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Speaker’s Corner



A Speakers’ Corner is an area where public speaking, debate and discussion takes place. The original and most noted is in the north-east corner of Hyde Park in London, England. Speakers there may speak on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful, although this right is not restricted to Speakers’ Corner only – the same right to free speech applies everywhere else in the UK. Contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice the police tend to be tolerant and therefore only intervene when they receive a complaint or if they hear profanity.


Although many of its regular speakers are non-mainstream, Speakers’ Corner was frequented by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, C. L. R. James, Ben Tillett, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah and William Morris. Its existence is frequently upheld as a demonstration of free speech, as anyone can turn up unannounced and talk on almost any subject, though they are likely to be heckled by regulars.

The Confluence is not a speaker’s corner. It is but a single soapbox in the largest speaker’s corner in human history, an agora of epic proportions. This particular soapbox belongs to Riverdaughter, and she shares it as she sees fit.

She graciously chose to share it with a number of other people including me.  I’ve been ruining her blog for over two years now.

“Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition…But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas…that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution.” – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Everyone who comes here is entitled to their own opinion. But if they choose to express that opinion they may get heckled by the regulars. The blogosphere is not a hothouse for delicate flowers, it is a marketplace of ideas. You can’t get all butt-hurt just because someone rejects your ideas. Even lots of someones.

Humans are social animals. Throughout our existence we’ve grouped up with each other. Conformity, peer pressure and tribalism are hardwired into us, some more than others. We also have a tendency to engage in group think:

Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. It is a second potential negative consequence of group cohesion.

Irving Janis studied a number of American Foreign policy ‘disasters’ such as failure to anticipate the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (1941); the Bay of Pigs fiasco (1961) when the US administration sought to overthrow Cuban Government of Fidel Castro; and the prosecution of the Vietnam War (1964–67) by President Lyndon Johnson. He concluded that in each of these cases, the decisions were made largely due to the cohesive nature of the committees which made them. Moreover, that cohesiveness prevented contradictory views from being expressed and subsequently evaluated. As defined by Janis, “A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action”.[1].

Individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness, as are the advantages of reasonable balance in choice and thought that might normally be obtained by making decisions as a group.[citation needed] During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. The term is frequently used pejoratively, in hindsight. Additionally, it is difficult to assess the quality of decision making in terms of outcomes all the time, but one can almost always evaluate the quality of the decision-making process.

The surest way to achieve group think is to impose a moratorium on dissent and alternative views and opinions. In computer geek-speak they say “GIGO” meaning “garbage in, garbage out.” If you only allow certain pre-approved points of view into the discussion then the outcome will be similarly constricted.

I am a liberal and I have faith in my ideology. I will passionately argue my beliefs.

If you tell me I’m wrong I will disagree with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t convince me you’re right.

Just don’t expect changing my mind to be easy.


163 Responses

  1. SFGate:

    National pollster Nate Silver calls the Prop. 19 version of this “The Broadus Effect” – after weed-loving Calvin Broadus, a.k.a. rapper-actor Snoop Dogg. The “Broadus Effect” adds another layer of intrigue to an already mysterious demographic: supporters of legalized marijuana.

    Nobody can say how many are out there – and how many will vote.

    It can be challenging to survey voters on socially controversial issues such as same-sex marriage and drugs, where people may be reluctant to share their views without “feeling as though they’re being judged,” said Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center.

    “Men – especially younger men – are less likely to be supportive when they’re talking to a live pollster,” said Ruth Bernstein, the Oakland pollster for Prop. 19. “The polling we’re seeing is telling us that there is something going on here, but we’re not quite sure what it is yet.”

    Bernstein was so curious that on Oct. 13-14, the campaign ran side-by-side polls – one using live questioners, the other using automated voices. When a live person asked, 41 percent of the respondents favored legalizing pot, but when asked by an automated questioner, 56 percent said they supported legalization, according to the internal poll.

    Puff, puff, and pass the damn initiative!

    • I’m cool with that, but Obama’s DOJ is not. Holder’s already said he’ll ignore it and continue to enforce federal drug laws.

      Does that mean CA has been relegated to Arizona status?

      Will California revolt? 🙂

    • Is that why robo-polls get higher Republican numbers?

      • Is that generally true, or only in the last few years when non-O supporters were bullied relentlessly for speaking their lack of love aloud? I wonder whether during the height of Bush-Iraq-post 9/11 patriotic jingoism, robo-calls got more tolerant/liberal answers.

  2. This is what happens when groupthink takes over:

    “I thought it was character assassination,” Digby told me a couple weeks after the RFK controversy had passed. She was exhausted by the toll the campaign had already taken on the blogosphere. She was also aware of the kind of pie fights that would erupt on her site if she posted a condemnation of those who unfairly attacked Clinton for her RFK comments. So Digby, who never endorsed either candidate, simply passed on the story. “I’m a chicken shit,” she said with a shake of her head.

    No chickenshits here

  3. That’s just great. I suppose all of the subpoenas will be delivered to me now.

  4. ABC:

    As you watch this year’s ads — and I’ve been watching all too many lately — you’ll notice a striking difference between Democratic and Republican attack ads: Democrats are attacking over personal issues, Republicans are attacking over policy.

    There are, of course, many exceptions, but the overall trend is clear. Democrats are hitting their Republican opponents over past legal transgressions, shady business deals and even speeding tickets. Republicans are hammering Democrats over “Obamacare,” Nancy Pelosi and the economy.

    A recent study by the Wesleyan Media Project actually quantifies this. They looked at 900,000 airing of political ads this year and concluded: “Democrats are using personal attacks at much higher rates than Republicans and a much higher rate than Democrats in 2008.”

  5. Good post, myiq. I try not to be deliberately mean to anyone, but I think that vigorous, varied, and even heated argument is a positive thing, not a negative.

    Maybe it’s because I had a brilliant mother who demanded that I argue with her, and was merciless in making me support my arguments. (We both loved it. She called it “mental tennis”, and some of my fondest memories of my late-Mama are of me at 10 or 12 or 23 trying to rip holes in one of her arguments, and vice versa.)

    Maybe it’s because I have some red-meat conservative family with whom I can hold my own, or one sister who is hippy-dippy left left lefter than me and lets me have it. And we all love each other and take each other’s arguments and selves seriously. We don’t dismiss the other’s point (and thus their person) out-of-hand as illegitimate – we argue it.

    Maybe it’s because I am a Christian liberal married to a cynical apolitical atheist, and one of the things that attracted us to each other is the glorious wide-ranging arguments we are blessed to have.

    I can see people getting upset over gratuitous insults, blatant nastiness etc. But I don’t understand getting upset that someone is actively trying to assail your logic. That emotion is foreign to me. Maybe it’s me that’s weird, but I just don’t get it.

    • I think we all know when the line has been crossed. This place will never become a Cheeto site.
      But I do intend to continue to be irreverent and knock people off the pedestals that society has placed them on. It’s not to be mean. It’s to break the logjam we have when we can’t hold people accountable for the consequences of their actions. I don’t particularly like slamming little old ladies about social security. But their belief thar they are held in esteem by the very people who scare them into voting for them is illusory. I wouldn’t be doing them a favor if I didn’t make them face what they’re up against.
      The British let the Irish starve and then landlords pulled down their houses and threw the starving into the street in order to avoid paying taxes on thei tenants’ houses. The French aristocracy drove the country into debt and then hiked the price of bread during some skimpy harvests. They Duvaliers ran Haiti into the ground after Haiti had been crippled by centuries of debt and a blockade of their goods.
      History is full of multiple examples of greedy powerful people callously turning their backs on the elderly, the sick and the poor. Elderly women on social security think they can indulge their weakness fir Fox News without consequence. If it means I have to be mean to my mother to get her to see the light, I have no problem adopting the Stanley Kowalski persona of the heartless guys who don’t give a shut about her in order for her to get the point.
      If that makes me mean, so be it. At least I tried.

      • Irreverent is HEALTHY.

        It’s how you make sure you don’t get bamboozled by politicians my Dad used to describe as “slicker’n snot.”

        Good ole Scots-Irish, regular people irreverant!!

        Give em hell!

      • RD, I heartily disagreed with you in some areas on that post. But I’m still glad you posted it. Go for it. Make us think.

        Sheesh, this isn’t really so hard as people make it out to be.

  6. If you tell me I’m wrong I will disagree with you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t convince me you’re right.

    And if your criticism is a tad too on target, your message will be flushed down the memory hole.



  7. Everyone who comes here is entitled to their own opinion. But if they choose to express that opinion they may get heckled by the regulars.

    So how do we know if we’re one of the cool clique regulars or one of the rabble who may get heckled by them? I mean, just so I know if I gotta strap on my armour before logging in. Let’s don’t pretend everyone has equal latitude to express opinions here without censor, myiq.

    This morning I expressed an opinion – actually I only made an observation – and Riverdaughter warned me, “I wouldn’t poke the clown if I were you. It displeaseth me greatly.”

    But you’re right it’s RD’s blog and she can protect whomever she wants.

    • Have you been censored? Did I ban you? You haven’t tripped the trigger. But I don’t want to get into an argument with you over myiq posting here.
      Dakinikat left of her own accord. No one forced her out. She wasn’t censored. On the contrary, I was very angry with her over her post but the post stayed up for two days and got almost 400 hits. After she resigned, I did not feel compelled to leave it up.
      Maybe I should have consulted my fellow frontpagers. But I felt that the wound was starting to fester and the best way to heal was to excise it. The post is still at her site if you’re interested in coughing up a contentious hairball and examining it.
      But don’t try to push me around. I don’t appreciate it and I am very loyal to my frontpagers. That would include Dakinikat whose first post here got us thrown off a lot of blogrolls. I defended her and would do it again.
      So, don’t piss me off.

      • So, don’t piss me off.

        I think you and WTV and others here are top notch writers and thinkers, and I’ve loved almost every minute I’ve spent here reading your smart nonconformist commentary. I think you’re all aces and I wish you all well.

        But I decided many years ago not to stay places I don’t feel safe. And I don’t feel safe when the Queen Bee warns me not to piss her off.

        Be well.

        • You felt safe enough to come back and argue the point.

          What are you afraid of? Having your comments deleted or getting banned? Getting flamed by someone over the internet?

          • It’s pointless to be afrid of getitng banned somewhere on the internet. I’ve been banned from chat rooms back in the 90s. It’s going to happen.

            I’ve been banned from places where I felt safe and welcomed because I made one too many comments. What happens next? You move on.

          • Let it go, myiq. She/he’s not worth the trouble.

          • I honestly don’t understand all this angst. Someone left because….. why? Was RD supposed to somehow stop that? How the hell is that her fault? Was the condition for staying that she start dropping the ban hammer on others?

            So RD refused to do that (just as she refused to get rid of DK when half the blogosphere called her a raycist), but she’s a bully?

            And now people are coming in to complain that…. what? That no one got banned for things the complainer can’t even specify?

            What’s the complaint, here? In actual concrete terms, not insinuations. Sheesh, this is freaky insane.

        • Ta-ta, dahling.

        • Call the Waambulance!

          Dude, you don’t feel safe on a blog? If I could stop laughing, I would feel sorry for you. My advice is that you wrap yourself in cotton & stay in bed with absolutely no contact with the outside world. You obviously aren’t equipped to handle it.

          The lack of grit in people today — when hurting someone’s feelings is equated to “bullying” — is pathetic. One harsh world and everyone is acting like this is the Lord of the Flies. Good grief! I feel compelled to come back just to start telling people to f*ck off.

    • What you did this morning was not express an opinion on a topic, zaldonis. What you did was ask why myiq wasn’t gone.

      That’s not a point to argue, that’s trying to shut someone else up. See the difference?

      No one here has tried to shut you up when discussing any issue under the sun – they’ve argued with you. The only thing you got “warned” about was trying to opine on who gets to speak.

    • I have poked a clown before, several times really but then his wife caught us. That was a bad scene so I would have to agree with RD, don’t poke clowns, at least married ones anyway. :)` <>

    • “….express that opinion they may get heckled by the regulars.”

      Wow, “heckled by the regulars”. Heckled.

      That is THE reason I stopped reading Eschaton and came over here.

      Oh well.

    • Z–you took that comment way too seriously/personally IMO. RD meant it, but was being facetious.

  8. Lurch is a WATB:

    Whine at breakfast

    Sen. John Kerry is darn lucky his name doesn’t appear on the ballot next Tuesday. Voters generally don’t like being condescended to five days before an election.

    Yes, the commonwealth’s senior senator engaged in what can only be described as a 40-minute whine-fest at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce appearance yesterday, customizing congressional Democrats’ pre-election talking points for a local audience.


    “It’s absurd. We’ve lost our minds,” Kerry said. “We’re in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics.”

    BB isn’t here so I can’t ask her if the Herald is a wingnut meme factory or not.

    • I’m here. The Herald is a right wing rag owned by Rupert Murdoch.

      • But the Globe hates Kerry too.

      • Ok, so the editorializing may be right. But the quote still stinks like day-old privilege to the average american ear.

        • I was just answering myiq’s question about the Herald.

          • Yes, I know. That wasn’t a criticism of you at all! I was just noting that the quote itself came from Kerry, regardless of the paper it was in.

          • Thank you for that.

            You can’t always tell by location – lots of people assume the SF Chron and the LA times must be liberal papers but they’re not.

          • Kerry is like a broken record. He said something similar about a month ago. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I sure would like to get rid of him.

        • Same ole Kerry. He’s one of those Massachusetts politicians that ignored the votes of his constituents in the primary and chose to support and vote for the candidate HE thought was better for them.

          Like a damm Crowned Prince or something.


    • Nah, it sounds like Kerry stuffed that foot in his mouth all by himself.

      • You’d think the Democrats, especially the ones who aren’t running, could keep from speaking their disdain for the American people for the next 5 days.

    • Poor Lurch. Just can’t understand how the flim-flam went wrong.

    • Funny, Kerry didn’t mind when the ‘know-nothingness’ applied to knowing nothing about Obama.

  9. It’s not enough for NYT to put the Clinton wanted Meek out lie on page one. Now they commiserate about it with their buddy Jeb – ya know, the one who engineered Florida 2000

    This is the very first question:

    We saw the news break that former President Bill Clinton had been in discussions with Kendrick B. Meek [the Democratic candidate for Senate] about possibly getting out of the race. What kind of picture does that present to you?

    The reason why there is such a reaction to the usual politics of the day is just these kind of backroom deals.

    Crist bashing follows.

  10. It’s weird but I see as politics a lot like life. I don’t think that it’s necessarily right or wrong as much as it is which is better or best in a free market of competing ideas.

    The weird thing is policy (Social security, Health care, education) and culture (all of the isms) are both important discussions because neither one exists in a vacuum. They affect each other. Neither one is right or wrong per se. Both have importance.

    There does come a juncture though where you may have to choose on where you will place your focus.

    I am not sure that it is strategically going to be better to align yourself as sympathetic to the tea partiers (who I believe are wrong on who they are placing their trust in now) then it would be to forgive progressive bloggers (who were wrong in the past about who they decided to place their trust in.)

    From a policy focused perspective I favor the latter over the former and I believe it is less of a crap shoot because after 2008 I feel pretty confident that I know who progressives are now(and no I will never look at some of them again in the same way even if I choose to align myself with them when it comes to policy).

    This is probably as clear as mud. Sigh.

    • I have no intention or desire to be aligned with the Tea Partiers.

      But I object to dehumanizing and demonizing them.

      I have no issues with people (bloggers or otherwise) who were wrong about Obama in the past. My issues are with people who:

      1. Participated in the sexism, fraud and hooliganism of the 2008 primaries.

      2. Continue to shill for Obama

      3. Engage in sexism, fraud, and other violations of liberal principles.

      • Fair enough

        However, it would be nice to see equal time given to people who choose to demonize and dehumanize liberals or engage in sexism from the other side of the aisle. Don’t just kick the progressives. They aren’t the only ones engaging in classism since sneering that everyone is a latte liberal is a popular sport on the right side of the aisle. And the Republican party had an ad that basically stated that GOP women were “hotter” than democratic women. If you are going to address classism or sexism or fraud don’t just stick it to one side.

        • There are entire enterprises who do that, some paid for largely by Soros. There is no shortage of posts about the horrors of the right wing. Take a look at memeorandem, TPM, or crooks and liars. They’re all over the place.

          • There are entire enterprises that take on the left too. Does that mean everyone should just close up shop and head on home since that particular perspective has been done?

          • I think people should write what they want. Do it.

        • We sort of expect more of the progressive side, so we’re harder on them to be sure. It we went after the right, it would be rather boring. I mean, have you listened to them? I don’t think anyone is defending their positions here that I’ve seen.

          • Why do you expect more from progressives?

            They are human beings just like the tea partiers.

            And why yes I have listened to them. That’s why I am concerned. Come November there are going to be a whole lot more of them. What do figure the odds are that SS stays intact if we are all focused on the fact Bowers called Palin a mean name or that Booman said the tea partiers are idiots.

          • They are human beings just like the tea partiers.

            No, they are much better than that and never tire of telling the world about it. Lowly teabaggers can’t possibly be as good as the Ivy educated trust fund babies.

          • I expect more because they purportedly have similar values as me. And they’re out there talking mostly to other people who claim to have similar values. That is progressives/liberals. So when they go destructive, I want to call them on it because what they’re doing hurts the liberal cause.

            On the other hand, the right has less in common with me, and most of what they push, or what they make the most noise about, is so utterly wrong, I don’t know how to start. And their readers are people who will likely never vote or push for things that are in my interest.

            But you make a good point, when they go over the line (vs. just bad policy), they should be called on it. And in many cases someone here does. But we could do more. Care to help. 🙂

          • People are people. Everyone is fallible, teapartier and Ivy League graduate alike.

            The exchange between tea partier and progressive goes something like this.

            TPer: Socialist!
            Progressive: Idiot!
            TPer: Godless amoral liberal
            Progressive: racist xenophobe
            Progressive and TPer together: YOU are everything that is wrong with this country.

            Neither side is an innocent angel in the, to use the term extremely loosely, debate.

          • Yep, nailed it.

      • Very nicely summed up. It’s like with Palin – I get angry when she (or other women in politics) get attacked in a sexist fashion.
        But that doesn’t make me agree with her/them any more than I agree with their male, un-attacked colleagues.
        Another thing when talking about Tea party: at least for now, they are not in power. As such, their extremism is not my main concern – not that I don’t register with the corner of my eye what they do.
        The moment they can affect my life this is going to change.
        But for now, it’s Obama & friends that I have a beef with.

        • Waiting until they actually come into power to address their policy positions IMO is a disaster waiting to happen.

          It’s enough that they managed to get a half dozen people to the general election in my opinion.

          • “Fight the Powerless” is a heck of a slogan. I don’t think it will sell many bumper stickers.

          • The powerless?

            Yeah because powerless people always manage to beat large institutions like the RNC and get people on the ballot and to a general election.

            Pfft I guess we should all wish we were as powerless as the Tea Party.

          • OK, you can amend it to “Fear the Powerless” if you want.

          • The powerless ones aren’t going to be the ones riding the wave of anger into Congress. I’m not afraid of Joe Sixpack who’s angry that we bailed out the banks. I’m afraid of Joe Miller who wants to eliminate Social Security and will likely have a vote in Congress and a platform to introduce legislation come November. That isn’t powerless.

      • The demonization is also just plain counterproductive. Most tea party people joined up because of the the way government was working. Some may have even joined a more populist organization had it been available.

        All of this unchanneled anger by opponents of the tea party has only served to galvanized it. As a dumb example, look at Joy Behar calling Sharron Angle a (certain word). Angle sent Behar flowers with the note that she got $150,000 in donations because of that remark. Then Behar did it again and Angle probably made more money. At least Behar eventually decided to quit while she was behind.

        • Wait you mean the powerless Tea Party managed to raise $150,000 for their candidate?

          No one is saying call people idiots. There is enough of that going around. I’m saying make an intelligent argument of the engagement of classism when done by either side of the aisle. Or are people here honestly telling me that there is only classism, sexism or any of the other isms from the left side of the aisle?

          • I didn’t say the tea party was powerless. I’m saying that demonization is counterproductive. Here are non-demonization arguments against tea partiers.

            They don’t have a coherent unified statement of beliefs.

            Republican incumbents who are part of the problem have been accepted as part of the tea party.

            They have little to no stated stance on social issues, but tend toward candidates with a specific stance.

          • See that is a unique perspective.

            You didn’t call anyone an idiot or denigrate them but you still clearly differentiated why you disagree with the movement.

            Now if we could just clone you and interject you into the conversation between the tea partiers and the progressives. 😉

            I bet you could even do something similar with the progressive side of the equation (even if the urge to yell grow up at both sides is pretty darn compelling)

    • I’m pretty sure that if “progressives” ever propose the same policies I do, it will be an accident. Because they didn’t just become part of Obama’s cult, but by and large endorse a policy vision — call it neoliberal, uber-wealthy-sucking-up, “I got mine, f*ck the rest of you” or whatever — which is not the same as mine. Maybe, temporarily, their progessional lapdog gigs could cause them to espouse similar policy goals (I could see them defending Social Security in order to not totally lose face, for instance), but I don’t think they are trustworthy even then.

      And even if they temporarily had the same policy goals, their methodology — bullying, misogyny, tribalism, class war, lies, etc etc — definitely isn’t mine. Maybe you meant “align” as just favoring the same policies at the same time — then I guess I don’t disagree. But in terms of any sort of support, or actual alliance, no go here.

      • honk, honk!

      • Some of them wanted single payer and a good portion wanted some sort of public option. Alot of them have been thoroughly disgusted with HAMP, outraged by mortgage fraud and would not be averse to cramdown. Most of them want more focus placed on jobs and feel the first stimulus was too small. Is any of this sounding familiar?

        No one says you have to love them just recognize when it is and isn’t in your best interest to align yourself with them and push in the same direction as them.

        • Well then I think you did mean ‘align’ as just the same direction (rather than alliance), and that I agree with — no desire to cut off my nose, etc. But I think the other big lesson (for me, anyway) of 2008 was that I don’t look to “progressives” anymore in terms of helping me understand and analyze what’s at stake in terms of policy. Any claim they ever had to be “thought leaders”, they washed away, they’re pretty much all “thought followers” now (the worst being not even that, but just “money followers”).

          • As I said 2008 was an eye opener for me. I’ll never look at any of them the same again. I say this as a person who politically has some very, very thick skin.

        • You’re a good writer, why don’t you post about those things?

          • I’m a crappy writer but thank you.

            I take 10 years to make a point and half the time the point I was trying to make gets lost. I could go on and on about my deficits in the writing department. The best thing you can say about me is that I do try.

          • You’re a very good writer. You express yourself with coherent, cogent arguments. You use fact and logic. You’re a pretty good speller too.

            Best of all you’re not afraid to say what you think.

          • No, you’re clear. Write up a post!

        • Those positions are nice but they didn’t stick by them. Most sold out to support Obama. That seems to not be working so well.

          You only get one chance to sell out.

          • Life gives you a million chances to redeem yourself. It doesn’t give you do overs but it does give you many chances.

            Now I sound like a fortune cookie.

          • Tell that to Arlen Specter. He almost had 3.

          • Or Crist. He’s sold out so much nobody knows what he stands for, anymore.

            Kinda like the class warfare Obots, justifying every single screw-the-little-people decision Obama & his Congress made.

            They sold out all their principles.

            No go here, too.

    • Wow. I agree completely. I also agree with myiq when he says “I object to dehumanizing and demonizing them”. I’m also totally fucking BAFFLED, because I had the bad luck to miss the whole damn debacle. NO CLUE.

      • There were philosophical differences and dak resigned. It’s always painful when good people argue and TC has some really good people so the past couple days have been rough.

  11. Love the soapbox. Thanks for being here!

  12. Hi!! Love the post–we were at Speaker’s Corner many moons ago and it was neat. There was actually a crate there (soapbox) that people stood on. Also, I was told that British students get one day a year to run through towns going crazy to let off steam. Don’t know if that is true, but I think it is a good idea.

    I can’t believe that we actually manned phone banks for Kerry in 04–but, I was a D. Sheeple then.

  13. Shrinkage is hell.

  14. Someone said TC is not a court of law. Of course, this is not a court of law, but logic of a legal kind and intellectual consistency are necessary components of reasoned discourse, are they not?. And the wise strategy, in my opinion, is to seek common ground with the supposed opposition before launching an all-out war of belittlement and ridicule. Settle when possible. Fight when necessary.

    The elites want us fighting amongst ourselves. Fight over religion. Fight over abortion. Fight over who gets the last crumb of a job. Fight over who gets the last social security check. Fight over not condemning the Tea Party enough or condemning the Tea Party too much. But whatever we do, we mustn’t unite and fight against the elites. Cuz we outnumber them. We could do some serious damage. And they’re running scared, socking away every bit of our money they can, before the whole scam blows up.

    I’m out here in CA now, and for all its supposed liberalism, I interact with conservative Republicans all the time. They’re all over the place. And I’m far to the left of most on this site. Still, I look for common ground. We agree to limit discussion of religion or abortion or sexual orientation. (I am very clear as to where I stand and I will never back down, but, honestly, I suspect there will never be common ground there – unfortunately. Sometimes I make a little headway here and there, but it’s disappointingly little.)

    Anyway, here’s what we agree on:

    1. The bankster crooks should all be in jail. Super Max, like Florence, CO, or just a nasty state prison, where they’ll receive some appropriately rough justice. Life imprisonment (I don’t believe in the death penalty – to me, it’s state-sanctioned, first-degree murder), because, after all, they’ve caused far more economic deaths than the 911 terrorists did real deaths. Hell, they’ve probably killed our country. They must also forfeit all proceeds from their criminal enterprises. Take every last penny from them – then let them argue against debtors’ prisons. Goddam hypocrites.

    2. Take the money from fighting insane, unwinnable wars abroad (that are disgustingly cavalier in the disvalue of a single human life) and create jobs. It’s not like our roads, highways, schools (I think teachers should get a starting salary of $100,000), and on and on don’t need fixing.In the alternative, give each citizen $100,000 tax-free – that would be fairer than handing the money (our money) to crooked military contractors to blow up innocent people who are trying to survive, just like we are. If you want us to spend money, you have to give us some. Uh, duh.

    3. Provide health care, the same quality health care, to each of us. Eliminate the health insurance companies. Throw those crooks in jail too. Get vision, dental, chiropractic, all RXs covered automatically. (I usually cite statistics from other countries, as to how this costs far less than what we pay here per capita.) Forget Medicare Part B, C and D. One comprehensive plan that covers everything. All the rest is just a means to take money from us without providing us with anything in return.

    4. Reduce the retirement age to 62. Do NOT tax Social Security benefits. One-third of my benefit must go to taxes, even tho I waited til full retirement age, so I’m really only getting 2/3 of what I was promised. (When people who are nearing retirement age here this, they flip out.) And it’s taxed as ordinary income, unlike the much lower tax rate on capital gains – you know, the extra money the rich have salted away. They use my money interest-free for all my working life, they steal the money and spend it on other things, and then they want a get-out-of-jail-free card, and we pay again. Throw them in jail too. Attica would do nicely for the venerable Simpson. Let him sit in solitary and pig out on cat food.

    5. Increase the tax rate on the wealthy (over $500,000?) to 90% at least. No estate tax on the first $7 million; 50% to75% (or more) tax on the rest. Everybody pays Social Security payroll tax, with no limit on the amount taxed.

    6. Fine companies at a prohibitive rate to stop the outsourcing of jobs. Stop with all the tax breaks for huge corporations – limit their “business expense” deductions or set a cap on the amount they may deduct (like no more than 50% of gross receipts); then tax the hell out of their gross adjusted income. Hell, throw them in jail too. They’re persons, aren’t they? I’d love to see BP sitting in a jail cell for tax evasion, wouldn’t you?

    7. Get rid of defined contribution pension plans. Go back to defined benefit plans. Take the money out of the stock market, all of it, out. Sure, it looks like it’s less money, but it’s guaranteed! Hey, what a novel concept – a guaranteed retirement for working your whole life.

    Hell, yeah, I’m angry. And so is every other working stiff in this country. The Republicans have once again outsmarted the Dems by manipulating people who are hurting into believing the Tea Party is the answer. So what’s the Dem response? Name-calling. Instead of acknowledging the fundamental truth that we are all angry for the same reason. We are being effed over and every last cent is being sucked out of us by immoral politicians and corporatists of all stripes, beginning with that con man lecturer-in-chief who, so far as I can see, never worked a day in his life.

    Serenity now.

    • That’s a lot of people going to jail. I’m afraid we’re going to have to let some of those people in prison now out, like the ones doing 5-10 for smoking a joint.

      • Exactly!

      • No problem. Let the “illegal” women and kids out of the GEO/Wackenhut commercial prisons, nationalize them, toss their execs in with the rest of the thieves, and there’ll still be lots of room.

    • I agree.

      I would add: create dependable, functional public transportation within cities, develop high-speed rail between population centers, and mandate the switch to sustainable energy sources. We’re at or past peak oil right now. Global warming is occurring faster than anticipated. Even if we manage to survive the financial mess the overlords have made, the warming/energy crunch will become a cataclysmic disaster if it’s not addressed NOW.

      • I agree with you completely. However, I have met with resistance on global warming. That’s why I didn’t put it on my list of areas of agreement. I think the idea that the planet is doomed unless we act fast is simply too much for some people to hear or process, even when I present the facts logically and in as non-threatening manner as I can. I do manage to throw in a few zingers now and again, but it appears to be a divisive issue, unfortunately , really unfortunately, for all of us. Same with torture and civil liberties. Not much agreement there either.

        However, I did forget to add campaign finance reform to my list. Every person I’ve spoken to in the last few years, and especially lately, hates all politicians – both Dems and Repubs alike, no matter the person’s particular affiliation. So it’s much easier to discuss taking money out of the election process. That’s generally a big hit. “Throw all the bums out” works well.

        • HONK!!!
          Great posts. Put campaign finance reform first. I agree with all the earlier points too.

  15. mjames–Yeah!! I agree and you stated your platform well. I’ve noticed something with some r’s –when you get to the crux of a disagreement with them, there is usually some agreement (aside from bedroom issues). My crazy brother-in-law told me that no one should have over 2-3 million dollars, so I told him he was practically a socialist. He also loves Medicare. The major problem as I see it, is that many of these people don’t know what Socialism is and they haven’t linked alot of things to how policy affects their lives. That’s how Clinton is so effectve–he explains policy in a very understandable way.

    • BC is a master at communication. It sounds like you’re not so shabby yourself. If people only knew how socialist they really are.

      One clarification, because I know RD is protective of the good work big pharma does – and rightfully so, IMO. Research and development costs should always be tax-deductible. On the other hand, deductible costs for advertising should be severely limited. That’s where I stand.

  16. Really, when does Obama work?? He’s either on TV stunning the masses or yuking it up with the swells.

  17. The Politics of HATE; will Glenn Beck be happy when someone is killed, was the planned massacre (that was stopped in a hail of gunfire by several police officers) of two Civil Rights orgs not enough for him to get a clue, of his incitement of violence?
    League of Women Voters, woman volunteer Receives Death Threats Days After Beck Attacks Her Reluctance To Recite Pledge of Allegiance (The League of Woman Voters has run debates like this for DECADES)

    • This is what I mean. This type of stuff out to be called out too.

      Just a “typical woman voter” oh and she’s a “teacher and probably one of those elite union folk”

      Nope, nosiree Glenn Beck isn’t trying to push any buttons.

      I wonder if he missed any canards in between his sneering.

      Oh wait he forgot to call her Godless.

    • WHatever happened to the guy whose finger was bitten off by a MoveOn volunteer at a rally?

      Whatever happened to Kenneth Gladney, who was kicked, spit on, beaten up , and called the n-word by the SEIU thugs?

      Boogeyman, boogeyman, boogeyman.

      • Do you agree with Beck?

        Does the fact that this woman wanted to use debate time to actually debate mean she is some “elite?”

        A boogeyman is imaginary. His attack on this woman was very, very real.

  18. Glen Beck is a piece of work. He insinuates that ‘evil is afoot’ constantly. I read somewhere that he made 30 million dollars last year on his books and other stuff. They are all just profiteers, imo.

  19. Night all!!

  20. Great post myiq. Sorry I was late to it. Y’all keep partying whenever I’m not here. Hmmm….

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