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(cross posted from the frontpage of My Left Wing)


It occurs to me that not everyone here has had the advantage of having lived through the 60s.  Those of us who have can tell you a few things about those times and what they tell us about our present circumstances.  This is not offered in the spirit of "only old people can know anything worthwhile."  It is offered humbly and in the spirit that our recent past lends valuable perspective to the present.  As an example of what I mean, those who remember Vietnam and who managed to assimilate a few of the rich lessons that experience had to teach us, saw Iraq coming like a bad dream (this excludes people like Kissinger who had it wrong then and has it wrong still).  If there had been greater Vietnam-consciousness in the military and in congress we might well have avoided the tragedy of the present quagmire in Iraq.

But this is about the Culture Wars, not those other two.  And don’t accuse me of ‘framing’ it as war, it was framed as a war by the right-wingers who declared it on us long ago.

(more below the fold...)

I started this topic thinking of it as the Culture War but quickly realized there have been many separate instances of what is essentially the same phenomenon.  So culture wars it is.  Many of these culture wars overlapped in time and so are not chronologically distinct.

The Rock ‘n Roll War

As far as my consciousness of the culture wars, I’d say it goes back to the 50s.  I was only 6 or so but I remember vividly the ruckus created by the arrival of Elvis Presley on the American scene.


That was my first inkling that there was a conflict within our culture.

Elvis descended on American culture like a cataclysm.  The impact scar was a deep-running schism between those who feared and hated him for the loosening of social strictures he represented, and those who thought, "I don’t know, what’s so wrong, let the boy wiggle when he sings."  

Now this schism is a complicated thing, and I don’t mean to oversimplify it except for the purposes of discussion.  What explains this natural schism between reaction against change and acceptance of it or openness to it is somewhat mysterious.  It could be as simple as right-brain/left-brain dominance, or it might be purely cultural maybe going all the way back to the Puritans.  The one thing that can be said with certainty is that such a natural schism exists and is, at least in part, what separates conservatives from liberals, or reactionaries from progressives if you prefer.  In 1950s Alabama, everyone had an opinion on Elvis.  You were ok with him (maybe even liked him a little), or you hated him and declared that he would be the end of civilization.

Thank God we got the criminals, and America got the Puritans!

~ Australian folk saying

The Civil Rights War

Of course, unbeknownst to me, there were all sorts of conflicts going on in our culture.  The civil rights movement was brewing with all the bitter conflict inherent in that.


There were conflicts between the defenders of the status quo and social reformers, Labor and Capitol, civil libertarians and the law and order crowd, the peaceniks and the warmongers, the beatniks and the bankers.  There was plenty of conflict to go around.

The Civil Rights Movement wasn’t only about the rights of black people; it was about the rights of all people.  If justice could be denied to one, it could be denied to many.


The Civil Rights Movement made strides toward ending the racial divide in America but was largely held in check by violence and social and economic oppression.  The power elite gave just enough to take some of the wind out of the sails of the movement, and then finished it off with the murder of Dr. King.


The War for the Soul of America

World War II brought something new and sinister to America, the prospect of war as business and armaments as industry.  The notion that there were profits to be derived from war was nothing new, but the industrialization of war as big business was (if not entirely).  Because of the necessities of WWII America now had a vast industrial power house dedicated to the manufacture of the tools of war: planes, tanks, bombs, cannons, guns, bullets, and etcetera.  All that industrial capability could rake in some massive profits if only we could sell the rest of the world enough of the implements of war.

There were important voices warning against this new threat to America called the military-industrial complex.


Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.  

~ former President and military leader, Dwight D. Eisenhower (emphasis added)

Please don’t gloss over this Eisenhower quote.  This is a very important piece of history that has a profound bearing on where we are today.  That we failed to heed Eisenhower’s warning is a pity beyond measure.  


It is now our job, and a considerable challenge it will be, to reverse this tragic mistake of history.  We can no longer allow greed to drive humanity – for it has driven it into a ditch.  We must end the arms trade and turn the resources, genius, and capitol of the military-industrial complex to peaceful purposes.  Don’t scoff.  People have done the seemingly impossible before, and we will do it again.  This is both a moral and a practical imperative.  As things are, the center cannot hold.

All of the energy, treasure, and sweat that has been devoted to the mass production of the lethal implements of war need to be redirected to solving our very real problems such as:

  • Global warming
  • Alternative energy
  • Food distribution
  • Disease prevention
  • Fresh water distribution
  • Crumbling infrastructure
  • And so on

We need to be building desalination plants, schools and hospitals - NOT bombs.

As it is we come very close to outspending every other nation combined on weaponry and the military.


The rhetoric is always, "We have to defend ourselves from the evil warmongers of the world."  Well, guess what?  We are the evil warmongers of the world.  The rest of the world needs to worry about us.


Just because they have won this war up till now is no reason to concede.  We must win back America’s soul and put the nation on a righteous path, one that we can all be proud of, and one that will serve the world and all of humanity, and serve them well.

The Hair Rebellion

Just about the time the Civil Rights Movement was peaking, here came the Beatles to America.  It seems funny now that these clean-cut lads would cause such an uproar, but boy howdy did they ever!


People freaked out about their hair, though in pictures now they look well sheared.  As the objections grew so did the Beatles’ hair.  It was a thing of beauty.  


Of course now every other kid in America wanted to grow their hair out too.  As the Beatles grew theirs longer, we followed suit.  This was a travesty to the mainstream, and many of us kids were mocked, beaten, thrown out of school or kicked out of our homes for the choice.

For a period of several years it was all about hair.  You could tell almost any kid’s politics by the length of their hair.


By the mid-1970s long hair worn by much of the American youth evoked little comment and indeed was considered fashionable. But during much of the previous two decades male hair length was a contentious issue that divided the generations. The struggle over hair in many ways epitomized the sixties generation’s challenge to authority and their claim to individual rights. During the era, the meaning of long hair changed dramatically from what it was during the fifties. It began as a symbol of youth culture rebellion linked to music. By the latter part of the sixties, however, it became associated with a political and social critique of American society. Master’s Thesis in History


Almost Cut My Hair

Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It's gettin' kind of long
I could've said it was in my way

But I didn't and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It's gettin' kind of long
I could've said it was in my way

But I didn't and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
And I feel like I owe it, ... to someone

Must be because I had the flu for Christmas
And I'm not feeling up to par
It increases my paranoia
Like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car

Well I'm not giving in an inch to fear
çause I've promised myself this year
I feel like I owe it, ... to someone

When I finally get myself together
I'm gonna get down in that sunny southern weather

And I'm goin' to find a space inside to laugh,
Separate the wheat from the chaff
I feel ...
Like I owe it, ... to someone, yeah

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

It may seem silly now, but our hair was our protest.  As such, it took on great significance at the time.  It was an in-your-face statement to the establishment that we weren’t buying their crap anymore.  

The Anti-War War

At some point in the mid-60s, we as a culture began to wake up to the fact that we were losing a lot of young American lives in an obscure little country halfway around the world called Vietnam.  We still had a free press then (more or less) and they reported dutifully.  The entire nation followed the daily body counts on the evening news, and the war became a major focus of the youth rebellion.  Our peers were getting slaughtered and it made no sense at all.  It eventually began to dawn on us that companies like Dupont and Bank of America were reaping huge profits from the war, and that was why America was sacrificing its youth.  



I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag

Yeah, come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Well, come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds -
The only good commie is the one who's dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to Kingdom Come.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.


Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is War-a-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

Well, come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Send 'em off before it's too late.
Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

And it's one, two, three
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam.
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

~ Country Joe McDonald and the Fish

The Vietnam War protests became a battleground for the war between the rebellious youth and the establishment who profited from the war.  The establishment left us no doubts that they were prepared to slaughter us on the streets of America to hang on to their precious little war.


For a good long while following the war in Vietnam, our nation avoided war.  We had learned some painful lessons about messin’ in the affairs of others.  Sadly, we failed to retain the wisdom over time and slowly began to forget what we had paid so dearly to learn, thus setting the stage for Iraq.  If we had remembered Vietnam, Iraq would never have happened.

One lesson we should remember about both Vietnam and Iraq is that a certain segment of our society reaps great profits from war and has no compunction about having their money come to them soaked in the blood of innocents and patriots.  They’ll happily kill your children and mine for the base motive of short-term profit.

The Drug War

This war has wrought infinitely more death and human suffering than drugs themselves ever could.  Because of the hype, hysteria, and misinformation we are subjected to on the subject, many of us don’t realize that the majority of the harm caused by drugs is actually the direct result of our draconian drug laws, aggressive and violent enforcement of those laws, and the criminality imposed by prohibition.  


We need to bring all of this drug hysteria to an end.  Prohibition does not work.  The fact is that people have always used drugs and they always will.  But the point here is that this misbegotten war causes terrible and heart-breaking damage to our society, and to innocents, children, and others who would do us no harm.

And God help anyone who is caught up in the Drug War or for any other reason goes to prison in this country.  For decades prison populations have been rising dramatically while prison conditions have been deteriorating just as dramatically.  Prison reformers once imagined that as time went by, conditions would improve because awareness would naturally increase and Americans would act on their consciences.  They were wrong.


The Bullshit War

Every day of our lives we are ruthlessly exploited, manipulated, conned, and lied to.  And all the time there is a steady drumbeat from the MSM that everything is mostly alright, there’s nothing seriously amiss here, just calmly do what you’re told and everything will be alright.  You can believe that if you want to – but I don’t advise it.


We live in a world of unrelenting, and overwhelming propaganda.  We are constantly lied to through every imaginable media.  We are fed a sugarcoated version of reality designed by expert propagandists to keep us acquiescent of the status quo.  "Everything’s cool baby, just go along to get along, don't rock the boat!" is constantly whispered into our collective ear.  When you buy into that bullshit, they have you right where they want you.


The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.

~ William Colby, former CIA director

as quoted by Dave McGowan in his book Derailing Democracy

This is a former director of the CIA telling us that the CIA owns the media.  We should all be paying rapt attention.  In a fit on conscience in his old age, Colby told many such tales out of school - which may be why he was discovered one day quite mysteriously dead.

The extent to which you believe what you’re told, or even allow it to register without rigorous questioning is the extent to which you are sadly misinformed.  This concerted campaign of disinformation is so pervasive in our culture that it can’t help but affect us all, disorienting individuals and distorting every issue to the point that knowing the truth in modern day America is nothing less than a Herculean task - and yet knowing the truth, as elusive as it may be, is our solemn duty as citizens.


The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

~ Gloria Steinem

The War of All Wars – the Class War

This is the war that underlies all the others.  This is the real divide in America, the only one that really counts.  All the other culture wars have been largely a matter of the power elite exploiting social divisions to keep us at each other’s throats, so that we wouldn’t turn on them – the old divide and conquer strategy.  It’s worked pretty well too up to this point.  They have used race, generational tension, culture, religion, bias, bigotry, drug hysteria, nationalism, homophobia, and gender inequality to keep us riled up and fighting amongst ourselves.

The ruling class, or power elite, are comprised of the rich and powerful in America.  They are, directly or indirectly, heavily invested in the military-industrial complex and therefore the arms trade and war.  


These are the corporate masters of America.  They are also heavily invested in our government.  They have raised the stakes and the ante in our political system to the point that most of us are effectively excluded from the game.  They pay for it and they own it.  They are blinded by their greed and amorality and therefore represent a clear and present danger to the rest of us.


These rich and powerful players are the heart of the rightwing, though a relatively small portion of it.  The rest are their dupes who subscribe to the wingnut philosophy because:

  • They hate one race or another
  • They are eaten up with homophobia
  • They believe in American exceptionalism and brook no criticism of the USA
  • They think war is patriotic
  • They hate people of other religions
  • They fear change
  • They some day hope to be gazillionaires and so want to be in with the right crowd
  • Or any number of other bogus reasons

The real power elite manipulate these fools like puppets.  Prayer in school, homosexual marriage, flag burning amendments, born again Presidents, and on and on goes the list of their manipulative devices.  They easily fool these folks into voting wholeheartedly against their own economic interests.  And they pit their dupes against the rest of us to keep us all from presenting a united front to them and thereby challenging their rule.

One of their favorite tactics is attempting to hang their sins on their opponents as a way of deflecting the criticism they know they deserve.  That’s why you hear repubs accusing Democrats of class warfare.  They’re trying to smear us with their own agenda to confuse the issue.  "It’s not us, it’s you," they’re saying.  All the while they are actively plotting to destroy the middle class and reduce us all to a condition of abject servitude.  

They have been gleefully practicing class warfare against the lower classes (which includes everyone who is not a certified multi-millionaire at the very least) for most all of my life.

In the 60s one adult could support a household.  Living was relatively inexpensive, cars and houses were inexpensive, college was cheap, even people with mediocre jobs often worked a couple of years then took a year off to travel.  A lot of the things we now pay for were then free.

Today, even if you have a good job, chances are you live paycheck-to-paycheck, and that more than one adult in the household works fulltime just to make ends meet.  The cost of college has skyrocketed into the stratosphere, and nothing is free.  Fifty million Americans are without any form of health insurance.  Many have been victimized by the export of American jobs, just ask any computer programmer, and the list of exported professions is growing at an alarming rate.  What manufacturing jobs we still have are on their way to China, high-tech jobs to India, and those of us not filthy rich are in the process of being reduced to peasants – and peasantry pays poorly, even in America.

In Summation

Are we all going to wake up one day in our hovels or on the street with no job or income or hope and think to ourselves, "Hey, I guess that was a war"?

What is it going to take to get people to realize that small incremental change is never going to make a real difference?  It is massive, fundamental change that is called for and that is the only change that can help at this point.  As it stands, we are the world’s leading warmongers, war profiteers, and purveyors of the implements of mass murder.  This is not something in which we can take pride, and it’s not something which we can sustain.

And because of the blinding greed of those we have allowed to take charge of our country, we are failing to act on the issue of global warming.  This is the height of folly and irresponsibility.  


When are we all going to stand and say ENOUGH?

But don’t worry, I’m not pissed off or anything...


Post Script

So what do I expect you to make of this diary?  It’s intended as a history lesson in the form of a brief overview, history admittedly as filtered through my personal experience, analysis and interpretation.  I hope it will help someone to focus more clearly on our present circumstances, as we are in desperate need of solutions.  If we don’t even realize we’re in a war, we’re going to keep getting our asses kicked again and again, just as we’ve been doing for lo these many years.  If you still don’t believe this is a war, just ask those who were with Dr. King the day he was shot, or someone who was beaten, gassed and jailed in Chicago in 1968, or the girl in the photograph at Kent State.  

Originally posted to One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:14 AM PST.

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  •  Tips for all the beaten and battered warriors... (397+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, Angie in WA State, zzyzx, Alfred E Newman, chrississippi, Terri, coral, i dunno, RedMeatDem, miriam, bizutti, Radiowalla, LouisMartin, tundraman, melo, jah4168, roonie, GOTV, glitterscale, KingOneEye, dbratl, TaraIst, tiggers thotful spot, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, tnichlsn, cybrcamper, Robespierrette, Sprinkles, Disillusioned, Emerson, Debby, jazzizbest, Lipstick Liberal, cotterperson, genethefiend, Charles CurtisStanley, gaff98, Stein, rhubarb, cookiesandmilk, GayHillbilly, strandedlad, varro, caliberal, SallyCat, object16, Norwegian Chef, grndrush, mataliandy, bostonjay, Caneel, HighSticking, madhaus, RubDMC, newshound, km4, opinionated, bronte17, RandOR, rktect, elveta, Doc Allen, groggy, megs, rhp, srkp23, Liz P, als10, roses, hrh, CanisMaximus, slatsg, LondonYank, cognitive dissonance, fumie, Jesterfox, rioduran, petewsh61, celticshel, wader, Janet Strange, Ludi, jackmac, normal family, psnyder, Dallasdoc, Winnie, lucid, commonscribe, cometman, waf8868, niteskolar, GN1927, Catte Nappe, The Angry Buddhist, RebeccaG, Bluebirder, migo, barbwires, cevad, walkshills, Bluefish, zerelda, chewbacca, side pocket, Man Eegee, Deward Hastings, jcrit, TexasLefty, homogenius, realalaskan, AaronBa, tipsymcstagger, xxdr zombiexx, pat208, iliketodrum, BDA in VA, greeseyparrot, TexH, Gowrie Gal, gretel, supersoling, musikman, sxwarren, skippythebox, rapala, drofx, angrybird, Fabian, chumley, lavaughn, tribalecho, historys mysteries, Bluesee, marina, escapee, Doolittle Sothere, kingubu, Ckntfld, el dorado gal, Nadnerb in NC, blueyedace2, deepfish, lale, rlteiken, SherwoodB, relentless, astor column, zaraspooksthra, Halcyon, irate, PBen, Paul Goodman, corvo, ejmw, claytonben, Luetta, ex99125b, clammyc, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, karpinsky, ChemBob, kaye, juliesie, Ajax the Greater, Brooke In Seattle, kamarkamarka, techiechick, david78209, Turkana, Lepanto, cheeselord, boofdah, dansk47, olivia, civil society, Pam from Calif, Karmafish, jimreyn, thered1, cassidy3, annefrank, lotlizard, nwsound, BobOak, blue jersey mom, von Dutch, illyia, Repete153, rolandzebub, Yamara, woobie, KOTCrum, Shotput8, wiscmass, Bill Kush, Lisa Lockwood, word is bond, deepsouthdoug, LithiumCola, KatsMeow, Rogneid, playtonjr, Ghost of Frank Zappa, Brian B, Spathiphyllum, roubs, Finn Arbor, psyched, JPete, Dania Audax, danger durden, ChuckInReno, signalcamp, noweasels, debedb, itsadryheat, surferal, dhfsfc, occams hatchet, Coherent Viewpoint, dus7, Topaz7, mary4, keefer55, Jennifer Clare, trashablanca, nyarlahotep, propitious2, Icy, chicagoblueohio, BalanceSeeker, emperor nobody, tarheelblue, highfive, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, BlueInARedState, stonemason, cazimi, ActivistGuy, fat old man, Robert Davies, Yellow Canary, Cathy H, martyc35, buhdydharma, deha, mango, isis2, Gasonfires, blueoasis, goodasgold, Silent Lurker, ormondotvos, Flippant to the Last, MJ via Chicago, vome minnesota, StrayCat, UEtech, gatorcog, Bush Bites, LibChicAZ, condoleaser, justalittlebitcrazy, DSPS owl, FireCrow, NearlyNormal, BalkanID, armadillo, bleeding heart, Uniter, gabriella, ThePenIsMightier, vcwagner, AndyS In Colorado, bonesy, BlueIndependent, Cato come back, callmecassandra, rage, Jiminy Cricket, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, MacheteJames, WarrenS, MarketTrustee, Dreaming of Better Days, scoff0165, zedaker, liberalpercy, pissedpatriot, Lew2006, Eric S, kurious, Bernie68, bstotts, Granny Doc, kidneystones, Friend of the court, Temmoku, slksfca, The House, kml, sea note, OHdog, Grannus, AntKat, BentLiberal, bigchin, sarasson007, J Royce, Abraham Running For Congress When I Turn 25, pgm 01, wildNwonderful, gardenkitty, Cronesense, SomeStones, Guy Fawkes, Russ Jarmusch, Loudoun County Dem, Trim Your Bush, Cottagerose, FWIW, godislove, uniongal, bluetownship, Wide Awake in NJ, Positronicus, dallasdave, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, jayb, TtexwiTyler, Mary Mike, phaktor, Nespolo, Matt Z, Jimdotz, ezdidit, BehereBenow, DWG, sfRenter, ballerina X, crispycreme, drchelo, Flirtin with Disaster, Unbozo, St Louis Woman, Near Vanna, bnasley, chicago jeff, Transactivist, cyncynical, netguyct, cadejo4, cdale777, jhop7, PaulGaskin, lil love, Brass Tacks, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, KathyinSC, UneasyOne, KeithCPA, JML9999, TexasTwister, Captain Nimrod, Chris 47N122W, willb48, Red no more, BustaVessel, zenobia, MKinTN, slade7, FolsomBlues, memofromturner, Devsd, davewill, davidseth, Mad Kossack, LightningMan, walja, Josh Thomas, Texas Citizen, ynp junkie, Texas Dem 1958, kayfromsouth, hulagirl, Blackacre, sunshineonthebay, wayoutinthestix, WarCriminalGeorge

    who have never given up?

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:11:46 AM PST

  •  What would happen if... (41+ / 0-)

    We became an energy independent nation?

    We engaged the world politically through diplomacy only?

    We disengaged from global warfare and stopped pissing off other people?

    We dismantled our military-industrial machine?

    We spent all our defense savings on social programs AND tax cuts?

    What would happen to America then, huh?

    "There ought to be limits to freedom." -- G W Bush, 1999

    by Jimdotz on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:24:45 AM PST

  •  herstory with pictures! (28+ / 0-)

    fair warning, this line:

    The real power elite manipulate these fools like puppets.  Prayer in school, homosexual marriage, flag burning amendments, born again Presidents, and on and on goes the list of their manipulative devices.  They easily fool these folks into voting wholeheartedly against their own economic interests.  And they pit their dupes against the rest of us to keep us all from presenting a united front to them and thereby challenging their rule.

    has already been sent to my fellow malchiks via the internet tubes, since you said exactly what I have been trying to say for years, and you said it so much better.

    Wasnt around for the 60s, but my parents were, and they were marching and hooping and hollering and chaining themselves to random immovable pieces of property for weeks at a time it sounds like.  And they want to know what the hell is up with the kids of this generation, how we have allowed this malaise to push us into overwhelming complacency.  I really dont have much of an answer for them either.

  •  Sometimes I do feel.. (24+ / 0-) a "beaten and battered warrior", only this time around, I have not been hit over the head by a policeman and I have not been arrested - yet.
     The Edwardian Age had the Titanic disaster that showed the inhumanity of class when it came to lifeboats - the Bu$h Age had Katrina.
     Now, if we can just get enough people to listen.  When the young 'uns tell me to "quit harping on the past", I want to scream at them that they must study history.  Look what happened with the Chimperor ignoring even recent history (the Soviet Union's disastrous Afghanistan fiasco).
     Very well done,, I'm gonna get me some of that "Tired Old Ass" stuff, put it into the bathtub and count my scars...

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:32:46 AM PST

  •  Culture War... (5+ / 0-)

    what a stupid, senseless term. You want a culture war? Read up on the French Revolution. When they start wheeling out guillotines in public squares, now that's a culture war. What we have here is a bunch of Puritan whining.

    -7.63, -7.59 "When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water." - Barry Fitzgerald as Michaleen Flynn in "The Quiet Man"

    by droogie6655321 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:33:02 AM PST

    •  Tell that to Bill O'Reilly (7+ / 0-)

      He has created a war in his own mind, complete with combatants (T-Warriors and S-Ps), and he rails from his broadcast podium against those he sees as enemies.

      He may be one of the most destructive forces in media in 100 years.

      • Watch: Santa's Coming.....
      • From: The Central Front in the War on Christmas©

      by KingOneEye on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:41:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Catholic radio preacher Father Charles Coughlin (5+ / 0-)

        ... is a hard contender to beat though, as far as American media are concerned:

        After 1936, however, Coughlin increasingly expressed sympathy for the fascist policies of Hitler and Mussolini, as an antidote to Bolshevism, though this was before World War II began. His CBS radio broadcasts also became overtly antisemitic. He blamed the Depression on an "international conspiracy of Jewish bankers", and also claimed that Jewish bankers were behind the Russian Revolution. On 27 November 1938, he said "There can be no doubt that the Russian Revolution ... was launched and fomented by distinctively Jewish influence."

        He began publication of a newspaper, Social Justice, during this period, in which he printed anti-Semitic polemics such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The 5 December 1938 issue of Social Justice included an article by Coughlin which closely resembled a speech made by Joseph Goebbels on 13 September 1935 attacking Jews, atheists and communists, with some sections being copied verbatim by Coughlin from a English translation of the speech published in 1935.

        •  I had Coughlin in mind... (2+ / 0-)

          ...and still think O'Reilly deserves the crown.

          O'Reilly has a much bigger megaphone. And there are some chilling comparisons.

          "expressed sympathy for the fascist policies"
          O'Reilly supports the warrantless wiretapping as the proper jurisdiction of government. He also has called for a Saddam-like strongman to run Iraq.

          "fomented by distinctively Jewish influence"
          O'Reilly's delusional War on Christmas similarly divides "good Christian" Americans from all the other "suspect" citizens.

          "closely resembled a speech made by Joseph Goebbels"
          O'Reilly is a textbook practitioner of nazi-style propaganda: creating common enemies, demonizing your opponents, endless repititions of the Big Lie.

          • Watch: Santa's Coming.....
          • From: The Central Front in the War on Christmas©

          by KingOneEye on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:53:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tell it to Dr. King... n/t (18+ / 0-)

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:56:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But that's how it begins... (17+ / 0-)

      "What we have here is a bunch of Puritan whining."  

      So you say.  Those of us with a strong sense of history hear this "whining" as the first deep root of revolution.  The French upheaval was only one in a pantheon of upheavals and Russia's revolution had far greater impact on the world than France's (so, for that matter, did America's).  Never underestimate the combination of education and poverty.  The French, Russian,and English revolutions were all propelled by the intellectuals and the poor.    

      Arguably, the most insidious and effective tool of power is control of the media.  And when corporations who are heavily involved in the weapons/munitions industries also own communications networks (think General Electric and NBC/MSNBC for example) we have an unprecedented war of interests.  Eisenhower's words did not fall on completely deaf ears and I recall my father telling me how important that message was, especially since it came from a respected military leader.
      Important diary, OPOL.  Thank you for voicing this.

      To God: Please stop talking to George Bush.

      by miriam on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:31:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's not lose sight... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, dus7

      ...of the very direct (read: not whining) message OPOL is sending.

      OPOL is saying that we have to see things differently.

      That was the real crux of the cultural collisions 'round about the '60s.  From time to time, people take a step to one side, blink, and look a little more intently at what's going on.

      And that is the beginning of change.   There's no escape.  If people don't change their minds, real, lasting, positive change will not happen.

      But a difficult thing to face is the fact that this truth--that social change begins with a change of perspective--isn't a shortcut.  It's even more difficult than, say, "simply" devising a multi-trillion dollar anti-missile defense "shield" so you don't have to worry about the justifiable consequences of your failure to change the way you see the world.

    •  Wanna see a culture war? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, TiaRachel

      Visit an Indian reservation, where the BIA still swings the sword of Manifest Destiny via NCLB.

      "This is not a political problem, it's a social problem." -Deacon

      by jcrit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:55:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The girl in the photo (51+ / 0-)

    The day after she witnessed the Kent State shooting, I held her in my arms while she sobbed. She was only 15, a runaway, and scared to death. She spent the night in my basement hippie crashpad, and was gone in the morning when I woke. I thought of her often that day as we went out looking to avenge those deaths. I still think of her fear almost daily, even more so in these times.

    -8.63 -7.28

    by OneCrankyDom on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:34:10 AM PST

  •  I have to ask you OPOL (11+ / 0-)

    Do you stay up nights dreaming these up? It must take a great deal of effort to conjure these images up. Some of your images or trips down memory lane can be like taking an LSD trip with Timothy Leary.

  •  The beatles, in contrast (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hrh, lotlizard

    to a real man:

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    (Warhol, 1960

    •  Gilbert Shelton did a parody of Dick Tracy called (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brian B, One Pissed Off Liberal

      ... Tricky Prickears, which went even farther than another character of his, notorious Norbert the Nark, in lampooning conservative law-'n'-order ideology of the time.

      •  Glad you brought that up! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, lotlizard

        Yeah!  Speaking of changing perspective, this was a great feature of the best that underground comix had to offer in the '60s!  There was plenty of self-indulgence there--as in all pop art forms, including rock'n'roll--but from time to time comix offered some very good affirmation that we weren't alone in our own perspective shifts.  Cartoonists like Shelton, Spain, Crumb, Trina Robbins, and even Leonard Rifus (with his "Educomics") were out there, putting in their punches for a new awareness.  A little later came the likes of Jay Kinney and Paul Mavrides, carrying that torch, adding their own feelings into the mix.  Mavrides, by the way, worked with Shelton to produce the excellent "Idiots Abroad" series, catapulting the Freak Bros. into a new, transcontinental, anarchist ethos.

        Yeah, it could get messy sometimes (esp. Crumb and [sssssssk!] S. Clay Wilson), but there was always one core idea; reality is ours to mold, and we do have the power to wrest control from the elite symbol-manipulators who have lost sight of real human values.

        We still do!  Thanks, Kos!  & thanks, OPOL!

        •  In Mothers Oats Comix #2 (1970) by Dave Sheridan (2+ / 0-)

          ... and Fred Schrier, IIRC in a story called "Welcome to the Fun House," Dealer McDope and his neighbor are caught in a horrible, repressive, bummer of an alternate reality in which the facade of the ministry of justice bears a likeness of Judge Julius Hoffman and the security guards are dressed like S.S. officers.

          (cover graphic—whereby the odd-looking vehicle portrayed is called The Overland Vegetable Stagecoach)

          Trussed up like Guantanamo prisoners, they are about to be launched from catapults into an immense labyrinth of thick security walls, from which no traveler has ever returned. McDope's neighbor then suddenly remembers the "Liberating Riddle of B'Cull" which the friendly "knapsacked toad," source of the alchemical blend they had been smoking before leaving normal reality, had vouchsafed unto him with a warning not to forget it.

          The riddle goes, "Why is an arrowhead like a rat grid?" The answer which frees them from their bonds and sets them on their convoluted path home:

          What is, is what you make is.

          razajac wrote:

          ... there was always one core idea; reality is ours to mold, and we do have the power to wrest control from the elite symbol-manipulators who have lost sight of real human values.

  •  OPOL (12+ / 0-)

    thanks again for your perspective. I wasn't born until '62 so I missed out on all of that era. I believe that I would have been marching and standing next to you at Woodstock. I was born 10 years to late.

  •  Thanks OPOL (8+ / 0-)

    More awesome work.

    And Thanks for recommending my 'Never Get Busted Again': Drug warrior atones for his sins.!!


  •  OPOL, great diary as always but you're forgetting (36+ / 0-)

    the right-wingers' efforts to suppress another group of citizens who began to exercise their rights more freely and ask for equality: women.

    It chaps many right-wing males' hides that women are no longer in a submissive role to men societally, and many want to send women back to their "traditional" roles in the kitchen and the bedroom.

    As a woman, it bothers me that right-wing women desire this kind of comfort zone: they're willing to give up equality so they don't have to work as hard to define themselves as human beings. That's not only scary to me; it's tragic.

  •  Dr King (32+ / 0-)

    made a speech about Vietnam that I have been re-reading frequently the last few months.

    It talks about the (now lost, really) battle for the soul of America.

    This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words, and I quote:

       Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom, and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism (unquote).


    A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.


    We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood -- it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

    It has been 39 and 1/2 years since he made that speech. We have spent something like $15 to $20 TRILLION (with a T) dollars on bombs and guns and missiles and all kinds of instruments of death and destruction, since that day. Sometimes I think "too late" has already come, for this country.

  •  Rock and roll ... (28+ / 0-)

    one of the reasons Elvis was so despised  was that he sang black music and white parents did not want their children listening to black music.  Look at what happened to Alan Freed, one of the first DJ's to play black rhythm & blues and rock & roll ... racists went ballistic on him.  Make no mistake, this music brought black and white children together, and this was a great threat to those who wanted and insisted on segregation.

    And the injustice has not ended in this area ... even today white cover versions of the great black "race records" of the time still get far more recognition than the original, and almost always better, version.  Big Mama Thornton originally sang "Hound Dog," but all we think of is Elvis ... and don't get me started on Pat Boone!  Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner, LaVerne Baker, Little Richard (and oh did he get ripped off by white cover versions of his tunes) and yes, James Brown.  Listen to their early stuff, very powerful, and still not given its due over 50 years later.

    I think it's very difficult to find the line of demarcation as to the culture wars of the 60s, or whatever you wish to call it.  I do believe, though, that very little of the civil rights we enjoy today could have been fought for so successfully had we not won World War II, including the experiences of women in the workforce during the war and black men and women in the armed forces, segregated though they were.  Or if it had happened, the battles would have been far more bloody, as they were when unions were first formed, so many deaths and so much destruction.

    •  realistically (11+ / 0-)

      the culture wars can be traced back endlessly, perhaps to akhenaten, and perhaps even further. the development of classical greek art and philosophy was a cultural revolution, as was the renaissance. in the u.s., it goes back at least to whitman, or emerson and thoreau. and certainly the 60s revolution was built on the beat movement of the 50s, which was built on the jazz revolution of the late 40s. it's a steady stream of innovative spirits, tracing back all through history, and even to prehistory.

      the first class war in euro-american history may have been bacon's rebellion, in 1676!

      and im glad you mentioned little richard- if you'd omitted him, he might have come here himself, to set things right! and every white guitar hero owes homage to t-bone walker and chuck berry!

      © 2006 "certain thoughts are prayers. there are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees." -victor hugo

      by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:41:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  elvis (4+ / 0-)

      pushed so many buttons because his stardom did the unpardonable-- it held black music up for admiration and respect. true racists must have feared that even though white singers were co-opting black culture, it was dangerous. they didn't want their children admiring black anything... even if it came out of white mouths.

      music is subversive because in seeming to be entertainment, it can fly under the radar for a long time, doing its work. personally, i doubt elvis planned to blaze new trails in race relations. he was an artist and musician who just appreciated good music and wanted to sing it. unintended consequences, perhaps.

      I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish. --Henri Matisse

      by isis2 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:34:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Beatles! (24+ / 0-)

    There have been many mentions of the Beatles lately, here on the old Daily Kos Show.  This is a good thing.  We should talk about the Beatles often.  All the time, in fact.

    My 6-year-old son, the huge Beatles fan, received the Anthology series on DVD for Xmas.  He was watching the shows yesterday, all the old interviews and concert clips etc, he was totally engrossed in them and just happy as a clam.  And then he saw the video to "I Am the Walrus".  I thought his eyes were going to bug out of his little head.  He said "I want to see that again!" So we watched it several times.  He didn't say anything.  I could tell that his universe was rapidly expanding.  

    I asked him if he liked it - because it IS a bit weird.  I remember being somewhat freaked out by it as a kid.  He exclaimed "It's GREAT!!!"

    Ah, my son.  He's gonna let his freak flag fly, I know it.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Koo koo koo choo.

    Yes, there are still FEMINISTS on Daily Kos! Join the fabulous Supervixens

    by hrh on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:52:43 AM PST

  •  OPOL, you make me proud to be ... (8+ / 0-)

    ... a surrender monkey. :-)

  •  Brownback on the Culture War (7+ / 0-)

    The New Republic offers a window into the soul of Kansas Republican Senator and 2008 White House hopeful Sam Brownback.

    The most illuminating nugget in Noam Scheiber's piece may be the themes of victimization and inferiority that underlay the rage and seething of red state crusaders Brownback represents. As Scheiber details, Brownback offers up a 21st century version of the elite blue state bogeyman sneering at his slack-jawed brethren in America's heartland...

    For the details, see:
    "Brownback on the Red-Blue Divide."

  •  Everything is a war (10+ / 0-)

    because the media says it is.  My 70 year old father frames everything around what Fox News tells him.  So he constantly brings up the myth of global warming, the myth that smog is caused by too many cars, the war on christmas, "new dealers" (believe it!), and to top it off he has mentions 20 times a visit about all those shoppers in the mall and how robust the economy is (as if this has to be repeated over and over for everyone to agree with him).  I can't even sit down with him anymore because he is like a walking marketing advertisement for Fox News.  My point being that people have been programmed to take one side or the other by the media.  

    * 2980 *

    by BDA in VA on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:59:54 AM PST

    •  Nah. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlanF, HighSticking

      They aren't programmed to take "one side or the other". They've been programmed to take one side. The other side (ours) people have to find their way to on their own.  Unless they watch the Daily Show or (more recently) Keith Olbermann.  Still, I'd hardly credit the view points expressed on those shows with the power to "program" their watchers into taking our side. Our views are expressed too rarely for that to be true.

  •  i would add (22+ / 0-)

    the sexual revolution, and the feminist movement.

    on the media, i created the following little resource guide:

    anyone interested in the complicity of the media in creating and enabling bush should check out the following:

    for background:
    mark hertsgaard-  on bended knee: the press and the reagan presidency

    gene lyons- fools for scandal: how the media invented whitewater

    joe conason & gene lyons- the hunting of the president: the ten-year campaign to destroy bill and hillary clinton

    for the current era:
    eric alterman- what liberal media?

    eric boehlert- lapdogs: how the press rolled over for bush

    frank rich- the greatest story ever sold: the decline and fall of truth from 9/11 to katrina

    al franken's books also cover the subject, although not in as great detail.

    also check websites:
    media matters

    daily howler

    fairness and accuracy in reporting

    make no mistake- it's not just a matter of incompetence. the corporate media deliberately help republican presidents and undermine democratic ones. we need always keep this in mind! they are not a peripheral problem, they are at the heart of what's so terribly wrong in this country.

    good job, opol!

    © 2006 "certain thoughts are prayers. there are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees." -victor hugo

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:00:25 AM PST

  •  Action: Sign & Ratify the Small Arms Treaty! (16+ / 0-)

    UN Passes Arms Trade Treaty Over US Opposition  

    October 27, 2006
    UNITED NATIONS - United Nations member states voted Thursday to create an international treaty to curb the illicit trade in guns and other light weapons, despite strong opposition from the United States and other big powers ...

    The United States, the world's largest supplier of small arms, was the only country that opposed the resolution.

  •  my hair (25+ / 0-)

    because when the time comes to burn my draft card I want to look the part.

    Image Hosted by

    "At this point, being honest with oneself is the highest form of patriotism." -Luigi Barzini, The Italians

    by indefinitelee on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:03:37 AM PST

  •  The only "war" is the war... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dus7, scoff0165, LynneK

    ...on common sense.

    Imagine how ignorant you have to be to sincerely believe a bunch of "secular progressives" are, like the Grinch, out to steal Christmas.

    All it takes is one wingnut asshole to package that nonesense as a "war" (have to use a term that conjures fear & harm)  & sudden you've got a "culture war."

    Then a million under-educated, bigoted white men buy the book and you've got your culture war "surge."

    The thing ripping apart American culture is too much attention being paid to the ignorant & their ignorant bullshit.

    Meanwhile, the other 99% of sane Americans go on living their lives with at least a modicum of open-mindedness.

    •  99%? I call bullshit. (5+ / 0-)

      These are the corporate masters of America.  They are also heavily invested in our government.  They have raised the stakes and the ante in our political system to the point that most of us are effectively excluded from the game.  They pay for it and they own it.  They are blinded by their greed and amorality and therefore represent a clear and present danger to the rest of us.

      Where are the NetFruits of the NetRoots? Nancy? Harry? Steny?

      by ormondotvos on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:42:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Culture War (6+ / 0-)

    is the new class war.  The book What's the Matter with Kansas clearly describes how the right has brilliantly used this culture war to build a majority. But it is a curious and fragile majority:

    *It uses the pro-life movement as a foundation to distract the working class.  But this only works as long as there is no real prospect of Roe being over turned.  
    *It uses endless symbols of the military to marginalize peace movements.  But this works only if the wars are quick and easy (Grenada, Gulf War I).  In fact, the pro-military rhetoric best works when the military is barely used at all(see Reagan).

    I could go on, but here is the summary of what I would write:  Conservatives win in this country when what they preach is only practiced with respect to tax cuts. And this is not an accident: it is by design. The problem with Bush is that he has practiced what conservatives preach with respect to the military.  And so we see the destruction of GOP as a result.

    As the song goes: "armchair warriors often fail"  

  •  draft lottery (18+ / 0-)

    I remember my tremendous relief when my birthday came up with a relatively high draft number, meaning that it was very unlikely I would go to Vietnam.
    When the war was finally ended I thought we were at the dawn of a new age, that common sense was finally, at long last going to run our country.
    Well, in the intervening years I have watched the US create a brand new Vietnam as if we had learned nothing. I see the drug war still imprisoning hundreds of thousands of decent people. I see that racism and sexism and hatred towards other religions works just as well as it ever has to divide people.
    So, when talk turns to possible presidential candidates on this site, and the names that come up are the most inoquous and moderate people in poltics because folks are scared to death of someone calling for a complete overhaul of the way we work out our problems, I realise that the dream of a new age dawning was just that, a dream.
    Yes, there have been some incremental changes for the good, but as our problems become more and more acute, the need for bold action becomes greater also, and I admit to a great deal of dispair.
    I try hard not to throw up my hands and just give up, and forums like this are nearly all that keeps me going. The internet still has the potential to motivate people to action like no other medium before it. I just hope it isn't too late.
    Keep at it OPOL.

  •  Norman Goldman (4+ / 0-)

    (substituting for Big Ed Schultz) made our victory in the Culture Wars his theme of the day.

    We won? really?

    Maybe we've reached a turning point in fighting back the Divine Storm Troopers, but that's not the same thing as winning.

    For one thing, we're just one SCOTUS appointment away from the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and two away from overturning Lawrence v. Texas.

    And as always, social progress rests uncomfortably on a thin layer of social stability.  If we're thrown into economic crisis, all bets are off.

  •  We've been too stuck on "identity" (17+ / 0-)

    while averting our eyes from "class."

    You've nailed that spot on:

    The War of All Wars – the Class War

    This is the war that underlies all the others.  This is the real divide in America, the only one that really counts.  All the other culture wars have been largely a matter of the power elite exploiting social divisions to keep us at each other’s throats, so that we wouldn’t turn on them – the old divide and conquer strategy.  It’s worked pretty well too up to this point.  They have used race, generational tension, culture, religion, bias, bigotry, drug hysteria, nationalism, homophobia, and gender inequality to keep us riled up and fighting amongst ourselves...

    Compelling essay OPOL.

    "...history is a tragedy not a melodrama" - I.F. Stone

    by bigchin on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:26:07 AM PST

  •  Thanks, OPOL....... (14+ / 0-)

    you came back .......from my comment the other day:

    The only upside, if you can call it that, is when the attacks become personal and insulting is that you come back with a better, more in-depth reply in a day or so.

    Beautiful, focused essay.  Thank you.

    We who lived through that era and learned and earned those hard-fought lessons wish only to offer guidance in helping the up and coming future leaders in this community in negotiating today's landmines.  If they listen, perhaps they can avoid some of the pitfalls that led us to today's political and social disasters.  We see where we got blind-sided by stealth tactics.  We don't want them to fall prey to the same.

    You make a living by what you get and a life by what you give. W. Churchill

    by Cronesense on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:30:47 AM PST

  •  Great diary - the war HAS been going on a long (8+ / 0-)

    time. You left out Dylan - he has a rightful place in that tale.  And what aboutthe McCarthy era?  One might argue the culture war predates Elvis.

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

    by calebfaux on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:34:41 AM PST

  •  If you want to know what (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    the right really thinks about the culture wars:

    "It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."--Mark Foley on Clinton

    by BlueEngineerInOhio on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:35:04 AM PST

  •  I agree with your commentary...but (8+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the history lesson, though it just states in words what I already knew/felt/understood on a subconscious level. However, I have been consciously aware that the "Culture War" was one sided and that the right was winning because they were getting no "real" opposition from the opposing side.

    I have sense learned that the current idea on the left is that "we win the war when the war is over". ie, that we win the culture war by somehow magically ending it. While it is true that our values do have the power to unify the country and end the culture war, those values have to be accepted by the vast majority of the country.  The thing is, though, that the culture warriors on the right have every reason to keep fighting, citing the advances of the last 40 years, and no impetus or reason to sound a surrender. Under such conditions, we can't "win". Unless we fight fire with fire.  

    I know we liberals don't like fighting wars, but the only way to "win" this particular cold war is to fight it to the point where those who wish to wage the war are discredited and as isolated as possible. Not fighting physically and under threat of violence and brute force, of course, but culturally, just as the Right has fought it for the past 40 years. The Democratic Congress gives us some breathing room. But, we still have the fight to undertake, or our congressional victories and our new majority will only prove illusory and temporary.

    So, OPOL, I would be interested in forwarding this particular conversation in regards to strategies for fighting the culture war from our side, challenging the rightwing orthodoxy. Growing out our hair in the 60s was a good example of waging the war from our side. So, what can we do now, today? How can we better organize ourselves to fight this cultural battle?

  •  Your Diaries Are Always Horrible/Amazing (16+ / 0-)

    I have to thank you for bringing the harsh realities to the community.  I always read your diaries and I'm always pissed off afterwards, and I'm very glad that this happens.  You are a constant reminder of the Two Americas, the one that we live in and the one we thought we lived in when we learned about it in elementary school.  I don't see pessimism -- I see calls for action.  Not "the world is going to shit" but "the world is going to shit unless we do something about it".

    Seriously, I hope you get a much bigger stage; I hope you can reach the non-progressives as well, because I wonder how many people are aware of the very real discrepancy between the Land of the Free and THIS land.

  •  The military industrial complex (13+ / 0-)

    drives our economy with jobs and is the reason various parts for one military plane are intentionally manufactured in all 50 states. And what happens when U.S. warehouses are overloaded with guns? The U.S. covertly initiates a conflict - somewhere. Then blames it on local tribes.

    Not a Victory for our Party -but an Opportunity for our Country. - Pelosi

    by annefrank on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:44:11 AM PST

  •  For Christmas, my teenage daughter (16+ / 0-)

    asked only for a silver chain, a peace symbol and a heart.  

    As a Boomer, her request makes me sad.

  •  It's the equality, stupid. And peace. (15+ / 0-)

    Look, the whole cultural thing in the sixties was interesting and significant and all, but even at the time--at the time--many of us complained that it was being used to overshadow the real issues: ending the goddamn war and expanding civil rights.

    Indeed, when the backlash came, they made fun of our long hair, said we were for "acid, amnesty, and abortion," ridiculed us for being "dope-smoking sex fiends" and "effete intellectuals". We made an easy target.

    But you know what? They lied. And too often, we buy into that lie.

    Because all that cultural stuff was not the point.

    • The point was ending Jim Crow, not "race music."
    • The point was equality for women, not birth control or abortion.
    • The point was equality for people who were "different" by birth, not just making room for those who choose to be iconoclasts.
    • The point was peace, not peace signs.
    • The point was to build a new future, not just a pipe dream.

    And that still is the point. You think Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and the other right-wing fucks are really concerned about Christmas or sex or drugs or explicit lyrics?

    Fuck, none of that has mattered a damn ever since Southern rockers played in front of confederate flags, and a cokehead became President, and every goddamn evangelical preacher and wingnut turns out to be buying sex.

    How can anybody take the idea of a "culture war" seriously?

    It was never about "culture" in that sense. It is, and has always been, about equality. And peace.

    Oh, and please forgive the James Carville reference. I don't really mean to call anybody stupid, except myself.

  •  Got me thinking (21+ / 0-)

    There's a good article in the latest Rolling Stone, where they ask economist Joseph Stiglitz about his $2 trillion pricetag on the war in Iraq.  The question is, if WWII pulled the US out of the Great Depression, isn't all that money being spent on Iraq a good thing for the economy?  We often take at face value that WWII ended the Great Depression, but he points out the other side of the coin - that that was probably the least effective way we could of gone about it.  I don't think anyone doubts the moral reasons for entering WWII, but the fact of the matter is, as economic stimulus goes, building tanks that get blown up, training young people complex tasks like flying bombers only to have them die in a fireball over Germany is horrifically inefficient.  Spending that exact money, or even a quarter of it, on, say, building a mass-transit system and training conductors and/or repairmen would be a vastly better investment because it's something that sticks around and continues to add value.

    We have to look at war spending for what it is - consumer spending with no trickle down effects.  It's the fast food industry on a vast scale.  If you look at my above example, you will see why certain people love war spending.  What would a highly efficient, government subsidized mass-transit system do, besides providing quicker commute times, less dependence on foreign oil, cut down on air pollution, open up new areas to economic development and affordable housing?  It would directly compete with other powerful industries - automobile, oil.  War spending pumps money into the economy without stepping on any existing toes, and surgically isolates the profits to a select few with no trickle down effects when compared to non-war spending that might cause the peons to get uppity and start expecting things from it's government.

    Recovering Intellectual. 12 days stupid.

    by scionkirk on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:58:54 AM PST

    •  Well said scionkirk! Much appreciated! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:21:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The US economy was in desperate need of (4+ / 0-)

      deficit spending and the New Deal was just not enough. The difference now is that in times of confidence in the economy, big business needs no excuse to invest capital. During the Great Depression, the people with financial capital (few as they were) saw no chance of making a profit and thus would not make the kinds of investment capable of kickstarting the economy. The kind of investments we are making now - Hummers, tanks, etc do provide jobs in the shorterm. But in the longterm they divert investment from more productive and benificial uses. For instance - how many 70 year olds could get government subsidized personal trainers and nutritional advice with the billions we are sinking into this lost cause? And how much would that save the government over the next couple of decades?

      Also one of the factors that created the economic boon of the 50s was the fact that the US emerged pretty much unscathed, with its corporate infrastructure in tact and prepared to establish itself as an economic superpower.

  •  Bravo! (7+ / 0-)

    I often try in vain to explain to my daughter my seemingly radical rants against the corporate culture.  I will show your diary to her as an easily digestible lesson in why Mommy's so angry so often

  •  The Revolution Within (Will Be Televised) (6+ / 0-)

    Excellent presentation.

    The principles of our founding have always presented a challenge to the demons of our nature - pride, greed, self-righteousnessness.

    The struggle will continue until the blessings of liberty are secured for everyone within Dr. King's web of mutuality.

  •  I will read this w/my kids tonite (2+ / 0-)
  •  Here's how we engage them. (3+ / 0-)
    1. Associate Britney Spears with Bush. (Stop sniggering, dirtyminds).  Basic idea? They've been feeding young people nothing but popular, celebrity culture over the last few years. Many of us buy into this in greater numbers than we care to admit. It used to be that rebellion was popular culture, but now it's just used to quiet the population. Turn some really popular figures into real thinking folk, and maybe we've got some hope.
    1. Improve schools and look into alternative, web-based educational systems. The point about the "knowledgeable citizenry" is a huge one. Public schools are, at best, now where we send kids to learn to be conformists. (I know, huge overstatement. Plenty of places are wonderful. I'm talking utterly unfair generalities here to make a point).  Let's educate kids in a real way about what's going on. Let's teach them to question authority. Let's let them know what's at stake.  Regrettably, this leads to
    1. Wait for the draft.  It makes us all absolutely sick, but let's face it: we may see this if not before the end of the Bush presidency, in the early part of his successor's.  Our troop levels are depleted. The soldiers are demoralized and exhausted. Recruiting for the volunteer army is going poorly (hardly a surprise, eh? Given how much fun that seems to be.)  But these adventures we are on won't end anytime soon. Start talking about a draft, and all those kids over on might actually take an interest in policy and in a a culture war.

    Rant over. Great diary.

  •  I don't comment often but (11+ / 0-)

    your series of diaries is very inspirational to me and I've shared them with others. I decided to be more polemical in my own posts and create some graphic designs in order to get attention on wonky issues like public campaign finance.

    Here's one, "The People's Revolt,"that caught the attention of the Seattle Times' Postman, who called it "idealogical rabble-rousing." Ha!

  •  What are Moore, Ivins and Franken Doing (3+ / 0-)

    in that cartoon? I've never heard them fighting any culture war.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:17:35 PM PST

  •  Well said! EOM (3+ / 0-)


    by glbTVET on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:20:04 PM PST

  •  Another fine diary. (7+ / 0-)

    Looking forward to the next one.  BTW, it's hard to read these at work as I'm so tempted to SCREAM OUT LOUD!!!!

  •  Class war is the real one, People (10+ / 0-)

    I knew this in the 1990's too. Actually, it was evident since Reagan for me.

    Which is why I was glad that Ralph Nader had the courage to stand up and say that Middle America was under attack and both political parties were funded and controlled by the same corporate agenda.

    And we all know what happened to him.

    Now, the left has been cowed to the extent I can expect to be trolled for mentioning the name Ralph Nader without attaching a slur. That is the norm for DailyKos, sadly. Or maybe, as I fear, tragically.

    And Middle America has been denied the message from an eloquent crusader ... and for what? To give the Democratic Party leadership a cover, and to give Dem activists a scapegoat.

    The truth can be so ugly.

    Yes, a thousand times YES. It is the ancient war of rich and poor, upper and lower, aristocracy against freedom.

    "The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill

    by J Royce on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:31:17 PM PST

    •  The difference between Nader (9+ / 0-)

      and others, to me, is purely one of pragmatism.  When I actually thought he had a chance, I voted for him, but since then I've learned more of the realities of politics and concluded that I'm better off voting for a Democrat who might actually get into office - even if s/he will do less than Nader or another Green might - than someone who will never get into office at all.  If we didn't have a winner-take-all system, I would vote for Nader again.  That's not being cowed; that's just being realistic.

      And while I may disagree with you, I don't think you should be troll-rated. :)

    •  If you knew anything about Ralph Nader. . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, tnichlsn, varro

      you would know that he made himself famous on the backs of idealistic young people, whom he abused and under-paid when they worked for him.  Not to mention firing when they thought about joining a Union.  So this brand-name ran for President out of hubris, and certainly not for the greater good of America, but as always, for Ralph.  But if you just woke up to class warfare during Reagan, than you are too young to appreciate Ralph's sad, twisted, history.  I think those are the people, primarily, who voted for him, and sadly handed our government over to the Bush.  I have nieces and nephews who did the same, but they, at least, are embarrassed to have been deceived by Ralph Nader.  As someone wrote (I can't recall who), if only Nader had stuck with rating toasters.  And I can think of at least 3,000 families who probably feel the same way.

      All politics is class-warfare.

      by dhfsfc on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:22:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand the need to destroy Nader (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Topaz7, WAJJAR

        I think you've been listening to too much corporate propaganda. Hatred does blind you.

        Strange that now Nader is responsible for 9/11 too. This is what I mean by being blinded by hate: you can't even shoot straight. 9/11 was a failure of George Bush, and the constant crossfire from Nader-hating rhetoric serves to keep the heat off our feckless President. If our political talk is all fantasies and rhetoric, how can we focus together?

        As for blaming, I thought it was only the Iraq War and every death from it that Nader directly caused. (I was informed of this stunning "fact" by another DKos Nader-hater.) And since Nader caused 9/11, in your world, are you certain that Ralph Nader didn't cause AIDS, Vietnam and the death of Princess Di? I have stopped respecting people who blame Nader for America's political crisis.

        What I would prefer is we make role models out of men like Nader, and save the bile for the actual warmongers. But for now, many just keep hatin' and playing the part of corporate patsy.

        The truth will out. It always does.

        "The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill

        by J Royce on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:04:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, brother. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that would be the 3,000-plus war dead that I was referring to.  I know you are young, but you need to learn how to admit mistakes.  To cling to the idea that you are "making the world a better place" by voting for this guy is pathetic.  You sound like you should be competing for the Miss America Contest.  And as for corporate propaganda, why don't you Google Michael Moore and Nader.  The story of Nader's reaction to Michael Moore when he supported Kerry is one of the funniest stories ever, and exposes Nader for the weirdo he is.  I don't hate him.  I just think he's weird.

          All politics is class-warfare.

          by dhfsfc on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:14:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You sure sound like you hate him... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, Brian B, Topaz7, WAJJAR

            Complete with insulting someone you don't even know.

            I don't understand why I should be competing for "Miss America," but whatever. Let's cut to the finish: I insult you back, you insult me some more, then I insult you (way better), then others jump in and then it's an ugly trainwreck or at least an ugly moment.

            I don't need it. Keep your fantasies tight, if you'd prefer. I was just looking to add my opinion on a subject that interests me. The ongoing Nader-hatred is interesting, but not any more than what I can get over on FreeRepublic about Clinton or any number of hate-fantasies on the right. This "team politics" rhetoric is really just about starting from where you want to be, and then aggregating data points to justify your position.

            I know the energy that Nader's message of fighting against corporate control was tapping. In the late '90's I was past hoping that anyone would champion this issue, and then Nader did it. That's the reason of my support.

            I will support any candidate who talks straight about the new Boardroom aristocracy and our devolution from a society of peers. So far it's only been Nader, and he wasn't even a politician. To me, that shows a problem with our system. I am sorry that more people do not see this. Yet.

            I do believe that this is the underlying Progressive issue that can unite the American people. If the nation and world must wait longer to let the picture of corporate rule become even MORE obvious, and suffer longer until the actual problem is seen, then so be it.

            I'm active already, so let me know when you Nader-hating types are ready to get on board. Because the real fight, as this diary discusses, is the war of the wealthy against the lower classes, and that is what Nader was talking about.

            "The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill

            by J Royce on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:53:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey, I've got a great idea. . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              let's split the Democratic vote again in 2008, and maybe we can live under King Rudy!  What a great way to win the class wars!

              All politics is class-warfare.

              by dhfsfc on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:17:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or this... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                We can ignore warnings and evidence of sell-out by our representatives, and use a scapegoat to divert our nation from the actual nature of our government!

                Oh, wait, we are. Maybe you think this is a good way, I don't. On the other hand, slandering and bashing others is a GREAT way to unite the Democratic vote, right?

                I guess that is what you think, because if people like you were serious about this "unity" problem, then you would not take the time to prosecute your would-be allies with meaningless hatred on public blogs.

                "The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill

                by J Royce on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:42:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't know Ralph's 70s history... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tryptamine, TiaRachel, dhfsfc

        ...but experienced the abuse of young interns with my brief collaboration with ACORN in Portland.  These people were cheated out of pay and overworked by entrenched power brokers who cared more about their importance than effecting change.

        (The PIRGs, as well,  send armies of young beggars into the streets and through your neighborhoods asking for money....which people don't know where it goes!)

        Nader is as much a Washington insider as any K Street lobbyist.

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:16:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ralph Nader is as much part of the system... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tnichlsn, object16, TiaRachel any big businessperson - he's not relevant unless there's something around to panic his supporters.

      And he's part of the same entrenched Washington system that hates, hates, hates the netroots - power is supposed to be channeled through Washington organizations with charismatic, educated, connected leaders like Nader, not "wasted" on regular citizens like Kos, Atrios, Jerome Armstrong, et al. and their hordes of the unwashed.

      You need someone "educated" and connected like Nader, along with an army of overworked, underpaid interns sacrificing themselves for the cause and King Ralph, not people learning to stand up for themselves and take the Democratic (or Republican, for that matter) Party back.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:12:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  too much Nader-hatin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Ralph Nader went off the tracks in 2000, to be sure.
        But take nothing away from his taking on General Motors, the military industrial complex, consumer safety, opposing corporatism...

        He inspired a generation of activists beginning in the late 1960s, early 1970s...

        He's never been a Washington insider, although he's worked out of an office in DC for decades.  The guy owns almost nothing and exploits himself as much as the underpaid staff.  He's never been "connected" nor part of the lobbying universe.  

        So, yes, beat up on the guy for rotten political judgment and being seduced by presidential politics.  And sure, beat up on him for not "getting" the internet -- he's a 1960s kind of countercultural guy after all, dressed like somebody from 1962.

        But have some perspective too --  

  •  It seems to me ... (6+ / 0-)

    ... that we need another "freak flag."

    From One Pissed Off Liberal to another, Thanks!

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - A. Einstein

    by FWIW on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:34:37 PM PST

  •  Here is a must-read (8+ / 0-)

    that I came across last night.  Regarding America's "need" for war.

    The CIA and the Gulf War
    by John Stockwell
    A speech delivered on 1991-02-20 at the
    Louden Nelson Community Center, Santa Cruz, California

    John Stockwell is a 13-year veteran of the CIA and a former U.S. Marine Corps major. He was hired by the CIA in 1964, spent six years working for the CIA in Africa, and was later transferred to Vietnam. In 1973 he received the CIA's Medal of Merit, the Agency's second-highest award. In 1975, Stockwell was promoted to the CIA's Chief of Station and National Security Council coordinator, managing covert activities during the first years of Angola's bloody civil war. After two years he resigned, determined to reveal the truth about the agency's role in the Third World. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to expose the criminal activities of the CIA. He is the author of In Search of Enemies, an exposé of the CIA's covert action in Angola.

    Everybody should read this.

  •  i read (most) all of your diaries (2+ / 0-)

    i share your rage and i sense your underlying despair... i struggle with it myself... i encourage you, as i often have to encourage myself, to keep firmly in mind a picture of what this world COULD be, because when the house of cards does tumble, as it inevitably will, we need to be prepared to walk into the light...

  •  I have to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    that this isn't new in history.  Certain details are, but the general stuff isn't.  People were killed long before Kent State for daring to stand up to the status quo.  There have been opposing cultural elements throughout history, and there have always been people who fought against it.

    But if more people realize this because of this diary, that's wonderful.

  •  Fabulous Diary (4+ / 0-)

    Nicely written and argued well.

    I have raised my son to question authority (even me) because he is going to need to in the years to come.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:42:56 PM PST

  •  well, OPOL, I'm the same generation (4+ / 0-)

    back in the 60s and 70s I was kind of to the right,
    till Nam put me off...
    now I still wear my hair very short, but I'm definitely to the left...
    it's a class war alright, this entire country is being screwed solely for the further enrichment of the filthy rich top 2%

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:45:21 PM PST

  •  What is to be done? (2+ / 0-)

    Outstanding diary, one of the best big picture pieces I have ever read here.  

    Now I wonder what we should do.  How can we re-enfranchise the middle and lower classes?  Is there any way to:

    1. Lower the cost of higher education
    1. Make housing affordable to a greater proportion of Americans
    1. Lower the cost of automobiles?

    We can't win this war without a strategy.

    The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. - John Adams

    by tipsymcstagger on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 12:49:41 PM PST

  •  another 60's survivor (8+ / 0-)

    A monumental moment of the 60's you skipped in an otherwise completely beautiful job was the race riots.  Not only about civil rights, it was the ruled class attacking the rulers.  And the damage caused to the "man's" property got results, some good--educational funding, some bad--flight to the suburbs and beyond.

    As you realized, all 60 stuff is still with us, but worse.  America is now at least two societies (Kerner commssion), bigots still rule, and we're running out of time.  In the 60's, our economy ruled, and solutions were affordable.  Not so today. The enemy was never communism, it was our own rulers.  And therefore, we need to hit the streets. I'm older now, but this fight is not selfish, it's for my kids.

    Power to the people!

  •  I notice Russia is missing from your table... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...of military expenditures.  While I would expect Russia's expenditures to be significantly less than the USSR's, I have a hard time believing they are less than either Mexico's or Greece's.  Is that an oversight?

  •  We're at 43%, not 48%. (0+ / 0-)

    Great diary.  Really good points.  I just would have preferred that you cite the source for your military spending table.

    The one I saw was from SIPRI in 2003:  "According to the SIPRI Yearbook, the United States now accounts for 43 percent of world military expenditure."

    The only people saying "Stop-loss" isn't a backdoor draft -- are people who aren't affected by it.

    by astor column on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:08:58 PM PST

  •  Yeah, (5+ / 0-)

    those were incredible times.  It was as if the door was suddenly opened.  Knowledge of the real world was an epiphany and those of us, like you, sought to change the ugliness that was exposed.

    And I agree, there has been a war going on since then, right here at home.

    I don't agree with you on the drug issue.  I'm not really sure how to deal with this because I see the extent that drugs are now used and accepted in our society as a huge moral issue.  Drugs hurt people, plain and simple.  My father was always for legalization.  Perhaps he was right as you can't legislate morality.  Speaking of which, what has happened to ours?

    I left the "hippie" movement by the late 60s because, in my opinion, we were becoming just like "them".  I didn't find my people any more benevolent, caring or altruistic than those on the right.  

    •  I like that. (2+ / 0-)

      It is as if the door was suddenly opened.

      How true, how true.

      The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

      by realalaskan on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:20:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I need to clarify (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, hrh, One Pissed Off Liberal

      something in my comment.  When I spoke of drugs as a moral issue, I didn't mean people who fall into addiction.  True, once some develops an addiction, they definately have moral issues - ask anyone who's in recovery.  

      But no, what I meant by it being a moral problem is this:  I find that my generation was too lax when  it came to our kids and drugs.  We have not been honest with them about drugs and, perhaps, not honest with ourselves, either.  We need to talk to our kids more about drugs and what they do.  I feel we've neglected our kids in this area (and many others).

      •  OT (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nolalily, One Pissed Off Liberal

        BTW, nolalily, I'm in communication with Sallie Ann G. and it looks like she'll be helping me put together the earth healing project in NO.  She's wonderful!  Thanks so much for suggesting her name.

        Yes, there are still FEMINISTS on Daily Kos! Join the fabulous Supervixens

        by hrh on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:44:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  OPOL is right on the drug war. (3+ / 0-)

        If people didn't have their legs kicked out from under them, they wouldn't be turning into addicts.

        You have to understand, I have rights to choose my lifestyle.

        If you plan on keeping marijuana illegal, you're just like the prohibitionists who criminalized alcohol consumption.

        There's obviously a strong case to be made for regulating the posession or shipment of mass quantities of the most powerful psychoactive substances, but Marijuana is just a very pleasant herb.

        The drug war must end. I have a white-hot freedom-rage to end this hypocritical the drug war.

        Adults should not be arbitrarily imposed upon by the government.

        Arbitrary infringement on personal freedom by the government leads inevitably toward fascism.

        The consumption of psychoactive substances has been part of human life-style since before recorded history.

        It may be illegal under our fascist-pig government, but I have a natural right to smoke marijuana.

        Additionally, prostitution should be decriminalized and regulated for safety.

        Prostitution is the trade of sex for something else. This type of exchange has existed since before humans walked on two legs.

        Prostitutes and patrons have rights as adult human beings.
        Prostitutes are treated badly by the religious establishment, and that is why it is such a dangerous job.

        But don't forget how many priests visit the very women they rail against in their worthless sermons.

        •  I'm sorry but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny rotten, shanikka, Geekesque

          you are making an argument that suits your addiction.

          If people didn't have their legs kicked out from under them, they wouldn't be turning into addicts


          Anyone here, who is in recovery or is well educated in the etiology of addictions will tell you that you're dead wrong.

          And, no, I don't think that the vast majority of people who try drugs become addicts.

          I won't bother talking to you about negative aspects of marijuana.  You wouldn't listen to them and they wouldn't justify your argument.  To me,  your post was meant to justify, not to educate.

          As far as, people have been doing it forever argument, that's pretty lame.  People have been stealing, killing, murdering and a host of other cruel things since the beginning of time, too.

          Your neurochemistry is what concerns me as we now know that addiction occurs much like diabetes.  Addiction has been reclassified as a brain disease.  Only addicts have their brain chemistry permanently altered.  If you aren't an addict, your chemistry returns to normal once you're not high anymore.  And, I daresay, you'll probably not get high as often or require stronger drugs over the span of a lifetime.  In fact, you'll slow down your use sometime in your 30s as you move onto other things.

          I will say this - whether someone has an addiction or not, if you have children, your behavior is different and you are not as responsive of a parent as your ego might like to claim you are, when you're high. And, kids know something's not right and they take it to bed with them.  

          I'm sick of people expecting their children to live their lives to accommodate that of their parents.  It should be the other way around.

          However, none of this has to do with legal issues.  I probably am for legalization but not for the same reasons you are.  By the way, most people, who use drugs occassionally, don't waste time writing the excuses like you did to justify your problem.

          And, no, prostitute's jobs are not dangerous because of the religious right.  I've worked with plenty of them.  You are simply ignorant.

    •  I guess my view is that some drugs are dangerous, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nolalily, cotterperson, object16, Topaz7

      but then so are cars and they aren't outlawed.  And if outlawing drugs (and punishing violations with outlandish sentences in hideous prisons) was going to stop it or slow it down, it already would have.

      Some of my hippy friends eventually became just like 'them' but not all by a long shot.  It's sad when that happens.

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:35:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        object16, Geekesque

        I also believe you can't legislate people's values.  I wish people who do develop addictions would not be sent to jail unless they've committed a crime against another person.  However, some crimes are not so easily identifiable.

        I had a client, a perfectly nice young woman when she was clean.  However, she told me about the time and she and her boyfriend bashed her dealer's head in with a baseball bat in order to steal his dope.

        And then there are the lesser crime like those committed by chronic weed smokers (note, I said chronic) like the way their interests don't change much as they get older nor do their coping skills get much better.  Wisdom is not their strongsuit although I've met quite a few, as amusing as they think they are, who believe quite the opposite.

        I don't put weed in the same category as other drugs and I don't know if I believe it to truly be a gateway drug as our reactionary conservative buddies do.  However, to imply that weed doesn't have a down side is to simply live in denial.

      •  About those cars (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Weed is dangerous to drive on primarily because it causes a loss of peripheral vision.  So, yes, cars are dangerous.  Cars are more dangerous when driven by somebody high on weed.

  •  The Bullshit War (8+ / 0-)

    "Every day of our lives we are ruthlessly exploited, manipulated, conned, and lied to."

    — OPOL

    Amen to that - We see that bullshit fyling everywhere - even here on dkos it seems that shills are here in numbers to try to make some unpopular enterprise seem acceptable - I commented on it yesterday in a longish comment that seemed to go unnoticed - perhaps the thread was stale - perhaps I'll convert it into a diary one of these days.


    •  amen! (3+ / 0-)

      please write that diary!

      I have to rewrite a diary in which I explored how much of a contribution solar electric could actually make if  installed on flat commercial roofs (the old, long diary is here)

      It was my first diary, and I actually wrote it before I found dkos... Bush stating something like "nukular energy is clean and renewable" made me batshit...

      It turns out that in CA alone, if 50% of the flat commercial roofs had solar panels generating electricity at the same rate as the Tuscon Electric Power solar installation (study by Sandia Nat'l Labs and TEP on the real-world performance)

      they'd produce more electricity than all of California's nuclear plants combined while the sun was shining.

      If the money was spent building plants to build solar panels, in 5 years we'd be seriously reducing our greenhouse output.  

      Electricity production I think contributes about 35% of our GHG totals... gotta look that up again...

      Anyway great diary, great comment...

      It actually IS time for a change!

      by netguyct on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:13:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  B.i.n.g.o. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Solar can also bring about the revolutionary changes required for our survival as a democracy. Having seen my first off-the-grid solar home in 1970, I have little patience for those who a priori write off solar energy (and there are plenty on this site).

        The only reason it's not widely used is that it doesn't profit the robber barons and war profiteers. If they owned the sun, it would be a different story.

        Hell, when GM's EV1 was available, there were solar plug-in stations in California. After the EV1s were crushed, Toyota and Ford took their electric vehicles off the market about the same time Texaco bought the patent for the battery. (Everybody oughta see "Who Killed the Electric Car?") We are being so conned!

        •  now i gotta see that movie! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          texaco bought the patent to the battery????!

          solar is the way...  thermal, electric, whathaveyou...

          Commercial rooftop space provides the real estate required for meaningful impact.  more motivation...

          It actually IS time for a change!

          by netguyct on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:15:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So true about the motivation! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lotlizard, netguyct

            My dad had a dime store in a small town, and he got $100 / month (tons in those days) to let the bank put a sign on his roof. This is much more important, of course ;)

            I took some notes and collected some links when I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car?"



            iris & stanford r ovshinsky
            developers of ev1 battery
            he holds 200 patents

            gm purchased controlling share of his company
            first ev1s used other bad delco batteries;
            gm sold control to texaco

            ovshinsky now has now has thin-film solar factory; plug and play; adhesive on back, run wires down, nail in

            O: "anybody who wants to make a revolution shouldn't grab a gun. just go and start working like we do to change the world by using science and technology"


            Link to PBS POV episode about the death of the electric car with Chris Paine, who did the documentary

            not sure the video is there, but shows how slick the cars are and a refueling station, begins about 1:33


    •  I'd love to see that diary... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, peace voter

      I'll keep an eye out for it.

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:39:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lived It and Know It (6+ / 0-)

    Very great thanks to you ONE PISSED OFF LIBERAL.
    Can neither add or subtract from anything you say.

  •  nice diary OPOL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal, jhop7

    I'm going to go pull out some vinyl and listen to
    "I Almost Cut My Hair" one of the greatest songs ever.

    -7.00, -8.36 The one thing that can solve all our problems is dancing. JB

    by whitewidow on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:30:26 PM PST

  •  I lived through all of this... (12+ / 0-)

    I remember in the 50's when rock and roll was bad and I would listen to it on the radio in my room. I saw Elvis all three times he was on the Ed Sullivan Show. The first time they showed his whole performance and the moralists just exploded. From then on Elvis was only shown from the waist up. But that was too late. I had seen his bump and grind hips and knew what was going on below the lens of the camera. Of course, being around 10 years old I didn't understand what the big deal was all about. I did know it was a big deal.

    I remember the Beatles in late 1963 appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. Wow, I let my hair grow then. My parents hated it and my mom refused to be seen with me. Being the rebellious type I did all I could to make sure that when we were in public everyone around me knew she was my mom.

    I left home shortly there after and moved to California to surf. I got fired from my job for not cutting my hair. It was barely over my ears. More like the early Beatles length.

    It was in Jan 67 that I got drafted into the Army but was luckily sent to Germany. When I got out in Dec 69 I let my hair grow for 7 years before I cut it. I hated the establishment and never trusted anyone over 30.

    I remember that the convention in Chicago where the police clubbed the hippies. I remember the rednecks hating anyone with long hair. I remember the riots in most major cities over civil rights.

    I remember that we were going to change the world. This was the same time that George W. was avoiding Vietnam and cheerleading at Yale. And now today George W. and his peers have changed the world but not for the better.

    I remember voting for mass transit in the mid 70's but having it defeated. I remember waiting in long gas lines and thinking that our country needed a better energy choice.

    I remember when my vote was always on the wrong side of the final vote. I never quit voting though.

    I remember as a fireman I never really fit in with the rest because of my liberal views. Fireman where I worked were very conservative in their views.

    I remember starting to grow my hair long again to avoid being sent to client's site. I was developing risk management software and our customers were very conservative.

    The hope of the 60's got lost in the greed that followed. It is a sad fact that the ideals of the counter-culture was usurped by those individuals of my generation by the 'compassionated conservatives' like George W and Dick Cheney.

    The netroots/people-powered politics that was in force in November gives me hope that the counter-culture of the 60's can overtake the George's and the Cheney's of my generation.

    My hope is that 40 years from now those of you in your 20's and 30's will really change the world for the better. I won't be alive to see but I still have hope.

  •  Excellent Diary OPOL... (6+ / 0-)

    Your wit is needed in the FP diary where people are suggesting that we should act like the Republicans of the last 12 years.

    I was 6 at the end of the 60s, so missed a lot of it.

    -6.5, -7.59. All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold.

    by DrWolfy on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:37:46 PM PST

  •  A Troll Speaks (16+ / 0-)

    Not really, but I do have a trollish streak that I'll excercise here.  

    Let's explore a hypothosis:  a given society can only incorporate so much institutional, attitudinal, role definitional change without resistance.  Here I'm asking something that you may not want to go along with, which is to suspend your values for a moment.

    The cultural revolution began with the civil rights movement which started a little after WWII.  Let's call it a revolution of rising expectations.  There was no movement during the worst of Jim Crow from the late 19th century to that time.  Perhaps it was Truman's ending segregation of the Military that set the stage.  But suddenly there was the possibilty of changing the bondage that blacks had been held in for all those years.

    We know how the history has unfolded.  And with this change of racial roles came an expansion of consciousness in other areas, Gender, Disability and last Sexual orientation.  Now I speak from someone reared in Washington D.C., a somewhat Jim Crow city during the period when this transformation was occuring. I was brought up in a world where the Washington Post help wanted ads had four catagories, Colored Men, Colored Women, White Men and White Women.

    There was very little overlap of occupations, and that was just the way it was.  As a kid you absorbed this the same way you accepted that women gave birth and men went to work.  Roles, and social mores are simply internalized and become part of the structure of our lives.

    You don't run out in traffic because a car will kill you, and you don't play in the colored neighborhood because something bad will happen.  So there is more racism, and sexism, and homophobia in me than in those born into a different culture.  And believe me, someone born in 1940 was born into a different America.

    One of the threads of the comments here is why did the baby boomers, that enlighetened social revolutionary cohort, bring forth George W. Bush and the radical right.  So this is my answer.

    There was simply too much for our society to internalize.  The reaction is to me expected.  And the reaction is greater among those without the resources to adjust to change, those who need religious, sexual and gender identity the most because they have less of the goods that are salable in the brave new world that is thrust upon them.

    So, be understanding.  Fight for the changes that have to be made, but always be aware of the cost. And when you feel anger at those on the other side, temper it with understanding.  It will make the long trek to a fairer more decent society easier for all.  

    •  Fascinating Point (5+ / 0-)

      Embroiled myself in a family sharply divided along these cultural lines, your comment is timely indeed. I managed to stave off yet another shrieking match on Christmas Eve (this one concerning affirmative action programs), by firmly declaring the subject as "very controversial." The gathering forces on either side of the question bristled uneasily, shifted in their seats, and finally retreated to safer ground.

      "We do not torture." - George Bush during recent Asian visit

      by Flippant to the Last on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:07:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe you're a "Patience-Troll". (7+ / 0-)

      That's not a bad thing to be, in my book.

      I basically agree with everything you wrote.

      Patience and good humor are required, not a judgemental attitude.

      But, in the midst of a political struggle, you arouse passion to acheive change.

      It is healthy to focus people's outrage against our political opposition.

      But we needn't hate our opposition to defeat them utterly and without hesitation.

      Here I'm asking something that you may not want to go along with, which is to suspend your values for a moment.

      I would just say, don't self-identify with your values, just hold them in a non-judgemental way.

      We're not "better" people than our political opposition.

      It's only that we're saner, mentally and emotionally more balanced and thereby more qualified to steer domestic and foreign policy.

      We must not flinch from the power-struggle if we hope to preserve our world.

    •  I hear you. (5+ / 0-)

      It seems to me the religious right invaded the GOP in an attempt to undo some of the changes of the '60s. That would have been much easier to deal with if the neocons hadn't taken over the party's leadership.

      Your urging us to understand is, to me, a sign of great wisdom in a frightened atmosphere. Change being a constant, that understanding is imperative if we are to continuously adapt constructively. I worry sometimes about how destructive polarization is, and I see the current administration using it against the people.

      If we can be willing to understand, tolerate, or just ignore our smaller differences, we may can take our democracy back peacefully. The cost you mention will be much greater if we can not.

      All the best to you.

    •  people just need some group to hate/denigrate... (3+ / 0-)

      Before world war II it was the Irish/Italians, then the jews, the blacks, the hippies, then women's libers, now the gays. It comes with the need of one group to feel superior to another. No one ever wins the culture war because the finish line is continually being pushed further back. It is more of a war against un-enlightenment. When people become familiar with Jews or Blacks or Gays, their fear of the unknown is replaced with tolerance which gives way to acceptance. (For some reason I am reminded of the 'Mod Squad" making hippies seem less threatening to middle America, the way 'Will and Grace' and "Ellen' are today. Most of the racists were to stupid to take home the message from "All in the Family', they just embraced Archie as is. LOL)

      Stop wasting energy & bandwidth on flame wars and use it constructively at Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:51:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's those immigrants again! (4+ / 0-)

        Never mind the fact that the People That Matter hated us Slavs (as well as Italians, Jews, and Greeks) when my family came over in 1906, predicting that we'd ruin America with our idiocy, criminality, and Papism.

        In return, those immigrants' children won WWII.

        Now, the People That Matter are getting people worked up about those "illegal Mexicans" and their idiocy, criminality, and speaking Spanish.  

        Who knows?  They might win a future war against Red China or the "Islamofascists"....

        9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

        by varro on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:28:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hate the "not us" (3+ / 0-)

        Groups are always potentially divisive.  Whether political, social or my tennis club.  A really good way to feel a part of something is to have a clear idea who isn't.  To be part of the in group, you need an out group.

        I understand that the football fans in England truly hate the fans of the other clubs. No one is taking away their liberties or over taxing them or sending their kids to die in a war.  They just want to hate the Manchester club and bash their skulls. I would guess it is the ultimate bonding.

        With large entities, such as countries and political parties the out group is maintained by some strong AND crude stereotypes. Maybe this is way logical argument is so unproductive.  These people think the way they do for reasons other than those expressed.

        Thank God these social dynamics never apply to we progressives!!

  •  class war (8+ / 0-)

    The class war has been going on much longer than 1980 to present.

    It was a forefathers who were killed trying to unionize, we had child labor, no pensions, no overtime, no job security, massive scabs taking jobs
    from those trying to form a union, extremely difficult to gain entry or pay for higher education, no opportunities for women, blacks, no concept of meritocracy or advancement based on actual ability...

    It took the collapse of the US via the great depression and we got lucky with Francis Perkins, FDR labor secretary to finally get some real laws passed that created the more equal society of 1934-1980.  

    I think of these people, who struggled, fought so hard to create a more just, socially mobile, fair working America and I visualize them rolling in their graves and what is going on currently and the amazingly blinders that still to this day most people have on.

    by BobOak on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:49:06 PM PST

    •  Well said BobOak! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:15:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  my grandpa (3+ / 0-)

      Itialian immigrant, GE factory worker in WWII, worked with Swiss, Germans, Irish, and they built the tools that won the war.  He was a true believer in the New Deal.  He prospered, owned businesses, bought real estate and left enough money for his wife to die as she chose, at home with her loved ones.

      He taught me to not be bigoted, because everyone hated the italians when he was a kid and to remember why hate was the worst thing to harbor.  Later in life when I became a neo-hippie and started earning money as a street artist, he was the only one of the oldsters in my family to encourage me.  When traveling, I always seemed to get along with rich, poor, homeless, black, brown whatever becuase he taught us to look everyone in the eyes and say yes sir/no sir no matter what.  

      He is certainly rolling over in his grave wondering how we have squandered the potential and great human resources of the country he and his generation built.

  •  Thanks for the history lesson (4+ / 0-)

    I was just listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on Christmas, and that song in particular.  My generation doesn't make music like that.  Many of us are too apathetic to protest...and yet more and more are "waking up" and getting angry.

    "Our struggle is not with some monarch named George who inherited the crown. Although it often seems that way."

    by erinya on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 01:55:43 PM PST

    •  I don't know... (3+ / 0-)

      If you listen to some of the bands today, System of a Down, Green Day.. hell.. even Megadeth to an extent, they have quite a bit to say, and have been saying it loud and clear.

      The issue is that the media isn't as free as we would like to think, so many people who would have gotten the air time and the reporting and the attention even 20 years ago are nothing but marginalized and commercialized today.

      It's hard to focus with so much static in the background, but we're not all apathetic, we just don't have the same avenues of protest open to us as before.  We'll get it figured out though, and come up with new ways.

      Just some random thoughts.

      The problem with America Today: There's a difference between The American Dream, and The American Way.

      by Disillusioned on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:04:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you Disillusioned. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, blueoasis

        There is good music being made.  I love Green Day and my 16 yr old son loves System of a Down.

        Ya gotta love that 60s rock though!  :-D

        Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

        by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:17:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh Man... (0+ / 0-)

          There was nothing better than 60s / 70s rock!! I grew up a fan, and will die a fan. I just hope to pass on the love to the next generation. :)

          PS. Off topic: OPOL, you fuckin' ROCK. I am in love with your visual artpieces, being a viscerally visual person myself. Keep on keepin' on!

          The problem with America Today: There's a difference between The American Dream, and The American Way.

          by Disillusioned on Tue Jan 02, 2007 at 08:50:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fantastic diary! (3+ / 0-)

    Just one comment re music: Who was the famous wise man who said "If I would rule a nation, let me write its popular songs"?

  •  DYNAMITE! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Topaz7, One Pissed Off Liberal

    In the most peaceful sense...

    To have peace, teach peace, to learn it.

    I ain't gonna study war no more

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:12:24 PM PST

  •  Reading this was like (4+ / 0-)

    watching my life spin out before my eyes . . . I'm a shade too young to remember the early Elvis hoopla, but the rest of it, oh, my OPOL.  How could we possibly have forgotten all those lessons?  And why on earth have we allowed the Bush oligarchs to get as far as they have in turning a once wonderful nation into a third-world bully with weapons, inhabited by the superrich and paid for by everyone else?  Thank you, OPOL.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:19:01 PM PST

  •  A couple of thoughts (7+ / 0-)

    There is a good reason that so many rightist pundits denigrate the '60s at every opportunity.
    I can remember George Will bloviating about the immorality of the '60s and the "sexual revolution".
    Which was to a great extent about the liberation of women from traditional roles and stereotypes. Women had to take control of their sexuality, much in the same way that African-Americans had to  take control of their political destiny.
    I had a member of the generation previous to me (he had just missed WWII) ask what good ever came out of the sixties. And actually, I could not think of anything that he would have conceded as an achievement.
    They refuse to accept that the left was right about anything.  That is why so many of the radical right
    wanted the war in Iraq. They wanted to prove that they could win if they were allowed to fight without interference from the left and the bleeding-heart media.


    The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. ~ George Orwell

    by JaketheSnake on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:20:56 PM PST

  •  mistakes were made (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Brian B, blueoasis

    loved the diary..a few comments from an old guy...sorry to rain on some people's parade but go back and listen to Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done"  if you were on the streets like some of us in 66,67, 68,69,70,71 you would know that the gov didn't mess us up w/drug policy but rather the capitalists in hippies clothing-sell out your community to get rich how different was that from Dow chemical I posit "not much".. even Ginsberg years earlier wrote "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed..."  and our own hedonism (which I felt was groovy at the time). There were a lot of people that would try anything (me for instance)too many friends of mine died or came close and turned right after the scare... not everyone could handle the drugs...  on the other hand there are thousands of teachers, social workers, nurses,community activitsts, at. al.  who spent their lives from the 60s to today working for social change, taking jobs that could give one the opportunity to implement change and in some ways it has been successful-look around... things are pretty differnect in many ways (positive in my view) than they were 40 years ago; is there more to do? Hell yes, that was one earlier mistake..we thought that pretty soon everyone would "get it" well, not so much on the "everyone".  We should have seen it coming when the Dan Quayles and W frat boy elitists started getting high and avoiding the draft I know that our children (20-30 year olds??)are the roots of the current radical/progressive movement and they are better at it in many ways because their vision is clearer than ours was because there is no draft and their motives are pure

  •  I think the most important issue (3+ / 0-)

    is to rid the election process of private money. We have absolutely no hope of taking back this country without a violent revolution if we can't come together to rid ourselves of a bought and paid for government. We will never ever be democratically represented when our government is already sold before any politician ever takes his/her office. That is why we won't see any change from our so called "democratic" election electing our so-called "progressive" politicians who are all bought and paid for by the same corporate and special interests as the criminal repugs.

  •  Outstanding diary... (3+ / 0-)

    Though they didn't like the Jazz Age, either.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:38:40 PM PST

  •  So... (4+ / 0-)

    ...our expenditures in arms are not only the most in the world, but are more than the sum of numbers 2-17 inclusive, and we can still be foiled by a cell phone and a bunch of junk one could buy at Radio Shack or Home Depot?  Hmph.  

    Money better spent on schools and hospitals.

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:40:19 PM PST

  •  I remember some of the strands (6+ / 0-)

    leading up to the culture fixatives of the 1960s.

    Before Elvis burst on the scene with his own take on rhythm-and-blues. R and B had captured the youth. Played mostly in Black clubs, I remember my high school days swimming in R and B and Rock. R and B was clandestine, however, and not played on mainstream radio. One could pick up a station, if you were clued in.

    Coming in the midst of the US love affair with jazz, I remember being puzzled over the bad name associated with R and B. Of course, it was Black music and the lyrics were freer. Elvis broadcast that new freedom.

    Alll this free-wheeling music was a part of my (R.I.)college years, the growth period of the Newport Jazz Festival adding to the excitement.

    But a pall was cast by late 1959 into 1960 due to Vietnam, with male seniors going into desperation mode. Many went
    into graduate school and others were the most inventive creatures: psychological disabilities and a willingless to be tarred with the label "drug user" though we weren't into any drug but alcohol.

    My class of 1960 was very much anti-war for many Korean War veterans were in school with us. We were also extremely anti-corporate and were the vanguard of the consumer movement, having learned about advertising, public relations, marketing manipulation. Everyone wanted to find a career with some meaning.

    I bring this up because the protests didn't bring wide-scale attention to those with "anti" views until around 1964-65 (I'm estimating here). But my generation, though termed Silent, were the children of World War II vets and already world-wise to suburbia, corporate culture, the war machine, and the paternalistic attitudes toward women. We were honed by the "Beats" and the coffee houses.

    Why we remained so Silent may have had something to do with the fact that by the time the country was in upheaval, we were the ones raising the next generation -- not quite free enough. And the money to support those growing families was coming from corporate careers. Or going toward continuing education. Somehow, life co-opted us.

    Though I have always felt it was a Silent Generation in terms of outward protest or in terms of "going along," it definitely witnessed and promulgated the seeding of the culture wars.

    This is a great diary -- thanks.

    Against silence. Which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 02:46:30 PM PST

  •  When the media joins with the Establishment. . . (3+ / 0-)

    then the counter-culture loses the war.  My most vivid memory of the 1960's was the Huntley and Brinkley Report (of course, when people didn't have a million choices for the news, and there was less "celebrity" news touted as news) closing each week with the names of the Vietnam war dead.  Now, you have the media agreeing with the Administration that it is better not to know who the dead are or show images of the coffins.  I honestly believe that that one brave decision by Huntley and Brinkley did more to change public opinion of the Vietnam War than anything else.  

    All politics is class-warfare.

    by dhfsfc on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:01:44 PM PST

  •  yes, smash the Pentagon budget sacred cow (5+ / 0-)

    I'm sick to death of our politicians who refuse to confront the massive dysfunction of this nation's military industrial complex.

    .We spend 20 times more on defense than all the developed nations combined Well, actually, we don't spend all of it.

    The Pentagon's own auditors admit the military cannot account for 25 percent of what it spends.

    "According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions," Rumsfeld admitted

    H E L L O ??? That's OUR money going into the pockets of men who adore war and the treasures that they reap from death and destruction.

    Areb't we sick of this shit? When do we hold our beloved politicians accountable for standing up to the MIC?

    Thank you OPOL for your diary!

  •  Seeds of Hope (5+ / 0-)

    It is guaranteed those in power are better situated to weather, and profit from the cataclysms they create.  I'm dead certain they would find a way to push the nuclear button if they thought the abject misery it would create could be funneled to fill their coffers.  The Internet is the Free Press.  Let's start by protecting it at all costs.  And don't be afraid to stand in the face of the huge forces that are going to sweep this country as our national identity comes against the barriers we have avoided for so long.  These are the times the corporations sink in their claws and make "indentured servitude" seem like a happy memory.  

    you learn something new every day, if you're paying attention

    by jhop7 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:16:24 PM PST

  •  Wow, what a diary (5+ / 0-)

    This has left me breathless. It all seems so clear, although I've never looked at the "wars" you reference in a holistic way before. Thanks for putting the pieces of the puzzle together for me.

    "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

    by Topaz7 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:21:34 PM PST

  •  Just before I read this diary (5+ / 0-)

    I was reading a lengthy series by Robert Parry of Consortium News on Rev. Moon.

    When we consider the Right in this country, we cannot overlook the influence and money of the Rev. Moon.

    And the way has been greased for him by the Bush family.

    A three-part series, it can be accessed here:

    The link to Part 2 is at the bottom of the page. Part 3 has the most info about Moon's finances and South America (where GWB has purchased property).

    Against silence. Which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:37:05 PM PST

  •  Seems almost redundant (3+ / 0-)

    after so many similar posts, but I can't refrain from adding my thanks and compliments to OPOL for a superb diary.  More, please!

    Memo to James Carville: sit down and shut up!

    by Radiowalla on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:41:26 PM PST

  •  From the culture war front lines (5+ / 0-)

    The struggle is going on this very day, as traditional grandmas brave the bitter cold to fight off King Coal!

    "This is not a political problem, it's a social problem." -Deacon

    by jcrit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 03:48:13 PM PST

  •  just a magnificent diary OPOL (7+ / 0-)

    I think that Elvis/Beatles and Civil Rights were two sides of the same coin in a way.  As Sam Phillips said before he found Elvis, "If I could find a white man that could sing like a black man, I'd make a million dollars."  He was wrong only in that he made a billion, not a million.

    Elvis was about a certain kind of cultural integration becoming acceptable and popular, and Civil Rights was trying to take these measures the rest of the way into aspects of life outside of the artistic or musical.  Obviously both were about giving respect and an equal place at the table to African-descended Americans, whether in Elvis' living homage to black music or in Civil Rights' integration of the lunch counters and so forth. Obviously there was great resistance to both, largely by "conservatives" bent on "conserving" the unjust, segregated world which had existed before, a world in which "those Negros" "knew their place" and the jukebox hadn't been taken over by "that nigger music".

    The Beatles continued this cultural trending towards breaking down the barriers... don't forget they started as essentially an R&B band in Liverpool, only later to ingest mind-altering chemicals and unwittingly explode the boundaries of popular music in a million different directions.  Dylan was probably integral to their development (having been the first to get them stoned), as well as to the development of other, genre-defying figures like Hendrix (whose influence even to this day is inestimable) and all the folk-rock hippies like the Byrds (who later toasted ALL the lines of sociomusical demarcation by going country!), Joni Mitchell and the aforementioned CSNY (Crosby was, first, a Byrd).  Dylan was probably the first to make it OK to address "serious" topics in popular song, a practice which has now gone entirely out of fashion, unfortunately.  This process at its peak was capable  of producing masterpieces that ran the gamut from the hyperliteral news report (Neil Young's "Ohio," Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised") to the broader, somewhat more abstract indictment of the socioethical structure then going through its inevitable death and transformation as the Piscean Age gave way to the Aquarian (King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man," Curtis Mayfield's "If There's Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go").

    So it seems to me that the essential element in what  boomers like to call "The Revolution" was the cultural element, particularly the music from which the styles (hair, clothes, drugs) seemed to take their lead.  If the "Sixties" had a unifying theme it was the elimination of boundaries and strictures which had governed human existence up to that point, the lesson being that the boundaries and barriers we perceive we must adhere to (to "go along to get along") really exist only in the fear which rules our minds.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:01:39 PM PST

  •  The 60's Rebellion... (10+ / 0-)

    You present a very interesting perspective on the 60's rebellion and its precursors and its legacy. As a society, we need those very personal reminders, not just for those of us who lived it, but as means of instructing those who didn't.

    For example, I didn't live through the Depression or WWII, but my parents did, and they learned plenty from their experiences, and they passed on what they learned to me. Though they didn't approve my anti-war stance, I came to that stance from what they told me about what life was like for them in the 30's and how terrible World War II was for practically everyone. They supported the Vietnam debacle almost to the very end, because of their sincere belief in the rightness of America, a rightness secured through enormous sacrifice and bloodshed. They had a very hard time understanding my rejection of the Vietnam War, could not comprehend the notion that the nation would or could fight an immoral war; yet late in the game they conceded that Vietnam was a horrible mistake.

    The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley beginning in 1964 was the catalyst for the student upheaval throughout the country in subsequent years. And it is fundamental to understand its ideological or philosphical origin in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's (and earlier and later).

    A basic premise was that We Were Being Lied To. Whether it was about the Happy Darkies in the South, or the War in Vietnam, or practically any issue you could name, and these lies were pervasive. On publically funded college and university campuses like UC Berkeley, effectively it was not even permitted to discuss these controversial issues. Don't forget, this was at the height of an otherwise very progressive era. But when speech and thought were so severely muzzled -- and the campus was a symbol of the larger conformist and authoritarian society of the times -- "progressivism" was something of a joke. The rebellion was in part to perfect the Progressive ideals we'd been brought up with.

    Part of the current irony is that these days the radical Busheviks are the rebels and revolutionaries, and most of those who struggled for a better country and a better world in the 60's are now the Restorationists.

    Busheviks are not conservatives by any stretch of the imagination. They are revolutionaries, and about as thoroughly anti-American a bunch of loonies we could hardly imagine.

    I'm convinced that's part of why it has been so difficult for so long for us to defeat them. We were the rebels and revolutionaries in the Old Days, and I don't think it ever occured to most of us that we'd become the sticks in the mud (like our parents) to the feisty and stink-bomb throwing neo-cons.

    But here we are.

    The struggle is far from won.

    Keep up the good fight!


  •  Winner of Bog Hero Award (4+ / 0-)

    For this post One Pissed Off Liberal is awarded an extremely (extremely) coveted Seeing the Forest Blog Hero Award.  Stop by and pick it up.

    -- Seeing The Forest -- Investigating how the Right is beating the Dems

    by davej on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:05:07 PM PST

  •  Stony Brook (2+ / 0-)

    My alma mater, and hometown. I was 2 at the time that picture was taken.

  •  OPOL , just have to add my thanks too. (3+ / 0-)

    I have hot listed to send to my 18 year old nephew, you have presented this in a way I think might get his attention.

    So from one boomer to another, let me ask you, didya ever think we'd get this damn OLD?

    *Needed* A Dem who can win PA-18 in 2008!

    by AntKat on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:24:11 PM PST

  •  wow this is a great incisive diary thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal
  •  most excellent - thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    I lived through all of that myself - boy those were naive times... And I remember how shocked I was about Kent State. Sending us to war was one thing but killing us right here at a college campus?? That was an enlightening moment. Thanks for a great diary.

  •  From another child of the long-ago times... (6+ / 0-)

    As a war baby (that would be WWII), and a participant in the activities of the 60s, I also want to add my heartfelt THANKS to OPOL for this diary.
    We all thought it was going to move foreward and get better didn't we?
    All I see now is the privatization of a horribly misguided, dishonest war effort, to the enrichment of Halliburton and others, and the artificially low death count of those in service to the US while in Iraq. In previous conflicts, those folks now on private payrolls would have been on US government payrolls and their deaths would have been tallied along with all US deaths. Our current death "toll" would have been much, much higher.
    We have succeeded in "outsourcing" death.

  •  Happy Holidays OPOL on to Victory! (2+ / 0-)


  •  thanks for the diary (3+ / 0-)

    and the much needed perspective

    I was born in 1969 so I missed out on all the turmoil of the 60's. My earliest memories include my cartoons being pre-empted by Watergate hearings.

    My parents are not Boomers. They were born during WWII. They were very Puritan. My father is missing one eye so he never served in the military, thus I have no memories of Vietnam directly affecting my family. Up until my brother shipped off to Kuwait this year, the only family member of mine who served in a war was my grandfather, who served in WWII.

    My mom died before Bush was ever elected, and thank goodness she hasn't had to live through the past 6 years of hell (as I see it). But my father is one of the crazies who STILL supports Bush and even Cheney. He's clearly delusional, and I think there may be some truth to some of the above posts which claim that the ones who are in charge now are the ones who DID NOT participate in much of the 60's revolution.

    I welcome the writings of those here who lived through all of that and gained some perspective. I never heard any of these stories from my pristine parents. All I heard was how all the "free-loving hippies" were destroying the world.

    I was Reagan Youth.

    I've come a long way. But I still have trouble figuring out how to enlighten my father and other family members who are so blissfully ignorant of current events and where they're leading us. Diaries like these at least help me understand what went on back then, even if my family missed the whole point of the goings-on.

    Thanks again.

    •  My pleasure rioduran! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 04:47:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, he's not the only Pissed Off Liberal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And maybe some of us are more pissed off than even he is.  

      Firstly, do not believe anything that you hear on the news.  Anything!!  Keep on reading the web for enews--I have given up entirely on the NY Times, reputedly the most left wing of the MSM or Main Stream Media.  They blew their cred when they failed to report the NSA wiretapping story, and then tried to lie & cover themselves by saying they didn't have it until December 04. In truth, they had it just in time to finish off Bush but good before the election.

      Notice that while the hippies were f*cking everything up, the Republicans were busy assassinating whoever they could: JFK, RFK, MLK, and on the foreign front they were busy all along as well.

      Bloodthirsty, grafting pigs!

      (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

      by ezdidit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's more evidence of BS claptrap (0+ / 0-)

      Follow the lead to read about our Washington Times, journal of the extreme right!!  EXPOSE
      See: "The Matrix," with Keanu Reeves, and "The Siege," with Denzel and Bruce Willis.  Art does imitate life!

      (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

      by ezdidit on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 09:48:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Europe vs. America (5+ / 0-)

    What I often wonder is why European (and Canadian) culture seems relatively free of what might be called Americitis - a crippling syndrome made up of jingoism, violence, puritanical crusades to lock as many people up as possible, religious lunacy, etc...

    One way to think of this is to use a military methaphor (yes, I see the irony given the diarist's central point).  The European power/money elite was essentially destroyed by WWII, whereas the American one was actually strengthened by it.  Even in the US there is a slow movement of social progress but here the right wing seems to be able to rally itself again and again with some new reactionary initiative or other.  One year maybe it's an intensive campaign to "wipe out drugs", then it's gay marriage, then terrorism or an effort to divide people with religion.  Each thing is propaganda surge akin to a large military campaign.  On the other side of the Atlantic the money elite is still reeling from WWII and the reforms that came after and is unable to mount these kind of large campaigns anymore.  It's the difference between fighting a land war against an enemy who still has lots of modern tanks and fighting one whose tanks have all been blown up.  It will be a very different kind of fight.

    If this is correct we will probably always face these fresh propaganda campaigns as long as the American right remains wealthy and retains any credibility.  Their mojo left over from WWII may finally be waning though.  Let us hope.

    Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

    by Event Horizon on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:08:56 PM PST

    •  Canada was the original target of US jingoism. (2+ / 0-)

      The American use of the term comes from a political jingle over a dispute with Canada:

      We do not want to fight,
      But, by jingo, if we do,
      We'll scoop in all the fishing grounds
      And the whole Dominion, too.

      Appropriately enough, it involved a Republican attempt to exploit a dispute with Britain/Canada over fishing rights in order to score points against Democrat Grover Cleveland. Republicans successfully torpedoed the first Cleveland administration's attempt to negotiate a settlement in the form of a treaty called the Bayard-Chamberlain pact by delaying and eventually defeating its ratification in the Senate.

  •  one big disappointment: professors who (2+ / 0-)

    who began their careers in the 60s and who let
    us down by what has proved to be a 'go along to get along' way to make a living.  

    Their abandonment facilitated the rise in the neocons.

    Their are some exceptions but they are only exceptions.

  •  As another old guy raised in the 60's.... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I can't recall any of these events. Huh? Wha.... It's Two-Thousand and WHAT!??
    /putting down blunt>

    Wow, dude....

    Seriously, I had hoped someone with talent would diary "our generation." This was that in spades. Particularly the Drug War. The American people have no idea how destructive the prohibitionist postition is. Remember the little old lady (and others)  in Georgia this year? That has averaged about ten a year since the Reagan Administration.

    I hope this diary inspires younger people here to read and learn about that period of time. It is the period of time which ALL of the present power brokers are re-fighting. It's the religious right, the neo-cons, the corporate pigs, the self-serving law enforcement agencies, and all the other organizations and medias who have co-opted the machinery of politics and culture.


    Because they were wrong. They were completely wrong for the same reasons they are wrong now. No one likes being wrong. Back then, they got called-out on it, and the American people turned away from the war. They refuse to be wrong again. They attacked  the outward aspects of the left's culture and tried to wipe it out. Are STILL trying to wipe it out. They hate. Oh God do they HATE! The different. The else. The other. Totally frightend of life and people not like them. How pathetic. But they aren't going to stop. Love seems to work when it wants to. Hate seems to be 24/7. We need to change that. As, ironically, LBJ once said, "We must love one another or go together into the darkness. There is no other way."

    That was from the infamous "Daisy" commercial.

    Life is very strange.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:27:36 PM PST

  •  Minor qubble (3+ / 0-)

    The US in fact DOES outspend the rest of the world combined in terms of "defense": there is at least $50 billion in military "Black-ops" that gets hidden in other expenditures; there is the CIA budget and Fatherland Security for another $125-$175 billion; and Israel's expenditures have to be tallied on the US ledger since American taxpayers foot the bill for about 90% of it.

    Then, of course, there is the Iraq bill - and in other years, Yugoslavia, Somalia, etc - that doesn't get counted in the official defense tally. All told, in any given year since 2000 the actual "defense" bill comes up to around $700 - $800 billion per year, easily eclipsing the rest of the planet by a wide margin.

    Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc, are NOT the bad guys: the United States Of America are. But trying to explain this to the Kool-Ade drinkers on this site is futile: the Republicans are not the enemy, everyone who thinks America has the right to fuck around with the rest of the planet - that includes 99% of Democrats - IS.

    Jesus H. Fucking Christ, it's 2007 almost, and you fucking clowns still don't have universal health care or anything resembling a social safety net, while the rest of the developed world has had it for 50 years! The fact that even Democrats "debate" - as if there's anything to fucking debate - this issue in almost 2007 tells you everything you need to know about America: fuck you and don't complain you worthless piece of shit; if you were a real American you'd be rich like we are; fuck you and your family too; while you're at it, clean out my toilet bowl for minimum wage because i need you to stay poor and stupid, and that goes for your children too, fuck them, they will be cleaning shit stains from our underwear long after you're dead - unless, of course, your kid can play football, basketball, or baseball: we'll toss him tons of cash from our private boxes while we defecate on those of you stupid enough to give a fucking shit about sports and plop down a weeks pay for the privilege of recieving our shit and cum shots from the private boxes. Fuck you, irrelevant little worker units. Go to the movies where we will fill your head with perfect little air-brushed idols doing those things you can never do, saying those things you can never say, with perfect tits and perfect teeth, perfect pink elastic bodies you fucking losers try to emulate with our bogus diets designed to make you feel like an even bigger loser than God meant you to be. Indeed, go fuck yourself, and pay us for the honour of even acknowledging your fucking pathetic existence, for giving you microwaves and SUVs, "elections" that make you think you even have a fucking voice. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

    Personally, i can't wait for the day the American economy collapses and Russia and China give us the big 'Fuck You' that we so richly deserve.

    I want our lips to kiss and our limbs to entwine Let our bodies be twisted but never our minds - Alison Moyet

    by VoiceFromTheOuterWorld on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:31:48 PM PST

  •  Aussies aren't so great (0+ / 0-)

    So they got the criminals, and we got the Puritans.  Still, it strikes me that they have a big problem with racist xenophobia, perhaps a greater problem than ours given the result of last month's election (pretty unambiguously a thumbs-down on the Tancredo crowd).


    -9.00, -3.69 "If [Democrats] take the hard left...this majority will last exactly 24 months" - Charlie Cook, 11/17/06

    by SlackerInc on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:35:21 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane (2+ / 0-)

    OPOL! Great Work.
    I'm hoping that the Progressive changes I (we) helped demonstrate for and initiate, in the 60-70's will occur once again in this decade.
    Its all cyclical.

    "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." Dalai Lama

    by Predictor on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 05:56:40 PM PST

  •  I'm late to the party OPOL, but ... (4+ / 0-)

    thanks for slapping people with a sixties fish.  We need it.  You have almost a decade on me, but I saw plenty.

    Just a thought about the 'victory' of the movement in getting us out of vietnam.  The peace movement wasn't an organization, but very much a peer-to-peer network of groups with wildly different agendas.  That diversity can make it a very difficult era to study.  

    The idea I'm slowly gravitating toward, though, is to throw out the complexity and come back to a much simpler dynamic to explain the entire denouement of our vietnamese adventure.  The Army called people to serve via the draft.  Over time, more and more refused to go.  The more who refused to go, with literally no consequences unless, like Ali, they gave themselves up, the more socially acceptable it became and the phenomenon fed on itself.  GW would be having a very hard time selling the story that "the American people want us to finish the job in Iraq" if substantial numbers of those "American people" were voluntarilly becoming Canadian people to avoid going to Iraq.

    One historian of the First World War posited that the 1916 Mutiny essentially took the French Army out of the war as French generals realized they had lost the ability to order people to go 'over the top'.  I view the Vietnam era draft the same way.  Refusal to submit to the draft was essentially preemptive mutiny and it had the same effect.  If Washington couldn't feed the meat grinder, it couldn't continue the war.

    All of which is a long winded way of stating the obvious.  As painful as it was, the draft, and resistance to it, gave us leverage over the presidents militaristic impulses that we don't have now that Washington can deploy a private, professional and all-volunteer Army.

    I'd rec this diary, but the bandwagon will tip over if one more klondike-come-lately jumps on it.

  •  Another barn-burner, OPOL. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, One Pissed Off Liberal

    I am a fan, brother, and apparently, one of the ones who hopes that your diaries are all intended in a spirit of hope, and not despair.

    For me, question of your detractors v. your supporters comes down to this: Do we want the US to be a better country, or do we not?

    Many who seem to be on your "side" only want the humiliation, or even the collapse, of America. I don't think you want either of those things. Sure, we've fucked up in the past--every country has--and it is important to understand that we are not "entitled" and are not perfect as a country. Many need awakening on this point. Even some on this site.

    There are some, however, who take your brilliantly written words to mean that America is the source of all evil in this world, and that in order to change things for the better, we must first destroy, or let be destroyed, the United States. I hope you don't subscribe to this counter-productive philosophy.

    You, my unknown friend, have through this medium, achieved a voice that I cannot but admire. You are truly gifted.

    I hope that you will not use your compelling voice to encourage those whose wishes are only for the shame and collapse of this proud nation.

    Do not give credence to the notion that the only good in the world will come through the disintegration of America. That is a recipe only for further disaster and pain. We must understand that America is a work in progress, and that though we, the people, have been misled and exploited, it is not too late to change. We are all in this together.

    You have a powerful voice in this revolutionary website. Please, please, do not use that beautiful, shining voice as a motivator for those whose only wish is to shame America, to hurt America, to destroy America.

    We can make it through this. There is no need to destroy the house to save the farm. I hope you know this. This is how I have interpreted your diaries, thus far.

    Remember, my friend, this is OUR country.

    Nobody ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

    by LightningMan on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 06:27:00 PM PST

    •  I think people, understandably, get a little... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Dave925

      defensive when they hear their country being criticised.  My criticism however, is offered in the spirit of deeply felt patriotism.  I love my country and I love the truth and wish to honor both.  

      To the extent that we don't live up to our professed ideals as the great hope to humanity we are supposed to be, we need to honestly face up to it and make the necessary changes.  

      That is mandatory in my view, but of course with it comes great pain.  Hard to avoid though.  Either we're a great nation or we're not - and if not (and I'm thinking not) we need to change course until we are.  

      Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

      Howard Zinn

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 06:59:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, OPOL. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        One Pissed Off Liberal

        I knew I had not misread you.

        Could I humbly suggest a diary on the proud and forward-looking achievements of America? Something that shows our humanity and our goodness (oldest Constitutional Democracy, our humanitarian aide, our role as peace brokers, leader in space exploration, the sheer brilliance and emotional impact of the Declaration of Independence, etc.)

        I know that's a damn hard job, having thought about how to do it myself, but it would be sure to give your critics a black eye.

        Nobody ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

        by LightningMan on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:20:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great suggestion! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In the meantime, could I interest you in this?

          The Better Angels of Our Nature

          Or this?

          Life on Earth

          They're not necessarily America-centric, but they're uplifting and largely non-critical.

          And I think your suggestion may be leading to a diary LightningMan...stay tuned!  :-)

          Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

          by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 07:42:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. I read the diaries. Wow. (2+ / 0-)

            I am the biggest Carl Sagan fan in the world, having been a member of the Planetary Society (on and off) for 20 years.

            To get really deep, I think that the long-term key to survivablity on earth is faith in our scientific nature. We cannot solve the problems of modern-day humanity without a re-dedication to the principles and mindset of Science. Fortunately, one of the things that America has excelled at is producing great scientists.

            This must be why, as a newbie to dkos, I have been inspired by your work: there has always been a subjacent element of science in your diaries.

            Okay. So perhaps a diary, in your numimous style, of the propensity for our wonderful America to generate great thinkers on the order of Sagan--and to host the greatest scientist of all time--Einstein. There's HOPE there, no? Give the naysayers and the destructionists some HOPE. No one will do it like you...I wish I could, but my diaries get lost in 5 minutes.

            PS. check out CSICOP. The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Sagan was one of the founders. Great work. I'm really into debunking.

            Nobody ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

            by LightningMan on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 08:30:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary! (4+ / 0-)

    I particularly like the statement "The power elite gave just enough to take some of the wind out of the sails of the movement, and then finished it off with the murder of Dr. King." Beautiful! The progressive movement at the turn of the last century set the precedent for how populist awareness of the 60's sort, and of the sort we are experiencing right now, is resolved by industrialist wealth. The industrialists "gave" with a few protections for workers and with abolition of child labor, but in the deal the industrialists maintained control of the actual mechanism of government. They will do anything to maintain that control, as the country is not profitable for them without it. They could give us all early retirement and still be wealthy beyond dreams. They have learned enough about populist movements that you can surely bet they are about to implement a very effective plan to shut this one down. The Viet Nam era movement was simple to shut down because it was essentially just the war that united progressives. It was a "one-cause" movement. When the cause was taken away, the "movement" went with it. Overnight we moved from the age of philosophy and environmentalism into the age of cocaine and Mercedes, as the corporations began to re-educate and re-assimilate the young into the value system designed to keep their cash flowing. If I remember those times correctly (late 70's, early 80's), the highest value promoted was the "quality" of sex. That is a long way from the ethics of environmentalism!

    I continue to emphasize (with little notice, of course) that this should not be an "antiwar" movement. It should be a progressive populist movement which reflects all the issues in the culture wars. Otherwise, it will end the day we leave Baghdad, and they will go to work planning the next war. Works every time -- like a charm. We need to be sure this time that we at least get back what they have stolen since the 70's. We need our rights back, we need our freedoms back, we need the drug war stopped and recognized for what it is, and we need "welfare reform" and "tort reform" reversed -- at a minimum. That would just be breaking even. I don't think we can even do that, though.

  •  I have a slightly more jaundiced view (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, auditor, Blue Generalist

    of the sixties.  First of all, I remember that while I was protesting the war there were also the Young Republicans and a group called Young Americans for Freedom protesting us.

    They were our age, too.  Many of them now run our government.  I didn't like them then and I don't like them now.  But, like I said, they were also of the "sixties" generation.

    Secondly, the American involvement in the war in Vietnam began to wind down when the public in general turned against it, a few months after the Tet Offensive in early 1968.  Sure, there were years of protests before and after, but if the only thing Johnson and Nixon had to worry about had been students demonstrating against them, they would not have had a problem.

    And that student involvement was fueled by the draft, or the fear of it.  I come from a neighborhood where most of the guys went into the military.  Nobody I knew wanted to, it was just because of the draft.  

    I have also come to view the student protests against the war as being more out of self-interest and less out of idealism than I did in the past.  If students and the young are naturally ideological, then there should be more student protests now over the war in Iraq.

    The protests after Kent State are a case in point.  Before the kids were killed at Kent State protesting the bombing of Cambodia, we were lucky to get 500-1000 people out of 20,000 at the college I went to protest the war.  After a few white kids were killed that number grew to 5,000.  But there was no equal outrage a few days later when the kids were killed at Jackson State.  They were black.

    Also, the following Fall, 1970 the turnout to protest the war had dropped back to the 500-1000 range where I went to school.

    So, yes, many of us protested the war because it was wrong.  But I believe that many of us thought about the war long enough to come to that conclusion because the draft made it personal.  And we should not take too much credit for ending the war.  We helped.  But then, like now, it is public opinion in general that forces change.  And the majority of the public then were not "commie pinko hippies."

    So, the message from this sixties type is to have faith in the American people to turn their backs on stupid wars, but don't get your hopes up that our elected officials will do what we want them to right away.

  •  Full Circle (3+ / 0-)

    Unlike Nixon, Kissinger, Macamara and company, Bush, Busco, PNAC etc. must not escape criminal prosecution for their part in perpetrating the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. Those who KNOWINGLY MISLED or otherwise exaggerated evidence to sell the war should face full criminal investigation and where appropriate, face formal charges. This should include Democrats, Republicans, "think tanks" and complicit press.

    "I feel, like I owe it, to someone..."

    "We do not torture." - George Bush during recent Asian visit

    by Flippant to the Last on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 08:39:37 PM PST

  •  OMG -- OPOL -- Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    But please don't piss off Maryscott anymore than you already have done, and accurately, ...friend.

    (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

    by ezdidit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 08:54:32 PM PST

    •  Uh oh! I pissed off MSOC? (0+ / 0-)

      Wonder what I did?

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:05:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  U B U -- That's what you did !!! (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't take much to get her ranting.  Don't provoke her is all we ask here. kos runs a nice moderate male website, no impeachment talk here please, with plenty of room for everybody to talk truth to power & everything about the history of the reasons for the reasons. But just don't let's turn it over to the pissed off women, or watch out.  

        One of them told me tonight all that was stopping her kind was guns and money, and they're closing in fast on the money!

        (-7.63,-6.21) Between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama - Huh, and I'm a moderate Democrat with a VOTEBLUE tattoo.

        by ezdidit on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:19:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Uusually she emails 'n slaps me back in line. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:13:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant. This brings back so many memories (2+ / 0-)

    I'll have to come back and read it in small pieces.  It's way too much for one sitting.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

    by david78209 on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:29:25 PM PST

  •  Dont you Think (4+ / 0-)

    a massive march on Washington would be timely to push the 'truth that is out there' . I  went to college in Boston in the late 60,s, and have been
    fighting tooth and nail ever since. Great Diary!
    "May We Stay Forever Young"

  •  I know I've already commented (2+ / 0-)

    and complimented this wonderful diary, but late tonight I am thinking through it again and remembering, with great pride and nostalgia, our wonderful activism and the idea of HOPE from activism, and I am listening tonight about a "surge" (escalation) in Iraq and wondering anew: did we not learn anything from Vietnam? Oh, my God, how can this continue???  And why are we not in the streets?

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 09:46:47 PM PST

  •  Where do I begin OPOL! I am in awe! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zerelda, One Pissed Off Liberal

    I was born in 1946, this diary was like seeing my life flashed before my eyes. This is the best diary, you've ever written and that is saying alot. Your insight expressed in this diary of our generation and all the wars that "the powers that be"set upon us is so on target. Thanks for the best read I've seen here at dk in a very long time. Keep it up, but I don't think you will ever top this one. Thanks again.

    *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

    by bonesy on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:16:53 PM PST

  •  You have OUTDONE yourself, my friend (2+ / 0-)

    Here, at dKos, we chip away at the accumulated crust of fecal matter the Republican "Revolution" of the Greedy and the Stupid has brought us.

    But we are so, so far behind where we were when Reagan took the throne.

    The environment has suffered, and is on a trajectory toward rejecting its human burden.

    The political consciousness now is so f'ing juvenile, restrained and half-hearted.  And yes, it is probably realistic in many ways, to be acting from the point at which it finds itself.

    But, we were blessed with VISION in those days, and, despite the flaws we now recognize in many of those individuals, they were able to touch us and inspire millions.

    We suffer the lack of that today, and, as we are told in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:18:36 PM PST

  •  History continues to repeat itself ad nauseum (5+ / 0-)

       History, unexamined, seems to repeat itself, maybe not mirror like in exactitude but it has enough patterns of simliliarity to make us shudder with horror.  First, before I forget, reading this excellent diary, ah the good and bad memories, I was struck today in seeing Countdown tonight as Olbermann reflected on the Ford Presidency.  Ford, who I thought was mediocre at best, seemed to have an eye for picking the scoundrels that would come to have enormous influence today.  I saw a picture of Ford with Cheney, who still had hair back then. Father Bush was an ambassador, Rumsfeld with his shit eating grin even then is now more responsible for the travesty in Iraq than we can possibly imagine, once the entire truth is revealed. He practically fired the best generals with the best advice right from the beginning of the war and before as well.  Ford pardoned Nixon and the story was buried only to reemerge in the Presidency of Bush who too thinks he will be pardoned at best, or become the new icon to the historians for his brilliant leadership.  
        Speaking of War, there is a rough estimate I have heard that 100 million people died in wars in the 20th century.  We are off to a good start as the new century gets off the launching pad with the Iraq fiasco.  It is truly incomphrensible to think of the enormous deaths that occured in the past wars that were fought with conventional weapons like rifles, tanks and airplanes.  One can only dread the new century with biological warfare, genetic engineering, smart weapons with neural nets with the smarts to rival humans in the forseeable future.  Just look at Aids as a weapon from nature itself and the numbers could easily rival the 20th century.  And then greed as the fire that has warmed the earth, maybe New York, the financial capital of the world will be an underwater museum.
        My own family members seem to be born at or near the time that wars have been fought.  My dad born in 1919 just as the First Great War ended. My brother born in 1944 at the time of Second World War.  I was born at the start of the Korean War in 51. My sisters kids born during the Vietnam War. My sister's grandson, our latest member arrived smack dab in the middle of the Iraq war.  Must be a family curse or something?  
       Opol I agree wholeheartedly that ART is a great form for communicating outrage and insight into the travesties of human beings. I was reminded today by an artist*( I can't remember if it was Raw Story or Huff post that spoke of an artist who has done a art presentation called "Torture."  The time is right.  He will follow in the footsteps of the great artists like Picasso and Goya for creating great works against the wars of their times. The internet can be a great instruement for artists who have been buried in the rubble by commercialism, or forced to write ads to make a living.  Maybe in the future,my time will arrive with stuff I have cooking in the deep recesses of my mind. Music, and drawing and science fiction ready to pop the cork, if I just stop procrastinating long enough to let invention take its course.  At my age it is no longer about money, but the need to awaken and touch the souls of men before it is too late.

  •  hooray! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    Not for culture war, but for you OPOL.  I read your diaries and realize that while utopia may be a struggle, but something reasonable and honest is not all that far removed.

    I'm a progressive because I believe in a high standard of life for everyone, bar none.

    by pegleghippie on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 10:55:13 PM PST

  •  problem is... (6+ / 0-)

    you all were too busy letting yourselves be divided fighting all those other wars, we should have been fighting the class war all along.

    MLK knew that the class war was where it was at, but the rich folks wanted us to keep scurrying about fighting amongst ourselves about all the stupid shit like hair, race, sex, religion, while they all made a bunch of money.

    Remember the right wing rich folks felt the heat during the 60's and made a very big effort to fight back and here is the memo that doomed us regular folks and led us down the path we are currently on...


    The Powell Memorandum: When National Chamber Director Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., became chairman of our Education Committee, he discussed with his neighbor and long-time friend, Lewis F. Powell, Richmond attorney, ways to provide the public a more balanced view of the country's economic system.

    At Mr. Sydnor's request, Mr. Powell, based on his broad experience as chairman of the Richmond City School Board, as well as the Virginia State Board of Education prepared a memorandum in which he incorporated a number of possible approaches. The memorandum covered a broad range of educational and other activities for study and consideration by the National Chamber.

    The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months before Mr. Powell was nominated to become a member justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. It has been under study and evaluation by Chamber officers and staff members. Several of its approaches have been put into practice. Others would require substantial new resources to carry out.

    Recently, Jack Anderson, the syndicated columnist, wrote several columns discussing the memorandum. Mr. Anderson obtained a copy of the memorandum without the knowledge or permission of the National Chamber. Anyone reading the Powell memorandum will easily conclude that it objectively and fairly deals with a very real problem facing the free enterprise system.

    To give all members of the National Chamber an opportunity to read the memorandum and to allow each to evaluate all the points raised, WASHINGTON REPORT presents the document in its entirety.



    DATE: August 23, 1971

    TO: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    FROM: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

    This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

    Dimensions of the Attack

    No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.1 This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

    There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

    But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

    Sources of the Attack

    The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

    The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

    Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these "attackers," or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.

    One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.

    The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.

    Most of the media, including the national TV systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend upon profits, and the enterprise system to survive.

    Tone of the Attack

    This memorandum is not the place to document in detail the tone, character, or intensity of the attack. The following quotations will suffice to give one a general idea:

    William Kunstler, warmly welcomed on campuses and listed in a recent student poll as the "American lawyer most admired," incites audiences as follows:

       "You must leam to fight in the streets, to revolt, to shoot guns. We will learn to do all of the things that property owners fear."2

    The New Leftists who heed Kunstler's advice increasingly are beginning to act -- not just against military recruiting offices and manufacturers of munitions, but against a variety of businesses:

       "Since February, 1970, branches (of Bank of America) have been attacked 39 times, 22 times with explosive devices and 17 times with fire bombs or by arsonists."3

    Although New Leftist spokesmen are succeeding in radicalizing thousands of the young, the greater cause for concern is the hostility of respectable liberals and social reformers. It is the sum total of their views and influence which could indeed fatally weaken or destroy the system.

    A chilling description of what is being taught on many of our campuses was written by Stewart Alsop:

       "Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores of bright young men who are practitioners of 'the politics of despair.' These young men despise the American political and economic system . . . (their) minds seem to be wholly closed. They live, not by rational discussion, but by mindless slogans."4

    A recent poll of students on 12 representative campuses reported that:

    "Almost half the students favored socialization of basic U.S. industries."5

    A visiting professor from England at Rockford College gave a series of lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society," in which he documents the extent to which members of the intellectual community are waging ideological warfare against the enterprise system and the values of western society. In a foreword to these lectures, famed Dr. Milton Friedman of Chicago warned:

       "It (is) crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack -- not by Communist or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote."6

    Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader who -- thanks largely to the media -- has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans. A recent article in Fortune speaks of Nader as follows:

       "The passion that rules in him -- and he is a passionate man -- is aimed at smashing utterly the target of his hatred, which is corporate power. He thinks, and says quite bluntly, that a great many corporate executives belong in prison -- for defrauding the consumer with shoddy merchandise, poisoning the food supply with chemical additives, and willfully manufacturing unsafe products that will maim or kill the buyer. He emphasizes that he is not talking just about 'fly-by-night hucksters' but the top management of blue chip business."7

    A frontal assault was made on our government, our system of justice, and the free enterprise system by Yale Professor Charles Reich in his widely publicized book: "The Greening of America," published last winter.

    The foregoing references illustrate the broad, shotgun attack on the system itself. There are countless examples of rifle shots which undermine confidence and confuse the public. Favorite current targets are proposals for tax incentives through changes in depreciation rates and investment credits. These are usually described in the media as "tax breaks," "loop holes" or "tax benefits" for the benefit of business. * As viewed by a columnist in the Post, such tax measures would benefit "only the rich, the owners of big companies."8

    It is dismaying that many politicians make the same argument that tax measures of this kind benefit only "business," without benefit to "the poor." The fact that this is either political demagoguery or economic illiteracy is of slight comfort. This setting of the "rich" against the "poor," of business against the people, is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.

    The Apathy and Default of Business

    What has been the response of business to this massive assault upon its fundamental economics, upon its philosophy, upon its right to continue to manage its own affairs, and indeed upon its integrity?

    The painfully sad truth is that business, including the boards of directors' and the top executives of corporations great and small and business organizations at all levels, often have responded -- if at all -- by appeasement, ineptitude and ignoring the problem. There are, of course, many exceptions to this sweeping generalization. But the net effect of such response as has been made is scarcely visible.

    In all fairness, it must be recognized that businessmen have not been trained or equipped to conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it. The traditional role of business executives has been to manage, to produce, to sell, to create jobs, to make profits, to improve the standard of living, to be community leaders, to serve on charitable and educational boards, and generally to be good citizens. They have performed these tasks very well indeed.

    But they have shown little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics, and little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate.

    A column recently carried by the Wall Street Journal was entitled: "Memo to GM: Why Not Fight Back?"9 Although addressed to GM by name, the article was a warning to all American business. Columnist St. John said:

       "General Motors, like American business in general, is 'plainly in trouble' because intellectual bromides have been substituted for a sound intellectual exposi-tion of its point of view."

    Mr. St. John then commented on the tendency of business leaders to compromise with and appease critics. He cited the concessions which Nader wins from management, and spoke of "the fallacious view many businessmen take toward their critics." He drew a parallel to the mistaken tactics of many college administrators:

       "College administrators learned too late that such appeasement serves to destroy free speech, academic freedom and genuine scholarship. One campus radical demand was conceded by university heads only to be followed by a fresh crop which soon escalated to what amounted to a demand for outright surrender."

    One need not agree entirely with Mr. St. John's analysis. But most observers of the American scene will agree that the essence of his message is sound. American business "plainly in trouble"; the response to the wide range of critics has been ineffective, and has included appeasement; the time has come -- indeed, it is long overdue -- for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshalled against those who would destroy it.

    Responsibility of Business Executives

    What specifically should be done? The first essential -- a prerequisite to any effective action -- is for businessmen to confront this problem as a primary responsibility of corporate management.

    The overriding first need is for businessmen to recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival -- survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people.

    The day is long past when the chief executive officer of a major corporation discharges his responsibility by maintaining a satisfactory growth of profits, with due regard to the corporation's public and social responsibilities. If our system is to survive, top management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself. This involves far more than an increased emphasis on "public relations" or "governmental affairs" -- two areas in which corporations long have invested substantial sums.

    A significant first step by individual corporations could well be the designation of an executive vice president (ranking with other executive VP's) whose responsibility is to counter-on the broadest front-the attack on the enterprise system. The public relations department could be one of the foundations assigned to this executive, but his responsibilities should encompass some of the types of activities referred to subsequently in this memorandum. His budget and staff should be adequate to the task. Possible Role of the Chamber of Commerce

    But independent and uncoordinated (sic) activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.

    Moreover, there is the quite understandable reluctance on the part of any one corporation to get too far out in front and to make itself too visible a target.

    The role of the National Chamber of Commerce is therefore vital. Other national organizations (especially those of various industrial and commercial groups) should join in the effort, but no other organizations appear to be as well situated as the Chamber. It enjoys a strategic position, with a fine reputation and a broad base of support. Also -- and this is of immeasurable merit -- there are hundreds of local Chambers of Commerce which can play a vital supportive role.

    It hardly need be said that before embarking upon any program, the Chamber should study and analyze possible courses of action and activities, weighing risks against probable effectiveness and feasibility of each. Considerations of cost, the assurance of financial and other support from members, adequacy of staffing and similar problems will all require the most thoughtful consideration.

    The Campus

    The assault on the enterprise system was not mounted in a few months. It has gradually evolved over the past two decades, barely perceptible in its origins and benefiting (sic) from a gradualism that provoked little awareness much less any real reaction.

    Although origins, sources and causes are complex and interrelated, and obviously difficult to identify without careful qualification, there is reason to believe that the campus is the single most dynamic source. The social science faculties usually include members who are unsympathetic to the enterprise system. They may range from a Herbert Marcuse, Marxist faculty member at the University of California at San Diego, and convinced socialists, to the ambivalent liberal critic who finds more to condemn than to commend. Such faculty members need not be in a majority. They are often personally attractive and magnetic; they are stimulating teachers, and their controversy attracts student following; they are prolific writers and lecturers; they author many of the textbooks, and they exert enormous influence -- far out of proportion to their numbers -- on their colleagues and in the academic world.

    Social science faculties (the political scientist, economist, sociologist and many of the historians) tend to be liberally oriented, even when leftists are not present. This is not a criticism per se, as the need for liberal thought is essential to a balanced viewpoint. The difficulty is that "balance" is conspicuous by its absence on many campuses, with relatively few members being of conservatives or moderate persuasion and even the relatively few often being less articulate and aggressive than their crusading colleagues.

    This situation extending back many years and with the imbalance gradually worsening, has had an enormous impact on millions of young American students. In an article in Barron's Weekly, seeking an answer to why so many young people are disaffected even to the point of being revolutionaries, it was said:

       "Because they were taught that way."10

    Or, as noted by columnist Stewart Alsop, writing about his alma mater:

       "Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores' of bright young men ... who despise the American political and economic system."

    As these "bright young men," from campuses across the country, seek opportunities to change a system which they have been taught to distrust -- if not, indeed "despise" -- they seek employment in the centers of the real power and influence in our country, namely: (i) with the news media, especially television; (ii) in government, as "staffers" and consultants at various levels; (iii) in elective politics; (iv) as lecturers and writers, and (v) on the faculties at various levels of education.

    Many do enter the enterprise system -- in business and the professions -- and for the most part they quickly discover the fallacies of what they have been taught. But those who eschew the mainstream of the system often remain in key positions of influence where they mold public opinion and often shape governmental action. In many instances, these "intellectuals" end up in regulatory agencies or governmental departments with large authority over the business system they do not believe in.

    If the foregoing analysis is approximately sound, a priority task of business -- and organizations such as the Chamber -- is to address the campus origin of this hostility. Few things are more sanctified in American life than academic freedom. It would be fatal to attack this as a principle. But if academic freedom is to retain the qualities of "openness," "fairness" and "balance" -- which are essential to its intellectual significance -- there is a great opportunity for constructive action. The thrust of such action must be to restore the qualities just mentioned to the academic communities.

    What Can Be Done About the Campus

    The ultimate responsibility for intellectual integrity on the campus must remain on the administrations and faculties of our colleges and universities. But organizations such as the Chamber can assist and activate constructive change in many ways, including the following:

    Staff of Scholars

    The Chamber should consider establishing a staff of highly qualified scholars in the social sciences who do believe in the system. It should include several of national reputation whose authorship would be widely respected -- even when disagreed with.

    Staff of Speakers

    There also should be a staff of speakers of the highest competency. These might include the scholars, and certainly those who speak for the Chamber would have to articulate the product of the scholars.

    Speaker's Bureau

    In addition to full-time staff personnel, the Chamber should have a Speaker's Bureau which should include the ablest and most effective advocates from the top echelons of American business.

    Evaluation of Textbooks

    The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.

    The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.

    We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.

    If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected -- honestly, fairly and thoroughly -- to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.

    Equal Time on the Campus

    The Chamber should insist upon equal time on the college speaking circuit. The FBI publishes each year a list of speeches made on college campuses by avowed Communists. The number in 1970 exceeded 100. There were, of course, many hundreds of appearances by leftists and ultra liberals who urge the types of viewpoints indicated earlier in this memorandum. There was no corresponding representation of American business, or indeed by individuals or organizations who appeared in support of the American system of government and business.

    Every campus has its formal and informal groups which invite speakers. Each law school does the same thing. Many universities and colleges officially sponsor lecture and speaking programs. We all know the inadequacy of the representation of business in the programs.

    It will be said that few invitations would be extended to Chamber speakers.11 This undoubtedly would be true unless the Chamber aggressively insisted upon the right to be heard -- in effect, insisted upon "equal time." University administrators and the great majority of student groups and committees would not welcome being put in the position publicly of refusing a forum to diverse views, indeed, this is the classic excuse for allowing Communists to speak.

    The two essential ingredients are (i) to have attractive, articulate and well-informed speakers; and (ii) to exert whatever degree of pressure -- publicly and privately -- may be necessary to assure opportunities to speak. The objective always must be to inform and enlighten, and not merely to propagandize.

    Balancing of Faculties

    Perhaps the most fundamental problem is the imbalance of many faculties. Correcting this is indeed a long-range and difficult project. Yet, it should be undertaken as a part of an overall program. This would mean the urging of the need for faculty balance upon university administrators and boards of trustees.

    The methods to be employed require careful thought, and the obvious pitfalls must be avoided. Improper pressure would be counterproductive. But the basic concepts of balance, fairness and truth are difficult to resist, if properly presented to boards of trustees, by writing and speaking, and by appeals to alumni associations and groups.

    This is a long road and not one for the fainthearted. But if pursued with integrity and conviction it could lead to a strengthening of both academic freedom on the campus and of the values which have made America the most productive of all societies.

    Graduate Schools of Business

    The Chamber should enjoy a particular rapport with the increasingly influential graduate schools of business. Much that has been suggested above applies to such schools.

    Should not the Chamber also request specific courses in such schools dealing with the entire scope of the problem addressed by this memorandum? This is now essential training for the executives of the future.

    Secondary Education

    While the first priority should be at the college level, the trends mentioned above are increasingly evidenced in the high schools. Action programs, tailored to the high schools and similar to those mentioned, should be considered. The implementation thereof could become a major program for local chambers of commerce, although the control and direction -- especially the quality control -- should be retained by the National Chamber.

    What Can Be Done About the Public?

    Reaching the campus and the secondary schools is vital for the long-term. Reaching the public generally may be more important for the shorter term. The first essential is to establish the staffs of eminent scholars, writers and speakers, who will do the thinking, the analysis, the writing and the speaking. It will also be essential to have staff personnel who are thoroughly familiar with the media, and how most effectively to communicate with the public. Among the more obvious means are the following:


    The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as "Selling of the Pentagon"), but to the daily "news analysis" which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in "business" and free enterprise.

    This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints -- to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission -- should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.

    Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

    Other Media

    Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.

    The Scholarly Journals

    It is especially important for the Chamber's "faculty of scholars" to publish. One of the keys to the success of the liberal and leftist faculty members has been their passion for "publication" and "lecturing." A similar passion must exist among the Chamber's scholars.

    Incentives might be devised to induce more "publishing" by independent scholars who do believe in the system.

    There should be a fairly steady flow of scholarly articles presented to a broad spectrum of magazines and periodicals -- ranging from the popular magazines (Life, Look, Reader's Digest, etc.) to the more intellectual ones (Atlantic, Harper's, Saturday Review, New York, etc.)13 and to the various professional journals.

    Books, Paperbacks and Pamphlets

    The news stands -- at airports, drugstores, and elsewhere -- are filled with paperbacks and pamphlets advocating everything from revolution to erotic free love. One finds almost no attractive, well-written paperbacks or pamphlets on "our side." It will be difficult to compete with an Eldridge Cleaver or even a Charles Reich for reader attention, but unless the effort is made -- on a large enough scale and with appropriate imagination to assure some success -- this opportunity for educating the public will be irretrievably lost.

    Paid Advertisements

    Business pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the media for advertisements. Most of this supports specific products; much of it supports institutional image making; and some fraction of it does support the system. But the latter has been more or less tangential, and rarely part of a sustained, major effort to inform and enlighten the American people.

    If American business devoted only 10% of its total annual advertising budget to this overall purpose, it would be a statesman-like expenditure.

    The Neglected Political Arena

    In the final analysis, the payoff -- short-of revolution -- is what government does. Business has been the favorite whipping-boy of many politicians for many years. But the measure of how far this has gone is perhaps best found in the anti-business views now being expressed by several leading candidates for President of the United States.

    It is still Marxist doctrine that the "capitalist" countries are controlled by big business. This doctrine, consistently a part of leftist propaganda all over the world, has a wide public following among Americans.

    Yet, as every business executive knows, few elements of American society today have as little influence in government as the American businessman, the corporation, or even the millions of corporate stockholders. If one doubts this, let him undertake the role of "lobbyist" for the business point of view before Congressional committees. The same situation obtains in the legislative halls of most states and major cities. One does not exaggerate to say that, in terms of political influence with respect to the course of legislation and government action, the American business executive is truly the "forgotten man."

    Current examples of the impotency of business, and of the near-contempt with which businessmen's views are held, are the stampedes by politicians to support almost any legislation related to "consumerism" or to the "environment."

    Politicians reflect what they believe to be majority views of their constituents. It is thus evident that most politicians are making the judgment that the public has little sympathy for the businessman or his viewpoint.

    The educational programs suggested above would be designed to enlighten public thinking -- not so much about the businessman and his individual role as about the system which he administers, and which provides the goods, services and jobs on which our country depends.

    But one should not postpone more direct political action, while awaiting the gradual change in public opinion to be effected through education and information. Business must learn the lesson, long ago learned by labor and other self-interest groups. This is the lesson that political power is necessary; that such power must be assidously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination -- without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.

    As unwelcome as it may be to the Chamber, it should consider assuming a broader and more vigorous role in the political arena.

    Neglected Opportunity in the Courts

    American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.

    Other organizations and groups, recognizing this, have been far more astute in exploiting judicial action than American business. Perhaps the most active exploiters of the judicial system have been groups ranging in political orientation from "liberal" to the far left.

    The American Civil Liberties Union is one example. It initiates or intervenes in scores of cases each year, and it files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court in a number of cases during each term of that court. Labor unions, civil rights groups and now the public interest law firms are extremely active in the judicial arena. Their success, often at business' expense, has not been inconsequential.

    This is a vast area of opportunity for the Chamber, if it is willing to undertake the role of spokesman for American business and if, in turn, business is willing to provide the funds.

    As with respect to scholars and speakers, the Chamber would need a highly competent staff of lawyers. In special situations it should be authorized to engage, to appear as counsel amicus in the Supreme Court, lawyers of national standing and reputation. The greatest care should be exercised in selecting the cases in which to participate, or the suits to institute. But the opportunity merits the necessary effort.

    Neglected Stockholder Power

    The average member of the public thinks of "business" as an impersonal corporate entity, owned by the very rich and managed by over-paid executives. There is an almost total failure to appreciate that "business" actually embraces -- in one way or another -- most Americans. Those for whom business provides jobs, constitute a fairly obvious class. But the 20 million stockholders -- most of whom are of modest means -- are the real owners, the real entrepreneurs, the real capitalists under our system. They provide the capital which fuels the economic system which has produced the highest standard of living in all history. Yet, stockholders have been as ineffectual as business executives in promoting a genuine understanding of our system or in exercising political influence.

    The question which merits the most thorough examination is how can the weight and influence of stockholders -- 20 million voters -- be mobilized to support (i) an educational program and (ii) a political action program.

    Individual corporations are now required to make numerous reports to shareholders. Many corporations also have expensive "news" magazines which go to employees and stockholders. These opportunities to communicate can be used far more effectively as educational media.

    The corporation itself must exercise restraint in undertaking political action and must, of course, comply with applicable laws. But is it not feasible -- through an affiliate of the Chamber or otherwise -- to establish a national organization of American stockholders and give it enough muscle to be influential?

    A More Aggressive Attitude

    Business interests -- especially big business and their national trade organizations -- have tried to maintain low profiles, especially with respect to political action.

    As suggested in the Wall Street Journal article, it has been fairly characteristic of the average business executive to be tolerant -- at least in public -- of those who attack his corporation and the system. Very few businessmen or business organizations respond in kind. There has been a disposition to appease; to regard the opposition as willing to compromise, or as likely to fade away in due time.

    Business has shunted confrontation politics. Business, quite understandably, has been repelled by the multiplicity of non-negotiable "demands" made constantly by self-interest groups of all kinds.

    While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system -- at all levels and at every opportunity -- be far more aggressive than in the past.

    There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.

    Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected -- where it counts the most -- by politicians, on the campus, and among the media.

    It is time for American business -- which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions -- to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.

    The Cost

    The type of program described above (which includes a broadly based combination of education and political action), if undertaken long term and adequately staffed, would require far more generous financial support from American corporations than the Chamber has ever received in the past. High level management participation in Chamber affairs also would be required.

    The staff of the Chamber would have to be significantly increased, with the highest quality established and maintained. Salaries would have to be at levels fully comparable to those paid key business executives and the most prestigious faculty members. Professionals of the great skill in advertising and in working with the media, speakers, lawyers and other specialists would have to be recruited.

    It is possible that the organization of the Chamber itself would benefit from restructuring. For example, as suggested by union experience, the office of President of the Chamber might well be a full-time career position. To assure maximum effectiveness and continuity, the chief executive officer of the Chamber should not be changed each year. The functions now largely performed by the President could be transferred to a Chairman of the Board, annually elected by the membership. The Board, of course, would continue to exercise policy control.

    Quality Control is Essential

    Essential ingredients of the entire program must be responsibility and "quality control." The publications, the articles, the speeches, the media programs, the advertising, the briefs filed in courts, and the appearances before legislative committees -- all must meet the most exacting standards of accuracy and professional excellence. They must merit respect for their level of public responsibility and scholarship, whether one agrees with the viewpoints expressed or not.

    Relationship to Freedom

    The threat to the enterprise system is not merely a matter of economics. It also is a threat to individual freedom.

    It is this great truth -- now so submerged by the rhetoric of the New Left and of many liberals -- that must be re-affirmed if this program is to be meaningful.

    There seems to be little awareness that the only alternatives to free enterprise are varying degrees of bureaucratic regulation of individual freedom -- ranging from that under moderate socialism to the iron heel of the leftist or rightist dictatorship.

    We in America already have moved very far indeed toward some aspects of state socialism, as the needs and complexities of a vast urban society require types of regulation and control that were quite unnecessary in earlier times. In some areas, such regulation and control already have seriously impaired the freedom of both business and labor, and indeed of the public generally. But most of the essential freedoms remain: private ownership, private profit, labor unions, collective bargaining, consumer choice, and a market economy in which competition largely determines price, quality and variety of the goods and services provided the consumer.

    In addition to the ideological attack on the system itself (discussed in this memorandum), its essentials also are threatened by inequitable taxation, and -- more recently -- by an inflation which has seemed uncontrollable.14 But whatever the causes of diminishing economic freedom may be, the truth is that freedom as a concept is indivisible. As the experience of the socialist and totalitarian states demonstrates, the contraction and denial of economic freedom is followed inevitably by governmental restrictions on other cherished rights. It is this message, above all others, that must be carried home to the American people.


    It hardly need be said that the views expressed above are tentative and suggestive. The first step should be a thorough study. But this would be an exercise in futility unless the Board of Directors of the Chamber accepts the fundamental premise of this paper, namely, that business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late.


    1. Variously called: the "free enterprise system," "capitalism," and the "profit system." The American political system of democracy under the rule of law is also under attack, often by the same individuals and organizations who seek to undermine the enterprise system.
    1. Richmond News Leader, June 8, 1970. Column of William F. Buckley, Jr.
    1. N.Y. Times Service article, reprinted Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 17, 1971.
    1. Stewart Alsop, Yale and the Deadly Danger, Ncwsweek, May 18. 1970.
    1. Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 7, 1971.
    1. Dr. Milton Friedman, Prof. of Economics, U. of Chicago, writing a foreword to Dr. Arthur A. Shenfield's Rockford College lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society," copyrighted 1970 by Rockford College.
    1. Fortune. May, 1971, p. 145. This Fortune analysis of the Nader influence includes a reference to Nader's visit to a college where he was paid a lecture fee of $2,500 for "denouncing America's big corporations in venomous language . . . bringing (rousing and spontaneous) bursts of applause" when he was asked when he planned to run for President.
    1. The Washington Post, Column of William Raspberry, June 28, 1971.
    1. Jeffrey St. John, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1971.

    *. Italic emphasis added by Mr. Powell.

    1. Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly, "The Total Break with America, The Fifth Annual Conference of Socialist Scholars," Sept. 15, 1969.
    1. On many campuses freedom of speech has been denied to all who express moderate or conservative viewpoints.
    1. It has been estimated that the evening half-hour news programs of the networks reach daily some 50,000,000 Americans.
    1. One illustration of the type of article which should not go unanswered appeared in the popular "The New York" of July 19, 1971. This was entitled "A Populist Manifesto" by ultra liberal Jack Newfield -- who argued that "the root need in our country is 'to redistribute wealth'."
    1. The recent "freeze" of prices and wages may well be justified by the current inflationary crisis. But if imposed as a permanent measure the enterprise system will have sustained a near fatal blow.

    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

    by jbou on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:26:38 PM PST

  •  I remember the 60s and 70s (3+ / 0-)

    the other thing was the huge generational gap. My mom didn't work or drive. Or do much else but clean the house. Parents and kids didn't talk like today,  no one owned up to having sex.  That's why it was so easy to protest everything--it was easy to shock people.

    It was so much fun, too.  We got to go bra-less, I even remember doing the dumbest things like walking around a park in Berkeley naked, I don't know why we didn't get arrested. We really just rejected the whole world that the conservative adults foisted off on us. That whole generation never really had much fun but we were sure having fun.  Materialism was frowned upon (opposite of today.)  There were a few "conservative" youth but they were like studying "business" --I mean the conservatives were treated like freaks almost.  That's what me and my friends called them "the conservatives" and we would laugh at them.

    Maybe I never really grew out of that phase because even today I could care less about outward displays of materialism like fancy cars. I find today's preoccupation with materialism so conservative!

    Nov. 7, 2006 = Divine Retribution

    by Shappy on Wed Dec 27, 2006 at 11:41:54 PM PST

  •  The CIA may own the media - but (2+ / 0-)

    at least right now, it doesn't own the Blogosphere.

    Great Wake Up Call and obviously people are listening.

    I have heard it said that while Americans often wake up late, they never wake up too late.

    But then, it is getting pretty late.

    We need a massive change in thinking at the highest levels in the Country and we need it soon.

    "Whenever it is widely understood that Power is the creation of its Victims, the World Trembles"

    •  What does "own" mean? (0+ / 0-)

      If "own" means "have a financial relationship with," the blogosophere isn't owned.

      If "own" menas "have a secret that can be used to blackmail the commentator," then I'm not sure. Maybe what Colby meant is that he had the blackmail any major reporter on short notice. Maybe he has that kind of information about, say, Markos, or Armando, or lots of other people here.

      I think, for that reason, we have to say this: If the Bush Rovies start blackmailing our allies over something genuinely awful that they've done, the blackmail negates the awfulness.

      Example: Personally, I think that the fact that Clinton got close and personal with a messed up intern is dreadful. But I also think that the wingnut media blitz against Clinton has pretty much erased that as an issue in my mind.

      I hope that Democrats will have the guts to call blackmail "blackmail" when they see it, so we have a chance to catch the blackmailing network operators and shut them down.

      •  J. Edgar Hoover was sure Martin Luther King Jr. (0+ / 0-)

        ... could be "brought into line" because he, Hoover, had a thick file full of evidence, obtained by bugging and wiretaps, of Dr. King's philandering.

        Had King actually known what Hoover was doing, he might have been more worried on that front. In August 1963, the F.B.I., in an internal memo, designated King ''the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation,'' and it began a campaign to tap his telephone and plant bugs in his hotel rooms as he traveled. The systematic character of the F.B.I. vendetta astonishes to this day. After the bureau learned of assassination threats against a number of prominent Americans, each was notified—except King. The F.B.I. persuaded Marquette University not to award an honorary degree to King. Under F.B.I. prodding, Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York telephoned Pope Paul VI's Secretary of State in a vain effort to prevent a papal audience for King.

        ''I am amazed that the Pope gave an audience to such a degenerate,'' Hoover wrote after the meeting. Through his bugs, Hoover had picked up evidence of marital infidelity on King's part. ''This will destroy the burrhead,'' Hoover gloated. Doing its best to bring this prophecy about, the F.B.I. sent some of its damaging material to King along with an anonymous suggestion that he do the honorable thing and take his own life. ...

        From the New York Times book review (free registration required) dated January 18, 1998, of Taylor Branch's Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65

      •  But Dr. King would not be blackmailed. So Hoover (0+ / 0-)

        ... and his allies in government [redacted]. And Dr. King is remembered for all he did that was good and right—not the mistakes he made or the character flaws he had.

        Just to clarify that I agree with sclminc wholeheartedly. The intent of my quote above was not to discredit Dr. King, but to show that we must stand up to blackmail, even it comes from the very top as in the case of FBI director Hoover and those who used him as their tool and stooge.

        •  The Spy Who Wore Red (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There's a great book called "The Spy Who Wore Red" that's supposed to be the autobiography of an early OSS/CIA agent. A lot of people have really trashed it, but I tend to believe that the general parts are true, if not necessarily the details, partly because it talks about what has turned out to be a huge problem: the fate of artwork stolen from Jewish Germans and others during World War II.

          Somewhere in the book (or a sequel), the author talks about how spies would often simply make the reports they were giving their bosses. Because, a lot of times, the bosses had no way to verify what the spies were saying was true or not.

          My guess is that a lot of the scandalous stuff we'll find in old FBI and CIA files was simply made up. So, whatever we find in the files is interesting, but the only way we should trust it is if we can find human beings with no axe to grind who support it, and/or we find audio and video tapes from impeccable sources that can't possibly be the product of forgery or tampering.

          •  That's been a problem with E. German Stasi files. (0+ / 0-)

            There's a huge class of people the East German ministry of homeland security (heh) carried in their files as "casual informants." Let's suppose a note in these "informal" files indicates that

            • casual informant X reported that observed person Y did or said Z.

            Experience has shown that the existence of such a note guarantees nothing without strong corroborating evidence from elsewhere.

            • Despite being listed under a code name in the files, X may never have knowingly ever had contact with agents of homeland security.
            • X may never have actually said anything about Y.
            • Y may never have actually done or said Z.

            Why? Because, as you point out, government agents in such a situation believe they can, with impunity, simply invent and embellish things, just to make a good show of diligently filling up ring binders with notes.

  •  saw Iraq coming like a bad dream (2+ / 0-)

    The ground opens as if wounded by sharpnel. Into to the Light of their giving, we descend. At the depth of this lasceration is a Black Marble chevron, a scar we All bear. Upon this badge of Honor is Etched a rememberance for all, especially they that are too young to know, the reminder of the ultilmate sacrifice that the Many suffered. Small gifts and rememberance are both left and taken. Tears and Sorry are the Order of the day. Into the light of day we assend, just as we once looked to Home, leaving a place we would have as soon forgotten. Their voices echo and call to the present. For, they speak loudly!
    Will we hear what they Say! and Say and say.

  •  Great diary, but where's the mention of women? (5+ / 0-)

    Great diary, really enjoyed it, and I do realize that space constraints limit the mention of some things, but whereinell is any mention of the revolution that affected 54 percent of the U.S. pop., whether they wanted it to or not?

    I refer to the revolution in women's expectations, rights, and religion.  Kiddo, when I was growing up--and I'm just on the front edge of the boomers--in the classified ads it was "Help wanted--male" and "Help wanted--female."  Males got to do the well-paid jobs and women got to do the clerk-typist, keypunch operator, and sales clerk jobs--ill paid, with few benefits.  A wife's salary wasn't counted when a married couple applied to buy a house UNLESS she was either older than 32 or had a doctor's statement saying that she was infertile.  Landlords wouldn't rent to "fallen women"--unwed mothers. And FORGET about having a credit card in one's own name!  A father or husband had to apply for the credit card.  When I married in 1967 my credit rating (excellent) automatically became my husband's credit rating (lousy).

    How different--and preferable--are women's expectations, rights, and religion in today's world.  When I read Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance" I felt as if I had come home.  I realized I'd been a Witch my whole life but simply hadn't known there was a name for my beliefs and feelings.  It's wonderful to worship a loving mother Goddess rather than a judgmental, vengeful god.  Nothing in the world has been quite as liberating as that, with the possible exception of the oral contraceptive pill.

    If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 04:59:58 AM PST

    •  Great addition to a great diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was not encouraged to take any advanced science courses even though I was top in my high school class.
      Of my 25 closest friends who graduated from college in 1970, 24 had degrees in teaching and 1 in Nursing. That's why teachers were so good for so long.  Many of them should have been scientists and CEO's.  
      But I had forgotten all the other hassles like not being able to have a credit card unless I got married.
      Or try to get renters insurance?  It's too bad that the women's movement didn't effectively bond with the civil rights movement.  With the separation came loss of power, but the civil rights movement was run by and large by men and women were just sick and tired of being told what to do.  We still have a long way to go, baby.

      "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

      by MontanaMaven on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:14:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

    we are not the world's most evil warmongers.  The United States has created more freedom, more wealth and more opportunity for more people than any system in the history of the world.  

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I love this country because I was able to take out loans of private capital with low interest to finance an education that helped me get a high-paying job.  

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I love America, this great nation and this great people, because my job that I was able to achieve with hard work, private investment and playing by the rules, gives me a 401(k) plan that invests in private securities that leverage corporations to the will of its owners, the shareholders.  

    I love this nation because unlike some of those real-warmongoring nations you scoff at, women enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men.  

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I love this nation because people of all races, ethnicities and religions live together, without religious restrictions, segregation, ethnic cleansing or genocide.

    I love this nation and while I respect your right to hate it, you must respect my right to disagree.  

    •  Where exactly did I say I hated America? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      s marie

      Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

      by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:42:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the illumination lotlizard! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

        by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 09:51:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me again? (0+ / 0-)

        I am unsure as to what you refer to with your link to that prior article.  A review of my comment history will show that while I disagree from time to time with outrageous rhetoric and meanness, I am always respectful, engaging and positive.  I contribute regularly to open discussions and try always to form my own opinion (even if I do not fit in dogmatically to either party, or ideology).

        OPOL, I just presumed that when you wrote that we "are the evil warmongers of the world,"  that you were not writing in the spirit of admiration or love.  Moreover, I am a regular reader of your columns and they consistently refer to American history as "bullshit" and point to the worst aspects of that history while ignoring the best (and most).  Even in your chosen handle, you emphasize the negative while ignoring the positive.  

        Is it not true that in contemporary civilization, America is among the most progressive, liberal, inclusive nations.  There are no religious barriers to citizenship into this nation as there are in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt.  Women are entitled to all that men are, as opposed to the pan-Islamic bloc nations.  We live in multi-racial communities as opposed to Western Europe which openly segregates its citizenry.  

        Thus, while I respect your rights to emphasize the negative, the dark history, the worst of humanity, please respect my choice to emphasize the positive, the bright, the freedom, the wealth, the opportunity our great nation and people afford.  

        Respectfully, of course...

        •  OK, how did I disrespect your right... (0+ / 0-)

          to say whatever you so desire?

          Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

          by One Pissed Off Liberal on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 11:35:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Your earlier comment was troll-rated 14 times. (0+ / 0-)

          Explanation for the benefit of readers who are unable to see hidden comments: it was something so obscene and mean-spirited, 14 Kossacks whose "trusted user" status allows them to see such comments agreed that it ought to be hidden.

          •  no troll (0+ / 0-)

            I have been a regular contributor to this site for some time. A review of my comment history will show that while I disagree from time to time with outrageous rhetoric and meanness, I am always respectful, engaging and positive.  I contribute regularly to open discussions and try always to form my own opinion (even if I do not fit in dogmatically to either party, or ideology).

            I am sure OPOL would agree given our latest discourse.  

            •  Disruptive behavior with trollish intent (0+ / 0-)
              • Instead of trying to hijack this diary and leech off OPOL's popularity by posting your material as an oversized comment here, you could have posted your own diary called "I love America."
              • Alternatively, you could have posted your material to a Cheers and Jeers diary, as a series of pictures with notes saying "Cheers to America because ..."
              • But you did not take either of those routes, because your whole point was to spread your patently false and trollish accusation that OPOL, and indeed anyone who attempts to educate and motivate a wider audience re specific facts showing the divergence between our country's professed ideals and her actual deeds, supposedly "hates America." A gross LIE and the oldest right-wing trick in the book.

              Disruptive behavior plus propagation of right-wing cheap shots add up to prima facie evidence of trollish intent.

  •  Thank you—there’s Much Wisdom in thi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    You’ve stirred up some memories, that even now, after all this time, I’m still having trouble sorting through.  Thanks for the reminder that there are lessons to be learned from history, which could save us repeating the same mistakes over and over.

    I was a teen during the turbulent 60’s, and there’s always a tendency to forget some of the worst things and view the past with nostalgia.  I remember things like the rock and folk music but there were also things I’d rather forget, like:  The riots in places like Detroit (43 dead, 1189 injured) and Newark (23 dead, 725 injured) as well as in other US cities.  Also, I remember with overwhelming sadness the devastating assassinations of JFK, RFK & MLK.  Of course, constantly in the  background was the "police action" (Washington-speak term--couldn't say "war") in Vietnam, etc. Things weren’t all "peace, love & harmony"—the reality was far from it—there was a constant struggle between sectors of society who wanted change vs. those who fought for maintaining the status quo.

    If our leaders had taken the time to remember and learn from our recent past, we probably wouldn’t be in Iraq right now.  Your diary is a great lesson to all who read it--those of us who remember the 60’s only through rose-colored glasses, remembering the good times, forgetting the bad;  as well as those who didn’t live through those turbulent times, and often feel that the "boomers" are just wallowing in the past.  There are lessons we should learn from the past that could save us a lot of pain and suffering.

  •  anti-intellectualist drivel (0+ / 0-)

    that doesn't step on any important toes is not gonna get the job done. I'll diary on the rock 'n roll part of your diary, but that's just the fun part of scratching the surface.

    David Sirota or Stephanie Miller for President, screw the wonks and whimps.

    by fairleft on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 07:59:36 AM PST

  •  We actually sang (2+ / 0-)

    Fixing to Die Rag on the airplane on the way to Viet Nam. It's one of the highlights of my life.

  •  In Jungian Psych, 38% are people who are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    called The Guardians.  They guard institutions.  They love belonging to organizations. Also in Jungian Psychology, 75% of the population prefer to take in information in detail rather than in patterns.  Sensors versus Intuitives. This is the source of the most misunderstanding between people.  75% of the population are sensors and describe themselves as practical, down to earth, grounded.  When a sensor manager interviews for a job, he values experience - the resume.  The intuitive manager will interview looking for what the employee will do in a future hypothetical situation.  Intuitives describe themselves as head in the clouds rather than down to earth.  They rely on hunches over facts.  Possibilites over realities.  They prefer to live in the future.  Sensors prefer to live in the Now.  It's important to understand these preferences;  and I repeat...preferences like being left or right handed.
    So, yes, resistance to change is innate for some, but can be cultivated. Tht's what Jung calls "individuation" and what I call maturity.  I live for change and my husband prefers no change. We have learned from each other to be more open to the other's preference.  I'm the helium balloon that needs someone to hold on to the string or I will drift forever up and away.
    "We are all of one body, with gifts differing." as Romans says.  

    "It's time to rein in the rascals and rotate the crop"

    by MontanaMaven on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:46:09 AM PST

  •  The debate in political science on the wars... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal between Morris P. Fiorina in his book Culture War? and Abramowitz and Saunders (and others).  The A&S piece can be accessed here (it's a very good and readable summary of the debate and Fiorina too...use a fake name, etc., to get it from the linked website).  

  •  good job, opol (0+ / 0-)

    i had a bad cold when this came out, finally got to read it (was reminded by the link in stonemason's nice mexico post). i wonder what it'll take for 98% of americans to wake up.

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