a lie (0+ / 0-)

          and it promotes the hatred of government that undermines progressivism. it has nothing to do with wars and drones, and everything to do with the grover norquist less government agenda.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:26:09 PM PST

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          •  It more true than a lie (0+ / 0-)

            Government, as it has come to be in our times, has become unresponsive to the needs of the people.

            It is dominated by the wealthy class, which manipulates the electoral process to its own ends.

            The word "progressivism" was used long before you were born by people like Emma Goldman, who self-identified with the progressive cause, and she had little respect for the state. You don't own the word, nor do you define its goals.

            And the individuals here, who think the tea-shirt to be humorous, are certainly not at all like Norquist. If anything is a lie, it is your attempt to associate people here with the right wing.

            Lighten up.  Let people laugh a little. You can't possibly control their laughter from your little perch, even if you try.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:34:03 PM PST

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            •  tell that (0+ / 0-)

              to any minority who has their employment, housing, or physical well-being protected by non-discrimination laws. tell that to anyone on medicare. tell that to anyone on food stamps. tell that to anyone whose kids go to public schools. tell that to anyone who lives or works near a superfund site, or who cares for the protection of natural spaces, or who breathes the air or drinks water. tell that to union employees.

              no, it's not funny to equate the nsa type abuses with broad based failure of government. such hatred of government is exactly what undermines the efforts to check bigotry and corporate abuses. at best, it's cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face puerility. at worst, it's feeding the koch brothers narrative. the joke is on anyone laughing at such tripe.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:44:58 PM PST

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              •  Oh my... you really don't get it (0+ / 0-)

                You want to thank those who gave minorities, the poor, women, the working class, every paltry benefit they have ever received from "government"?

                Then thank the people, the activists, the anarchists, the communists and socialists, the agitators and strikers, the labor protestors. Without them, and all they died for at the hands of government violence, we would not have the minimal, inadequate rights we have won from government.

                It was government that made the pro-slavery laws to begin with.

                It was government that stood in the way of equality for years. It was government that wrote the 3/5ths law into the US constitution, which, as a law, was very difficult to overturn.

                It was government that took the lands of free people in the New World, and practiced genocide. It was government which took one third of Mexico for itself by force, and now during Obama's term deports more Mexicans from their own lands than any other administration, while liberals like you pat themselves on the back for government protection of minorities. My god.

                It was government that refused women and minorities, and white men without property, the right to vote, so that in the first election of G. Washington, only 6% (the wealthier Americans) voted.

                It was government that provided enforcement of property "rights" of the owning class over other men during the slavery years.

                It was government which allowed and provided police to violently and murderously suppress worker's strikes to oppress the working class. It was government that tried to break up the unions, and has largely succeeded.

                It was government which has lied the nation into countless illegal wars.

                It was government that took us illegally into Iraq, and Vietnam, the Indian wars, the colonization of other lands.

                It was government that supported fascists regimes, while undermining democratic, socialist states.

                It is government that does nothing about climate change, the hegemony of the banking industry, the enabling of the disparities in wealth between the rich and the rest of us.

                It is government that incarcerates more citizens in the US than any other industrialized country. It is government that sanctions legal murder in capital punishment.

                It was government which has drug its feet for years on environmental protection and still does, bringing human kind to possible extinction in the next 100 years due to inaction.

                And that same government which now ignores international agreements against various war crimes made by a federation of nations to which it is a signatory.

                It isn't government that gave people their rights, it was the threat of revolt, of direct action, of losing support of the people, that forced a perpetually reluctant government to give in and respect rights.

                People are not given rights, but rather have their natural inherent right to live taken away by governments, and when some of these rights are returned, we thank government for the "gift" as if we need government to grant to us what was already ours.

                The only reason we got the "New Deal" is because Roosevelt and the existing plutocrats were worried about the unrest in the population during the great depression. The smarter ones like FDR realized a bone or two had to be given to the workers to keep the peace.

                For fucks sake, women still do not get equal pay in the work place, thanks to government top-down intransigence and imperviousness and inaccessibility to common people. And Blacks are still by far the least employed.

                Your deluded notion it is the central state which provides rights to the people ignores the years of struggle against government to repeal the horrible laws which have allowed all the atrocities to begin with.

                All of these same social rights and benefits can be provided by the people to themselves by free association, with agreements, and bottom up federations participatory communities. It is the people, not some separate, top down, central authority, who demand and fight  for economic and political equality. If not for the enormous struggle, these rights would not exist, if left to the elites in control of government.

                This was done in Spain during the anarchist revolution, and we are yet to provide all that the Spanish provided to their own communities during that period. In the '30s they built hundreds of free public schools, provided universal health care, pensions for all retirees, retirement at age 50, better safety in the workplace, healthier environments for food preparation, more respect for woman's rights, etc.

                In short, they gave themselves egalitarian equality on a scale that the US government has yet to come anything close to recognizing.

                It is never central government that does these things, but the people. When government gives respect to the people, it is only due to preserving the interests of its own existence that it does so.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:43:41 PM PST

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                •  wow just wow (0+ / 0-)

                  talk to any minority rights organizations or environmental organizations or labor unions or elderly associations and ask them whether they appreciate having a functioning government. would they like improvements- of course they would. but ask them if they'd like to go back a hundred years to when government didn't do anything at all for them.

                  the extreme right and the extreme left have always found common ground. and accomplished nothing.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 11:55:21 PM PST

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                  •  REad up on the struggles of the late 19th (0+ / 0-)

                    and early 20th centuries. Read Zinn. Read Emma Goldman.

                    You can take quotes of Emma Goldman, and her writings of the struggles against oppression, and it reads just like writings from the left today. The things these early activists protested agianst are still ongoing.

                    Basically, you just served up a logical fallacy, argumentum ad populum, by referring me to popular opinion of the center left elites.

                    Try talking to a homeless person, or one who is nearly homeless. Yes, our wonderful government creates a homeless class of people, and treats them with brutality to boot.

                    And extreme? Just look at our behavior with our foreign policy and drone bombings, and associated war crimes, the poverty, the prisons, the incarceration rates, the lack of health care (still), the torture, the excusing of torture (itself a war crime) and I'll show you extreme.

                    The United States is extreme. You don't know it, but you're the extremist.

                    And no, the real left has nothing in common with the right. You, as a capitalist (or social democrat, or various other pseudonyms for capitalist exploitation) have far more in common with your capitalist brethren on the extreme right. You both support wage slavery, private ownership of production, rents, interest, appropriation of surplus profit for the owning class. You're both in support of unequal power relationships. That, Lewis, is extreme in my world.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:11:22 AM PST

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                    •  wow (0+ / 0-)

                      you have the dogma down. been hearing it for decades. as i said, from your obvious position of privilege, ignore the good that government has done and is doing for countless millions. it's a work in progress. we've come far from emma goldman's time. we have far to go. by making government better. those who would tear it down do the work of the corporatists. call yourself whatever you like. you help no one.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 01:35:49 AM PST

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                      •  You're once again raising a straw man (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LaEscapee, JesseCW, ek hornbeck, TheMomCat

                        as is your bent, it seems.

                        Once again, I will repeat that I don't ignore the good policies, I'm stating that they would not exist if not for the social struggle of the working class.

                        You (speaking of unthinking adherence to dogma) conflate a need for central government, the State, with having economic equality and civil rights, as if without a top down, central authority, these rights would not exist, which is completely false. There are better ways to organize in order to achieve recognition of freedoms and rights to individuals. You think the State gets the credit for these achievements, when it is precisely the state that has opposed these rights from the beginning. Look at the history. The State, in all its various historical manifestations, has been moved, kicking and screaming, by the working class to recognize rights. And we're all (most Americans) still struggling to have a decent life free of bankruptcy, debt slavery (mortgages, credit card debt, student loan debt), inadequate housing, poor living environments, inadequate pay, inadequate or nonexistent pensions, lack of or inadequate paid vacations, lack of or unaffordable health care (no, ACA hasn't resolved this). The list goes on and on. (By the way, while you say I'm privileged, I am currently experiencing all of these listed difficulties. I certainly am NOT class privileged, economic class being something which you liberal capitalists seem to forget when tossing around the "privileged" epithet.)

                        The capitalist State keeps us in bondage, in perpetual  struggle in pathetic attempts to secure socioeconomic equality, exhausting us with the need for constant electoral battle, just to keep from going backwards. And things are indeed going backwards. Look at the stagnant wages, which peaked in the seventies, and are on a downward trajectory. Wake up, Lawrence.

                        And another false assumption you make is that we would tear down the state, without any form of organization to replace it. I have answered this before, so at this juncture I can only assume you're being deliberately obtuse. The state is replaced with participatory communities based on direct democracy, and these communities form networks (federations) which create agreements. These would exist on local, regional, national and international scale. Hierarchy would be eliminated, and would be replaced by this bottom-up, horizontal organizational structure, and through these structures, the needs of individuals would be provided, truly by and for the people. Without hierarchy, women and minorities and the working classes would not have to worry about equal pay, and would have direct access to participate in self management of the community for the first time. Poverty would be eliminated. The communities and federations could provide health care to all (as was done in Spain). The needs of the elderly would be provided for. This would be a working class self-managed society. All of the interests of the working class could thus be addressed, such as better pay, better working conditions, shorter workdays (5 hour workday) longer paid vacations, access to free education including upper graduate levels if desired. Debt could be completely eliminated.  Middle men, insurance agents, brokerage firms would be eliminated.

                        Thus, it isn't the state that confers rights from on high, but the people who demand and struggle for them, with the state being forced to concede ground. Liberals think the state IS the people, which is hogwash. Look at the income levels of congress, the executive branch, the cabinet members on These persons do not represent the people. These truly are class privileged persons. The State may allege to represent the people, but that is a farce. The state always gravitates inexorably to serve the elite classes, while staging the theater in the absurd that the people are being served.

                        The situation we have today is like a festering illness in a sick body that is being not cured, but merely controlled using suppressive methods. It is like an auto-immune disease suppressed by steroids, keeping the patient alive but never well. You claim I'm supporting the corporations, but in fact, you are keeping the entire charade going by supporting the system, which never actually eliminates the disease, because the system itself is the disease.

                        Remove the cause of the illness first, then we can heal the patient. You want to keep feeding the cancer, while pathetically presuming to be controlling it, not realizing that your entire approach is dooming us to endless misery, threatening the very survival of biological life on the planet, while arrogantly pissing all over anyone who proposes an alternate path.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:53:03 AM PST

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                  •  And I didn't say (0+ / 0-)

                    we should go back one hundred years, as if that were preferable. Strawman, and a big hole in your understanding of my view.

                    I'm saying we struggled over all these years to get our natural, innate rights to live freely and equally returned to us. Central state authority takes these rights away, then gives a few back in some pale version, and we are thus expected to thank the government for being so magnanimous.

                    What is essentially going on is the population is so acculturated to serving authority, be it that of Kings and Monarchs, feudal Lords, or Prime Ministers, Presidents, and their capitalist masters, that we can't envision a society without these authoritarian behaviors. We have been serving some form of lord, in one shape or another, for so many centuries, we think we owe allegiance to the central state for our very rights as free people. We all have become authoritarian personalities (either in dominating others, or in being subservient to others).

                    We don't need the Lords. We never did.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:32:07 AM PST

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                    •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

                      because without government, minorities, the vulnerable, and the environment would be in so much better shape. because the elected governments you call lords ignored the needs for civil rights, voting rights, labor rights, consumer and environmental protections, and other abuses by the real lords- the lords of capital- whom the anarchists would so graciously serve.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 01:39:20 AM PST

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                      •  See post above n/t (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JesseCW, ek hornbeck, TheMomCat

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:53:41 AM PST

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                      •  Reading you in this thread is like (11+ / 0-)

                        reading some Teabagger trying to describe what Socialism is and why it's teh big ebil.

                        You think Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn are "graciously serving" the lords of capital?  Have you ever even cracked the cover of Homage to Catalonia?

                        Utah Phillips, Randroid for the ages?


                        Your class has half the power.  You have half the money.  You own half the property.  You own 30% of the financial instruments.  

                        You're the one doing this to us, just as much as the Koch brothers.  You collectively have as much power, and are reaping as much benefit, as they are.  All the while, you sob fat wet tears over each oyster and bemoan the necessary "compromise" that you've had to make in cracking their shells.

                        The rest of the top 10% = The one 1%.

                        When you try to tell us what is good for the poor, you do so with exactly the same lack of authority and grotesque presumption of personal importance you'd be showing if you tried to opine about what is good for  African Americans.

                        You wouldn't do that, but you think you can speak for us?  Shit, dude, you don't even socialize with poor and working people as equals with any frequency.  You don't even know us.

                        You are not us.  You cannot speak for us.  When you try, you drown us out.  Given your native intelligence - which I do not disparage - it's very hard to believe you're not aware that you're drowning us out.

                        The Far Left you condemn is responsible for every positive change in the history of this country.  Every gain we've ever made was reviled as "too radical" by those of your class until long after we achieved it, at which point you started trying to take credit.

                        What the State does is protect you and yours from the poor.  I can see why you'd be terrified of a world without it.

                         The lords of capital OWN those politicians who keep allowing them to boil the planet.  The lords of capital don't give two shits about who's an ethnic minority, but they sure are happy to exploit those fault lines to keep wages down for everyone.  Right now, they're doing that quite effectively.

                        If your unearned privilege isn't just the result of a skin color you can't control....but rather a result of your very disproportionate unearned economic and political power and how you've decided to use them...

                        well, then you'd have to confront your personal responsibilities head on, instead of just basking in a bit of useless upper middle class white guilt and writing a few small checks.

                        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                        by JesseCW on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:20:08 AM PST

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