Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


joshcryer's Journal
joshcryer's Journal
July 13, 2014

Not really.

My beef is that we're attacking the symptom as opposed to the cause.

And when Democrats do talk about attacking the cause (in one case it's the corporate tax rate which has way too many loopholes) it's sort of ignored or deflected. Democrats say "we need to close the loopholes and lower the rate," everyone focuses on "lowering the rate." Why? The high end is higher than Germany. So why not adjust it down to Germany's rate, and then close the loopholes? It's a win win.

Now you'd call be a pragmatist for saying that, I think it's just common darn sense.

Additionally, give tax incentives to companies which do keep their manufacturing here and who do hire American employees.

Of course, that wouldn't stop something like TPP from being created, but it could probably be made public at that point, because it wouldn't have the kind of economic subterfuge that is necessary to maintain our import economy while at the same time marginalizing our biggest global threats (China and Russia). Slave manufactured goods and oil are unsustainable, and the US knows it.

Automation is going to take over slave labor and renewables are going to take over oil. The question is whether we get off the import economy before it happens or if we strangle the rest of the world while we do it. It appears that we are doing the latter. And the latter will take a lot longer because it means letting the almighty "markets" bring forth renewable energy and automation as opposed to a grand bargain which could bring it about decades sooner.

Lest I ramble on further about how a living wage is going to be absolutely necessary in this new world.

July 1, 2014

"we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them"

I suggested a Bush victory would be a disaster for everything that Nader has worked for and believed in all his life, just as Ronald Reagan's had been. "With all due respect," I said, "Ralph's Tweedledee and Tweedledum argument isn't true and most people know it. By saying that the two candidates are the same, Ralph undermines his own credibility. Ralph has spent his whole life telling the truth. He doesn't need to say things in this campaign that aren't true."

Tarek interrupted me. "People get that point wrong. Ralph doesn't say there is 'no difference;' He says there is 'no major difference'." Tarek also said that lots of environmental groups say it would be easier to fund raise and increase membership under Bush than Gore.


I then turned to my favorite argument. I said: "There are those who say at the end of World War Two, that instead of dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. should have taken the Japanese high command out to some island and shown them what this new bomb could do. The U.S. could have demonstrated their destructive weapon without actually taking hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. Ralph could do they same thing. The large vote in the 40 or so safe states would send a real political message; the low or non Nader turnout in the close states would show that Nader sent people to Gore and that he had that kind of power. If he did this, he would be someone to be reckoned with. If Gore won, Nader would have real influence for progressive causes, and he could continue to build his movement and the Green Party. If Gore lost, Nader would have substantial credibility and power within the Democratic party. By holding back in a handful of states now, he could demonstrate his capacity to cause real damage in the future, and gain much in the short and the long run."

Tarek did not disagree with that at all. Instead, leaning toward me, with a bit of extra steel in his voice and body, but without changing his cool tone and demeanor, he simply said, "We are not going to do that." "Why not?" I said. With just a flicker of smile, Tarek said: "Because we want to punish the Democrats, we want to hurt them, wound them."


OK, so I really don't need a lecture about votes, about people sitting at home, about more Democrats voting for Bush than people who voted for Nader. Those arguments are fine. But that's not how it went down for us junkies.

I remember that campaign and I remember the vote switching campaigns that were happening, where Nader voters would promise to vote for Gore in swing states while Gore supporters would vote for Nader in safe states. This was pretty damn unprecedented.

The fact is there was a concerted effort by Nader's campaign to stick one to the Democrats. One of Nader's biggest philosophical talking points was that it "must get worse before it gets better," or something to that effect. He went on the attack, calling environmental supporters of Gore "servile." Don't forget the Tweedledee and Tweedledum crap.

Whether you want to remember this or rewrite history or whatever, just know that Nader focused on swing states. States where he wasn't going to get as many votes as other, safe, states. This arguably caused the Green Party to lose its ability to get federal funding for the next elections and caused the party to fall into obscurity. We had our chance and we blew it.

Nader broke his promise to not campaign in those swing states. We wanted to create a new liberal party, one that might actually have sway, like the teaparty / Libertarians have sway now. Instead what we got is a rock in a hard place and it sucks.

So please don't lecture me about that time, what matters that we got screwed over, first by Nader breaking his promise and trying to do a scorched earth strategy (which worked, btw), then by Gore doing selective recounting, then by the election board stopping the count, then the final blow by the SCOTUS that left an * stain on our history. A million or so dead Iraqi's. Billions lost to bankers. No significant climate change mitigation. The erosion of rights, NSA spying, Citizens United, Oligarchy United, and todays decision, Citizens United Against Women Health Care. We got royally screwed.
May 2, 2014

Here's his missive on unions:


Dude is seriously out of touch, but I think he comes from an uber-capitalist background.

We agree on many things, he believes in climate change, as do I. He believes the US rocket industry is contained by pork / cost-plus / crony contracts, as do I.

But his views as unions as a "two class system" is shit, especially since he, of all people, has advocated 95% in house manufacturing. I might be able to buy his argument if much else was developed outside of the factory, but he owns or controls 95% of production, thus, to me, a union in his company would be the best thing to happen.

Still, again, he justifies his shitty position by pointing out that he pays way more than anyone else, and it's why he retains so many workers, they get paid. Go to ULA, do the same amount of work, you're not getting paid nearly as much, no question.
February 24, 2014

It's all true, of course, but applied wrong. Think of "sonder."

Sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

How can we possibly think that an interconnected world such as ours with all of its glorious industrial magic, stuff so beyond each one of us but applied through the efforts of many, is anything but a truly connected and truly integrated society?

The whole alienation thing only applies to someone from a pre-industrial society watching as industry comes up around them and trying to make sense of it all. The reality is that we as a species are probably more social, more connected, less alienated than any other species on the planet.

Also, to get back to what you were saying, that (buying what we use, buying what we thinkg) is actually one of the critiques of Marx's theory of alienation and commodity fetishism. What if Marxism itself becomes a commodity fetish to the point of alienating others. Think about that one for a bit (yeah, once a philosophy becomes a caricature of its critique it sort of invalidates itself).
February 7, 2014

If Biden runs he'll run on infrastructure.

Joe Biden on LaGuardia Airport: 'I must be in some third-world country'
Vice President Joe Biden is very unhappy about America's declining infrastructure. During a speech in Philadelphia today, he threw New York's LaGuardia Airport under the bus to drive that point home. But first, the vice president talked about advancements overseas. "If I blindfolded someone and took him at 2 o'clock in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said, 'Where do you think you are?’ He’d say, ‘This must be America. It’s a modern airport,'" Biden said. International airports have indeed seen some stunning innovations recently.

"If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you'd think, ‘I must be in some third-world country,’" Biden said. When his statement drew laughter from the crowd, Biden quickly noted, "I'm not joking." To further illustrate just how bad things have become, he pointed to statistics from the World Economic Forum. "Just in the last decade, the United States has fallen 20 spots when it comes to the quality of infrastructure," Biden said. "It's embarrassing, and it's stupid. It's stupid."

"That puts us literally behind, they rank us behind Barbados," Biden said. "Great country. One airport." Biden's remarks came during the unveiling of Amtrak's newest rail engine. "Why did we lead the world economically for so long? We had the most modern infrastructure in the world," he said. Despite being one of the most popular airports in the world, LaGuardia is often criticized by travelers for its dated or "unique" facilities.

It's going to be good. Video at link, btw, he shows his passion.
February 4, 2014

it will be Hillary

It's inevitable

January 20, 2014

Wait two years.

I will be proven correct.

December 13, 2013

You don't have to like it. I predict now it will be Clinton-Castro.

Bookmark this for future soothsaying. It is early. You can chastise me for predicting early. We got 2014 to focus on. All well and good, I am making this prediction now because I want to call it early.

Clinton cannot shore up liberals and it risks causing a rift between liberals, and centrists and third wayers (DINOS). The problem is with the independent vote. Clinton can get the independent vote fairly easily and a lot of the conservative women vote (if only voting because they identify with Clinton). However, the independent vote requires liberal activists to GOTV and rile up the base, as liberals have always done.

To satisfy the liberal vote Clinton needs a true liberal on the ticket. Castro shores up the Latino vote, again for identifying purposes, but it doesn't go far enough to cause a massive GOTV effort. In Latino communities that will be the case, but in more conservative communities the liberal GOTV effort will be paramount. And for that reason Clinton will need someone more progressive on the ticket.

Castro will accept because he suspects by 2024 he will be a shoe in for President as the Latino community will have grown to be 15-20% of the population. And his progressivism will be accepted in 2016 and 2024 the country will have shifted dramatically to the left (by then marijuana and gay marriage will be legalized across the country; and the American public will be wanting Single Payer which is what his platform will run on).

Some will say Clinton wouldn't need Castro or that Castro wouldn't jump on board a Clinton ticket because she is too centrist / right wing / third way. I think that Castro would be on the ticket because he wants to change America and being VP and then President is his best shot at that. The demographics of the United States are statistically going one way.

If climate change doesn't screw us in the intrim this is how I see the future panning out.

Chastise away.

edit: TBF first posed this situation though I don't think she outright predicted it (she did make convincing arguments for this, however). Credit goes to TBF for convincing me on this issue though I am fully compelled to believe this will be the candidacy. It's been in the back of my mind for weeks now and I finally committed to making a prediction this early.

December 7, 2013

204 has nothing to do with capitalism, though, it's automation.

Automation is causing such a worker disparity, and it's only going to get worse. Look at how, a recent example for strikers, McDonalds is already extremely automated as it is.

My problem starts from an anti-capitalist POV, except, one that recognizes capitalist 'success':

I fear a world ran by corporations that "works." And that happens if we allow ourselves to operate within the confines of the political system that is incidentally ran by the very corporations. No where does he challenge us to uproot the political system, only in 220 does he challenge us to "not be swayed like mobs" to the powers that be. That's literally what the statistics show us doing. So when someone comes out, this day and age, and says "we must reduce poverty," and we're on a trajectory to reduce it anyway in 10-15 years, it comes off as not really a true commitment to anything. It's something already happening. The "anti-stuff" message is just delaying the expectation of urgency and it serves, in my view, as only a propagandistic effect to chill people from wanting a better standard of living (and therefore challenging the status quo) because there is no virtue in that.

Francis has, of course, elsewhere, decried the effect of the "business lobby" but we'd be remiss to ignore his mentioning of the "gay lobby" and the "Masonic lobby..." naturally. Because those are lobby's we need to concern ourselves with.

November 30, 2013

Noam Chomsky: "I'm no expert on pornography. ... I don't think it should be outlawed."

This video, like all Chomsky videos, is taking him out of context. Chomsky takes the easy path when he acknowledges his unrelenting failure to understand popular culture.

Noam Chomsky: Never heard of it. I'm pretty much out of popular culture altogether.

Jeff Jetton: Is that everyday world that most people find so fascinating ... why is it so uninteresting to you?

Noam Chomsky: I don't know, I just don't care about it. It looks to me pointless and superficial. If I had free time I'd rather read a nineteenth century novel.

Jeff Jetton: In the post-Hustler interviews, you seem to have a rabid distaste for porn, calling it degrading to women. But surely there's a deeper conversation to be had about human sexuality and erotic material. Is it just that all pornography is --

Noam Chomsky: I'm no expert on pornography. The core element of it, I think, is degradation of women, whatever else goes on. I don't think it should be outlawed, but I'm not in favor of the degradation of anybody.

Jeff Jetton: Do you know who Lady Gaga is?

Noam Chomsky: I've seen ads and stuff, but no.

This is a cop out and sadly one of Chomsky's later life failings. This attitude that a nineteenth century novel is less superficial than modern popular culture is bourgeoisie-esque, and really a problem in modern socialist thinking as a whole.

I don't disagree with Chomsky's acknowledgement of the economic relationship toward pornography. But to suggest that he intends that all pornography is bad is a failure to understand that he doesn't get pornography produced by willing individuals in a current, popular culture mindset. Kink is not Vivid, to put it simply as possible.

In the end Chomsky does suggest an understanding in that vein, as he doesn't think porn should be outlawed. Yet I am sure he would believe that child abuse should be outlawed (thus his own analogy isn't a one to one relationship with child abuse and he contradicted himself; the results of age, no doubt).

Profile Information

Name: Josh Cryer
Gender: Male
Hometown: Colorado
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 62,300
Latest Discussions»joshcryer's Journal