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BassetDad On November - 21 - 2010

 We as a nation suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.  We have become a people of instant gratification and soundbite debate.  Our failing economy and government institutions suffer form long-term problems that simply cannot be explained or resolved using tag-lines or talking points and yet we fail to engage in deeper discussion.  All the while those who profit off of our misfortune are using it as a distraction to hide their machinations from us.  

Our society makes constant demands on our time and has made politics into a game of outrageous soundbites and talking points.  A race to the bottom more fitting for Jerry Springer than the august bodies of Congress.  If we manage pin someone down for a detailed discussion it seems the best we can hope for is an exchange of one-liners that may, often as not, result in personal attacks and insults.  An attempt to dig below the surface will find that there is no substance behind them.  People no longer know how our government functions and know nothing about the economy and how it works.

All of the shiny objects we work to obtain serve to distract us from the real world deeds of people who are taking the time to shape our country.  It is morphing more and more rapidly into something that benefits them and not the American citizenry as a whole.  The Corporate American and its’ wholy owned subsidiary, the US Congress, have been able to erode our national consciousness to the point that the it is now calling all of the shots.  There is evidence of this all around us as poverty rates are growing, the wage gap between the top earners and the middle class are the highest they have been in nearly 80 years and unemployment is at a high level. 

A look at our newly elected officials continues to bear this out as some of them have been able to win office after committing  most egregious moral and illegal acts: the new governor of Florida has stolen over a billion dollars from Medicare, a newly released convict ran for a house seat in Ohio as representative of a major party and a senator with a known history of perverted acts with prostitutes won re-election handily in Louisianna.

As if we don’t already have enough distractions the Corporate American has assimilated the media into itself and it is being used to divide, misinform and disenfranchise us with bogus arguments over death panels and Marxist government plots.  It has pitted us against one another to the point that winning is everything even though we all end up losing in the end.  Elections are now scorecards like it is some game taking place every couple of years and so many of us don’t seem to realize the consequences riding on the outcome. 

So what is the answer?  Education.  We have lost ourselves in the race to the bottom and we must stop for a look around at what is happening.  Our political discourse must be pulled out of the muck and mire and into the homes and public forums where it belongs.  This is the path to saving our country from our negligence.  We must learn, we must help to educate others and we must help one another.  Most of all we must talk to one another, make those connections we have lost and work together to find a long-term solution.

Add-on Note

If you are interested in getting involved in this effort there are a number of groups working to build broad coalitions of people from diverse background and political ideologies to work toward that end.  For more details please post a comment and I will reach out to you when details are firmed up for an official kick-off.

Categories: News & Politics

Written by BassetDad

Financial Analyst and politically active in the Coffee Party USA movement. I am a huge hockey and baseball fan and love to travel.

77 Responses so far.

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  1. choicelady says:

    To all the Planeteers -- I realize that I kvetch a lot sometimes, and you always are there to haul me back from the brink. I REALLY thank you and will try not to whine so much! These pages are the one place I unload freely, but that’s not fair to you all. Tomorrow when I give thanks, a lot of it will be because of all of you. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone on the Planet! You are special people, one and all.

  2. choicelady says:

    I re-read this, BD, and it’s just wonderful. Over the years it’s made me think because of a connection I have with my forebears. Some decades ago, C-Span broadcast a re-enactment of the Lincoln Douglas debates. They were HOURS long, and they were attended by people from miles around Galesburg, IL who drove for a couple of days to sit on chairs they’d brought from home listening to this very long debate. Some of those folks included my great great grandfather and mother who lived in Princeton, IL and who were conveyors on Owen Lovejoy’s underground RR. I have never know for sure if they housed slaves, but they did drive them to the next stop. So the issue of slavery was important to them and others in Princeton and in Illinois in general.

    Can any of us imagine sitting through speeches that were 2-4 hours long? Even Jon Stewart’s recent rally was a total of 3 hours with many different “acts” -- no long speeches. Remember how the media snarked at Clinton for daring to speak -- as President -- for 30 minutes? That’s all the attention we can PAY? Sound bites and synopses of ideas now pass as “research” for students -- if it’s in a book, a whole book, it’s too much work. No wonder we have simplistic solutions to complex problems. Someone pointed out to me that probably very few of us ever read whole books anymore. Our best intelligence comes from the NY Times Book Reviews rather than the books themselves. Anyone here actually read “The Family”? It’s long, often complicated, sometimes tedious, and incredibly mind boggling. But who pays full attention? I suspect anyone under the age of 40 rarely reads an entire book anymore. Especially if it’s footnoted.

    So we wonder why our political discourse comes down to “And so’s yer old man!” or some such. We seem to revere ignorance on one hand and quick fixes on another. Outside of creating major power outages, how can we ever get back to thoughtful reflection? When I read AdLib’s notes from 2020, it all became clear -- that IS where we are headed so long as we never spend time engaging in real discussion, really listening to one another, really reading complex things. Superficiality will rule. Thanks, BD -- that is a very good essay you made us read!!!!

  3. choicelady says:

    Reading ALL of this, I have become too depressed to comment. My members -- most of the 1.5 million of ’em -- are NOT like any of this, but we are invisible to even other progressive because we threaten the status quo which, unfortunately, even progressives HAVE. We are getting cut out of the discussion even though -- or maybe because -- we have had huge success in altering the conversation.

    America does not need to be this way, but I’ve finally reached the conclusion that until the progressives give up the smug isolation that exists between us as individuals and between our groups living in self satisfied silos, we will never organize well enough to change this. I sat through a good explication of how to move single payer health care forward in CA yesterday. Only problem -- the steps needed were misrepresented in terms of probable success, and the purveyor of the plan REFUSED to heed the advice of the Churchlady (choicelady) or a major legislative staffer who understood that one key plan was impossible. Why? He was so full of himself he could not bear to believe we (both women) knew more than he did about the legislative process in which we both operate and he does not. He was sneeringly dismissive of us both. That left the rest of the group totally confused about next steps. So we have none.

    If we can’t even have a civilized strategy discussion, how will we ever be ready to cooperate on the big things? The uptick of the Right has everything in the world to do with the lack of coordinated and mutually respectful pushback from the Left.

    I am teetering on the edge of giving up. Planeteers! Talk me down!!!

    • Khirad says:

      There’s nothing I can possibly add to what others have said, but I appreciate your interfaith work especially.

    • AdLib says:

      CL -- I hope you know how much I and others here appreciate all the good work you do, supporting and promoting the issues and principles we share.

      Working together with others to accomplish big goals would be so much easier…if it wasn’t for having to work with other people.

      My experience is that having to depend on the fair-mindedness of others in a collaborative effort where power and/or money is involved is often a roll of the dice with the odds stacked towards the house.

      Egos and insecurity are the landmines in such circumstances. Sometimes, you can tiptoe around them, sometimes they block the way. In the case of the latter, what can be effective is a strategy to diffuse the landmines.

      Bring together those who would be compatible allies and as a growing subgroup of the group, connect with others to reason with them to support your more constructive approach. If your numbers can’t sway the approach into the right direction…the option is available to break off and pursuing the sensible approach to making something happen with those you’ve brought together. By doing so, you could create a new center of gravity that attracts people and organizations to you from the original group.

      For me, the bottom line is that whether or not everyone is on the same boat, if it can’t be steered to its desired destination, it is pointless to be aboard.

      You take the smartest steps you can to build consensus to steer in the right direction and if you can’t overcome the belligerence of a captain who wants to steer into an iceberg rather than admit he’s not infallible, jump ship and organize your own journey with colleagues you can trust.

      Unity is desired but shouldn’t be placed above accomplishing one’s goal. I think Pres. Obama has demonstrated the pitfalls of such a compromise.

      Now get back in the game and score! We’re counting on ya!

      • choicelady says:

        Pressure! More pressure!

        OK -- whew -- I’m back in the game. I will see if I can bring sense from nonsense.

        • AdLib says:

          CL -- Not meant to pressure, meant as a relief valve.

          You’re making a real difference in the lives of many people. Just don’t want the egotism of others and the frustration it brings, eclipse how appreciated you and all your work is!

        • kesmarn says:

          C’lady, somewhat O/T, but do you have an opinion on the documentary on Dr. Tiller…I think it was on MSNBC? I missed it. If you happened to catch it, what did you think?

          • choicelady says:

            Hi- I wanted to like it but did not. I don’t have a REAL problem with giving both sides “voice” -- but there was almost nothing about Tiller the human being. He was a gentle and kind man who did what he did from compassion for couples who had been given the WORST news EVER. He had an ally, a Methodist minister, who, upon family request, baptized the fetuses -- babies by that point -- and who told us how horribly deformed they all were. So we’ve had eyewitness testimony to the impossibility of hope. And still the other side demands that women even DIE rather than have a late term abortion. So I don’t think it was balanced at all. I’m tired of the “other side” being treated as if their zealotry is equal to Dr. Tiller’s compassionate care. They care nothing for babies, only for politics, and that was not made clear. “Saving babies”? No. Stopping women. Yes. Big difference. I saw one of the couples -- she about 8 months along and a woman at least in her 30s -- and I’ve NEVER seen such loss and despair on people’s faces. It was not a choice any more. It was a necessity to save her life. How Tiller could be villified for saving HER life is beyond me. And that point -- his words about his concern for women -- was glossed over and his identity lost. So no, I did not like the documentary, not even from Rachel.

            • Kalima says:

              As always with fanatics, they fail to see their own hypocrisy kes. They will scream “murderer” while murdering someone else. They want the babies to be born, then they wash their hands of them, and the caring for becomes someone else’s problem. To want a baby born into this this world while watching a mother suffering or dying, is not working for God.

              I’d like to ask each and every one of these extremists, if they will personally sign a document to ensure that the children they think they are saving, will be looked after by them financially and cared for by them personally in their own homes until they are adults.

              How many of these loud mouths do you think would sign it?

            • kesmarn says:

              Later: You’re right, Kalima,that was not easy to watch.

              I wonder if people like Scott Roeder actually believe that there were fewer abortions before abortion was legalized. Or that there would be fewer if that law were reversed. If they do, they’re very naive. The only difference between the states of legality/illegality is the number of maternal mutilations/deaths.

              Interesting too, that Roeder walked away from the only child he himself had. He “loved babies” so much that he abandoned his own. He was so “pro-life” that he murdered.

            • Kalima says:

              All the best, it is truly mood changing.

            • kesmarn says:

              I was thinking of watching it later, Kalima, but I may have to take time now…

              Thanks again.

            • Kalima says:

              The pleasure was all mine. Very powerful, I clenched my teeth all the way through it, at the end, my jaw ached.

            • kesmarn says:

              Not butting in at all, Kalima!

              I thank you, dear friend.

            • Kalima says:

              Sorry to butt in kes, here is the documentary.


            • kesmarn says:

              Thanks, c’lady. I knew that you would be the person to ask about this.

              I’ll try to catch it, if it’s re-broadcast. But I definitely get what your issue with this type of presentation would be.

              After all — you knew the man first hand…

              My sympathies… this could not have been easy to watch.

    • PatsyT says:

      Choicelady, you are on the right side of history.
      Don’t give up! We need your voice.
      I see these “leftish” people as taking on the role of ‘confusioners’
      every bit as destructive as the attacks from the right.
      Please hang in there, it’s worth it.
      I just ran across this article from the Pope

      • choicelady says:

        Thank you, Patsy. I had not seen this. Here in CA the Catholic Conference has supported single payer. Why? Because I, pro choice to the core, REFUSED to let my colleagues spell out WHAT services had to be covered such as abortion, so that Catholic Health Care could be Catholic. Not my call -- it’s theirs. It’s not “choice” if WE impose that standard on them. With that protection for their own views, the Catholic Conference became supporters of single payer. And now this -- the Pope of all people (who also now supports the use of condoms to prevent the spread of disease!) is calling for universal care. These are MAJOR steps forward unheralded and unsung and critical to all of us.

        • choicelady says:

          May I add that while I’m not quite ready to say “The Pope ROCKS”, I’m NO longer needing to say, “The Pope sucks”. Makes me much happier.

    • bitohistory says:

      Please, dear C’lady, move far away from the edge. Millions, not just your members, are in need of your good works. I have often read of your frustrations of yours with the ‘progressive’ community and their callous treatment of the progressive religious groups. Many are ignorant that from the beginnings of the progressive movement, it was based in the people of faith. Too often your group and its members are thrown into the same pool as the Moral Majority and Koran burners, thinking all religion is bad. I have often seen it on many fronts and so called lefty sites.

      While your hard work and good deeds should be the the only PR you should need, in this day and age you good works go un noticed and under appreciated. I, for one, value your hard and difficult task and we all reap the rewards.

      Now as to the fellow that wouldn’t listen to you, I’ll send some of the boys out to see him and explain some facts to him about respect (remember, my local considered me a rabble rouser 😉

    • kesmarn says:

      That was a foolish guy indeed, c’lady, to ignore the voices of wisdom offered — possibly because they were feminine voices. I agree that the left does have trouble acting as a unified body. Partly because — as I’ve said probably too many times already — there are millions of different ways to be decent, but it’s extremely simple and straight-forward to be a money-grubbing jerk. In other words, they have one goal (get rich(er)) that requires a very simple game-plan: annihilate the enemy; take no prisoners.

      We don’t work like that.

      I used to worry more about the way the left (most certainly including me) can indulge in sarcastic commentary regarding the right. Were we becoming unnervingly like “them”? But more and more, I see it as a therapeutic way to blow off steam among friends, and not the way I/we would necessarily speak in a public forum or face-to-face with, say, Rand Paul. I think most of us, if we had a chance to speak in person with him or Sarah Palin, would try (however futilely) to reason with him/her.

      Call me naive, but I have to believe that if we consistently talk to each other with reason and compassion, even though it seems to fall on deaf ears, the water will eventually wear down the rock.

      The only alternative, eventually, would be to take a page from their books and start talking “2d amendment solutions.” Which sounds ominously like Civil War II…

      • choicelady says:

        Hey bito and kes -- THANK YOU!!!! All your good insights and thoughtful reflection does help. Truly it does. bito -- I’m delighted to know you have friends in low places. Best kind of friends. Kes -- I do agree that what we say behind closed doors to blow off steam is GOOD (I’m always up for a good Sarah joke) but it’s when we snark at one another that it’s not helpful. I do LOVE your observation that there are millions of ways to be good but only few required to be awful. That does explain the disarray on the Left to some significant measure!

        What I can’t take though is the very fact of our differences leading to exclusion, anger, snottiness, and lack of cohesion especially when we’re on the same project. This leads to paralysis, and in this time of our lives we absolutely cannot be dumping allies along the side of the road or, worse, trampling over them. My best experience tells me that when I cannot agree, I move over. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way”. I’ve resigned from things when I cannot do whatever is on the agenda, but I do NOT snipe and undermine. Wherever did we learn that it’s OK to trash your allies and to ride over them with hobnail boots?

        We’ve had our differences here on the Planet, but I’m unaware that it has led to a “I’m taking my toys and going home” sort of sniff fit. We keep talking. And I learn SO much from each of you -- I’d be pretty stupid not to pay attention even when it may mean -- gasp! -- changing my mind.

        The result is that I do see too many of us on the Left being snide IN PUBLIC about something, and it’s not too far a reach to think some of them may entertain if not 2nd amendment solutions, violence or spitting-loud confrontations. Ego is a serious problem among us that doesn’t seem to exist in public in the Right.

        Anyway, I feel better, have indeed stepped away from the edge, and will carry on. Thank you, dear friends. It does help!

  4. Chris- The Fold says:

    I watched Idiocracy again over the weekend. It’s a great movie, and hopefully fiction.

    I work at a community college in Illinois. So I’m all for the education aspect. But it doesn’t just apply to schools. It applies to homes, families, our national discourse; which is what I think the main post is referring to.

    If you get time, check out my list of 10 Facts Republicans Refuse to Believe and see what you think.

  5. Questinia says:

    Education should be our new industry. We had the Industrial Revolution, now it’s time for the Educational Revolution.

  6. Questinia says:

    Obese and lacking in basic education and critical thinking skills we are mesmerized by the wares of kaleidoscopic mind-controlling corporate/

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Quite a smorgasbord of verbiage and imagery, Q! It almost makes me hungry! I like the reference to “beige foods”. That’s so true. People order hamburgers, that come in beige buns, and then get onion rings and fries as the side.
      Everything is beige or tan colored. And people feel like they’re “getting their veggies” because of the onions and potatoes hidden amidst all that fat.

      • Questinia says:

        I had just read a book by Michael Pollan about the way to eat when I wrote this stream. It has always struck me just how the more beige the food, the more appealing it is to Americans. Sometimes with a dash of red. The food looks like it hemorrhaged… a portent of the stroke potential it carries.

        Ketchup is the veggie!

        While trying to get something to eat on my way to work, I have an incredibly hard time not finding anything not beige. I think before this country got croissant-savvy, it was better.

        I have become significantly more food conscious. Not only for my health but out of principle. Those scientists who are creating “corporate edibles” know exactly what they’re doing and how they are creating chemical facsimiles of food that are like any other widgets.

    • kesmarn says:

      Well worth reposting, Q!

  7. whatsthatsound says:

    Great article and comments. I completely agree.
    Japan, where I live, has a far from perfect government, and corporate regime. But “Japan Inc.” works for the most part, FOR the Japanese people, not against them. I truly believe that nearly all Japanese politicians and corporate titans take genuine pride (often TOO much pride) in their nation and their nationality. They want to contribute to their country, and that is a great source of pride for them when they feel they do. The same in Korea, the new rising economic star. Seeing Japan as a rival, they are working their butts off to benefit the economy of their own country and its people.

    I don’t think it works that way in the U.S. Do politicians really feel proud of their country? If so, why sell it off to the highest bidder? Why prostitute their positions, the ones that We The People elected them to? As for the suits, how could they fleece the middle class and ship industries, lock stock and barrel, overseas if they truly loved their own country. The short answer is obvious: they DON’T love their own country. They use it, bleed it, milk it dry. What they love, what they WORSHIP, is money.

    In Japan, a company CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes about forty times what a newly hired recruit does. That’s enough for a house in the gilded burbs, an apt. in Paris, a yacht, and the best schools for his kids. Are these guys greedy? Yes, but clearly there are levels of greed.

    In America, the figure is 600! What can anyone DO with that much money? And how can it be enjoyed knowing it came from the misery of ones own countrymen? Who were lied to and cheated in order to obtain it? These people have no pride, no desire to serve, no soul perhaps. Just shells of those, which have been thoroughly corroded by the greed which seems to be the only thing human about them.

    • Questinia says:

      wts, “I don

      • whatsthatsound says:

        I agree with you. The metaphor of a cancer seems apt. Greed just grows and grows, even as it weakens and ultimately kills the body, like cancer cells do.
        Returning to Japan, I don’t think its citizens are any brighter, or necessarily better educated (at least in terms of civics) than Americans are. They watch really dumb tv shows, listen to vapid music, and fritter away hours playing games and chatting on their cell phones.
        The difference is almost exclusively found in the top tier, and the philosophy underneath it. It is, in Japanese “ware ware Nihonjin” which means, “we Japanese”. There is a strong cultural identification, even among the gangsters, so that they really don’t want to harm their own country and people. They DO, of course. One example is the construction industry, a behemoth nearly on the order of the MIC in America. They build and knock down and ruin pristine land. BUt they are the exception rather than the rule. Japan’s “Rust Belt”, cities like Nagoya and Hamamatsu and Shizuoka, are still doing relatively well in spite of the necessary-for-survival outsourcing companies like Toyota and Honda are engaged in. Those companies aren’t willing to completely abandon whole regions to misery like has happened to Michigan and Ohio.
        America may be, frankly, just too far gone. The cancer has spread too far. I don’t want to believe that, but, after all, the world doesn’t unfold according to how I want to believe.

        • Questinia says:

          I am beginning to think it’s too far gone as well.

          Japan has been bombed, it lost a war, and it came back with teamwork, extraordinary effort, and the backbone of an ancient and highly evolved culture. Just the latter will get you far. The first two are in the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” category.

          I doubt there is a country with an inherently smarter and more capable populace than the US. For those of us who are alert, that makes it especially tragic.

          Yet, I also see the possibility of this era being a transition period. There may be no previous framework for us to completely refer to while moving forward, so it seems particularly hopeless. The hope will be effected in the sub rosa, quiet grassroots world.

  8. kesmarn says:

    So many good points, BDad.

    Here is a very recent pic of one of FOX news’ alleged journalists, which appeared on the cover of GQ magazine :

    When people on the left say that this demonstrates a lack of gravitas regarding journalism in general and the role of women in broadcasting in particular, the response from the RW folks is that “all liberal women are ugly, liberals are jealous of beautiful conservatives, the best the left can do is Mr. Rachel Maddow,etc…” You get the picture. Anything but addressing the actual issues with Fox — its credibility, the way Murdoch uses women with cleavage to sell his agenda, and what Megyn Kelly is willing to do to advance her career. Everything to do with snark and appealing to sex appeal as a distraction from reality.

    Liberals who object are viewed as prudes. “What’s wrong with her using all her “assets” to get ahead?” “America is a superficial society, get used to it, elitist.”

    And the left is standing there, slack-jawed at the lack of rationality, wondering how anyone can possibly seriously debate with the Brawndo-drinkers….?


    • AdLib says:

      To be fair, we all remember Walter Cronkite’s appearance in Playgirl.

    • boomer1949 says:


      Notice they didn’t photograph her knees — too many rug burns from crawling under those corporate desks. You know kes, only the Executive Suite is carpeted. 😉 😉

    • Khirad says:

      There really needs to be an update to this:


      Just get it all over with and do a Girls of Fox News Special Playboy issue. It just might revive the franchise a little.

      She’s just mean. It comes through the screen. She really should just be seen and not heard. As much as I’m for equal rights and all, she only hurts her gender.

      • boomer1949 says:

        Did you notice the organization behind the website? Brave New Films.

        http://bravenewfilms.org/ 😉

      • kesmarn says:

        “She’s just mean,” really does sum it up, Khirad. And pandering so deliberately the way she does with this photo shoot does hurt women in general. It sets the dial back to the old casting couch days.

        Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with being pretty. Contrary to the way the RW would like to characterize it, the left is not furious because Megyn is attractive and has fun taking it off. (Aren’t we the presumed sexual profligates who counterbalance their alleged family values, after all?) We’re — or I am, at least — furious because she’s an Auntie Thomasina who has willingly sold out her sisters for a huckster’s job in the Massa Murdoch Empire. She’s the eye-candy bait to reel in the NASCAR vote. She’s the hypocrite who delivers the phony “War on Christmas” story in a black leather micro-mini skirt with a diamond-studded crucifix dangling down her cleavage.

        I’ll take Rachel Maddow or Christiane Amanpour any day, when it comes to delivering my news straight, thank you!

        • Khirad says:

          OMG Kes, you just nailed it! That’s exactly what pisses me off about her and all those news models too. FOX figured out how to get guy’s attention -- really not that hard -- and use them as pretty vessels for the dirtiest bile. So while they’re staring at her legs or cans they also “learn” that gay Muslim ACORN wants to Black Panther destroy America with Nazi Marxists. Soros.

          • kesmarn says:

            Exactly, Khirad. And the dismaying thing is how often it works. A certain percentage of guys want to do her; a certain percentage of women want to be her. And 100% of the above have their brains turned off by her and her “colleagues”.

            She’s a pretty little syringe being used to inject Murdoch’s poison. And the addicts are lining up.

            • kesmarn says:

              😆 On arrival home this evening…thank you for the kind words, but I think the trademark worthy words really are:

              …the hypocritical modern Western conception of morality condensed and summarized perfectly into one heaving, yet fully supported sentence.


            • Questinia says:

              X2, Adlib.

            • Khirad says:

              I know, I thought that was evocatively piercing imagery, too.

              I’m still on the dangling diamond-studded cross dangling betwixt her breasts, too.

              It’s like the hypocritical modern Western conception of morality condensed and summarized perfectly into one heaving, yet fully supported sentence.

            • AdLib says:

              Wow, fantastic allegory.

              “A pretty little syringe.”

              I’d trademark that one!

  9. AdLib says:

    BD -- I think we have seen the MSM become a parody of itself, the way so many cable news shows try to give legitimacy and stay ridiculously neutral about plainly ignorant, racist and hateful people and sentiments is absurd (“Adolph Hitler claims he is not anti-Semitic, it is the Jews who are anti-Christian and keep proving it in their frequent hateful comments about the NAZI regime.”).

    The onus is on the people now, we do have a number of sincere Progressives in Congress but they are outnumbered by corrupt pols on both sides and the corps and MSM they own. We do need to come together, it is the one thing the top 1% can’t stop…when the other 99% just says “We’re going this way now.”

    BTW, please feel free to post info about any initiatives on uniting and informing people. There are many active and involved people who are members at this site and we are actually pursuing an initiative that may integrate nicely with what you and others are doing to take action and organize.

    So please email me at [email protected] with info and updates and don’t hesitate to share the same in posts and comments. Thanks!

  10. Haruko Haruhara says:

    You know, I hate to oversimplify, but our society as a whole has embraced instant gratification, the Internet, video games, etc. I blame the growth of high-tech for at least playing some sort of role in this.

    Which means it’s just going to get worse.

    • escribacat says:

      I’m going to reveal my class-related snobbism here with this comment. I agree with Haruko (below) that the internet has greatly contributed to the sound-bite nature of discourse so well described by BassetDad. And I agree completely with BD that lack of education is the root of all this mess. And of course when we say so, what does that make us? ‘Elite liberals,’ as tr0lls over yonder are constantly bellowing.

      What we’re seeing is the rise of “leaders” whose very appeal is their ignorance and “Joe six-pack” mentality. Guess who goes for that sort of thing? The vast uneducated underclass of the USA. Although there have been plenty of “populist” leaders like this in the past, I think the internet is the jet engine of this latest movement. (Of course it works both ways — we “elitist liberals” are also finding each other.)

      One phenomenon I find interesting to watch is how the internet is not just killing off “paper” media — it’s much more than that. The biggest “death” has been the demise of the editors, the gate-keepers, the ones who say “You’re not making a very strong case for your premise,” and “Have you checked your facts?” Look at all the tripe (“articles”) that gets posted over on HuffnPuff. Their “editors,” if they have any, must be unpaid interns or “associates.” Again, there has always been a yellow press, eg the Hearst history, but now it’s multiplying exponentially. It will be interesting to see where it all lies ten years from now. I don’t think we yet realize the sea-change the internet has and is bringing to our society. It is Marshall McCluhan’s “global village.”

      • Khirad says:

        There was an interesting piece at another site which posited that our new ease of communications has also streamlined and nationalized even the most local congressional races. Think Grayson, or primarying Castle, which didn’t pass muster with ideological litmus tests (I think we on the left have been entirely unreasonable, unpragmatic and hypocritical about Blue Dogs at times). The author also remarked that it was ironic that those vociferous about states’ rights should want to decide what’s right for Delaware from Alaska, or wherever the out of state donor was from, etc.

        The net effect (pun intended) of this new internet connectivity at the grass roots is that the parties may in time stay polarized enemies at all times and our government resemble more a parliament in all but parliamentary democracy. In other words, no compromise allowed anymore by a vocal, unforgiving base; just a majority, and its “loyal” opposition opposing everything as par for the course -- spurred on by calls from Rush Limbaugh dittoheads and bigoted chain emails. When we said we were entering a new information age, we were never told it would be ‘good’ or ‘correct’ information, were we?

        I wonder if that Nigerian prince would like to buy an ailing democracy.

    • PatsyT says:

      Yes HH
      Drive thru, Fast Food, Instant, Microwave,
      No money down, No Payments till 2020,
      spell check, quick link, Uggg I’m getting dizzy!

  11. Khirad says:

    This is what national “debate” has been reduced to.

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