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Messages - Renkar

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Music / Re: Saturday Morning Cartoon's Greatest Hits
« on: October 10, 2008, 04:33:42 PM »
I know this is not a cartoon, and it has been done by some bands before, but what about the Fraggle Rock theme song

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 22, 2008, 06:16:39 PM »
Yeah, I agree that bad news sells.  Nevertheless, we as consumers buy the news they sell us.  We as a society have glorified death and murder to the extent of saying its o.k.

That being said, I don't have pity for those who break the law.  Nor do I see the need to coddle them.  If someone does not have a moral compass, or more simply, know right from wrong, get rid of them.  Jailing them does not seem to work... so step up the rate of executions.  It could be seen as cruel and unusually but if it's done more often, it won’t be so unusual.

While my opinions may seem cruel, there are countries with a much lower crime rate and higher poverty ratio than ours.  Point blank, eye-for-an-eye works.

what about all those in jail for white collar crimes? what about all those in prison on ramped up drug charges?  Do we want to chop off the hand of the thief, perhaps take the tongue if they perjure themselves.  How about an ear for things like slander or libel?  We can stick people in solitary for their entire term of incarceration, they will only go crazy at some point.  we could go back to drawing and quartering in the public square.  It would be fun to go to your local bar and see someone's arm hanging above the door because some criminal was known to hang out there.  Perhaps instead of Monday Night Football, we can have Monday Night Execution, that would make everyone in world afraid.  Making things more draconian will not prevent crime, when the root causes of crime are still prevalent in our society.  Those countries with more poverty and lower crime rates, would you want to live under that regime?  Without knowing of which countries you speak, I can only guess that most of those are more openly oppressive than this country.  I am sure there are exceptions that you can cherry pick from.  

The use of the death penalty is antiquated and does not work.  It works to kill the poor, because if you can afford Johnny Cochrane and F. Lee Bailey you can beat a murder charge, or at the least keep the death penalty off the table.  There is a reason that we are the only "civilized" country that still permits the death penalty, and it is not because we are better than everyone else.

  Yes, we as a society have made murder okay through a whole host of ways.  State sanctioned killing is one way that we justify murder.  The glorification of the serial killer, the constant bombardment of  violent imagery, are just a few other ways.  Eye for an eye doesn't work, oh it may work on that individual, but as a chilling effect on the community at large, not so much.  The Death  Penalty has been in effect for a little over three decades since the Supremes re-instated it.  The murder rate in this country is just as high, but the Death penalty works.  I used to think that the more frequent use of the DP would work to prevent people from committing crimes like murder etc.  but the thought that hey, if I do this I could be put to death doesn't truly play in the minds of most.  They don't plan on getting caught, they may not truly care if they live or die, they may not be that intelligent to form the thought are some reasons.  The DP is disproportionally used on the poor and non-whites.  The government should beheld to a higher standard than its citizenry.  The whole do as I say not as I do reasoning is flawed.
  If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law, I hope for your sake someone will take pity on you.  Remember they are making new crimes daily, and this is one of the few growth industries in this country.  People make mistakes, people screw up, to err is human as they say.


  There are a lot of people out there that need psychiatric help.  Perhaps instead of just sending them to the chair or the chamber we can learn somethings from them.  They are sick people, like you said, and we need to find the cure for such illness.  We must also define the causes of such illnesses.  I don't believe that anyone is a natural born killer, they may be predisposed to such behavior, but environment also plays its role.  As to how those people are dealt with, it would be up to the community to determine that.  I would argue though that in a society as I propose that many of the current ills of society would be removed.  That when raised in a society where mutual aid is the focus, where the necessities  of survival are provided through the organization of the community simply for being part of the community that a lot of the thought processes that lead to criminal activity would cease to exist.  It is hard to imagine such a society, I know, that is why it would not work if tomorrow the government said alright we are out of the business figure it out for yourself.  Not enough people think along anarchist lines, or do not bring those thoughts far enough.  Things would collapse because some people would need to be in charge, it is what has been taught, they need to be rule.  I do not want to be ruled, therefore I do not want to rule. 

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 20, 2008, 06:05:06 AM »
Yeah, okay, the idea behind anarchism is great. Wonderful. Impossible to move into from here. How about instead of daydreaming about an ideal system, we work more on improving the system we have. A complete overhaul of our, or any established power, would likely cause a major collapse of society (even a loose society like your ideal one). Even over generations, it works better if we have ideas in mind for changing this system, in the hopes that maybe someday it will be changed enough that an overhaul isn't impossible--and in hopes that we'll have worked out bugs in this and any "ideal" system over the time that we're making small changes.

I agree completely that we must have ideas as to how we would like to change the way society is organized.  I agree that we must work to improve the world we live in.  We are not talking simply about a political revolution we are talking about a complete social revolution, and for that we can only lay the groundwork.  By designing better ways to organize society and being prepared to put that theory into effect lays that groundwork.  Social revolutions are organic and can not be planned or architects.  You just never know when or what the spark will be that will start it.  The Paris Commune of the 60's, or the CNT in Catalonia during the Spanish Revolution.  If you want to learn about a close approximation of an Anarchist society look at the CNT.  Of course, the Fascists and the Republicans destroyed it before resuming their war.  But there is alot of things you can do now that work well.  Things like community gardens, which get people out of their houses and away from the t.v.  People build stronger ties to their neighbors and the community through activities like that.  

There needs to be someone with some amount of impartiality who can make a decision when others are at an impasse.

  A group is more than welcome to set up along the lines of having a team leader, if they are trying to achieve a common goal.  Some form of authority is needed, but it must be justified.  No matter the justification, but that it is justified in the mind of the one that falls under that authority.  Of course, the person has the right to terminate that authority at any time.  When a mother stops their child from running into the street.  That is a form of authority, but it is justified.  If I want a house designed I will defer authority to an architect.  Obviously, I would or could have imput as to what I want, but what I want may not be possible.  And I could terminate that relationship at my discretion.    

And while I would agree with the morality issue, to a point.  Every thing we do or don't, is always a choice.  Good or bad, that individual made a choice to commit a crime or do a good deed, inspite or because of the consequences.  All to often there is more attention/pity attributed to the victimizer rather than the victim.  How many remember the names of those murdered by serial killers?

The reason the serial killer's name is remembered is because violence is almost worshiped.  It is big news.  What is the first thing you see on your local news?  It is always some violent crime.  They glorify it to some extent.  Serial Killer's have become celebrities, they have freaking trading cards.  So, because that person made a bad choice we are going to lock him up, in which he is treated like a sub-human and will continue to alienate\harden the person to where he can be potentially more of a threat.  Instead of perhaps taking the opportunity to teach the person the effects of those choices.  Making the person have to sit down and listen to what the victim went through.  Make the person have to associate a person, someones mother, or father, son or daughter.  Make some common ground, create understanding between the victim and the victimizer.  I know it sounds all hugs and kisses but it works.  The victims of the crime get just as much out of it as the victimizer most of the time.  They get a better sense of closure in most cases.  Lets work on true justice, lets look toward rehabilitation.  Don't just throw them away.  The recidivism rate from people that go through restorative justice programs are amazingly better than just sending someone to a small cell for a length of time.  Fyodor Dostoevsky once said, "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."  

  The moral compass is something that is a learned behavior, in my opinion.  You do not see a lot of college grads carjacking people, or robbing a 7/11.  The thing a college degree shows is a level of intelligence, the height of that intelligence is debatable.  Of course, it could also show that they are better at standardized tests.  The causes of crime are not that hard to identify.  Little or no parental guidance while growing up, lack of positive role-models, poverty, and poor education.  It is unbelievable, and atrocious that something close to 50% of the students that enter the Kansas City School district do not graduate, and of those graduates some can not even read.  That is not only an indictment of the edcational system in this city but of the lack of support and importance placed on education in the home.  When i say lack of support, I don't just mean welfare moms, but single parent mom's who have to work two jobs to provide the necessities and therefore not around to provide the guidance needed.  I have been catching slack for saying that society is all to blame, which was not the message i was trying to send, but simply placing the blame on the person is putting your head in the sand to the problems of this society.  

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 19, 2008, 05:07:58 PM »
Agreed.  There would also be no way to prevent people from deciding their rights superceded the rights of others.  Should we have the right to take something we want from someone else, just because we want it?  What about the right to live wherever we want, even if it means destroying ecosystems?  What about the right to keep what you have earned, even if it is more than other people think you need? Here's the best one: What if a group of people feel it is their right to have a government to ensure they're freedoms are protected?  Who makes that choice?  Who weighs the consequences of actions?  Most importantly, who enforces the one law that your interpretation of Anarchy suggests?  I see no way to have a community where the good of the one always outweighs the good of the many.

First sorry about the double post, but had to expand.

  No we should not have the right to take away something from someone else simply because we want it.  As for who decided the rights of the people.  well, the people do.  Anarchism is about voluntary federations, where the people have control of their daily lives, and they are the ones who order their society, not governments or corporations.  Governments do not protect people's freedoms, the people do.  Governments do not grant rights, like I said to grant means that it can be withdrawn.  Government only posses the power we are willing to cede to them, nothing more.  The good of the one does not outweigh the good of the many, because the good of the one is the good of the many.  My freedom is only as expansive as my neighbors, if they are restricted and I act in anyway to restrict that freedom, i am restricting my own freedom.  I'll be back with more, got to get some things done before the weekend.

I did not say they are the only victims, and I did not say they were not at fault for their actions, I am saying that it is not 100% their fault, that at some level we are all responsible

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 19, 2008, 04:51:36 PM »

  No not all my clients are innocent, very few of them are.  In some sense they are victims.  Victims of losing the genetic lottery, victims of a system that has forgotten and used them.  Used them in the sense that they are a metaphorical stick for the rest of society.  I think victims of crimes are made doubly so by the system.  The studies on restorative justice out there are really eye opening.  Instead of just throwing people in jail\prison, which requires little responsibility be taken by the criminal, they require that person to talk with the victims of their actions, to work toward making that person whole.  It creates understanding about the consequences of their actions etc.  If you want I can put together a few things to pass along, but it may take some time, might be quicker to do a google search.  I don't think that society is the cause of all of our problems.  I just think that the society\culture that we are creating is the wrong exit ramp in human development.  That society as it is now is more hinderance, then helpful in most senses.  The more anarchistic qualities and values a society possesses the more free those societies are.  

  I do not speak highly of law enforcement solely because I disagree with the position they hold in society.  The whole thin blue line idea. Whenever you take a group of people and set them apart as enforcers it will create an air of superiority, of entitlement.  I see this everyday when speaking with officers.  I have a fairly decent relationship with most officers that I deal with, but they still hold positions of authority and hierarchy which as an anarchist I don't agree with.    

  I to believe that people need to take more responsibility for their actions.  Everyone, from the President of this country all the way down to the bum on the street, but if you think that everyone is where they are is the result of only their doing is flawed also.  I don't think you think this judging from the entirety of our conversion.  This is the whole nature v. nurture debate that has been going on for centuries.  I think nature definitely has a major factor in the development of a person.  I think that that nature is becoming more intrusive and more destructive as human society develops.  It may not be a conscious decision or it may not, but we are constantly bombarded with image to consume to perpetuate the economic system.  Like I have said production and consumption solely for their own sake is not a good thing.  We need to take responsibility about the fact that our actions on this planet do have consequences, that dumping chemicals into the rivers and streams of this world are not good things.  That CO2 in the atmosphere is at its highest it have ever been in the long history of this planet is not a good thing.  That all the things we throw away just don't disappear.  We need to take responsibility for the fact that we are selling our futures for the convenience of today.  The whole save the planet campaign is misguided to some extent.  It should be save the humans, the planet will be fine, it has been fine for 100,000's of years, and will continue for billions of years more, unless cleared for an intergalactic superspace highway or blown up.  

  A lot of the problems we face are interconnected, but people refuse to connect the dots in most instances.  They will connect one or two, but the whole picture is rarely viewed.  The whole can't see the forest for the trees mentality.  Society has evolved to help and keep people from connecting to many dots.  Whether that is by conscious effort or simply by dumb luck is up to your own beliefs.  Read Guy Debord's The Society of Spectacle.


  I will IM you with my questions about your service once I piece them together.  Take your time, when you get to them you get to them.

  Thank you for seeing through my ramblings to the core of what I am saying.  I too battled long and hard with that lack of faith.  Humanity as a whole being to primitive, human nature being to violent etc.  Looking at it not as a movement but an evolution of humanity as a whole of the course of this existence on the planet helps a little.  Realizing that I will likely never see the world I believe in also helped.  I must just work to bring humanity closer to that ideal, one begrudging step at a time.  I think human nature is not as horrid  as the picture of the world at this time suggests.  Again looking at it with a longer eye, humanity has constantly moved toward a freer society and i think that is the biggest part of human nature.  We live under very coercive elements that can warp the view of human nature.  Again it comes down to changing paradigms, and the only way that is going to happen, other than some tragic man-made event that offs a great majority of human kind, is through education and as Kropotkin said propaganda of deed.  

  I think that capitalism is one of the great evils of the world.  It is a system of great exploitation.  I think that capitalism and democracy are not synonymous and that with capitalism you can not have democracy. I can go on ad nausem about it, but this is long enough, and I will just say we can agree to disagree on this point right now, and save that debate for a later day.

Yea, I know MASH was about Vietnam even though set in Korea

  As for experience, yes experience is the greatest eye-opening, mind expanding thing at work in the world.  My point, however bad I butchered it, is that Experiences color perception, it can work to narrow views.  Experience can cause prejudice.  The key is to strike a balance.  The realization that your experiences may cause your perception to be skewed, I believe leads to greater understanding and more mind expansion.  Does that make sense?  I hate navel gazing, but yet i watch far too much t.v. and get the same feeling.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 18, 2008, 08:51:54 PM »

   Anarchy is the word for it, but the connotations of the word that have been tied to the word have made it a misunderstood definition.  I don't think you need to have small communities, just a re-organization of the communities from the bottom-up.  People could be parts of many different counsels.  The workers counsel that covers the aspect of work, the neighborhood counsels that covers the local community etc.  Yes people have been trying to go that route for centuries, again I would argue for the whole of human history.  I also am not advocating that technology is a bad thing.  When funneled into creative endeavors  technology can be a liberating vehicle for advancement.  The removal of some of the more monotonous jobs from the work load.  For a really good look at technology and how society is already set up look at Murray Bookchin's work.


  How do i reconcile my views with an oath to uphold the constitution being an anarchist is a valid question.  I know it is kinda like an atheist becoming a priest.  One reason why I am not a prosecutor.  Well, I really wasn't much of an anarchist when I first joined the legal world, so it really wasn't much of an issue then.  I was very liberal socially of course, but thought change could come from within the belly of the beast.  In the present however, it has caused me no end of paradoxes and quandaries but, I look at it like this.  The constitution is supposed to be by the people, for the people.  The Declaration of Independence claims all men are created equal, yet we know that in this country we are no where near that standard.  Yes, you can argue that when born the opportunities are the same for everyone in this country, but I feel the reality falls far short of that statement.  I have to have a longer view of things.  The Constitution is much like the Magna Carta, or Hammurabi's code or any other historical document that lays out rights of a group of people or the organization of a government.  The Declaration said it best, that when the chains of government become too overbearing it is the right of the people to cast off that government.  The long and short of it is that by representing people charged with a crime I can make sure that at least there is a minimum amount of protection for the rights of that individual as laid out in the Constitution.  Although I believe that people do not need a piece of paper to grant them rights that they already posses because of simply being born.  Anyway, if they do it the undesirable portion of society now, who is to say that someday in the future you or I may fall under that heading because things have eroded to far and no one is left to voice opposition when they come for me or you.  The idea behind the Constitution is a good one, but has been warped by centuries of special interests and the disconnect of the passage of time.  Many of those ideas I still hold dear and are in line with my philosophies.  The idea that were are equal, that people should have the right to be heard, have the right to speak freely, even if I disagree to my core what they have to say, etc. etc. are all noble ideas that were once thought utopian, much like an America with out the institution of Slavery. Yet they exist today in various states of embattlement by the establishment.  The Constitution is just a road sign on the road to freedom, so I can accept the ideals behind it to some extent and delude myself on the rest.  The fact that it is assumed that these rights are granted us by the government is a very dangerous notion.  It implies that if it is granted it can be taken away.

  As for teaching criminal justice, who better than someone who believes as I.  The majority of those I teach will go on to be police officers, corrections officers etc.  and if I can get just one person to stop and think that perhaps my position is coloring my perspective or that hey I cannot do this search because it is a violation of this individuals rights than I have made a change for the better.  If that student walks away from my class with the idea that perhaps treating everyone like a human being and not a suspect is a better way to go about it then I think I have done my job.  I by no means pontificate about my views to a class.  I save that for message boards ;D       

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 18, 2008, 06:09:26 PM »

   If I got my wish what would I do?  Well, it depends on what I felt like I wanted to do.  The idea that we can just snap our fingers and tomorrow we can have an Anarchistic society is just not plausible.  We as a species are far too caught up in childish thoughts and ideas and it would all descend into chaos.  But why would it?  Because some people will feel the need to control and rule over other people.  The blood shed that occurs when governments fall are from rival groups of people that wish to dominate the general public, and to deepen their own pockets.  Plus I never said it would be easy, you need to change the paradigms of today's society.  Need to unplug people from the madison ave. induced coma of consumerism, need to show people that democracy is not something that occurs every 4 years.  That supposed democracy of the political is not enough.  We live in a Republic not a democracy.  The system itself is the problem.  Anarchy does not mean chaos and no rules, it does not mean rule of the strongest like some twisted form of Darwinism.  It means the co-operation of humanity to better the lot in life of all humanity.  It means an organized and ordered life determined at the bottom, by the people who must live under those conditions.  It means mutual aid, that by helping my neighbor I am helping myself.

  Please do not just parrot back all the propaganda about Anarchy not working, that the human race would simply stop working and people would be just sit around flinging poop at each other, until someone with a gun came around to take over.  It does not mean that suddenly everyday people like me and you would go on some sort of killing spree because it is not longer against the law.  I don't keep myself from killing people just because there is a law against it.  Laws are pointless, the good people do not need them and the bad ones don't follow them.  I am not saying that we should not do anything about people who do kill or assault or molest others.  I am just saying that the general idea that without laws we will all descend into some dark age murder and rape festival is a little far fetched.  Anarchy does not mean no rules, it means no government, no RULERS, not no rules.  It means that my freedom as a human being on this planet is only as expansive as the freedom you possess and the freedom that everyone else possesses.  It means that I do not wish to be ruled , nor do I wish to rule.  I will paraphrase Edward Abbey here, Anarchism is not some romantic ideal, it is the hard headed realization after 5000 years of human history that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to politicians, kings, priests, generals, or county commissioners.  That hierarchical forms of society are not beneficial to the human species. that only through non-hierarchical, non-coercive decentralized forms of society, based on the federation of voluntary associations can humanity truly be free.  No, it wont happen over night, it wont happen in our lifetime, or even the lifetime of our children, but should we not strive toward that goal.  Should that not be the target at which we aim?

   I know it is hard to imagine a world not based on authority and hierarchy, we haven't had an example of it since the Spanish Civil War in the thirties.  

   I do know many corrections officers, and have been through several prisons in the course of my career, and yes there are definitely some very mean people held within those walls.  There should not be prisons however and a lot of those people have been turned into monsters because of the conditions that they have experienced.  I deal with people that have been in prison, some that have been in prison for some pretty violent things, and the majority of them come from poor backgrounds, from single parent households where education is not a priority, there is a whole host of reasons.  It always pisses me off when I hear politicians say they are tough on crime.  Being tough on crime in today's society means more prisons, more police, more advanced technologies to intrude into peoples lives, more laws with longer terms of prison.  They are treating the symptoms not the causes, and the treatment just makes more criminals and worsens the crimes.  It is all about justifying positions of authority and making money.  It is always more profitable to treat a disease than it is to cure it.  Prisons are not about rehabilitation, they are about simply removing undesirables from the public eye, about punishment and creating more monsters by treating them as sub-humans.  Prisons are like the university of criminal action.  If you truly want to prevent crime, to be hard on crime, educate the people,  work to remove poverty, make sure that the children are raised by a village not by a single mom who never complete much more than an elementary education, has seven or eight kids so that she can be a leech on society, and has no time to truly raise those kids and lets the likes of television and pop culture do it for her.  The answers are not in more prisons, more authority.  We have seen where that leads.  Why is it that over half of young black men in this country have criminal records and will have spent at least sometime in jail or prison?  Is it because they are lawless heathens?  Why do we have more people in prison today per capita than any other first world country?      


  Thanks for providing a different point of view.  I agree that as accurate a picture of the enemy as possible is the best way to fight that enemy.  I also agree that when someone is trying to kill you it is a natural response to direct hatred that way.  I don't think that there is an  overt organized campaign to dehumanize the enemy, I think it is ingrained very well into the system, like the man behind the curtain.  It may not be as necessary for the soldier on the ground as it once was with the advent of better ways to kill people from greater distances.  I do believe that it is required though for the population at large and when you draw your soldiers from that field there is some subconscious strand floating around that brain.  Did you ever see that MASH episode with the bomber pilot who finally sees the consequences of his actions while at the 4077?  One of my favorites.  

  I would be interested to hear your thoughts on your boot camp experiences, if you are willing to discuss them.  If you feel it may have changed the way you think in anyway, not in an overt brainwashing  sense of course.  Don't think they are putting people through some Clockwork Orange experiments or anything like that.  What about being immersed in the military culture itself?  I know this is far afield, but I am curious.  I believe people's experiences color their perceptions and that to truly understand something we need to learn to remove the blinders that those experiences have placed over our eyes.  That is the historian in me I guess.  


  I think we are trying to argue the same thing.  I agree that it was the role they were trying to fulfill that made them act that way.  That the actions of the guards were that of the role the guards thought they must play.  It was the position, not the power that corrupted.  They were only role-playing, yet the experiment got out of hand in under a week.  What about the actual guards in actual prisons.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 18, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »

  I have to disagree with your comments on the Stanford Prison Project.  I will admit that my choice of words were not the best, but I was in a hurry.  I think you are dismissing a very potent theme of that experiment.  If you haven't read The Lucifer Effect by Dr Zimbardo, who conducted the experiment, you should it will open your eyes. 

  Even taking your basic premise that the guards in that experiment acted that way because they were simply role-playing and it shifted there personality, then what does it say about that position that they were assuming?  The position of authority as a guard, the de-humanizing effect that it has on both guard and inmate, the entire relationship that is created, and the dynamic in general will turn ordinary people into monsters.  The prisoners were given numbers instead of names, they were made to where a hospital gown type outfit, stockings on their heads simulated the shaving of their hair, they were de-loused and cleaned before entering the facility all to disorient, de-humanize and remove any trace of individuality.  When one inmate misbehaved they punished the others in order to discourage anyone else from acting up and to cause disunity among the inmates.  It was the combination of all these factors that led to normal, well-balanced and behaved people to commit extraordinarily cruel acts. 
   It is the same process that militaries use to dehumanize the enemy.  That is why the enemy is called charlie, haji, jerry, krout, gook, sand nigger, or what ever other term the person uses.  It is a lot harder to kill someone you view as human with a true name I think than some nameless, featureless face.  I am not saying all soldiers do this, I would not know, perhaps those who have been through it can better explain it, or perhaps I am all wet on this and they don't use such names.  The higher ups used it in Vietnam to dehumanize the enemy and to desensitize the American people to the brutality of it all.  People are much more likely to go along if the victim is nameless, has no other qualities other than some unquenchable hate for America  The German's needed to do it in the concentration camps.  That is why they developed the showers\gas chambers because simply shooting Jews, like they did in the East, was to expensive both in the cost of bullets and the psychological damage to the shooters. 

I think to simply state that the Guards were just fulfilling the role of the guard and that it was the fact that they were given a role to play is why they acted that way is an understatement of the results of that experiment.  But then again I could be wrong, and we all know it would not be the first time.

  Your post reminded me of the following quote:

      "There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people."

-- Fannie Lou Hamer

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 17, 2008, 11:19:58 PM »
  What system do I suggest?  Well, No system.  The only way for society to truly be free is through libertarian socialism, anarchism, anarcho-syndyclism, anarcho-communism, whatever you want to call it.  Please do not believe all the mainstream media, or historical accounts of "bomb-throwing" anarchists.  I assure you most of us are not bomb- throwers.  Check out, or the Anarchist FAQ which does a lot better job at explaining  things than I. 
  Of course, most everyone is an anarchist at some level, they just don't put that name to it.  It is true democracy, both in the political realm and the economic realm.  The people deserve to own the means of production not bosses or politicians, the people deserve to determine their course through life.  When you place anyone in authority, eventually that authority will warp their perceptions.  Look at the Stanford Prison experiment for a perfect example.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 17, 2008, 08:20:09 PM »

"Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top."

-- Edward Abbey

  I love that quote.


  It might not be the companies fault or our fault entirely, but we were much more part of the problem than the solution.  A lot of those dictatorships that companies are taking advantage of were or are US backed dictators.  Look at Pinochet, United Fruit, Dole and most of the history of South and Central America since the announcement of the Monroe Doctrine.  The US government in the 80's even started to attack (both verbal and physical through paramilitary groups) the Catholic Priests that were preaching liberation theology to the fruit workers and locals.  No we are not fully to blame, but there is a lot more blame on our part than the mainstream media\culture would want you to believe.  If you look at the track record of our foreign policy since WWII and what grew from that policy, i.e. cheap labor to produce cheap products to sell to the American people for very large profits, you can see the intertwining of foreign policy and economic policy.  I would argue and many would agree that both political parties have had the same foreign policy but have gone about it in different ways.  It was the Dems that invaded Vietnam so maybe not too different.  The mainstream media would like us to believe that there is some difference in the major parties but there is very little once you actually scratch the surface.

  Yes, they maybe happy with the job they have in that sweatshop, but what other options do they have?  Starve to death.  Just because something seems like it is better than the alternative still doesn't make that right.  Much the same could be and was said of the slaves of the south.  If not for slavery they would still be in the bush, etc.  I know you are in no way saying that, just wanted to point out the similarity.   

  I agree with your analysis of taxes and the stratification of society, but you do not take it far enough.  The reason that the government's attempts to "even the playing field" have not worked is because they are never truly meant to work.  When you pass a law that requires someone with 7 years of higher education and will charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars per hour to decipher and advise you on , there are going to be loop holes, some intentional some not so.  Take it from me a legislator has a hard time writing coherent criminal statutes.  When the regulations for an area of the economy is being constructed by lawmakers who are constantly being bribed through lobbyists and campaign contributions from the major players in that field do you truly think they are being impartial?  There is no check to prevent that.  You can argue about people voting to remove these people, but when those same lobbyists and contributors latch on to the newbie you get the same thing.  Now, I don't think that all government officials are this way, but they are human and when that little extra will help you win your next election and keep you from having to get a real job how do you think they are going to vote\construct that bill?  When you look at the contributions of the major companies of this country they donate to both parties almost equally.  Some will hedge one way or the other, but they cover both sides.  Look at the credit card legislation, the mob wishes they were able to charge the rates that credit card companies get away with legally.  Those payday loan places that mark the poorer neighborhoods and military installations charge ungodly interest.  So much so that you go there once and you have to continue to go back.   If you have not seen the Documentary "In Debt we Trust" do so, it will open your eyes.  The credit card business is the classic example of usury. 
  More regulation, no regulation it really doesn't matter when the system does not work.  More regulation just means more power for the big boys, while the small business person and the mom and pops are pushed to the side for large box stores.  What needs to happen is a focus on local economies.  Buy local products, produce local products.  It is very hard to do in this day an age, but the only way to reach any kind of sustainable, stable economy is to focus on the local economy.  When Wal-mart or Target, starbucks or applebee's open up their stores and offer cheaper, lower quality products, that in the long run will cost you more both monetarily and ecologically they are taking money out of the local economy.  Yes they are moving it to another local economy, but not truly.  Why do you think every credit card co. has their home office in Delaware.  Because that state has the least regulation in the US.  How did it get that way?  Heavy lobbying on a state level of course.  They seek the best possible location, so it is basically a race to the bottom for state governments.  You may say, yes but the local economy gets the tax revenue from the business.  Do they really.  They opened up a brand new speedway, an arena, and an entertainment district around here.  They lured these multi-million\billion dollar companies here by offering Tax increment financing(TIF), where their tax burden is near zero, if not zero for quite some time, like decades almost.  All so that they can distract people and make them spend their money on over priced drinks and sub-par food.  Does any of this really make sense to the common man, to the unwashed masses?  Does it really make sense for the unwashed masses?

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 17, 2008, 05:39:55 PM »
No flame.

You've obviously read a great deal on why communism is a good idea. Now go read some works on what happens when  people try and put it into practice.

Return and report.

  I have read quite a bit on a lot of political theories.  Communism, in the Marxist\Leninist sense, will never work and is a bad idea.  Please do not confuse communism and socialism. The whole vanguard party bull that Marx spouted off about could never truly by benign or benevolent.  For similar reasons those that espouse benevolent dictatorships are wrong.  When placed in positions of authority people go all wonky( term of art ;D).  
  The Russian Revolution was originally a workers revolt in the early stages and there was much in-fighting about how to proceed.  You had a lot of soviets, workers counsels that had claimed the factory floor as their own, that were starting very democratic processes shortly after the October Revolution.  They were setting up worker owned collectives and communes through out the Russian realm.  Look at the Kronstadt Revolt which occurred in 1921 after the consolidation of power by Lenin and his cronies for one example.  The Bolsheviks began losing elections in most if not all of these worker owned soviets.  Lenin and his party did not like this, that is why they brutally put down dissent and consolidated power into a very dictatorial party structure.

  Yes, communism has never worked in the real world.  The reasons beside the one above, however, are that it was not a true communist nation.  Neither is China nor any other country that has or still does claim that title.  Remember they also called the Soviet Union a republic and that is definitely not the case.  The system of government is one of capitalism in the hands of a ruling elite party.  Where instead of corporations and private citizens, you have the Party and all the trappings that come with that.  Secondly, when you have a system based on the private ownership, be that by the government or by a private citizenry, you will end up with exploitation an some level of poverty.  With the USSR, as in China, Cuba and other supposed communist countries you have massive poverty because that ownership is so narrowly confined.  

   Within the US today you have less poverty, but that is changing because the gap between the haves and the have nots is getting larger.  The cost of things are raising faster than salaries are and the Middle class, which is a goodly majority of America is slowly getting sucked closer to the bottom.  Yes, there are some that make it to the top etc.  but most don't.  Mortgaged to the hilt, starting out in the hole if you had to get student loans to pay for college tuition, which is also rising out of control, and more and more people have to work longer harder hours for less and less pay.  This country and its economic policies are based on cheap oil, and since were are quickly approaching world peak oil, cheap oil is not going to be available.  Food costs are rising, transportation costs are rising, services fees are rising, eventually it will come to a head.  I for one have had to raise my rates because of gas prices and the costs incurred from me having to drive through the urban sprawl that is Kansas City.   Few people look at long term issues in my opinion (a result of our fast-food culture) and this may not happen in my life time or my children's life time, but eventually you will end up with basically the super-rich and the poor in this country.  Of course there will probably be a revolt before that becomes reality, history has shown that. (the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the 60's  the list goes on, and on.)


Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 16, 2008, 11:06:23 PM »
  When i say provided for, i don't mean they just appear out of thin air, though that would be cool if it did.  I mean that the "work" we do is simply a maze set for the masses to run.  Some win, most lose, and in the end though, I feel that we all lose.  We are so focused on running that maze, so focused on making a living we have no time to live.

  I don't know about you, but if someone came to me and said come help us build your house, it is yours not the banks, not the governments, it is yours and all you have to do is take time out of your life to help build other homes for a month out of the year.  I would do that without hesitation.  I am just using this as a general example of course, but that is a communal agreement I could live with.

What about the slacker or the one who doesn't want to go along, well he doesn't have to.  He can go find somewhere else to live, but I think simply helping another human being would be preferable than struggling to survive.  Yet we still do not live this way?  hmmm, perhaps we are conditioned to go against this instinct?  I think we can agree that the human is a social animal and as such if someone is provided these things they would work toward repaying that debt to the community not because they have to, but because they want too. 

  Ask people on the bus or in your office or where ever you meet them, if things like food, clothing and shelter were provided would you simply sit on your ass all day, or would you do something that benefited society that you found rewarding in its own right.  Many people enjoy working outside, gardening, building things etc.  Of course, they are going to say yes.  Just like when you label things like the Patriot Act and No Child Left Behind, people will line up to pass it without reading the fine print.  We don't want to be the one who poo-poos all over children do we.  Of course we have cut heath benefits for children who, by no fault of their own lost the genetic lottery and cannot afford it.  We have been so focused on making money and the like we never really ask ourselves if there is a better way.  There is a better way. 
   The whole of human history one could argue is a study in the evolution of human freedom.  Humans at their core desire to be free and work toward that end.  We, the United States, are not that end and are in some respects a barrier to that end.  We want to maintain the status quo, because enough people in this country are satisfied with the status quo that the problems are glossed over and swept under rugs until they come crashing into skyscrapers in the form of a plane.   The problems and the issues of other countries and other peoples truly don't inflict themselves on the majority of Americans on a daily basis.  Oh sure, when the sweatshop workers that make the cloths we wear go on strike to get a raise and the price of that nifty t-shirt with the cool saying goes up in price we are inconvenienced, but I don't think many Americans truly think about where and how the things that appear on the shelves got there.  What that Made in Taiwan\China\Indonesia label really means.  Do you?  Do you really think about it when you go into starbucks and order a coffee how some dirt poor bean farmer in Africa is paid pennies a day to provide the coffee beans, and how the foreign policies of this country made it so that Starbucks can exploit that person.  Having the right logo\brand is all that matters to some maybe even most.  It is all a spectacle to keep us occupied.  I am not without blame or shame about this.  I grew up in middle-class american, went through the public school system, went through college, go to Target and Wal-mart etc.  I am not a blue collar worker who has to struggled to make a living.  I am just as guilty as the next fellow, but I realize this now and wish to change this. 

  Production for production sake is not the way to organize society.   We are bombarded with advertisements about this new version or that newer model with more bells and whistles.  Creating this collective desire to purchase\consume simply to consume.  I would bet that building a car that is very reliable, very gas efficient or uses an alternative renewable fuel source that could last for decades is well within our technological reach, but it won't be done because if you make such a product you would kill demand for the same product after everyone owns that product.  Is this a bad-thing?  No more filling garbage dumps with the convenient accessories of life.  No more continually having to sell yourself by the hour to provide yourself with new ways to cope with an unfulfilled life.    Sorry this got so of track. Flame away. 

Quite the lively discussion though.

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 16, 2008, 07:49:12 PM »
    No I don't have it all figured out and never claimed I did.  I am fine with bringing everyone up on war crimes charges if it fits, and I believe that it does if you look at the evidence. There are several nice books laying out the crimes of this administration.  Hell just look at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, you can go down the list and tick off almost all of them.
   Conspiracy theorists are a bunch of wingnuts that add to the spectacle of the system.  There is not some cabal of CEO's or jews or whatever ruling this country.
  There is a lot of inbreeding between the Government and the economic sector.   Why do you think all those corporations give large donations to both parties? How is it that the CEO's and large donors get private meetings with the president, but me or you who may have some grievance must talk to our representative, to wit: we get some bullshit form letter about how our concerns are noted and we are shuffled along the bureaucratic assembly line with nothing truly done about it and the hopes that we will eventually let it go.  Are our interests truly a concern?  When there was a huge outcry against this invasion and yet no discussion was held, the only people who questioned the evidence were labeled unamerican, accused of being unpatriotic and then the news media moved onto stoking the fear of the people with the drum beat of war.

  9/11 was not an inside job, it was perpetrated by some very evil people who have perverted a religion to dupe the people of that area into committing atrocious acts.  Of course, we did not help the situation by our actions.    

It was not just Bush, it was the entire system.
  As for how to change things, here is how.  Lets spend 400 billion dollars a year on Education, Housing, and food in this country, not on new ways to kill people.  We spend more on "Defense" in this country than most of the world combined.  You want to get rid of crime then get rid of poverty.  As Martin Luther King Jr.  said we have the means we simply lack the will.  What would this country look like if the necessities of life were provided for all , if we did not have to degrade ourselves by selling our lives away one hour at a time to eek out a meager existence.  Let's work to create understanding, let's work toward actual social justice, not some myth.  We must organize on a local level to reclaim our say in how our lives are lived, and how this country is governed.  Let's wake from this stupor of wage-slavery and do something glorious.  Let us make our own social contracts, let us be free to explore the depth and breadth of this world without the worry of how we are to afford food, health care etc.  
  I do not simply complain and whine as you suggest, I talk to people, point out the bullshit shoveled by authority.  It is so ingrained in people to adhere to what authority tells them, and authority takes advantage of that fact.

  I work to keep the so-called justice system from running away with our rights as human beings in this country.  I am not just sitting around like some ape playing with my shirt, hoping that the world will someday just become better.  Not going to happen.  If we want a better world we have to make it ourselves, we cannot rely on government or the power structure to look after us or anyone else, because at the base of it, all those in power will only work hard enough to remain in power.  Make sure that just enough people think they are happy and blame their problems on foreign countries, on some undefined future threat as they take more steps to strengthen their control.  Initially it was the natives of this land, then the british, the mexicans, the africans, the communists, the terrorists, the immigrants, it is all the same just with different names and colors.  

   The amazing thing about capitalism is the ignorance of its victims, don't remember who said it, but it is true.  We need to shift the paradigm in this country and around the world.  It should not be about competition but about mutual aid.  It should not be about who believes in God, and if they believe in the right God.  And before you start spouting about jihadists etc.  remember Bush called it a Crusade at one point. Very poor choice of words.  Palin said that the Iraq war was God's work.  Really?  The all-knowing, all-loving God of the New Testament is a big fan of War huh? For that matter the Old testament god wasn't very fond of it either.  Something about thou shalt not kill i think is how it goes.  We need to re-evaluate how we see the world.  It is not us and them, it should be we.

  I don't for a minute believe that the Iraqi people do not want to be free to decide their own fate.  That is what all people want on some level.  I agree that they are willing to fight and die for that chance, and that they should be given that opportunity.  I just don't believe you can teach someone about democracy, true democracy at the point of a gun and the dropping of bombs.


Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 16, 2008, 04:08:33 PM »
well said Gorgon, and i agree that it is going to get worse, power never gives away its control freely.  

    I get you about the brother thing, my misunderstanding.  I wish that we as a human race felt the same way about each other as you feel about your fellow soldiers, the world would be a much better place.

    I think we should have worked with the entire international community to hunt down and destroy everyone involved in the 9/11 attack.  We, as a nation, had a grand opportunity to unite the world, to truly make a change in how people perceive the United States and everyone's role on the world stage.  Instead, we played the role of the typical American Cowboy.  It was like watching a twisted version of Dr. Stangelove and Kelly's Heroes, only without Slim Pickens, Clint Eastwood or the humor.  Oh, I laughed but only to keep myself from crying.  They, meaning the government and their mouthpiece, beat the drum of war so loud and so hard that they started believing the stuff they were shoveling.  

  As for staying in Iraq,  I believe we should pull out immediately.  Our history of puppet regimes is well known throughout the rest of the world, and the New Iraq government is no different, although they are starting to show a little backbone when standing up to Bush and his fellow war criminals.  We should go back to international community and tell them, we screwed up.  That Bush and Co. should stand trial for War Crimes, that the Iraqi people need to work out their own issues and that we as a global community will help in anyway possible to correct the mistakes.  I know that this is a really simplified answer and I don't have a complete grasp of the international politics involved, but I think genuine democracy set up by the people, is hundreds of times better than the current "gun barrel" democracy.  You can't force a people's movement, you can't invade a country set up a new government with strong ties to American Companies, and create an occupation that is just as oppressive, if not more so, than the previous one then expect those people to sit by and watch and accept it.  Did anyone every hear George Carlin's Big Dick Theory.  "Pull out?! Well that doesn't sound manly to me Bob, I say we leave it in there awhile."  That stuff gets me every time. ;D

  The powers that be have taken the Vietnam playbook and ran with it.  That didn't end well for any involved, but for some reason they think that this one will work out better.  Perhaps they truly don't care how it ends up, again much like Vietnam.  It really won't effect them.  They will still have their billions of dollars with little to no skin off their noses.  The men and women of the services will pay the butchers bill, not W or any of the architects of this fiasco.  They will retire to the countryside bathed in the blood of the innocent, but they won't notice because of all the shiny new crap they can buy.  

Rants and Stuff / Re: Seven years later...
« on: September 15, 2008, 11:42:45 PM »
 First, I am truly sorry about your loss, and I by no means want to disparage the sacrifice of your family or any of the families who have lost someone, but I think it is atrocious that the talking heads, and the leaders of this country try to sell this war as anything but a war of aggression.  Something that the soldiers have no control over, I understand that.  My beef is with those in charge, not those on the ground.  My beef is that we are sitting in the mother of all Orwellian nightmares and few seem to notice or care.   

No, everything I own does not run on bio-fuel, yes, securing oil is for our benefit, but that benefit is secondary to the real goals.  Maybe if we spent the billions of dollars on education and R and D for alternate power sources than we do on an invasion or occupation that serves the Masters your brother doesn't have to go die in someone else's war. 

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