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Old April 29th, 2017, 05:21 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by numan View Post
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The American political system contains centers of power which were not envisioned by the old constitution and which that constitution, in practical terms, cannot control. The Central Bank, the lobbies of powerful monopolies, mass media whose ownership is dangerously concentrated, the CIA, the National Security Council, a military establishment with a life of its own, etc. etc. Whatever the theory may be, there is in fact a new constitution in which the aforementioned centers of power --- and others --- possess paramount dominance of our institutions. But this new de facto constitution serves the interests of the rich and powerful, not the interests of the majority of the American people.

As for the formal Constitution: You can strain and sweat until Doomsday and you will not be able to cure the corruption and crime which dominate the present system of American governance. The criminals --- the war criminals --- are too firmly fixed in the seats of power. If a constitution is so unsophisticated that it cannot guard against such a situation arising, and cannot cure it when it has arisen, then I would say that it has failed.

To me, this all seems pretty obvious. I would expect even children to understand it.

For instance: under what circumstances would the Constitution worshipers say that the Constitution has failed? In their minds, is it possible to conceive that the Constitution has failed, under any circumstances?

I think, twenty years ago, many would have said the Constitution a failure if habeas corpus were to be abrogated. Now, apparently, the bar for failure has been set higher. Could the Constitution be said to have failed if the crimes of the Neo-cons were to be left unpunished? What if the Kennedy Assassination, the 9/11 incident and the anthrax attacks turned out to be the work of a cabal inside the American government? If martial law were to be declared for an open-ended, indeterminate period, could we then say that the Constitution no longer existed? If the government formed a plot to use a nuclear weapon on an American city in order to drive a hysterical population into accepting a dictatorship (while preserving many of the forms of the Old Constitution, of course) ---- would that be the straw which would break the camel's back? Is there any set of circumstances which would force the Constitution worshipers to say, "The government of the Old Constitution is finished"?
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Is somehow managing to chronically living in a fantasy world euphoric for you? Just curious!

Or does it get boring at times?

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Old May 2nd, 2017, 04:36 PM   #62
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When I was a child, the downtown area of Los Angeles (near City Hall) had an almost German neatness and orderliness. Middle class people in good clothes enjoyed strolling through the area with their families. At Christmas time it turned into an illuminated fairyland---the store windows were a beguiling succession of animated scenes with clockwork manequins---again, much as you would have seen in Germany before WWII.

Today, the same area looks more like Germany after the War!---shabby, seedy and dangerous! There were streets that I would not care to venture down, with youth gangs stampeding to-and-fro engaged in their incomprehensible struggles for Lebensraum.

The whole scene would have fitted in quite well in some violence-torn third-world country.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 04:44 PM   #63
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When I was a child, the downtown area of Los Angeles (near City Hall) had an almost German neatness and orderliness. Middle class people in good clothes enjoyed strolling through the area with their families. At Christmas time it turned into an illuminated fairyland---the store windows were a beguiling succession of animated scenes with clockwork manequins---again, much as you would have seen in Germany before WWII.

Today, the same area looks more like Germany after the War!---shabby, seedy and dangerous! There were streets that I would not care to venture down, with youth gangs stampeding to-and-fro engaged in their incomprehensible struggles for Lebensraum.

The whole scene would have fitted in quite well in some violence-torn third-world country.
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The area obviously was nice and new back in the roaring 20's.

It goes both ways; there are a lot of areas that were once rough neighborhoods, but now are upscale - hello?!
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 05:07 PM   #64
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Obviously the right thing to do, the most sensible and most economical solution, is to give everyone a guaranteed annual income just above the poverty level, and then let people work for anything above that, if they so choose. Canada already guarantees a minimum income to everyone above the age of 65. A similar program would merely need to be extended to everyone else.

At one stroke you eliminate most of the potential crime and chaos, and you get rid of the vast, wasteful bureaucracy which is set up by the Right-thinking People, who are terrified that some support, by mistake, might be given to the undeserving poor. The undeserving poor! Those Right-thinking, whited sepulchres! Those hypocrites! As if they, or anyone else, could say who is undeserving or not ---- at least until the scroll of time is wound up and all things are known.

A bare guaranteed annual income would end the hopelessness of millions and permit them to have the energy to find a new way of living. Tens of millions would be able to escape the urban slums and poverty traps of America's miserable cities. Many would leave the cities; the countryside would be rejuvenated as people sought places where housing and food costs were lower. Many would start growing their own food; they would have the independence to be able to organize socially, join together in productive co-operatives.

Ah! There is the rub! There is the reason that the vampires who rule Amerika will fight maniacally to prevent any sensible solution to social problems. The poor would be independent! The vampires would lose their ability to tell them what to do! The poor would be productive! In their own way! Doing what they want to do! The vampires demand that the slaves work only on their plantations, fulfill only their needs and wants. The people would organize! Intolerable! say the vampires; all power must belong to the ranks of the living dead, to the blood-gorged leeches who imagine that they rule the world!

One can be free only if one is independent. And one is independent only if one has the resources to survive the Boss's displeasure if one needs to tell the Boss to go to Hell.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #65
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In the face of the general disaster that constitutes the present United States of America, what should a conscientious American do?

First, I would strongly advise that he or she do nothing heroic. Bernard Shaw, as usual, was right when he wrote:

"We do not want good men and bad men any more than we want giants and dwarfs.
What we do want is a high quality for our normal: that is, people who can be much better
than what we now call respectable, without self-sacrifice. Conscious goodness,
like conscious muscular effort, may be of use in emergencies, but for everyday national use
it is negligible; and its effects on the character of the individual may easily be disastrous."

---George Bernard Shaw, Getting Married, preface

Moreover, when Americans try to be heroic, the result is usually disaster, since, in general, they lack the moral discipline, mental training, education and culture which are necessary for intelligent action.

Instead, I recommend Numan's Guide to Moral Action:

"Don't just do something, stand there!"

As Lao-zi so wisely remarked, the Sage does not add to his knowledge, he subtracts from it!

The American, if he is to be fit to do anything, must throw away everything he "learned" about politics and society and history when childhood "education" was inflicted upon him or her. This garbage consisted almost entirely of lies and misinformation: an American who is to be worth anything must start out entirely afresh. Thorough research into the language and culture of at least one foreign nation is essential to expand the pitifully narrowed mental horizons of the average American. Living and working (but not in the American military or an American enclave!) for an extended period in a foreign country would be very advisable.

Above all, the conscientious American would school himself in the workings of the Brainwashing Machine so as to innoculate himself against the poisonous toxins which it generates in the mental apparatus of Americans. A good rule of thumb is that everything in the Mass Media and Info-tainment is lies, half-truths, misrepresentation, and only serving to increase the wealth and power of America's evil ruling class. One should cultivate a feeling of surprise when anything true appears in the Mass Media, and speculation as to what machinations are being served by so unusual an event.

Having de-toxified his mind and, despite his American education, having learned something about the world, the purified American should---do nothing! "They also serve who stand and wait." For many Americans, this would be the hardest part of the whole process. They are trained to be busy-bodies, constantly poking into things and interfering in what they do not understand and cannot help.

If history tells us anything, it is that societies have enormous inertia, which individuals, and even large groups of people, are powerless to alter. Our ancestors were, and we are, chained to a juggernaut which must inevitably careen over a cliff into the abyss. We are powerless to affect this inevitable fate. Perhaps, in the future, people will achieve the intelligence and cohesion of effort which are necessary to alter this characteristic of human civilization, but we are far, far from that happy change in human affairs.

It is not easy to reject comforting illusions and face these facts with clear eyes---especially for the mentally indolent American, so given to wishful thinking. But to rise above foolishness and the evil tendencies of American society, it must be done. Only then can the real preparation for a better future begin.

The purified, educated, cultured and morally elevated American will: criticize! Criticize! CRITICIZE! He or she will criticize with implacable rigor the sins of commission and omission of his unregenerate, depraved fellow citizens! He or she will join with other enlightened people for study, reflection and planning for a reformed society---but still they will do nothing! To attempt to reform a society as far sunk into corruption and degradation as that of the United States is a sure way to attract the wrath of the vampires and ghouls who rule this Empire of Folly, and be destroyed!

Instead, the wise will join together and prepare a "Plan B," to be implemented at an optimum future moment. Then, when the present ruling class have achieved their intricate ritual of self-destruction, instead of the usual chaos and anarchy that supervenes when a society collapses, the wise will have a program and an organization which may have some frail hope of advancing the cause of human improvement.

"Life is short, craft is long,
The opportune moment is critical,
The attempt is perilous,
And the judgment is difficult."

---Hippocrates of Cos
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Old May 5th, 2017, 04:42 AM   #66
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"We have seen the enemy, and they are us."

Why would any external enemy bother invading the USA, when Americans are doing such a good job of destroying their own country?
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The enemy is within.

This includes leftists and liberals that hate their own country. Foreigners who move here , yet hate the country they move to.
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Old June 12th, 2017, 03:45 PM   #67
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The Battle over the Constitution

Quote:
Too many not only reject facts and reason, but accept bald lies with equanimity. U.S. politics, especially on the Right, appears to have entered “a parallel universe where ignorance, denial and unreason trump facts, evidence and rationality,” according to an article in New Science magazine....
Unlike the rest of the industrialized world, all of whom rewrote their constitutions after WWII, the United States still clings to a document that has been past its usefulness for a very long time. Instead of writing about the merits of this document, maybe we should begin to consider throwing the whole thing out and starting fresh ; building an entirely new political infrastructure from the ground up, with new institutions and new political mechanisms that are not open to interpretation but are strictly designed to prevent the influence of corruption….
After all, if the current Constitution and political institutions it spawned got us to the point we are now at, it really hasn’t served us all that well….
emphases added

Thank you New Science Magazine.
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Old June 12th, 2017, 03:50 PM   #68
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The Battle over the Constitution

emphases added

Thank you New Science Magazine.
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A snowflake Libturd magazine, no doubt!
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Old June 12th, 2017, 05:08 PM   #69
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Strangling the Republic

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In the United States, the super-rich of Corporate America, who seem to have detached themselves from national loyalty and obligations, can now promote or destroy a U.S. politician or a political party....

...“both political parties have been remarkably clever and effective in concealing” the new reality that the United States is becoming “a declining, unfair society with an impoverished, angry, uneducated population under the control of a small ultra-wealthy elite.”

Over the last several decades, the United States has undergone one of the most radical social and economic transformations in its history, leaving the masses ripe for “religious and political extremism,” Ferguson writes.
The system is unstable, and driven deeper and deeper into the pockets of Corporate America, especially its financial sector where, Ferguson writes, “there is now abundant evidence of widespread, unpunished criminal behavior....

...”the super-rich seem to have undertaken a final push to consolidate control through the conversion of a marginally democratic to an essentially fascist state; extreme right-wing, authoritarian, and demagogic.

“This kind of government is ideal for control of a populace by the moneyed elite. To carry this out requires the employment of many ‘kept’ politicians to excite and misdirect scared and angry – and ignorant – voters.
emphases added
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Old June 14th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #70
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How America made its children crazy

Quote:
Learning how to learn is the point of education. We will forget the great majority of specific things we were taught: Euclidean proofs, the polynomial theorem, Roman emperors, French grammar, atomic weights, the poems of Browning, and whatever else was stuffed in our heads as schoolchildren. What we learned, if we learned anything, is to memorize, analyze and explain. If we know geometry, algebra or French today, it is not because we retained our knowledge but because we re-learned the subject. School, in short, taught us to concentrate. The most successful people are not the cleverest in terms of sheer processing power, but those who multiply cleverness with persistence.
The American elite, to be sure, does not subject its own offspring to this kind of digital treatment. New York City's most exclusive private schools, the ones with an acceptance rate lower than Ivy League colleges, do things the old fashioned way. Brearley School, sometimes considered the best of the private schools for girls, requires every student to learn an instrument and play in the orchestra (the only other New York school with this requirement is the Rudolf Steiner School). The Dalton School teaches chess to every student. Acoustic instruments, classical music, and ancient games with wooden pieces teach concentration span....
In Silicon Valley, Times reporter Matt Richtel observed in an October 22 feature, many of the Silicon Valley types who make weapons of mass dementia send their own kids to a school that bans computers until the 9th grade....
Surprise, surprise !! · · ·

Quote:
Some of the classical curriculum of the German Gymnasium of a century ago is preserved as if in amber. And the fact that so many of the Masters of the Universe of the digital age send their children to this countercultural throwback is a fair gauge of the degradation of mainstream learning....
Adderall and Ritalin, by the way, can't be found in any Chinese pharmacy....It appears that Chinese children, who must memorize several thousand characters in order to complete elementary education, do not suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. Two-thirds of Chinese children graduate secondary school, which involves a grueling exercise in memorization. As I reported earlier in this space, 50 million Chinese children are studying Western classical music....Nothing builds attention span better than playing classical music....

If China replaces us at the pre-eminent world power, it will happen because their children are smarter, more persevering, more ambitious and tougher than ours. And we will have no-one to blame but ourselves for handing our kids over to quacks and snake-oil salesmen.
emphasis added
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Old June 17th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #71
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-PSCqhkWhg

GEORGE CARLIN

Quote:
"Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . . Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting f^cked by a system that threw them overboard 30 f^ckin' years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your f^ckin' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this f^ckin' place. It’s a big club and you ain't in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a f^ck about you. They don’t give a f^ck about you . . . they don’t give a f^ck about you. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”
Quote:
"And now they're coming for your Social Security money, they want your F^CKING retirement money, they want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it, they'll get it all from you sooner or later."
Quote:
"It's a BIG CLUB, and YOU AIN'T IN IT."
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Old June 17th, 2017, 02:35 PM   #72
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This thread is long overdo for the

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Old June 17th, 2017, 02:47 PM   #73
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And yet you keep adding to it, Auffie ---
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Old June 17th, 2017, 04:01 PM   #74
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The whole subject of electoral methods is very deep and complex.

How curious that, in our supposed democracy, people are not better educated in these matters!

Proportional representation and a more parliamentary government would be useful steps forward, but in themselves are not enough to provide a truly workable form of representative government.

The broadest approach to these questions lies in Social Choice Theory:

The Possibility of Social Choice

The above link is to the Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech of Amartya K. Sen, who won the Prize in economics. It avoids the complex mathematics which are usual in social choice theory.

Among other matters, it is necessary to have some understanding of Arrow's Impossibility Theorem:

Arrow’s impossibility theorem

which makes clear that there are certain very deep dilemmas inherent in all electoral procedures, dilemmas which vitiate the fairness of almost all voting systems, and which most political commentators are quite clueless about.

There are ways to escape Arrow's Paradox: I think the best is so-called Fractional Voting:

Arrow's Paradox and the Fractional Voting System

Here are two youtube videos on the subject:

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=D947XdjnAVs

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=N1lWVyfiEbo
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Old June 18th, 2017, 06:01 AM   #75
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Hole is ready!

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Old June 18th, 2017, 01:05 PM   #76
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Old June 18th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #77
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As soon as the oligarchs can do without their human cattle, they will figure out a way to get rid of them. Just look at what they are already doing all over the world.

Thinking that the USA is salvageable requires a deliberate blindness to history. Ever since World War II, the USA has consistently become ever more militarized, ever more unequal, ever more in the grip of the oligarchs and their dependent Deep State. Only external events (i.e. environmental catastrophe) can influence the onward force of historical momentum.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 02:10 PM   #78
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As soon as the oligarchs can do without their human cattle, they will figure out a way to get rid of them. Just look at what they are already doing all over the world.

Thinking that the USA is salvageable requires a deliberate blindness to history. Ever since World War II, the USA has consistently become ever more militarized, ever more unequal, ever more in the grip of the oligarchs and their dependent Deep State. Only external events (i.e. environmental catastrophe) can influence the onward force of historical momentum.
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Worldwide oligarch scorecard map:

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Old June 18th, 2017, 03:16 PM   #79
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Auffie, you wouldn't recognize an oligarch if it bit you on the throat.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 03:57 PM   #80
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The problem with America is not it's diversity, but its narrow-minded lack of culture and the deliberate intent of its ruling classes to sow discord, anomie, suspicion and the end of all social bonds except for a limited class of economic relationships.

They will never be satisfied until the USA is a nation of single-parent families, ignorant, terrified of social workers and the police, deeply in debt, working at two or more jobs, hooked on prozak and other mind-altering drugs, always suffering from some low-level disease that requires expensive drugs from Big Pharma, brainwashed by info-tainment, and terrified of their neighbors. (Not to mention a slave-labor force drawn from the more than 1% of the population held in prison at any one time!)

People can be ruled so much more easily if they are atomized, isolated, confused, fearful, ignorant, and trapped --- and America's rulers have led the world in developing the sort of society that is beneficial to the rich and powerful in just this way!
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