From Gwen Fortune after reading http://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462/brain-dead-how-politics-makes-us-stupid
My conclusion, summation and assessment is found in the deep meaning of the phrase, The arrogance of ignorance. Beneath the “A of I” is the acceptance of Fear as the foundation of human existence. Most humans accept fear of extinction as the ground of being–even as they espouse belief in a “loving creature.” Withdrawal from opening to the unknown, to ultimate truths that do not deny “The Shadow” of existence, the yin and yang, the ebb and flaw, in every aspect keeps us in the darkness of the unknown, and prevents the species from actual enlightenment.
We ARE cowards, spinning energies in sick withdrawal–truly the partially evolved.There are many ways these concepts can be and have been stated. I have no more “eloquence” except what I say above. I am saddened–and would like to be hopeful.-and wrong, Maybe another evolutionary epoch.or more will bring critical mass–and productive change. I am not aware of scientific findings to the contrary, to date.
. All I/We know is the creation and destruction of matter in the forms of the physical universes, So far, known history and uncovering pre-history demonstrate a litany” of unending possibilities—until–and the existence of dark (unknown) matter and energy. Belief, and wishing M
PLEASE…do not interpret this response to Charlie’s note as “positive” OR “negative,” Everything we do is personal interpretation to our experience, diverted through an individual mind conditioned in unique communities. As such, our freedom is conditioned/manipulated by personal experience. We have socially conditioned and” apparently” spontaneous responses to our life. Free will?? in our dreams..”Beiliefs–our fantasy.
We are determined by “The Arrogance of Ignorance grounded in the limitation of fear.” Were that it differed.. A hope wish and desire. The wizard.
Channeled ( so I am being told) through /Oya C’Shiva –Gwendoline Alpha Young Fortune,
On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Charlie Lindahl
Very interesting artlcle; worth the read. They mention a study where they demonstrate that MORE information and higher intelligence
may NOT always yield the “right” answer. This article requires careful deep reasoning and is by no means the be-all, end-all of the
discussion. But is a fascinating approach to the issues of politics in general.
There’s a simple theory underlying much of American politics. It sits hopefully at the base of almost every speech, every op-ed, every article, and every panel discussion. It courses through the Constitution and is a constant in President Obama’s most stirring addresses. It’s what we might call the More Information Hypothesis: the belief that many of our most bitter political battles are mere misunderstandings. The cause of these misunderstandings? Too little information — be it about climate change, or taxes, or Iraq, or the budget deficit. If only the citizenry were more informed, the thinking goes, then there wouldn’t be all this fighting.
It’s a seductive model. It suggests our fellow countrymen aren’t wrong so much as they’re misguided, or ignorant, or — most appealingly — misled by scoundrels from the other party. It holds that our debates are tractable and that the answers to our toughest problems aren’t very controversial at all. The theory is particularly prevalent in Washington, where partisans devote enormous amounts of energy to persuading each other that there’s really a right answer to the difficult questions in American politics — and that they have it.
But the More Information Hypothesis isn’t just wrong. It’s backwards. Cutting-edge research shows that the more information partisans get, the deeper their disagreements become.
Dear Gwen and Charlie and David:
The one issue I have with the original article is simple: it states the political parties have grouped themselves by ideology.
Since 1980, the two Democrat Presidents, Clinton and Obama have proven that though verbally, there is an ideological split between the two parties, when it comes to legislation, the environment, foreign affairs, and labor (to name but four) the actions of the two parties at the top are IDENTICAL.
The ideological divide is a veneer, better put, a whitewash to get people to vote for what appears to be better common sense, a more fair distribution of wealth, some stand on the environment and an end to foreign wars. But none of those have come true.
Look at the Keystone Pipeline, the number of fracking earthquakes i Oklahoma, the continued wars in the middle east, the NOT reviving of the 186 environmental laws scrapped under Bush 2, the NOT rescinding of the unconstitutional Patriot Acts, the NOT restoring of Habeas Corpus, the Hundreds of new formerly unconstitutional surveillance activities, the scrapping of “innocent until proven guilty” by the media, the continued widening of both the income gap and US Debt, both of which could be handled by going back to pre-Bush tax codes, the continued bail outs of banks and AIG that happened under Obama, after derivatives and foreclosures had already gotten the banks their dang money back, the us of drones, the pestering of ANYONE opposed to the government, the deamonization of ANYONE blowing the whistle about unlawful activity by our government, and the pursuit of even MORE FREE TRADE, meaning more USA jobs lost to wage slavery countries, and you see a pattern BY OBAMA that is EXACTLY THE SAME as some of the worst parts of the Bush 2 administration.
Oh there may be an IDEOLOGICAL DIVIDE, but there is no divide whatsoever when it comes to DEEDS, dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.
Hillary Clinton had shown every sign that she would be WORSE. God Bless her, I now look back and see her 1,300 page overhaul of the US health system (Obama failed to lower COSTS, hence he failed in his “reforms” also) as built to fail. She knew it would fail, that’s why she made it so complicated. Bill was on the trilateral commission. ENOUGH SAID, as a governor of Arkansas. Maybe he opposed the Vietnam War at Oxford and she represented an almost-for-sure guilty black panther member who was arrested for murder, IN ORDER TO BUILD a FALSE left wing resume, and had a long term plan to run Bill for President hatched by the same dingbats that sit in the Skull and Crossbones at Yale (sons of the Freemasons, Daughters of the Eastern Star).
Reminder, fellow voters, that Hillary NEVER ONCE voted against ANYTHING AT ALL that Bush 2 wanted. Look it up.
Research about how people are hoodwinked is dandy, academics need their jobs too, but it doesn’t do a DANG THING to change the reality that the media puts the hammer down on Greens and Libertarians alike. Especially, ahem, Greens. We still can’t get the young, the underworked and the impoverished to vote.
I hear and understand what you’re saying, but, given that I’ve attended the Texas Democratic Party State convention recently I disagree that
the difference in the parties is simply a veneer.
I *do* agree with your assessment of policy issues in the main, but Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and Alan Grayson ARE different from their Republican
counterparts. And they walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
Where the two parties ARE the same (minus the examples I just cited) is that BOTH parties are heavily dependent on
See the recent interview with Jim Hightower (one of my personal progressive heros) on Bill Moyer on July 4th on this topic.
My evidence for “more than a veneer” from Texas:
1) Look at the huge collection of pictures during the respective conventions (R and D).
R: Almost all old white men (oh, and the Log Cabin Republicans were denied a booth as being “philosophically inconsistent with the party platform”)
D: A huge amount of diversity: age, race, size, gender including (proudly) a LOT of GLBTQ.
2) The respective platforms which will EVENTUALLY be reflected in state policy.
An example that is very real for me and for which I lobbied and protested: Houston
passed a citywide anti-discrimination law on behalf of LBGTQ. Houston is thus the last major
city to pass such an ordinance.
This is a concrete example of LOCAL laws that have been passed by Democratically controlled areas,
even in a red state such as Texas.
> We still can’t get the young, the underworked and the impoverished to vote.
NOT true, at least in *my* area of Texas (Houston and environs extending up to College Station).
I met last night *at my house in College Station* the head of the Battleground Texas person (a young Latina) and
a new employee of the Texas Democratic Party (YES they HIRE and PAY staff in the Texas Democratic Party now!)
whose SOLE job is to get LOCAL candidates elected: sheriff, dog catcher, judges, etc.
They were BOTH motivated, BOTH very knowledgeable, and BOTH actively “on the grond” (block walking). And this is
happening throughout Texas in MASSIVE numbers.
In Montgomery County (where Gwen used to live, and I still do), we TRIPLED the Hispanic vote in the last election. Since we
are such a heavy Republican area, it did not make a difference in our state elections (much) but it DID make
major differences in LOCAL elections.
So please please don’t generalize to EVERYWHERE. I am out in the streets in Texas (literally) and we ARE
doing the necessary hard work on the ground (GOTV, blockwalking, etc). WE WILL get Texas blue by 2016, but
maybe by 2014 (Gov/Lt Gov race at least).
Oh, and back on the Keystone Pipeline: note that the pipeline is NOT flowing yet, and the Texas folk working against
it include a coalition from across the spectrum including Greens and Libertarians (and R’s and D’s). And in TEXAS
the protests have been nationally televised and ARE having an effect IMHO.
[ And yes, I’m an unapologetic optimist and activist. ]
Yes Charlie, it appears to be some great work in your part of the world. And, of all the states, Texas appears to be an interesting battleground again, which hasn’t been true since 1948 when LBJ’s Republican opponent was murdered six weeks before the congressional election.
LBJ could have lost as a democrat in Texas in 1948. Wow, pretty bad guy.
But southern democrats, at least the one that controlled North Carolina for decades before 2012, are easy proof of just how long the pro-rich religiously conservative, anti-labor (right-to-work states are inherently wage slavery states), profit over environment “DEMOCRATS” have looked an awful lot like bigotted Republicans.
When I was young we had progressive Jacob Javitz as a New York lefty Republican. Ha, you’re right, we aren’t likely to see that again, or even a Jack Kemp.
You are also correct about Saunders and his small band. But many Democratic strategists are already Open about EW or BS running for president NOT to beat out Hillary, but simply to move progressives back into the fold. it’s the Jerry brown Syndrome where real lefties are used to fold people under to vote for Hillary.
It would take a universal country-wide movement that is working like your local one to change the democratic party into truly representing the poor. To do do effectively, they would have to END all free trade, END the WTO END the IMF, bring back tariffs, and cause a worldwide economic collapse.
This wouldn’t bother me at all, but I am working harder every day to become a farmer. How else can we save the environment, than to end consummerism?
It’s the radical in me. 70% of what is made in factories we just f\don’t need, and those items are messing up the environment. I’m not a LUDDITE, but certain things, we don’t need now and never did need.
Good luck in Texas!
Thanks for understanding my position, as I do yours.
For me LOCAL is the action and real change.
I agree, too that, becmoing a farmer is very important for EVERYONE (even “city folk”).
Check out Urban Harvest ( http://www.urbanharvest.org/ ) and Last Organic Outpost ( http://www.lastorganicoutpost.com/index.php/en/ ) for really
great and successful efforts at Urban and Community farming.
And yes, the GREEN party is active in Houston. A good friend of mine ran as a Green and won as a councilman a few years back. He did Good Things
but has since moved on to other things.
of course the Greens are all about local, and only run nationwide candidates, if REAL GREENS anyway, to encourage more local meetings. In NC we went from 2 to 20 in 2000, but it’s back to 5 now, form what I am told. Many want me back.
I may leave Korea and come home for good in December. I wrote speeches and coordinated the East Coast for Jerry brown in 1991/2. If there’s a good Dem then I can be on board.
You take the Democratic Party to task for failing to do the several things listed here.
Have you LOOKED at the US House of Representatives? The GOP has been in control there since 2010. You do realize who controls the purse strings? Who has to initiate spending bills? Obama’s first initiative was health care. While I think it could have been better, it was a real scrape to get anything passed. The Democrats had both houses for ONE congressional term, and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate FOR less than 2 MONTHS.
Because the Democrats have not succeeded in these things, you equate the parties. I strongly believe you are in error. You allow the perfect to drive out the good.
I too wish for single payer, better benefits for the unemployed, assistance for the poor and education funding. These were not to be, for the GOP obstructing prevents. What we have in ObamaCare is clearly 2nd best, but it beats HELL out of what the GOP would like, which is to cut every spending for anyone except the very very very rich. Tax law changes you want will NOT HAPPEN until we get a Democratic US House.
If you think the two parties are the same, take a look at the Supreme Koch [sic] appointments. The 5 in the majority are ALL GOP appointments and the 4 in the minority are ALL Democratic appointments. To paraphrase a campaign slogan, “It’s the COURTS, Stupid.” No offense intended, and I hope none will be taken.
That said, please, show me where this administration could have done ANY of the things for which you take them to task.
Off to a Saturday AM dress rehearsal for a concert tomorrow night.
With Warmest Regard
But let’s read the fine print. Barack Obama is, in most minds, the most influential Democrat. On many issues
his own part was not voting with him.
That’s OK, that’s politics…But, your argument misses a key point: Neither the environment nor labor have the majority of the Democrat’s ears. I live in the south, and assure you very few Yellow Dog Democrats ever get elected in North Carolina, except form Chapel Hill or Asheville. And Asheville’s local politics is often extremely conservative.
Bible-thumping conservative switched to the Democrat party in the south as soon as Lincoln freed the slaves. Republicans have stormed back recently due to Jesse Helms’ success and the hatred of all things Obama.
If you honestly believe that, with the exceptions of Warren and Sanders and a very few others, maybe Harkin and Franken, that the democrats are not ALSO beholden ot big money, then it is hard for me to make my point. The reality is that it’s not just THIS supreme court, but MANY OTHERS that were picked on ideological grounds. I presume this is why we should vote for Hillary Clinton then? Because maybe some senior court members will pass away or retire.!?!?
Obama never once mentioned bringing back any of the 186 environmental laws Bush 2 scrapped. he also supports the Keystone pipeline and fracking (note the earthquake totals multiplied by 20 in Oklahoma due to fracking).
He never brought up the concept of rescinding Patriot Act One or Two, both of which are extremely unconstitutional, and at Harvard President Obama was…a CONSTITUTIONAL Scholar. At least he should have brought up these issues, but I suspect, as many would, that he is in the pocket of the military economic complex (note the continued support of the Fascist junta in Kiev!, the illegal 2009 Coup in Honduras!! Good God Ronald Reagan had NOTHING on Obama when it comes to continuing the antiquated and imperialist BS known as the Monroe Doctrine.
“Bringing the troops home” became “moving the troops to Pakistan.” Ooooopsy Daisy.
Think Obama can bring back the 35,000,000 + millino jobs shipped ot cheaper labor? No? Neither do I, but then again
most of those job moves were caused by three things: 1) NAFTA, 2) GATT@ and the WTO and 3) TAX BREAKS to corporatoins who move jobs overseas. ALL of those were created by another of your democrats: BILL CLINTON.
He had to make a lot of promises and twist a lot of arms to push NAFTA through. HA, the Republicans never could have done it without him. Add to this the Banking reform Act and Welfare reform act (both of 1995) and you find a “democrat” acting more Republican than a Republican would DARE TO DO.
Hillary Clinton, as Senator from New York, NEVER ONCE voted against a SINGLE THING George Bush 2 wanted.
Maybe the Republicans would be worse than all this but does that excuse the “I’m here for the rich” policies the last two Democrat Presidents imposed. AND, AND< AND! when Obama was elected in 2008, the Democrats controlled the white house, the senate AND THE House. and what came of it? NOTHING, not jack, because the southern Dems blocked Obama at every turn. HA
Fins me a Dem Candidate running on a policy of regaining the environmental laws, rescinding and banning Patriot Acts 1 and 2, ending the spying on Americans by Americans, removing ALL troops form overseas, and putting them to work cleaning up the oceans, for one, and converting, like Germany is trying to do, to Wind and Solar Power and CLOSING nuclear power plants, and THEN I will vote Democrat. Until then, why would I vote for ANYONE who does not support my point of view?
CREATE JOBS: clean up the earth. Just the last one would probably get my vote.
IF ANY REPUBLICAN IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, WE ARE GUARANTEED TO GET SCOTUS JUSTICES LIKE SCALIA, THOMAS, ALITO, and ROBERTS. IF THAT HAPPENS, YOU CAN KISS ALL REGULATION OF CORPORATIONS GOOD BYE, YOU CAN THE ENVIRONMENT GOOD BYE, KISS ROE v WADE GOOD BYE, AND YOU CAN KISS ANYTHING THE WEALTHY AND CORPORATE INTERESTS WANT WELCOME.
Any Democrat will appoint better judges and SCOTUS Justices than ANY Republcian.
That said, I acknowledge every one of your points. I know the history of the Democratic Party in the South. That the Southerners moved to the Democratic Party when Lincoln freed the slaves is truly ancient history and it actually has little meaning for today. Those Democrats moved to the Republican Party and took it over when Johnson signed the voting rights act. They drove the GOP to the positions that the Democrats of the late 19th Century held. The Republicans of today would assassinate Lincoln again for that action, and they would delegitimize and depose Obama merely because he is black.
I have lived in North Carolina 77 years, and have watched while the GOP took the NC legislature, gerrymandered voting districts, passed voting laws that destroyed voting rights here, cut education to the bone, then ground up the bones, and raised taxes on the poor and middle class while cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. They made it a felony to reveal the “trade secrets” of the fracking fluid that the companies inject into the ground with the potential to poison water in the water table.
Believe me, I know.
But your discussion ignores my one major point: ANY Democrat, even the relatively conservative Hillary Clinton, will appoint BETTER judges and what is more important, better Supreme Court Justices than ANY Republican. That the Democrats are beholden to rich corporations is not immaterial, but they have not sold their very souls to the moneyed interests.
I am not pleased with Obama, and I am annoyed with the Democratic Party. But I will NOT vote for a Republican. I will fight tooth and nail for every liberal who runs. I will canvas voters in this, the most Republican County in Western North Carolina, Transylvania, I will drive potential voters to obtain voter IDs, to register to vote, and then to the polls for early or election day voting.
I am a “yellow dog” Democrat. I will vote for a yellow dog on the Democratic Party ballot before I would vote for ANY Republican. I will contribute to them too. And I encourage you to do the same.
Do not support 3rd party candidates. That way lies a GOP victory and a disaster from from which the United States will take two or three generations to recover.
Here’s one for you:
As the chair of the Greens from 1998 to 2002 in North Carolina, you can imagine how hard it was to receive
the 202,000 signatures we needed to just get on the ballot in NC in 2000. We had over 100 volunteers and failed.
Democrats were MOST LIKELY not to sign. gee, how democratic of them.
we got 48,000 signatures and joined Oklahoma as the only two states to fail the party.
I worked for Jerry Brown in 1992, and when Sandy Fox, the CHAIR of the Democrats in Pennsylvania was locked out of campaign headquarters in Harrisburg, due to her backing of Brown, and when the Democrats would not give us the forms we needed to even register potential Convention representatives, should Brown win a voting district, or the whole state, I knew personally that the party was rigged.
Is it better than the republicans? Yes sure, agreed.
But the damage done by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama is WAY WORSE than even Citizen’s United, which only codifies what has already been going on in terms of bribery and corruption for centuries.
After NAFTA and GATT 2 sent the jobs to Mexico and further abroad, Clinton SCREWED the economically challenged via the Welfare Reform act of 1995. It was HIS IDEA.
Likewise the Banking reform act of 1995 allowed banks to lend $30.00 for every $1.00 they had on deposit, not the previously allowed limit of $12.00 to $1.00. That lead DIRECTLY to the 2008 meltdown. AGAIN this major BOOOO BOOOO wws Clinton’s joy to sign, no veto.
Obama’s list of egregious errors is massive, but if you think Hillary Clinton is a “middle of the road” type, look at her record as Secretary of State! She’s not relatively conservative. She’s a mess waiting to happen.
My problem is, no candidate that even remotely is interested in saving the environment, bringing back the environmental protection laws, improving the wages and working conditions of what is left of the manual labor force, bringing ALL THE TROOPS HOME, or at least closing half the foreign army bases, EVEN STAND A CHANCE of being nominated.
Partly this is due to the fact that the MEDIA determines who is leading a race based on ONE THING ONLY: Who has raised the most money. Why? Because those folks can then spend the most money advertising IN THE SAME MEDIA.
Hence, the real representation of the REAL needs of the average American are NOT found in 85% of those elected to the house or Senate in EITHER PARTY.
Until the United States citizens, and not just hippies without work, get on the streets and figure out a way to eliminate money form politics, this is not going to end. We have an Oligarchy, straight up, with many laws WRITTEN by corporations in the first place.
Maybe Kucinich and Sanders and Franken and Warren and Hagan and precious few others stand in the way of all this, but mamby pamby I give in Diane Feinstein types don’t interest me anymore. Not Pelosi either. I quit working for and gave up a long-standing friendship with Jerry Brown when he refused to develop a third party. Good for him, He did a great job gentrifying once proud but poor neighborhoods in Oakland, and is actually doing better than that as Governor of California again.
HISTORY: Even Jimmy Carter stunk out loud. I live in Gwangju, where Carter and his liege Ambassador William H. Gleysteen sent in paratroopers not riot police, and hundreds died in what had started as peaceful protests. His record in Indonesia also stunk. He propped up dictators all over the globe. ooopsy Daisy.
If by remaining democrat you believe the USA is better off with Democrats than Republicans, well I can say slightly better off, except when it comes to Foreign Policy, and then the two parties remain very pro military, pro war, pro big business.
We already have enemies throughout the world thanks to Bush 2 and Daddy Bush and Reagan. Now Obama has added Pakistan, and notably is backing the REBEL ILLEGAL JUNTA fascists in Kiev. Eventually that will cause a reaction from Putin.Obama knows exactly what he’s doing. Dumb he is not. If the US economy continues to tank, if the US dollar continues its decline, if the Chinese RMB, now backed by Gold, becomes the unit used to buy oil and later takes over as the world’s reserve currency, the USA is in for VERY HARD TIMES, and only a WHOPPER war could “pull us out” of that. Hence, we might as well tweak the nose of Putin NOW rather than later, right?
And additionally, if the natural gas that flows to Europe via Ukraine is cut off, then the price of natural gas WILL FLY in Europe and around the world, even IF THE USA HAS a 150 year supply. OH Goodie, another fossil fuel President.
The People’s Bank of China is the final mortgage holder on over 22% of American homes. Forget who services the loans, look at the real owner of the debt. We’re already working for China 9 weeks a year to earn enough taxes for our government PAY THE INTEREST on the money we OWE China ALONE.
Why hasn’t Obama been able to show a surplus at least a few years like Clinton did? Because our economy stinks. 0% for how long now? And, like Japan, no noticeable pick up in NET job production.
OBAMA stinks when one examines both domestic and foreign policy realities.
How has he done for education? Uh, MORE religion based charter schools that make fortunes for the already rich.
And for African Americans? Even more in jail now than under Clinton!
And for gun control? HA Sorry, he had the house, senate and his own White House when he first got elected and did not even BRING UP gun control, or the needs of the impoverished, sometimes starving children in THE USA..
Good luck. I’m still worried about the USA, and will be, until campaign contributions are illegal. YUP, Public funding, now!
Thanks for being so engaging,