Only The Paranoid Survive

Some of us have smiled when our correspondents talked about the possibility of martial law and the election being cancelled. “Oh those paranoids”, I thought. Then a friend sent me this little dispatch from the Army Times.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

I’m still not buying the martial law idea, but if banks start failing and Wall Street barons flee the country on their private jets, there might be some pretty angry mobs in the streets. Somehow the “non-lethal weapons package” does not seem designed for assisting in natural disasters.

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0 Responses to Only The Paranoid Survive

  1. jonolan says:

    It would be remiss of the government not to be ready to handle riots and other problems that could result from a major financial meltdown.

    Also, this is moving according to schedule that was determined by earlier reports of how vulnerable the US really still was to a terrorist attack.

  2. jonolan says:

    It would be remiss of the government not to be ready to handle riots and other problems that could result from a major financial meltdown.

    Also, this is moving according to schedule that was determined by earlier reports of how vulnerable the US really still was to a terrorist attack.

  3. zak says:

    If you look at the stories coming out of the St. Paul convention. . .reporters being arrested for doing their jobs, footage being confiscated. . . one mass arrest of people, literally hanging out in a park , charged with rioting

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/99433/incredible_documentary_footage_of_mass_arrest_in_st._paul/

    it’s not too hard to believe the party in power now will do what it takes to stay put.

  4. zak says:

    If you look at the stories coming out of the St. Paul convention. . .reporters being arrested for doing their jobs, footage being confiscated. . . one mass arrest of people, literally hanging out in a park , charged with rioting

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/99433/incredible_documentary_footage_of_mass_arrest_in_st._paul/

    it’s not too hard to believe the party in power now will do what it takes to stay put.

  5. zak says:

    jonolan,
    “It would be remiss of the government not to be ready to handle riots and other problems”

    They’ve done little to shore up against another terrorist attack over the last 7 years, but they’re going to be prepared in the event Americans riot. . . impressive immobilization.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008169880_terrorism10.html

  6. zak says:

    jonolan,
    “It would be remiss of the government not to be ready to handle riots and other problems”

    They’ve done little to shore up against another terrorist attack over the last 7 years, but they’re going to be prepared in the event Americans riot. . . impressive immobilization.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008169880_terrorism10.html

  7. zak says:

    whoops. though an equally delightful play on words. . . I actually meant “impressive mobilization.”

  8. zak says:

    whoops. though an equally delightful play on words. . . I actually meant “impressive mobilization.”

  9. bernard says:

    JT
    Scary shit. Sounds like the familiar doings of a south american dictatorship… do you really think it may happen, I mean private jets to where ? Where can bankers go ? what about Interpol.
    I dont think its plausible but again if you think that way… you maybe right.

  10. bernard says:

    JT
    Scary shit. Sounds like the familiar doings of a south american dictatorship… do you really think it may happen, I mean private jets to where ? Where can bankers go ? what about Interpol.
    I dont think its plausible but again if you think that way… you maybe right.

  11. Roger McNamee says:

    Dear Jonolan,

    The Posse Commitatus law prohibits the use of active duty soldiers inside the United States. The law has been honored since the Civil War.
    When there is civil unrest, the law dictates the use of local police and National Guard.

    Bush has gutted the fourth amendment and habeas corpus. Now he is violating Posse Commitatus. While you may trust the president, these actions were clear violations of Constitution and are same ones Lincoln took in imposing Martial Law during the Civil War.

  12. Roger McNamee says:

    Dear Jonolan,

    The Posse Commitatus law prohibits the use of active duty soldiers inside the United States. The law has been honored since the Civil War.
    When there is civil unrest, the law dictates the use of local police and National Guard.

    Bush has gutted the fourth amendment and habeas corpus. Now he is violating Posse Commitatus. While you may trust the president, these actions were clear violations of Constitution and are same ones Lincoln took in imposing Martial Law during the Civil War.

  13. VeryBadMan says:

    There have already been many calls for heads on stakes and that sort of thing among the very reasonable contributors right here in these pages.

  14. VeryBadMan says:

    There have already been many calls for heads on stakes and that sort of thing among the very reasonable contributors right here in these pages.

  15. Mason Dixon says:

    Or Zak,
    Oppressive mobilization…

  16. Mason Dixon says:

    Or Zak,
    Oppressive mobilization…

  17. VeryBadMan says:

    There is so much large scale criminality afoot it is hard to see how we will recover from this.

    The next president, if there is a next president, in order to uphold the Constitution will have to put a lot of people in jail, including members of the current administration.

    We are in a far worse crisis than this financial crisis. We are in a crisis of the spirit.

  18. VeryBadMan says:

    There is so much large scale criminality afoot it is hard to see how we will recover from this.

    The next president, if there is a next president, in order to uphold the Constitution will have to put a lot of people in jail, including members of the current administration.

    We are in a far worse crisis than this financial crisis. We are in a crisis of the spirit.

  19. Alex Bowles says:

    Elsewhere in that article are quotes from troops saying that “feel good” to be “helping Americans, on American soil”.

    Riiiiight. So that’s what the brass is saying the front line guys. I suppose the next step is ‘reminding’ them that even though all Americans are equal, some happen to be more equal than others.

    Orwell really did have the whole thing mapped.

  20. Alex Bowles says:

    Elsewhere in that article are quotes from troops saying that “feel good” to be “helping Americans, on American soil”.

    Riiiiight. So that’s what the brass is saying the front line guys. I suppose the next step is ‘reminding’ them that even though all Americans are equal, some happen to be more equal than others.

    Orwell really did have the whole thing mapped.

  21. Alex Bowles says:

    …saying ‘they’. Must slow down here, and not let the aggravation get the best of me.

    As an aside, I wonder what David Addington thinks of Posse Commitatus? I’m guessing he’d say the troops aren’t actually on American soil. Rather, they’re operating in areas that are simply ‘attached’ to American soil, just like the Vice President’s office is ‘attached’ to the Senate, without actually being a part of it, or the Executive’s office.

  22. Alex Bowles says:

    …saying ‘they’. Must slow down here, and not let the aggravation get the best of me.

    As an aside, I wonder what David Addington thinks of Posse Commitatus? I’m guessing he’d say the troops aren’t actually on American soil. Rather, they’re operating in areas that are simply ‘attached’ to American soil, just like the Vice President’s office is ‘attached’ to the Senate, without actually being a part of it, or the Executive’s office.

  23. len bullard says:

    Roger: If a governor of a state requests it, they can use the federal forces.

    During the Democratic primaries, posters to blogs threatened riots and to burn cities if Barack Obama lost. The statements from entertainers such as Puff Daddy, and even Barack’s call for his supporters to get in the faces of neighbors will look to an analyst like social unrest in ferment. The rule is: expression of intent is the next best indicator after past behavior to predict future behavior.

    Paranoia is healthy, but you need to know what to look for. It is far easier to set off events and to declare martial law (see Hitler’s actions at the Polish border radio station). On the other hand, if no one raises a hand, it is impossible to sustain it. See Gandhi.

    There will plenty of signs before something like that, and they would find out that the US Army is not a political lapdog for a party in power. Have a little more faith in your fellow Americans.

    But if someone starts throwing rocks, expect the tear gas. If folks my age on this list don’t remember that, then they really did do too many drugs.

    Stay calm. Go cold. As far as I can see, both sides are playing tricks and there are more to come.

  24. len bullard says:

    Roger: If a governor of a state requests it, they can use the federal forces.

    During the Democratic primaries, posters to blogs threatened riots and to burn cities if Barack Obama lost. The statements from entertainers such as Puff Daddy, and even Barack’s call for his supporters to get in the faces of neighbors will look to an analyst like social unrest in ferment. The rule is: expression of intent is the next best indicator after past behavior to predict future behavior.

    Paranoia is healthy, but you need to know what to look for. It is far easier to set off events and to declare martial law (see Hitler’s actions at the Polish border radio station). On the other hand, if no one raises a hand, it is impossible to sustain it. See Gandhi.

    There will plenty of signs before something like that, and they would find out that the US Army is not a political lapdog for a party in power. Have a little more faith in your fellow Americans.

    But if someone starts throwing rocks, expect the tear gas. If folks my age on this list don’t remember that, then they really did do too many drugs.

    Stay calm. Go cold. As far as I can see, both sides are playing tricks and there are more to come.

  25. museincognito says:

    “….it’s not too hard to believe the party in power now will do what it takes to stay put.”

    Bush and friends face serious criminal charges if the opposing team wins and decides to sift through papers and follow through. Bill Moyers did an excellent interview sometime earlier this year with Iforgetwho and what was basically said was that the current admin’s egregious behavior can’t be left unchecked or the following admins (red or blue, no matter) limits will continue to be pushed further and further. America will look less and less American if nothing is done forthright.

    Rubber bullets…. Ouch.

  26. museincognito says:

    “….it’s not too hard to believe the party in power now will do what it takes to stay put.”

    Bush and friends face serious criminal charges if the opposing team wins and decides to sift through papers and follow through. Bill Moyers did an excellent interview sometime earlier this year with Iforgetwho and what was basically said was that the current admin’s egregious behavior can’t be left unchecked or the following admins (red or blue, no matter) limits will continue to be pushed further and further. America will look less and less American if nothing is done forthright.

    Rubber bullets…. Ouch.

  27. Jon Taplin says:

    Bernard- You’re living in Caracas. You’ve seen many a dictator and his cronies use martial law.

  28. Jon Taplin says:

    Bernard- You’re living in Caracas. You’ve seen many a dictator and his cronies use martial law.

  29. Rick Turner says:

    Don’t forget that many of the troops in Iraq ARE from the National Guard. Therefore they can be brought back and used without violating Posse Comitatus. I guess it might depend on the command chain…is it the Prez or is it Governors who are in control?

    Don’t forget, “Four Dead in Ohio…” Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming…

    “Won’t Get Fooled Again”? Hmmm, I think we just did.

  30. Rick Turner says:

    Don’t forget that many of the troops in Iraq ARE from the National Guard. Therefore they can be brought back and used without violating Posse Comitatus. I guess it might depend on the command chain…is it the Prez or is it Governors who are in control?

    Don’t forget, “Four Dead in Ohio…” Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming…

    “Won’t Get Fooled Again”? Hmmm, I think we just did.

  31. len bullard says:

    Yes, Rick, and I thought about that. The article didn’t reference the Guard, but the Guard are under the control of the Governor of the State. That was a big problem with Katrina: the assets the Governor normally used were sitting in the desert.

    But I don’t think this will happen unless some set of fools decides to do an Abbie Hoffman and recruit ten people to recruit 100 people to throw bricks from a crowd of 1000 people. Soldiers just home from Iraq will be in no mood to pursue howling kids unless something very drastic occurs. Even then, marshall law is applied to a very limited area first unless it escalates.

    They tend to use the tactics of shore patrol: they will stand back and watch people fight until most of them are down, then they take out the last two mighty drunks.

    This is why this election is becoming dumber and dumber. The left appears to want to agitate the right bad enough to start a fight they can’t win. That didn’t work out too well last time it was tried and given this country’s revulsion to violent acts of civil disobedience, it is like trying to set fire to a forest after a monsoon.

    That said, if the votes come down to another Florida Hanging Chad situation, it will be a good time to keep cool heads. As long as there is no violence, there is no way to make marshall law or any other kind of nonsense stick.

    Have a little more faith in America and hold on to the values of non-violent change. Those were the heart of your golden moment and every time you abandoned them, you lost.

  32. len bullard says:

    Yes, Rick, and I thought about that. The article didn’t reference the Guard, but the Guard are under the control of the Governor of the State. That was a big problem with Katrina: the assets the Governor normally used were sitting in the desert.

    But I don’t think this will happen unless some set of fools decides to do an Abbie Hoffman and recruit ten people to recruit 100 people to throw bricks from a crowd of 1000 people. Soldiers just home from Iraq will be in no mood to pursue howling kids unless something very drastic occurs. Even then, marshall law is applied to a very limited area first unless it escalates.

    They tend to use the tactics of shore patrol: they will stand back and watch people fight until most of them are down, then they take out the last two mighty drunks.

    This is why this election is becoming dumber and dumber. The left appears to want to agitate the right bad enough to start a fight they can’t win. That didn’t work out too well last time it was tried and given this country’s revulsion to violent acts of civil disobedience, it is like trying to set fire to a forest after a monsoon.

    That said, if the votes come down to another Florida Hanging Chad situation, it will be a good time to keep cool heads. As long as there is no violence, there is no way to make marshall law or any other kind of nonsense stick.

    Have a little more faith in America and hold on to the values of non-violent change. Those were the heart of your golden moment and every time you abandoned them, you lost.

  33. VeryBadMan says:

    What about WE lost, Len?

    Are you not one of us?

  34. VeryBadMan says:

    What about WE lost, Len?

    Are you not one of us?

  35. Rick Turner says:

    Remember “Don’t tread on me?” or “Taxation without representation?” “The shot heard ’round the world?” Len, don’t forget that our founding fathers had to pick up arms against tyranny…If tyranny isn’t what we’ve been getting from the guy in the big white house (that was designed by a family ancestor…James Hoban), then I don’t know what is. No, he isn’t Mugabe or Castro or Putin, but he’s the worst we’ve ever had.

  36. Rick Turner says:

    Remember “Don’t tread on me?” or “Taxation without representation?” “The shot heard ’round the world?” Len, don’t forget that our founding fathers had to pick up arms against tyranny…If tyranny isn’t what we’ve been getting from the guy in the big white house (that was designed by a family ancestor…James Hoban), then I don’t know what is. No, he isn’t Mugabe or Castro or Putin, but he’s the worst we’ve ever had.

  37. Fentex says:

    On the topic of Bush being the worst U.S President, I’ve discovered cause to dispute that.

    Having just read “Lies my teacher told me”, a book intended to illustrate the inaccuracies of U.S history curriculums, I’ve read a thorough account of more egregious behaviour by Woodrow Wilson.

    I’d agree that Bush is incompetent at governing (although possibly exceptional at delivering public treasure to his private constituency) but his transgressions against liberty and effects on the fabric of civil society pail compared to Wilsons, it would seem.

    Besides which it’s always seemed to me that the real villain of the piece is the U.S Congress abdicating its responsibility to police the executive.

  38. Fentex says:

    On the topic of Bush being the worst U.S President, I’ve discovered cause to dispute that.

    Having just read “Lies my teacher told me”, a book intended to illustrate the inaccuracies of U.S history curriculums, I’ve read a thorough account of more egregious behaviour by Woodrow Wilson.

    I’d agree that Bush is incompetent at governing (although possibly exceptional at delivering public treasure to his private constituency) but his transgressions against liberty and effects on the fabric of civil society pail compared to Wilsons, it would seem.

    Besides which it’s always seemed to me that the real villain of the piece is the U.S Congress abdicating its responsibility to police the executive.

  39. Alex Bowles says:

    Fentex – Bingo.

  40. Alex Bowles says:

    Fentex – Bingo.

  41. Todd says:

    I think a loophole was created to get around Posse Commitatus in ’06 ( http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Posse_Comitatus_Act#2006:_On_the_Eve_of_the_Midterm_Elections.2C_PCA_Nullified )

    It feels like playing into worst case Tom Clancy-esque scenarios to think aloud about this kind of thing, but given the economic upheaval and the current administration’s military fetishes, I think these previously unthinkable cards are in the deck the US is playing with now.

  42. Todd says:

    I think a loophole was created to get around Posse Commitatus in ’06 ( http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Posse_Comitatus_Act#2006:_On_the_Eve_of_the_Midterm_Elections.2C_PCA_Nullified )

    It feels like playing into worst case Tom Clancy-esque scenarios to think aloud about this kind of thing, but given the economic upheaval and the current administration’s military fetishes, I think these previously unthinkable cards are in the deck the US is playing with now.

  43. Kitty says:

    After Bush & Co. stole the 2004 election, I wondered how he’d go about getting a third term. But the econ blow up looks like it cam up too soon. I’ll be really worried if this is still going on at the end of October.

  44. Kitty says:

    After Bush & Co. stole the 2004 election, I wondered how he’d go about getting a third term. But the econ blow up looks like it cam up too soon. I’ll be really worried if this is still going on at the end of October.

  45. len says:

    We did lose. With McGovern, we put up a very bad candidate. Our bad. With Bobby, we lost big. Someone else’s bad.

    But taking on the US military with a popular uprising is a pretty good way to get a lot kids killed. When faced with that kind of firepower, Gandhi and King’s way work best.

    “Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground.
    Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down.”

    Bush won’t steal the election. Obama has enough money to buy it. Look at the spending. Notice it isn’t working as one expects it to. Instead of confronting people about racism, or sexism, or any other ism, talk to them about how good it will be when Bush is gone, when we can start being Americans again, when we can start working together again.

    Let’s free ourselves from fear. And then free our neighbors. We don’t have to get in our neighbors face about the hate we feel for Bush.

    Bush is over. He’s done.

    We need to celebrate. We need to get them over to our houses, roast burgers, send up some fireworks, and talk about the good things we are going to do together. We need to talk about clean energy, the kids coming home from the desert, bringing back manufacturing, getting ourselves to work.

    We need to sing a song of joy.

    Obama has to stay focused on winning by presenting his case for change and his plans, but realistically, he can’t raise taxes and he can’t keep presenting an arrogant front. McCain just snookered him and he walked into it. Quit playing naive politics. Get ready for a fierce debate.

    But in forty days, I think Obama is going to win. Two months later, I think he will be sworn in and then the work begins. I think some of you need to be more realistic about what can be done and be patient. Nothing about the next four years will be easy or fast. What Obama has going for him is his cold detached considered way of going about things. For the changes needed in American culture, that’s good. What may be his Achilles Heel in that respect is often events move fast and unpredictably, and that is where lots of practice, call it chops, emerge.

    And that’s the danger. If we are over reactive, it not only weakens his case, it weakens his effectiveness and he will need all the help he can get. A good 49% of the country won’t be behind him. They’ll be flailing just as we have during the last eight years. If we stoke ourselves up with the Great Get Even, the snide snarkiness of our own arrogance, that 49% will be working at cross purpose.

    We’ll still be divided. Weak. Empty.

    So a win will need to be an epiphany, a realization that at long last, the stupid stuff is over and we are once again capable of greatness because the real American values will be back in play. We should be thinking and talking about those values, not how much we hate Bush, or our fears. The boogey man is just a dumb ass Yalie, yet another Skull and Bones goof.

    Laughter is the key. Then working together.

    It’s about to be ours to do.

  46. len says:

    We did lose. With McGovern, we put up a very bad candidate. Our bad. With Bobby, we lost big. Someone else’s bad.

    But taking on the US military with a popular uprising is a pretty good way to get a lot kids killed. When faced with that kind of firepower, Gandhi and King’s way work best.

    “Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground.
    Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down.”

    Bush won’t steal the election. Obama has enough money to buy it. Look at the spending. Notice it isn’t working as one expects it to. Instead of confronting people about racism, or sexism, or any other ism, talk to them about how good it will be when Bush is gone, when we can start being Americans again, when we can start working together again.

    Let’s free ourselves from fear. And then free our neighbors. We don’t have to get in our neighbors face about the hate we feel for Bush.

    Bush is over. He’s done.

    We need to celebrate. We need to get them over to our houses, roast burgers, send up some fireworks, and talk about the good things we are going to do together. We need to talk about clean energy, the kids coming home from the desert, bringing back manufacturing, getting ourselves to work.

    We need to sing a song of joy.

    Obama has to stay focused on winning by presenting his case for change and his plans, but realistically, he can’t raise taxes and he can’t keep presenting an arrogant front. McCain just snookered him and he walked into it. Quit playing naive politics. Get ready for a fierce debate.

    But in forty days, I think Obama is going to win. Two months later, I think he will be sworn in and then the work begins. I think some of you need to be more realistic about what can be done and be patient. Nothing about the next four years will be easy or fast. What Obama has going for him is his cold detached considered way of going about things. For the changes needed in American culture, that’s good. What may be his Achilles Heel in that respect is often events move fast and unpredictably, and that is where lots of practice, call it chops, emerge.

    And that’s the danger. If we are over reactive, it not only weakens his case, it weakens his effectiveness and he will need all the help he can get. A good 49% of the country won’t be behind him. They’ll be flailing just as we have during the last eight years. If we stoke ourselves up with the Great Get Even, the snide snarkiness of our own arrogance, that 49% will be working at cross purpose.

    We’ll still be divided. Weak. Empty.

    So a win will need to be an epiphany, a realization that at long last, the stupid stuff is over and we are once again capable of greatness because the real American values will be back in play. We should be thinking and talking about those values, not how much we hate Bush, or our fears. The boogey man is just a dumb ass Yalie, yet another Skull and Bones goof.

    Laughter is the key. Then working together.

    It’s about to be ours to do.

  47. VeryBadMan says:

    Then don’t sit this one out.

  48. VeryBadMan says:

    Then don’t sit this one out.

  49. VeryBadMan says:

    Then don’t sit this one out.

  50. Jon Taplin says:

    Jesus Len- Why have you been holding out on us?

    I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I put up that gorgeous Dave Stewart song.

    I’m not worried about Barack’s chops. He’s shown himself in the last week with masterful chops. I actually think the Sarah and John show is about ready for amidseason cancellation. Palin’s interview with Couric was embarrassing. It was like one of those Miss America Pageant “what do want to do for the world interviews.

    If we believe the Vice President should be truly an ordinary citizen, then she fills the bill. But if we hope for our leaders to be of exceptional talent. Then she doesn’t even get in the quarter finals.

  51. Jon Taplin says:

    Jesus Len- Why have you been holding out on us?

    I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I put up that gorgeous Dave Stewart song.

    I’m not worried about Barack’s chops. He’s shown himself in the last week with masterful chops. I actually think the Sarah and John show is about ready for amidseason cancellation. Palin’s interview with Couric was embarrassing. It was like one of those Miss America Pageant “what do want to do for the world interviews.

    If we believe the Vice President should be truly an ordinary citizen, then she fills the bill. But if we hope for our leaders to be of exceptional talent. Then she doesn’t even get in the quarter finals.

  52. Jon Taplin says:

    Jesus Len- Why have you been holding out on us?

    I couldn’t agree more, that’s why I put up that gorgeous Dave Stewart song.

    I’m not worried about Barack’s chops. He’s shown himself in the last week with masterful chops. I actually think the Sarah and John show is about ready for amidseason cancellation. Palin’s interview with Couric was embarrassing. It was like one of those Miss America Pageant “what do want to do for the world interviews.

    If we believe the Vice President should be truly an ordinary citizen, then she fills the bill. But if we hope for our leaders to be of exceptional talent. Then she doesn’t even get in the quarter finals.

  53. Rick Turner says:

    “Ding, dong, the witch is dead. Which old witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding, dong the Wicked Witch is dead…”

    It’s all there somewhere in a song…

    “Brother can you spare a dime?”

  54. Rick Turner says:

    “Ding, dong, the witch is dead. Which old witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding, dong the Wicked Witch is dead…”

    It’s all there somewhere in a song…

    “Brother can you spare a dime?”

  55. Jon Taplin says:

    Len- One more thing.”The stupid stuff ” will be over, when we’ve buried the racism issue. The racists may be a vocal minority–but they are a true minority.

  56. Jon Taplin says:

    Len- One more thing.”The stupid stuff ” will be over, when we’ve buried the racism issue. The racists may be a vocal minority–but they are a true minority.

  57. Jon Taplin says:

    Len- One more thing.”The stupid stuff ” will be over, when we’ve buried the racism issue. The racists may be a vocal minority–but they are a true minority.

  58. Rick Turner says:

    Note that congress has not allowed the Chicken Little Syndrome to totally erase it’s power, prerogatives, and responsibilities…at least not yet. They resisted Paulson’s outrageous nuttery.

    There is a chance that if Obama gets in, our Constitution may be restored and respected as the living document it is…living with the intent of the Founding Fathers, not living with expedient changes for an oligarchy drenched and basted in oil and blood.

    Just remember that even with Posse Comitatus, there were four dead in Ohio, and that war was wrong, too.

    Go back and re-read McNamarra’s apology for continuing a war that he and his cronies knew they did not have the skill, guts, moral superiority, or will to win. They knew damned well that they were sending up cannon fodder to be ground up into bloody meat, and they just kept doing it. That’s what the war mongering Right Wing does best…kills their young and calls it patriotism.

    And what’s the deal with McCain refusing release when he was a prisoner of war? Is that real? Isn’t the # 1 duty of a prisoner of war to be repatriated so he or she can carry on the fight?

  59. Rick Turner says:

    Note that congress has not allowed the Chicken Little Syndrome to totally erase it’s power, prerogatives, and responsibilities…at least not yet. They resisted Paulson’s outrageous nuttery.

    There is a chance that if Obama gets in, our Constitution may be restored and respected as the living document it is…living with the intent of the Founding Fathers, not living with expedient changes for an oligarchy drenched and basted in oil and blood.

    Just remember that even with Posse Comitatus, there were four dead in Ohio, and that war was wrong, too.

    Go back and re-read McNamarra’s apology for continuing a war that he and his cronies knew they did not have the skill, guts, moral superiority, or will to win. They knew damned well that they were sending up cannon fodder to be ground up into bloody meat, and they just kept doing it. That’s what the war mongering Right Wing does best…kills their young and calls it patriotism.

    And what’s the deal with McCain refusing release when he was a prisoner of war? Is that real? Isn’t the # 1 duty of a prisoner of war to be repatriated so he or she can carry on the fight?

  60. Jon Taplin says:

    Rick- We live in revolutionary times. Who of us who have been corresponding so wonderfully for the past nine months, would have imagined how wierd it would get in the run up to the election?

    I made some fairly outrageous predictions in January that have turned out to be true. Honestly, at the time I felt more like Philip K. Dick than myself.

    Let’s just pray the next 40 days bring us the joy that Len spoke of. We are much more capable than we think of the sacrifices that will be needed to move us to the New America.

  61. Jon Taplin says:

    Rick- We live in revolutionary times. Who of us who have been corresponding so wonderfully for the past nine months, would have imagined how wierd it would get in the run up to the election?

    I made some fairly outrageous predictions in January that have turned out to be true. Honestly, at the time I felt more like Philip K. Dick than myself.

    Let’s just pray the next 40 days bring us the joy that Len spoke of. We are much more capable than we think of the sacrifices that will be needed to move us to the New America.

  62. Terry says:

    Wise words. I’ll make sure and tell the hot-headed kids I come across who are experiencing their first Depression, and first “W”. Change is slow, but its comin’ round the mountain. Ah experience…

    Funny how the worst times can bring out the best people. Funnier still that I actually believe in the concept ideal of “America” now–now that it has been shot, wire-tapped and beat into the ground these past 8 years.

    Here’s to the future.

  63. Terry says:

    Wise words. I’ll make sure and tell the hot-headed kids I come across who are experiencing their first Depression, and first “W”. Change is slow, but its comin’ round the mountain. Ah experience…

    Funny how the worst times can bring out the best people. Funnier still that I actually believe in the concept ideal of “America” now–now that it has been shot, wire-tapped and beat into the ground these past 8 years.

    Here’s to the future.

  64. Terry says:

    Wise words. I’ll make sure and tell the hot-headed kids I come across who are experiencing their first Depression, and first “W”. Change is slow, but its comin’ round the mountain. Ah experience…

    Funny how the worst times can bring out the best people. Funnier still that I actually believe in the concept ideal of “America” now–now that it has been shot, wire-tapped and beat into the ground these past 8 years.

    Here’s to the future.

  65. Adam says:

    Is there an Intrade bet for Bush suspending the election and imposing martial law? Just askin… ;-)

  66. Adam says:

    Is there an Intrade bet for Bush suspending the election and imposing martial law? Just askin… ;-)

  67. Seth says:

    Randy Newman has a song for some of us who may be experiencing a surge of paranoia.

  68. Seth says:

    Randy Newman has a song for some of us who may be experiencing a surge of paranoia.

  69. Seth says:

    Randy Newman has a song for some of us who may be experiencing a surge of paranoia.

  70. Rachel says:

    Randy Newman has a song for every occasion :)

  71. Rachel says:

    Randy Newman has a song for every occasion :)

  72. Randy Taplin says:

    There will be lots of people in the streets if Barack wins the election by say two million votes and looses in the electoral college. Whether there is also blood in the streets will depend on the administration response.

    posted by Randy T

  73. Randy Taplin says:

    There will be lots of people in the streets if Barack wins the election by say two million votes and looses in the electoral college. Whether there is also blood in the streets will depend on the administration response.

    posted by Randy T

  74. jonolan says:

    Randy,

    Since the pundits of the Left have been predicting / threatening widespread violence if Obama looses the election, this seems reasonable.

    Face it, if Obama wins the popular vote but looses the electoral vote the ONLY administrative response can be “he lost.”

  75. jonolan says:

    Randy,

    Since the pundits of the Left have been predicting / threatening widespread violence if Obama looses the election, this seems reasonable.

    Face it, if Obama wins the popular vote but looses the electoral vote the ONLY administrative response can be “he lost.”

  76. Dan says:

    Name the pundits of the Left who have been threatening widespread violence, please.

  77. Dan says:

    Name the pundits of the Left who have been threatening widespread violence, please.

  78. Gordon says:

    ” Miss America Pageant – What do you want to do for the world interview?”

    Wrong candidate but very funny nevertheless.

  79. Gordon says:

    ” Miss America Pageant – What do you want to do for the world interview?”

    Wrong candidate but very funny nevertheless.

  80. Gordon says:

    ” Miss America Pageant – What do you want to do for the world interview?”

    Wrong candidate but very funny nevertheless.

  81. jonolan says:

    “If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness – and hopelessness” ~ Fatima Ali, 9/2/08

    Richmond, Virginia mayor Douglas Wilder went on CBS “Face the Nation” today and threatened pro-Barack Obama riots at the August Democratic Convention if Obama loses the nomination.

    Russ Smith touches on an emerging storyline: the certain combination of acute anger, despair and bitterness on the left if McCain’s late comeback snatches victory away from Obama in the homestretch of this incredibly long and intense campaign. The response to Kerry’s defeat was muted by the fact that few liberals were especially smitten with him to begin with. But the fallout this time could be pretty raw stuff.

    There are more if you’re willing to look.

  82. jonolan says:

    “If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness – and hopelessness” ~ Fatima Ali, 9/2/08

    Richmond, Virginia mayor Douglas Wilder went on CBS “Face the Nation” today and threatened pro-Barack Obama riots at the August Democratic Convention if Obama loses the nomination.

    Russ Smith touches on an emerging storyline: the certain combination of acute anger, despair and bitterness on the left if McCain’s late comeback snatches victory away from Obama in the homestretch of this incredibly long and intense campaign. The response to Kerry’s defeat was muted by the fact that few liberals were especially smitten with him to begin with. But the fallout this time could be pretty raw stuff.

    There are more if you’re willing to look.

  83. jonolan says:

    “If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness – and hopelessness” ~ Fatima Ali, 9/2/08

    Richmond, Virginia mayor Douglas Wilder went on CBS “Face the Nation” today and threatened pro-Barack Obama riots at the August Democratic Convention if Obama loses the nomination.

    Russ Smith touches on an emerging storyline: the certain combination of acute anger, despair and bitterness on the left if McCain’s late comeback snatches victory away from Obama in the homestretch of this incredibly long and intense campaign. The response to Kerry’s defeat was muted by the fact that few liberals were especially smitten with him to begin with. But the fallout this time could be pretty raw stuff.

    There are more if you’re willing to look.

  84. len bullard says:

    @jon: “One more thing.”The stupid stuff ” will be over, when we’ve buried the racism issue.”

    We can bury it as an issue but it will not go away as a human response. Even in our generation where we promised we would not pass the disease on to our children, it reemerged. They taught it to each other and in some ways, it is even more virulent.

    That is why the value of our values has to be the expression of our culture en masse. Racism, sexism all of that will keep popping back up because there are real differences and if they can’t be expressed, they become a cause for separation. Gandhi despaired over the caste system of India and despite all attempts to erase it, it is still there and still a source of pride for some. The bride burnings persist in the villages.

    It is something we can manage, but as long as Eddie Griffin can make Undercover Brother, someone will be making a box of Obama Waffles. That is the pernicious side of our natures and I don’t think we can wish it away or legislate it away. We can enforce the laws, we can preach from the pulpits, we can police our own acts, but it will still be there like pneumonia.

    My hope is that if we do that long enough, if enough people will come to understand that at least some of this kind of thinking is habit formation, part of the accidental wiring, and that to become self-aware, to be enlightened is to take responsibility for unwiring and rewiring, then this condition will become no worse than a common cold.

    But in my experience, it is done one person at a time between two people at a time who come to respect each other, and for that gift, find cause to fight their own blue meanies.

    Last night I was teaching my song, The Gift, to the black man for whom it was written and who heads up the contemporary service at our church. If a cultural subtlety it is, consider that here in Alabama, I, a white guy, am writing black soul for a black guy who heads up a service for a mostly white church. Black soul is a gift because that sound brings joy to the people. Joy is what we share and how we claw our way out of the sins of our fathers.

    I don’t know anything about your church, but here is the demo for free if ever any of you reading this know a group that needs a contemporary rock/gospel tune. I can send the arrangement if they need that.

    Sing a song of joy.

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~cbullard/mp3/TheGift.mp3

  85. len bullard says:

    @jon: “One more thing.”The stupid stuff ” will be over, when we’ve buried the racism issue.”

    We can bury it as an issue but it will not go away as a human response. Even in our generation where we promised we would not pass the disease on to our children, it reemerged. They taught it to each other and in some ways, it is even more virulent.

    That is why the value of our values has to be the expression of our culture en masse. Racism, sexism all of that will keep popping back up because there are real differences and if they can’t be expressed, they become a cause for separation. Gandhi despaired over the caste system of India and despite all attempts to erase it, it is still there and still a source of pride for some. The bride burnings persist in the villages.

    It is something we can manage, but as long as Eddie Griffin can make Undercover Brother, someone will be making a box of Obama Waffles. That is the pernicious side of our natures and I don’t think we can wish it away or legislate it away. We can enforce the laws, we can preach from the pulpits, we can police our own acts, but it will still be there like pneumonia.

    My hope is that if we do that long enough, if enough people will come to understand that at least some of this kind of thinking is habit formation, part of the accidental wiring, and that to become self-aware, to be enlightened is to take responsibility for unwiring and rewiring, then this condition will become no worse than a common cold.

    But in my experience, it is done one person at a time between two people at a time who come to respect each other, and for that gift, find cause to fight their own blue meanies.

    Last night I was teaching my song, The Gift, to the black man for whom it was written and who heads up the contemporary service at our church. If a cultural subtlety it is, consider that here in Alabama, I, a white guy, am writing black soul for a black guy who heads up a service for a mostly white church. Black soul is a gift because that sound brings joy to the people. Joy is what we share and how we claw our way out of the sins of our fathers.

    I don’t know anything about your church, but here is the demo for free if ever any of you reading this know a group that needs a contemporary rock/gospel tune. I can send the arrangement if they need that.

    Sing a song of joy.

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~cbullard/mp3/TheGift.mp3

  86. Zhirem says:

    I read this blog. Pretty much every posting, and every comment.

    I am struck by something this morning:

    If there is revolution on the air, and it comes down to taking to the streets, I think cooler heads *will* prevail, because I do not think that National Guard, or full-time military will fire upon their countrymen. After all, if revolution comes, I would imagine the goal would be to re-establish the Constitution, and to have tribunals for those in power. There has been such a degradation of this nation in the last decade, that it may require revolution to set it right. But that revolution, I think at this point, would have at the heart of it: restoring our Constitution and the checks and balances it provides.

    If we do not restore sanity and honor to our nation’s leadership, if we do not address the gaping wholes in the fabric of our nation, if we do not realize as one, that we are all Americans, and truly are our neighbors keepers, we will follow Rome. We will follow Alexander. We will follow all those seemingly mighty empires that are no more.

    We are America. And we are currently adrift in our sea of existence, making long slow circles around the drain. The spirals are becoming tighter, each spin around coming faster.

    We must seize this time, grasp our nation by our collective lapels, and slap some reason back into all of us.

    We don’t need an enemy. All of history has provided them, consistently and reliably.

    We need, again collectively, to realize that America needs an ideal. We need a goal. We need to charge the better angels of our nature with a task worthy of our ancestry, our history, ourselves.

    Worthy of the American spirit, so long absent from our house.

    We can do better. I am looking for a President who can move us closer to the ideal. Challenge us to be better, and then roll up their sleeves and work alongside us in the trench to bring that ideal to fruition.

    I remember Hope.

    Vaguely.

    - Zhirem

  87. Zhirem says:

    I read this blog. Pretty much every posting, and every comment.

    I am struck by something this morning:

    If there is revolution on the air, and it comes down to taking to the streets, I think cooler heads *will* prevail, because I do not think that National Guard, or full-time military will fire upon their countrymen. After all, if revolution comes, I would imagine the goal would be to re-establish the Constitution, and to have tribunals for those in power. There has been such a degradation of this nation in the last decade, that it may require revolution to set it right. But that revolution, I think at this point, would have at the heart of it: restoring our Constitution and the checks and balances it provides.

    If we do not restore sanity and honor to our nation’s leadership, if we do not address the gaping wholes in the fabric of our nation, if we do not realize as one, that we are all Americans, and truly are our neighbors keepers, we will follow Rome. We will follow Alexander. We will follow all those seemingly mighty empires that are no more.

    We are America. And we are currently adrift in our sea of existence, making long slow circles around the drain. The spirals are becoming tighter, each spin around coming faster.

    We must seize this time, grasp our nation by our collective lapels, and slap some reason back into all of us.

    We don’t need an enemy. All of history has provided them, consistently and reliably.

    We need, again collectively, to realize that America needs an ideal. We need a goal. We need to charge the better angels of our nature with a task worthy of our ancestry, our history, ourselves.

    Worthy of the American spirit, so long absent from our house.

    We can do better. I am looking for a President who can move us closer to the ideal. Challenge us to be better, and then roll up their sleeves and work alongside us in the trench to bring that ideal to fruition.

    I remember Hope.

    Vaguely.

    - Zhirem

  88. bernard says:

    HOPE

    This whole financial collapse is going to usher in a period that´ll be truly revolutionary for the US. Let’s just hope it happen. Long overdue.

    Bernard

  89. bernard says:

    HOPE

    This whole financial collapse is going to usher in a period that´ll be truly revolutionary for the US. Let’s just hope it happen. Long overdue.

    Bernard

  90. bernard says:

    HOPE

    This whole financial collapse is going to usher in a period that´ll be truly revolutionary for the US. Let’s just hope it happen. Long overdue.

    Bernard

  91. len bullard says:

    “And what’s the deal with McCain refusing release when he was a prisoner of war? Is that real? Isn’t the # 1 duty of a prisoner of war to be repatriated so he or she can carry on the fight?”

    It doesn’t quite work like that. The prisoner’s code of honor was that they would be repatriated in order of capture. He was way down the line. Next, he was the son of the Admiral commanding the naval forces in Southeast Asia, so his Dad
    was the head honcho for the war. He knew if he accepted repatriation, it would be a coup for the North Vietnamese and would make things worse for the US troops in the field. So he declined. He has said that if he knew just how bad what was ahead of him would be, he might have reconsidered. It was very bad.

    Escape would have been another issue, but there were very few of those attempted that succeeded. It’s difficult for a Caucasian to go unnoticed. Some tried and were killed, disappeared, or were recaptured and tortured.

    I don’t think we help ourselves questioning those events. McCain is a real hero and Obama acknowledges that. The question is, is a hero of that time the right man to be President at this time. Personally, I’d rather this be a contest of ideas.

  92. len bullard says:

    “And what’s the deal with McCain refusing release when he was a prisoner of war? Is that real? Isn’t the # 1 duty of a prisoner of war to be repatriated so he or she can carry on the fight?”

    It doesn’t quite work like that. The prisoner’s code of honor was that they would be repatriated in order of capture. He was way down the line. Next, he was the son of the Admiral commanding the naval forces in Southeast Asia, so his Dad
    was the head honcho for the war. He knew if he accepted repatriation, it would be a coup for the North Vietnamese and would make things worse for the US troops in the field. So he declined. He has said that if he knew just how bad what was ahead of him would be, he might have reconsidered. It was very bad.

    Escape would have been another issue, but there were very few of those attempted that succeeded. It’s difficult for a Caucasian to go unnoticed. Some tried and were killed, disappeared, or were recaptured and tortured.

    I don’t think we help ourselves questioning those events. McCain is a real hero and Obama acknowledges that. The question is, is a hero of that time the right man to be President at this time. Personally, I’d rather this be a contest of ideas.

  93. len bullard says:

    “And what’s the deal with McCain refusing release when he was a prisoner of war? Is that real? Isn’t the # 1 duty of a prisoner of war to be repatriated so he or she can carry on the fight?”

    It doesn’t quite work like that. The prisoner’s code of honor was that they would be repatriated in order of capture. He was way down the line. Next, he was the son of the Admiral commanding the naval forces in Southeast Asia, so his Dad
    was the head honcho for the war. He knew if he accepted repatriation, it would be a coup for the North Vietnamese and would make things worse for the US troops in the field. So he declined. He has said that if he knew just how bad what was ahead of him would be, he might have reconsidered. It was very bad.

    Escape would have been another issue, but there were very few of those attempted that succeeded. It’s difficult for a Caucasian to go unnoticed. Some tried and were killed, disappeared, or were recaptured and tortured.

    I don’t think we help ourselves questioning those events. McCain is a real hero and Obama acknowledges that. The question is, is a hero of that time the right man to be President at this time. Personally, I’d rather this be a contest of ideas.

  94. Dan says:

    I think that your idea and my idea of “threats” differ.

    For instance, I presume that you believe that Henry Paulson is threatening us with a Great Depression.

  95. Dan says:

    I think that your idea and my idea of “threats” differ.

    For instance, I presume that you believe that Henry Paulson is threatening us with a Great Depression.

  96. Dan says:

    (To jonolan, that is)

  97. Dan says:

    (To jonolan, that is)

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