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Jack Rabbit

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 45,984

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Hubris and Nemesis: American Elitists in Iraq and elsewhere

Steve Leser, a greatly respected member of this community known for his courageous forays into the enemy territory of FoxNews, said on another thread today that to refer to the Bush administration officials and other neoconservatives as having been "blinded by hubris" when invading is to ascribe to them good intentions. Mr. Leser does not believe that these had any good intentions.

This leaves me a little bone to pick with Mr. Leser, although it merely over the semantics of the matter than anything else.

I agree that the Bushies had no good intentions when they went into Iraq. They knew that they didn't know that Saddam possessed a biochemical arsenal -- I guess that's what Rumsfeld would call a "known unknown" -- but they didn't really care whether or not he did. For them, WMDs or a "reconstituted" nuclear program was just a talking point. It was the sizzle that would sell the steak. This was a war for Iraq's resources, plain and simple.

Talk of democratizing the Middle East was ridiculous on its face. An administration that seized power in America after losing a presidential election was going to spread democracy to the unwashed masses of the Middle East? A bigger concern was -- and remains -- re-establishing democracy in America. The talk of democracy from fascists informed by the droppings of Leo Strauss was just another empty talking point aimed at deceiving masses of American citizens. The neoconservatives had no intention of spreading democracy to the Middle East or anywhere else. The neoconservatives didn't believe in democracy. While theyt weren't spreading it abroad they were busy contracting it at home.

The occupation of Iraq was from the start an imperialist enterprise. First there was direct rule from an American proconsul who, after misruling the colony for about a year, turned over power to a puppet regime. In the end the mission was accomplished. The puppet regime that settled in Baghdad signed over Iraq's oil fields to developers based in Houston and the development would be financed with money from Wall Street.

Now it's all falling apart.

What has this to do with hubris? The only thing needed to qualify this as hubris is that the Bushies thought they could get away it. They actually thought that it was possible to stabilize Iraq as an American colony, and that this colony would be called a nation and bear the burden taking loans from Wall Street by way of the World Bank so that western petroleum companies could reap the profits from the development of Iraq's oil fields.

The ancient Greeks who gave us the word hubris used that word to describe the quality of a mere mortal who tries to defy the gods and assume power that is reserved for them. While we no longer believe in Zeus or Apollo, many of us still believe in some anthropomorphic God who has the powers of the Olympic gods and even those of us who don't believe in any gods at all still recognize some mysterious power that directs the forces of nature or of history without regard to the will of any mortal. When some mortal thinks he has that power, then that mortal possesses not power but hubris. His intention may be to construct a paradise on earth, even if getting there involves the slaughter of European Jews or the starvation of Ukrainian farmers, or if the intention may simply be the grand theft of another nation's natural resources for its own sake.

The gods would punish a hubristic mortal in an act called nemesis. Oedipus thought he could defy the prophecy of the oracles who foretold that he would kill his father and marry his mother by running away from home. What he didn't know was that he was adopted and he proceeded to fulfill the prophesy in ways that left him ignorant of its fulfillment. The nemesis came when all was brought to light; his wife/mother, Iocasta, hanged herself and Oedipus, in his anguish, gouged out his eyes.

The nemesis that the gods inflict on modern American elitists like the best and brightest who blundered into Vietnam and the neoconservatives who even more willfully sent American troops into Iraq come from two manifestations. First, there is the almost natural response of an invaded population to resist occupation. In the wake of the US invasion of Iraq, the one thing that Sunnis and Shiites could agree on was that American forces should be expelled from Iraq. The American elites who planned and executed the invasion were left to frantically search for an Iraqi government composed of Iraqis who would bend their will. Since this could only be legitimized with popular elections, the American elites were left to deal with Shiite leaders who spent time in exile during Saddam's reign of terror living in Iran. That's not exactly what Dick Cheney had in mind when he tortured detainees in Guantanamo and elsewhere in order to get them to talk about a biochemical arsenal that wasn't there so he could include it in the National Intelligence Estimate in order to justify the invasion.

In Vietnam, the very forces that the American elitists poured so much blood and treasure to prevent from gaining power marched into Saigon, the seat of the US-compliant government, and triumphantly renamed it Ho Chi Minh City, after the George Washington of Indochina whom the elitists opposed. That was a moment of nemesis. In Iraq, the elitists watch helplessly as Sunni fundamentalist terrorists are poised to take over Baghdad. Personally, I take no joy in their triumph. Those who liked Saddam will love ISIS. This, too, is a moment of nemesis.

The second source of nemesis directed at the American elites comes from the American people. Here, I obviously don't mean the American elites who invade other countries in order to place foreign resources under the control of American business elites, but people like you and me who vote in elections, always with the hope that our candidate will win and that this time, maybe this time, our candidate actually represent us and not those American elites who the bill for his (or her) campaign.

Unlike American elitists, the common people of America are democrats (note the small d) and democrats do not make very good imperialists. While the US has often been only a procedural democracy, and sometimes when under the sway of a demagogue like Joe McCarthy not even that, America has always been a cultural democracy. Don't let any paid stooge of American elitists on hate radio tell you that it is only a mere republic; America is a democracy. Democracy is what Tocqueville wrote about when he came to America to study the American prison system in the 1830s; that's why he called his book Democracy in America. This is the democracy that is the subject of Walt Whitman's bold and robust free verse. Woody Guthrie sang about it during the Depression; Bob Dylan lamented its weakness and hoped for its revival during the Cold War. That is the America of the Underground Railroad, the labor movement (including the Wobblies), Ida Tarbell, Crazy Horse, the Suffragettes, the Bonus Army, the Freedom Riders of the Mississippi Summer, the mass protests against the wars against Vietnam and Iraq and against the political domination of reactionary corporate elitists. This is the America that had no desire to own slaves or kill the natives. This is the America that had no desire to tell the Vietnamese people who shall or shall not govern them. This is the America that has no desire to steal oil from the Iraqi people, but would prefer to sit down with the Iraqis and negotiate a fair price for it and do that until we develop renewable energy after which we will need no fossil fuel ever again.

The American elitists have come up against the democratic America twice in recent history and were twice forced to back down. We heard last week the death throes of the imperialists of 2002 as they pleaded with us over the air waves to allow them to send our children and grandchildren back to Iraq in 2014. They were greeted with nemesis in the form of mockery. One said that re-invading Iraq was the right thing to, even if polls showed that 90% of the American people were opposed. Did that guy once say that he wanted to spread democracy to Iraq? Can you believe that?

The unfortunate thing is that nemesis was not allowed to more effectively purge the hubris of the elitists. They have not been sufficiently punished for their sins, or they would have had to make their pleas to spill more and more blood in Iraq from behind the walls of federal penitentiaries. President Obama deserves credit for withdrawing American forces from Iraq, but he and his do-nothing Attorney General must also accept the blame for not prosecuting Bush administration war criminals.

However, the American elitists are guilty of more hubris than just imperialism in Iraq. There is yet more hubris. They think they can make an end run around democracy by setting up a kangaroo court staffed by corporate lawyers with the power to fine a government that exceeds, in their judgment, a maximum level of regulation. Again, America is culturally democratic. I do not believe Americans will surrender their right to legislate commercial regulation to those whose short term interests will drive them accept only light regulation and then like they're making a major concession to the people of the world for that.

The day of reckoning for that is yet to come.

What we need to do is think out of the box: the old left/right paradigm doesn't work anymore

The old left/right paradigm is a distraction that is preventing us from finding solutions to real problems.

When we call for power to the people, some smart ass framed inside an idiot box comes along and asks us if we want take power from government or corporations. If we want to take power, then it must be because we fear the power of either the government or the corporations. "Which is it?" he asks.

Somebody among us, who are calling for power to the people, takes the bait he has just given us. "We fear corporate power," he says. "Corporations have the power to tell us what we want like we can't make up our own minds. They can buy the outlets of information, like television stations, and tell us only what they want us to know and then urge us to buy cars that run on fossil feul that pollutes the environment and then tell us that use of fossil fuel is harmless. They can't fool me, but there are a lot of people they do fool all of the time." He rails against how corporation use mass communications as a tool to control what we think. He is completely oblivious to the fact that the smart ass is speaking to him from inside an idiot box.

"No, no, no," says another protester. "We must fear the power of the government. The government tells us what to do. It knows what we're doing because their spies are watching us and listening to us all the time. Then they tell us the enemy is out to get us and we must go to war. They tell us that we must go to war to protect our own freedom and to spread the blessings of liberty to our enemy, and once he experiences the wonders and benefits of freedom, they won't be out enemies any more. But that's all bullshit. The wars don't bring any freedom to our enemy and the government just starts telling them what to and to pay taxes so it can keep telling them what to do, just like they do to us."

"Yes," said the first protester, "but the only reason the government sends us to war is so the corporations can force open the enemy's markets so it can sell crap over there that kills them and then take their natural resources for themselves. The root of the problem is corporate power, and that must be feared more than government power."

Some of the protesters said they agreed with the protester who said corporate power is the problem and others said they agreed with the man who said government power is the problem. Soon they were screaming and shouting at each other. Then they were hitting and kicking each other.

There was among the protesters a very sick man who couldn't stand all the noise and excitement. He went back to his car and soon returned to the protest grounds with an AR15 and several large banana clips with sixty rounds each. Then he started firing his AR15 into the crowd. He killed the protesters who didn't like corporations and protesters who didn't like government. He killed men and women, young and old. He didn't care who he shot. All the time he was shooting into the protesters he laughed and laughed. He laughed like a mad jackal.

"What do we do? What do we do?" cried a woman with two children looking for a place to hide.

"Well," said the smart ass from inside the idiot box. "It looks like you have a real problem here. Well, you know what I always say? The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. So, some of you and some other good guys need to rush over to Harry's Gun and Ammo store just down the street and get something to take this bad guy out."

As the crazy man started shooting his sixth clip of sixty rounds into the crowd, the woman and her children ran off in the direction of Harry's Gun and Ammo. The smart ass in the idiot box surveyed the scene, looking serenely at the chaos and panic.

"Well, Coyote," he whispered to himself, "you did it again. Mission accomplished."

Open letter to Wayne LaPierre

Open letter to Mr. Wayne LaPierre

I take note that Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as Joe the Plumber, stated in a open letter to the parents of the victims of the Isla Vista shooting last week that "Your dead kids don't trump my constitutional rights."

He is wrong. It's time to change this discussion.

Once upon a time, the NRA supported the concept of background checks. Since you came on the scene, the NRA has become an extremist organization bereft of common sense. Criminals having guns and lunatics shooting up schools, churches or movie theaters is not a reasonable price to pay for the freedom to own a gun. Period.

What's that you're saying, Mr. LaPierre? The only thing that stops a bod guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? That is an argument so stupid only a high-priced attorney could think of it. That argument would sound a lot better if it didn't come from some jackass who called federal agents "jackbooted government thugs" following a standoff with an armed cult whose leader thought he had a god-given right to fuck any twelve or fourteen-year-old girl who made his prick stiff. You clearly don't know the difference between a good guy and a bad guy.

We have allowed people like you and Mr. Wurzelbacher and other gun worshipers to frame the conversation about Waco for too long. Federal agents on the scene may have botched the operation and made it end far worse than it should have, but they had every right and good cause to be there. They were the good guys with guns. Some of them were killed or wounded by armed cult members. I don't know if a background check would have been helpful in this particular situation, but it couldn't have hurt.

Oh, you have something else to say, Mr. LaPierre? The Supreme Court has ruled that the right to bear arms is an individual right? So they have. They have also ruled that corporations are people and money is speech. That is the Supreme Court you're talking about, isn't it? The Roberts Court is bought and paid for, just like Congress, just like the Justice Department, just like the Pentagon, just like any other department or agency of the executive branch whose regulators come from the industry that they regulate and then return to it after gutting the regulations, spending billions on hardware that the military doesn't need or want, or failing to prosecute crooked businessmen. We know the federal government is corrupt. We also know that it is you and people like you who have corrupted it and still don't think it can ever be corrupt enough.

It makes absolutely no sense to promote a freedom that destroys so much. I've raised two children. Although neither is any longer a child, if anybody who belongs in prison or a state hospital with a gun did something to either of them that might have been prevented with a simple background check, I would react just as Richard Martinez has. You, Mr, LaPierre, and the "rudderless politicians" of whom Mr. Martinez speaks have worked in concert to deprive too many parents of their children. The blood of those children is on your hands and those politicians' hands. The least you and they can do is sit down and shut up while more public spirited people, humanists rather than corporatists, set things right and pass reasonable measures to prevent a criminal or a mentally ill person from possessing a gun.


Jack Rabbit

Playing the fascist card will only run into a wall of moral equivalency

The most obvious feature of the Russia/Ukraine conflict is a former empire is attempting to reassert authority over what was once a subject nation under that empire. Naturally, the former subject nation is resisting.

That is a recipe to bring ultranationalist thugs out from under the rocks. So we have Russian ultranationalist thugs going into Ukraine and demanding Ukrainians get "on their knees" and Ukrainian ultranationalist thugs burning the Russian ultranationalists out of occupied government buildings. Is anybody surprised? If one side tries to play victim to the other side's fascists then the other side will points to the other side's fascists and proclaims "we are the victims of your fascists." That kind of dialogue only serves the interests of those who benefit from conflict.

This isn't a B-western. Stop looking at it like one. It's a Dostoyevsky novel.

Cosmos, episode 7: Submitted for the discussion of political implications

Am I the only one here who doubts that all, or even most, climate change deniers really think that climate science is a hoax?

The pattern of the dissemination of the climate-science-is-a-hoax hoax fits the pattern of other corporate fights against science in the past. Does any one think that tobacco company executives really believed that there was no linkage between cigarette smoking and heart or respiratory disease? They may have sent their lawyers to argue that in court, but that was part of a long term strategy aimed at delaying government regulations to discourage tobacco use.

In Episode 7 of Cosmos, Dr. Niel deGrasse Tyson takes his viewers through the petroleum industry's fight against scientists researching environmental harm from use of lead in gasoline.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

I invite you to watch episode 7 and consider the similarities between this and corporate sponsored war on climate science. There's a reason that climate change deniers are funded by environmental polluters who manufacture fossil fuel.

On a video in this forum several weeks ago, a thoroughly brainwashed right wing caller got hold of Sam Seder for a general discussion of the world according to the Koch brothers. The caller warned that people should not trust scientists from the US government or the United Nations, but should rely on information from "private scientists." Does he mean the scientists who work for the industries who push the products being studied and found to be harmful by government scientists. Surely, that man was joking.

I partly agree with Scalia on a tax revolt, but he won't like why

Many on the right like to make the American Revolution out to be a tax revolt. British taxes on the colonies weren't the only grievance the colonists had against Britain, but it was no small part of the colonies' irritation the King and parliament.

Today's right goes on to complain about "taxes, taxes, taxes" as if taxation is in and of itself a form of tyranny. The worst way to characterize the levying of taxes in general is that it is a necessary evil. Turn everything over to the free market and people won't benefit from public services if they live in unprofitable areas. No one should expect mail delivery, garbage collection or to be able to send his children to school if one lives in some remote backwater area. Don't expect police protection if you live in a neighborhood without the funds to support it, which sounds like the kind of neighborhood that has a high crime rate in the first place. A neighborhood like that is likely to get a cop on the beat like George Zimmerman. Of course, libertarians who think this is a bright vision of the American of tomorrow will answer the critique that such a vision is flawed with "well, nothing's perfect." I agree, so I would rather keep the imperfect system we already have where everyone gets mail delivery, everyone gets his trash collected, everyone gets fire and police protection (and the expectation that the local cop is better trained than George Zimmerman) and all children go to school. The proper question is whether taxpayers are getting enough bang for their buck, not whether taxes are an unnecessary government intrusion into our lives.

Let's not let the Koch brothers and their allies rewrite history. The colonists weren't complaining about British taxes per se. They said, "taxation without representation is tyranny." American colonists had no representation in parliament, yet parliament used the colonies as an ATM machine. The colonists didn't seem to complain about it, but that's because there was no MP from Virginia or Pennsylvania to raise a stink in London and suggest to their fellow MPs that they get the money by taxing the the landed aristocracy.

Since eighteenth century transportation made it impractical for the colonists to send representatives to parliament, the colonists demanded independence and, having achieved that, set up their own governments with their own system of taxation and let voters choose their own representatives. At first, voters were wealthy white males, but soon the franchise was extended to all white males, then to males who weren't necessarily white and in 1919 to women.

America is a democracy, perhaps not always in the political sense but always in a cultural sense. Democracy is what Walt Whitman praised in free verse and what Woody Guthrie and later Bob Dylan celebrated in song. Democracy is what Martin Luther King marched for and willing went to jail many times. Democracy was in the blood of the labor movement, fighting for a decent wage and safe working conditions. Those who claim America is not a democracy but a mere republic are just wrong, and we are not going to let them take it away from us.

Today, the Koch brothers, through their organization, ALEC, have crafted model legislation and sent it to the states to deny poor people the right to voting by requiring they show ID before voting. The ID required by this legislation is usually not a drivers' license but something more expensive and tailored to be biased to Republican voters. For example, in Texas it is valid to show one's firearms permit for voting, covering gun owners, which studies show to be a predominantly Republican voters; on the other hand, a college student body card is not valid for the same purpose. College students are a predominantly Democratic demographic. In this way, the state of Texas is deliberately barring Democrats from the polling place in greater numbers than Republicans.

During the past decade there have been proposals from the right to continue and expend tax cuts for the wealthy and pay for it with higher taxes on the poor and middle class. If the poor, who are more likely to vote for Democats, are barred from the polls in greater number than others, and then have their taxes raised to benefit the rich, then how is this not taxation without representation?

It's bad enough to claim that the rich are "job creators" when after 30-plus years of Reaganomics there is only one job being offered for every three unemployed Americans. The rich certainly haven't earned a tax cut from the government nor, for that matter, a pay raise or a bonus from the board of directors. But even if the economy were in better shape than it is, barring the poor from participation in the process of choosing elected representatives and raising their taxes to cover the shortfall from revenue lost by cutting the taxes of the wealthiest Americans is simply outrageous.

Taxation without representation is still tyranny. We, the people, should revolt against it, just as the colonists did 240 years ago.

Let me see . . .

You are basing you assertion that Nacchio is crooked by citing a conviction engineered by the Bush Administration Justice Department that happened after he refused to allow the NSA to get information about his customers for nefarious purposes.

Remember, please, that the Bushies played hardball, didn't play fair and, for them, the Constitution was just a piece of paper -- as in toilet paper. This was a Justice Department that fired US Attorneys who did not pursue trumped up charges against Democrats and kept on those that did. It was that Justice Department that engineered the railroading of Don Siegelman. That's only the most high profile case of many.

I resent your characterization of "Firebaggers" hating CEOs indiscriminately "unless those CEOs are crooks." I suppose you think Pretty Boy Lloyd and Legs Dimon are upright, outstanding citizens. I suppose you think Dave and Charlie Koch are positive influences on American politics. When I talk about CEOs, I'm usually taking about the Wall Street Bankers who crashed the world economy, were bailed out by the taxpayers and haven't changed the way they do business or right wing billionaires who want to destroy American democracy. That covers a quite a few more people than the aforementioned, but they are giving all business people, even honest ones, a bad name. If we can bring capitalism back to a state where it is regulated to prevent capitalists from abusing to their employees, polluting the environment, defrauding their customers or buying the people's representatives in state or federal governments, then I'll be very happy. Our problem is simply that we do not have a functioning economic system of any kind. If you want to know what an unregulated free market looks like, ask the kid on the corner dealing dope or his customers about it.

Perhaps Nacchio really belongs in the slammer, but I wouldn't take the result of a case of a man who crossed the Bushies and was prosecuted by a Bush-appointed US Attorney who survived the Frat Boy's mid-term purge at face value. Anyone who would has no claim to being a member of any reality based community.

Why go through the adminstration?

The former chief prosecutor at DOJ who made the decision not to prosecute is now making millions with an infamous Wall Street firm. The Attorney General makes lame excuses to a Senate Committee for not prosecuting Wall Street criminals, seeking only civil actions with relatively light fines. The government isn't working for us. It's been bought by bankers and industrialists.

The administration may as well be not standing between us and the Wall Street criminals. If this is a facade, it's made of papier-mâché. It creates only an illusion of justice because it is only an illusion of a government.

Wall Street banks are not too big to fail. They're too big for their breeches. The banks and industrialists own all three branches of the government and commit mortgage fraud with impunity. It's time for direct action against the criminals. Get your torches and pitchforks and go to the Bastille on Wall Street. Tear it down, brick by brick. Build a better world in its place.

It's time for a mass campaign of civil disobedience directed not at government, but at finance and industry. Organize! Agitate! Don't listen to their propaganda. They say these policies will create jobs. Horsepucky! After thirty years of Reaganomics, there is only one new job for every three unemployed workers. Heckovajob, job creators!

To the so-called job creators and Wall Street criminals: You've thrown us out of work and now rob us of everything we've earned. We're going to shut you down. We're going find ways around your economy, create our own and lock you out of it. We won't pay taxes to support the government you've taken from us. We won't patronize your banks or buy the products, mostly unnecessary, you make with cheap labor in China. We'll even, if necessary, create our our currency and let you keep the dollars that your own acts of "quantitative easing" are undermining as we speak. You can keep it and we'll let you suffer the hyperinflation that today's irresponsible fiscal policies are making. If you get your servile villains in Congress to pass laws against us, we'll ignore them. What part of civil disobedience do you not understand? You are finished!

Thirty years ago, I referred to President Reagan with the exact same epithet

"Snake oil salesman" was an often-used variant.

So, what does that make me? It can't make me a racist, since my ancestors and Mr. Reagan's came from pretty much the same places: north of the Alps and west of the Rhine, to include the British isles.

President Obama is not above criticism. I don't like the trade deals he's pushing one bit, I don't like NSA spying, I don't like drone strikes, I don't like the kid glove treatment his justice department has given to Wall Street criminals and I think his administration has been in some ways as opaque as his predecessor's, not what would be expected of one who campaigned on a platform of transparency and accountability.

I believe that the above is a fair statement, not at all like something out of the mouth of Darrell Issa, a partisan hack, or Steve King, a partisan hack who also really is a racist. Unlike some Tea Party congressman who can't speak for sixty seconds without impugning the President's religion, birth place, patriotism or without bringing up a manufactured scandal, I try to keep the criticism fair and free of personal references to Mr. Obama. Calling him a "used car salesman" (I didn't see that post and don't have any idea who wrote it) is pushing it and is something that really should be toned down. However, it isn't necessarily racist.

In addition to Democrats, this website also promotes democratic (with a small d) values. To that end, what should be unacceptable on this website is an attempt to close down open discussion with nonsense like a blanket charge of racism against those with an opposing point of view.

Criticism of the President's actions should be in context and directed at the specific policy, program or proposal. One should explain what is wrong with the what the President is doing, not with the President himself.
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I have found the post, that being an OP from Will Pitt. Few DUers would ever suspect Will of being a racist. I have been on DU almost as long as Will, since 2001, so I speak with some authority. Perhaps ProSense knows something about Will that I don't, but I think this is nonsense.

This context of the post is a ruling Mr. and Mrs. Pitt (who suffers MS) got from their ACA provider rejecting coverage for medication under the ACA. I think I would be upset over that, too, and, furthermore, that I and most others would not be at all charitable toward those we hold responsible, rightly or wrongly, under similar circumstances. I suspect Will of being a grieved husband wondering what to do next, but not of being a racist. If the Pitts have no recourse, then I think we can all agree that this is something about the ACA that needs fixed. Given that, it would seem that the notion that Will is a racist who shouldn't be posting at DU is something more to be expected of a rank demagogue pushing an ideological agenda than a cool, rational poster at DU. It's just nonsense.

Obama will have have a better reputation to posterity if he fails at this

I don't mean just fast tracking this thing, either. It would be an act of treason to approve this deal. I certainly would not want to go down in history as the President who negotiated and signed away the government's ability to regulate commerce and assure product and occupational safety for the sake of a presumed right of corporations to profits.

Right now, President Obama's signature work is the Affordable Care Act, but under the TPP it would be possible for Health Insurance Companies to do an end run around the US Government and take the United States to a commission set up by this agreement to force the taxpayers to fork over to health insurance companies a fine to compensate for lost profits. Does this sound undemocratic? That's exactly what it is. There's a reason the TPP was negotiated in secret. Government of the people, for the people and by the people will parish from the earth.

Perhaps this is what corporate whores like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan mean when the say that Obamacare will cost the taxpayer billions. The CBO can refute everything they say now, but the CBO isn't factoring in the consequences of approving the TPP and making CEOs as powerful in our time as the landed aristocracy was before the French Revolution and subsequent events up to the final collapse of empires in the twentieth century.

It's time to stand up for democracy and say no to corporatism. Grab you torches and pitchforks, everyone. This is the most serious threat to freedom and democracy since the failure of the French Revolution after Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 or the re-imposition by the reactionay Congress of Vienna of the Bourbon dynasty on the people of France after Waterloo. We must be resolved not to obey corporate tyranny. We must overthrow it before it takes root.
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