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View Diary: What Is Different About This Time (370 comments)

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  •  Watergate (4.00)
    I just have a hard time imagining "Nixon" and "blowjob" being used in the same sentence.

    Oops I guess I just did.
    -----------------------------------

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Pynchon

    by HairOnFire on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 04:17:50 PM PST

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    •  love your sig line! (n/t) (none)

      "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" --Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hear that, George??)

      by still small voice on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:19:56 PM PST

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    •   a first and a last time I'm sure. (none)

      -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

      by calebfaux on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 05:22:11 PM PST

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    •  How about "Sally Quinn" (none)
      and "blowjob?" Yeeesh!
    •  Some problems (3.92)
      Armando goes to great pains to demonstrate that he is a "moderate" by

      1. Declaring his support for an earlier U.S. imperial adventure (the restoration of the Kuwaiti Petroleum Plantation to to its proper owners),

      and

      2. Establishing his rabid anti-communist bona fides by regurgitating right-wing talking points disparaging the progressive and democratically elected government of Venezuela.

      Politics makes for strange bed-fellows and, pinko though I be, I am happy to have Armando and everybody else sounding the alarm about the Christian fascist loonies who now have command of the White House.

      But I want to encourage folks here to bring some of the critical sensibilities they have developed around the Bush regime to the larger social and political system that gave rise to it.

      The current fiasco in Iraq is rooted in a larger long-standing bi-partisan commitment to U.S. military domination of Mid-East oil field that has kept an assortment of military dictators, corrupt monarchs and clerical fascists ruling over much of the region for the better part of a century.

      One of the most effective tools used by our corporate rulers to keep us loyal to a system that consistently screws over the majority to the benefit of the super-rich has been anti-communist hysteria. Maintaining that hysteria depends on feeding the American people a highly distorted picture of the (complex) character of socialist governments that have attempted to chart an economic course independent of domination by U.S. based multi-national corporations.

      I've got my beefs with Fidel Castro, but he remains a popular figure in Cuba and across Latin America, perhaps because with considerably fewer resources compared to the U.S., the Cuban people have a lower infant mortality rate, a higher literacy rate and aren't left to drown when it rains. While Chavez is not shy about expressing his admiration for these accomplishments of Castro it should be noted that he has won multiple fair elections and tolerated a hostile corporate media establishment in league with coup plotters who attempted to unseat his democratically elected government. The image of Chavez as a despot just doesn't square with the facts and it is frankly shameful to feed that beast.

      "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

      by Christopher Day on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:23:18 PM PST

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      •  but it is how i feel (2.60)
        i don't hold it against you that you are a dupe for castro - the brutal dictator.

        that is your cross to bear.

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 08:34:08 PM PST

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        •  oh I get it... (4.00)
          If someone says they have a beef with Castro they are ranked as supporters of a brutal dictator. And when the ex-head of the CIA works to secure US military dominance in the mid-east it is brilliant. I suppose you thought bombing Serbia was good politics too.

          Leave that aside, but I do have one question. Why is it important to describe your history before making your point? Is it because you would prefer not to be linked with people like Russ Feingold who opposed the bombing of Serbia and Desert Storm and are proud of that position?

          Regardless of your answer, I am willing to look beyond poor past political judgements of yours, mine and anyone else who is willing to move ahead and help bring down the neocons and their supporters. I read a good diary today about comments made by Paul Roberts as to the state of the US economy. If we are to move forward, people have to realize that someone may have something positive to contribute even if they once supported Reagan (Wesley Clark) or opposed Clinton (Feingold). I don't see the need to point out your past political view before making a point, unless you trying to score points. Are you running for office?

          •  you are incapable of reading (none)
            do you even understand what this diary is about?

            as for your love of communist dictatorships and hatred of america, that is your cross to bear. i am not concerned about it.

            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

            by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:34:31 AM PST

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            •  I can't believe you just said that. (none)

              Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

              by Erik the Red on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 07:42:07 AM PST

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              •  No surprise (none)
                How come I get the feeling that the attacks on me as a Mccarthyite are heartily approved by you?

                see, this hypocritical sanctimony gets no respect from me.

                Take it somewhere else.

                The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:31:06 AM PST

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                •  Wow (none)
                  "How come I get the feeling that the attacks on me as a Mccarthyite are heartily approved by you?"

                  Actually, they're not, but you're not saying much to help refute them.

                  as for your love of communist dictatorships and hatred of america, that is your cross to bear. i am not concerned about it.

                  Does that statement remind you of anyone?

                  Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

                  by Erik the Red on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:40:38 AM PST

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          •  he describes his positions... (none)
            ...because it situates his opinions and paints a clearer picture of where he's coming from. Specifically, that its different from where I'm coming from. That makes his post more illustrative (to me) of the broader point he's trying to make -- that this rage crosses a broad ideological range. That's significant, and a fundamental part of his thesis, from my reading.

            undercaffeinated

            by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:39:36 AM PST

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        •  a big old 4 for Armando here (4.00)
          One of the things that irritates me about being in a leftwing community is the inane support of communist dictatorships that I see percolating up from time to time.

          I mean, holy shit.  Communist dictatorships are BAD.  

          I know several people in Minnesota who are descended from "Red Finns", the Finnish socialists who came here after the Finnish civil war and settled in certain areas (ever wonder why the Iron Range is so consistently Democratic?).  There are cemeteries in northern Minnesota where you can see the hammer-and-sickle on the gravestones.  They were that into it.

          Many of these Red Finns, including a lot of young people who were born in America, went back to Stalinist Russia to support the "workers' paradise" in Karelia.  The vast majority of them were massacred in the purges.  A few came back to tell their stories.  Nobody back home wanted to listen.  They still had this grand ideal about how communism was so wonderful.  They didn't want to hear any nasty stories about Stalin the brutal dictator.

          Let's not be those people.

          Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

          by hrh on Sun Feb 12, 2006 at 10:04:03 PM PST

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          •  He deserves more like a 1 (none)
            Armando is very biased and his views on some things are really crap.  Castro is understandable, but extending that to Chavez is bizarre.  As I recall, Armando also dislikes Argentina because they went against the economic consensus (which had failed) and defaulted on their debts.  It's clear to me that the real issue is that Armando is pro-globalization and unrestricted free trade (even though it's been shown not to work) that is really why he "distrusts" Chavez and other leftist leaders.  

            In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

            by Asak on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 01:50:06 AM PST

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            •  Since (none)
              you simply lie about what i write and believe, i give you the 1.

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:35:18 AM PST

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            •  deserves a 1...? (none)
              ...because he is "biased" (uh, news flash...we ALL are), and "his views on some things are really crap"?

              In case you didn't know the rules around here:

              Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate

              Thats from the FAQ.

              I'm really tired of this BS contact sport of recreationally attacking Armando every chance one gets. You dont get along with him? Move on, and dont subject the rest of us to it, please. Treat him like we tell right-wingers to treat every other thing on the web/television/video game they find offensive. Move on, and leave it (him) to those of us who appreciate his contribution. Is that really too much to ask?

              undercaffeinated

              by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:36:21 AM PST

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          •  Communism (none)
            One-party police states in general ARE bad. But if that is the extent of your analysis then you are missing a whole lot. Because of the depth of anti-communist propaganda in the U.S. we tend to sloppily confound right-wing and left-wing authoritarian regimes in ways that do damage to important historical differences.

            Authoritarian governments that have their roots in genuine popular revolutions have a decidely different character than those brought to power by military coups or the like. These are frequently reflected in their social policies.

            Several years ago China, for example, had a per capita income 1/10 that of Brazil, but a much much higher rate of literacy and much much lower rate of infant mortality. Those are two very important indicators of the social condition of poor people. I would argue that this difference is a product of the fact that China underwent a Communist-led revolution.

            I think that competitive elections and guarantees of basic democratic rights like free expression are impotrtant. But I also understand that they are not the only measure of the goodness or badness of a government. A formal multi-party democracy can mask an effective class dictatorship of capitalists and land-ownwers while a one-party state can be genuinely popular and be carrying out policies that really reflect the aspirations of the (poor) majority.

            This was particularly so in parts of the Third World where the ruling party was forged in the course of a struggle against colonialism or neo-colonialism. In those circumstances the one-party character of the state is a reflection of the original need for national unity in the face of an occupying foreign power or powers or a puppet dicator (like Batista). In China, Vietnam and Cuba, Communists led national liberation movements that produced a high degree of national unity once they came to power. The failure to establish spaces for oppositional voices must be criticized, but its also critical to understand that this occurred in the face of very real military threats from foreign powers (the U.S.) with a demonstrated willingness to intervene directly.

            We all know well the willingness of people in the U.S. to give up their civil liberties on the strength of the largely imaginary threat from Osama Bin Hiding. Imagine then, if you can, when the threat of foreign military intervention is muc much more REAL and you will get some idea of why Cuba is the way that it is.

            I think there are huge problems with the Cuban government. But I also recognize Castro as a hero who stood up to U.S. corporate power and said that the wealth of Cuba should be used to raise up the living standards of Cuba's poor majority. The successes of the Cuban Revolution in this regard are amazing if one considers the full consequences of the embargo and the constant threat of covert and overt U.S. intervention.

            We should also understand that it is the effective (bi-partisan) foreign policy of the U.S towards governments that defy systematic looting by U.S. corporations to inflict on them conditions that will undermine any positive example they may represent to other countries. Chomsky made this point in explaining the willingness of the U.S. to waste billions of dollars killing millions of Vietnamese peasants when the immediate profitable interests of the U.S. in Vietnam were comparatively slight. The logic is that the poorer and smaller a country is that stands up to the U.S. the more crucial it is to punish them so that  other countries not be emboldened by their example. One way to achieve this is to threaten them in ways that drive their government towards increasingly repressive measures against percieved "fifth columns." The Bay of Pigs and repeated CIA attempts to assassinate Castro undoubtedly had something to do with making Cuba a less open society than it looked like it might become earlier on in the revolution.

            "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

            by Christopher Day on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 05:56:33 AM PST

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            •  Sheesh (none)
              Blame America First.

              Castro is a brutal dictator because of the Bay of Pigs?

              Apologists for brutal dictatorships of the Left are jus as abhorrent to me as apologists for brutal dictatorships of the Right.

              You want to argue the relative merits of Hitler vs. Stalin next?

              Here's the bottom line for me, they both, Left and right dictatorships, are abhorrent.

              Is that so hard for you to say?  

              The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

              by Armando on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:26:55 AM PST

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              •  I prefer to place my blame... (none)
                ...on a big wheel, so that whoever seems to get blamed "first" just depends on what part of the wheel the argument is taking place on.

                Unfortunately, in a place like this, where the eye-of-scrutiny is placed so often squarely on our own government, it can read as a little unbalanced. I posted a diary about Chechnya a few weeks back and the US was way down the list of blame, I swear.

                Of course, it got about 1 comment...this aint really an international sort of blog. I should have posted at Welshman's place.

                undercaffeinated

                by odum on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 06:47:30 AM PST

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            •  bullshit (none)
              Authoritarian governments that have their roots in genuine popular revolutions have a decidely different character than those brought to power by military coups or the like.

              Absolute bullshit.

              You've been fed too much propaganda.

              Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

              by hrh on Mon Feb 13, 2006 at 08:10:41 AM PST

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