Displaying 9 Forum Posts 
  • Jan 22, 2014 05:04 AM
    Last: 8mo
    Poor President Carter. Sandbagged by his own party, reviled because he embarrased those who do not want peace in Middle East to do a deal with Egypt and make peace, and hated by big money who could not buy him. Also, do not discount that our own military also sandbagged him. They knew there are dust storms in the desert. Inadequate equipment (dust filters? hello!) purposely allowed? Our meticulous military who see every contingency? Who are they kidding. They didn't want a success. They were already shilling for Reagen. A couple of dead grunts? Small potatoes in their scheme of things.

    Remember the Maine? A few dead sailers (the officers were conveniently attending the Ambassador's party in Havana) is a small price to pay for a Pacific empire and control of Puerto Rico. We have a long history of this stuff.
  • Jan 19, 2014 11:34 PM
    Last: 6yr
    The Southwest of the U.S. is basically a semi-desert and people should not be living there in the numbers that do live there. California cities basically steal water from interior rivers diverting it from downstream users while Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are drawing down their aquifers at an alarming rate. The midwest and upper midwest always had good underground aquifers, but we are now in the process of destroying these sources of potable water by indiscriminate and poorly controlled (on purpose) fracking thereby polluting these sources.

    This is what happens when engineers are not heeded. They caution against building in fragile areas - barrier beaches, river floodplaines, earthquake prone faultlines, etc. They also caution against injecting noxious chemicals into underground rock formations or build toxin producing refineries and chemical works near drinking water sources or fail to properly inspect and maintain oil and tar sand pipelines. But politics and money overule the measured advice of the engineers.

    I guess we can always invade Canada for its inviting and vast water resources so that retirees in Arizona can water New England style lawns and play golf on greens in Texas and California that shouldn't be there.
  • Mar 25, 2013 01:45 PM
    Last: 6yr
    I know I'm coming to this late, but it's pretty sad that you regurgitated the lame English bile about the Spanish known as the Black Legend. You're in Oregon. See any Indians around you? There's lots of them in Mexico and Central and south America. So, who did all the raping and killing? Why don't you stick that in your kid's history books?

    I'm in the Northeast, and the only Native Americans around here are the ones that come up from Central America and Mexico. I thought the Spaniards had killed them all.

    As for Columbus, he was a hustler and on the make. He was the Mike Todd of his time and BSed his way into command of an exploratory expedition. He would have been quite comfortable with the likes of Trump or the Koch brothers and his behavior at the time was the equivalent of today's plunderers and thiefs. But, these guys are admired, as is Columbus. Doesn't that fit in quite comfortably with what the United States is all about?
  • Dec 22, 2013 04:45 PM
    Last: 6yr
    So? Why did CNN fire Rick Sanchez? He answered a private question by a radio interviewer with an indisputable fact, but not one to CNN's liking. I guess some facts are just not pallatable for some in control of some media.
  • Dec 13, 2012 10:59 AM
    Last: 6yr
    I am recently arrived to these discussions and am astonished that there has not been an avalanche of commentary recognizing what all of us more or less oldsters, you know college graduates who had to include calculus and physics as part of their undergraduate education, whether they majored in arts or sciences, recognize as the hi-jacking of the country by the un-christian and rather ruthless oligarchs exemplified by the Koch brothers and the Rupert Murdochs of the world.

    I wrote my then senator, Hillory Clinton, soon after she voted to grant then President Bush, plenipotentiary power to go to war, that no republic lasted more than three centuries, before it was captured by an oligarchy which soon reverted to one person rule: Julius Caeser and Adolph Hitler to name the most prominent. Most significantly, those powers were not seized; they were voted on and conceded by popular assemblies.

    I never received a response.

    This is the central question of this republic. Whether oligarchs are going to be allowed to manipulate the country into their most comfortable state; Fascism: rule by the super rich and the corporate elite (basically, the same thing, with the exception of naifs like Bill Gates, and
    perhaps even Warren Buffett sorts. They need to remember the fate of the Grachi brothers of Republican Rome, murdered by their aristocratic peers for agitating for the less well off of the Roman Republic.

    Wasn't control by the oligarchs basically Alexander Hamilton's attitude? Maybe Aaron Burr was onto something.
  • Dec 13, 2012 10:59 AM
    Last: 6yr
    Schmidt Wrote: Reference: Reclaim Democracy, The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto)

    In 1971, Lewis F. Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.”

    Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.


    That is Reclaim Democracy's quick summary of the Powell Memo. You can read Powell's memo in its entirety at the Reclaim Democracy link above. It caught my interest when I listened to a commentary about it on the radio (cannot recall which program), but the commentators attributed the Powell Memo as the impetus for the launch of a massive propaganda campaign by right wing plutocrats to change public opinion. What is shocking to me is that an individual with such strong anti-liberal views managed to get himself elected to the Supreme Court of the United States. Quoting Powell:

    "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."


    There's much more. Powell not only criticizes the influence of the left on society, he lays out a strategy to change it, calling on 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....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."

    Today, 41 years after Lewis Powell wrote his infamous memo, we can indeed see the results in all aspects of society of his call for action. The Chamber of Commerce, the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute and others have consistently supported the Powell initiative. Rupert Murdoch's Fox News didn't exist then. It wasn't launched until 1996, but filled a needed media void to expand the propaganda campaign further. Fox News has probably been one of the most successful conduits for changing public opinion...and for why so many blue collar workers vote Republican.

    While Rupert Murdoch has fulfilled the media role, the really big money players in the game are the Koch brothers whose influence extends from lobbying Congress, financially supporting (buying) right wing (Tea Party) candidates for office, funding right wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the CATO institute, and much more. More than any other plutocrats, they are carrying on the legacy of the Lewis Powell Memo. From the recent Forbes article, Inside The Koch Empire: How The Brothers Plan To Reshape America, by Daniel Fischer:

    "So their revolution has been an evolution, with roots going back half a century to Koch’s first contributions to libertarian causes and Republican candidates. In the mid-1970s their business of changing minds got more formal when Charles cofounded what became the Cato Institute, the first major libertarian think tank. Based in Washington, it has 120 employees devoted to promoting property rights, educational choice and economic freedom. In 1978 the brothers helped found–and still fund–George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, the go-to academy for deregulation; they have funded the Federalist Society, which shapes conservative judicial thinking; the pro-market Heritage Foundation; a California-based center skeptical of human-driven climate change; and many other institutions."

    Today as we witness their funding of anti-union "right to work" legislative efforts in Michigan and other states, we must recognize that the Koch brother's vision is not only busting the unions for their wage and benefits policies, but also to destroy their political clout. With the Citizen's United ruling, the only entities that have the financial clout to combat the plutocrats and big corporate donors are the unions. Right to work legislation destroys unions.

    In academia, the Koch brothers are exerting their influence by funding universities in exchange for getting to select professors and curriculum.

    Koch Brothers Fueling Far-Right Academic Centers Across the US

    "...a Koch-funded economics department at Florida State University (FSU)...accepted a $1.5 million grant from a foundation controlled by petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch on the condition that Koch’s operatives would have a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications.

    "Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previously known. Many of the Koch university grants finance far right, pro-polluter professors, and dictate that students read Charles Koch’s book as part of their academic study.

    We should be worried. The ghost of Lewis F. Powell lives today.
  • Nov 26, 2013 08:27 PM
    Last: 6mo
    Freidman's post is much appreciated and should have been firont and center of any newspaper that still deems itself a "newspaper". A little history is often the best way of calming the great unwashed, if they still know how to read.

    I thought I was the only grump, much offended by the plastic perversion of holidays long accepted as really good interdenominational celebrations to be enjoyed by all who live in the United States.

    I join him and his buddies in a toast to their perspicacity and refusal to participate in hyped up peddler come-ons.
  • Nov 26, 2013 11:31 PM
    Last: 6yr
    Why is everyone bent out of shape over Iran, a nation that has not attacked nor invaded anyone in millenia, over it's attempt to develop nuclear power generation? Just because right wing (read fascist) zealots in the U.S. and in Israel keep repeating "military nuclear program" doesn't make it so. That's the Joseph Goebels' technique - repeat a big lie often enough and loudly enough, and it becomes the perceived truth. Obviously works since U.S media seem incabable of challenging these charlatans in our congress or other shills who come on interviews parroting the big lie.

    Doing nuclear research and enriching uranium so it can be used for useful stuff is a no-no for Iran, but O.K. for everyone else. No wonder they term us the Great Satan. We've meddled in their affairs since the first world war. Overthrew their democraticly elected premier in 1954 and installed a stooge dictator whose son elevated himself to "Shah". Then when his thug regime was overthrown in 1979, we orchestrated another attempt to overthrow their government by facilitating an invasion of Iran by another of our stooges whom we armed- Saadam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq.

    Do you blame the Iranians for trying to use nuclear power so they can peddle their oil and maybe raise their living standards?

    They are surrounded by our military in their own backyard (Iraq on one side, Afghanistan on the other, and Israel and Saudi Arabia itching to pounce) and you don't think they might be a little nervous?

    Give Iran a break.
  • Nov 21, 2013 02:11 AM
    Last: 7yr
    I have been waiting for years for the Medal of Freedom to be awarded to someone who has been far more influential in making life for, not only U.S. residents, but for people everywhere in the world, safer and more humane.

    Instead year after year, except for a few Nobel Laureates, we see vacuous entertainers and self absorbed literary types being awarded this accolade. Even worse, it has been given to political leaders who under realistic appraisal of their actions, should be prosecuted as war criminals.

    When is this medal going to be awarded to: