Now, as is often pointed out to me, Mr. Carlin is indeed  “just a comedian”.  But so was Samuel Clemens.  His words carried no less weight with the American people than those of the most popular politician.  So forgive me for leading off with a true hero of mine.

Democracy is not broken.  We are not slaves ruled by a cruel oligarchy or blameless victims of a corporate plutocracy. The U.S. government is not a separate entity from the American people. This is not an authoritarian dictatorship. A fascist state. No one is forcing you to buy the products they’re selling.  To vote for the people being provided.

There is an old quote along the lines of , “the people who are easiest to rule are those given the illusion that they are free”. Many faux bohemians and pocket intellectuals love that quote. Love to go on and on at length  about how poor ignorant Americans are just suffering under some illusion of freedom and choice.  And that they have no real say in the matter. Mr. Carlin often spoke of how America was “bought”. He also made clear that this was because most Americans just don’t care. They have resigned themselves to the fact that this is just how it is.

The “Starbucks Revolutionists” who see the protests in Egypt as something sorely needed in America are the worst. How about before we start burning down the FED, we take out votes a little more seriously? We stop and ask, “does this person represent America’s best chance” and not just the best chance for your Party to win.  And speaking of political Parties.

There is no greater cancer in American politics than the 2 party system we have put into place. Almost half the country doesn’t even belong to either Party, yet they are the only choices that get advertised. They only serve themselves. They offer compromised solutions and no real change. And I don’t even wanna hear about Civil Rights legislation.  You pass something with “civil rights” in the title yet, almost 50 years later we’re still having debates on gay marriage.  Yep. That sure wrapped everything up.

It’s not like you don’t have other choices. They just don’t have the money or cache of the 2 Parties. Still doesn’t mean you can’t vote for them. Still doesn’t mean you can’t demand they be included. People say it’s wasting their vote. Those people are only concerned with “winning”.  I say you have wasted your vote anyways.  On the vain notion of being on the “winning team”.

Democracy is not broken. It has not been hi-jacked. It’s merely dormant in the people. Waiting to be awoken. That is entirely on you and me. They can bribe you with the comforts of modern life but it’s still your choice.

“Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians.”

~Mark Twain

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lynettema
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lynettema

We often have a choice of more than one candidate. It’s called the primaries. We had a very active democratic presidential primary. If you get into it, you have many choices. We often have primaries for other congressional and senatorial seats – not so much at the state level. But I encourage you to get active in these if you want more than 2 people to choose from. If your person doesn’t win in the primary, then what? Are you going to give up on what is maybe not as good as your first choice by staying home or bashing the person that does win the primary.

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SueInCa
Member

Adonai

Good post. Anyone who has traveled, knows the US is a pretty good place to live. We can say anything we want, except for crying “fire” in a theatre when there is none. We can go most places without fearing violence breaking out or a suicide bomber taking peoples’ lives. We have many freedoms and one of those is to vote.

With that said, I have lost my faith in the fairness of our judicial system after seeing how easy the SCOTUS appointed The Toy Story Cowboy, gave corporations the right to be considered individuals and I just can’t wait to hear them rule again on Roe v. Wade. The Citizens United ruling I believe will prove to be one of the worst rulings in SCOTUS history, next to Bush the Lesser and Dred Scott.

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Marion
Member

You absolutely had me until the third party stuff. Our form of government enables two political parties, and actually, I’m quite happy with that.

What I don’t like is that both parties, in their current reincarnations, have no interest in the poor or the working poor. The Republicans appropriated this demographic when the Democrats reformed in 1970 and threw their old base (along with the unions) under the bus. By the time the Gipper ambled along, the disenfranchised former base of the Democratic party – and the Democrats were always the party of the working class people – were ripe to be plucked from the vine and fattened up on a diet of religion, ueber patriotism and family values. The Republicans keep these people undereducated and under the thumb for voting purposes, and the Democrats fear catching cooties from these types. Besides, they’re just so useful for some comedians to ridicule.

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chasethis
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chasethis

I’m going to agree with Marion. If there’s a way that a third party can work, I’d sure like to hear it. “Winning” isn’t just so that we can claim to be on the right team. It’s the “winners” that represent us.

That said, I’m giving Adonai 9 stars for his thoughtful post–just to encourage him to continue writing. And, because I love the whole “stars” thingy. Also, I never want to be on the wrong side of gawd.

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chasethis
Member
chasethis

This is a good format and forum for you, lord.

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RasputinsLiver
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RasputinsLiver

If there is a god, ….

….then Carlin is its official in-house Jester.

Miss both he and Bill Hicks. But, at least we have Lewis Black an’ Dave Chappelle.

It’s the old line of we either cry or laugh. And fankly, I’d much rather laugh.

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LINY01
Member
LINY01

I still believe in Democracy and I don’t think it is is broken; it is just seriously dysfunctional.

The dominant characteristic of our present ruling system is the firm belief that power is to be gained and maintained by manipulating the masses. Being honest with the population is rarely an option for them.

This independent new site (http://ampedstatus.org/the-two-party-oligarchy-vs-the-people/) holds the following opinion, that I strongly agree with:

Here are the seven key issues that keep 99% of the US population without political representation:

1) The two-party system;
2) Campaign finance;
3) Lobbying;
4) The revolving door;
5) The concentration of media ownership;
6) The big banks;
7) The rule of law does not apply to the richest one-tenth of one percent of the population.

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people, they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
Thomas Jefferson

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intotheabyss
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intotheabyss

I’ve been reading AmpedStatus for a while. I love the revamped site and social network. David is definitely moving in the right direction with his activism.

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Caru
Member

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

~ George Washington

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whatsthatsound
Member

Thing about democracy is, half the people say it’s broken and the other half say it’s fixed.

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Now i need to figure out how this blog works as far as interacting with people

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AdLib
Admin

It’s like HP and others. There’s no refresh pop up though that tells you when there are new comments so you just have to refresh from time to time (though when you post a comment, it updates).

Also, you can check out the Recent Comments column to the right to see who is posting most recently and where.

It’s a bit quiet right now but you’ll find a lot of familiar usernames here tomorrow.

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Plutocrats really suck
Member
Plutocrats really suck

“That’s how it is at most blogs, HP had all that hedge fund money to do that customized pop up.”

Ha! Fair enough my friend, pardon my ignorance.

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Plutocrats really suck
Member
Plutocrats really suck

Thanks for the help Adlib. How do you know if someone replies to a comment?

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Pluto – one thing Abby suggested was to put the name of the person you are replying to first, just like I did here. That way you can look at recent comments and link easily.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that we are no longer modded so you can actually sit on one story and if two or three people are posting in the same thread it actually becomes a mini-convo. Not like chat but much closer than the old HP way where you’d post a reply and have it go to Never Land. Maybe it would, and maybe it wouldn’t get through. I’m starting to get it – a little but the same people are flying from story to story when there’s a lot more here so it can be a little confusing. Better than the old way though. Welcome

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AdLib
Admin

Great avatar, PRS! As Khirad says, just hit the refresh button on your browser or check out the Recent Comments widget to the right after refreshing, posting or going to a different thread.

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Khirad
Member

Ya kinda have to feel it out.

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Plutocrats really suck
Member
Plutocrats really suck

Really? That sucks.

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AdLib
Admin

Not like plutocrats though. 😉

That’s how it is at most blogs, HP had all that hedge fund money to do that customized pop up.

We don’t so you just need to click your refresh button…or buy us out for $315 million, either way works for us!

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Ok thank YOU…

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Hi everybody…

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Plutocrats really suck
Member
Plutocrats really suck

Hiya JaQie.

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Hey Plutocrats

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PatsyT
Member

Welcome JaCqie… make yourself at home

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Thank YOU patsyT

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PatsyT
Member

You are so welcome… don’t be shy about asking any questions there is always friendly help on hand.

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AdLib
Admin

Hey JaCqie! Welcome to The Planet!

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

Oh thank you very much…i was so lonely finally somebody spoke..lol

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Khirad
Member

Yes sorry, we’ve been inundated. We like to welcome each and every person though!

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AdLib
Admin

Heh! I’m still dizzy from all the conversations we had here today but was happy to see a new member come on board!

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JaCqie
Member
JaCqie

How do i get to upload my AV

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AdLib
Admin

We use Gravatar so go to their site, register your email address and upload your graphic there. Here’s the link:

http://en.gravatar.com/site/signup

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KQµårk 死神
Member

In this case also I don’t blame the players it’s actually the Constitution that blocks governing this country with more than two parties. If we had an parliamentary system where the executive comes out of a legislative body it would be possible. I always thought it was ironic that when they US did have a chance to put democracy in Iraq it used the British system now ours. A multi-party system simply does not fit the way we select the primary executive or the Senate for that mater when you look at the numbers. It may make people feel better having more “progressive” candidates to vote for but the end effect will an increased stranglehold of conservatives on national politics.

I say this all the time but progressives and liberals are in denial over this. Every national poll shows P/L are outnumbered by Cons 2:1. Sure Cons are fooled into their mindset by the right leaning media but it’s current reality. Until then the only choice is to be part of a big tent party unless you want to relinquish all your voting power.

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Khirad
Member

It also depends on the kind of system one uses in a parliamentary election. If it were proportional allotment, we’d be really screwed.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

True and but on the flip side think how screwed we are now with the Senate. Most rural states with small populations are more conservative while states with large populations, especially coastal states are more liberal. It’s crazy to think that states like Alaska get the same representation in the Senate as states like California.

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Khirad
Member

Indeed, while the systems aren’t related, the end effect is essentially the same. Especially with at-large states: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

I see the argument for a deliberative body (even in the House of Lords, which includes the Judiciary in that case), but with filibusters and more, it is no longer a cooling plate, but a frigid brick wall.

The original reasons where smaller colonies were afraid of being dominated and ruled by Virginia, along with a carry over of a sense of republican aristocracy now seems anachronistic.

Just think how much of the Constitution would have to be changed through an amendment to abolish the Senate though. That, and the ground force to do so – which would require Senators to willingly relinquish their power.

I know you weren’t going to the great Senate debate, but I just don’t see how this ever happens – and it speaks to part of the larger problem.

As ridiculous it is that a place like Wyoming getting 2 Senators is, why is D.C. getting two with statehood so scoffed at?

Wyoming population: 563,626
District of Columbia: 601,723

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Khirad – the thought of any government rep even down to the state level voting to contract the size of the legislatures makes me howl. MN has this HUGE legislator group to serve about five million people. There are a lot of varied interests of course but as the budget shortfall increases here the solution is going to be to no plow the snow and shut down pothole repair instead of shrinking the size of the government itself. They know of course that MN people are tired of potholes already to threatening to stop filling them is like a war cry. Natch they’ll try to find a way to fund it through some new tax. They had an article on the news about asking companies to pitch in for road repair on the roads to their businesses. My son thought we should have an “Adopt a Pothole” program. There’s one at the end of my street he wants his name on, almost took out his tire the other day and it’s only mid-Feb. By the end of March it might be big enough to swallow one of those Smart Cars or maybe even a Geek squad dude.

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david p canada
Member
david p canada

Isn’t that a wise protection from the heavily weighted House.

The “tyranny of the majority”, remember?

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

David – I agree, there needs to be some way to protect the smaller states from the larger. Way too much potential for abuse, toxic waste dumps come to mind. Now if there was only some way to protect the 98% of us who, well, that’s another story.

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KQµårk 死神
Member

Yes that was John Adam’s biggest influence. He personally hated democracy.

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AdLib
Admin

But is a representational democracy really a tyranny?

Is a government that proportionately represents its citizens tyrannical?

I’ve always had a problem with that characterization and especially after the last two years of the tyranny of the minority in the Senate, I think that myth is exploded.

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AdLib
Admin

David, perhaps it’s semantics but I don’t know that the smaller states need protection as much as a strong voice.

Isn’t that what a democracy is all about? Those in the minority need to be vocal when they disagree with what the majority wants to do…but in a democracy, should a minority have power over the majority?

Of course, unlike with slavery and other civil rights issues, if something is morally wrong, then the minority, as MLK did, needs to find a way to turn public opinion to their side.

Otherwise, how does a democracy actually function and serve the majority of citizens that the majority of politicians represent?

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david p canada
Member
david p canada

So what protections would you have for smaller population states, if any?

For that matter, any minority at all?

The Constitution simply does not address each and every situation.
Having one branch of government where everyone has an equal voice would seem socially conscious.

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Khirad
Member

Yup, when guarding against it was to protect the minority (in whatever form), it has indeed become slightly ironic.

Not as ironic as Calhoun arguing it while arguing for slave holding states to secede, of course. A legacy of Madison.

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PlatoSunTsu
Member
PlatoSunTsu

Agreed, I’ve always found our ‘free market’ democracy, quite literally astonishing…
I can go to the grocery store and pick one of hundreds of different boxes of cereals, yet when I go to vote, there are really only three choices, R, D or write in.
The two main parties ( that could each be split many times over) are in collusion to keep any third out and you do make a good point Adonai, we do have the choice of a third or more, we just “want to be on the winning team”.
We are political apathists…
But what to do?

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

As much as it galls me to write it, I am waiting for the TeaParty to split off. I know they won’t because they are riding the coattails of the Republicans, or are the roles reversing? What ever the case is does seem ridiculous they aren’t out there on their own. It might spur the left or green people to step up, or maybe the Libertarians. Having several parties being forced to agree to get legislation passed might be novel. Then again, given the last two years, getting any legislation passed seems to be the least of our Congress’ problems. The posturing and fluff bills coming from the House today are, for the most part, laughable.

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Plutocrats really suck
Member
Plutocrats really suck

It would be great if we had a multiparty system with all parties competing on parity but we don’t because the only people that can change that are the very people it would detrimentally affect the most; the congress.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with a lot of what you said. I would vote for someone like Bernie Sanders if he had a snowballs chance in hell of winning and don’t give me that “I just want to be on the winning side” stuff, that is not how I pick a candidate. A progressive president will not have a progressive congress. He will have no party apparatus. Sorry to make this comment so long ADONAI, good to see you nonetheless. :]

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PatsyT
Member

Another Comedian that is greatly missed… Bill Hicks
httpsh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBHHr5C84i8

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Khirad
Member

VERY missed. Watching his stuff during Bush I – I can only imagine the aneurysm Bush II would have given him.

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Khirad
Member

The “Starbucks Revolutionists” who see the protests in Egypt as something sorely needed in America are the worst.

I want to punch people making such hyperbolic false equivalencies in the face.

There, I said it.

Some people are living under brutal dictatorships. How dare you compare our problems to theirs.

P.S. I was really hoping you’d come on over.

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escribacat
Member

Perfectly stated, Khirad. I keep telling those wailers that they need to get out more, visit some other countries, find out what REAL tyranny is. But no, they won’t. They’ll stay at home and keep whining that they live under such tyranny in the USA. What a frigging joke.

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Khirad
Member

It’s just offensive and makes my blood boil. Not because I don’t have major qualms with things here, but because it’s still just not the same.

Tell his mother:
[img]http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/hs626.snc3/27546_135161109860940_7718_n.jpg[/img]

And her mother:
[img]http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00106/Neda_Agha_Soltan_106381s.jpg[/img]

how horrible it is in America.

Yes, you are truly like Aung San Suu Kyi railing against the Fed.

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