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(AlterNet)   Yes, It Has   (alternet.org) divider line 73
    More: Obvious, dictators, mass unemployment, C. Wright Mills  
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20663 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jan 2013 at 10:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-01-27 09:55:17 AM
26 votes:
The newspaper in my very small hometown (5K) had a letter last week (a friend of the old man). He went on about liberals, gays, poor people, and all of the rest of them, believing that America is what it is today because of those people. The fact that America is becoming increasingly conservative did not seem to figure into the calculus.

This guy from an age when marijuana was illegal but they didn't bust you for smoking it at rock concerts; they went after the dealers.

A time when airport security was about maintaining American's freedom to travel rather than patting everyone down in hopes of finding a tube of toothpaste and declaring the world safer.

An era where the screw ups your life came to be laughed at as you grew up and become a  solid citizen whereas now we dredge up any past stupidity and hold it against a guy forever like it's a felony conviction.

A silly time when streaking was popular and funny but not considered worthy of sexual offender status.

A period when the local cops weren't as well-armed as the military nor manned with people who thought they would soon be defending Smalltown against the invading US Army.

Yes, it's really was simpler back then just as the old guy laments.

How odd the solution is always to restrict freedoms in order to protect them. To reduce taxes to balance the budget. To flunk more kids to improve their education. To do the wrong thing every time and wonder why things get worse.

I guess we're just not cracking down hard enough.
2013-01-27 10:26:48 AM
16 votes:
America's been dead for about 11 years and 3 months now. Oh, it was circling the drain for a few decades, what with our involvement in Vietnam and the War on Drugs, but there was always a glimmer of light that radiated out from America. The Land of the Free. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We still had something to say about being great, and other countries believed it, just as much as we did too.

But 11 years and 3 months ago our beacon of hope was snuffed out. We turned from the Home of the Brave into the home of the cowering pusillanimous slaves to Fear. Once upon a time, we had nothing to fear but fear itself. These days we do everything we can to satisfy those who scare us. We pretend to be strong, but the fear defines and limits us. We take action against our fear, but to the detriment of our freedom. We aren't Americans anymore. We're American'ts.

So when you hear the government calling for more restrictions on our freedoms, especially ones specifically enshrined in our Constitution, tell that government to stick it in its ear. If we as a collective nation can't be a beacon of freedom for the world, at least let us as individuals be a small torch of freedom.
2013-01-27 11:09:57 AM
7 votes:
i.imgur.com
2013-01-27 10:34:26 AM
7 votes:
I think people place too much emphasis on Orwell's predictions of the evolution of totalitarianism with regards to this country, and not enough on Huxley's. I think Huxley was far more accurate regarding the soothing effects of capitalist consumerism and the resulting indifference towards societal decline. How nice that both of these authors' worst observations about society have merged into a giant ball of suck.
2013-01-27 10:28:18 AM
6 votes:
"Yes, It Has"... hmmm, that's not correct either. The correct answer is "It pretty much always has been, but nowadays, some people cannot ignore the blatant hypocrisy coming from the 'talking heads'."
2013-01-27 10:55:23 AM
5 votes:
It's becoming more of a corporate oligarchy, if anything.
2013-01-27 10:39:51 AM
5 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy: America's been dead for about 11 years and 3 months now. Oh, it was circling the drain for a few decades, what with our involvement in Vietnam and the War on Drugs, but there was always a glimmer of light that radiated out from America. The Land of the Free. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We still had something to say about being great, and other countries believed it, just as much as we did too.

But 11 years and 3 months ago our beacon of hope was snuffed out. We turned from the Home of the Brave into the home of the cowering pusillanimous slaves to Fear. Once upon a time, we had nothing to fear but fear itself. These days we do everything we can to satisfy those who scare us. We pretend to be strong, but the fear defines and limits us. We take action against our fear, but to the detriment of our freedom. We aren't Americans anymore. We're American'ts.

So when you hear the government calling for more restrictions on our freedoms, especially ones specifically enshrined in our Constitution, tell that government to stick it in its ear. If we as a collective nation can't be a beacon of freedom for the world, at least let us as individuals be a small torch of freedom.


It's been going on for much much longer than that. Ask the Japanese-Americans that were forced to spend most of WWII in internment camps whose only crime was being born of Japanese parents or Emma Goldman and Charlie Chaplin who were deported due to having unpopular political beliefs or any of the people deported under the Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1903 or the targets of COINTELPRO or the HUAC hearings and so on and so forth.


The only difference now is that due to the increased flow of information we're being inundated daily with examples so it seems like things are so much worse.
2013-01-27 10:34:30 AM
5 votes:

Katolu: Yep, it started 9/12/01. No looking back now!


It started well before then.
You could move the marker back to when we were just coming out of the civil rights movement, or even further to the 1920's era anti union violence and prohibition.
Politicians kept working on the right combination of power grabbing, gerrymandering, and bullshiatting to make you want a police state like what they've seen in other nations. They've desperately wanted to copy the changes they saw in nations like Germany, but Americans are difficult to persuade.

The powers that be finally hit the perfect recipe after 9/11, but this mess has been cooking for a long time.
2013-01-27 10:57:34 AM
3 votes:
It's in the early stages of authoritarianism, I would say. It is technically not too late to reverse the change, but reversing it would require us to confront the cowardice we have espoused as a society for many, many years (far longer, in fact, than the actual slide toward authoritarianism has been going on). That would be a matter, not directly of votes, but of dialogue: cultural change, not governmental. The votes will follow, when the people are once again brave.

Or, more likely, they will not. Both parties have used fear and trauma-by-proxy as a weapon against the other for so long that they've forgotten how to function without it, and the end result is that neither party truly carries the necessary courage anymore. They each carry some aspects of it, but even when working together they wouldn't hold all the pieces, and besides, neither side wants to. They've grown comfortable in their cowardice, and that's when things really took their turn for the worse.
2013-01-27 10:47:27 AM
3 votes:
People who think the US is authoritarian now have no sense of history. While there's a perpetual pendulum swing, I think we can pinpoint the death of American freedom to 1798.
2013-01-27 10:42:13 AM
3 votes:
I love how an article supposedly on a system-wide transformation of the American Republic into an authoritarian system still manages to take the time to blame the "Republicans" and tries to excuse the "Democrats" -- criticizing them only for when they act like "Republicans".

More political tribalism. More group identity that makes people feel good.
2013-01-27 10:18:26 AM
3 votes:
Yep, it started 9/12/01. No looking back now!
2013-01-28 01:10:47 AM
2 votes:
Let's look at what happens to people saying things our government (and the wealthy who own our government) really don't like people to say.

Laura Poitras, an Oscar-and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and journalist has produced multiple documentaries on how the American "war on terror" has effected the lives of people in the Middle East.

The New York Times stated that Poitras has produced "two of the most searching documentaries of the post-9/11 era, on-the-ground chronicles that are sensitive to both the political and the human consequences of American foreign policy."

Her next film will will examine the way in which The War on Terror has been imported onto U.S. soil, with a focus on the U.S. Government's increasing powers of domestic surveillance, its expanding covert domestic NSA activities (including construction of a massive new NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah), its attacks on whistleblowers, and the movement to foster government transparency and to safeguard Internet anonymity. In sum, Poitras produces some of the best, bravest and most important filmmaking and journalism of the past decade, often exposing truths that are adverse to U.S. government policy, concerning the most sensitive and consequential matters

Now here is a great example of someone saying something the government does not like. Let's see if she gets harassed for it.

Poitras' work has been hampered, and continues to be hampered, by the constant harassment, invasive searches, and intimidation tactics to which she is routinely subjected whenever she re-enters her own country. Since the 2006 release of "My Country, My Country," Poitras has left and re-entered the U.S. roughly 40 times. Virtually every time during that six-year-period that she has returned to the U.S., her plane has been met by DHS agents who stand at the airplane door or tarmac and inspect the passports of every de-planing passenger until they find her (on the handful of occasions where they did not meet her at the plane, agents were called when she arrived at immigration). Each time, they detain her, and then interrogate her at length about where she went and with whom she met or spoke. They have exhibited a particular interest in finding out for whom she works.

She has had her laptop, camera and cellphone seized, and not returned for weeks, with the contents presumably copied. On several occasions, her reporter's notebooks were seized and their contents copied, even as she objected that doing so would invade her journalist-source relationship. Her credit cards and receipts have been copied on numerous occasions. In many instances, DHS agents also detain and interrogate her in the foreign airport before her return, on one trip telling her that she would be barred from boarding her flight back home, only to let her board at the last minute. When she arrived at JFK Airport on Thanksgiving weekend of 2010, she was told by one DHS agent - after she asserted her privileges as a journalist to refuse to answer questions about the individuals with whom she met on her trip - that he "finds it very suspicious that you're not willing to help your country by answering our questions." They sometimes keep her detained for three to four hours (all while telling her that she will be released more quickly if she answers all their questions and consents to full searches).


Why yes. Yes she is.

Regularly.
Perhaps the regular assholes from the Politics Tab will explain why none of this counts.
2013-01-27 12:17:11 PM
2 votes:
The US has pretty much engaged in some type of warfare since the beginning of its history, the period we now live in bears such striking similarity to the start of the 20th century that it's almost laughable, apart from the start of a world war which would pretty much end the world nowadays, yesterday's anarchists are today's terrorists. The infamous act was the assassination of a president vs the toppling of buildings that had been targeted ever since they went up.

We keep thinking of America as being this land of opportunity, and it still is in a way, but we're at a dangerous point where the rule of law is being challenged to the rule of wealth, when did we become so afraid of doing what is right, and jailing those who seek to make a mockery of our courts by flaunting wealth as a shield for their criminality. If we lose our place in this world it will be because we gave it up.
2013-01-27 11:21:49 AM
2 votes:
That article was so crammed with nebulous buzzwords and self-important rhetoric it was unreadable. If I were handed that paper, I'd hand it back with a note for the author to read Orwell's essay on the English language. The first rule of any piece of political writing is be comprehensible to the reader.

However, it came from AlerNet, a source of similar argle-bargle on a disturbingly regular basis. They are so prone to self-congratulatory pronouncements that I have entirely given up on reading their stuff.
2013-01-27 11:20:03 AM
2 votes:
i.imgur.com
2013-01-27 11:10:22 AM
2 votes:

BlippityBleep: i think it was the point where i was kicked out of a park bench for zero reason by a park ranger while i was waiting for a friend to go tour the White House when i realized that we're really farked up.

now pick up that can, citizen.


I finally realized it for myself when I was summarily evicted from an I-5 freeway rest stop by an extremely rude Oregon State Trooper for parking to snooze for a few hours while driving from Seattle to San Jose. I had been there for all of about 20 minutes when the man came up to my truck and bashed on the door with his flashlight several times and then opened it up and told my I would have to leave or I would be arrested on the spot. When I asked him, (rather blearily, I had just dozed off when he came knocking) on what charge, he told me he'd "think of something."
2013-01-27 11:07:01 AM
2 votes:

Stone Meadow: Umm...1791...the year the USG first used force against its own citizens; whiskey tax protesters in Western Pennsylvania.


I'm not certain that's fair to count. The Whiskey Rebellion is better thought of as the finale of the American Revolution, or even a second revolution. It was a direct consequence of changing the form of government from a Confederacy to a Republic.
2013-01-27 10:48:31 AM
2 votes:
i think it was the point where i was kicked out of a park bench for zero reason by a park ranger while i was waiting for a friend to go tour the White House when i realized that we're really farked up.

now pick up that can, citizen.
2013-01-27 10:47:51 AM
2 votes:

Snapper Carr: The only difference now is that due to the increased flow of information we're being inundated daily with examples so it seems like things are so much worse.


and of course that those in power have much more sophisticated means of monitoring and controlling the population.
2013-01-27 10:47:50 AM
2 votes:

heinrich66: I love how an article supposedly on a system-wide transformation of the American Republic into an authoritarian system still manages to take the time to blame the "Republicans" and tries to excuse the "Democrats" -- criticizing them only for when they act like "Republicans".


Do you honestly deny that Republicans are a profoundly authoritarian party? At least Democrats have a huge faction who are committed to civil liberties and equal rights; the GOP no longer pays even lip service to those concepts.
2013-01-27 10:41:06 AM
2 votes:
FTA : Decontextualized ideas and issues, coupled with the overflow of information produced by the new electronic media, make it more difficult to create narratives that offer historical understanding, relational connections and developmental sequences. The fragmentation of ideas and the cascade of information reinforce new modes of depoliticization and authoritarianism

a248.e.akamai.net
2013-01-27 10:34:57 AM
2 votes:
The country started going down hill when Kennedy was assassinated. It went from the government protecting and helping the people of the country to the government protecting itself from the people and helping itself.
2013-01-27 10:33:56 AM
2 votes:
FTA has a properly provocative title, but reads like one of those computer-generated papers that are devoid of any real content, instead being one sentence and paragraph after another filled with glittering generalities and banal conclusions that don't even address the title's claim.

So, the questions is...was that a deliberate example of the offence the author accuses the government of perpetrating? In which case it was subtle. Or just shiatty writing?
2013-01-27 10:21:48 AM
2 votes:
I get what he's saying, but I think he's confusing totalitarianism with authoritarianism.
2013-01-28 02:16:15 AM
1 votes:
Here's Laura Poitras discussing another recent work on the New York Times:

It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a "target" of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: "I'm tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I'll talk to you."

Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.'s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004.

"The decision must have been made in September 2001," Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. "That's when the equipment started coming in." In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything - their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships - to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.


Oh, look. Somebody else being harassed by the government for saying things they don't like.

I suppose it doesn't count since they weren't just outright disappeared.
2013-01-28 01:35:08 AM
1 votes:

halfof33: Uh, it is Glenn Greenwald writing, and therefore not worth the electrons it is wasting.


Well, he is a real liberal who constantly ripped Bush a new asshole for pulling this sort of shiat, but who didn't suddenly start making excuses when Obama continued and expanded the Bush policies.

I can see why you're quite so butthurt about him.
2013-01-27 10:28:40 PM
1 votes:

nicoffeine: How many people in this thread are under the sword of arrest for what they've said here?

Anyone?


Let's be serious for a minute. If someone here were arrested for their comments, you'd never know. Unless you knew them personally, there are any number of reasons they'd suddenly stop posting, and you wouldn't be able to tell if it was because they gave up on the thread or were dragged away by the police.

So your question, which is very condescending to people who have fought hard to protect the freedom of speech, is ironic in that you'd never be able to get an answer if the arrests were actually happening.
2013-01-27 09:45:36 PM
1 votes:

portnoyd: Wayne 985:
Yes, showing a passport and photo ID when you're getting on a plane is like being searched by the Gestapo. One minute you're showing a driver's license and the next you're being shipped to Obama's gas chambers.

While I'm not disagreeing with you with your collective comments here, you're quite angry about it. The question of who pissed in your cornflakes comes into play. I do hope you're not the Fox News Angry White Male type since you seem to be fairly grounded in reality.


I don't like whining, stupidity, and ungratefulness. It's honestly that simple.

Suburban kids who have every luxury afforded to them thinking they're oppressed remind me of spoiled toddlers. The US government isn't perfect, but we're being pampered compared to what happens in most of the rest of the world.

Douchebags are afforded the right to bash their own homes, but if they get patted down on a plane, they sincerely think they're comparable to people whose families were bulldozed into mass graves.
2013-01-27 09:10:27 PM
1 votes:

chuggernaught: The 1st Amendment keeps us free. And before any of you gun nuts opens their mouth about the 2nd Amendment protecting that right, I'd just like to point out that MLK would disagree with you.


I personally believe that the entirety of the Bill of Rights keep us free, and removing any single one of them will quickly unravel the rest. Hell, even infringing a bit makes us less free.

I don't like free speech zones. I don't like magazine bans. I don't like the 4th amendment loophole the Supreme Court put in for DUIs. I really don't like that the 9th and 10th Amendments apparently don't exist to the courts anymore. I think the 8th is violated by Sex Offender lists. While they are in jail and/or probation, fine, put them on the list. Once their sentence is complete, take them off. It's bullshiat to keep punishing someone post-sentence. If you think they need harsher sentencing, build it into the initial sentence. Don't continue punishing people after you've already punished them.
2013-01-27 05:29:37 PM
1 votes:
2013-01-27 02:09:19 PM
1 votes:

ourbigdumbmouth: If you don't like it you can leave.


I don't like it and those who do can leave.
2013-01-27 02:03:19 PM
1 votes:
My first thought was that subby is a histrionic tool who has never lived in an ACTUAL dictatorship.

Then I read an email I just received from a representative of Google, wherein they have informed me that they are confiscating my intellectual property, and not allowing me to publish a book of my own writings, despite having never made any agreements with them (I posted a serial many, many years ago on a site that they later acquired.)

Yeah, we have a problem with authoritarianism in this country, and the only solution is a centralized democratic government large enough and powerful enough to represent individuals against the non-state actors imposing their will on a helpless public.
2013-01-27 02:01:08 PM
1 votes:

TDBoedy: oooh a vast oversimplification and dismissal. He was left wing in more than name. He was nationalist on top of it. and to top it all off he decided that genocide was a good move. Saying Hitler is right wing in some manner would be like saying that Grape Jelly is Right Wing and Grape Jam is left wing. *cough* Hitler was in no way right wing. Imperialism crosses all political lines.


The left/right wing nonsense doens't describe ideology. It only describes seating arrangements in a legislative assembly. People who opposed each other were seated in their corner, and that's it.

The term left/right wing policies is also meaningless, because the original left and right wings were separated by issues such as support for the monarchy.

Meanwhile, there are elected groups who, although they describe themselves as extreme left/right wing, they actually defend the exact same things. For example, in my country we have both the far left (communits) and the far right (neo-nazis) demanding public spending cuts and lower taxes, and the communists even go to the press demanding that some public-private partnerships continue although that goes against their fiscal responsibility stance and it increases public spending significantly.

So, the best thing to go around this is to simply label those who talk about left/right wing as morons who blindly follow/hate a set of labels. Because that's what they are, really.
2013-01-27 01:53:24 PM
1 votes:

Arctic Phoenix: If America WERE truly authoritarian, the ability to discuss said authoritarian state would be non-existent. So, no, it hasn't.


You mean, like this?
2013-01-27 01:51:23 PM
1 votes:

Wayne 985: If you think America is "authoritarian", you're a naive pansy with no concept of the outside world.


Free speech zones. Attacking protesters just for being protesters. Police asking "papers, please" in airport checkpoints to all the citizens who need to travel. Extending those checkpoints to cover rail and bus. State intelligence services monitoring citizens and keeping databases on their lives.

Naiveness.
2013-01-27 01:40:25 PM
1 votes:
With the end of the Cold War the military-industrial complex has been trying to justify its existence.

Without an external locus for its paranoia and aggressiveness it has to find an internal enemy.

Even if it has to manufacture one.
2013-01-27 12:39:23 PM
1 votes:
For the people arguing about economics:  save it for another thread.   The government can put cameras on your property.  They can put gps trackers on your car. They can enter your home without a warrant.  They can take your stuff,  This is just the beginning of what we need to fight back against.  These are the things our elected officials need to address,
2013-01-27 12:29:53 PM
1 votes:

wombatsrus: I don't care how authoritarian things get, as long as they don't touch my reality TV.


If Obama cancels Honey Boo Boo, i'll be ok with that.
2013-01-27 12:29:15 PM
1 votes:

KangTheMad: Wayne 985: KangTheMad: Well, I figure that since Fox and friends throw around communist and socialist, around so much, I should explain what those terms mean.

I'm glad you did - just irritated that it even needs to be done.

Yeah...some people think Hitler was left-wing socialist.

//you could argue that since Hitler's party was named the National Socialist Workers Party, he was socialist in name, and you'd be correct. But his policies were very much fascist. He called his party socialist because communism at the time was popular in Germany.


"Huh. As a German in 1930's Germany, I really like some of the ideas of the communist party, but they're a little too extreme on some stuff. I know, I'll go with this Hitler guy and his socialists. It's like communism light, without all of the extremism. That's the ticket."
2013-01-27 12:07:47 PM
1 votes:

LarryDan43: So use those guns and rise up?


dl.dropbox.com


I'm doubtful that will have a chance to happen.

The more authority our leaders grab in the name of security, the more responsibility is cast on them for making us feel safe.
Obviously they can't stop every incident. These events erode public trust and drive politicians to either buy more equipment or find new scapegoats.
Eventually the voters faith in these men either fades (voting out the authoritarians) or the system collapses due to lack of money.

Corporate America may be able to buy votes, bloggers, and spiffy add campaigns, but it won't be able to support the Orwellian dream once the bills really start coming in. They'll buck for greener pastures, leaving the old government to pay its debts.

/I don't think anyone will ever really need a gun for fighting the government.
/They'll need them to keep their fellow citizens in a behaving frame of mind if or when the lights go out.
2013-01-27 12:00:13 PM
1 votes:

untaken_name: Wayne 985: untaken_name: Wayne 985: You have no Earthly concept of how good you have it.

Things could be a lot worse, so there aren't any legitimate problems with government over-reach? Is that about the size of it?

Not what I said. I said that comparing American government to communism was foolish.

It's a good thing we don't have a heavy progressive income tax, or a central bank, or an estate tax, or public schools or heavily regulated zoning and planning, then. Otherwise you'd be dead wrong.


t2.gstatic.com

"I have to pay a few cents toward public education. This is just like Tiananmen Square."
2013-01-27 11:45:50 AM
1 votes:

AverageAmericanGuy:
But 11 years and 3 months ago our beacon of hope was snuffed out. We turned from the Home of the Brave into the home of the cowering pusillanimous slaves to Fear. Once upon a time, we had nothing to fear but fear itself.



img707.imageshack.us
2013-01-27 11:45:13 AM
1 votes:

Wayne 985: If you think America is "authoritarian", you're a naive pansy with no concept of the outside world.


Also, this. As I stated above, I do think we're in the earliest stages, but there's a need to put things into perspective: we are not North Korea, or China, or Russia. We're not Venezuela, to use a lesser example. We're not even freaking Norway.

This doesn't mean that there are not problems: we should be alarmed. But we are not yet where the Tea Partiers and Occupiers of the world claim we are.
2013-01-27 11:42:43 AM
1 votes:

Wayne 985: You have no Earthly concept of how good you have it.


Things could be a lot worse, so there aren't any legitimate problems with government over-reach? Is that about the size of it?
2013-01-27 11:40:37 AM
1 votes:
Ahh, but our own Senators voted for it. Patriot Act.

//Remember when Dick Cheney said indirectly that criticizing the president was reason for arrest?
2013-01-27 11:34:55 AM
1 votes:
If you think America is "authoritarian", you're a naive pansy with no concept of the outside world.

"Wah, I have to walk through a scanner at an airport. Wahwahwah, we have a right to bear arms unlike other nations, but the president is proposing more background checks -- I'm being oppressed! Marijuana gets you executed in several countries, but it's still not fully legal here. Wah!"

a.abcnews.com
"I'm concerned about SOPA, but instead of a rational discourse, I'll say it's worse than Arabs cutting off a man's hand for shoplifting. I'm living in a fascist state!"
2013-01-27 11:28:54 AM
1 votes:
This country used to be a land of freedom, discovery, and opportunity.

Now it's just garbage.
2013-01-27 11:25:17 AM
1 votes:

TofuTheAlmighty: heinrich66: I love how an article supposedly on a system-wide transformation of the American Republic into an authoritarian system still manages to take the time to blame the "Republicans" and tries to excuse the "Democrats" -- criticizing them only for when they act like "Republicans".

Do you honestly deny that Republicans are a profoundly authoritarian party? At least Democrats have a huge faction who are committed to civil liberties and equal rights; the GOP no longer pays even lip service to those concepts.


Correction, the Democrats are only committed to the civil liberties they agree with. They are perfectly capable of playing the authoritarian card when it comes to things they think are "for the public good". You know, like magazine size and Big Gulps.
2013-01-27 11:24:20 AM
1 votes:

Marcus Aurelius: Poor baby's scared, better hide behind mommy's skirt.


I didn't want anyone to miss the intellectual firepower of the left, so I am reposting this.

Illinois has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country.
2013-01-27 11:22:54 AM
1 votes:
I wish teh world would come liberate us, like we did for them all those times. But, they are too weak.
2013-01-27 11:21:11 AM
1 votes:

Deathfrogg: BlippityBleep: i think it was the point where i was kicked out of a park bench for zero reason by a park ranger while i was waiting for a friend to go tour the White House when i realized that we're really farked up.

now pick up that can, citizen.

I finally realized it for myself when I was summarily evicted from an I-5 freeway rest stop by an extremely rude Oregon State Trooper for parking to snooze for a few hours while driving from Seattle to San Jose. I had been there for all of about 20 minutes when the man came up to my truck and bashed on the door with his flashlight several times and then opened it up and told my I would have to leave or I would be arrested on the spot. When I asked him, (rather blearily, I had just dozed off when he came knocking) on what charge, he told me he'd "think of something."


I have found the phrase "speak into the mic, constable" helpful in such situation, but the cops are a little less shooty here.
2013-01-27 11:20:44 AM
1 votes:

Katolu: Yep, it started 9/12/01. No looking back now!


No, it started a lot longer ago than that. Probably around 1776.
2013-01-27 11:19:02 AM
1 votes:

Deathfrogg: I finally realized it for myself when I was summarily evicted from an I-5 freeway rest stop by an extremely rude Oregon State Trooper for parking to snooze for a few hours while driving from Seattle to San Jose. I had been there for all of about 20 minutes when the man came up to my truck and bashed on the door with his flashlight several times and then opened it up and told my I would have to leave or I would be arrested on the spot. When I asked him, (rather blearily, I had just dozed off when he came knocking) on what charge, he told me he'd "think of something."


seriously? the name "rest stop" even implies that this is the stated purpose of the facility. times have changed, and i'm young!
2013-01-27 11:10:47 AM
1 votes:

Nightenstaff: Why is there political bullshiat in my Main tab? Dumbarse headline leading to a non-article.


In order to generate wild, adolescent, ranty responses from people who have no clue what it's like to live in an actual authoritarian state. Duh.
2013-01-27 11:09:57 AM
1 votes:

Snapper Carr: The only difference now is that due to the increased flow of information we're being inundated daily with examples so it seems like things are so much worse.


Exactly.

I would say we're more free in some ways than we were.

The Espionage Act of 1917 made it a Federal Offense to in any way impede any military function for any reason. Note that this included the draft, and it included speaking out against conscription.

Note that this interpretation was upheld by SCOTUS in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), where they ruled that the First Amendment does NOT give you the right to free speech if you use that speech to oppose government policies during wartime.

Charles Schenck served six months in Federal Prison for speaking out publicly against a miltiary draft for World War I. That's it, he didn't burn draft cards or block doors or do anything other than say "we shouldn't be doing this!", and he was thrown in prison and the courts upheld it all the way to the Supreme Court, and that was in 1919.

The law was repealed in 1921, but it is a good example of how this country tends to get a little authoritarian at times, especially when it is at war. Then after the war it quietly backtracks, repeals some laws, the courts say they really shouldn't have done that, and things calm down.

Lincoln suspending Habeas Corpus nationwide during the Civil War was very totalitarian (and completely illegal as per Ex parte Milligan and Ex parte Merryman.

The Espionage Act was quite totalitarian, and during World War I

The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II

COINTELPRO during Vietnam.

Nothing new.
2013-01-27 11:04:28 AM
1 votes:

Agarista: This is actually a very well-written article. Unfortunately, it places too many BS buzzwords in the first few paragraphs, restricting the readership to the dedicated few.


And I had to go and prove that statement immediately. Ha.
2013-01-27 11:02:16 AM
1 votes:
This is actually a very well-written article. Unfortunately, it places too many BS buzzwords in the first few paragraphs, restricting the readership to the dedicated few.
2013-01-27 10:55:14 AM
1 votes:
Well, the author uses big words, and so must be smarter than me and therefore right
2013-01-27 10:52:37 AM
1 votes:

t3knomanser: People who think the US is authoritarian now have no sense of history. While there's a perpetual pendulum swing, I think we can pinpoint the death of American freedom to 1798.


Umm...1791...the year the USG first used force against its own citizens; whiskey tax protesters in Western Pennsylvania.
2013-01-27 10:52:04 AM
1 votes:

Snapper Carr: Snapper Carr: The only difference now is that due to the increased flow of information we're being inundated daily with examples so it seems like things are so much worse.

and of course that those in power have much more sophisticated means of monitoring and controlling the population.


Monitoring, absolutely, but control, absolutely not. If anything, in fact one of our biggest problem is that the federal government is under-engaged in "controlling" social welfare and the economy and instead dancing to the flute of a select few industries.
2013-01-27 10:49:22 AM
1 votes:

born_yesterday: I think people place too much emphasis on Orwell's predictions of the evolution of totalitarianism with regards to this country, and not enough on Huxley's. I think Huxley was far more accurate regarding the soothing effects of capitalist consumerism and the resulting indifference towards societal decline. How nice that both of these authors' worst observations about society have merged into a giant ball of suck.


You want Orwellian Style? Try Britian

2.bp.blogspot.com
2013-01-27 10:43:02 AM
1 votes:
TFA will have to be dumbed down considerably for the general American public to understand it.
2013-01-27 10:36:01 AM
1 votes:
Fark: the rehost of poorly written diatribes from Truthnet.

Your blog sucks.
2013-01-27 10:34:45 AM
1 votes:

edmo: The fact that America is becoming increasingly conservative


Citation, please.

Is this based upon your not-at-all-myopic view, your having lived in the 1950's, and your unfamiliarity with the current president, re-elected?

Yes, America is much more conservative now than ever.
2013-01-27 10:34:10 AM
1 votes:

Lernaeus: How exactly does one propose to "solve" that "problem" WITHOUT authoritarian means?


Laws protecting the rights to unionization and collective bargaining are authoritarian?
2013-01-27 10:33:20 AM
1 votes:
DAMN YOU SHARTBAMA
2013-01-27 10:33:17 AM
1 votes:
Never underestimate an idiot's ability to hyperbolize.
2013-01-27 10:32:12 AM
1 votes:
Why is there political bullshiat in my Main tab? Dumbarse headline leading to a non-article.
2013-01-27 10:30:57 AM
1 votes:
I think it's funny that someone who writes about income inequality is complaining about authoritarianism.

How exactly does one propose to "solve" that "problem" WITHOUT authoritarian means?
2013-01-27 10:20:06 AM
1 votes:
Probably no more than the US has historically been authoritarian. The difference between then and now is that one political party is mindlessly authoritarian and comprises multiple mass propaganda outlets.
2013-01-27 10:19:26 AM
1 votes:
"Obvious"? How about "Asinine"?
2013-01-27 09:18:41 AM
1 votes:
You do not have permission to make the statement, citizen subby.
 
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