Business Party II slithers by Business Party I

Now that Barack Obama has been hanging out in the Oval Office for a whopping two weeks, he’s starting to show his true colors. Turns out those colors aren’t bright blue. They’re purple, with a red tinge. Obama has bought into the Calvin Coolidge notion that, “The business of America is business.”

In other words, damn the torpedoes. It’s full steam ahead for the idea of economic growth, even though Obama surely knows the days of economic growth are behind us.
Obama is well-informed, and he’s intelligent. He must know the 0.5% annual decline in crude oil during the last three years has plunged us into our current economic turmoil. And he surely knows the International Energy Agency has projected an annual decline rate of 9.1% starting this year. He knows the empire lives on cheap oil, as Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez recently explained. Obama knows that a 9.1% decline translates to world oil extraction at the end of his first term approximately matching that of 1970, when the world was far less industrialized than it is today, and when the world’s population was approximately half today’s 6.7 billion. As Chris Hedges points out, “It’s Not Going to Be OK.” Hedges doesn’t even mention unemployment is at 18% and skyrocketing, GDP is at -4% and freefalling, and we haven’t even begun to scrape the economic bottom yet. When (if?) stock traders catch a clue, capitulation could happen overnight.
The “solution” couldn’t be more obvious: Keep pushing the idea that we’ll grow our way out of this mess. Keep adhering to the ideology of a cancer cell, growth for the sake of growth. To make sure everybody’s on board with Mission Impossible, Obama has began populating his administration with Republicans. This makes sense, if only because we are all Republicans now.
Consider, for example, Obama’s recent selection of Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire as Secretary of Commerce (a position made available when Bill Richardson bailed out due to ethics issues). Not everybody thinks this is a good idea, in part because Gregg has earned a lifetime rating of 4% from the AFL-CIO, the obvious flagship group the Commerce Department’s actions should be targeting. Now that Republicans have very little power at the national level they’re warming to the idea of bipartisanship in ways I never dreamed possible when they controlled the House, the Senate, and the presidency. Obama is trying to appease the right, knowing his base will put up with anything he does, at least for a while. My initial thought about Obama’s selection of Gregg: The Democratic governor of New Hampshire will appoint a Democrat, thus giving the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.
But, no. The governor has already agreed to appoint Gregg’s hand-picked successor. If anybody still thought we had a functional two-party system in this country, you should be disabused of that quaint notion by now.
Which brings us back to Chris Hedges and his recent assessment, which begins thusly: “The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time. When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability.”
For many years, I thought Sinclair Lewis nailed it in his 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here: “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Now I’m inclined to believe we need to put a little twist on the genius of Lewis: “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a disposable diaper and carrying an iPod.”
Looks like we’re there.

Comments 39

  • Anybody got a good Hoover cart for sale?

  • A few quick questions…
    1. Current unemployment is sitting around 7 – 11 percent. Just because a website says so, does make it so. I can say that a global Avian flu pandemic is going to kick off tomorrow and show quite a few really good reasons it’s going to, but is it? No. Since you’re a professor in college I’ll give you one or two references using the internet, but I’m going to need more proof than a website.
    2. I’m at a total loss here as to how you might think that a Democratic filibuster proof majority could possibly be a good thing. Considering that their new stimulus package is anything but stimulating, unless you count the big fat cat payoffs to the various Obamunists around “Stimulus.” The whole reason we’ve got the House and Senate independent of each other is specifically to prevent just such a thing from developing. Just for the record I would be just as against a Republican filibuster proof majority. The possibility of one party shoving whatever garbage down the rest of the country’s throats is a very, very bad thing. Think Bush&Co was bad? P.Bo will be worse.
    3. Which Republican bipartisanship are you speaking of? the Republicans in the house all voted no to the stimulus bill. When it fails horribly, they’ll be unscathed. I’m glad they voted no, but mad they didn’t filibuster it outright. It’s a bad bill full of pork and earmarks, in stark contrast to P.Bo’s election promises.
    4. I’m forced to quote you: “But, no. The governor has already agreed to appoint Gregg’s hand-picked successor. If anybody still thought we had a functional two-party system in this country, you should be disabused of that quaint notion by now.”
    Did I miss something? Granted both parties are kind of working against all us non political elites now, but how does a Democrat selecting a Republican to fill a seat a Republican is vacating constitute single party rule? I’d have thought you’d be specifically against this with your comment. What happened to bipartisanship and working together? Does that only count when it’s to get what you want? hmm…
    5. This one is in regards to the paragraph where you cite Chris Hedges. Exactly how does a whopping trillion dollar expenditure in mostly political payoffs create more jobs and stabilize/stimulate our economy? The simple answer is: It won’t.
    We needed the market to correct itself but instead we had Bush and now have P.Bo cranking up the printing presses to never before seen levels of insanity and flooding the markets with liquidity. That one’s going to come back and bite us in the ass, you mark my words. It sucked when oil was hovering around the $140 a barrel mark. With them quite literally DOUBLING the amount of liquidity in the market, compounding inflation, what might the price for a barrel be now? I don’t know either, but you’re going to get to see it mighty quick, and you’re definitely not going to like it.
    Guy, when Fascism came to America it was wrapped in “Hope” and “Change” and held a sign that read, “Yes We Can.” The analogous meteoric rise to power, the throngs of frenzied supporters, and the near deification of P.Bo by said supporters reminds me of someone… Wasn’t he the son of Alois and Klara who was rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna? I just can’t put my finger on his name…
    Someone’ll be able to. I guarantee it.

  • ah….
    as nature bats last,
    it also produces a
    ‘black swan’.
    put simply and to quote
    your beloved rumsfeld
    there are ‘known unknowns’
    to paraphrase galbraith –
    the role of economic forecasting
    is to make astrology look respectable,
    the point is we are all pissing into the wind
    when it comes crystal balling
    there is some serious shit out there and
    we really cant predict the outcomes
    – dire or otherwise
    here the government has issued a 45 billion
    stimulus package (30 billion USD),
    which includes free insulation in your roof!
    the problem is if we deleveraged/reduced our
    personal debt by 5%, this would take
    away 100 billion from the oz economy,
    this 100 billion could of been spent elsewhere
    in the economy
    talk about pissing in to the wind!
    regarding your Mr O,
    the problem with politics is that the
    government always gets in

  • Memo to Turboguy:
    1. Calculation of the statistics at is completely transparent (unlike anything you’ll see from the Obama administration), as explained at the top of the website.
    2. I’ve not revealed my opinion about a filibuster-proof majority. But I thought Dems, including Obama, might think it was a good thing. That’s what power, including political power, is all about.
    3. Bipartisanship is the buzz of the day. Listen to any political “leader” on the radio or TV for more than a few minutes and try to come up with a more frequently used term.
    4. Exactly. The Dems think they’re different from the Repubs, and vice versa. They work hard to market themselves differently, yet they end up looking, sounding, and smelling alike.
    5. The trillion-dollar payout will buy a little time, which is all the government can do at this point. Letting the market “correct” means letting it capitulate. Had it not been for massive governmental intervention at least three times since 11 September 2008, we’d already have capitulation and therefore lights out in the empire. I, of course, would view that as a good thing. But I’m surprised you would, Turboguy.

  • Memo to Professor Guy and Total Turboguy:
    Quite arguing over minutia.Please shift your focus to something important and let’s have a serious,intellectual discussion about this:How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Think you’re above that? Just a very few hundred years ago that was the most important philosophical argument in sophisticated thinking.
    And just think of this: This all started when I defended Total’s right to bear arms.
    What did I start ??
    Sensible Frank (The intellectual conscious of this site)

  • Frank, I appreciate people seeking clarification, whether it’s on this blog, in the classes I teach, or in the papers I write. In my experience, that’s how we progress toward reliable knowledge.

  • Hey – nothing wrong with purple. Nebraska is purple.
    I would just point out that a lot of tinfoil hatters were predicting that the Shrub would bring fascism by trying to stay in office – and he exited rather gracefully, all things considered. In playing my usual role of gadfly around here, I doubt that fascism is coming on Obama’s watch. Further, given that Obama is a smart cat, if he really believed that peak oil effects were going to take such massive hold in his first term, I think, being a politician, he would thinking of his second term – and taking some sort of action. He isn’t, so I conclude that he doesn’t. The folks here will just say he doesn’t know any better, then. Maybe you’re right. But maybe things aren’t as grim as you think, either.

  • Who’s arguing? I asked for clarification on a few of his points, he cleared them up. If I go off and make a statement and he questions it, I have no trouble with that, I simply answer him. Getting questioned on your views is a very good thing. Preaching to the choir all the time isn’t any fun and you don’t learn anything from it at all.
    Just because some people get all offended when someone challenges them on an opinion doesn’t mean everyone does, especially me. When I ask Guy to clarify, or ask him why he said what he did, I’m not attacking him personally and I think (Hope) he understands this. This is far from being an argument. Also two posts does not an argument make. I wouldn’t even call this a debate at this point.
    The ability to avoide offense when someone challenged your views is sorely lacking in this day and age. I want to be challenged! Political correctness is intellectual fascism.

  • Question for Court:
    Where in Thailand are you and what are you doing there–if you’re free to tell us?

  • Frank and other curious folk — Court is a writer … check out his blog:

  • “Terrorist is what the big army calls the little army.”
    Why do we talk about fascism coming to America in the future tense? Or crusades in the past tense? The realm of human ignorance has no past and no future.
    Our group think for preservation of empire at any cost does not seem different from a fascist crusade. Perhaps you can help me to see how I should not feel guilty for this?
    Fascism is how power has been maintained for quite some time. As long as we can see an entity as separate and fight-able, our leaders will continue to play on our fears. -Just exactly what bin Laden predicted, in his great leap-frog endeavor in empire building. Americans have always had a war cause to rally together for, and to derive feelings of valiance or superiority from. It is the fabric of our nation.
    Prime example: Petty venture capitalism in the extreme is now the most hip thing to aspire to. Once counter-culture, rap/hip-hop has become the culture of not only our inner city youth, but also the mainstream-suburban diaper wearing (on head or otherwise)iPod fascists, as they emulate the more wealthy thug elite. Even young police officers listen to this stuff. (Job security?) Urban types have abandoned nature as inferior, and want something as far from natural environments as possible. After all, the police are only the biggest gang, and might is right. Praise the computer savior! Lest we forget the motto of our protectors: ~”Killing is our business and business is good.”
    Sustainable development, anyone?

  • I’m a police officer and I hate rap.
    Hate isn’t a strong enough word for what I feel toward rap… But I have a strong dislike for country too.
    I’m at a total loss as to how you can compare my coworkers and I with gangmembers. When was the last time someone called the Bloods to an elderly home to perform CPR on a woman that had gone through cardiac arrest? When was the last time you were pulled over by the Vice Lords and received only a ticket.

    Just want to catch some thoughts on this article where they’re saying that global warming is a sham and that humanity has zilch to do with it.
    I’m no scientist, just a gang member over here. Hang on, I gotta throw up the latest sign to my peeps! Okay, Yeah dog, now that I gots that outta the way I can get back to what I gots to say!
    Since you, Guy, are the scientist I’d love to see you contrast this one.

  • We give up our objectivity when we identify a group to hate.

  • Turboguy et al — The Washington Times is a notoriously conservative “news”paper, owned by the Unification Church (which was founded, and still is heavily influenced by Sun Myung Moon). I’ve never heard of the two authors of the opinion piece, and they cite no literature, scientific or otherwise. I’m inclined to side with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a huge international contingent of scientists who post all their reports at Unfortunately, the IPCC process requires consensus, which makes their conclusions extremely conservative (findings from all the other major groups studying global climate change are far more dire). Caveats aside, check out the temperature reconstruction from IPCC’s 2007 assessment and try to find evidence for global cooling: The governor of California recently asked state agencies to prepare contingency plans for sea-level rise of 55 feet, which will wipe out New York City, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Not to mention Florida. I think the governor of California is extremely optimistic in planning for only a 55-foot rise in mean sea level. A far more reasonable scenario, by 2100 at the very latest, is loss of all planetary ice. The only way I can see to prevent loss of all planetary ice and therefore the extinction (or near extinction) of our species is a world collapse of the industrial economy, within a year. Call me a dreamer, but I think we’re going to make it.

  • You don’t hate rap you hate the thought that the status quo is slipping from your grip. We (the police)must protect society from them (the gang bangers). Keep that element out of my sight and a job well done. Your job is to serve and protect the status quo. The status quo is killing us, so although I appreciate the CPR what I don’t appreciate is the obvious hatred in your tone and the pedestal you place yourself(the police) upon. There is a reason cop watch groups are a plenty in this country. There is a reason certain demographics are becoming endangered. There is a reason why white males w/ loads of testosterone become police officers. There is a reason the oppressed write songs that are anti-police. The reason is simple….you’re not the good guys. You bought into this mess more than anyone and you want to protect it at all costs.
    The indigenous people will inherit what was always theirs in the first place and watch the “civilized” perish.

  • leave the turbster alone,
    he is the only one here that
    makes me laugh – even inspite of
    the fact that he likes to bare arms
    in scientists i trust, the IPCC
    have been pretty rigorous,
    as lovelock suggests its too
    late, we should be laying the
    foundation for a sustainable retreat
    late news flash (wednesday)!
    the iceland government has
    made a request to the IWC
    (international whaling commission)
    to increase its yearly minke whale catch fom 40 to 300 +.
    They cited the financial crisis/economic situation
    as their primary reason to increase their quota.
    Apparently they want sell the meat to the chinese.
    guy and derrick you are going to need a new
    ‘platform’, ‘bringing it down’ will doom
    the biosphere and everything in it.
    the middle path? – herman daly perhaps?
    any comments about the steady state economic theory?
    every way you and try cut it
    its f*cked all over

  • No Privileged, I hate rap. It’s funny that you’ve got guys that are from fairly well off areas (Like Highland Park IL), never even having seen hardship coming up and talking about how many horrible things they’ve been party and privy to. Then there’s guys like me that actually had to scrape, kick and fight every day for everything I ever got that don’t need to constantly talk about it. Strange how that works isn’t it?
    You’re defending rappers that talk about how they’re woman beaters. To quote a song: “B**** said something I couldn’t believe, so I snatched her ass up by her nappy ass weave. Her dad got up and started to shout, so I threw a right cross and knocked his old ass out.” I’d have skipped the shouting part and just went in and beat him senseless. You hit a woman, I get to hit you. I call it a fair trade. And I can hit quite a lot harder than most. (12 years of kickboxing, four of wrestling, two years of golden gloves) I suppose if that’s the change in the status quo you desire, hey more power to you, but you’re eventually going to have to deal with me or someone just like me that’s a “white male w/ loads of testosterone” who isn’t partial to changing the part of the status quo that pertains to violence against women. Whatever stirs your oatmeal pal. The status quo isn’t what’s killing you, you’re doing a fantastic job of doing that to each other and it’s glorified in the stupid music you listen to. Seems like a self fufilling prophesy, don’t it?
    Then there’s the idiots that rap about how they’re going to get their “Glock automatic synthetic material” and do who knows what with it. Probably hold it sideways like an idiot and shoot up the innocent bystanders, ten year old girls studying at the dinner table, and the elderly widow’s house instead of ridding the world of each other with good shooting fundamentals which would be a beneficial thing for everyone.
    The fact that you actually have the audacity to defend idiots that regularly vilify themselves, glorify violence against not only innocents, but the police *AND* each other, rationalize violence against and objectification of women, etc is very illuminating. Very illuminating indeed. Then you talk about *MY* hate filled tone and how you don’t appreciate it? Tough rocks kiddo. I’d say that 90% of the hate is completely monopolized on your side of the fence anyway. Granted there are rappers like Atmosphere (Whom I grew up with and went to school with from K-12) that rap about things that are good and just, most commercial rap is little more than vitriol and extreme hate to a beat.
    Furthermore I love the police watch groups. Let me type that again: I love the police watch groups. It tries to keep cops honest. If you said that power corrupts, I’d happily agree with you. I’ve seen way too many times when a police officer overstepped his powers and got right into that grey area and I am the first to cry foul when they do. I’ve never lost a case, and I’ll tell you why. I follow the Constitution and case law to the letter and always err on the side of liberty. If I don’t think I’m going to be 100% legal in anything I do, I immediately stop. I’ll get them another day, they’re criminals after all. It’s not a job that requires a lot of cognitive function. If it did, they wouldn’t be criminals in the first place.
    So before you let your prejudices (Against the police) do the talking for you, check your idiotic pre-conceived notions at the door. You simply have no idea what you’re talking about.
    You said: “The indigenous people will inherit what was always theirs in the first place and watch the ‘civilized’ perish.” (Edited for punctuation)
    You mean Native Americans? Oh good, I’m a third one of those too. The big question is where will *YOU* be?
    I really love people like you. Honestly I do. I call them “Oxymoronic Hypocrites.” You completely hate the police and all that they stand for right up until you desperately need us. Then you’re screaming, “Why weren’t you there sooner?”

  • Haha Matt. Nice play on words. I just walk around and pull sleeves up randomly.
    “Bear Arms”
    Grr… That guy’s got his sleeves rolled down. I’ll fix his wagon and defend my status quo while I’m at it! Just let me get my whoopin’ stick. He’ll have those sleeves up in short order.

  • Thank you Guy, though I would posit that the article you cited in the original post was based on the research of extremely Liberal sources.
    Quote: “The political philosophers Sheldon S. Wolin, John Ralston Saul and Andrew Bacevich, as well as writers such as Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, David Korten and Naomi Klein, along with activists such as Bill McKibben and Ralph Nader, rang the alarm bells.”
    Granted the odds of finding a truly neutral, objective source on an extremely controvertial issue are about the same as the needle in a haystack, dismissing a piece based solely upon where it’s printed is near Ad Hominem. I do not agree or disagree with either your position or theirs, I don’t have the evidence necessary to come up with a total understanding of the situation, thus I am asking.

  • Turboguy — All writing is propaganda. Relying on liberals to ring the alarm bells is customary since, by definition, conservatives promote the status quo. But, as it turns out, the liberals were correct about the Vietnam war (er, police action) during the 1960s, environmental destruction during the 1970s, the stratospheric ozone layer during the 1980s, and global climate change during the 1990s. In every case except the latter, conservatives eventually caught up. Typically it’s been far too late to solve the problem (so we’re reduced to minor mitigation). Concerning global climate change, the evidence is overwhelming enough that even BushCo caught on, finally, after it was far to late for any action of significance (except the action I’ve been calling for, which no government will endorse).
    Matt — It’s too late for a “middle” way to solve this problem. We’ll never willingly give up economic growth. A rapid descent is the only way to save what little remains of native species and non-industrial cultures. Will we try to take it all down with us? Of course. But a fast crash precludes considerable destruction, wicked and wily though we may be. If you’re still optimistic about the Australian economy, check this link (thanks to Stan Moore for this link, and for the “liberal” one in the original post):

  • I am familiar with all that,
    I read it daily.
    Having said that I was talking
    to my manager (cornicopian/techno optimist/climate denialist)
    – quite a title! yesterday, he said, and I agreed that we dont
    know anyone who has lost their job.
    (he is heavily into hock in the sharemarket,
    I did tell him to sell everything a year a go
    when the share market peaked. Following the
    unfolding peak oil story does have some benefits).
    Telling people that peak oil spells the end of growth
    is a hard sell. Come to think of it peak oil itself
    is a hard sell.
    We are all reading the economic gloom here but
    things remain unchanged in my part of
    the world. How long before this changes,
    who knows. All I know is that I have
    no debt, house currently worth $800k,
    2 years of cash, 4 bikes,
    rainwater tanks, no gun! and 40kg of rice.
    (turbster – confession, I went into a gun shop
    and asked how much a 22 ruger cost – $1000!
    about $650 USD, I think I blushed when I spoke
    to the bloke behind the counter!)
    Despite my optimistic posturing and shallow/contrarian banter,
    (stan, you are sadly missed),
    honestly you know what Guy, I am afraid you
    are right. But, I am not going to go down
    without a ‘fight’. I will ride my bike down
    to the rims!

  • On the off chance that we have more than one year, having Stephen Chu as head of the EPA could be a good thing: check out these astoundingly frank comments.
    Let’s not give up yet, everyone. Heck, if not even Dr. Lovelock thinks we’re doomed surely we’ve got a chance.

  • Rock music, the blues, country, rap, you name it they have misogynistic elements. Funny I don’t hear guys like you ever go after the countless number of metal/hairbands that treat women so kindly. The focus on rap is an interesting one. I guess your previous post which included some of the ‘rapppers’ lexicon was a red flag for me. “Hang on, I gotta throw up the latest sign to my peeps! “Okay, Yeah dog, now that I gots that outta the way I can get back to what I gots to say!” Maybe you could travel the high school circuit and lecture young men of color about misogyny?
    Let me guess, that third of First Nation people in your bloodstream is Cherokee? You and about five million other white guys use that as some sort of badge of honor. That’s right up there w/, “I’m not a racist I have black friends.” Maybe you can help me out when it all goes down. I’ll only need a third.
    I don’t hate the police I hate the audacity that you somehow represent justice. The anger you carry clearly makes my point. Here I’ll simplify it for you. You either believe that minority prison rates, unemployment rates, graduation rates, and mortality rates are a result of these communities inability to figure their shit out or you believe our system is completely flawed. Since you’re part of the ‘justice’ system there’s not a great deal of guess work here. If you happen to think it’s flawed and you still support it well than you do the math kiddo.
    So stick to the law of the land and I’ll drop to my knees and kiss your boots when you save the day. Do us all a favor and let the day crumble. Now let me get back to my local Cop Watch group so I can focus in on those grey/gray (spelling preference) areas you so nobly spoke of. Gee WWJD? Move to Belize ASAP.

  • rap is to music
    what ‘twinkies’ are to food/nutrition
    i dearly hope you dont eat the aforementioned
    non food turbguy
    having said the above, i quite like
    the beastie boys – ‘license to ill’ is
    almost a classic!
    angry urban privileged middle class jews
    – now that i get!

  • Whatever Privileged. You’re obviously one of those people with authority, or lack thereof, issues.
    As for me being angry, quite the opposite. Remember that I love hypocrites like you. You’re the simple definition of the oxymoron. I actually haven’t laughed at anyone quite as much as I’ve been doing so at your expense.
    That third in my blood is Ojibwa, what’s yours?
    Guy, I apologize for revealing my job to you guys. It brings out the trolls like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life. People like our new friend Privileged here are of the opinion that they’re going to get one over on “The Man” by telling me how evil I and the system they’re totally dependent on are.
    Hey Privileged, lemme ask you a question or two: Bearing in mind that you’ve got this major problem with authority and “The System.” Exactly how would it be changed to alleviate your issues?
    Without “The System” you so vociferously lament, exactly how many of these people that are incarcerated do you think would last fifteen minutes without it being there?
    Please answer, I need a good laugh.
    I do hope you know that it’s not “The System” that is the reason behind why there’s a disproportionate number of minority members incarcerated than “White” people. It’s more of a socialization issue. When people come from a broken family, single parent, or none at all there a huge increase in the probability that they’re going to be criminals. There’s also a disproportinate number of single parent families in minorities too, however I have no idea how you’re going to blame that one on “The System.” Scream all you want that it’s this “System” you’re lamenting causing this, but I’d prefer to posit an alternative. It’s the complete lack of good role models (Your Rappers), crappy or nonexistent parenting, and the indoctrination into exactly the same garbage you’ve strewn here about “It’s not their fault they’re behind, but everyone else’s that they’re a screw-up.” This is a self fufilling prophesy, and is a travesty that it’s allowed to be placed on these people by true racists like you. Grow some personal responsibility; your life is what you make it.
    The whole blaming every ill you’ve got on “The System” is because you’re too much of a coward to put your testicles on and admit that it’s your very own fault that you’ve screwed yourself over time and again. Reply all you want, I have nothing more to say to you, you’re obviously just trolling.

  • That a boy! Get it all out. You’re not angry all.
    Hey I’m all for personal responsibility as much as the next guy. Just remember it’s a two way street. Those who hold power that drive our system need to be responsible as well. Many (not all)of the areas/issues/problems you present deal w/ lack of opportunity. As the privileged group (ie.white,middle class, male) it is our responsibility to provide a more fair and just system. With some of the issues you addressed it is apparent that opportunity is the missing ingredient in our current mess. You just happen to be one of those individuals who is standing on third base and thinks he hit a triple. When in fact you were hit by a pitch, sac flied to second and the pitcher balked to move you over to third. I get it, “work hard and it all works out.” Your life is what you make it bla…bla…bla. It’s not that simple. Remember the ‘grey’ areas?
    The question of what do we do w/ all those hardened criminals is a fair one since you help put them there. I would be more concerned about you and your ilk lasting 15 minutes. Let them out and I’ll take my chances. Will you? Oh yeah I forgot, “I luvs my gun, luvs my gun!” And cue the reverse racism remark.
    Solution? (cue the laughter from Turbo)
    Maybe we need to go back the Ojibwa way of life. Seriously though, moving away from constant consumption and growth is a must. Indigenous people have a proven track record that self-sustainability works. Industrialized civilization as we know it has been nothing but instant gratification (wet dream) w/ a short shelf life. It has caused people to turn away from each other instead of towards one another. It has placed us in houses surrounded by fences, in cubicles surrounded by cubicles. We are building walls around our countries and separating people based on a few lines in the dirt. Get out of the way and let the the revolution or collapse or whatever it is roll down the mountain…or continue to blame rap music and the inferiority of other racial groups and watch it slowly crumble anyway. Sorry just trolling again. Apologies to Guy, oops Turbo gone done that already.
    P.Bo is also an interesting nickname.
    You wouldn’t happen to be from Wisconsin?

  • You keep saying other racial groups are inferior, not me, and yet you’re the one calling racist. Take care not to look into the pit too long my friend.
    And no, I’m not from Wisconsin.
    Maybe if you spent as much time actually looking for answers to your questions as you have skirting around all the points I made, you’d have found your opportunity.
    You make your own opportunity, and having the rather flawed belief (Which you vehemently defend) that there is no opportunity it is called, like I’ve said many times before, a self fufilling prophesy. If they’re told all their lives that they’re going to amount to nothing, they will amount to nothing. They believe it about themselves, why try to break the mold? It is instead people that tell them they’re oppressed all their lives that are at fault for the problem that they face. That is the true racism. Instead of focusing on everything they can do to get themselves ahead they’re too busy looking at all the reasons they’re kept behind, but face no more or less hardship, have no more nor less opportunity than anyone else.
    To paraphrase Heinlein: Most people who sneer at “The System” would starve to death if the infrastructure were removed. -Robert A. Heinlein
    Anyways, since you’ve thus far been totally unable to make even a blind attempt at making a cogent point based on any semblance of reality, and I guess I genuinely felt sorry for you I just had to reply. You know, make you feel wanted and all.
    Also I wanted you to know totally agree with most of your last paragraph! Right up until you say “Get out of the way…” My reply to that is that I’ll have to stand on the other side of the thin blue line from you until I think it’s futile, and we’re not there yet.
    Now I think we’re done here.

  • You insinuate that if ‘we’ just stop mentioning oppression to people things will improve. If that’s not a superiority complex I don’t know what is.
    “Instead of focusing on everything they can do to get themselves ahead they’re too busy looking at all the reasons they’re kept behind, but face no more or less hardship, have no more nor less opportunity than anyone else.”
    My friend please put the Kool-Aid down and think about the absurdity of that remark. Are you telling me that despite the overwhelming data that states otherwise about opportunity in many areas we have both covered, that all ‘they’ have to do is just look ahead? Ignore the hundreds of years of ‘white affirmative action’ and preference? Just pull ‘themselves’ up by their bootstraps? Holy crap are you privileged and blinded by the BS you’ve been fed about the American Dream. By the way you never actually say who ‘they’ are. You really don’t need to because most of the crap you spew on this blog is code for people of color. Let go of it Johnny Fun Buster and start to see the world for what it truly is. Here are a few examples of white affirmative action.
    White by law
    In 1790 Congress passes a citizenship and naturalization act dictating “that any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof.” This leads to land ownership. This provision was not changed until 1952.
    1830: The Indian Removal Act
    1848: In The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    The Dred Scott decision of 1856
    In 1882, The Chinese Exclusion Act
    In 1887 The Dawes Land Allotment Act
    Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896
    Ozawa v. United States (1922)
    Alien Land Laws (1913, 1920, and 1923)
    “Asia Barred Zone” (1917)
    Supreme Court Decision regarding South Asian Immigrations (1923)
    Immigrant Act of 1924: Exclusion of Japanese
    “No colored barber shall serve as a barber to white women or girls.”—Atlanta, Georgia, 1926
    “Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school.”–Missouri, 1929
    “Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school.”–Missouri, 1929
    “It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other in any game of cards or dice, dominoes or checkers.”–Birmingham, Alabama, 1930
    Magnuson Act (1943)
    Asian Exclusion Repeal Acts (1946, for Filipino and East Indian)
    Tydings-McDuffie Act (1934): Exclusion of Filipinos
    McCarran-Walter Act (1952)
    1954: One of the most significant effects of Brown v. Board of Education is the firing of thousands of Black teachers and principals in southern Black schools, after these schools are integrated with white ones. School Boards say the white parents will not let their kids be taught by black teachers. So the major beneficiaries of Brown v. Board of Education are the thousands of white (mostly female) teachers and white (mostly male) principals who get the jobs in these newly integrated schools.
    Immigrant Act (1965)
    Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (1975)
    Refugee Act (1980)
    Amerasian Homecoming Act (1987)
    Immigrant Reform and Control Act (1986)
    Immigration Act (1990)
    California’s Proposition 187
    Somehow I’m sure you feel over the last 40 years that affirmative action (which is currently being repealed in many states) and civil rights have washed away any advantage that white people may have gained over the last few centuries. I just scratched the surface w/ the laws that have favored me and my ancestors.
    Feel sorry for yourself…DONE.

  • Okay, So your solution to this is…? Bring it all down, anarchy in the streets, no laws, if it doesn’t work, throw it all away? As much as I’m sure you’d love to see something like that, be careful what you wish for, you’ll get it, and a hell of a lot more than you bargained for. Especially considering the ruinous bailout (and payola) bill we’re getting crammed down our throats that’s going to wreak havok on our economy for decades. Actually considering your positions you’ve revealed thus far, you’re probably all for it! Nothing like a hyperinflative depression to really bring out the Anarchy in us all.
    All of the legislation you’ve listed means nothing if you take your future into your own hands and do what you want. Opportunity sits in front of us all, all that needs be done is reach out and take it. It happens every day. I need to as little as point out the Condoleeza Rice as an example of someone that had the cards stacked against her in every conceivable way as you see it, and become the most powerful woman on Earth for eight years. I know your next point is going to be that “She’s just one person!” Well just like her, if anyone wants to do well, the opportunity is there, to deny it is a travesty.

  • There is a reason they make movies like “The Pursuit of Happiness.” IT’S RARE! Most individuals do not move out of the class in which they are born. What about Condoleezza Rice? What about Madame C.J. Walker? She was one of the first black millionaires. She helped open the market place for black beauty products…in 1911. The same year in which sixty-three black folks had been lynched in the US. That’s more than one per week. To suggest that every black person during that time could have been successful like Ms. Walker and that there must have been something wrong w/ them because they remained oppressed is ludicrous. Just because some individuals overcome great obstacles does not end the debate and is really shortsighted. This would suggest that the people at the bottom have not worked as hard. In many cases these individuals have worked harder. There are countless numbers of people today and in our past that have had multiple jobs and worked very hard, only to remain in the class to which they were born. How many more successful black women might we have if the remaining obstacles were removed from our society? Opportunity is there but equal access is another story. If I’m a white, Christian, male, able bodied, upper middle class, heterosexual, who happens to be college educated, and who stands to inherit land that has remained in my family since the Homestead Act, well then I may have a slight advantage over a black woman. At that point my self fulfilling prophesy might not get me over the hump so to speak. There is a reason we have had 43 whites guys before Obama. There is a reason we currently have one black Senator. There is a reason we have had so few women and men of color appointed to the highest court in the land. There is a reason most major corporations in this country have male CEOs. Every generation since the question was asked (Is there equality in the US?) white people in this country have thought all individuals were on equal footing. Every time we were wrong. Now you’re telling me just go out and grab it. Access is key and not easily available. Our future is linked to our past.
    Do I want our society to collapse? That sounds like hard work and as you can tell I’m obviously against labor.

  • apologies for mentioning ms rice!
    she was being interviewed on PBS
    the other day, and she was asked
    how did she achieve so much, (given her obvious ‘encumberances’)
    she cited her parents and their advice as her inspiration.
    Obviously a sample of one does not make a mean,
    this goes without saying, it is an interesting story
    none the less.
    From here (australia)for what it is worth,(very little I am told)
    for want of a better description she does not ‘read’ as a
    ‘black’ person, similarly with Barack Obama.
    There is no seething resentment, anger, perverse sense
    of entitlement, ie she lacks the media stereotype.
    Legislated racism even in the past is difficult
    to overcome for those living in the present,
    as we can be the beneficaries of our forefathers
    we should also bare some responsibility for their misdeeds.
    These sins do carry forward and affect perception,
    opportunity and self worth.
    I am not there so I am only pissing into the wind.
    be nice

  • This is a strange place to have an argument about privilege. But Turboguy, you have to be kidding if you think this whole pile of capitalistic B.S. has provided some sort of equal opportunity for all people in this country. If you believe that, then “Privileged” has made a good point above. You must believe the only explanation for racial disparities in the penal system must be attributed to racial inequality.
    Want it or not, I think the whole thing is coming down. Place blame on Obama’s stimulus package if you want, but it seems that our future chaos is the natural, or at least predictably possible, outcome of unchecked capitalism over decades. I have no desire to suffer. But in the end, if the crash happens quickly enough, it may mean a balancing out of the injustice that has been heaped onto indigenous peoples of this planet. And, as Guy has pointed out, on life as a whole.
    Perhaps that would make the native 1/3 of you very happy.

  • Naw Sputtering, we’re having our debate here instead in the current topic so we don’t detract from what Guy’s talking about. It’s a courtesy to the owner of this blog, and I hope Privileged abides by it too, to keep this debate here as opposed to the current blogs.
    If you want my position on racial inequality and the disparate numbers on Minorities represented in the penal system, read above. I believe that it is a Socialization issue rather than inequality and that an entire race of people has been socialized into the rut they’re in rather than any other people specifically oppressing them.
    Now if the argument was made that some wonk in a high place came up with the bright idea to begin this Socialization within, let’s use Blacks (Or African Americans, whatever you prefer) as an example, it would be passed down generation after generation of self fulfilling prophesies amongst the majority of the black population and they’d be too busy focusing on all they had to overcome to actually do so, I’d agree.
    Call it “Non-beneficial Self Socialization.” Among that population there is a distressing mindset that says, “It doesn’t matter, I can’t get ahead anyway, it’s because I’m black” and it wasn’t passed onto them by any law or white person, it gets passed onto them by their peers. I happen to believe that they’re wrong. I would sooner believe that it’s a class issue and the disparity between wealthy versus poor in the penal system. Because of the years of socialization in the Black population they happen to be over-represented amongst the nation’s poor and thus are over-represented in the penal system. That same wonk that came up with the Socialization probably came up with the divide and conquer between us relatively poor people so we’re too busy pissing at each other to actually reach out and take that opportunity.
    I guess I’m an optimist that thinks anyone can get ahead if they but choose to, fie on me.
    And Privileged, making collapse doesn’t seem like a lot of work at all. Hell we’re sitting at our respective computers having a debate on this while it comes down around us! I don’t think it’ll take any more work from either of us than it already has to just sit back and watch the Hyperinflative Depression we’ve got brewing kick off in the next year or so after they get the printing presses rolling out the dough for payola.

  • So help me understand this. It sounds an awful lot like you blame the plight of “Minorities” on the minorities. They are responsible for “socializing” themselves into a state of despair?
    I’m sorry, but I don’t really get that. And I think by putting the blame on the community that is suffering, you are ignoring your own dictate of “personal responsibility”. If there is oppression, then there must be privilege. It can’t be ignored.
    And I don’t think Privileged was saying that “making” collapse is hard work. Surviving it will be.

  • It’s not only they that perpetuate the socialization onto themselves, on this note Privileged and I agree that it is a systematic problem. Where we disagree is that I believe that Minorities are told time and again that they are in plight to the point that they not only believe the plight is there, actively seek to keep to keep it in effect. Though it is not a conscious choice typically, there are dirtbags like AL Sharpton or Jesse Jackson who genuinely seek to keep the problem there for monetary gain. (If anyone actually thinks Al or jesse are beneficial to any problems facing blacks, I’ll gladly hand the Kool Aid right back.)
    Privileged believes that it is the system that specifically places obstacles to the sucess of minorities. I don’t think it’s this overt, but instead believe it’s far more insidious. This is our disagreement.
    Surviving it will be terrible, particularly for those that inhabit the simmering disasters major cities have become, and absolute infernos of violence and despair they will be.

  • I don’t really believe that barriers are created or placed in the path of individuals consciously (although I’m sure it still happens on small scale)but rather unconsciously. People don’t even realize they are part of the systemic problem. If a majority of people hold power positions it’s a natural tendency to hire people you may either know directly or are introduced to through a third party or beyond. We call it networking but it can still have a negative impact on opportunity. I understand there’s a comfort level in this type of hiring/recruiting practice but it still limits opportunity to those on the outside looking in.
    Sputtering is correct in his assumption that I believe the real labor will be surviving the collapse. Can someone teach me how to grow a carrot?

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    Prilosec vs nexium. Nexium.