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Robert Taylor – December 12, 2007 03:15PM Reply Quote
Well, at least B?K! got a head start.

John Willoughby – April 09, 2012 02:09AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
That's why, despite any dissatisfaction that they may have with Obama, Americans who value civil liberty must re-elect him, in the hopes that he can replace on of the conservative Supreme Court justices. Assuming that an opportunity comes up.

ARL (Moderator) – April 09, 2012 06:47PM Reply Quote
So this decision was wholly decided by the Supreme court? I always thought it was 1. power-mad govt departments gently hint towards like-minded judges they want xyz 2. Like minded judges give power-mad govt departments xyz and anything else they want.

I'm surprised cavity searches weren't also thrown in with the carte blanch strip searches. Powers like that are never going to be abused, never...

johnny k – April 09, 2012 10:30PM Reply Quote
Oh? Will Obama start defending civil liberties as a lame duck, then? Maybe he couldn't shut down Guantanamo without Congress, but he's signed so many bad bills without even lip service for civil liberties (something he's given many voting blocs) that believing that he'll do anything in a second term is wishful thinking. He's the lesser of two evils, for sure, but for his expansion of the uncivil state, I cannot vote for him.

Ironically, I think electing a Republican may do more for civil liberties, because no Democrat, not even the one who killed Arab #1, can roll back anti-terrorism laws. Of course, it will take a special Republican, one who's unassailable on foreign policy and can also speak a language that both the Tea Party and civil libertarians respond to. Like, Ron Paul with less crazy and more medals.

El Jeffe – April 09, 2012 10:37PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
again, I think our country's problems are more fundamental. Let's break us up and everyone can have the political agenda they desire. And perhaps we can then stick our noses in other people's business LESS (internally and externally)

ddt – April 09, 2012 10:39PM Reply Quote
That "only Nixon could go to China" dream is pretty to think so, but you have to look at the facts about who the Republican party have been pushing into judicial positions, and the accompanying records. Not something that would indicate FREEEEDOM IS ON THE MARCH!11!! (Sorry, you mention Ron Paul -- who has rather neglected the day job we're paying him to do -- and you trigger the FREEEEDOM.)


tliet – April 09, 2012 11:47PM Reply Quote
Hm, wouldn't a lot of the problems be solved if the First past the post system would be changed. I've noticed that in non partisan systems the crazy is a lot less. Still crazy, sure enough, but less.

johnny k – April 10, 2012 12:36AM Reply Quote
ddt, I did say it would take a special Republican. As in, the extinct kind.

John Willoughby – April 10, 2012 12:43AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
johnny k
ddt, I did say it would take a special Republican. As in, the extinct kind.

So, rather than vote Democrat, wait for an extinct Republican? I think I'll take my chances and vote for the people who are ineffective at protecting my rights rather than those who are actively trying to eliminate them. Not the best of choices, I will admit, but those are the choices on the table.

ARL (Moderator) – April 10, 2012 01:12AM Reply Quote
with less crazy and more medals.


And yes, it's disappointing that Obama has made civil liberties even worse than Bush. If you'd told me that back in 2008, I wouldn't have believed you but here we are.

And I don't buy the "he has to or the GOP will say he's SOFT ON TERROR!" -- he can say "Blow me, who killed OBL, bitches?"

To use a yes minister term he's gone native and now actually believes in the need for all these police state measures...

So don't vote for him in the forlorn hope he'll appoint a liberal's wet dream to the SC. Vote for him because Romney/Santorum/Gingrich are worse.

What is Romney's foreign policy stance like, btw?

John Willoughby – April 10, 2012 01:47AM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Does nothing make you ask yourself why Obama made an about-face on a lot of security issues when he became president? Sure, it might just be hypocrisy, but sometimes I wonder what secret briefings preceded the turn-around. Doesn't make me any happier, though.

I think Guantanamo was just typical a Democrat clusterfuck. Nobody wanted the prisoners in their state, nobody wanted public testimony from al-Qaeda folks seeking a pulpit, or innocent civilians wrongly detained for years, and the GOP considered letting anybody out of Guantanamo equivalent to treason. The drive to close the detention area was weak and conflicted, and easily defeated.

ddt – April 10, 2012 01:11PM Reply Quote
Does nothing make you ask yourself why Obama made an about-face on a lot of security issues when he became president?

You could always look at the primary sources (p.s. This also puts the lie to the "radical Obama" fallacy -- these are contemporaneous documents showing how he was trying to Get Along with Everyone) . Anyone with any experience watching policy and governance (and not just horse-race politics) has known for ages that politics (in the academic definition of "power structures") have great momentum over time. There are people and policies that don't change just because a few people change elected or appointed office and anyone entering into the structure has to negotiate to get anything done. It's often said it's like turning a supertanker, but this is a large part of why.

Add to that the entrenched interests that do billions of dollars of business with the government -- especially when talking about things like wars and national security (which I do not conflate). A recent study talked about on Planet Money showed an over 2000% (IIRC) return for corporations investing lobbying money just on affecting small tax laws. Imagine what's at stake for the company formerly known as Blackwater.

Now, this isn't a "vast conspiracy/shadow government" statement. There is no direct control; we aren't in the United States of Haliburton. But the way things have been going, certain people have a huge voice when it comes to affecting arcane but critical changes in the complex structure of laws and policies, and it's very, very difficult for anyone to get anything done without the resources these certain people provide. Whether that person is a FREEEEDOMlibertarian, extinct/moderate Republican, effectively Republican Democrat, or [insert name of your Mystery Date here].


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 01:12PM by ddt.

johnny k – April 10, 2012 02:32PM Reply Quote
ddt comes close to describing why I can't accept the "two choices on the table." They are the same main dish with different garnishes. No, I don't think Obama has been ineffective at protecting civil liberties - I think he has actively damaged them. And while we fight for wedge issue scraps, we have little control over the critical issues - there's too much money invested in them and both parties.

So I will not sit at that table. I won't bow to the induced panic of this news cycle. I vote for someone who I may not actually want to win, but who will bring civil liberties into the public discussion. If enough people do that, then the "real" parties will have to take it seriously. Then I can have my liberties and my progressive reforms, too.

How Pirate Parties Are Changing the World. Note to the next Ron Paul: develop a full platform, not a simple philosophy.

John Willoughby – April 10, 2012 04:57PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Yeah, I voted Libertarian for years. Then I watched Bush use his mandate to burn the Bill of Rights. Yeah, the Dems are pissing on the ashes, but I see more hope there than in continuing to effectively opt out of the process.

More and more I'm seeing this as a class struggle. Am I becoming Marxist in my old age? I doubt it; I want to keep my stuff and the communists are ludicrous in their naivete about human nature. I'm just tired of seeing government used as a mechanism to funnel the wealth of the many to the few at the top. And of the ceaseless lamentation of those who rose to success using public resources and who now resent having to fund them for the next generation.

I can see hating the Dems. I advocate supporting third parties that will try to correct the system. But on election day, if you KNOW that your party isn't yet capable of winning, vote for a party that has a chance of winning. Then send a check to your third party, and start building for the next election.

ddt – April 10, 2012 05:34PM Reply Quote
Johnny, I think you're taking the wrong message away from what I wrote. Sadly, voting in to high office someone with _no_ power over the entrenched interests plays directly to the entrenched interests'... uh, interests. Look empirically at who has succeeded in pushing through major reforms and who has failed, and why; you'll see that the kind of candidate you dream of has no leverage and no knowledge, no tools.

Also sadly, many of what passes as "major reforms" have been majorly wrong-headed (Bush tax cuts, Medicare "reform") and not in the best interests of the 99percenters (though again, these were passed because of, not due to the lack of, political structure).

Ultimately, it's not just that "those people in Washington" have failed the country. We have. Seriously, look at the local and state levels and see whom we've voted into office (Charlie Pierce's "In the Laboratories of Democracy" is a good place to start). Laws against "UN-takeover green infiltration" or the War on Women -- this is what we are doing now with democracy. These are the people who are the farm team, from which Congress will be made.

To be fair, they're only doing what the voters want! At least, the voters who make their voices heard. You can't blame lobbying for what goes on at the school board level (aside from textbook buying, which is a scam, and often an anti-science scam at that).

Sunlight helps. Offering a counterpart to stupid-head political rhetoric and horse-race coverage helps. Case in point: study after study shows that there are overwhelmingly positive responses to the elements of the ACA/Obamacare. But the same people, when asked if they want the package, call it "socialism". Education can't be forced on people, sadly. Maybe marketing could do some good for a change.

Opting out? Dude. You're not going to have anyone else to blame, and that's something we all enjoy.


El Jeffe – April 10, 2012 06:03PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Do any of you think President's are held hostage by the war machine?

I wonder if this happens...

POTUS: I want to pull out of _______ (<--- sandy country goes here).
DoD/Cabinet: Well, it'd be a real shame if anything would happen on your watch due to us pulling out of _______ (Sandy country). Perhaps instead you should up our budget, praise us publicly, and start more deployments to _______ (other sandy places)? And no one will besmirch or stain your 4 puny years in office. How bout THAT deal, dude?
POTUS: Well, uh, ok.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2012 06:04PM by El Jeffe.

James DeBenedetti – April 10, 2012 06:54PM Reply Quote
El Jeffe
Do any of you think President's are held hostage by the war machine?

No - just ask MacArthur.

Presidents are held hostage by public opinion. The great ones help shape that opinion. The lousy ones (like Obama) do not.

John Willoughby – April 10, 2012 07:03PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
But these days corporations are people... and money is free speech. I think that both parties are part of this monolithic corporate/government/military block that fights for more power and more money. Not because it is evil, but because it believes itself to be good, and in need or more power and money to make things better. It perpetuates itself because it sees itself as right/proper/moral/godly. Individuals that try to buck the system are kept in narrow channels that limit their ability to change that which has already been deemed "right."

The average Democratic and Republican senator has more in common with his counterpart across the aisle than he does with any of his constituents.

El Jeffe – April 10, 2012 08:04PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
MacArthur still relevant in today's corporate war machine?

John Willoughby – April 10, 2012 09:20PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
Maybe more Eisenhower.

James DeBenedetti – April 10, 2012 09:23PM Reply Quote
MacArthur was a highly respected war hero. Nobody today even remotely compares to him. Defense spending was 15% of GDP during the Korean War. Today it's less than 5%. If today's President does what the military asks, it's because he chooses to do so, not because he has to.

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