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BS: More on conspiracy and US politics

michaelr 15 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM
michaelr 15 Jul 11 - 06:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 06:30 PM
Little Hawk 15 Jul 11 - 06:50 PM
Ron Davies 16 Jul 11 - 12:39 AM
Little Hawk 16 Jul 11 - 01:16 AM
Jim Dixon 16 Jul 11 - 02:34 PM
michaelr 16 Jul 11 - 03:14 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM
michaelr 16 Jul 11 - 05:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 06:21 PM
Don Firth 16 Jul 11 - 06:44 PM
Don Firth 16 Jul 11 - 07:01 PM
michaelr 16 Jul 11 - 07:12 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jul 11 - 07:23 PM
Don Firth 16 Jul 11 - 08:19 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jul 11 - 08:37 PM
Don Firth 16 Jul 11 - 09:30 PM
artbrooks 16 Jul 11 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,999 16 Jul 11 - 11:16 PM
Little Hawk 16 Jul 11 - 11:24 PM
michaelr 17 Jul 11 - 12:56 AM
artbrooks 17 Jul 11 - 01:03 AM
michaelr 17 Jul 11 - 01:11 AM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 02:21 AM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 09:15 AM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 12:52 PM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 01:36 PM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 01:52 PM
Monique 17 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 03:15 PM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 03:21 PM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 04:09 PM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 04:40 PM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 04:50 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM
pdq 17 Jul 11 - 05:18 PM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM
akenaton 17 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 06:02 PM
pdq 17 Jul 11 - 07:03 PM
Don Firth 17 Jul 11 - 07:11 PM
gnu 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM
Little Hawk 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM
pdq 17 Jul 11 - 07:21 PM

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Subject: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM

You can call this a conspiracy or not (I don't really care), but it's certainly undemocratic and unsavory: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

"ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve "model" bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.)

Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations — without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills."

With shit like this going on behind the scenes, almost completetly unknown and unreported, it's no wonder some people get the idea that there's a shadowy group of powerful elites trying to steer the course of our country and bypassing the democratic process.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:07 PM

Sorry, forgot the clicky: ALEC


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:30 PM

Nothing new about influence groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:50 PM

There have always been various powerful and wealthy elites steering the course of countries, whether they were religious elites, the nobility or the business elites. It happened in ancient times. It happens now. What we (the public) see is not what we get. And what the public hears from official sources is generally designed simply to keep them in their usual state: confused, distracted, and largely asleep. Only when the system gets so financially corrupt that it begins to break down and cease to function at a basic level will the public finally rise against it.

For instance, what finally triggered the French Revolution was not the gross inequalities between the rich and poor alone....but a huge increase in the price of food to the point where the poor in big cities like Paris could no longer feed themselves on their meagre incomes. The ensuing food riots led to revolution and the collapse of the system.

Major public revolts against the ruling system have been seen recently in places like Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Greece, etc. Such a public revolt will probably be seen eventually in the USA as well, and for financial reasons, but that doesn't necessarily mean that something better will come out of it. Sometimes something quite a bit worse can come out of it.

One thing for sure though. Change will come.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ron Davies
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:39 AM

"much more powerful than that"

Reminds me of this: I used to play to play volleyball--and we used to sing madrigals and Sacred Harp between games (anything we had memorized).   That's how serious we were. I remember somebody had a T shirt:   "Volleyball is not a matter of life and death. It's more important than that."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 01:16 AM

That's quite interesting to me, Ron. It wouldn't have occurred to me to take a volleyball game (or any other sports event) quite that seriously...but one can decide to take anything that seriously if one wants to...and that's how you get very, very good at something, by making it your highest priority. Or by loving it very deeply, which is another way of saying the same thing.

Joan of Arc, as an example, loved France very deeply. She loved France (and what she saw as her loyalty to God) more than she loved popularity, acceptance, fame, safety, security, riches or "success"...or anything else that the material world could offer. And that enabled her to do what no one else at the time had been able to do. And it inspired many others to follow her and conquer their fear. That's the power of love, and it is more important in the moment of decision than whether one lives or dies.

I'm not sure if that's what you had in mind, but I just thought I'd comment on what you said.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 02:34 PM

I had a friend who was heavily into conspiracy theories. Whenever I told him about a real verifiably-existing organization such as The Fellowship a.k.a. The Family—it was the best I could do to try to relate to him and his interests—he wasn't very interested.

According to him, the real important, scary, powerful organizations were the ones you never hear about in the mainstream media, but only from websites and books devoted to conspiracy theories. The very fact that you read about an organization in a newspaper, or heard about it on NPR, proves that it really isn't all that powerful. If it were really powerful, it would be able to suppress all information about itself, because the media are under control of the conspiracy, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:14 PM

I guess that explains the lack of interest here about ALEC.

Where's Ebbie? I posted this for her.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM

I've been here several times, Michaelr. :)

My reaction is like that of Q's: There is nothing new about influence groups.

As far as I can surmise, there is really nothing about ALEC that relates to the theories of unseen but powerful beings that pull the strings that make us swing.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:59 PM

There isn't? How much more insidious and undemocratic does it have to get for you to be uncomfortable?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:21 PM

Just like those nefarious unions-


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:44 PM

There are a lot of people out there who know all about ALEC, and recently, the fact that the Koch brothers have been laying a lot of money on them, and that the organization does, indeed, influence a lot of politicians and law makers.

But—

There are other, similar organizations, on both ends, and along the whole span of the spectrum, and there have been for a very long time. They come and they go. ALEC doesn't show up regularly on the six o'clock news, but many internet newsletters carry stories of their latest doings, and I'm expecting a "60 Minutes" segment on them any day now.

They would undoubtedly like to be a deep, dark, all-powerful conspiracy group, but there is one helluva lot of competition in that field, and they all want different—and mutually exclusive—things.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:01 PM

Someone once said that Satan seems to be an All-Powerful and very frightening figure. But if you do not allow yourself to be afraid, and if you fearlessly and relentlessly track the Demon to his lair, you will find that, rather than a powerful and horrifying apparition, Satan is a frightened, trembling, mangy little rat.

The only power the Devil actually has over you is what you allow him to have.

Keep your eyes open, your socks pulled up, and your wits about you.

And in the words of Douglas Adams, "Don't Panic!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:12 PM

Never mind the devil, he doesn't exist. If you tracked down the super-powerful to their "lair" you'd get arrested or worse. They have power over us, whether we're inclined to allow it or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:23 PM

I don't think Satan exists at all, Don, except as a metaphor for the dark side of human nature which most certainly does exist...and it is the thing that people must avoid falling prey to at all costs. As you say, Satan ( meaning to me the dark side of one's own nature) has only as much power over you as you allow it to have.

The same is not true of huge banks and corporations, however. Their power derives from their money...and their money buys armies, cops, politicians, judges (in some cases), media coverage, and firepower. The fact that they are busily competing with one another prevents them from becoming a single, monolithic conspiracy...but it doesn't prevent them from basically running the political and financial scene in our world and being behind most key decisions that are made.

It's not a conspiracy. It's an established way of doing business and wielding power at the highest levels, just like it was in Imperial Rome or any other past system of that sort.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 08:19 PM

Kee-RIST, you people!!

Of COURSE I don't believe in the Devil! It's a METAPHOR!

And I know that there are powerful, greedy, HUMAN forces at work, all wanting money and power. 'Twas ever thus! You are not telling me anything I don't already know!

What I am saying is that they are NOT ALL POWERFUL, and they have their weaknesses. If you let the power they DO have intimidate you to the point where you're afraid to oppose them, you are doing EXACTLY what they want you to do!

Maybe I'll loose, but by God, I'm not going down without a fight! And I'm not alone in that.

You can tremble under your beds if you want, but NOT ME!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 08:37 PM

Hey, take it easy. Did you get up on the wrong side of bed or something?

Number 1: I assumed that you almost certainly were using "Satan" as a metaphor, Don. I just thought I'd add some additional comment.

Number 2: Yes, 'twas ever thus with power and greed. Isn't that what I just said?

Number 3: No, they're not all powerful. Yes, they have their weaknesses. I am not afraid to oppose them, and I don't lie awake at night worrying about them either. I just live my life the best way I can, same as I would have back in Imperial Rome or Victorian England or a variety of other past societies.

I am most certainly not trembling under my bed over this stuff, Don. ;-) Those big corporations and banks aren't worried about me in the least, I'm no threat to them, they're not "out to get me", and neither am I worried about them on a personal level, but I do consider it an interesting subject and would like to know more about it.

You see, I wasn't trying to tell you anything you don't already know, Don. I KNOW that you already know. I was just talking a bit about something I find quite interesting. Your assumption about my general "fearful" state of mind regarding the powers that be in this world bears little resemblance to what I am actually experiencing here, and I am not trying to invalidate or attack what you said in any way. I'm merely trying to understand the time I live in, not living in quivering fear over it.

If you could see my facial expressions (calm) and hear my tone of voice (friendly), you'd get that. I'm not here to fight with you, I'm just talking about things that I find kind of interesting. Period.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 09:30 PM

No, not out of the wrong side of the bed.

I just get bloody fed-up with people nattering on about all-powerful cabals and conspiracies, as if we are just plain helpless to do anything about it. Lots of people around, and here on Mudcat, seem to get their kicks by talking about the omnipotent forces of power and greed and playing "Ain't it awful?" All of which implies that there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I don't believe that.

I think I've said it a couple dozen times here on Mudcat, but I'll say it again (and keep right on saying it like a mantra, because people don't seem to get it):

"You can't fight City Hall," is an adage that was started by--City Hall!

If they can convince you that it's useless to try to oppose them, then you're playing their game and it makes it much more likely that they'll get away with.

Don't let them talk you into playing by their rules!

Don Firth

P. S.   I've also talked a bit here about the Coffee Party. These people are just as fed-up with things as the Tea Party bunch, but they're one helluva lot brighter, better educated, and better informed. And they are fully aware that political leaders will listen a whole lot more carefully to a well-reasoned, fact-filled, and calmly presented argument than thay will to someone who is screaming at them and waving a gun around.

You don't hear much about them now, but they're all over the country, and you soon will.

And they are not the only ones. The Backbone Campaign is leaning heavily on progressive politicians to encourage them to grow themselves a spine and stick to their principles.

The Tea Party makes a lot of noise, but they're ignorant and ill-informed. The groups I'm talking about aren't. Some pretty sharp, well-informed, and dedicated folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:09 PM

If you track anyone to their lair - that is, trespass on their property, you are likely to be arrested.

As far as I'm concerned, all ALEC is is an organization dedicated to composing far-right legislative packages for people who are too stupid or lazy to write their own.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: GUEST,999
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:16 PM

There was a thread about ALEC a few months back. Got me arse chewed on for posting the names of those involved. They aren't very nice people.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:24 PM

I don't have the impression that I am "playing by their rules" at all, Don. Perhaps somebody is. I think that most of the politicians elected end up play by their rules...and most of the business community does too...but at least Dennis Kucinich doesn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:56 AM

...all ALEC is is an organization dedicated to composing far-right legislative packages for people who are too stupid or lazy to write their own.

And this does not trouble you because?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:03 AM

And why should it?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:11 AM

Because these people are writing legislation that will directly affect you?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:21 AM

Writing legislation and getting it passed are two different things. Not all legislation proposed gets passed, and contrary to endemic and chronic cynicism (much enjoyed by many people here), there are far more elected officials who can't be bought than a lot of you like to think.

And no, I'm not being naïve.

Now, before someone feels it's incumbent upon them to disabuse me of my childlike innocence, I AM aware that a fair percentage of them CAN be bought. But not if they are being carefully watched.

And that's OUR job. So stop making excuses and get busy!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM

Beautifully put, Don! Couldn't agree more wholeheartedly.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 09:15 AM

Don....you are totally wrong, the answer is to stop playing the bloody game altogether.
Changing the rules???.....we have been changing the rules of this particular game ever since I was old enough to take an interest and long before that, yet we always seem to get soundly beaten,our children slaughterd, our services and pension rights removed and asked to play with no boots on when the other side gets into difficulties......time we realised that the game is corrupt not the teams who play it.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM

"...the answer is to stop playing the bloody game altogether."

So, ake, just how do you suggest that we do that? Have you found the answer?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:52 PM

There are various ways to "stop playing the bloody game" in a conventional society, ways both large and small, but each person must decide for themselves what those ways are.



Some small ways: In a society where almost everyone now has a cellphone, you could opt not to have one. ;-)

In a society where people routinely get vaccinated with this or that vaccine and take this or that drug because they've been told to...you could opt not to.

In a society where people try, unsuccessfully, to make themselves happy by acquiring enormous numbers of material possessions, you could opt to have few material possessions.

In a society where many people believe that it's a valid choice to choose between voting for Democrats and voting for Republicans, you could decide it isn't and opt for something else entirely.

You could believe in the efficacy of conventional cancer treatments...or not...and act accordingly.

Your friends mostly smoke dope? Or drink? Or smoke cigarettes? Or drink coffee? Or drink coke? You could opt not to.

You could watch TV...or opt not to.

You could have a computer...or opt not to.

You could get legally married or opt not to.

You could have a credit card or opt not to.

You could drive a car or opt not to.

All these various choices would have some effect on either maintaining the collective status quo or changing it.

Now, when a really enormous number of people simultaneously opt to challenge the status quo by direct action, then you can have a revolution...but that doesn't usually happen until the majority of people become really desperate, and they don't until they are running out of:

- money
- food
- water
- a means to employ themselves

That may happen at some point. If it does, a great many people will stop playing the bloody game as it presently exists.

I've already stopped playing the bloody game in a number of small ways, because I have not chosen to do (or believe) many of the conventional things that most people do (or believe) just because "everybody does it"... ;-) And I've always been like that, even as a child. I'm just a natural born outsider. I question the standard assumptions of my time. I know perfectly well that this present society is just as blind and trapped in its own illusions as the various societies of the past were, societies that the conventional mind of today now enjoys poking fun at...not realizing it's just as foolish as they were, but only in a different fashion.

Human folly has a way of recycling itself with each successive generation. If you want to be free, you must free yourself from the tyrrany of the conventional mind of your OWN time.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:36 PM

Not "playing the bloody game altogether" could eventually lead to you peering out from behind the barbed wire, wondering what the hell happened. That's the coward's way.

Change the game!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:52 PM

Little Hawk, many/most of your listed opt-outs are parts of civilized society (and may I point out that given those criteria, you yourself have not opted out in any meaningful sense. Which is fine- but tends to reduce credibility).

My own list would include:

* Decide to take consistent part in your own community. Attend meetings, explore options, speak up, follow up, write letters, circulate petitions, become known for your views so that others can find you, find and join like-minded people, acquaint yourself with the aims and methods of those you consider in opposition to your own aims and methods, help waken the ones who are asleep.
* Do the same in your own country.
* And the same in your world.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Monique
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

May I just step in to say that "technologically advanced" and "civilized" aren't synonymous?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:15 PM

You may indeed.....and you are most welcome.....another voice of sanity is always welcome.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM

Of course the easiest way to stop playing the bloody game.....is to stop dividing ourselves into bloody teams!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:21 PM

True indeed, Monique!

And, Ebbie, you are exactly right. And what you have written just above is a brief and precise statement of what any concerned citizen should be doing. People should copy it down, put it in their purse or wallet, and take it out and read it a couple times a day. And ACT on it!

Those who choose to not "play the bloody game altogether" or to "opt out" deserve whatever kind of government they get.

I'm willing to bet that, without looking it up on the internet or checking some other way, a disturbingly large percentage of people here can't just, off the top of their heads, name their senators; and an even larger number don't know what Congressional District they live in or who their Congressional Representative is. Let alone, their representatives in their state governments. Or city council members.

It is not difficult to look up the voting records of your representatives so you can compare what they say they are for or against and check to see if what they say is what they actually do. And most of them have web sites where it's possible to contact them, although it may have more impact to write them an actual physical letter.

I have written letters to my various government representatives (city, county, state, and national) and written "letters to the editor," some of which have been published. I have also voiced my opinion on a number of call-in radio programs (once a month, my local NPR affiliate has an hour-long program with Seattle's mayor and another with the King County Executive, where people can call in, ask questions, and voice their opinions). And I have worked on a number of campaigns, some for candidates, but mostly on various issues.

If things don't come out the way I think they should, it will not be because I refused to "play the bloody game" or "opted out" and just sat on my butt and whined!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:09 PM

You really dont "get it" Don.....do you?
Think back to all the fine people who thought they could play the game and win.....people a hundred times more dedicated than you or I. People even prepared to lay down their lives for the big prize.

All have failed, just as our stsyem is presently imploding destroyed by the very greed and corruption that it inspires.

Now is the time to clear the pitch, not embark on another round of turf repairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM

You really HAVE surrendered, haven't you, ake!

No, they have NOT all failed. You don't know your history.

Well, that's okay. Have a nice rest. It's people like me who'll have to save your sorry behind for you.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:40 PM

I have no argument with your particular way of dealing with political and social action, Ebbie...nor with yours, Don...because they are the ways that suit each of you as individuals, they suit your personal nature, therefore they are appropriate to you.

I am likewise doing what suits me and is appropriate to my personal nature. I have no wish that we should all act the same, want to do the same things or decide to do the same things. I like the fact that we're all different in various ways. It makes life richer than if we were all the same.

The list of options I suggested was just that: a list of some possible options and choices. I don't necessarily go by all of them. I am by no means suggesting that EVERYONE should follow that list according to my desires, yours, or anyone else's. My only concern is that people should think independently for themselves rather than becoming obedient little sheep who merely follow cultural trends without ever questioning them.

I regard the old Republican/Democratic partyline system in the USA to be a popular trend (a tradition) that is being followed by sheep...and it leads them off to the slaughterhouse eventually...but that's just my own personal view of it. I wouldn't necessarily expect you to have the same view of it, and I don't particularly mind if you don't. If you honestly believe in one or another of those parties, then by all means, get out there and take part in the partisan process, because that is what suits your nature and I certainly wouldn't stand in your way.

None of the things I listed are necessary parts of civilized society, in my opinion...they are options.

What is a necessary part of a truly civilized society is this sort of thing:

1. No member of the community should ever be deniend needed medical treatment for lack of money! Said medical treatment should be given at no charge to the afflicted person. That is universal and equally free health care for all citizens, funded through common taxes (as long as one still has a money system in place).

2. No member of the society should ever be forced to participate in or support any war which he or she does not believe in.

3. All should receive equal protection under the law.

4. No one should be arrested or imprisoned without being informed of the legal charges and being given fair trial and legal counsel.

5. No one should have to live in dire poverty below a certain level of basic human dignity. By that I mean that everyone should be guaranteed at least a decent place to live in, enough food and other basic necessities to survive, access to a good education, and other basic necessities at a simple level. Beyond that level, they should be free to prosper and go higher strictly by their own efforts, and most of them would do so in such circumstances, because most people want to go higher when they have a chance to.

6. And anyone who wants paying work should have it...as a constitutional right.

7. And everyone should be guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

You won't get a good deal of the above from either the Republicans or the Democrats, because it is radical socialism (considered virtually equivalent to Satanism in the USA political dialogue).

You can't achieve the above when people are enslaved by their singular devotion to money above all else in life. Can you deny that money presently rules our society? And that it overrides morality and sanity? That has to end for people to establish a genuinely civilized society. You could achieve it if money were done away with entirely and society instead did things because they are both needed and desirable for everyone, not because they are merely profitable for a select few.

What I envision is revolutionary! But not a revolution achieved by guns and violence. It would be a revolution achieved through conscience.

People at every level of society would have to be willing to treat everyone else the way they wish others would treat them!

That's the Golden Rule.

Compared to that, your present money-corrupted political process is just mucking about with mudpies and slightly rearranging the deck furniture on the leaky Ship of State. The moneylenders must be thrown out of the temple, in other words.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM

Oh! I can stop worrying then?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:50 PM

Not nearly everyone in the US considers Socialism the great satan. The problem, imo, is the dark side of Capitalism. Too often - and perhaps it is inevitable - Capitalism is greed, pure and simple: the notion that more is always better. In my opinion, the capitalistic system as it has developed has done the US few favors.

I should add that I fully agree with this list, Little Hawk:

1. No member of the community should ever be deniend needed medical treatment for lack of money! Said medical treatment should be given at no charge to the afflicted person. That is universal and equally free health care for all citizens, funded through common taxes (as long as one still has a money system in place).

2. No member of the society should ever be forced to participate in or support any war which he or she does not believe in.

3. All should receive equal protection under the law.

4. No one should be arrested or imprisoned without being informed of the legal charges and being given fair trial and legal counsel.

5. No one should have to live in dire poverty below a certain level of basic human dignity. By that I mean that everyone should be guaranteed at least a decent place to live in, enough food and other basic necessities to survive, access to a good education, and other basic necessities at a simple level. Beyond that level, they should be free to prosper and go higher strictly by their own efforts, and most of them would do so in such circumstances, because most people want to go higher when they have a chance to.

6. And anyone who wants paying work should have it...as a constitutional right.

7. And everyone should be guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM

We will each save our OWN "sorry behind", Don. ;-) Or we won't. But it's up to us to do it. In the end, however, your sorry behind and mine are both going to vanish off the face of this Earth, and in the same common way, when we step valorously or fearfully through the door that people call "death".

In the meantime, you be true to yourself and I'll be true to myself, and that's what really matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: pdq
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:18 PM

3. Economics {of Karl Marx}

Capital Volume 1 begins with an analysis of the idea of commodity production. A commodity is defined as a useful external object, produced for exchange on a market. Thus two necessary conditions for commodity production are the existence of a market, in which exchange can take place, and a social division of labour, in which different people produce different products, without which there would be no motivation for exchange. Marx suggests that commodities have both use-value — a use in other words — and an exchange-value — initially to be understood as their price. Use value can easily be understood, so Marx says, but he insists that exchange value is a puzzling phenomenon, and relative exchange values need to be explained. Why does a quantity of one commodity exchange for a given quantity of another commodity? His explanation is in terms of the labour input required to produce the commodity, or rather, the socially necessary labour, which is labour exerted at the average level of intensity and productivity for that branch of activity within the economy. Thus the labour theory of value asserts that the value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of socially necessary labour time required to produce it. Marx provides a two stage argument for the labour theory of value. The first stage is to argue that if two objects can be compared in the sense of being put on either side of an equals sign, then there must be a 'third thing of identical magnitude in both of them' to which they are both reducible. As commodities can be exchanged against each other, there must, Marx argues, be a third thing that they have in common. This then motivates the second stage, which is a search for the appropriate 'third thing', which is labour in Marx's view, as the only plausible common element. Both steps of the argument are, of course, highly contestable.

Capitalism is distinctive, Marx argues, in that it involves not merely the exchange of commodities, but the advancement of capital, in the form of money, with the purpose of generating profit through the purchase of commodities and their transformation into other commodities which can command a higher price, and thus yield a profit. Marx claims that no previous theorist has been able adequately to explain how capitalism as a whole can make a profit. Marx's own solution relies on the idea of exploitation of the worker. In setting up conditions of production the capitalist purchases the worker's labour power — his ability to labour — for the day. The cost of this commodity is determined in the same way as the cost of every other; i.e. in terms of the amount of socially necessary labour power required to produce it. In this case the value of a day's labour power is the value of the commodities necessary to keep the worker alive for a day. Suppose that such commodities take four hours to produce. Thus the first four hours of the working day is spent on producing value equivalent to the value of the wages the worker will be paid. This is known as necessary labour. Any work the worker does above this is known as surplus labour, producing surplus value for the capitalist. Surplus value, according to Marx, is the source of all profit. In Marx's analysis labour power is the only commodity which can produce more value than it is worth, and for this reason it is known as variable capital. Other commodities simply pass their value on to the finished commodities, but do not create any extra value. They are known as constant capital. Profit, then, is the result of the labour performed by the worker beyond that necessary to create the value of his or her wages. This is the surplus value theory of profit.

It appears to follow from this analysis that as industry becomes more mechanised, using more constant capital and less variable capital, the rate of profit ought to fall. For as a proportion less capital will be advanced on labour, and only labour can create value. In Capital Volume 3 Marx does indeed make the prediction that the rate of profit will fall over time, and this is one of the factors which leads to the downfall of capitalism. (However, as pointed out by Marx's able expositor Paul Sweezy in The Theory of Capitalist Development, the analysis is problematic.) A further consequence of this analysis is a difficulty for the theory that Marx did recognise, and tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to meet also in Capital Volume 3. It follows from the analysis so far that labour intensive industries ought to have a higher rate of profit than those which use less labour. Not only is this empirically false, it is theoretically unacceptable. Accordingly, Marx argued that in real economic life prices vary in a systematic way from values. Providing the mathematics to explain this is known as the transformation problem, and Marx's own attempt suffers from technical difficulties. Although there are known techniques for solving this problem now (albeit with unwelcome side consequences), we should recall that the labour theory of value was initially motivated as an intuitively plausible theory of price. But when the connection between price and value is rendered as indirect as it is in the final theory, the intuitive motivation of the theory drains away. But even if the defender of the theory is still not ready to concede defeat, a further objection appears devastating. Marx's assertion that only labour can create surplus value is unsupported by any argument or analysis, and can be argued to be merely an artifact of the nature of his presentation. Any commodity can be picked to play a similar role. Consequently with equal justification one could set out a corn theory of value, arguing that corn has the unique power of creating more value than it costs. Formally this would be identical to the labour theory of value.

Although Marx's economic analysis is based on the discredited labour theory of value, there are elements of his theory that remain of worth. The Cambridge economist Joan Robinson, in An Essay on Marxian Economics, picked out two aspects of particular note. First, Marx's refusal to accept that capitalism involves a harmony of interests between worker and capitalist, replacing this with a class based analysis of the worker's struggle for better wages and conditions of work, versus the capitalist's drive for ever greater profits. Second, Marx's denial that there is any long-run tendency to equilibrium in the market, and his descriptions of mechanisms which underlie the trade-cycle of boom and bust. Both provide a salutary corrective to aspects of orthodox economic theory.

       ~ Stanford Encyclopedia


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM

Yeah, sure, Ake. Just take it easy.

Okay, Little Hawk. I agree with your list of particulars. But the problem is that there are people who want to take all those things away from people and store the money to, say, pay for someone's heart operation, in their own Swiss bank accounts—and to hell with the poor sod whose heart just quits on him because he couldn't afford the necessary medical care.

It's easy to sat back and enumerate "wouldn't it be a nice world ifs," and indeed it would be nice—in fact a life necessity for some people—but there are people out there who don't see it that way at all. They want to do away with what they call "entitlement programs" (completely forgetting what the word "entitlement" means) such as Social Security and Medicare, which people have paid into all their working lives and which many older people have to rely on to pay the bills and see to their medical needs.

You folks in Canada and the UK have national health care programs in place, so you don't have to sweat it. But the elderly lady who lives upstairs takes a tumble, fractures her pelvis, and winds up in a hospital for several weeks (and I have a specific person in mind that this happened to), racking up many tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills—how is she going to pay for that if they take her "entitlements" away, as some people want to do?

She is entitled to have that covered because she paid for it all her working life.

It's just "academic" to you guys. But it was pretty damned real to her!!

So don't sweat it. Just sit back, take it easy, and kibbitz all you want. Ebbie and I will save your sorry asses.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:41 PM

I suddenly feel as if this gigantic weight has been lifted from my shoulders.....:0)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:02 PM

Don, you and Ebbie are engaging in political action to save little American asses...not little Canadian or British asses. ;-) I don't live in the USA, so you are not saving my little ass. I wish you all the luck in the world regarding USA health care reform, because the present problem in the USA is exactly as you have described it. The people who want to take away your "entitlement" programs, as they duplicitously call it, are simply out for their own financial gain (at the expense of many, many others). The so-called "trickle-down" theory is a mythology that they happily subscribe to, but it is not what happens when they get their way.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: pdq
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:03 PM

My previous post seems to show that Marx did not use the term "capitalism" as a synonym of "free market".

Here is a post with lots to think about...some of it may actually be true...


"THE MORGAN CONNECTION

George Peabody, a Massachusetts's trader, set up a banking house - George Peabody & Co. - in London in 1837. He became regarded as a "financial ambassador in London. Carrol Quigley attributes the use of tax-exempt foundations for manipulation of society to Peabody, seen in his IllumInati Peabody foundation. Daniel Colt Gilman, a member of the Skull & Bones and first President of the Carnegie Institution, was involved in the establishment of the Peabody foundation. He was in such high regard by the elite that they have erected a statue of him across from the Bank of England. Peabody was getting old and needed a younger partner. Junius Morgan, of Hartford, Connetticut, was recommended to Peabody. In 1854 Junius and his family arrived in London to join George Peabody & Co. When the elite's concocted American Civil War broke out, Peabody and Junius Morgan raised loans for the North. It appears JunIus played both sides of the war. Ralph Epperson claims Junius was one of the Rothschild agents who shipped supplies to the South. When Peabody retired in 1864 Junius took over the business. The firm was re-named JS. Morgan & Co. That same year Junius' son, J.P. Morgan, became a junior partner in the firm. A year later J.P. left for America to represent the firm in the New York. After the end of the Franco-Prussian War, Junius Morgan was called on to help restore the French etonomy. Around this time his bank was talked of as a rival to the Rothschild's New Court, but Junius was a Rothschild agent, when he prospered so prospered the Rothschilds and the Illuminati. J.S. Morgan & Co. was one of the Rothschild's great power tools in the United States. In 1869 JunIus' son, J.P. Morgan went to London to met with the Rothschilds. They laid out the plans to form Northern Securities, a company that would act as an agent for New Court in the US. J.P. ruling as a proxy for the family. In 1871 Junius' son, J.P. Morgan, made an alliance with Tony Drexel, heir to the powerful Philadelphia bank. Their firm - Drexel, Morgan & Co. -resided in an extravagant new building on Wall St., which is still Morgan headquarters today. After the Europeans got over their lack of confidence at the end of the CIvil War, money began to stream across the ocean to the US., providing massive profit for the firm. It set out to finance the growing number of industrial projects in America. The House of Morgan was getting extremely rich.

Junius retired in 1879 and J.P. took over JS. Morgan & Co., reorganizing It under the title J.P. Morgan & Co. "J.P. Morgan soon became a symbol of the growing centralization of American money." He was very monopolistic. His agents would create cartels through 'Morganization." By 1896 the IllumInati families Payne, Whitney and the Vanderbilts all bad money in Morgan-Guarantee Company which was run by the "J.P. Morgan and Guggenheim outfits."

At a certain point he controlled neariy half the American railroad system. He established the United States Steel Corp. ("based on Andrew Carnegie's Pittsburgh Steel mills") In 1901 by raising the "unprecedented" amount of $1.4 billion. J.P. was adept at creating financial syndicates for the Illuminati, joint efforts to further the "Great Plan." President Welliam Mckinley began prosecuting the Rothschild's Morgan-run Northern Securities under the anti-trust laws in 1900. In 1901 Mckinley ran for a second term and appointed a new vice-president, Theodore Roosevelt, a lock, stock and barrel Illuminatus. Less than a year later he was assassinated. When "Teddy" became president the prosecution of Northern Securities stopped. For this reason some people think Mckinley's death was ordered by J.P. Morgan and the Rothschilds. He was able to set up a syndicate, with the help of Rothschild agent, August Belmont, Jr., that bailed the U.S. out of a Treasury depletion. The syndicate raised $65 billion in gold. The sum would be repaid by an issue of bonds. J.P. received some criticism for the strict terms of the deal. For 5 months in early 1907, J.P. Morgan was in Europe, traveling back and forth between London and Paris, presumably visiting the Rothschild House's there. A. Ralph Epperson writes: "Apparentiy the reason Morgan was in Europe was because the decision was being made to have Morgan precipitate a bank panic in America. When he returned, he started rumors that the KnIckerbocker Bank in New York was insolvent." Panic ensued. People began a mass withdrawal of their deposits - a run. The Knickerbocker run had a domino effect, other banks had runs and the Panic of 1907 ,,was complete." J.P. Morgan oversaw the banking communities response to the Panic of 1907. The whole Incident helped the elite push for a central bank. One man who knew of the plot was historian Frederick Lewis Allen, who wrote in LIFE magazine: ,,...certain chroniclers have arrived at the ingenious conclusion that the Morgan interests took advantage of the unsettled conditions during the autumn of 1907 to precipitate the Panic, guiding It shrewdly as it progressed, so that it would kill off rival banks, and consolidate the pre-eminence of the banks within the Morgan orbit." The Panic of 1907 made people want a powerful central bank that could "protect" the common man from the "abuses of the Wall Street bankers." This whole thing eventually led to the creation of the Federal Reserve. One of the men with the Morgan financial groups was Harold Stanley. Stanley was a member of the Skull & Bones. After J.P.'s death a Morgan firm became Morgan, Stanley & Co. J.P. Morgan died in 1913. HIs son, Harvard educated J.P. Morgan, Jr. took over (most conspiratorial writers do not make a distinction between these two). J.P. Morgan, Jr ran the bank with a team of managers that was led by Thomas Lamont. Morgan, Jr was, like his father, a power-hungry international banker. He was famous for his handling of Immense foreign loans. Most Importantly J.P. Morgan, Jr appears to have followed in the footsteps of the former heads of the House of Morgan by working with the Rothschilds."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:11 PM

Okay, then. You two guys don't have a dog in this fight. So why do you find it necessary to criticize those who do? Just the urge to sit back, feel "superior," and kibbitz?

Okay, I guess we can just go on about our business and ignore you.

By the way, Little Hawk, remember Dante? You are SO proving my point!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: gnu
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM

Sounds like an infernal discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:18 PM

Very interesting stuff, pdq.

Business people are constantly meeting behind closed doors and working out plans to promote their own concerns, meaning increase their profits. They do this by taking over markets, driving competitors out of business or taking them over, forming monopolies if they can, and influencing politicians to pass "helpful" legislation. To call any of that a "conspiracy" (a very dramatic and badly compromised word in today's dialogue) is to overlook the fact that it is normal business practice not to tell the whole world exactly what you are up to when you are engaged in such self-aggrandizing business maneuvers. It wouldn't succeed if everyone knew what you were up to. ;-) So you can call it a "conspiracy theory" if you want to pooh-pooh it...but it's just business as usual.

The same is true of strategy in war. To deceive the enemy as to your intentions is the name of the game. That requires secrecy and false propaganda.

In the case of big business, the "enemy" (meaning the helpless target in this case) is the general public and those few idealistic politicians who might stand in the way of graft, trickery, and corruption and who cannot be bought.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on conspiracy and US politics
From: pdq
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 07:21 PM

History of Federal Banks...


    * 1791–1811: First Bank of the United States
    * 1811–1816: No central bank
    * 1816–1836: Second Bank of the United States
    * 1837–1862: Free Bank Era
    * 1846–1921: Independent Treasury System
    * 1863–1913: National Banks
    * 1913–Present: Federal Reserve System

Andrew Jackson ended the Second Bank of the United States in 1836.

Kennedy ordered an end to the Federal Reserve System in 1963 and as dead three months later.

If people want the truth about people who hold the real hidden power, don't bother with ALEC. They give advise on writing bills that are Constitutional and are passed in the legislatures of states as well as Congress. The bills are out for the public to see and comment on. Not true of the secretive "movers and shakers" whom we do not see.


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