How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won

The Economic Elite vs. the People of the USA: Part VI

Throughout this report, I have presented statistical and fact-based evidence to demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched against 99% of Americans. Despite the efforts of the mainstream media and most current politicians, awareness of this reality is spreading throughout the United States. A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 21% of Americans think that the government has the consent of the governed. An Opinion Research Corp. survey revealed that 86% believe “the system of government is broken.”

An overwhelming majority of the population has come to the realization that our government doesn’t effectively represent us anymore. It is just a matter of time before people start taking it upon themselves to begin organizing on a mass scale. Our survival instinct will soon overwhelm our conditioned passivity and erupt into a powerful countervailing force. However, the longer we hesitate and delay action, the harder it will be to obtain economic and political justice.

We cannot continue to stand by and watch our nation be raped and pillaged like this. We can no longer remain idle and passive while our families’ futures are destroyed as we are sentenced to a slow death.

It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.

We will obviously have many differences on how our country should be run, but we can all come together to dismantle the Economic Elite by making several pivotal political reforms. As long as the game is rigged in favor of the Economic Elite, we will all lose. So let’s find common ground and focus on several obvious battles that we need to win, and can win:

Election Reform

The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.
— Thomas Paine, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government

* Electronic Voting: First and foremost, no private corporation should be able to tell us who has won an election without providing an auditable paper trail. Many Democrats felt that Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 elections, and many Republicans felt Obama stole the 2008 election. Of course people are going to feel that elections are stolen when you have a private corporation secretly counting the votes; it is the inevitable result when you can’t verify the election results. In the past few years companies that count the votes have been consolidating, and one company, ES&S, now secretly controls the majority of all our votes. As voting watchdog Brad Friedman stated, “With the ES&S takeover of Diebold/Premier, their nearest competitor, the privately-run election Goliath now has an un-overseeable lock on virtually every election in the United States of America.” It is common sense to say that this is way too much power to be put into one private corporation.

* Campaign Finance: The stunning ruling by the Supreme Court to allow unlimited political spending by the Economic Elite has made a bad situation even worse. We must level the playing field by enacting laws to prevent the overwhelming influence of big money interests in controlling politicians who are forced to pander to them for the ever-increasing need to raise more and more money to have any shot at winning public office. Statistics show how much the Economic Elite already dominate this process: over 90% of the time the candidate who simply spends more money on their campaign wins the election.

* The Two-Party Oligarchy: We must end the two-party system by funding and voting for alternative parties. It is absurd and completely outdated to only have two dominant political parties in a technologically advanced nation of 309 million people. The two-party paradigm is obsolete and creates a system easily manipulated, as the past decade proves with the co-option of the Democratic and Republican parties. We can give our money and support to whomever we like – Libertarians, Tea Party, Progressives, Greens, Independents and the many soon-to-be-created political groups. However, it is pivotal that we immediately cease support for both the Republican and Democratic parties. We understand that there are representatives from both parties who are fighting for our interests, but they are very few and easily marginalized by paid-off party leaders.

* Getting on the Ballot: Republicans and Democrats have created rules to make it increasingly difficult for opposing political parties to even get on the voting ballot. We must make this process easier and invite new parties onto the ticket.

* Debate Commission: The Democratic and Republican control over who is allowed to participate in the nationally televised debates gives the two parties an insurmountable advantage over any other parties. If you are not even allowed to participate in them, you have no shot at winning. Along with this, all candidates should be given a fair share of television coverage.

* Voter Registration: If you are a citizen, you should be automatically registered to vote.

Governmental Policy Formation

* Secrecy, Transparency and Accountability: Government secrecy is at the root of most of our current societal and economic problems. When decisions are made in secrecy, corruption will most often be the result. By throwing light and investigation on the government policy process, we can easily expose the Economic Elite’s agenda and limit their influence. As part of this, all legislation and conference reports must be posted online prior to Congressional debate and vote.

* Lobbying: Along with campaign finance, political lobbying is another way the Economic Elite can easily manipulate our political process financially, in what amounts to legalized bribery. In 2009, a record amount of money was spent lobbying Congress, and now with the new Supreme Court ruling, lobbyists will have even more power to manipulate the political process with what amounts to buying the laws of our nation. Lobbying activities behind closed doors must cease entirely and equal time must be given, transparently, to all the parties directly affected by the law being written.

* Shutting the Revolving Door: No politician should be allowed to profit from government laws or policies which they have written or supported. The practice of leaving a major company to become a politician who then creates and/or supports laws that directly benefit the corporation he or she used to work for, or, conversely, politicians who leave public office to take a high-paying job for a company they have benefited, is a grotesque abuse and manipulation of the democratic process. The revolving door between politics and big business is worse than it has ever been and has corrupted the government like never before.

Information Platforms

* Media Concentration: Having a few large multinational corporations dominating the overwhelming majority of our news and information system will never lead to an informed citizenry. Only ten multinational corporations dominate our mainstream media system. These companies are run by 118 individuals who actively work to propagate Economic Elite rule. The people who run these media companies also sit on other corporate boards that often represent a major conflict of interest. Having only 118 people in ten companies dominating a system that creates public opinion for 309 million people is absurd. We must break up this information cartel and support a more diverse and vibrant independent press that fosters real investigative journalism.

* Net Neutrality: The free and open architecture of the Internet is vital to our success. Without an open Internet our most powerful medium for research and communication, and key organizing tool, will be lost. The Internet must be protected from growing forces that seek to control it by limiting our access to information and our ability to communicate on a mass scale.


* Medical Costs: We have disagreements on how to best provide healthcare, but we all agree that whatever the method, the result needs to be lower costs. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we now pay twice as much as other nations. Other than creating huge salaries for health industry-related executives, there isn’t any reason why we should be forced to pay such outrageous sums of money for second-rate care. No American should die due to lack of money, or have to face bankruptcy in order to get life-sustaining treatments.

* Food and Water Supply: Our food and water supply systems have become a major health hazard. The amount of harmful chemicals found in both our food and water have reached record levels and is causing alarming levels of sickness in a growing number of people.

Real Economic Competition

* Most Americans Believe in Competition: If a person works hard, is productive and good at what they do, most everyone believes that they should make more than a person who sits around looking for handouts. However, just as in sports, to maintain a competitive environment you have to have rules in place that prevent people from having an unfair advantage. For those who believe in competition, in capitalism and free markets, you have to acknowledge that what we have now is not a free market based on fair competition. It is a rigged market, where larger institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have an unfair advantage. We cannot allow them to be beyond the law, manipulate the market and then receive taxpayer funds to increase profits and risk-taking while smaller companies, outside of Economic Elite circles, have to play by a much stricter set of rules.

You can’t have free market capitalism when you have government policies favoring companies that have more political clout than others. What we have is socialism for the rich and trickle down economics for the rest of us. We have a market systemically designed to funnel money into the pockets of the richest. If the past few years have proved anything, they have proved that our economy is much more like a pyramid scheme than a free market, where the more money you have, the more money you make. So whatever your economic beliefs and theories might be, let’s all come together to admit that our “free market” is an illusion. We need to make the economic playing field fair so we that can have real competition.

* Redistribution of Wealth: Due to the rigging of our economic and political system, vast sums of wealth have been hoarded by the Economic Elite over the past 40 years. This money must be redistributed to the 99% of Americans who have been robbed and exploited. There will be much heated debate over how this money should be distributed, but we all need to agree that we must first hold the Economic Elite accountable and our wealth must be seized from them.

* Investigations and Prosecutions: The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has the power to reveal the inner workings of the financial coup. We must apply intense public pressure and scrutiny to force the Commission into conducting a real investigation. Another urgent priority needs to be a much wider-ranging look at war profiteering. There has been some investigation, but not nearly enough and hardly any prosecution. These are just two of the many investigations that need to be launched. As long as we keep letting the Economic Elite get away with outright theft in broad daylight, we will never be able to restore a nation of law.

There are obviously other vital issues that need to be addressed, but these are the core common-ground issues that we must urgently rally around and support. Unless we organize and take decisive action on all these issues, we will all suffer the consequences of our collective inaction. Any politician who does not urgently move on these issues must be voted out of office and replaced by people who will aggressively fight on these fronts.

These are the core issues that keep the Economic Elite in power. As famed military strategist Carl von Clauswitz wrote in his study “On War,” it is pivotal to strike at this core structure, at “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”

To those Americans who feel powerless to change things, I say that your feelings are only a result of your induced delusion. You have become so propagandized that you do not even understand the significant position that you are in. We are not peasants trapped in a Third World existence. We are still a mass of people who have the power to change the course of history. The Economic Elite realize this, which is why they are attacking us with an increased intensity.

Why We Must Take Mass Organized Action Now:
The Devastation Ahead

Market Watch recently ran an article entitled, “Death of American Capitalism: The 10 final scenes.” The article references Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s long-time investment partner, stating: “Munger is warning us ‘It’s Over’ for America. Yes, ‘o-v-e-r,’ America’s in decline, at the end-of-days, coming to ‘financial ruin,’ says Munger.”

As a result of the Economic Elite’s attack on us, the inequality of wealth between the economic top one percent and the remaining 99% of the population is the highest it has ever been in our nation’s history. The Robber Barons of the Gilded Age have now been overtaken as America’s most depraved and despotic class.

As this attack continues, social safety nets and important public functions that are already reaching a breaking point will collapse under the weight of prolonged decline. With the national deficit now at an all-time high, economists are expecting major cutbacks in vital government programs and tax increases “that aren’t even imaginable.” President Obama has recently put together a “Deficit Commission” and is prepared to make “painful choices.” Many state economies are already running high deficits and preparing for deep cuts in Medicaid and retirement pensions. Major cuts in Social Security payments are also a real possibility.

On top of the 160 banks that have already failed in the past year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has listed another 702 banks as being in danger of failing. These banks “collectively hold more than $400 billion in assets” and the FDIC is already operating at “a deficit of nearly $21 billion as of Dec. 31, or more than double the previous quarter.”

With 30 million Americans now unemployed and underemployed, over the next few months five million people will lose the unemployment benefits which they have been surviving off of. Unemployment benefits in 27 states have already gone into the red. In total 40 state programs are expected to go broke. Even the most optimistic economists believe high unemployment rates will continue for the foreseeable future.

Millions more will be added to the five million families who have already been kicked out of their homes, as the number of foreclosures is expected to reach 13 million within the next few years. Food and homeless shelters are already overwhelmed, and there will be millions more in need of these life-sustaining services. 50 million Americans are currently in need of food stamps for survival and approximately 20,000 new people are added to this total every day.

Despite all the healthcare reform talk, the bill still being discussed will do little to reduce costs and extend coverage to those who urgently need it, as insurance rates continue to rise. The number of Americans without health insurance continues to skyrocket to now well over 50 million, with 45,000 preventable US citizen deaths occurring per year. Due to economic hardship, the number of people suffering from psychological depression has hit an all-time high, as suicide rates keep rising.

With a prison population of 2.3 million people, we now have more people incarcerated than any other nation in the world. Our per capita rate of 700 people imprisoned per 100,000 citizens is higher than the darkest days of the Soviet Union. On top of this, the prison industry is expecting major growth over the next few years, as a “new prison opens every week somewhere in America” and Obama commits more tax dollars for the federal Bureau of Prisons.

All told, the death and destruction wrought by this economic crisis is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every single week! And the attacks continue unabated, with no significant measures taken to defend against them and hold those responsible accountable.

With almost 200 million Americans now living paycheck to paycheck, and over 50 million already living in poverty, people are quickly running out of options. The clock is ticking loudly for them, and time delayed is time closer to death.

At the same time, Americans are arming themselves at an alarming rate. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high, and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders. In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

The recent suicide-bomber who hit the IRS building in Texas will be the first of many violent acts if we don’t demonstrate that justice and the rule of law can be restored in a non-violent manner. Suicide-bombers have already reeked havoc in many countries across the globe. As the last act of revenge and desperation, people throughout the world have increasingly resorted to this method of violence and terror.

Fate has placed us in our nation’s most pivotal moment. If we do not take it upon ourselves to lead in decisive non-violent mass action, our country will soon be torn apart by violence and destruction.

In our nation’s history, the stakes have never been higher. It is vital that we recognize the urgent gravity of the situation. What happens over the next few years will determine the fate of our very way of life, of our families’ very existence. We have been attacked, and we are now at war. This is the unfortunate reality of our current crisis.

Our enemy is extraordinarily powerful. However, we are 99% of the US population, and they are only 1%. If we fight, we win!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.
Frederick Douglass

All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency is great and unendurable. And oppression and robbery are organized, I say; let us not have such a machine any longer. I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.
— Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

We have no choice left…. A concealed yes drives us that is stronger than all our no’s. Our strength itself will no longer endure us in the old decaying soil. We venture away, we venture ourselves! We know of a new world.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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  • Read Part I, II, III, IV, and V.
  • David DeGraw writes for AmpedStatus. Read other articles by David, or visit David's website.

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    1. Deadbeat said on February 27th, 2010 at 1:31pm #

      I was rather disappointed by this article. It seems to be long on platitudes, long on reforms and short on offering any real permanent solutions. Also Capitalism is not in a state of collapse. Capitalism is doing quite well. It is labor that is not doing well. I agree with the author that action need to be taken but perhaps it is time for people like the author to reassess their ideology.

      Joe Stack clearly did that as he wrote …

      The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

      The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

    2. Deadbeat said on February 27th, 2010 at 1:48pm #

      Here’s an article that helps explains why we see such limited analysis.

      Demonizing “Socialism”

    3. lichen said on February 27th, 2010 at 2:22pm #

      This article wasn’t bad, until you reached the point where you talked about “competition,” where you demonized the disabled and the unemployed. No one deserves more than anyone else, and this slave morality view of most americans that they are somehow “better” than others for exploiting genetic, social, and environmental advantages and/or working shit jobs with no benefits that make them sick and destroy the planet is a sickening delusion. We would need full employment at democratic, green cooperatives with good benefits, paid vacation, short work weeks, and guaranteed housing, education before you can accuse people victimized by the current system of just “sitting around looking for handouts.” And bringing up this right wing charade, further, cancels out your next section, as most of these same fascist americans think that multi-billionaires somehow “earned” their stolen wealth and should keep it.

    4. bozh said on February 27th, 2010 at 3:56pm #

      Advocating for an idyllic society is the way to go. For time being, let us not mention the word “socialism” . Double quotes denote standard american usage of the word and not mine.

      If i was posting in venezuealla i might just say socialism; which wld mean i am using the word in its proper meanings: butiful, desirable, right way to live.

      In an idylic society, each person wld be equally valued, respected; earning ab equal wages; be strongly interdependent, calm, happy,secure in every way, etc.
      Everybody wld work. People who wld do more dangerous or hard work wld simply work shorter hours.
      When i use single quotes for a label, it signifies two ideas: its false-to-fact value and non-elementalism.
      When one speaks of an event as existing in isolation from other events, it is called elementalism.

      U’ll often hear people say: Don’t talk ab “religion” or “politics”. They think that ‘politics’, etc. is not connected in any wise to all of the reality: Music, mathematics, life, science, education, exploitation, namecalling, warfare, and everything else that goes under the sun.

      Such people do not espy that telling a person not to talk ab ‘politics’ has just self engaged in ‘politics’.
      So, most people in america and elsewhere dread talking ab ‘politics’ or ‘religion’ both of which are parts of one’s life and which are too important to leave just to ‘pols’ and ‘clergy’.

      This is one of the oldest ruses: Leave ‘politics’ to ‘politicians’ and ‘religion’ to ‘clergy’; they ‘know’, u’r too damn dumb!
      It can be likened onto having a fox tending chickens. But, goddarned it, the ruse is still working butifully!
      I am a song writer. Most of my songs came to me after i became 65 yrs of age.
      But, to me, ‘my’ songs have been in the making for a mn yrs and it took trns of people to make these songs.
      This is one example of non-elementalism. Another one wld be to say i wldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the darkest afrikans. Boy, does it ever explode the myth of supremacism! tnx

    5. openyourmind said on February 28th, 2010 at 12:45am #

      I am totally in agreement with what is in this article. I have a comment that some people might find hard to swallow but here goes anyway: What Mr DeGraw talks about is nothing new to Islam. If people would take the time to really find out what Islam is all about they will be surprised if not shocked to realise its totally different to how its been portrayed to be in the mass controlled media. Just like the economic elite are at war with the people of America, they are also at war with Islam, do you know why?
      Islam in its teachings abhors oppression, Islam teaches for muslims to stand up and fight against oppression, tyranny, lies, false testimony, propoganda etc. Islam has been demonised and made the enemy because the values that muslims are supposed to stand up for and fight for is a serious threat to the world domination that thes ruthless soulless people seek. You see, unfortunately as painful as it may be to admit, but the American people are in this predicament coz they have been brainwashed by their media propagandists and duped into a passive accepting state, where living the american dream was made the ultimate goal for all. Aspiring to that left many with broken dreams , overwhelming debt, and working and working and paying taxes. Meanwhile its not been benefitting them but the elite. Now islam advises against that sort of living. Dignity, self respect, obedience to a divine law, the right to defend oneself and stand up to tyranny, to actually stand up against opresssion and evil, those are all actions that are incumbent on every single follwer of islam. The people of America dont realise that in muslims they have an ally, a community of people with similar goals to the people of America in this difficult trying time. Islam abhors acts of terrorism and taking of innocent lives whether muslim or not, but all muslims have been demonised as terrorists by the propoganda machine even though terrorist acts, are done by misguided individuals or staged to look like the work of muslims, mind you theres alot of deception and lies out there! Islam has been made the enemy because it offers a solution lacking elsewhere and opposes everything that the elite are trying to impose. A solution that does not allow people to be exploited and oppressed and lied to and made into slaves for their greedy masters. Islam offers a system of justice, peace, yes peace, truth, integrity,a move away from materialistic living to a balanced way of life, a solution to all lifes problems, hope ,dignity.I suggest to all reading this to investigate the core teachings of islam and you will be surprised to discover that the muslim community within and without America are with you in standing up to this global threat of evil morally bankrupt group of thugs trying to impose the world as they would have it to for their own selfish goals.

      I am not trying to preach, just trying to making the people realise that the the enemy that they perceive to be within that is the muslim communities, are actually allies with you in this fight that is going to have to be fought to get back what has been taken from you.

    6. Deadbeat said on February 28th, 2010 at 3:01am #

      Here’s the problem that I see the article. The author view “issues” as a smorgasbord rather than explain how these problem are actually the systemic outgrowth of capitalism. That failure by the already means that some of his proposed change could be struggled for but the underlying system remains INTACT. Therefore trying to organize around this list may appeal to some and not appeal to others. In other words he is starting out with a COMPROMISED and WEAK position.

      In addition, the author analysis is contradictory. As Lichen points out the author talks about competition but on the other hand he wants wealth redistribution. The problem you cannot have both. It is competition that leads to wealth concentration. Also I notice that the author with it comes to electoral reform doesn’t advocate abolishing the electoral college and winner-take-all elections.

      I think considering the state of labor today — because that is where the real crisis is — it is better to articulate and envision a society beyond capitalism which is the true source of the current ills. This is why I think the real challenge is one of ideology. People need to reassess their indoctrination and start thinking in much deeper terms about the current situation.

    7. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 6:21am #

      We cannot continue to stand by and watch our nation be raped and pillaged like this. We can no longer remain idle and passive while our families’ futures are destroyed as we are sentenced to a slow death.

      Having only 118 people in ten companies dominating a system that creates public opinion for 309 million people is absurd.

      we must first hold the Economic Elite accountable and our wealth must be seized from them. David

      The system is not broken it is out of control. Yes a few are in control of the out of control system and it’s still the easy way out. Nonsense and foolishness is now the norm and so far it’s working. This is a tuff one and here’s an e-mail I sent to the weather channel.


        Yes we will be back to normal very soon. With the great knowledge and wisdom we see probably by the end of this summer back to normal. I hear talk of something called a new normal.  I wonder what the heck that is as I remember living in Florida in 2005 and Jeb Bush saying to all of us listen to your leaders. Ok then what. Then New Orleans was that a new normal but wait we will be back to normal. I see James Inhofe will try some scientists for crimes against huminity. Again normal well maybe new normal. Oh heck let’s see how normal looks by september and probably into october. Well remember we must conform to the established norm because to not do that we will be called abnormal. What is the established norm?

        Is this the established norm?

      A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

         Humm a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive now just on the off chance Albert was correct would that be a new normal? Then of course we have this normal person who has obtained liberation from the self.


            You see calm at peace the knowledge the wisdom is right there before our eye’s. Bad data or abnormal and we can’t have that no no no not in twenty ten the age of reason. You think he will win the battle for the hearts and minds truth and justice our very freedom and help us all with this kind of prison restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Look at him again he’s on to it what a guy and we thought all the great thinkers were gone. Yes back to normal very soon.

        Last night on CNN Jack Cafferty said at the end of his progame called broken goverment that we need to elect policy makers who work for us not do things to us. No no no we need a new way of thinking. It’s not just goverment as James Inhofe and his few close friends who might they be?  Are they policy makers sort of and have they obtained liberation from the self? Well think 180 degrees in the other direction. Can you do that? What they do do is keep us in a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us. But we would not not to be called abnormal now would we. In Hawaii a rather large wave is coming listen to your leaders go to highter ground and to listen to leaders what could be helpful think kind of a new way of thinking. Right now I am watching how to cut in a wall painting on the weather channel as a rather large wave is headed to Hawaii here’s where you might want to put on the old thinking cap.


      a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive that’s

    8. bozh said on February 28th, 2010 at 7:42am #

      To me, capitalism is a mere symptom, and not the cause of competition. Division of people into less-valued and more-valued and thus into chosen bunch with more econo-military-political power and discards with near zero military-politico-economic power, appears the root cause causing all kinds of ills.

      If capitalism subsumes exploitation, cheating, deluding, private army [actually, to me both the ‘private’ and regular are private], cia, fbi, lying, waging wars, etc.]then al these aspects of one reality are still mere symptoms of a disease.

      Cure the disease and, presto, all symptoms disappear. Ruling class always, i deduce, knew this. That’s why they always had private army and spies.

      The cure of the disease may be found in the enlightenment of the people; who wld begin to act as the other economic power; by boycotts, divestments, and relentless propaganda of their own.
      And not much money is needed for the campaign to cure this cancer; just lotsof respect for one another; much anger and hatred of that cancer!
      Respect, feelings of being wanted-needed is a mighty power; so, create it and use it. tnx

    9. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 11:06am #

      A good example of strangenees spreading through out the land could be this. Dr. Heidi Cullen who was on the weather channel used to do a program I think called forecast Earth. Somewhat light in it’s approuch to climate change you know change light bulbs recycle and some science. Then On ABC a program called Earth 2100 and it was done by some of the best minds we have including Heidi Cullen and not a good picture and was it correct close to what’s coming appears so. We don’t see Heidi Cullen on the weather channel anymore as I guess talking about good golf weather or skiing, vacation weather seemed a little off the truth. Do other people not just myself notice these things well yes. I live in a small town and talk with most people and have noticed some of the older folks and most of the younger people get it. I can hardly wait to see James Inhofe try some scientists for crimes against humanity. Do the scientists hate so called policy makers well hate is a strong word but let’s just say they are not fond of eachother. Bush and company following around scientists and rewritting reports could be part of this lack of fondness. I have watched this Inhofe person for a number of years now and all the signs of a phychopath and or just nut’s seem to be there and granted hidden with the help of suit and tie and what I like to call robot talk. A person with an antisocial personality disorder without empathy or remorse. Yes in the arms of the angles and now he want’s to try scientists for crimes against humanity and doing this of course for the American people, what. Yes boring this will not be and can already feel the love as more strangeness spreads through out the land. Here’s an example of scientists and James Inhofe and his little gang. One and one is two. No one and one is 20 or maybe thirty if it’s good enough for Wall Street it’s good enough for us. The ice is melting Worldwide much faster than first thought like ice free in the Arctic in 5 years real fast. Well if the ice melt’s it will come back right? That’s right James and also a very very very good chance human’s will nolonger be on planet Earth. I can only imagin what many of these scientists after Bush and now this must feel like. Yes one and one is thirty and worked oh so well for a few sort of.

    10. Max Shields said on February 28th, 2010 at 11:34am #

      I find much of the talk on DV and economics to be simplistic in that it continues to demonize markets because their are powerful elites who have corrupted those markets when not checked.

      This is not about socialism or capitalism per se. That conversation follows a similar path as the tit for tat of Dems Versus Republicans. It limits clear thinking for ideological boxes of pure good and pure bad – depending on which side of the converation you choose.

      Markets exist just like human language exists. It emerges from our activity, not as a blueprint but as something that takes hold through community, dialog, relationships and exchanges. Markets will exist whether the centralized or decentralized; just as language continues regardless of the dialect or lexicon used.

      Markets at their best are balanced by community. When community is left out of the equation, all fails – i.e., markets fail. We see this with Wall Street and Corporatism that has grabbed hold once again (yes, this is not the first or only time). Markets regularly fail, just as how we communicate regularly fails to persuade or be, in general, effective.

      One can recognize markets or not; but denying them is to deny a reality that no ideology can put asunder. We cannot and should not ignore the whole for its parts.

      If there are only workers than who owns the business, the farm, the book store? If your answer is that all of these can be owned by the workers, you still have an owner, you still have markets, you still have employment by someone or entity.

      Talking for socialism by talking against capitalism is a deadend conversation that denies certain essential realities.

    11. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 12:00pm #

      It is my opinyon that reguardless of the system we have only a few more years to act and wotking together is the only way. So far and what we see actademic. How’s my spelling. Sorry shoud have used a ?

    12. bozh said on February 28th, 2010 at 12:25pm #

      In any society, people wld work, produce,etc. They wld sell and buy. So, if market means selling and buying, it is easily understandable. The problem arises when people throw in the word “free” that causes an ocean of confusion.
      If one uses the word “free’ for market or speech, this tacitly dichotomises selling and buying [if that is an acceptable definition?] into “free” [and whatever it may mean?] and “unfree” market.
      And after this, all i can do is to scratch my head and ask, Is this just another ruling class’ invention and in toto disconnected from reality and yet so effective since people love the word “free” even if it actually stands for who knows what.

      This analyses also pertains to “capitalism”. Is this also an invention? With an endless number of symbolic values?
      Or does the word “capitalism” [i put the label under double quotes to indicate american usage of the term, and not mine nor of bns of people] symbolize one, two, three, or several of its traits?

      So, i suggest if one wants to talk ab “capitalism”, one better define it or list its characteristics. Otherwise one is gonna talk past me! I do not know what the word capitalism means; i.e. what practices or human interactions it denotes.

      Thus i avoid the label like a plague. Anent socialism or building and creating an idyllic society i have over the yrs enumerated its characteristics.
      Of course, since americans dread “socialism”, asocialistic people are only to glad to posit dwn the label, but never its traits.

      One of its traits is: “to each according her/his needs…” It had been reported that when school kids heard this they though it was in the constitution. I don’t know what happened to the teach for saying that. tnx

    13. Max Shields said on February 28th, 2010 at 1:18pm #

      Sure, markets, like everything else, have been coopted by those with the influence and power to their purposes. Calling it “free” has been so distorted by the Reaganites (who favored big business over markets, by the way) that our conversation has lost its focus. We’re ready to throw the baby out with the water because all language is turned on its head by those with the power to dominate the narrative.

      Wall Street has become the symbol for markets when WS is the problem and has almost no reality in marketing economics. Wall Street creates nothing of worth. The global economy has further distorted as it has been dominated by transnational corporations. Trade has been distorted by Corporate “neoliberal free trade agreements”.

      We need to think clearly about these matters if we are to find real common ground. It is true that a vast majority of people agree on the underlying values we all want for ourselves you future generations. From there it is clear that the power (one party (pseudo-two)) with the money afforded by the corporate mission to maximize profits with no constraints. There is nothing wrong with profits as long as it is not at the price of community and the common good. We should not be paying through tax dollars for ANY corporate or private profits. There are commons which we must recapture and topple each and every monopoly as they rear their ugly heads. Ecomonies of scale and the bigness they create is a deep problem, and is a root cause of much of what the author speaks to.

    14. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 3:52pm #

      “to each according her/his needs…” Stop the press’s don’t build that motor we will show the World who is boss and that’s kind of what’s happening along with foolishness, illusion and Embarrassing to say the least.

    15. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 4:20pm #

      From NBC’s Anne Thompson
      The non-partisan United States Geological Survey reports today that the ice shelves in southern Antarctic peninsula are retreating and this could lead to increased glacier retreat on the continent and sea level rise.

      Climate change is being blamed and here is why: data shows every ice front in this section of the peninsula has been retreating from 1947 to 2009, but the most dramatic changes have come since 1990.

      These shelves help hold in place the ice sheet that covers 98 percent of Antarctica.  If they disappear or break off then ice from glaciers and ice streams can flow into the ocean raising sea level. 

      Anne Thompson is NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent.

      And the same thing is happening in the Arctic just a tad bit faster. Is it to late for the Arctic the ice it appears so from the best minds we have would that be James Inhofe no I think many of us know he’s nut’s well maybe badly confused to say the least. Who has the burdon of proof I don’t think it’s Inhofe and the gang the Earth is cooling and let’s see how the big picture looks in September. Then of course it will be adapt and listen to your leaders and put that check in the mail call call now USA USA.

    16. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 5:30pm #

      A good part of the forests in Canada dead and why a little bud that likes a little bit warmer temperatures and what’s being done to slow it down not much no profit. The weather in Europe the last few day’s wait don’t tell me another one of those hundred year storms that we now see every two weeks. Is it El Nino yes part of it and another part the big one climate change. Not only are are so called leaders doing nothing but telling us the Earth is cooling. What’s wrong with that picture. Common ground interesting concept.

    17. Don Hawkins said on February 28th, 2010 at 6:26pm #

      Yes it is select few who tell us the Earth is cooling and the other select few say yes it is happening and we are on it. No no no they are not on it in order to get on it they have to transend the BS and that they can’t do. A rock and a hard place so they take the easy way out. Economy or make a try all done with the present system. Profit will it work I think not. A new way of thinking and as long as we see on TV call call now to put it in general terms we are not trying. Again just the next year boring this will not be and just how far can the illusion go well we are about to find out.

    18. Deadbeat said on March 1st, 2010 at 1:01am #

      Max Shields writes …

      Ecomonies of scale and the bigness they create is a deep problem, and is a root cause of much of what the author speaks to.

      Not true. Economies of scale and bigness actually lowers prices and helps to mobilize labor in a manner that can deliver goods and services more effectively than your idyllic belief. Bigness and scale is not the problem. It is the lack of power and the divide nature of proletariat. This is aspect that bozh address and I agree with him. What make “bigness” seem problematic is that people are badly divided and indoctrinated and easily manipulated as the author of this article seem to be with his laundry list of issues rather than offering a systemic analysis and solution.

      What is needed is an analysis that will help people understand that the problem is deeply system and propose solutions that will complete alter the system. The author’s proposals are contradictory and won’t fundamentally alter how the system functions.

      Essentially we need scale — a world wide movement — in order to change the system.

    19. Max Shields said on March 1st, 2010 at 5:50am #

      Deadbeat, of course economies of scale frequently “lowers prices” but at the unsustainable cost of externalities. Those costs are low because of severe shifting of real costs to the public at large, frequently in health, global child labor and the environment.

      Scale, yes, but to ignore limits as you do is what the problem is all about. You are fully aligned to the problem and the corporate theives that rule the world today.

      Power is not the solution. Power is available to anyone. The problem is our organizing principles and the unlimited growth that rules economics today.

      Some solution you offer there Deadbeat.

    20. mary said on March 1st, 2010 at 6:06am #

      In the USA

      Here in the UK, the pound is tumbling today and large job cuts in local council services are being announced. My old Mum used to say ‘ A pinch and a punch for the 1st of the month’. How prescient of her. The house of cards, pile of dominoes or whatever is beginning to fall.

    21. Max Shields said on March 1st, 2010 at 6:37am #

      A clarification: power is an issue, it is not the central issue. The central issue is what is the basis of power. Owning Walmarts is not the solution. Walmart is what happens when economies of scale and biggness run amok.

      I think what is so telling about your statements is just how far apart your thinking and mine is. You seem to relish in the old paradigms of growth, industrialisation and big is better. The only problem is who owns the means of production. It doesn’t matter that resources are scarce, that there are limits, because you deny these things. I appears that this denial is a kind of poverty of thinking: wanting what was denied makes what was denied worth having.

    22. bozh said on March 1st, 2010 at 9:51am #

      I don’t remember if i ever said that i am for much less consumtion per person and that of a country.
      It seems to me that it is sybaritic, the ruling class, which worships ‘economy’.
      I am puting the word under single quotes to indicate that the ‘economists’ present to us the ‘economy’ as existing in isolation from governance, laws, morality, constitution, pols, warring, etc.

      One caveat ab laws or ‘laws’ as i say! We’ve never ever had important one yet!

      And most of all, economy [i am now using the term in its worldly meaning], is presented to unwary public as if it exists totally isolated from what happens btwn people; i.e, in a interpersonal relationship.

      But even most americans do not ever visualize [visualization being, to some people, most efficient human thought] how wld economy look like with ALL people working, smiling, listening respectfully, enjoing the work and people around them; feeling wanted-secure, eating together, conversing warmly, etc.

      We don’t have to visualize what happens now in a work place. We can see it! I have worked! And found most bosses and workers mean, arrogant; perhaps even deliberately stupid.
      But as long as we have hell-on-earth people ruling us, expect more wars and worsening. tnx

    23. Deadbeat said on March 1st, 2010 at 11:46am #

      Deadbeat, of course economies of scale frequently “lowers prices” but at the unsustainable cost of externalities.

      That’s not true. Externalities relates to the power of capitalists and their governments to define the terms of production. Capitalists are permitted to exploit the vast pool of people and natural resources. That is what determines externalities. Scale on the other hand has a lot of benefit that you tend to dismisses as problematic. That is a mistake and calling for smaller scale is only going to weaken the forces needed to change the systems.

    24. Max Shields said on March 1st, 2010 at 2:10pm #

      Deadbeat, externalities are not a capitalistic problem.

      Do you deny the existence of the Soviet Union as a socialist state? If not than that entity provides proof positive that externalities are created regardless of economic ideologies. What can push back on these is tying the market to the community; that is tethering it to the reality of community as opposed to the abstration that creates runaway economic problems that endanger all forms of life whether those economies are socialist or capitalist by name.

      Workers’ cooperatives, an example of workers holding power of production, does democratize the work place, BUT it does not assure that profit over the well-being of community does not reign. Workers are not better rulers than aristocrats or plutocrats; or oligarchs. The problem is systemic, but can be corrected, and must be forever corrected through vigilence.

      Small scale does not solve the problem – it makes it possible to manage it. Whereas, with growth, such manageabililty is lost.

      Kirkpatrick Sales explains it well here:

      You can disagree but if you do I’d ask for clear explanations, not this hodgepodge of contrarianism you seem to trot out as a cogent argument.

    25. bozh said on March 1st, 2010 at 5:08pm #

      I do see that industrialization causes problems for all biota. Howeever, for the first 15-to 20 yrs of the existence of socialism or building of it in a stronlgy fascist and cultish empire that USSR was, the damage that USSR had done might have amounted to .05% of all the damage done by entire world.

      US share of the damage had always been the largest. Today, i am told, US uses 25% of world’s wealth; thus, represents much more danger to biota than china.
      And china wldn’t need to industrialize as much as it does now if there was guarantee that fascists wld not attack it like they did russia!

      Puting all asocialistic countries togethher, their negative effect on our planet is probably much larger than that of socialist lands.
      If socialist lands wld be allowed to do what they have always done;i.e., had a pastoral way of life: farming, growing orchards, fishing, hunting, etc., biota and people wld have not been going thru what they goes thru now.

      We can predict that US wld want to destroy cuba and venezuella. And if the two lands cld industrialize or obtain WMD, US may not attack the two lands.

      Btw, in socialist lands losing plants were not closed dwn. Losing plants were kept afloat by profits made by other plants. Banks, railroads, transportation was owned by all the people.

      Socialism may fail only because socialists, unlike asocialists, do not amass money; thus, cannot pay well mercenairies that wld defend it at any cost; including killing own fascists, if need be.

      But fascist, having money, were able to hire killers and liars in guatemala, chile, colombia, argentina, indonesia, filippines, honduras, nicaragua, etc.
      But even in US, rich people are buying killers and liars. tnx

    26. dan e said on March 1st, 2010 at 5:23pm #

      DeGraw: all smoke & no fire. turns out to be just another liberal, so I have to wonder why DV has devoted so much space to his rap. Or is the truth that the DV editors as a group have not progressed beyond Liberalism?

      DV is very good on Palestine/izzy matters, also merits praise for publishing Keith Harmon Snow’s v. informative articles on Africa. Kim P’s articles are usually v. worthwhile re the issues he chooses to explicate. But there seems to be a reluctance to tackle the really fundamento questions.
      So DV seems to be wandering around in an ideological no-mans-land, somewhere between Liberal Capitalism and a tepid variety of “democratic socialism” with an anti-Isrealy Apartheid twist?
      At least that’s my impression. Maybe I’m misreading the editors’ intent? If so, please do enlighten me:)
      PS: is it necessary to note that the end of official Apartheid and the advent of Black faces in high places did not end the oppression/exploitation of the bulk of the Black population in S Africa, any more than the end of official Jim Crow & the coming of “Integration” has ended racial oppression in the USA?

    27. Max Shields said on March 1st, 2010 at 5:25pm #

      The issue, bozh, is not socialism/capitalism but advanced industrialism / less advanced industrialism and how these are untethered to community.

      The Soviet Union was a centrally planned state that failed at many levels and its “failure” is what reduce its overall impact on resource utilization relative to the West and particularly the USA. The race between these entities was real and there was no check by the Soviets to produce less than the USA. Their failure simply attests to how the West was just better at the industrialization game. Nothing more.

      So, the change needed is, I would argue, more about aligning our markets with community needs to keep those markets tied to an eco-balance which neither China, USA, and Russia do not represent. Much of this is due to sheer size as well as organizing principles. Some would argue that China is making an attempt to check, but I’m very skeptical that China can enter the world “state” as a “power” (specifically economic power) without joining the unstustainable path of USA. Small nation-states are able to check regardless of the economic system label. It’s just a fact. I would add decentralized democratic societies are preferred, but again, human scale best provides us as we can witness historically, and globally. It is not a guarantee, it is a necessary but not sufficient premise.

    28. bozh said on March 2nd, 2010 at 7:59am #

      Max, with respect
      Socialism, which means changing [for better?] structure of society and fascism [maintaining-making it stronger] are as much issues as having peace, good food, health care, etc.

      To be, is to be related, say some people. And everything that happens under the sun is inter-related. So, there are not just two issues but an infinite number;all influencing one another and each influencing all the others.

      In short, there is but one issue: the reality;each person being able to see it with own eyes and thus learn all one needs to know at a point in time.

      We can, imo, only have two structures of society but an innumerable number of capitalisms. We cld have a sharply trapezoid structure one a much less so. So, i am not sure why u compare structure of society and/or governance with “capitalism”?

      Structure of a society such as with aghas, amirs, princes, kings and a structure of society in n. korea can be compared. Their economies can be seen with naked eye; thus can be compared or some knowledge thereby achieved.
      Economy in my usage denotes all what humans do!

      Pyramidic or sharp trapezoid societies were wrought over millennia and obtained with much killings, torture, crimes, exploitation, etc.
      We cld , tho, build an idyllic society w.o. killings, torture of dissidents, but not that stupid to allow fascists to destroy the process.

      Now, one can see why US calls for “freedoms” in china, cuba. So that it can use their citizens to work for the destruction of socialism!

      Yes, push for change via enlightenment shld be carried out from the street. All knowledge may have come from street; i.e., from a locus. It had not come from royal courts or ‘nobility’!
      And it may not ever come from congress-wh-judiciary-cia-army-schools; so, it has to emanate from local communities.

      But u have never declared that u are asocialist. From what us say, i conclude, u don’t want to build a more egalitarian society. Otherwise, u wld not have compared an egalitarian society with nebulous meaning of the word “capitalism”. tnx

    29. Don Hawkins said on March 2nd, 2010 at 8:58am #

      Bozh last night I heard this again have heard it before. That Europe is now falling apart because the exspeariment failed socialism. I’ll bet you know I don’t is it because it’s not really socialism but the same game just more illusion or more complex.

    30. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2010 at 2:50pm #

      I want a fair world and that could be translated into egalitarianism. I want fairness and justice to rule. I don’t think socialism or capitalism assures this.

      I have made my case consistently and repeatedly, socialize nature but harmonize it so that human existence is aligned with nature. Make nature accessable to all and you will have done more to create a fair, justice, peaceful, and taken poverty as far out of the picture as possible. Those who take ownership of the commons create unfairness, injustice and poverty.

      Capitalism is an economic system which like all human systems are flawed. Balance is the way out of pathology. The market place holds both fairness and unfairness. It is WE who must, through our moral obligations, reign in the markets from its tendency to “go to far”; to move toward pathological behavior. This is not corrected by a system. It is corrected by community providing the checks or suffering the consequences.

    31. Deadbeat said on March 2nd, 2010 at 6:39pm #

      Max Sheids writes …

      Do you deny the existence of the Soviet Union as a socialist state?

      The answer is yes. It was a STATE CAPITALIST regime.

    32. Deadbeat said on March 2nd, 2010 at 6:45pm #

      The point is that neither China nor the Soviet Union practiced democracy. Also Max Shields ignores that the USSR was INVADED by the Capitalist West in hopes of destroying or at least disrupting the workers revolution there. But the west meddling in the USSR help Stalin to solidify his power. Somehow that historical fact is missed by Max who is constantly trying to peddle his incorrect notion of markets.

      The market place holds both fairness and unfairness.

      That is patently FALSE.

    33. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2010 at 7:11pm #

      Deadbeat, Let’s start with some questions:

      First, where is your example of a socialist state?

      And then what is your idea of a market?

      Aside from some book, what is your model for the new world order?

    34. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2010 at 8:09pm #

      There is no point regarding China or Soviet Union having democratic governance. Where is it written that democracy defines socialism?

      The important distinction is central state management versus decentralized governance. This continuum can exist with a fascist state or a communist state.

      Again, the emergence of the world powers has been based on an industrialized growth economics. Both versions of 19th and 20th Century economic flavors embraced this as manifested in the major power players.

    35. bobo said on March 20th, 2010 at 7:24pm #

      While all the respondents here are obviously well educated, I do believe the main point of this article has been missed. We need to unite for the common good of all mankind and put aside our petty differences. Focus on the big picture, this planet and all its life forms are doomed if we don’t put a stop to the greed of a few. Once all their programs have been dismantled then we can figure out how to create utopia.