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I had what may be considered by some an unusual upbringing.  In my formative years, before I reached the age of 18, I was exposed to two very different environments: In one, poverty, violence, and danger were prevalent; in the other one, stability, abundance, and a certain level of privilege (nice neighborhoods, private schools, etc.) was more of the norm.

Those experiences had a profound impact on me.  Early on I realized that in many ways we are really a product of our environments.  As I moved from the ghetto and ghetto schools to the nice neighborhoods and private schools, back and forth, I developed what I like to think was a heightened ability to not only observe (as in anthropology) the environment around me, but to become aware about how I fit in those environments.

And so when in poverty surrounded by violence and social dysfunction, I noticed how that environment influenced or shaped the behavior of people.  When you're talking about not only dealing with poverty, but with the high level of violence and dysfunction in those communities, one must develop certain survival abilities just to make it through the day.

When in times of stability, living in nice neighborhoods, and attending private schools, the challenge for the ghetto kid is to adapt to a more calmer, and safe environment, and to fit in with "polite" society.

Obviously, all this back-and-forth between these two very different environments can be very challenging for several reasons, but for young males the biggest challenge may be that you're always "the new kid in the block."  For me that meant that I have to become a street fighter, unwittingly.

In the ghetto, when you are are the new kid in the block and you happen to talk a little different, and do other horrible sins like study, read, get good grades, and not really take on the mannerisms of the streets, you're not going to have that much of a good time...

And that of course meant countless fist-fights (probably hundreds).  As that situation became just a fact of life, I learned to adapt to it, to the point that eventually I lost all fear.  I have to admit, looking back, that that is definitely not normal, but that was the situation nevertheless.

A typical situation... I would be playing basketball with a group of friends (and family); some real bad-ass kids (4 or 5) would walk up to us and start harassing us, taking the ball from us, and pushing people around.  My friends would say, "Okay, let's go, it's not worth it taking on these guys."  I would tell them to go ahead and leave, and I would stay behind... Once they were gone, I'll challenge the bullies... "Okay, so you guys are really tough guys; if you are man enough, why don't you fight me one by one?  I'll take on all four of you either way, but you are cowards if you can't fight me one by one."

I'll get to my point shortly... Hang in there... It really wasn't a totally crazy thing because as I grew up, and because of the violence around me, I started taking formal self-defense lessons, including boxing and martial arts, but I never flaunted it.  I never bullied anybody or picked fights.  I was actually kind of a gentle, happy-go-lucky guy.

So anyways, those experiences taught me many lessons about people, at a very fundamental level.  If they accepted my challenge and fought me one by one, and stuck to their "word," that taught me a lesson.  If they saw I was beating the living shit out of one of them and then decided to jump me, that gave me another insight about character, or the lack thereof.

And so that's how I became to hate bullies, with a passion, to the point that I made a point of bullying the bullies.  Now, let me reiterate at this point that I'm strictly talking about my childhood (before I reached the age of 18).  Thank God in my entire adulthood I've never been involved in a physical altercation, and I've always been a peaceful person (since then).

But getting back to those crazy times... One of my favorite things to do was to lull the bully into thinking I was intimidated and afraid.  Things like this... It's lunch time, I'm at cafeteria across the school playing a video game.  This "tough" guy comes over and tells me to get off the machine because he wants to use it.  I tell him I just started and that he'll have to wait.  He proceeds to push me really hard; there are a quite a few people watching.

This particular guy was a weightlifter and had a pretty bad reputation as a bully.  To me, it was a perfect situation.  I back off, start telling him I don't want any trouble, he keeps pushing me, looking around to make sure everybody is watching, all the while I already know how the incident is going to end (but he doesn't).

Bullies love it when people are afraid of them; they get more emboldened, and that's why I always played that card... I kept backing down, telling him I don't want any trouble.  He finally gets more emboldened and grabs me and tries to do one of those judo moves where he puts his leg behind yours and pushes you hard and you fall hard on the ground.

Thirty seconds later half of the people in the cafeteria had to pull me back after pummeling the guy, to screams of "stop him, he's going to kill him!"

Okay, enough of that... Here's the point: I learned that where you live, the schools you go to, whether you have a nice car, or have to take public transportation, doesn't define who you are as a person.  I learned that there are really, really bad people in this world, predators, dishonest, opportunists, who get emboldened when they can fool people, when they can intimidate people, but who are shocked beyond believe when they get punched in the face hard by one who they thought was a prey.  Because at the end of the day, they are cowards.

Those lessons I carried with me my entire life, if metaphorically speaking (since again, I don't believe in actually punching anybody in the face, anymore).

And so I learned that honesty, ethics, principles, morality, compassion, justice, and empathy are much more important than money, and privilege.

And I learned that bullies are actually sociopaths, and as such they will prey on people, and will not stop, ever, unless they are made to stop.

There is a sickness in our society.  Liars, opportunists, profiteers, and predators have somehow been able to take over the levers of power, on many fronts.

Those who speak truth to power, who try to expose wrongdoing, or stand up for the oppressed, are maligned and marginalized.

In the meantime, posers who are actually looking out for themselves, pretend to be acting in good faith, for the cause, for social justice.

What good is it to say that one values justice, the rule of law, the Constitution, honesty, and above all, the truth, if one is either doing or supporting the exact opposite?

How does one advances the cause for good governance and social justice, while supporting the exact opposite?

What kind of an argument is to say that one must support unethical behavior, cronyism, corruption, the trampling of the Constitution, just because the other guys are worst?

In politics, don't we align with a political party because we believe that party share our values, our ethics, our principles?

Why telling the truth has become such a radical concept?  Why are people persecuted, intimidated, maligned, marginalized, just for wanting to speak truth to power?

And what kind of an argument is it to say that "too much truth-telling could do harm to the Party?"

I would argue that it's the other way around.  When truth-telling is suppressed, when those who seek to speak the truth are persecuted and maligned, it doesn't only damages the Party, but the whole country.

We must stand together and demand that the truth be spoken, that corruption and malfeasance are exposed.  And most of all, we should do these things not thinking about our own selfish reasons, but for the good of the country.  Because if we don't stand up to corruption, to lies, to abuses of power, to profiteering, that country will be no longer.

We have clear choices... Either stand with the bullies, with those who peddle lies, misinformation, and false narratives, because it is the easiest path, or we stand with those who speak the truth.

They are out there, David Sirota, Chris Hedges, Jeremy Scahill, Naomi Klein, Cenk Uygur, Lawrence Lessig, Amy Goodman, Bill Moyers, and others, are all truth-tellers.  Listen to what they have to say, and join the movement.

Right now, it seems as if the truth-tellers were fighting the bullies--pretty much alone.

Market For The People | Ray Pensador | Email List | Twitter | Facebook


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Comment Preferences

  •  "I made a point of bullying the bullies." Had a (12+ / 0-)

    best friend that used to do that. He just wasn't afraid, and would always stick up for threatened friends. He died too young...before turning 21, and that broke my heart.

    You have to pick your fights. We've mostly won the social fights on the streets for the hearts and minds of this generation, but we've been losing against the economic bullies in board rooms that target everyone from the middle class on down.

    Some folks think we can't win...that the bullies are too strong. They're not. They're just entrenched behind fear tactics.

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:20:01 AM PDT

    •  D-pros have to get smart. (0+ / 0-)

           This quote sums it up.

      but we've been losing against the economic bullies in board rooms that target everyone from the middle class on down.
        Thus the challenge is to beat ''them' in business' -  procurement, banking and industry.
         We already have arts and culture, sports and marketing. - The long fabled Civic Faith is emerging.
      \  There is real profitable holistic people and planet friendly work to be done. Selective buying, bidding on private and gov't contracts... Farms co-ops local markets light manufacturing, cool care for seniors and youth.   It is time.

         Building on the warm nurturing and maternal there is place where hope springs eternal.    

  •  Were you at NN13? Would have enjoyed meeting (6+ / 0-)


    You live in the SF Bay area. Did you attend NN13 last June in San Jose?

    The recent diaries show that you must be interesting to talk with.

    This diary shows how you have survived here on DK against the people who have tried to run you off the site.

    Also, the broader issue is to what extent is the US a bully in the world? The remarks of the President of Brazil can be read as standing up to the bully.

    The important journalist Sy Hersh whose work exposing the W Bust possible war in Iran, among many other stories, was an early one raising the issue of the surveillance state. He is now 76 years old and working on a book that the article says will make Bush and Obama unhappy. He points out that the role of investigative journalists is to be outside the system (in the terms of this diary, speaking truth to power) not an insider.

    His criticisms of Obama are harsh and even harsher of the journalists who don't point out lies.

    Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media
    Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should 'fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can't control'

  •  I think there is another sickness (9+ / 0-)

    that comes into play like a kind of sick psyche-crushing malignant disease.

    Internalizing losing.

    It is a malignant mind-fuck that takes your perspective away.

    It makes you listen to the wrong people, follow bad advice, engage in mystical thinking, and engineer your existence around pain avoidance.

    It causes paralysis by analysis.

    An inability to see things that are staring you right in the face.

    To respond out of fear almost intuitively.

    Loser culture is self-perpetuating once it sets in.

    Somebody who means you well can tell you exactly what the problem is, and you turn to somebody who blatantly means you harm, or a concern troll who is barely concealing their enjoyment of your torment, to confirm that this is viable.

    Letting people and organizations who don't care if you ever win another election again as a political force in American politics define the limits of what is possible, give you advice on policy, tactics, and strategies, and autopsy your lowest moments and analyze your greatest triumphs through their prism.

    That's what losers do.

    And nobody loves a scared and defensive loser like an snake-oil huckster opportunist looking for a sucker to fleece. Student First? Third Way? No Labels?

    Those wagons don't set up where rubes don't tread.

    Being a loser is like being in a cult where your fundamentalism is based around the sick notion that, no matter what, you are going to be fucked or you are going to fuck everything up or be doomed by events and circumstances in or out of your control.

    A paralyzing fear of losing that leads to systemic defensiveness, limiting what is possible based on fear of being attacked as "partisan" or "ideological" in a non-conservative way, blaming the voters for the bad outcomes of the party and its efforts, and repeating the same mistakes over and over again expecting different results.

    While I will admit that I have met my share of poseurs and phonies in non-Conservative politics over the years, I don't think we have a systemic poseur problem.

    I think poseurs, people acting in bad faith being treated as if they are acting in good faith, and people who wish you harm, being in a position of influence is just another symptom of a systemic embrace of things that are bad for you adopted out of fear and wanting to avoid pain at all costs. Because you are scared, uncertain, resigned to bad outcomes unless you limit your vision and your sense of scale of what is possible. You hit a point where you want to avoid pain and bad outcomes as a default. A place where you will negotiate away any past gain as a poker chip. A world where avoiding failure, even if it means pretending that people who are acting in bad faith are acting in good faith, is like the only water that will slake your thirst.

    Republicans are thuggish Bullies and Democrats are defensive Wimps.

    Lucy with the Football. (How many bazillions of times have I heard that one.)

    I have heard those cliche since the day I registered as a Democratic Party member. They were cliches long before I came to the party. Low-information voters who don't know a fucking thing will drop those turds on you.  

    The stink of it gets on you, and the only way to get it off of you is to prove it ain't so.

    In a political culture that is obsessed with sports and casting and framing all manner of fights over offices and policies in terms of professional sports rivalries and personalities the analogy that comes to mind is one from baseball.

    For many years, I likened being a Democrat to being a Boston Red Sox fan pre-2004. The impotent, expecting to be screwed at the last minute, paralyzed by the hovering sense of dread not-so-lovable loser.

    How many pieces of shit have we had to swallow our reservations and cheer for in the last two or three decades? How many people who have been wrong about everything outside of Movement Conservatism failed upwards as well?  

    One of the most fascinating, but in a deeply distressing way, is how greatly the Democratic Party as an institution has found a way to internalize both a profound and lasting fear of failure, and, even more damaging, the history of their letdowns and epic fails as recorded by their political enemies, as well as a regime of diagnosis and prescription for the conditions that ails it as described by people who are deeply hostile to it.

    When I look back. Lanny Davis. Harold Ford. Joe Lieberman. The DLC. Blue Doggism.

    The siren-song-singers that, deep down, Ronald Wilson Reagan was right. That the 1970's, as defined by Alex P. Keatonesque Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute resident "Scholars", is just one Elizabeth Warren or Bill DeBlasio or one traditionally unabashed liberal policy debate away.

    Democratic Presidents appoint Republicans as their Defense Secretaries for a reason. Republicans are strong on Defense and Democrats are weak on Defense, so, Democrats need to shore up their national security credentials by finding a Republican to put at the Pentagon is in the Democratic Party culture as deeply as it is Village conventional wisdom.  

    Austerity is bipartisan, even though it is killing the economy and the American middle class, for a reason.

    Fear of losing leads to losing.

    Neoliberalism has neither checked, nor rolled back, Movement Conservatism. The reason for that is very simple. You don't check Movement Conservatism with Diet Movement Conservatism. All that does is establish that Movement Conservatism is the jumping off point, not change the conversation.

    These are the answers of people who have come to believe, deep down, that Movement Conservatism is basically right about liberalism and liberal policy in a whole host of areas, it's just that they find the Movement Conservative answer to be too cruel and too punitive. So, the answer is to offer up Movement Conservatism humanely dosed over time.

    The liberals, and moderates, who get bashed the most are the ones who are the most free of buying in to the toxic notion of letting Movement Conservatism and people who want the rich to rule and the poor to serve, and the wealthy elites and their spokesmodels who read the conventional wisdom-safe news copy, define the limits of what is, and is not, possible in America.

    That's fear aiding the Oligarchy.

    The shit-kicking serfs are supposed to be sedate and deeply deeply grateful for the opportunity to kick shit for God and Country and Exxon Mobil.

    Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Sanders. These types of non-Conservatives are more terrifying to the Movement Conservative Right, and to Corporate America, than any other kind of Democrat for a reason.

    They could start a trend.

    We stand a much better chance of kicking the living shit out of the Teahadi if we were making an argument against Movement Conservatism and in favor of ourselves as an ideological alternative.

    It's one of the reasons why so many powerful people freak-out over an Elizabeth Warren or a Bill DeBlasio or a re-elected after they were sure he was dead and buried gone Alan Grayson, but can live with a Lanny Davis Approved sort of Democratic outcome.

    I'm betting that if an Andrew Cuomo is the 2016 Democratic nominee, because, God Forbid, we nominate somebody who deviates from the limits of what Tom Friedman to David Frum thinks is possible, we might find ourselves in an America where a freak like Ted Cruz could manage to win the White House when he is "unelectable".

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 04:51:49 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for sharing that. It was very insightful. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  "Diet Movement Conservatism" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neoliberalism has neither checked, nor rolled back, Movement Conservatism. The reason for that is very simple. You don't check Movement Conservatism with Diet Movement Conservatism. All that does is establish that Movement Conservatism is the jumping off point, not change the conversation.

      These are the answers of people who have come to believe, deep down, that Movement Conservatism is basically right about liberalism and liberal policy in a whole host of areas, it's just that they find the Movement Conservative answer to be too cruel and too punitive. So, the answer is to offer up Movement Conservatism humanely dosed over time.

      I've heard Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talk about this strat.

      "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

      by 3rdOption on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:22:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  good question (5+ / 0-)
    What good is it to say that one values justice, the rule of law, the Constitution, honesty, and above all, the truth, if one is either doing or supporting the exact opposite?
    Liberals (whose actions have been not merely supporting, but empowering the very Conservatives you rail about for 40+ years) need to ask themselves this very thing.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 05:15:17 AM PDT

  •  Greed has to be a part of this... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Don midwest, Ray Pensador, 3rdOption
    excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
    Greed - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary‎
    a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money). Full Definition of GREED. : a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed
    Democrats and Republicans alike, do ''it''

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

    by lostinamerica on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 05:27:05 AM PDT

  •  It was your reference to "good faith" (4+ / 0-)

    that sparked this reply. You've used that, and "bad faith", fairly often lately, mostly in putdowns to commenters in your diaries.

    You've written a diary here that calls out, among other things

    posers who are actually looking out for themselves, pretend to be acting in good faith, for the cause, for social justice.
    and asking
    Why telling the truth has become such a radical concept?  Why are people persecuted, intimidated, maligned, marginalized, just for wanting to speak truth to power?
    I'd like to know the answer to that last, myself. Here's a partial list of the "tiny group" of "5 to 8 people" you have accused of posting comments in "bad faith" over the last month, or accused of ad hominim attacks, of logical fallacy, of circular arguments, or have simply directly insulted.

    It's a partial list because before I looked at even a small subset of your comments I got really, really tired of seeing the same general accusations against snark, legitimate questions, differences of opinion, specific answers to your questions, and yes, a few insults. By far the majority of your accusatory comments were to people who simply did not fully agree with you. Or, to put it another way, were trying to speak truth to you.

    Adam B, erratic, phenry, JosephK74, WB Reeves, Twigg, BenderRodriguez, HudsonValleyMark, Bob Johnson, AoT, undercovercalico, virginislandsguy, Trix, AnnetteK, Old Left Good Left, TomP, Yoshimi, 6412093, jbou, duhban, newinfluence, HamdenRice, and, of course, me.

    We have clear choices... Either stand with the bullies, with those who peddle lies, misinformation, and false narratives, because it is the easiest path, or we stand with those who speak the truth.
    By your definition, it seems as though I must be a bully, or must stand with them, because I have questioned a number of things that you have asserted are truths. You have spoken, often, about the need to question the media, but you seem to be the shining exception to that rule. If this diary speaks for you, you see no middle ground between someone who accepts your entire philosophy unquestioningly, and a bully. And by extension, then, from your diary, I am a sociopath and a poser, and I am lacking in "honesty, ethics, principles, morality, compassion, justice, and empathy".

    That's quite a condemnation, Ray. Not accepting any shades of gray seems a bit odd. I notice you've taken down a recent diary in which you said that your ongoing decision was to be more accepting of differing viewpoints in order to build a wider movement. I'm paraphrasing, obviously, because I cannot quote from the original. That seems to be very much not the case in this diary.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:17:22 AM PDT

    •  I find it kind of odd that you would see this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      diary as an attack on you, personally.  But be that as it may, your protestation about you not being a bully has to be taken at face value.

      Here's my understanding of bullies, as I've been taking on them with glee my whole life... Deep down they are really cowards of the worst kind.  They pick their prey very carefully in that they perceive them to be weak, feeble, unprotected; in other words, easy prey.

      Bullies like to act in packs, with other bullies, gaining confidence from both the approval and protection of their fellow cowards.

      To a bully, the thought of standing up on anything, on principle, on adherence to the truth, but alone, and vulnerable is truly terrifying.  Their cowardice and fear and debased character doesn't allow them to even entertain the notion of standing up to real power, of speaking truth to power, especially if there are consequences for doing so.

      You see, the moral man or woman has no such concerns.  He or she acts in accordance to an internal compass guided by morality, honesty, principles, regardless of the consequences.  And because of it, their bravery stands in sharp contrast to the debased amoral cowardice and sociopathic mindset of a bully.

      My understanding is that I haven't called anybody here a bully, or a coward.  That's too easy, too.  People can see for themselves and come to their own conclusions.

      As you see in this diary and others, many people have commented on it; they have observed how some have tried to "run Ray off the site," etc.

      That's their own objective observation.  I don't have to call out anybody.  They are doing it themselves.

      •  Any excuse to draw out a fight... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, lostinamerica

        ...will do, for a bad-faith actor.

        Sorry Ray, as always, this ended up being way longer than I intended when I started:


        The Republicans are in the midst of a civil war, one that the actual Progressives in the Democratic party have never really attempted (in our iteration), and have thus already lost. There is a one commonality between the two circumstances, and some big differences.

        The commonality is that in both cases, you have an ideological minority fighting with a Corporatist, controlling leadership. Although I use the moniker "Corporatist" in a context where an ideology fits, I don't consider it to actually be an ideology so much as a defect in collective human nature.

        Corporatism is the modern byproduct of not enlightened, but toxic self-interest. Not "The Virtue of Selfishness", but the sin of collective selfishness. This is what happens when a personality trait becomes a societal entity because folks with that trait have found a mechanism to join forces and collectivize it, and thus empower this entity within their society. (Think: Hollywood & narcissism.)

        Not only is this not a new phenomenon, it is pervasive in human history. The new factor in modern, technological history is the mechanism of collectivization: the corporation. Thus, our incarnation of the collective manifestation of greed is Corporatism (not to be confused with the corporatism of Mussolini-style Fascism).

        Corporatism has dominated American society by being ubiquitous, and has co-opted the American government via bribery. In our country, bribery has a new name. We call it "Campaign Finance".

        So those within the two parties who believe that Corporatism is a corruption (it is), and that this corruption suppresses or outright eliminates the impact of the party's predominant ideology (it does), those folks feel marginalized within their respective parties (they are). They are marginalized via mockery, being called "Purity Trolls" and CTists, and via outright hostility and censorship (re The Plight of Ray).

        In the Republican party, this civil war between ideologues and corrupt Corporatists (a redundancy...) is like watching pro wrestling heels in a cage match. We instinctively want them both to lose, so we suffer a sort of brain lockup, where we're flipping back and forth so quickly between rooting against first one and then the other, that we become paralyzed.

        It's the political equivalent of a Zen koan. Perhaps in the next week Progressives will all achieve enlightenment.

        The problem is that the current purist "Conservatives" in the Republican party aren't actually conservatives. This new breed are a corrupted form of conservatism, and a lot of that corruption has come from, you guessed it, Corporatists. The Tea Party pasture was plowed by FOXNews and Rushland, and it was seeded by the Koch brothers, when the movement was almost instantly co-opted by FreedomWorks.

        Thus the Tea Party is filled with, as Bill Maher calls them, the "NRA"; Nuts, Racists, and Assholes.

        Real conservatism has always been mean, since it is two parts "survival of the fittest" and one part, err, "conservative"; having a slant toward traditionalism, and a resistance to early adoption of anything. But old school conservatism is Princess Regina, before she turns into the Evil Queen (just not as hot, in either form):

        When I look back at everything that I've done, I want you all to know what I feel. And that is...Regret. Regret that I was not able to cause more pain, inflict more misery, and bring about more death. And above all else with every ounce of my being I regret that I was not able to kill...

        Snow White.

        Modify that only slightly, and you have today's Conservatism: Cutting SNAP while subsidizing themselves, cheerleading torture and assassination, desperately attempting to stop healing because if it works, it will make them look bad. Oh, yes. Don't forget. The not-so-secret, not always unspoken wish of this hateful group; Barack Obama, not Snow White.

        Think I'm overstating? Here's what a local "patriot" said about recently recalled Colorado state Senator Angela Giron, as printed in the local newspaper:

        “Nothing too bad can happen to her that wouldn’t make me feel good," (Carl) Underhill said...
        Her "crime"? Voting for minor gun-related bills.

        So while the Progressive minority (which actually holds policy positions in line with the majority of the voting public) can't seem to get the wherewithal to combat the Corporatists in the Democratic party, the "Conservatives" have finally gotten it together and have chosen this moment to overthrow their Corporatist overlords. Sort of.

        Instead of the Evil Queen, in this new metaphor, they are Frankenstein's monster, built to destroy Democrats, but turned on its master.

        Without further elaboration:

        If the Tea Baggers defeat the Corporatists in the Republican party, governmental, economic, and thus social catastrophe will result.

        If the Progressives were to revolt and defeat the Corporatists in the Democratic party, the middle class would grow and prosper, the poor would experience less poverty, and the rich would still be rich. Except for the ones in prison...

        So, why are we letting the Tea Baggers have all the fun?

        "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

        by 3rdOption on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:00:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're out of control narcissism is hysterical (4+ / 0-)

        I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

        by jbou on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:57:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  wow, you went there (3+ / 0-)

      Hey, I think it is neato that Ray has stopped ridiculously asserting that an unnamed bunch of us rush his diaries with dozens of comments each, beginning the minute he publishes them.

      But I think Ray's attack on TomP may have been a turning point, not because it is unforgivable, but because Ray really doesn't think that it needs forgiveness. He apparently thinks he was practicing satyagraha. Some people like that show, but it has limited appeal.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 04:29:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Understand Both Sides Of The Coin (3+ / 0-)

    Some readers and/or commenters may see this as a personal attack - which it is not.

    If you don't believe it is broken - you haven't even (mentally) started the process of accepting alternatives.

    Unfortunately, we all live in the reality that has been created for us by the ruling elite. A casual observer would see through some of the insanity - but we have all grown accustomed to it. It's easy to see that Gaddhafi wasn't treating Libyans well, Saddam Hussein wasn't treating Iraqis well nor Robert Mugabe Zimbabweans. Most people can see that - from afar; they have no blinders on. You'd be surprised how many people in those countries have (mentally) refused to see what's wrong with some of the aforementioned dictators.

    But a typical American (or even Canadian) finds it very hard to even believe that the're only marginally better than the Iraqis, Zimbabweans or Libyans.And that their leaders (executive, legislative, judicial branches) are not better than Saddam, Gaddhafi or Mugabe.

    Because those are (or were) absolute dictators - we have an idea of how far they're willing to go in the absence of checks and balances.

    But when you consider the checks and balances built into the capitalist democracies - against the backdrop of the shenanigans of the NSA security apparatus (which a distant observer will conclude seems to be less about protecting Americans than enslaving them) or the psychopaths in Congress that would willingly take from Food Stamp program beneficiaries to fund corporate subsidies - you can appreciate how these leaders are conceivably worse than unchecked dictators.

    It's a challenge to get people to conclude that the virtual (pretend) reality in which we live divorces us from the awful (real) reality - and how bad things are.

    So, Ray is at that stage where he has (correctly) diagnosed the fundamental idiocy/insanity of the 'system' - how rigged/unfair it is. My guesstimate is that <5% of folks have reached that point.

    Until people see the 'system' as broken - they will not mentally accept alternative thoughts. So, purveyors of (real) alternatives like Ray are seen as outliers. People still believe that the Democratic Party is an alternative to the Republican Party or vice versa - instead of both being 2 different fingers of a leprous hand.

    So, I guess you have to accept the outlier status knowing that at some point - more people will catch up.

    So, it is alright to disagree with Ray (and I don't think he's targeting commenters who find it hard to relate to his views) - but I urge everyone to also (mentally) consider how messed up we are all going to be if we leave the piloting of a plane to two lunatic pilots who each have eject/escape pods and are willing to fly the plane into the ground if need be.

    •  A thought unspoken. (4+ / 0-)
      ...<5% of folks have reached that point.
      In my personal experience I've found that often I've had a thought about something, at a subvocal level, but it never manifested itself into words until some clarifying event happened, or someone explained it to me.

      It's the moment where someone says something, and you go, "Dang it, I've thought that before, but it wasn't clear until now."

      I think that's the place the majority of voting Americans are in. They damn well know something is wrong. But they can't explain exactly what, other than "They're all corrupt so what's the point?", which results in a bad case of chronic "Throw the bums out!"-itis.

      The problem is that the Tea Baggers filled in that explanation for average Conservatives, and it's a grievous distortion of the unspoken.

      Democrats, due to their fetish with nuance, are inept at messaging. Plus, the Corporatist Democrats absolutely do not want the reality vocalized. Thus, the often successful suppression of Progressives who would attack the Corporatism within the party, and the inability of Democrats to sell anything good that they do.

      You can't really be a respected member of this site and simultaneously point out that

      We're slowly recovering from Bill Clinton's Recession.

      Even though he did it, and we are.

      The King of the Democratic Corporatists must never be outed. Or

      You. Do. Not. Belong. Here.

      And a swarm of the faithful will show up to hector you into leaving, or at least into shutting up, if they can't find an excuse to outright ban you.

      "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

      by 3rdOption on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:16:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  come on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Via Chicago

    you lived part time in the bad neighborhood and part time int he good neighborhood?

    Did you go undercover for the state police to try and take down Jack Nicholson too?

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 03:03:33 PM PDT

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