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Archive for September, 2011

Thom Hartmann on “Freedom”

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Here is the great Thom Hartmann discussing the “freedom” and what it means in the U.S. of the 21st century:

“I think freedom means the right to have security in our economic system and our banking system, rather than rule by banksters,” he said. “Does freedom mean that business should be allowed to get as big as it can, so that we find ourselves in a situation where six financial institutions control 60 percent of the wealth of this country? … There is not a major industry in this country that is not now more than 70 percent controlled by fewer than six corporations. That is not competition. That’s monopoly. That has nothing to do with competition.

“As Franklin Roosevelt said in 1936, he said, ‘They hide behind the flag and the Constitution, but in their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.’ He said we must stand up to this kind of power. He said, ‘These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain about is that we seek to take away their power. Our commitment to American institutions requires the overthrow of that kind of power.’”

Contrast with the Right’s use of the context and content free use of the word and others, including “liberty”.

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September 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Breitbart Wants Violence

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Here’s another sign that we are living in the New Wiemar Republic, where political insanity is the norm. Speaking to a group of Massachusetts Tea Thingies, Andrew Breitbart discussed how he was constantly under attack from the Left (which presumably includes anyone who is not a rabid Republican):

“I’m under attack all the time,” he said. “The call me gay. There are death threats… There are times when I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot. Bring it on.’ Because I know who’s on our side.

“They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with. ”

I don’t know what a “propaganda or rhetorical war” is. Maybe he is referring to “elections”. And given that the Tea party is one of the most unpopular groups in the U.S., I don’t know why he seems to they he and his kind have some numerical advantage. And who is it that he thinks wants to instigate some violent confrontation with the Right?

Perhaps there are no rational answers to these questions, since Breitbart is clearly an irrational, defensive paranoid. In any case, here is the Breitbart in all his raving, Youtube glory:

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September 19th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

NDP Leadership: A Return to Politics as Somewhat Usual

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A few weeks ago I rolled out of bed on a Monday morning and went to the inter tubes to get the news. The news about Jack Layton was a kick in the gut though looking back we should have known it was closer than we wanted it to be.

Then, after what seemed like mere hours following an amazingly moving and somehow uplifting state funeral, it was back to politics – not politics as usual mind you, but real politics, the kind of politics that is not bean bag. The NDP leadership campaign has begun with the entry into the race of Brian Topp. Topp was joined at his Monday announcement by former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent and Quebec MP Francoise Boivin.

Topp’s candidacy does not puzzle me, but I don’t understand why it has been given as much weight as it has. He may be the world’s best campaign manager but I, like many others apparently, don’t know if he has any of the retail political skills it takes to get elected dog catcher, let alone MP or PM. The present contest will help answer that question, but I don’t know why the party would pick Topp over someone who is already, without question, well positioned to consolidate the gains made in Quebec.

To old school NDP eyes, Mulcair may be tattooed with dozens of question marks, but if the criterion is to AT LEAST keep the gains of May 2, he should be able to fill the bill.

It seems like Peter Julian, Megan Leslie, Romeo Saganash, Niki Ashton and a few others (along with Topp and Mulcair) should make for a substantial and lively debate. Pat Martin should stick to attacking Conservatives. There will be no merger as we understand the term, although some level of coordination might be attempted.

It will also be interesting to see how all the provincial elections interact with the internal contest. Gains are expected in Newfoundland and Labrador and perhaps PEI. Manitoba may re-elect the NDP. Ontario at last seems almost ready to forgive. A Stephen Lewis like outcome (20 to 30 seats) would be a real boost to the Federal Party.

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September 13th, 2011 at 8:03 pm