• Seeing Obama comment on this-ridiculous. This has to do with national security? Wow, they’ve really jumped the shark. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for multinational corporations to take up the cause of the people of this country and their problems-that only flows the other way.

  • What a steaming load of shit.

    Yeah, they’re real hard up if you judge by McDonald’s per capita or the number of billionaire hedge-fund managers. If you use, say, literacy or infant mortality things look a little less nice in the good ol’ capitalist US of A.


  • So have you guys figured out why Rome “fell” yet?


  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-16 10:08:00View | Delete

    Yeah, Schama’s a real disappointment isn’t he? I was reading his book on Dutch national culture when I was first exposed to his Zionist bile and couldn’t finish it. Too bad, because it was an interesting book. I’d say, however, that that’s the sort of grinding-axe that will affect one’s scholarship. Very hard to take him seriously about the formation of states given his position on Palestine.

    I’d recommend DMG Southerland’s France 1789-1815: Revolution and Counterrevolution. Yes, it’s dry and yes it’s dense but it’s painstakingly documented, wonderfully analytical and neither shies away from significant minutiae nor ever sinks to the personality-driven pop lit on the period. If one needs something light, you can get through Jeremy Popkin’s A Short History of the French Revolution in a weekend. At least in the edition I own, it had excellent visual aids for such a small book.

  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-16 09:59:49View | Delete

    Hear, hear. Being completely honest-they’re all from the upper class. Direct democracy may be impractical for a system with 50 confederated states with a population of 300M+ (but it’s not impossible). Given that, the temptation to favor a republic is tempting. But also given the reality of capitalism, i.e. inequality (because that’s all it is, the predictable result of capitalism) and that commerce is very lightly regulated in the west today it’s impossible to have a truly representative republic unless we bring back democratic practices like filling offices by lot. (And why not?) If a job is too difficult to understand or be handled by anyone in the nation either our civic education is deficient (it is) or the job is too complex (they are, as what we have become is an oligarchy with hints of technocracy for the military/finance/intelligence sectors).

    Really though, I’m an economic determinist. I’m not sure that governmental system as an abstraction rises very high in anyone’s priorities in terms of things to think about or do something about until many other needs are met. Those being the essentials of life, which is understandable. If you care more about whether we have a democracy, oligarchy, republic, etc. more than if you can feed yourself and your kids you’re either suffering from false consciousness, a damn fool or clinically obsessed. What I see is that most Americans rightly don’t (can’t) give a lot of thought to how much they want democracy or how good or bad it is compared to the alternatives when they’re using all their time and energy to feed and clothe and house themselves, with ever diminishing returns. Remember-in places like Egypt a dictatorship is tolerated for decades but as soon as there’s no longer a chicken in every pot, out come the long knives.

  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Why the U.S. Plan for Iraq is Doomed to Fail

    2014-12-15 13:15:24View | Delete

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Why the U.S. Plan for Iraq is Doomed to Fail

    2014-12-15 13:15:06View | Delete

    One of those connections I like to point out:

    Viacom = Westinghouse = war machine.

  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Why the U.S. Plan for Iraq is Doomed to Fail

    2014-12-15 12:11:42View | Delete

    Basically, you can’t chalk up wins against your own farm team. Obviously. By that logic, the Romans were like 536-4 over a few centuries. In reality, any really capable opponent like Mithridates or the Arsacids in Parthian scared the bejeezus out of them and were only subdued over a very long time and largely by bribing people and throwing good troops after bad.

    Sound familiar?

  • And all this talk accomplishes…


  • Yeah, what he said. And I’m all for marijuana decriminalization.

  • Has someone hijacked the good Jon Walker name lately???

    Not to argue with you as I agree with your overall point completely…but he’s always been this into shilling for anything related to the Ds. That’s my recollection anyway and I’ve been here a while.

  • Important point. Thanks for bringing it up.

    “We’re torturing some folks.”

  • They don’t really want specifically to impeach Obama that badly. It would just be a little more exciting than most of their propaganda initiatives.

  • Jon,…you are a part of the problem.

    Damn right. F’in gatekeepers.

  • sapphirebulletsofpurelove commented on the blog post Incumbency Isn’t Worth Much Anymore

    2014-12-10 09:25:42View | Delete

    No time to proofread or to respond to your respectful request for dialog…busy man, Jon Walker.

  • Yes, but that was yesterday, historically speaking.

    The origins of racism in our culture go all the way back to the Romans-the first of our cultural forbears to go out into the wide wide world and encounter, regularly, in large numbers, and bringing some of them back, people who looked and acted completely differently from themselves. Upon reflection, the Romans broadened the use of a term, gens, that typically referred to “clan” or “family” to represent the idea of different peoples and decided-or just did it, instinctively-that it may be best/right/advantageous to treat these very different people differently from those more familiar. That’s not a crazy or bad idea. But from there it evolved in many ways and was used by many for various things, not all of them good. That’s the part of racism some of us abhor and, again rightly, insist is a corrupting influence in our society-racism as a veneer for in- and out-groupings that are all about personal connections and power. The other part of it where I don’t offer my left hand to certain people, or look them in the eye, or make physical contact with them or offer them pork or shellfish to eat-is completely reasonable and useful. We really need a dialog on what racism really is if we want to tamp down antisocial and criminal manifestations thereof. This idea that the fundamental problem that leads to the unfortunate ends of Mr. Garner, young Mr. Brown and others is that white people generally hate black people or at least really enjoy their privileged status relative to them is an unfortunate distraction. What we’re really seeing is the results of police power being totally unfettered while pursuing their mandated defense of the capitalist elite and their vision of culture, society and economics. Racism isn’t the cause of that, though it is why we see a disproportionate amount of the horrible outcomes of this situation occurring in black and brown neighborhoods and affecting black and brown men, women and children. Even that isn’t just about racism though, as these areas are consistently working/under-class though again, racism is the reason why those areas are home to disproportionate portions of this country’s black, Latino, Asian and immigrant populations.

  • The problem with economic matters is that they aren’t that important by themselves.

    Actually, it’s the only thing that matters on its own. It’s like the “Arab Spring”-to the extent it was a popular movement, it was in reaction to economic restrictions and hardships. People can find ways to rationalize living in a dictatorship (heh) but there’s no way to rationalize not being able to feed yourself or your family. Then it’s on. It’s the misconception quoted above, comrade, that leads you to feel:

    History doesn’t provide any guides I’m aware of.

    How about Cuba? Or even just Marxist/Trotskyite theory? The functional social democracies of Europe before coming under American neoconservative/liberal influence? The historical guides to what may be accomplished in favor of the 99% are all concentrated in the field of economic planning and labor politics. Or so it seems to me.

  • This is really what’s most important to you here?

  • Is it still too soon to judge the effects though?

  • I realize that your focus is on Health Care Reform but you need to get over this idea that Barack Obama or the Democratic Leadership gave a shit about health care, or about anything they used to get elected.

    A lot of people here gently chide JW like this as if he simply has a blind spot or is slow to take a complex lesson. That isn’t it. His command of rhetoric shows there’s no way he doesn’t realize what you say is true. He’s a gatekeeper. He seems to be kept around for that very role. That’s why despite what I imagine are now hundreds or thousands of comments on his posts pointing this out, he continues to state the opposite. When somebody seems really analytical but also so foolish as not to discard obviously counterfactual assumptions, he or she is probably attempting to manipulate. That or said individual is a moron.

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