Print Story Oh, fuck it.
By Gedvondur (Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:14:46 AM EST) Fuck, It (all tags)
I don't even want to hope anymore.

Russ Feingold defeated, Wisconsin's state senate and house, and governorship all red.  Local democratic congressman defeated.

What the fuck does it matter anymore.

The public is so FUCKING stupid and the Citizen's United ruling together have combined to create government lead be ads and paid for by corporations.

Wisconsin trades one of the most respected senators in the country for Ron Johnson, a guy so lacking in ideas that even the board of the Green Bay Press Gazette endorsed Feingold after talking to him.  That newspaper NEVER endorsed Feingold.  Ever.  Johnson scared them because he had not a single idea how to make the goals he espoused happen.  No clue.  He screamed from the heavens about "issues" but has no plan.  Lovely.

This country gets what it deserves.  Shoot from the hip, fuck the poor, go to war. 

Well fuck it.  I don't care anymore.  Between President Tepid Obama, bullshit pussy Democrats, asshole "Blue Dog" democrats we might as well just slide into the religious fascist state that's coming.

Stupidity is the new black, ignorance the new gospel.
< tiny bytes ... | I dreamed our puppeteer died. >
Oh, fuck it. | 109 comments (109 topical, 0 hidden)
This just in by yankeehack (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:36:11 AM EST
(True) Blue states stayed blue, Red states stayed red and moderates leaned to the GOP.

When you lose moderates, you lose the country.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

Also, I think this more of an early referendum by yankeehack (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:42:56 AM EST
on Obama (and who openly supported him).
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
[ Parent ]
He won't admit it until he's vacated by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:56:16 AM EST
the White House. Maybe in his memoir.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Being bold would have helped too. by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 2) #11 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:25:00 AM EST
But no, they had to be exceedingly cautious and keep rolling over to the Republican minority in Congress and certain elements of their party. A shame, really; now we have to depend on the Senate to insure that, at best, nothing happens for the next two years.

Democratic turnout was, at least, not as dismal as people had feared it would be, but Republican enthusiasm was stratospheric. Alienating your base and depressing the young voters who are your strongest block is not a key to electoral success.

That said, relying on the Senate does not fill me with confidence, and on top of it we'll be playing defense in 2012 (because of the Senate gains in 2006). This is going to suck. 


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

[ Parent ]
as far as i can tell by aphrael (4.00 / 3) #12 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:26:34 AM EST
someone is paying the democrats to have their spines surgically removed.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
That would be us. by technician (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:05:28 PM EST
Sorry about that.

[ Parent ]
Politics is kabuki theater by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 4) #4 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:00:20 AM EST
Nothing more. Anyone involved enough to even be considered for election to an office of major importance has long since given over their soul to The Machine, and any hope you could have of them enacting real, needed change on issues of actual importance has already been crushed X number of years ago.

The ratings CNN and Fox News get from elections are more important than the elections themselves at this point. Nothing about national politics is about helping the American people anymore; it's only about generating news/opposition/FUD/fundraising.

I hope the Tea Partiers force the GOP to put their by georgeha (4.00 / 3) #5 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:04:18 AM EST
money where their mouths are. Yeah, that's right, start cutting entitlements, starting with Social Security.

Well, by technician (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:14:00 AM EST
the best thing about a lack of patience, no interest in logic or history, and a short horizon is: everything will change again soon. The lack of attention and the short-sighted nature of the modern American media consumer means that party politics (which takes time and effort) will continue to fail to impulse politics.

That's good because it will lead to a complete collapse.

Also, by technician (4.00 / 3) #9 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 10:06:54 AM EST
I had another thought this morning. In traffic, a nice heavy mist, cold gray air, and ten thousand of my fellow idiots driving as best as they could (which is pretty awful here in central Texas)...had this thought that, hey, if I hit that truck?

Is my car suddenly explodes in glass and metal and plastic, sending me careening into the void between MoPac and 183?

If my eyes explode from the sudden heat?

What would the politics of the country matter?

What can I affect? What is my life, now?  Who can I directly help?

I have to remind myself of this, every two years. Who can I help, directly? What can I do to create the world I want?

[ Parent ]
a complete collapse by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:14:09 AM EST
could well lead to the somalia-ization of america.

i don't understand why this would be a good thing.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
It could go the other way, as well. by technician (4.00 / 3) #14 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:38:16 AM EST
We have to rely on the capability of our neighbors. Democracy, in some earlier less mediainfected form, relied on this: a belief that you and those like you could choose the right path for governance.

Each election could be seen as a collapse, back then. Tweaking the system, smoothing the rough edges. That is, until the system was co-opted by the good ol' military industrial complex.

Now with both parties being roughly the same (and having the same owners), there is no party movement that affects the underlying problems.

So, a decent failure of some magnitude might just shake the complacency out of the veins of those infected. It could actually make people realize their responsibilities. It could create a movement of people who demand the government supply them with the things a government supplies, and nothing more. It could, it could. We're not entirely driven by greed, and if you get out onto the street here in the south, you find all these white trash rednecks who vote for Jesus, they're also decent people. They just vote with Fox in their eyes, but if you pull the mask away, they really just want things to be OK.

OR it could go all Katrina on us, in which case, well, I have 1500 rounds of ammunition and a neuroscientist. We'll enable our block's success against the neighboring gated community, and move block by block, enlightening the populace to the choices: possibility of freedom from tyranny, or solitary starvation amongst cooperative neighbors, a life soaked in the same mediapathic fear that would then seem less like a reality and more like a bad play they saw one time on that glowing spirit box thingy.

Either way, I'm set. I have my spine.

[ Parent ]
You, sir, are switched on. by lolwhat (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:51:12 AM EST
You are exactly correct. You know precisely what the best form of government is. Hint to others: It isn't one that promises you free lunches that, surprise, turn out not to be so. Nor is it one that enables the banks to make off with billions in taxpayer money. Nor is it one that will simply let the Federal Reserve (which is NOT officially a government entity) monetize the entire national debt next year, thereby causing commodity prices to shoot the moon and driving even more people into poverty.
If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
Meh. by technician (4.00 / 2) #29 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:43:52 PM EST
I'm not correct. I don't know anything about governments. I do know that my next door neighbor has a form of diabetes that requires medication, and that he can't work because of it, so he recently lost a limb. And we help as much as we can.

I know that my brother is in debt to his eyeballs from both having kids and buying crap. And maybe that's not noble or at all good, but when he needed it, we gave him everything we could.

I know that my in laws are in debt past their eyeballs because healthcare costs too goddamn much, even for retired Air Force folks, and even though there could have been this touching moment of "Well, you should have voted Obama!" we gave them everything we could.

We're lucky. So far, the problems are solved with cash. Other people, their problems aren't quite so cash dependent.

[ Parent ]
after coming back from my parents' today by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 2) #36 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:52:14 PM EST
and now reading this response, I'm in tears.

When did so many seemingly sane people go batshit crazy?

[ Parent ]
I dunno. by technician (4.00 / 1) #37 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:53:59 PM EST
I think it's because we think we can control things we can't control.

There's a really great book about our parents. It's called "Deer Hunting with Jesus." You should read it.

[ Parent ]
I have to get out of here by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #39 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:00:08 PM EST
the sooner, the better.  I need distance.  2 weeks of MIL visit was the best thing for me.  I wish she'd come back!

[ Parent ]
We can all pack it up by technician (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:01:48 PM EST
and move to Canadia. I hear that things are just as fucked up there as we were in 1986 or so. That gives us some time.

Finland was rated the #1 country to live. We could go there.

[ Parent ]
too cold, too dark by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #59 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:39:06 PM EST
for finland.  maybe even canadia, since i'm a wimp.

I'll pack my own whelping box, and we'll go!

[ Parent ]
We have a study and sofa bed by Phage (4.00 / 2) #83 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:10:00 AM EST
Pro: Socialism ! Free WiFi !
Con: It's going to get a bit squishy with the 4 of you in there.

[ Parent ]
Canada and Finland are too white & boring. by chuckles (4.00 / 1) #61 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:54:37 PM EST
You should move somewhere exotic, like Bangladesh or Guatemala.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
That's great! by lolwhat (4.00 / 1) #44 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:40:44 PM EST
You are volunteering to help people out of the goodness of your heart. Unfortunately, however, some believe that Government Must Provide Everything. I'm not so sure that the current form of HCR is as good as you might believe, but that's neither here nor there.
If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
Chortle by Phage (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:09:10 PM EST
I have 1500 rounds of ammunition and a neuroscientist

Nothing further.

[ Parent ]
Its a great line, isn't it? by technician (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:53:32 PM EST
Sort of felt like one of those Sam Raimi moments.

[ Parent ]
Yep by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:24:17 PM EST
Sheer genius.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking of pitching it. by technician (4.00 / 3) #34 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:47:59 PM EST
Just the one line. Big huge Hollywood meeting, me and Matt Damon sitting across from some steroid inflated coked out yammering young executive for Sony, and I look at him and say:

I have 1500 rounds of ammunition and a neuroscientist

And BAM, we get a movie about a guy in a post apocalyptic suburb who is married to Scarlett Johansen who is secretly an unemployed neuroscientist who likes gardening. Anyhow GUY and SCARJO are shown in the first few minutes of vignette as a loving but bored couple who are involved in a number of random projects: biodiesel, knife fighting, heavy construction, improvised munitions, field surgery, camping, frisbee know, the stuff everyone does.

OK, so GUY is at his desk at UNNAMED DEFENSE FACILITY when suddenly, the lights flicker and then, oh man, the air conditioning shuts off. GUY very dramatically loosens his tie and leans forward. The monitor shows (via MAGIC, the satellite network that has multiple camera angles, .02meter resolution, and audio capability) people all over the US of A pouring into the streets because, holy shit, the power blipped and they all lost their air conditioning.

GUY thinks fast, runs down the stairs (which are abandoned as people stab impatiently at the elevator button...there could be a great line there about "That elevator, it won't be going up anytime soon" or something) and to his diesel Mercedes, which fires up because it just doesn't give a fuck. GUY drives home, starting slow through crowds that have yet to turn violent, but during his journey the crowds, they start or something. VIOLENCE then starts to cascade, starting with a boy tripping an old lady and ending with Russians nuking the American Left Coast. The government collapses. The Army sells itself to Germany. The Marines buy Afghanistan to continue to the fight because, hey, that's what Marines do. The Navy goes tourist. The Air Force runs out of gas, retires in Canada. The Coast Guard ferries the rich to a new, better, faster, shinier United State of America and Jesus somewhere off the coast of Australia, in what used to be New Zealand.

GUY arrives home, gathers up SCARJO. They start to press buttons and pull levers, and the house transforms into a FORTRESS OF STOIC KNOWLEDGE. GUY takes a sniper position on the roof. SCARJO rips off her shirt to reveal TACTICAL BRASSIERE #1, and goes to work sowing seeds, making very fine wire and glass brain probes, and capturing rats to begin an experiment...and experiment that will SAVE THEIR LIVES.

Lots of gunfights and chase sequences and scary, scary moments as they venture out to get supplies. The gradual swelling of support as they help their neighbors help themselves. The inevitable moment of SCARJO being kidnapped and tied, in nothing but crudely made undersized underwear, to a post in the center of town while evil REPUBLICAN SCUM bellow that they will kill everyone who follows her stupid utopian schemes, and the inevitable last minute save from unexpected new ally JIM HIGHTOWER who kills just about everyone from a bell tower on the UT campus.

INT. DAYTIME as GUY and SCARJO, sitting cross-legged on a table, kiss over a birthday cake some years after THE TROUBLE. Cut to pan out, make sure to capture red Porsche 944 parked in street, dogs and children running by, laughter, kites, blue skies, and Obama in 2012.

[ Parent ]
can I have a bit part? by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #45 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:48:44 PM EST
Scrappy older woman who surprisingly knows martial arts when the bad guys come, but can't hold off the abduction, and survives to give Guy crucial intel? Supports the neuroscientist and shows the neighborhood how to make wind turbines out of Razor scooter parts and old bed sheets?
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
Absolutely by technician (4.00 / 2) #49 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:11:12 PM EST
you'd need some sort of awesome yurt-type thing that has a completely amazing interior, totally out of spec.

That and you'd have to fight in a belly shirt, because THIS IS HOLLYWOOD!

[ Parent ]
better work on those abs, then by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #55 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:03:00 PM EST
Because I just turned 48 and have two kids. Doesn't that give me skin-tight, but not skin-showing?
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
No by notafurry (4.00 / 2) #58 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:37:22 PM EST
But it does give you a larger CGI budget. Don't worry too much about...

[ Parent ]
mo-cap by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #73 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:09:59 PM EST
And then I can look like Angelina Jolie!
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
Huh. by ni (4.00 / 1) #66 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:24:08 PM EST
That makes you a touch under a decade older than I would have thought.

"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
[ Parent ]
You're in good company by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #68 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:36:06 PM EST
I'm generally guessed as that much younger.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
You, sir by johnny (4.00 / 1) #88 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:58:02 AM EST
are in the wrong profession. But don't come to mine (which is where you belong) because it's already too crowded in here and I don't want to be fighting with you for work. I have a molecular biologist and a massive fire truck, but I think you would win if it came down to a mano-a-mano type deal.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
There are dudes by technician (2.00 / 0) #93 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:33:07 AM EST
who make a living just pitching treatments. Simple little stories with major stars written in, and no talent required.

I can totally do that.

[ Parent ]
don't by johnny (4.00 / 1) #104 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:42:43 PM EST
misunderestimate your talent. Here endeth fluff job. But I mean it.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
Respectfully, you are full of shit by theboz (4.00 / 4) #20 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:39:55 PM EST
Bullets and a neuroscientist won't keep you starving or keep you safe from disease, or put out fires.  If small communities could band together to form a superior society, it would have already happened instead of failing like all of the communes and such have done.  The Katrina situation is really the only likely outcome of a government collapse.  It would bring about mass starvation, catastrophic spreads of epidemic disease, rampant fires raging out of control, no clean drinking water, and a slew of other problems.

To put it another way -- unless you live on a farm that raises enough food for you to eat already, you have a well, you generate your own electricity, you are trained as a doctor, and you are capable of manufacturing replacements for your parts of things that break down, you are capable of producing basic medicines like antibiotics, you would be totally screwed.  These factors are one reason I can't be one of those people who are looking forward to a government collapse.  I see that as much, much worse than the status quo.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
Meh. by technician (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:52:48 PM EST
It's all a fiction. At our worst, we'll have a day or two of controlled chaos, and the best of us will leave the country.

[ Parent ]
Also, by technician (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:03:04 PM EST
even in the very worst of the Katrina moment, there were people helping one another. The help would have spread further had the area not been geographically compromised (flooded and cut off). The help came from the people, when it did arrive, until the troops showed up.

Having a completely bleak outlook doesn't help anything. It isn't realistic. You have to assume that you will not be able to control the masses, with or without the government. You then have to assume that the masses, for whatever reason, are operating in their own best interest. From there, you find the things you can directly influence, things you can put your hands on.

The only way we'd really fall completely apart is if the profit motive were somehow removed from the equation, in some spellbinding way. It is this profit motive that keeps food on the shelves. Keeps the trucks running, keeps the people working there.  A true low-level reprogramming (and the equivalent chaos) could only happen if somehow people spontaneously gave up on economy.

Government, right this second, here in my office, actually doesn't matter. And they're paying me! But they aren't paying me. They're paying some long chain of things that pay me. And that chain, matters. And it doesn't exist because of the government. The product we sell, it would sell equally well to tyrannical privateers.

So. Again. The government folds. Goes away. The people, in sudden and dire pursuit of Things and Comfort, spend five years learning a very harsh lesson. Most of us die. The world turns. The economy survives.

In that intervening period, having a shitload of weaponry, medical stuff, and a good strong relationship with your community makes sense.

But, it's all a fiction. Just that mine is different than yours. So, you know, fuck you.

[ Parent ]
bleak by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #25 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:09:57 PM EST
spend five years learning a very harsh lesson. Most of us die

that's a bleak, bleak picture.

i'd prefer the people i love not to have to go through five years in which most of them die while the rest learn a very harsh lesson.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
It is, by technician (4.00 / 1) #28 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:39:25 PM EST
and it's a pretty tough world. I know people right now who are in dire circumstances, some of whom will have either years of recovery or death. And if I could stop that, boy oh boy, would I.

I'd prefer the entire world not have to go through any sort of suffering. Of all the fictions present, that's my favorite.

But I can't affect that. I can wish it, work for it, and do everything I can do to make it happen, but that doesn't mean it will happen. Doesn't stop me from trying, but it does sharpen my understanding.

So, instead of defeating my own positive capability with a bleak fiction, I choose to accept my limits, and understand (and I do this every couple of years, when I lose sight of it) that there is nothing that I can do to affect a scale larger than my reach. I can help myself, my family, my neighbors, and my community...though even that's a stretch. I can affect individuals with my actions, and possibly influence some behavior in my direct path with nothing more than my intent, but the only provable things I can do are small, tactical, and re-assuringly repeatable. That they are not magic is a consequence of the reality we exist in.

So. Who's to say which coin flip will fall? I can't change that. What I can change, I do. Yes, I vote. Yes, I give cash and time and effort to things larger than me. Yes, I can hope for better. But I don't pin my expectations of the moment on any future ideology that cannot be grasped, handled, and understood. I don't feel entitled to results that I did not create. I don't read tea leaves, and I don't pray.

I prepare for the next ten seconds, and plan for the next ten thousand.

Goddamn that's another great line. I should totally write all of this down. OH WAIT

[ Parent ]
reconciliation by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:46:28 PM EST
I'd prefer the entire world not have to go through any sort of suffering.

how do you square that with saying that collapse will be a good thing, which you did at the start of this thread?

i see no story coming out of collapse which doesn't involve large-scale suffering, at least in the medium term.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Well, by technician (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:11:13 PM EST
What I'd prefer and what may actually happen are usually two very different things.

And, since (again) it's all a fiction, let's call it the Fiction of Least Resistance. It's the one I had to think least about. Because to really sit and ponder the details of the story (2010 election, the people all vote for parties A and B, but suddenly party C is in charge due to some last second backroom shenanigans that actually combine A and B, Mad-magazine foldup style, then the people, suddenly aware of the conceit, revolt by simply losing interest in government and instead turn to lofter pursuits, like, say, Dancing with the Stars...wait...this may be what has happened. Anyhow, something like that) would take a really, REALLY long time, and I've had a headache for five days.

Here's the gist of my original thought: the current picture we have of what Government is seems to be shifting so rapidly that the response from the Government to continue to market itself as The Boss cannot possibly keep up. That process will, at some point, become visibly broken, with no one candidate belonging to no one party. We see that now with "Tea Partiers" who are republicans, "Libertarians" who are republicans, "Fruitbats" who are republicans, etc. So, once exposed to this in a really gripping and FOXy way, the people will simply....

...lose their shit. Or not, actually. Losing their shit, that may not be accurate. That may be a relative term; we're all losing our shit here on the left and nothing is happening. So, the system collapses and no one notices.


It's not a thing. It happened, and no one caught it. Now, the question is: what are they going to try next? The answer may be chaos. Because chaos is a great motivator for control, and we all seem to labor under an illusion of control that far, far surpasses the reality.

So. That's all I really meant. Not some Road Warrior dystopia (though it is fun to inject that) but a less controllable, much more terrifying fine shift in the DNA of what we are. A bell that can't be un-rung.

Really the focus should be on the process of governance and how elections work. They won't be able to keep up with the decline in attention span, near as I can tell. So what's the outcome of that? It's a fun mental exercise, with absolutely no consequence.

So, I'm not trying to kill anyone's loved ones. I promise.

[ Parent ]
In my limited experience by theboz (4.00 / 4) #70 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:46:52 PM EST
Volunteering to help the victims of Katrina that came to Houston darkened my view on exactly how much a community can accomplish in such a crisis without outside help.  You're right that there were acts of bravery, community spirit, and family closeness.  However, it was mostly chaos, death, and destruction.  The people were helpless in the worst way and even if they wanted to do something about it, many of them couldn't.  However, as you pointed out, it was a natural disaster that blossomed into a man made disaster due to the lack of help and planning by the government.

So let's talk about Hurricane Rita, which as you probably remember occurred right after Katrina.  I remember how most people in Houston started freaking out because it looked to be headed straight for us.  The grocery stores started running out of food days before the storm would have hit because trucks weren't being sent from the distribution centers.  Gas was scarce because you had extremely high demand due to everyone getting the hell out of town combined with the fact that gasoline wasn't being delivered either.  Both of those factors fed into a greater panic in this city, as a result of so many of our neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers getting out of town.  That caused more people to try to leave, and the whole thing became a hugely negative feedback loop.  The media just made it worse by blowing everything out of proportions.  It also didn't help to have relatives calling after watching the news and calling us crying and screaming that we were going to die if we didn't leave our apartment (this literally happened.)

Now, keep in mind that as both a former Boy Scout and growing up in a doomsday cult that believed in being prepared (in my parents' house there was a room built in the basement full of canned goods, water, and other supplies that could last my family more than a year.)  I was prepared, I had food, water, batteries, first aid kits, guns, ammo, gasoline, and a very fuel efficient vehicle.  It also helped that I was tech savvy and had a GPS and could navigate my way around pretty well.  I thought I had it all covered.

Suffice to say, in that moment, we're talking in a matter of a few days, all concepts of community fell apart.  Everyone got the hell out of dodge without even having a plan of where to go.  The police disappeared.  The laws all became voluntary, such as running red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc.  Stores and gas stations were shut down and vandalized by people freaking out.  Miles away from town, people were in mile long lines to get gas if they were lucky.  The unlucky ones ran out of gas and set up shitty camps on the side of the road with what few supplies they had.  People were literally shitting out in the open on the streets.  Bad behavior was exacerbated and people started fighting.  When I got to Luling, I was able to find a gas station where the line was only about 1/4 of a mile long, so I stopped to refill (this is after we sat in traffic for nearly 20 hours to get to San Antonio.)  Fights broke out, but fortunately nothing with guns.  An Asian family tried to get in front of my car and didn't mind that they nearly hit my wife.  I yelled at them, and the teenage son of the driver got out of the car but quickly backed off when he looked inside at me (keep in mind some of the emergency supplies I mentioned that I had earlier.)  When I started pumping gas, the Asian family had a car accident when they tried to break in line in front of another car and actually hit them.  Additionally, when I was pumping gas people came up to me desperately with milk cartons and whatever other containers they could find and asked if I would let them get gas.  I said no because there was a line and they should stay in order, but it was also self-serving because letting people break in front of you was one of the things that had triggered a fight a few cars ahead of me.

Ok, so my personal story is nothing compared to either Hurricane Katrina or something along the lines of what we have been talking about.  I do feel that it gave me a glimpse into how fragile our society is and how we are extremely dependent on other factors that are outside of our control.  I was without power for about a week a couple years ago with Hurricane Ike and I saw just how useless my house is without electricity, gas, and water flowing in.   It's too bad I can't find it but my Google skills are being terrible right now.  I recall at some point I read an article about the war in Bosnia, and what happened to their modern cities when their government collapsed and society broke down.  The gist of it is that everything sucked for everyone, and the people that had rations, guns, etc. were just viewed as pricks.  Those pricks (unfortunately for them) eventually ran out of supplies as well and were in the same boat as everyone else.

Also, just to point out something, my view of how things would actually play out doesn't mean that I haven't thought about or prepared for the worst.  The difference is that to me, I feel that the conclusion I've come to is that it's better to save our extremely flawed society the way it is now than to let it collapse.  I hate to pursue the status quo, but it seems a better alternative of destroying everything in the hopes that our society is a phoenix.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
This is really stunning by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #71 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:00:51 PM EST
I have often remarked that I don't think we'll have a civil war again in the US because people have too much to lose. But the real state of the economy combined with those "entertainers" describing it as even worse and flogging anti-government sentiment to the tune of suggesting killing the opposition? I worry that people are starting to feel they have nothing to lose.

Thanks for writing this, Boz.

"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
I don't think we'll have a civil war by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #98 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:04:48 PM EST
because people are too lazy and apathetic to actually do anything other than talk.

btw, my Rita experience was completely different than theboz's.  then again, i had to stay in town to work, so i didn't have to deal with traffic or lines for gas, etc.

[ Parent ]
People feel like they have nothing to lose. by technician (2.00 / 0) #101 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 04:31:11 PM EST
But they do enjoy their latte. And they like air conditioning. And they really dig the internet.

There won't be any violent downfall of this society. That's an outmoded concept. To get to that, you'd have the crush this society in a way that does incalculable harm to the majority of the people. A very, very large natural disaster might do that, but it would have to be on the scale of that Yellowstone Caldera blowing up (sorry to being that up....lots of people do a very good job of ignoring that threat for years at a stretch, apologies if the reader is one of them).

What we'll have instead is far, far worse than violence, in my book. Violence is big and easy to get your brain around: you're there, then you're dead. What I fear is a slow shift, a gradual turning up of the heat, a very subtle enslavement to artificial emotional content that guides, then, the last remaining humans into ovens of their own devising, destroying them with unintended consequence. All our endeavor, wrapped in a bit-blasted firehose of data that then assumes the guiding principals of our beings. We lose to the thirty second commercial, the internet meme, the America's Next Dance Model canned loneliness of a consumer existence, reprogrammed to buy, eat, die.

Fuck that. Give me a gun and a civil war any day.

[ Parent ]
Oddly, by technician (2.00 / 0) #77 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:48:13 PM EST
I've had the opposite experience. But not directly.

I had family in the path of Katrina. My 80-something year old grandfather and his girlfriend were directly in the path; he lost everything he owned. Her neighborhood was on slightly high ground, so he moved there.

The lived with a small group of people for 16 days, then made contact with the rest of the family. One of my..what...second cousins? died in Meterie when his house essentially shifted and collapsed on top of him.

Days and days. My grandfather and Elaine made it out, driving slowly across a wasteland of zero "law" and not much authority.

You know what? He's 90.

You know what else?

You're still alive.

In ten seconds, that could change. So, does the government matter to you now? In ten seconds? In a day? In three days? Can you predict your life in 48 hours?


So. You can't control them. They can't control you. What maintains the structure?

[ Parent ]
Good luck, bad luck by theboz (4.00 / 1) #78 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 01:28:57 AM EST
I agree with you about how everything is basically outside of our control.  In fact, I would argue even more that preparations and planning for an a government-ending emergency are sort of a psychological security blanket to help us deal with randomness and unpredictability.  It's great that your grandfather and his girlfriend made it out safely and with the support of his girlfriend's neighbor and it's too bad your second cousin died.  Both of those cases sort of show how random it all is though.  You can only prepare so much, but at the end of the day, random shit happens.

As far as the government is concerned, they do affect my life on a daily basis whether I actively interact with them or not.  The thing that I've learned is that we are extremely dependent on others, especially the government, to survive.  We are probably the largest society of people in the history of mankind.  We are a globally tied together culture of every nation and every government, made up of individuals, affects others.  I recognize my limitations and know that I have very little control over my life.  I depend on others, most of whom I would never even meet, for my survival.  That's the reality of our world today.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
I agree by technician (2.00 / 0) #97 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 12:58:43 PM EST
on the being extremely dependent on others. The mechanics of the government rely on that.

What I'm saying is, ultimately, your reliance is on other people playing by the rules they believe to be truth. If the masses become hysterical then regardless of government, the masses will determine your existence. The government didn't disappear while you were on the road with your family. Your reliance on it didn't change, and it's reliance on you didn't change. The government's capability with regard to your life didn't get worse or better; they can now be as involved as you'd have liked them to have been, but they won't.

They could cease to be, and you'd continue until the people around you (or you) freaked out about it and determined that you needed control. But while the government's capability and possible actions have changed, the reality is precisely the same: you rely on people doing what is best. You're in your car, stuck in traffic with an Asian family trying to push its way into the line, what prevented you from stopping them? I saw video of people on the road stopping cars from driving the shoulder....why? And, would the presence of some authority have changed any of that behavior?

In those rarefied instances where the earth is conspiring against humanity, the equations change in ways that can't be regarded as a model for behavior in other instances. You mention the story (I'd linked to it on facebook some time ago) about war-torn life in a war-torn area, and that people who had stuff or were prepared were perceived as jerks, but you missed the underlying thread: that everything was oddly the same. That without any sort of rational authority, people worked it out because they had no other method; they feared chaos, so they became functionally cooperative.

That's not to say everything would be safe or good, but it isn't now either. You're comfortable with your reliance on a fiction; that's fine because the fiction also defines a whole shitload of reality around you (money, cops, transactions based on agreed values, etc). That doesn't mean that the only way to exist is within that framework. At any given moment, the possibility of a completely new existence is the same as the possibility of the current one. A few months ago, an airplane crashed into a building across the street. Nothing could have predicted that, and nothing could have prevented it. The government being in control of our lives didn't change that.

So: when it comes to systems falling apart and the reactions of the dependents, nothing can be truthfully predicted except the underlying truth: change will then happen, and nothing will be the same. The fallout in human lives may be a percentage higher or lower than any average deadly day on the roads of America, but the net effect will be something new.

Like the hurricane evacuation corridor that now exists between Houston an Austin: a fundamental change in the way that people are allowed to behave within the system they subscribe to.

So, if the system falls completely apart, yeah, it sucks...but it'll not suck any less if it fails to fall apart. It will simply continue becoming what it always was, and eventually the weight of what it is will force some change. That may be violent. It may be un-noticed. It may not happen in our lives. But it may be forced into a faster cycle because of the speed and saturation of media in today's broadband market. When politics (as a system) is unable to adapt to the higher speed and lower retention of the average media consumer, the system will either have to fundamentally shift, or fail.

Just my theory.

I haven't been able to use my head in at least a week...this has been fun.

[ Parent ]
I don't totally disagree by theboz (2.00 / 0) #99 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:05:54 PM EST
One thing that I'm not entirely sure of is in calling one's perception of reality to be a fiction.  As human beings we really aren't capable of complete objectivity so by that measurement everything that we can think of or be aware of is a fiction to a degree and it could become mentally paralyzing to truly see everything as a fiction.  For example, the concept of a "policeman" is different than the concept of a "god".  While it's true that both depend on a shared view of what defines each, one of those things can be measured against that shared definition, the other can not.

One reason I didn't get the same conclusion you did from that article about societal collapse is that I think outside of suburbia, what you are proposing is correct.  Within suburbia, nobody knows who their neighbors are for the most part, and even if they do, they will primarily take care of themselves and their immediate household even if it comes at the expense of their neighbors.  I know most of my neighbors in passing, some we've hung out with and been friends with to a degree, but a real test of that bond in my mind was Hurricane Ike, where everyone disappeared and did their own thing.  There was no sense of community for the most part.  I'm as guilty of that as anyone else, although I did call up some of our neighbors on the phone if we knew them well enough.

Based on this, the precedent I've seen is that if the shit hits the fan, everyone will scatter from the suburbs to go somewhere they perceive as "safe".  There may be light contact and help, but our modern culture and society is not set up 1) for community interaction based on physical proximity, and 2) our society is not set up to be independent.  To word it differently than I said in a prior comment here, I don't have a well to get my own water, and even if I did, it's likely that some chemical runoff from many different sources would pollute it as society broke down.  I don't have enough land to grow crops to feed a family of four.  My house requires electricity, as it wasn't designed like older houses that existed prior to air conditioning.

As a result of all of this and many more factors, if things started to go south, my plan would be to escape.  I have relatives and in-laws that do grow food for a living.  People who have farmhouses in rural areas.  We have a few options both in and out of the country, so if such an event ever happened we would pick one based on the circumstances.  I think that my situation is unusual.  Coming from basically a mix of poor white trash, recent European immigrants, and on my wife's side a well to do Mexican family that makes money legitimately, we have a lot more options than most people.  Also, I'm crazy, so if we had no society for a while I'm going to go walk across the major road near my house and shoot a horse, field dress it, then grill it on my Weber.  You probably would too, but by my estimations most people wouldn't have the guts or knowledge to do it.

Anyway, back to the topic, you say that, "if the system falls completely apart, yeah, it sucks...but it'll not suck any less if it fails to fall apart."  I guess I'm too focused on things like metrics as a result of my job, but I would judge your statement false based on various quality of life measurements.  For example, society breaking down and there being a shortage of medicines because our infrastructure requires these mega corporations (who require electricity, ingredients, transportation, fuel, roads, stores to sell them in, and a common currency, etc.) to produce medicine.  As a result of society breaking down, medicine would become scarce and ultimately unavailable altogether.  People's lives would be noticeably worse off as sickness would spread, and more people would die from preventative diseases.  That is something you can easily measure, and if you are concerned about people living long, healthy lives, you would say that access to medicine is superior to no access to medicine.  There are many other areas you could measure that would suffer just as dramatically if our society collapsed.

I guess I'm trying to understand your point of view, but I think you're being more philosophical and I'm being more practical.  I grew up with the whole myth of "self reliance" and I've since rejected it.  It seems like you do believe it is possible, so that may also be where our disconnect exists.  Our society does have a lot of problems that you and I agree upon.  I'm just about the only person I know that doesn't really watch TV and I don't know anyone else at work that doesn't have cable or satellite.  I'm the only person in the office that raised their kids to prefer fruit to candy and not develop a taste for chicken nuggets and fake juice.  From my perspective, I want to be responsible for my own fate as much as possible while also taking advantage of the good things about living in a society.  Humans are a pack animal, and I think it's mostly served us well.  We have professions that would be completely impractical if we were still hunter-gatherers.  Our professions aren't just fluff like they often feel like when we are disconnected from their impact.  We enable other people to process information which allows them to make decisions quickly and communicate more broadly with each other.  Society allows specialization, and ultra-specialization like we have in our society, which allows people to push the boundaries of what is possible for humans to do.

So in my mind, if I had to focus on survival skills just to survive, I would not be living up to my full potential.  Hell, I'm not even living up to it now, but I'm doing a lot better than I would be if I had to find potable water day to day going through some wasteland of decrepit factories and refineries.  In some sense, I can understand the desire for a simple life without the bad things of modern society.  At the same time, I think it's possible to live a hybridized lifestyle where you shun the bad things in our society and focus on the good, which frees you up to embrace more simplicity as well.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
I'll mention a couple of things, by technician (2.00 / 0) #100 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 04:17:30 PM EST
since my headache has returned, they may not be that well formed. Stupid brain tumors.

Anyhow: If the system falls apart, your lifestyle metrics would take a hit. Mine wouldn't. Carrying your assumption to the lives of those around you is safe, but an assumption nonetheless. Even in my rough neighborhood, there would have to be a nuclear-type event before we'd be shooting one another more than we do now.

My thinking is less to do with philosophy and more to do with reality. I'm not advocating self reliance, I'm just pointing out that the majority of your time is spent reliant on other people, but not on the government. You rely on what those people do, and what they do is based on some degree of self interest. Maybe that's my big assumption, but what I'm saying is: if Washington DC failed to exist (asteroid, maybe? Revolution?) your existence would not fundamentally change until you changed it. You could continue to rely on other people, though what they are relying on may shift their behavior in an unacceptable fashion...but I don't think this would be the case. Based entirely on things like natural disasters, failed economies, and communes (and within the scope of the United States alone), I can say with some degree of certainty that things would continue on just fine, with some very violent exceptions that would be brief and easy to avoid (which is the same right now). I'm saying, there is no complete collapse of society possible if politics fail. It would take a nuke, an asteroid, a pandemic based on racial characteristics...zombies...something HUGE. And that, my friend, if it were to happen, would be a great time to take out insurance on me, 'cause I'd off myself.

So. Republicans are in charge, the system can't keep up, and $something happens. That's the thing we're both catching on. $something isn't the complete collapse of society. Its the collapse of the political system. Can we survive that? Fuck yeah, we're doing it right now! My political system collapsed when Republicans were elected by well meaning idiots. And yet, here I am. Everything is OK. The Republicans I work with are not sticking me with any sharpened sticks. In the vast gray area that is life, we're on a dark patch, but it isn't killing us. It's a fiction. A perception. The actual mechanics of the society we exist in? They're just fine, minus some details that don't really affect whether I can buy food at HEB.

See? The scale of this in everyone's mind is HUGE, but it isn't. Politics are a system, and that system is going to fail. Oh well. Time to compile a new kernel, drink my tea, and go home. There is no Somalia in our system, no means to propagate that systemic collapse without a compromise of epic fucking proportion.

That's all, really. When the revolution takes place, we might not even notice if we aren't paying attention to the memetic flow at that instant. The mass of us will go on, and the system will change to accommodate that.

[ Parent ]
I see things still a bit differently by theboz (2.00 / 0) #108 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 12:43:59 PM EST
Our political system is a democracy (we have consented to corruption and out of touch politicians acting against our best interests out of comfortable laziness.)  In this system, the government really is an extension of the people.  So for the government to completely collapse, it would mean that things got so bad that the mass of people would be unable to influence the government.  In your scenario of D.C. failing to exist anymore, the rest of the government would still be in place so you are absolutely right, our lives would go on similarly to how they are now.  I see 9/11 as an example, in that it did change a lot of things, but realistically most of those things don't affect me on a daily basis.

So on the scale of emergency you are talking about, the "revolution", I see that as basically being built in to the election process.  Realistically, we all keep voting for the same two corporate parties because overall our lives are much better off than those of our ancestors.  Metrics, as I mentioned before, agree with that.  We have a relatively good life span, we haven't had a draft or a major war in several decades, we are fairly well educated compared to our ancestors, etc.  We are a wealthy enough society that we can afford to be dumbasses that work soul-less jobs then go home to watch TV all night while eating our McDonalds.  We're a pretty rich society and a few small modifications, even if it were a landslide for one political party or another, it would be about the same.

On the other hand, I could see, for example, the Tea Party seizing power of everything then it would affect us in our daily lives if they turned out to be a major radical movement.  They have potential to make policies that have a major impact.  For example, Ron Paul wants to end public education.  You don't have kids, but I know that would have a huge impact on me going forward.  It would take time, but it would result in a much higher crime rate as the ranks of the have-nots would swell and they would rob those of us that could keep our decent jobs and houses.  We'd have to pay private security as part of our HOA, and we'd likely need to be packing to drive to work.  In my case, I'd probably have to move closer to work as the suburbs would fall into poverty, and I'd have to get maybe a one or two bedroom apartment so I could afford to send my kids to private school.  So depending on how much power they have to change things, I can see it affecting our daily lives.

From my perspective, a real revolution isn't as much what you were talking about.  That seems more like a slight shift from the status quo.  I see worse things as being possible right now.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
Also, by technician (2.00 / 0) #103 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:06:40 PM EST
I shall miss Russ Feingold. by ana (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:25:40 AM EST
He was my state senator before he ran for the federal senate seat. He's a very reasonable guy, and had one of the more varied voting records in the whole place. I'm afraid for bipartisan cooperation, which will now be more important than ever.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

One for two by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:39:02 AM EST
Change, hope.  Hopey, change.  Changey change.  Hopey hope.

Har. by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 3) #13 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:27:57 AM EST
You know, I hope you some day get your chance to live in a right wing hell like you want oh so very bad.


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

[ Parent ]
He grew up under Thatcher by marvin (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:24:34 PM EST
Is that close enough?

[ Parent ]
He wants Dallas and/or Houston let him have Texas. by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:48:14 PM EST
<Not Texan>


<no matter how many "howdy"s you get from me>

[ Parent ]
we'll have him move next door to my parents by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:21:46 PM EST
All kinds of hell there.

[ Parent ]
Ding ding. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:44:27 PM EST
I have a feeling my "right wing" is a good deal less "right wing" than you think. 

What is "right wing" anyway?  To you, I mean.  Not having the state do everything doesn't mean the end of civilisation.

[ Parent ]
There's right wing and there's batshit. by iGrrrl (4.00 / 3) #46 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:03:05 PM EST
And by batshit I mean making decisions based on emotional responses whipped up in the face of untrue "facts."

Right wing, in terms of fiscal responsibility? I don't have a problem with it. Right wing in terms of laissez faire everything? I have a problem with it. I'm old enough to remember why the Clean Water and Clean Air acts were written. We had rivers on fire, and brown clouds over cities. All of the corrections were not good for the short-term bottom line of the businesses that came under regulation, but they've been very good for the health of the population. And healthy people are more productive workers.

But the current Tea Party folks don't know the history or even the Constitution, although they invoke the words often. They think Franklin, Jefferson, Washington would all be conservatives of Tea Party leanings. These men were radicals in their time, and would be appalled at the invocation of religion. I have the true conservatives of that era in my lineage. They were called Tories. They did not want to rebel against their king, and they thought everyone should be in the Church of England. It was even in many constitutions of the original colonies.

The Tea Party folks do their reasoning from a set of propositions that have no basis in fact. And the reasoning is tainted by fear.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
Do you believe by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #56 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:03:18 PM EST
that one person - one group - has a monopoly on objective truth? I don't and I'm skeptical of the claims by people who claim they do.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
How can a group have a monopoly on the truth? by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #67 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:35:05 PM EST
There's historical fact (Obama was born in the US; Al Qaeda was not a power in Iraq before we invaded). There are conjectures based on models (economics). There are conjectures based on fact presented as fact.

A good example of the last would be discussions of "trickle-down" economics, which is being proposed again under a different name. You could argue that the Reagan era proved it didn't work. You could argue that the surplus of the Clinton years is a result of Reagan policies because economic shifts take time. I don't know. Having been a tax payer during the Reagan years (and my taxes on the <$20K I made went up after his "tax cut"), my sense is that it didn't work, but it's all modeling and conjecture. The "tax and spend" label on the democrats is interesting because budget deficits went up under Reagan and Bush II. (Oh, right. Spend without taxing. Jesus is coming soon, so we won't have to pay the Chinese.)

But "birthers" and painting Obama as a fascist for promoting health care when it was Bush who put in the state-sponsored, Constitution-flouting spying that is the hallmark of fascist regimes? Blaming Clinton for Sept 11? The same people who painted Clinton's anti-terrorist efforts as "Wagging the dog"? Facts are facts. Reasoned conjectures are reasoned conjectures. Opinions are opinions. Lies are lies.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
It's not trickle-down economics by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #75 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:53:13 PM EST
That's the fourth - possibly fifth - name that it had.

The oldest name I can definitely identify for the exact same theory in the United States is the "horse and sparrow theory" from the 1870s, where it was compared to feeding a horse grain. Some of the grain will be contained in the horse's feces and eaten by the sparrows, therefore negating the need to feed the sparrows directly.

The game has been going on for a long time without significant changes.

[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda in Iraq: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #81 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:40:08 AM EST
There's a good example. I think that, in light of the quickness and ease that AQ set up operations in Iraq, an unclear timetable of their operations, and the subjective definition of the term power, it is likely no one group will ever be the keeper of the truth for that question. Far too many informed and differing perspectives on that issue. In comparison, the Birther nonsense is cut and dry. Hanlon's Razor would certainly apply when trying to support a conspiracy of that magnitude.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
AQ in Iraq by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #85 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:34:04 AM EST
Pre-invasion II, Iraq was a dictatorship run from a secular powerbase. The existence of an internal movement with a theocratic powerbase would not be acceptable to the regime. As far as it was concerned, the only good terrorist was a dead terrorist (martyrs make good propaganda, but are not a political threat).

Post-invasion II, Iraq was an anarchy. The situation was remarkably similar to post-soviet Afghanistan, and perfect for AQ to mosey in. Being the most obvious "enemy-of-Iraq's-enemy" didn't hurt either.

How this could justify anyone believing Chaney's continual assertions of Iraq involvement implies faulty (if any) thinking.


[ Parent ]
I believe AQ in Iraq, prior to invasion by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #94 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:25:40 AM EST
had a substantial support network in place, even if they didn't operate openly. I believe the embargo weakened Hussein's security apparatus and the place was crawling with foreign operatives.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Terrorists in pre-invasion Iraq by Captain Tenille (2.00 / 0) #96 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:52:24 AM EST
They did let Abu Nidal stay there for quite a while, until he apparently committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest repeatedly (according to the Iraqi government). 


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

[ Parent ]
Well by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #90 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:00:13 AM EST
it was Bush who put in the state-sponsored, Constitution-flouting spying that is the hallmark of fascist regimes

Has any of it been repealed yet?  Not backing it out is not as bad as introducing it in the first place, but it's still bad.

[ Parent ]
I agree by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #91 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:36:49 AM EST
That was my first disappointment with Obama.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
Echoed by mine own "government" by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #105 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:22:17 PM EST
Coalition party's line.

They attacked it in opposition, now they're in the driving seat and it's "one of the options we're looking at".

And yet they (I include your country's as well as mine on this one) lecture us on "change" before election, then post election it's either "nothing we can do" or "in due course" if they find the legislation potentially useful.

Ratchet effect.

Whilst I have no time for a lot of the tea party crazies, this is a reaction to the politics du jour I think. 

No one else represents me, I'm going off message.

[ Parent ]
I actually have a representative who represents me by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #107 Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 07:35:09 AM EST
It's rather astonishing, but then, I live in Barney Frank's district.

At the state level? Not so much.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
True by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #57 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:36:44 PM EST
But in between "government doing everything" and "government doing nothing" there's a workable compromise that I don't see coming from existing "left" or "right" parties.

[ Parent ]
Agreed by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #65 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:23:18 PM EST
Modern Whig anyone?
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat
[ Parent ]
At a glance by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #89 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:58:13 AM EST
That looks like something along the lines of what I was aiming at.

Sort of - fiscal responsibility so we won't waste your money and we can keep your tax bill down, but we're not going to let people die on the streets of starvation or for lack of medical care.  We'll educate your kids well, and whatever you do in the privacy of your own home is none of our business.

[ Parent ]
While I have no particular love for fiscal cons by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 1) #63 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:11:18 PM EST
It's the social conservatives that I absolutely cannot abide. The sort of people who think a separation of Church and State is a bad thing, that we should abolish the public schools, that gays shouldn't have the same basic rights as everyone else, that children should be taught that the Earth is 6000 years old, that the United States is a Christian Nation™, that atheists are, at best, not Real Americans™. You know, that sort of thing.

The Right in America is now inextricably bound to Christian conservatives. I have no desire to live under that.


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

[ Parent ]
And where do you think by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #87 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:53:37 AM EST
I sit on the secular society?

[ Parent ]
I truly have no idea. n/t by Captain Tenille (2.00 / 0) #95 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 11:46:05 AM EST


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

[ Parent ]
Well done you! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #106 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:26:39 PM EST
I thought you'd consigned me to some place where I'd get my "chance to live in a right wing hell like you want oh so very bad."

Any further evidence I would like to live in a "hell", at all?

[ Parent ]
As far as I know, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #109 Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 11:46:57 AM EST
I'm the only churchgoing European on this site. And I'm quite fierce in my belief that the minute you start legislating belief rather than public safety is the moment everything goes wrong with the integrity of the religious.

[ Parent ]
so i heard some of obama's press conference by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:18:28 PM EST
this morning, while i was driving.

in some ways i liked it: he was reflective, self-doubting, analytical. he's my people, if that makes any sense.

but: he's also terrible at projecting empathy, and came off a bit like an abstract analytical professor.

which can't be helpful - it's the one thing clinton was better at.

still, the fundamental takeway is that we elected the democrats to do certain things in 2008. they tried. the republicans in the senate blocked them at every juncture, and we just rewarded them for it by giving them control of the house.

the american public appears to be speaking, but all that's coming out is inarticulate, incomprehensible rage.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Realities by Gedvondur (4.00 / 4) #27 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:26:26 PM EST
He's a man who went to Washington to make compromises and get things done.

His opponents knew this.  Easiest way to defeat a compromiser is to never compromise.  Just say NO and watch the fun happen.

He's an intellectual in a country that has declared war on knowledge and expertise.

The idea that the "man on the street" is the best candidate to govern is insane on its face. Just talk to the average man on the street.  A wise man, (Churchill I think) said that the average voter was the best argument against democracy.

"Adrenaline dumbs pain" - xth
[ Parent ]
.quote by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #74 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:35:47 PM EST
"The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter."

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Has anyone had by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #86 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:43:46 AM EST
a five minute discussion with the average politician?


[ Parent ]
What's really fun is watching the Republicans by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #16 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:57:11 AM EST
claim that, having won the House, they have no responsibility at all for actually governing. If they really try that the Democrats will win big in 2012.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

but that's what they campaigned on by infinitera (4.00 / 1) #41 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:19:24 PM EST
Preventing Obama from governing.

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
In the trenches by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #48 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:06:57 PM EST
That will turn into "you didn't give us both houses, so we couldn't get it done. Fix that next time, will you?"

The big problem is, many will believe it.

[ Parent ]
fixing it for you ... by BlueOregon (4.00 / 2) #17 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 11:58:15 AM EST
Shooting from the hip:
Fuck the poor and go to war ...
Got what we deserved.
Yeah, Wisconsin traded down to a guy with 1) no ideas, 2) no seniority ... there goes your 'voice' in Washington. I'll miss Russ, even though I'm now in the scary, sleepy South; he was one of the few left I'd consider more a 'statesman' than a 'politician.'

Always remember by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:58:26 PM EST
the average person is just average.

remember also by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #47 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:06:12 PM EST
That the average IQ is about 100, which is the point at which abstract reasoning is seen, including the ability to see shades of gray, rather than a black and white world.

And half the people you meet? They are below average.
"I honestly pity the stupid motherfucker who tries to talk down to iGrrrl" - mrgoat

[ Parent ]
Among some population groups by chuckles (1.00 / 1) #62 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:57:19 PM EST
average IQ is 85.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure you could actually class by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #72 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:06:33 PM EST
racist trolls as a population group. But thanks for drawing attention to your sad plight.

[ Parent ]
Seven ! [nt] by Phage (4.00 / 1) #84 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 07:16:52 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Do you want democracy, or not? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #43 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:32:58 PM EST
You seem partisan and your side lost. That's how it goes sometimes, so dry your tears and better luck next round.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Oh fuck OFF. by notafurry (4.00 / 3) #50 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:18:11 PM EST
It's not that Party A won and Party B lost. Most of us could give a fuck one way or the other, and most importantly of all, Party A doesn't mean liberal and Party B doesn't mean conservative.

The issue is that the side that won did so for inexplicably batshit reasons, arguing their positions n the basis of fear, loud voices, and blurred reasoning. You want to disagree with me on an issue? Fine. You want to disagree on the basis of "facts" that aren't real and "reasoning" from a demagogue who wouldn't know the phrase "circular logic" if it was written in paint across the center of his useless chalkboard? Now we have an issue.

[ Parent ]
Everyone who votes does so on the basis of fear. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #51 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:36:56 PM EST
Fear's a great motivator. It's sad that you haven't learned that at your age.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #52 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:47:50 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by aphrael

[ Parent ]
This is not a binary condition. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #53 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:52:54 PM EST
Fear of "loss of ____" is always present in the voters' minds, anywhere you'll find people able to vote.

Also, I'm totally unsurprised that a British subject would recognize a fellow serf. You'll have to post a better statement if you're trying to shock me.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
you've embraced your serfdom. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #60 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 05:46:35 PM EST
and seem to be celebrating it, as well as calling out as fools those who believe it can be different.

doesn't that make you a pimp, of sorts?
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
After ten years as a cop... by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #80 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:30:02 AM EST
I have accepted that you have more control over the weather than you have control over your fellow man's bad behavior. I just don't care any more. Humanity will disappoint you eventually, aph.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
nah by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #54 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 04:56:20 PM EST
fear, anger and unhappiness are the norm in this culture, but they're not absolutes.

"Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in financial crises." -Krugman

[ Parent ]
Fear by R343L (2.00 / 0) #69 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:41:17 PM EST
It's because of fear of crime that we currently have a judicial system that locks people up for minor drug crimes, takes their property away without trial (civil forfeiture), allows police to be brutal and thuggish (SWAT teams, cops shooting unarmed "criminals", etc.), underfunds public defender and so forth. People fear criminals -- even though crime has largely been going down or stayed the same -- and thus support politicians and laws that are "tougher" on crime. We increase the punishments for minor crimes, demand mandatory sentencing, turn our eyes from police brutality, and let prosecutors and police get away with misconduct and murder (literaly in the case of police shootings). All because the people fear crime that isn't even happening.

Surely for this reason we should try to convince people to move past their fears when voting instead of cynically saying all voting is out of fear and that's just the way it is.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Oh, there's some horrific crime happening. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #79 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 03:25:17 AM EST
All around you and the main issue is that, with due caution, it's not likely to happen to you. I hate to play the blame the victim card, but people who associate with those in the drug trade, or people who antagonize and abuse mentally-ill family members and end up as long pig during a staged home invasion really ought to have known better.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
waht's going to be fun to watch. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #64 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 06:21:25 PM EST
Is the Tea-Party er Baggers, lose their shit when their winners don't actual do what they promised to do.  Listen to the first part of this last week's This American Life.  The GOP is using the Tea Party freaks and using them well.

That will be blamed on liberal obstructionism by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #76 Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:56:23 PM EST
And refusal to compromise.

[ Parent ]
no I don't think so. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #102 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 05:24:51 PM EST
I actually believe that the Tea Baggers are going to primary everyone in two years, and in fact will probably primary those of their own group.

The GOP will be prepared though.


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #82 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 05:33:04 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky

It's the economy stupid by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #92 Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 10:07:27 AM EST
Let's face it - when the Dems took control a couple years ago it was arguably under the most challenging conditions since the great depression. The fact that things are still troubled, albeit much less so, is the only thing the majority of people see.

GWB got elected in 2004 primarily because the economy was rolling right along. His dad (who IMHO was a much better President than his son) lost to Bill Clinton because the economy went south on his watch. People vote with their bank accounts regardless of whether it's against their best interests or not.

Plus - the right seems to have figured out how to campaign. They do a much better job of it. GWB was in my opinion one of the worst presidents of my lifetime but that guy had the team in place that knew how to get him in office and keep him there.

So - if you're unhappy with the way things went this week I suspect you're going to be even more unhappy in a few years when the new President is voted in - because unless we start to see some serious economic growth Obama is doomed, doomed I tell you, to be one term President.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

Oh, fuck it. | 109 comments (109 topical, 0 hidden)