Posts Tagged: politics

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"Every time the news tells you that an entire city is being put “on lockdown” by police, you should keep in mind that “on lockdown” is a phrase that they have taken from the vocabulary of prison wardens, referring to a condition in which inmates are temporarily completely restricted in their movements and confined to their cells, in order to allow prison guards to conduct searches or contain and control what the inmates are doing. If the police have the power to put a city “on lockdown,” then what does that make the city? And what does it make the innocent people living in it?"

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—Charles Johnson

Living the Lockdown Life, http://c4ss.org/content/18354

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C4SS writer and Senior Fellow, Darian Worden, presents for Alt Expo ”A Left Libertarian Approach to Politics”.

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In The End Nobody Wins

… Political parties are agglomerations of disparate demographic groups with their own outlook and agendas. The job of the party is to tie all these groups together with some sort of mythos that makes them feel united ideologically. There’s no reason for the “fiscal conservatives”, the “gun nuts” and the Christian fundamentalists to be united in one package. Nor is there any reason for civil liberties, “nanny-statism” and “welfare statism” to be united necessarily. The Democratic party has come up with a better story tying their demographics together, but that story is also a lie. Groups that don’t absorb the whole inconsistent “package deal” are portrayed as “kooks” or “radical fringe” because their very existence threatens the gossamer web of the party’s mythology.

What the two parties either don’t realize, or are afraid to acknowledge, is that the kooks are becoming the largest demographic. The Republican strategy so far has been to “double down” on their rhetoric. What this does is force the Democrats to shift rightward, in order to capture people who are marginally Democrats but don’t buy the traditional democratic package deal. …

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Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney

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Obama, Romney, and the Washington Generals: Reflections on Class Rule and Theater Politics

… The Generals were no match for the Globetrotters. Even on nights when they might have given the Globetrotters some competition, the Generals were paid patsies, professional fall-guys hired to look inept and stupefied by the athletic and comedic brilliance of the Globetrotters. …

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Psychopathic Personality Traits Linked With U.S. Presidential Success, Psychologists Suggest

… "I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this," Stout continued. "That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow — but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one." …

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Are Politicians Psychopaths?

Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it… Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead.

Hmm. That description could probably describe more than a few politicians…

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Political versus Apolitical Strategies

… We renegades must find each other and strengthen our own non-political societies, despite our differences in opinion, if we hope to provide a better alternative than these experiments.

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… If Paul Ryan is “fiscally frugal,” I’m the Queen of England.

Nor is he anything resembling a “libertarian,” even in the Bizarro World vocabulary of “minarchism” or “limited government.” During his tenure in Congress he has supported warrantless wiretaps, making the USA PATRIOT ACT permanent and federalizing drivers’ licenses and other forms of government-issued identification papers. He’s opposed following the US Constitution with respect to habeas corpus and speedy public trials for the hundreds of abducted individuals held illegally at Guantanamo Bay.

And, indicating his own individual case of dissociative disorder, he claims that the US is “a nation at war,” even though he presumably knows that at no time since his election in 1998 has the US House of Representatives voted to declare war, and even though he has personally voted for resolutions such as the “Authorization to Use Force” in Iraq, which clearly label themselves as not being declarations of war.

If Paul Ryan is a “libertarian,” so was Leonid Brezhnev.

But, please, don’t let your takeaway from these truths be that you should vote for Obama/Biden (or Johnson/Gray, or Stein/Honkala, or Goode/Clymer, et. al) in preference to Romney/Ryan this November. That’s not the point at all.

The point is that you’re never going to get “fiscal frugality,” or “civil liberties,” or even baseline moral human behavior, from electoral politics. Politicians do not shape the state. They serve it, and their perceptions of reality are distorted by it. Your choice is to see clearly, or to join them in delusion.

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If you believe the Federal Reserve has done a fine job of managing monetary policy and trust it to continue to exert vast power with no accountability or transparency, then you are probably content with the status quo. But yesterday, “a powerful left-right coalition” in the House of Representatives — defying the Fed as well as a likely White House veto — voted overwhelmingly to enact Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to subject the Fed’s monetary policy to audits by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan and independent congressional agency. As Dennis Kucinich, one of 89 Democrats to vote for the bill, put it: “It’s time that we stood up to the Federal Reserve that right now acts like some kind of high, exalted priesthood, unaccountable to democracy.” …