• ottogrendel commented on the blog post Obama To Announce Executive Action On Immigration

    2014-11-20 11:38:20View | Delete

    I don’t know who might be excited about this. I don’t know that the immigrants potentially affected vote.

    I do draw this tentative conclusion: If Obama’s past actions are any indication, then his announcement about immigration reform will be so many pretty, empty words and that the reform will have fuck all to do with social justice and helping out people desperate enough to risk their lives and imprisonment crossing the Sonoran Desert. He does not give a fuck about these people except as they might benefit the wealthy and his political career.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Obama To Announce Executive Action On Immigration

    2014-11-20 11:09:26View | Delete

    “Since taking the oath of office, Obama has deported immigrants at a faster rate than any other president in US history, nearly a record 2 million people. On a typical day, there are over 30,000 immigrants imprisoned in the world’s largest immigration detention system. Most deportees never see an attorney or have a hearing before a judge before they are expelled from the country.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/179099/why-has-president-obama-deported-more-immigrants-any-president-us-history#

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-18 11:54:11View | Delete

    Indeed. There are many other things at play, although corporate personhood is a big one–but perhaps more symptom than cause. Loss of community and the public space of the commons is at the root. But why was this loss come to pass?

    The dislocation, mobility and destructiveness inherent to Capitalism is a significant part of the equation. This inherent dynamic helps explain the atomization of the US public. (Did we think Capitalism was all progress, profit and technological advancement?) Fear is a big one, too. And we US citizens seem to be shit-scared of everything from common germs to imagined terrorists to each other–well, 75 years of perpetual war has its social costs. The worship of money and compulsion to turn everything into a dollar sign, the desire to exploit and get something for nothing, the privatization of damn near everything (especially including the actual physical space of the commons), and the founding idea that paying taxes (i.e. public funds for public good) is at best a necessary evil if not immoral are all in the mix, too.

    If you haven’t read them, you might like Marvin Harris’s “Why Nothing Works: The Anthropology of Daily Life,” and Marshall Berman’s “All that Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity.” Both help explain the loss of commons and community.

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Nothing-Works-Anthropology-Touchstone-ebook/dp/B004BA5GKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416339356&sr=8-1&keywords=why+nothing+works

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Amarshall+berman&keywords=marshall+berman&ie=UTF8&qid=1416340227

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-18 11:28:43View | Delete

    ” Incredible it is that Barack Obama is not being pilloried ”

    The Obama supporters that I know are still relying on the Lesser of Two Evils framing to explain away all this. They are now, of course, adding that because of the mid-term elections, Reps will now go about wrecking all the wonderful things that their Dear Leader has wrought. They believed the bullshit promise of meaningful reform, were given the shaft, were even called “fucking retard” and “stupid” in the process, and still they applaud. That, friends and neighbors, is how authoritarianism works.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-18 08:31:07View | Delete

    On Obama’s website for the 2008 election one of the “health care” reforms he promised in writing was to get rid of emergency room insurance (the kind that allows them to cover the costs of anyone who walks in for emergency care) as a way to reduce industry costs. If Obama was interested in some kind of single payer/universal health care, then the problem of emergency rooms having to cover the uninsured would not exist and there would be no reason for him to want to get rid of such insurance. This promise–among many other things–made it clear from the very beginning that he would be serving the interests of corporations not citizens.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-18 08:22:10View | Delete

    “we have to understand and communicate the difference between public funding of public programs that serve the public good, and public funding for private corporations . . .”

    Where it must start: Undo the horrible nonsense that corporations are people. This expression of the erroneous conflation of public with private good is where the whole thing began. To make this all worse, we now have a situation where corporations enjoy more rights than ordinary citizens along with a thoroughgoing fusion of corporations and the state (even more so that it has always been in the US).

    Another thing that could be done is to sever property taxes from police budgets, as this source is how most are funded. When cops are paid via property taxes, they end up serving and protecting those with serious amounts of real property, which of course explains why cops beat Occupy protestors and not the bona fide Wall Street criminals. Having cops work for corporations instead of citizens makes promoting the common good next to impossible.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 11:52:28View | Delete

    “How exactly do you get from repeal to single-payer?”

    Pro: Repeal would get rid of the forced consumption of a for-profit product (a genuinely fascist development).

    Con: Repeal would increase the popular notion that government can’t provide basic services, safety nets, etc.

    Either way, repeal or reform, nothing is going to materialize that doesn’t work to maximize profits for those with serious power and money–not until something crashes and burns, anyway. We simply don’t have a system that is engineered to promote the common good as its primary mission. And when we have the highest interpreter of law in the land decide that Obamacare does not violate the 14th Amendment, and that corporate bribes throw trump against the votes of citizens . . . well, you know.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 11:33:47View | Delete

    Republican politicians are against Obamacare in precisely the same way that Democratic politicians are against torture and the GWOT. I suspect that Reps will spout bullshit to their base while working to maximize the profit to the health care industry started under Obamacare. The entities who pay the bribe money don’t give a shit whether there is a D or an R after their names. And the lot of them certainly don’t give a flying fuck about the health of the citizenry, which term, of course, was replaced by the word “consumer” years ago, and for a very good reason.

  • The US has become the Soviet Union.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 09:45:05View | Delete

    Excellently put, TD! And no, there was nothing eleventy-dimensional at all. It was straight up graft and exploitation. And on-the-record graft: Nobody got more cash from the health care industry during the process than Baucus. One would think that such a glaringly obvious bit of evidence such as that would have tipped off a critical mass of citizens. But no.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 09:33:56View | Delete

    Exactly. The logic of our economic system demands that the extraction of excess profit and the accruing of that profit upward continue until there is nothing left to squeeze.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 09:28:21View | Delete

    Hillary is a joke candidate, in the same way that Romney was. It’s time to change the public face of corporate interests. A Republican will be President in 2016.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 09:14:39View | Delete

    Indeed.

    Independent doctors–and ESPECIALLY those serving the poor–have been getting squeezed by HMOs, et. al. for over a generation. Obamacare is simply the continuation of that trend.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post Approval of Obamacare Hits a New Low

    2014-11-17 09:10:04View | Delete

    The unconstitutional, forced consumption of a product–and all the imbalance of power that such things accrue–is unpopular? Did Our Dear Eleventy-Dimensional Leader miscalculate? It must have been this, because he would never lie or lead us astray.

    As long as this horrible mandate under penalty of law exists, it can’t be made “significantly better.” Obamacare was only ever about maximizing profits. Period. Nothing explains this shitsickle better than that understanding. None of Obamacare makes a damn bit of sense if one assumes it was about actually providing health care for citizens.

    I doubt that Democrats ever thought it would get popular. All such talk was most likely bullshit to sell it and then push the turd down the road. I’m not sure what popularity has to do with it anyway?

    If Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans and all the rest of those who are in the employ of big business ever once, for a second, gave a shit about the affordable health care of citizens, then none of this bullshit would have transpired.

    The point of Obama’s Presidency is this: Make the increased extraction of profit (whether by Wall Street or the health care industry), the continuation of the GWOT, and the dismantling of SS all OK. He might not be the actor that his (supposed) hero, Reagan, was. But he has been a helluva salesman and a stellar “good cop.” Go brand D!

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-11-04 09:13:03View | Delete

    Good point. And good quote. Nobody watches more TV than US citizens.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-10-30 10:41:39View | Delete

    Could we at least make it Idaho, then?

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-10-30 10:41:20View | Delete

    :)

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-10-30 09:46:11View | Delete

    Most revolutions don’t occur until a critical mass of citizens are starving and utterly destitute, or similarly oppressed. Why it takes this long, I don’t know. Perhaps it is a combination of human resiliency and the persistent power of the myths of the original paradigm. I suspect that authoritarianism has a tremendous amount to do with it: “Don’t worry, Daddy/The President/God will take care of us.” Being organized in social groups too large for each member to know or talk with all the others (i.e. civilization) must have an impact, too.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-10-30 09:07:21View | Delete

    About as bad as it got for Soviet and Warsaw Pact citizens, I imagine. We already rank at or near the bottom for most quality of life indices relative to other industrialized nations, have the greatest wealth disparity, spend the vast majority of our wealth on war, have an executive branch to operates under the Fuehrerprinzip, are militarizing our police force, have a surveillance system that makes the Stasi look like primitive amateurs, and have more people in prison than any other nation, in total numbers and as a percentage of the population–take that, Gulags! However, owing to our greater wealth, geographic isolation, and Exceptionalism, it may get even worse than that.

  • ottogrendel commented on the blog post U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

    2014-10-30 08:31:57View | Delete

    After so many years of fighting the Soviet Union, of pretending that the US was their polar opposite, how ironic that the US has become them.

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