A redneck tree hugger and a techie ex-pat bridge the political ‘divide’

BUZZ THIS!

Introduction:

We’re all used to the partisan “Left/Right” convention that is used to factionalize and keep us from talking to each other. Diatribes full of hyperbole pass for political discourse, and listening has become a lost art.  This is bad enough but one subject in particular gets shut out of the conversation when it is dominated by shock and awe: what about Freedom?  Creeping authoritarianism is of greater concern to me than social policy, so it was of great interest when I came upon a sensible dialogue between two writers who approach issues differently but share more than we might expect.  Their exchange follows below.

The urge to confront the 800-pound gorilla in the room (creeping government control)  is a sub-text in much of what is written today. With the rise of so many technological tools that invade our privacy, read and record our communications, and provide access that any dictator would drool over- is it almost a no-brainer to assume they will be used against us. If we remain in our cheerleading sections busy despising each other, we’ll miss any opportunity to rein in or control the mechanisms of tyranny now being assembled.

With this in mind, COTO Report has set up this new page, Bridges, for cross-border dialogues. Here we will link specific bridge pieces posted at COTO Report, where full discussion across the political spectrum can be nurtured. The only rules are no ad hominem comments, and stick to the topic.

Claudia Woodward-Rice

PS: stay tuned for how this all moves to the new “Bridges” page next to the Gum Wall!

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April, 2010

Gary Hubbell: The Redneck tree hugger

Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation

Aspen Times Weekly  

Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America’s future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America’s resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That’s why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

Obama is the symbol of a creeping liberalism that has infected our society like a cancer for the last 100 years. Just as Hitler is the face of fascism, Obama will go down in history as the face of unchecked liberalism. The cancer metastasized to the point where it could no longer be ignored.

Average Americans who have quietly gone about their lives, earning a paycheck, contributing to their favorite charities, going to high school football games on Friday night, spending their weekends at the beach or on hunting trips — they’ve gotten off the fence. They’ve woken up. There is a level of political activism in this country that we haven’t seen since the American Revolution, and Barack Obama has been the catalyst that has sparked a restructuring of the American political and social consciousness.

Think of the crap we’ve slowly learned to tolerate over the past 50 years as liberalism sought to re-structure the America that was the symbol of freedom and liberty to all the people of the world. Immigration laws were ignored on the basis of compassion. Welfare policies encouraged irresponsibility, the fracturing of families, and a cycle of generations of dependency. Debt was regarded as a tonic to lubricate the economy. Our children left school having been taught that they are exceptional and special, while great numbers of them cannot perform basic functions of mathematics and literacy. Legislators decided that people could not be trusted to defend their own homes, and stripped citizens of their rights to own firearms. Productive members of society have been penalized with a heavy burden of taxes in order to support legions of do-nothings who loll around, reveling in their addictions, obesity, indolence, ignorance and “disabilities.” Criminals have been arrested and re-arrested, coddled and set free to pillage the citizenry yet again. Lawyers routinely extort fortunes from doctors, contractors and business people with dubious torts.

We slowly learned to tolerate these outrages, shaking our heads in disbelief, and we went on with our lives.

But Barack Obama has ripped the lid off a seething cauldron of dissatisfaction and unrest.

In the time of Barack Obama, Black Panther members stand outside polling places in black commando uniforms, slapping truncheons into their palms. ACORN — a taxpayer-supported organization — is given a role in taking the census, even after its members were caught on tape offering advice to set up child prostitution rings. A former Communist is given a paid government position in the White House as an advisor to the president. Auto companies are taken over by the government, and the auto workers’ union — whose contracts are completely insupportable in any economic sense — is rewarded with a stake in the company. Government bails out Wall Street investment bankers and insurance companies, who pay their executives outrageous bonuses as thanks for the public support. Terrorists are read their Miranda rights and given free lawyers. And, despite overwhelming public disapproval, Barack Obama has pushed forward with a health care plan that would re-structure one-sixth of the American economy.

I don’t know about you, but the other day I was at the courthouse doing some business, and I stepped into the court clerk’s office and changed my voter affiliation from “Independent” to “Republican.” I am under no illusion that the Republican party is perfect, but at least they’re starting to awaken to the fact that we cannot sustain massive levels of debt; we cannot afford to hand out billions of dollars in corporate subsidies; we have to somehow trim our massive entitlement programs; we can no longer be the world’s policeman and dole out billions in aid to countries whose citizens seek to harm us.

Literally millions of Americans have had enough. They’re organizing, they’re studying the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, they’re reading history and case law, they’re showing up at rallies and meetings, and a slew of conservative candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. Is there a revolution brewing? Yes, in the sense that there is a keen awareness that our priorities and sensibilities must be radically re-structured. Will it be a violent revolution? No. It will be done through the interpretation of the original document that has guided us for 220 years — the Constitution. Just as the pendulum swung to embrace political correctness and liberalism, there will be a backlash, a complete repudiation of a hundred years of nonsense. A hundred years from now, history will perceive the year 2010 as the time when America got back on the right track. And for that, we can thank Barack Hussein Obama.

Gary Hubbell is a hunter, rancher, and former hunting and fly-fishing guide. Gary works as a Colorado ranch real estate broker. He can be reached through his website, aspenranchrealestate.com.

 

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An open letter to Gary Hubbell

Dear Gary,

I read with interest your essay:

Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation

Even though I have a different view on many issues, I get the feeling that at a deep level we have very much the same concerns. The Constitution is being trampled, the wealth of the nation is being wasted, the government is more and more intruding into our lives, education is a joke, the healthcare bill is unbelievably horrible, we’re over-extended in idiotic wars, and the list goes on. At this level I think we are mostly in agreement.

But is the cause really ‘creeping liberalism’? The way I see it, there has been a very smooth continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations. Bush started the wars, and Obama has expanded them. Bush pushed through the unconstitutional Patriot Act, and Obama extended it. Bush presided over the collapse and initial bailouts, and Obama expanded the bailouts, both of them leaving us with debt obligations that could never possibly be repaid.  Bush brought in torture and indefinite detention, and Obama has made these official ongoing policy. Where’s there any real difference, except in the speeches? I think Bush was more honest, and Obama more the liar, but the bottom line is they both have been pushing the same basic agenda.

You mention immigration, the treatment of criminals, the welfare system, taxation, extorting lawyers, etc. Weren’t all these things happening more or less the same way under Bush? I think they were, but I don’t blame it on ‘creeping conservatism’. I don’t really see liberalism or conservatism as being relevant to what happens in Washington.

Washington is one big rich-boys club, and the most successful, enduring politicians of both parties are more concerned with staying in the club — with all its perks — than they are with ideology. When they make speeches, they use language that appeals to their constituency. When they vote, they pay attention to who funds their campaigns, and who promises them a cushy job on retirement. The real power in Washington is the money power.

It wasn’t liberals or conservatives that crafted the healthcare bill, it was the insurance companies. And look at Obama’s White House, it isn’t liberals or conservatives, it’s folks from Wall Street, the ones who caused the collapse and then demanded to be bailed out. Money rules, and the biggest money is Wall Street, and the privately owned Federal Reserve. They’re the ones who print the stuff. The Wall Street folks, and their cronies, are the ones who own the mass media — both the liberal and conservative variety of media.

We’re being played for suckers, with this liberal vs. conservative game. The liberals go to sleep when someone like Obama is in office, and the conservatives go to sleep when someone like Bush is in office. Taking turns, both sides keep hoping things will get better with the next election, like a donkey following a carrot.

Liberals won’t vote for Ralph Nader, because that would help the right, and conservatives won’t vote for Ron Paul because that would help the left. Only a rebellious few vote for who really represents them, and the rest are forced to the two mainstream parties, both of which are bought and paid for.

I really like your nickname, ‘The Redneck tree hugger’, because it bridges across the divides: you can be a conservative and care about the environment at the same time. I wish we could sit down and chat about things. We need to restore the Constitution, where it says all powers not delegated specifically to the Federal Government are reserved to the States, or to the people respectively. But we aren’t going to get there with the help of the Republicans or the Democrats. We’ve got to find another way.

respectfully,

richard moore

american living in ireland

where things aren’t quite so crazy yet

Richard’s “about me” page: http://quaylargo.com/rkm/rkm_bio.html )  see also:

http://www.governourselves.org/ http://escapingthematrix.org/ http://cyberjournal.org

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Gary Hubbell responds to ‘open letter’

From: Gary Hubbell <grandviewranch@…>
Date: 3 April 2010 16:08:58 IST
To: Richard Moore <rkm@…>

Subject: Re: An open letter to Gary Hubbell

Hi, Richard–

I am in absolute agreement with everything you wrote. If you’ll research my columns over the years, you’ll see that I was never a fan of George W. Bush. In fact, I was a very strident critic. I was not in favor of the TARP bailouts when they were first proposed by Bush, and you are absolutely correct that Obama stepped right in and finished what Bush had started. Mind you, Timothy Geithner, the Keebler elf, was first employed at Treasury by Bush.

Bush never represented conservatism to me. Indeed, the word “conservative”, as Webster defines it, means “afraid of change.” That definition doesn’t work for me. In fact, I’m not sure I am a quote/unquote “conservative”. Call me a Constitutionalist. Was Bush a true conservative? By his actions, I say no. Signing a $400 billion drug entitlement for seniors into law is by definition an act of liberalism. Allowing the deficit to become bloated and unmanageable was an act of liberalism. Sitting down with John McCain and the Democrats to craft an amnesty act for illegal aliens was liberalism. I remember Bush’s surprise and shock when people rose up against the amnesty bill. It showed just how out of touch he was with the people. The big cheerleader for the amnesty bill was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a staunch Republican ally. To me, it seems that such a stance would be openly advocating the subversion of the American people. I mean, let’s take jobs away from taxpaying citizens and give them to foreign invaders who are willing to work for less? Are you kidding? Just so you can hire dishwashers at Denny’s and meatpackers in Omaha for a cheaper wage? Was this conservatism? Absolutely not–it was greed. No wonder people are pissed off at the Republicans. They’ve earned it.

You mentioned health care. Ah, health care. You are absolutely correct that Obama has handed a very big plum to the insurance companies. Nothing in his bill encourages competition or the elimination of waste. I wrote a column over a year ago about health care. When we go to the doctor’s office, why isn’t there a keyboard and a screen in the waiting room to sit down and enter all our information ONCE? Instead, you fill out four different forms by hand with the same information, for four different droids to enter into four different systems. People with medical conditions or surgeries that were resolved four years ago are stilling getting dribs and drabs of bills sent to them. It is massively inefficient, and truly, doctors are such lousy businessmen and women that they brought this monstrosity upon themselves. They did such a poor job of running their business that they left the door wide open for government to step in, and we are the poorer for it.

A student of our nation’s history learns that our founding documents were very carefully crafted by very wise men who had experienced significant difficulties and conquered them. The Constitution is not a document to be ignored. It is THE roadmap to prosperity, opportunity, liberty, equality, and freedom. Every European that travels to the U.S. wants to see the open road in the Utah desert at Monument Valley, where that highway stretches endlessly into the distance of those desert monoliths. Why? Freedom.

When we ignore our Constitution in an effort to engineer a desired result, we always result in a loss of freedom. Sure, we may have more diversity in our colleges and universities, for example, but tilting the scales to produce an artificial diversity has resulted in the first generation of Americans to have a lower college graduation rate than the generation before. Instead of starting at the very beginning–a cultural change that treasures education and opportunity instead of ignorance and dependency–we’ve denied opportunities for those who have earned them. And, by default, we chip away at personal freedoms.

I’ve never been afraid of change. I want to know why I can’t plug my electric car into my solar panel and drive 150 miles without supporting a Saudi terrorist financier or an environmental catastrophe such as the tar sands in Canada. The problem is it would be hard to tax my driving miles in this scenario, so government kinda likes that oil company disaster that we’ve been chained to for 100 years.

And Wall Street! Now you got me started. I’ve guided all kinds of Wall Street guys on fly-fishing trips and hunting trips. When you spend 8 hours on a trout stream with a guy, you get to know quite a lot about him. Here’s what I learned: they’re not smarter than you or me; they’re not necessarily so talented or observant. They are, however, extremely motivated, extremely greedy, and they’re cunning. They’re willing to work 15 hours a day and sleep in the office if that’s what it takes to make $40 million in bonuses this year. They will neglect their families, they will treat others like dirt. They act as if they have a special form of entitlement, and they do. It’s called great wealth. It’s called flying a G4 instead of coach. We, the people, as individual investors, are simply feeding the beast. Your IRA, Keogh plan, 401K–by investing in the stock market, you are subsidizing this incredible greed. Any gains you make in the stock market are basically luck, because after they’re done collecting their monstrous fees for putting together mergers and acquisitions, initial stock offerings, preferred stock, stock options–all the meat is stripped from the bones of any deal, and your investment is what allowed it to happen. Is this wrong or unconstitutional? No, but basing the entire world economy on packaging derivatives insured by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on mortgages that were guaranteed by the federal government on the false premise of “everyone should own a home” social engineering is wrong. You can blame Barney Frank and Bill Clinton, you can blame George Bush and Henry Paulson, but it happened on the watch of both parties, and it’s wrong. We, as taxpayers, subsidized the largest “house of cards” Ponzi scheme ever in world history, and it’s still going on. That TARP bailout money you spoke about? Well, there were 1,300 foreclosures last year in Mesa County, Colorado, out of 130,000 residents. That’s 1% of all RESIDENTS, including kindergartners. Those homes should be selling for $100,000 each, investors with money in the bank should be able to make a good profit, and the market should kick-start again at 50% of the previous value. However, so many bank loans are being guaranteed by TARP money that the banks aren’t selling the foreclosures at a loss; they’re holding them until they get a big fat insurance check from the government, and then they’re bundling those loans and selling them in $250 million packages to…DRUMROLL…WALL STREET! If you don’t have $250 million to spend, you can’t play. So the homes are selling in big bundles at 10 cents on the dollar instead of going to auction locally for 50-70 cents on the dollar. And who is subsidizing this? You, the taxpayer. And Wall Street–which created this whole mess in the first place–wins again.

So where do we go from here? There’s only one place, in my opinion, and that is back to the beginning–the Constitution. We need to challenge every candidate running for election to run on one very basic set of principles: 1) is your vote Constitutional, and 2) will you return us to fiscal viability and balance the federal budget. I couldn’t care less about some federal pork-barrel project coming back to my district. I would much rather have the credit card paid off, wouldn’t you? If that candidate happens to be Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian–I don’t care. I do feel, however, that the Republican Party, with all its MANY flaws, of which I have enumerated several above, has the best chance to achieve those goals. Personally, a third party would be a wonderful solution in my eyes, but in the interim we would be ceding power to the Democrats, who have absolutely no restraint and no respect for the Constitution. Their greatest goal is to take away liberties from the people and grant special privileges to groups that don’t deserve them in an effort to create equality. The Tea Parties have become the conscience that the Republicans were missing. Any Republican candidates who don’t listen to the drumroll of protest in the form of the Tea Party activists are going to get their asses handed to them. See Example A, Charlie Crist, and Example B, John McCain. Next up? Lindsey Graham. So I will work within this framework, for now, knowing full well that it is flawed, but possible. You know what’s interesting to me? Your missive to me was very well stated, and there is an undeniable logic both in my original column and your response. I appreciate the dialogue. However, when I receive the occasional missive from a die-hard liberal, it usually involves some very angry name-calling in the form of one or two sentences from someone unwilling to identify themselves. I, for example, am a “fucktard”, according to one such woman. They can’t come up with any rational argument against what I have written, so they resort to hate speech. To me, that means I’m winning the debate, and so are many thousands of citizens who have finally stood up and become recognized. The groundswell is beginning.

An aside for you–I have been contacted personally by three Congressional candidates and the front-runner in the race for governor of Colorado, thanking me for my writings and assuring me that we, the people, are being heard. That’s a start, isn’t it? And one final note–I’m predicting a new wave of candidates for the future, and they will be very formidable indeed. The veterans who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home and becoming involved, and it’s going to be very hard for entrenched liberals to reason with these service veterans who have been tempered in combat, serving our country in a hostile environment abroad. I don’t care if you agree with the cause or not, you have to respect their service. This is the new wave of Constitutionalists, and rationale always trumps emotion.

Thanks for writing.

Gary Hubbell

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Response    Re: Gary Hubbell responds to ‘open letter’

Hi Gary,

I see you’re ahead of me regarding the continuity of Republicans and Democrats. Hope I didn’t sound condescending in what I wrote.

(Gary commented: “when I receive the occasional missive from a die-hard liberal, it usually involves some very angry name-calling”)

This is really the reason I wrote. Between left and right there’s lots of ranting but little dialog. If only people would listen to one another they’d find there are real people on both sides. I could tell by your article that you’re someone who thinks for himself, and I was glad to have an opportunity for some useful discussion.

I was raised as a liberal. I remember how pleased I was when Kennedy sent in troops to protect black students, and when the Civil Rights Bill was passed. It took me many years to realize that the net result was the centralization of power in Washington, while blacks continue to be treated as second-class citizens. I believe Kennedy was well-intentioned, but we know where good intentions can lead. I no longer identify with any political faction.

I’d like to suggest another perspective on liberalism. The fact is that the majority of the population in North America and Europe are liberal in their thinking. The dream of the liberal is a government that serves the people, balances the budget, promotes prosperity, avoids wars, and protects our rights. They think it is possible, if only the right people get in power. They don’t think too much about the fact that whenever you ask the government to do something for you, you’re giving them power to do that — plus whatever else they decide to use the power for. And liberals can’t bring themselves to see that government is basically a conspiracy against the people — they reject that along with all other ‘conspiracy theories’.

Since liberals are the majority, the mainstream propaganda is aimed at liberals, and phrased in liberal language. Conservatives are quite right to call it the ‘liberal media’. The healthcare bill, for example, was sold by the media in liberal terms — ‘helping’ people who are not currently insured. The media also told people that Obama’s attempt to ‘help’ was being thwarted by ‘heartless’ Republicans.

So we get a situation where liberals are celebrating the passage of the healthcare bill, even when most of them don’t have a clue about what the bill really means. They were seeing the whole thing as a battle between good and evil, between ‘caring’ Obama and ‘heartless’ Republicans. They’ll accept ‘defects’ in the bill because they think it was ‘the best Obama could get’.

The whole thing was theater, a scam. The healthcare bill was settled in its fundamentals many months ago, written by insurance companies, and rubber-stamped by party leaders of both sides  and by Obama. Then we had months of fake debate, giving Obama an excuse to ‘back down’ on major promises, so he’d look good to liberals. Meanwhile Republicans could point out how bad the bill is, so they can look like heroes when the shit hits the fan in the healthcare system, as it will. And on both sides of the aisle, campaign accounts had been boosted by contributions from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

The point I’m making is that the healthcare bill has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It’s theft by insurance companies, abetted by corrupt politicians, and sold as ‘liberal’ by the corporate-owned media.

It isn’t that liberals ‘want things’, and then the government ‘gives it to them’. Rather, the wealthy elites that run the country decide what they want, and then they sell it in the media using liberal language. From a conservative perspective it might look like liberals are running things, but it’s an illusion. An illusion that many liberals buy into as well.

Your strategy is to work toward restoring the Constitution, and I support that. However, most liberals will oppose it, if it’s proposed by Republicans. Not because liberals dislike the Constitution, but because they don’t trust Republicans. And because the media will tell them that ‘Constitutionalism’ is fake, that it’s a cover for eroding civil rights, etc. etc. Whichever lie that works — to be discovered in focus groups.

As long as liberals see conservatives as ‘the problem’, and conservatives see liberals as ‘the problem’, then we’re never going to get anywhere. We’ll be played off against one another, and nobody will get what they really want. When the government wants to sell more ‘security’, they’ll use conservative language. When they want to sell more spending, they’ll use liberal language.

I believe that we need to start talking to people on the ‘other side’, rather than circling our wagons in opposition to one another. I don’t propose this as a political strategy, but rather as a pre-condition for developing an effective strategy. We won’t convert anyone to change sides, but we’ll learn that underneath our labels we all have similar concerns and hopes.

A Constitutional republic is supposed to operate by the consent of the governed. If the governed are divided against themselves, then government is free to do what it wants. If the governed can develop mutual understanding, they can stand as one voice and demand accountability.

thanks for the dialog,

richard

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16 responses to “A redneck tree hugger and a techie ex-pat bridge the political ‘divide’

  1. [ad hominem delted. ~Ed.] We are all suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

    We’ve been manipulated and engineered for so long that we are now clutching at straws.

    The problem is Clintonesque neo-liberalism, not liberalism per se.

    The “conservatives” in this country sent children to work and die in American sweatshops. The “conservatives” in this country hung black men by their necks because they could not bear to see them achieve what, by nature, they could achieve.

    The “conservatives” in the country enable the ignorant and uneducated to build up an entire subculture that thinks there’s something inherently honorable about being forced to work as slaves in dangerous occupations.

    The fascism of the American South needs to be taken to the woodshed once and for all. These people are reptiles who refuse to evolve.

    Naomi Wolf and countless others are being “turned” as those of us with a legitimate protest on our hands have a mere handful of positive experiences with those on the other “side” face the fact that their ideology is morally and ethically bankrupt.

    • “This person” ?? Sounds like you didn’t really read much of the exchange? And your use of nasty descriptives and ad hominem attacks does absolutely nothing to help us discover we are often using words differently and also have many of the same concerns.

      I suggest you go back and read the whole dialogue this time. I bet you’ll have a different reaction when you do. If perchance you don’t, don’t bother to comment because ad hominem comments will be deleted.

      • First of all, let me apologize for my indolence. I read the ideological code-words of racism, bigotry and xenophobia and it does not matter where things go from there. If someone wants me to listen to them and really hear what they have to say, they need to commit to taking their swaztikas off their arms and putting them in the garbage where they belong.

        You are correct. I didn’t read much of the exchange because most of what the “redneck” had to say was encoded in the privilege of being white and listening only to Rush Limbaugh at every free opportunity. The switching to the Republican Party was icing on the cake for me. His naive incoherence was nauseating.

        Richard Moore’s willingness to step across the breach and build a bridge is commendable, but the facts are we are diametrically opposed to one another’s worldview. This is the basis of the conspiracy to institute authoritarian rule — raise children to see things from diametrically opposed perspectives, dry out their economy, then drop a match on their country and walk away.

        Yes, it is true that bureaucracies become corrupt with privilege, but it was these so-called “conservatives” who let them through the back door in the first place. They did it in Philadelphia and they did it, again, when we rechartered a national bank owned by private interests. The wealthy and privileged class from which the “redneck” comes from applauded Woodrow Wilson’s institution of the Federal Reserve.

        It does not matter what this character thinks of Kennedy and the Civil Rights movement; his inclinations are inherently xenophobic and naive. I was not amused, nor am I fooled.

        I applaud the “redneck”‘s inclination to re-adopt the US Constitution. We can agree on that. What we do not agree on, and perhaps never will, is that the way to protect We the People is to eliminate government from our lives. That’s naive baloney and the hokum brought to us by Ronald Wilson Reagan, the shill and apologist of the corporate elitists who now run the show.

        There are those who want everything to be OK so that they can feel good; we call these folks, “conservatives.” They are inherently fascist in their predisposition. For them, the feudal state repleat with a drawbridge and surrounded by a moat filled with toxic waste is encoded in their very DNA. They are ignorant and fearful as a result of their worldview.

        There are those who feel good because they know that we are engaged in a principled process that will lead to the best outcome we can hope for at any given point in historical time. We call these people liberals, or, more appropriately, progressives. They are knowledge-seekers and inherently compassionate in their worldview.

        The problem, now, is that the fascists have wiped their backsides with our compassion and willingness to patiently await the dawning of what must be written on every human heart. Sorry, some people prefer the tangible benefits of ignorance and fear that the ruling class deigns to offer them, rather than to choose to return to a sense of wholeness that can only come from a committed personal pursuit of truth and knowledge.

        I understand both your inclination to publish this dialogue and Naomi Wolf’s inclination to side with the Tea Partiers. I would encourage you both to study propaganda, why it works and then study Stockholm Syndrome and why it always occurs when innocent people are held against their will by a more powerful offensive force.

        We’ve been getting hammered for well over 8 years, Claudia, and we are all weak and heart-sick because of our capitvity. The first positive olive branch our warden tosses us should be tossed back, along with everything else s/he bothers to shove under our door.

        We cannot equivocate with those who believe in holding people against their will and hammering them over the head with propaganda for decades at a time. These people need to be sent to prison and their unfortunate victims treated and deprogrammed.

        Failing that, we have no other choice but the “fourth” box.

  2. Sadly much of what you say is cloaked in partisan code words as well. “The corporate elitists who now run the show” have done so for nearly 150 years, and they prey on all of us. The insular jargon of “conservatives” and “liberals’ makes it appear that the other is the group pushing looming authoritarianism. One group thinks the government is the biggest danger in the Corporate State, while the other group thinks corporations are the most dangerous.

    In my view they are both willing conspirators/partners in domination. And if those of us who do not want to be dominated, controlled and ruled by force cannot figure out a way to talk to each other, we probably should be looking for a rock to hide under.

    Meanwhile, thanks for taking the time to go back and read this entry. We need to keep plugging until we can begin to get through the preconceptions and knee-jerk reactions people are encouraged to maintain.

  3. The flag of surrender is white — a color of all colors run together and differences put asunder.

    The corporatists are dangerous as are those who believe that unrestrained bureaucratic indulgence is any different. Both are the same. The difference is that one is an evolutionary leap beyond the other. One is born of war and to its return, the other from the fatigue of war and a desire to never go back.

    Right now the corporatists are in charge. Kingdom set against kingdom we are all but serfs, at best, working for our right to occupy the “keep” when the battlements are under attack.

    The news I have for all corporatists is that shields attract arrows; arrows, more shields.

    Those who might prefer a nanny-state, I can only point to the Vatican and the Holy See — the world’s longest-lived bureaucracy. It became a den of inequity and thieves in short order. It has been overrun by all things putrid and long dead. Yet it was the firstborn of a strong desire to run from human brutality and the hopeless trudge from man’s inhumanity to man.

    We, those who believe in evolutionary progress, next created Science to escape the brutality of the Church and the prison we made to escape from ourselves.

    Now we know that there is no escape from ourselves that contains a scintilla of what we already know does not work.

    War does not work, but it does clear the playing field and allow us to temporarily regroup. We should never embrace it wholeheartedly as the corporate state has done, but neither should we run in fear of it. We do not use it as an end in itself but as a means to an end. That means, necessarily that when we strike, we strike to neutralize all resistance as quickly as possible. That is all the mercy that war affords and that much we can, and should, embrace.

    Those who represent the achilles heel of the enemy know whom they are; they have made their identities well known by their absence from the field of battle.
    If they are neutralized and/or quarantined, most will not know the brutality of the Great War projected out onto the planet.

    Sadly, the day of final judgment will come when every man and woman left standing recognizes that they don’t have any. Not available to the conscious mind, at least.

    We require something beyond Science and Religion. I think it’s called mutual Respect. Alas, such a thing is earned either by a hollow victory in battle, or a fervent desire to avoid what can have no lasting value.

    I’m not willing to be any more enslaved than I already have been to serve this vast monstrosity. The Beast must die, once and for all, and we cannot stop as Lincoln did. Like FDR after him, he left us with a mess that had to be cleaned up another day.

    That day has come.

  4. Corporatists/bureaucrats both are the same. Reform systems become corrupt. War doesn’t work. Drones never prosper. We want respect, we abhor slavery.

    I think you’ll find Gary and Richard would agree, as do I.

  5. No one gets the respect they deserve from the most brutal of society’s elements unless and until they demonstrate a willingness to fight for what they believe is non-negotiable.

    Corporatists ARE bureaucrats but they are under compact with the state, not a cabal of greedy stockholders.

    Again, by jumping on board the “peace train” to some higher plane that does not yet exist, you are tacitly asceding servitude to the racists and the bigots. That is NOT an acceptable compromise.

    Either they deliver up the worst among them to quarantine, or we have NOTHING in common with them. Rupert Murdoch would be a nice concession as would the Bush Crime Family. Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck could be part of the package.

    The worst among the neo-liberals are plastered all over the media and are easily surrendered. The Clintons? Not a problem. Jesse Jackson? Piece of cake. President Obama? Hey, they’re halfway to the lynching already.

    My point here is that when a so-called “conservative” proclaims his disdain for the radicals in his midst, I do not believe him or her. They are liars and thieves. They CAUSED the Triangle Fire that lead, finally, to the formation of the American Labor movement.

    And that’s another thing we need that we do not have…we need a working collective bargaining agreement, worldwide, between business, government and the workers. This crap of working people to death and putting them into mothballs when they hit 40 is baloney.

    Talk is cheap, Claudia. We need to see them put some skin in this game.

  6. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » A redneck tree hugger and a techie ex-pat bridge the political ‘divide’ « COTO Report

  7. An exchange of hostages? Nice idea, but never happen. In fact the “establishment” has an obscene arsenal of weapons, a shitload of paid mercenaries and uses every excuse to clamp down on ordinary people.

    I admire your willingness to stand up to them, as I think we all should. But if it’s a “war,” we lose. We have to win the battle of ideas, offer inspiration and grab people’s imagination.

    There is a continuum of ideas and it is unfair to blame people for the artificial Left/Right lose-lose setup. You’ve been explicit in identifying enemies on both sides, now help us come up with ways to break through this malicious scheme to steal our liberty!

  8. The perfect metaphor:

    If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
    – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  9. Amends, Claudia. We need to get to a place where amends are possible.

    Before amends, there has to be an accurate and unflinching stock-taking on boths where the assets and liabilities, along with healthy examples, are made plain in no uncertain terms.

    Before anyone is willing to take a meaningful stock of their contribution to the false duality, both sides must clearly see that amends are what is needed and endless insanity will be the result should we fail to remain on course.

    The end result of this first phase of the process should result in collective despair over time wasted and bridges burned. Resolve is the only survival skill possible.

  10. I like this, Claudia – thanks for sending it:

    “Any discussion that challenges how people are conditioned by repeated lies and planned mythology is doomed to fail….

    “Every word we are bombarded with separates us, American against American, Christian and Jew against Muslim. This is the plan, dehumanize everyone to everyone, then slaughter is little more than disposing of trash.”

    GORDON DUFF: “PRIMORDIALISM” AND THE DECLINE OF HUMAN CULTURE
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/04/17/gordon-duff-primordialism-and-the-decline-of-human-culture/

    Richard, your anger at both sides, and then at those who seek to bridge the divide is typically what many of us accuse PsyOps of doing.

    How well it all works that you yourself act on their behalf.

    Instead, try love. Try respect. Don’t expect an apology – like C said, neither side is going to admit demagoguery.

    The only ones who will are those who reject the false left-right paradigm. The ones who don’t take sides.

    That’s where real change can occur; only among those who unite against the Beast, which in today’s world is the military industrial media complex.

    More from Gordon Duff:

    “In the early days of the internet, AOL, Usenet and CompuServe, internet communities sprung up overnight, discussing everything from history to genealogy.

    “The phenomenon of the “internet troll” came about, people whose anti-social nature was sublimated by the “real world” became virtual lions, Hitleresque in nature, spewing venom and hate with every peck at the keyboard.

    “Over the years, as internet using began to reach tens of millions in the US alone, behaviorists began to see value in exploiting this vast underbelly of psychopaths. Could they be organized and manipulated?”

    • Isn’t it a hoot that many of them get paid for it, while we just toil away for love?

      BTW these jerks aren’t psychopaths…they’re sad bitter neurotics with a large slice of cowardice.

  11. Feel free to indulge in hopeful communication with the fine folks who populate the conservative movement. Fine group of people.

    I’ll believe in their sincerity when I see them showing up to support Cindy Sheehan’s actions. I’ll believe them when they quit bad mouthing her every chance they get.

    In the meantime, I’m buying ammo and canned goods. War is a sad thing and it’s even sadder when it is against one’s neighbors that one fights. So if the time arrives there are plenty of gated communities full of conservative rich people I would defend myself against, first.

    Maybe a switch went off in my head when Brian Willson’s legs were severed by a train at the Concord Naval Weapons Station in 1987, the engineers standing at the front of the train to get the best view of the trauma. Everyone knew what was going to happen, it was a standard, well-disciplined non-violent protest. The bastards still ran him over just like the Israelis ran over Rachel Corrie. Murdered her in cold blood. Brian’s kid still has nightmares about what happened at Concord.

    Anyone who wants to stand on the side of the people who murdered a generation’s worth of leaders and continues to do so to this day needs to prepare themselves for blowback. More than they can handle.

    Some points simply cannot be negotiated. Compromise is not always appropriate.

    • Exhaust yourself on the sad dupes if you must. It must be hell living in Texas.

      • Don’t misunderstand, Claudia. I appreciate that you posted this stuff.

        OTOH, I want no part of any kind of fascism. I want to see people like Rupert Murdoch, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney hung for seditious treason.

        The response to these monsters needs to be swift and unequivocal. Otherwise it will be the Progressives who will be hung, just like Bonhoeffer was.

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