Obama and majority of Democratic Party shred Constitution: 4th Amendment now null & void

Senate bows to Bush, approves surveillance bill
Associated Press

Bowing to President Bush's demands, the Senate sent the White House a bill Wednesday overhauling bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shielding telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and heated debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president's warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Just under a third of the Senate, including Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, supported an amendment that would have stripped immunity from the bill. They were defeated on a 66-32 vote. Republican rival John McCain did not attend the vote.

Obama ended up voting for the final bill, as did Specter. Feingold voted no.

We have now moved from a de facto police state, to a de jure police state.

Obama, now that he has the nomination, felt it safe to betray us in order to show his loyalty to corporate America and to pander to the imaginary Bush supporters who he thinks will vote for him.

Other Democratic traitors who chose to nullify the 4th Amendment:

Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

The Republic is no more.

Comments

No, that is not what I have asked for

Pam Spaulding is the person she needs to talk to, and liberals of the party as a whole. It wouldn't hurt to post here, but she no longer needs our help since she won the primary, so she won't.

Now any politician who actually cared, who was actually paying attention would have weighed in by now, but her silence is telling.

Hagan is not that better a choice than Dole when you take into consideration that if Dole wins, she will be virtually powerless in a Democratic senate. Hagan on the other hand, will be free to offer the same "compromises" to the Republicans that have screwed the country into the ground for two decades.

A SMART politician who wanted to win, would at least TRY to mend fences, if for no other reason than to get additional money and votes. But three months after her promise to reach out to Neal supporters, not a damn word.

She doesn't care, doesn't need our money, and apparently doesn't think she even needs our vote.

Cool. It's a free country.

Well, actually, no it isn't, it is now a de facto police state, thanks to the kind of law that Hagan expressed support for.

Again, it is all about keeping her word. She doesn't feel she has to, so that's her choice. Playing apologist for her doesn't change that fact.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Hagan's avoidance of the issue is crippling

As I mentioned in my thread on Dole trying to attach the late homobigot Jesse Helms's name to an AIDS bill, Hagan has so far been unwilling to answer basic questions in a public forum about civil law and marriage, as well as legislation that may come before her if elected (since that time she has in expressed support for hate crimes legislation and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but she has refused to explain why she feels states are entitled to discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to enter into a civil marriage). She certainly hasn't expressed any willingness to engage with the LGBT press, even as her campaign places targeted ads on gay web sites (I've seen one run on BlogActive). That's bold. You can't ask for a vote and refuse to engage the community.

Kay Hagan has been given an huge opportunity with Dole's bigoted slap in the face of LGBTs by this move to honor Helms; it's a slam-dunk to strike back by declaring her opposition to it, and mention civil equality under the law. Will she take advantage of this, or simply run away because of the fear of being publicly politically aligned with TEH GAY? The tentative nature of her campaign is crippling and quite frankly, retro.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Agreed

And THANK YOU for continuing to hold Hagan's feet to the fire, Pam. I honestly don't know what to do; ever since she won the primary I've been waiting and watching for some gesture, any gesture, of her reaching out to the progressives in NC. I really don't like the idea of the LGBT-and-allies vote being taken for granted just because we don't have a choice (but we don't, do we?). I guess I'll vote for Hagan because I suppose she'll maybe be better than Dole, but *sigh*.

Pam, with due respect...

What exactly would you like for Kay Hagan to do? It seems to me that you stand a FAR greater chance with Sen. Hagan than you stand with Dole. I don't understand why there seems to be this vehement dislike for her by some on BlueNC. Frankly, she has done a fine job...a fine job indeed.

In my mind it makes no sense to think that a candidate has to jump through a huge myriad of hoops to gain your support. If you all can not see that we are all in a much better position with Kay than Dole then I simply am amazed. I have stated my perspective on this issue, so I won't rehash it. However, I will reiterate that I am personally for the protection of every person's civil liberties. Of course, we disagree about how to actually execute these rights so far as "marriage" is concerned.

Let's get behind her; Dole has shown her obvious position time and time again.

Again, Pam, I say this with the utmost respect.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin

~Ray McKinnon

Depressing, depressing

I'm now glad I didn't donate to Obama's campaign. This is just deeply wounding and I don't know what benefit any Democratic politician except Obama sees in this capitulation. There are very few Congressional incumbent Democrats in any sort of trouble this fall.

I could forgive Obama his pansy move-to-the-center vote, if he had ruthlessly whipped his fellow Democratic Senators into line in sufficient numbers to prevent this disaster.

I think Hillary would have pulled either an Obama or a McCain (no show) on this one, if she had been the nominee. Her seat is completely safe and thanks to the right-wing noise machine she has a reputation as being more liberal than she really is, so this was a good way to rehabilitate herself with the Democratic base.

Oh, sure, the Libertarians will again hold themselves out as an alternative, but, as ever, they'll let the "fiscal conservatives" talk them into trying to repeal Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, Food Stamps, public education generally, the NEA, and the CPB first. Somehow the Libertarians never get around to controlling military spending or restoring civil liberties. They can't even get marijuana decriminalization passed. Woody Harrelson is more effective than the LP, and that nonstop drawling drone about hemp is about the least effective example of advocacy I can think of.

Anyway, I think I'll be giving my money to the ACLU instead. They have pledged to fight this in court. They'll need all the help they can get with the heavy over-representation of Republican appointees on the Federal bench.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

I'm with you

The money I set aside for Obama and Hagan ($600) is going to the ACLU.

They keep their word and they have a spine.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Lawson is an alternative in the fourth district

I dunno if you have heard of this guy, BJ Lawson, who is running for congress in the 4th District (opposite of Price). You should check him out...he is a Republican but very progressive in his thinking. I really like him!

~Ray McKinnon

BJ is not a Republican,

he's a Libertarian in disguise. Don't get me wrong, I like BJ. He's a smart guy, and he's got a pretty good sense of humor, too. When I met him at the State Fair last Summer, and he asked me what I thought of Ron Paul, I said, "You mean aside from the fact that he's f**king crazy?" :)

I...momentarily forgot that I was surrounded by little children and their funnel-cake-eating, bible-thumping parents. It's not safe to take me anywhere in public, I'm telling you. But my point is, instead of BJ getting his hackles up at this comment, he smiled and gave me a sardonic "touche'" look. That earned him some serious cool points in my book.

All that being said, BJ really is a Libertarian. Now, they might consider themselves progressive, but stripping away government services, and replacing income tax with a consumption tax, are regressive steps, not progressive. Meaning, they will cause a (net) benefit to the wealthy, while increasing the burden on those of lower income. I have no doubt that BJ will pop in and explain how this is all wrong, and how the poor will prosper as entrepreneurs. ;)

Hey, I've been called worse :-)

I'd hope that in the theme of this thread, you'd agree that we have a problem with our government -- not just based upon its size, but based upon the fact that you can't look at Washington and separate government interests from corporate interests. That's called fascism, and it doesn't end well.

Regarding the FairTax, I've since modified my position having learned more about the prebate that makes it "progressive" -- long story short, the prebate is adjusted for inflation using the govt's deeply-flawed CPI calculations -- which means that when your cost of living are going up 10-20% for food and fuel, your prebate is going up by the 2-3% "core" CPI. Good luck with that.

In an age of stagnant wages and rising prices, the government gets a tax increase with your grocery bill, but you don't have more money to pay it. Good luck with that, too.

While I've received criticism from some for "flip flopping" on this issue, I frankly think constant questioning and critical thinking are essential -- and I always reserve the right to listen, consider data, and refine opinions with education.

The bottom line is that Washington doesn't work for the people. The PATRIOT Act was posted on the House Intranet for 15 minutes before it was called for a vote. How could ANYONE in good conscience vote for legislation that no one had read, based upon the advice of "leadership"? Congress doesn't read the bills, they don't write the laws, they ramrod controversial provisions into completely unrelated bills, and they don't care at all about the Constitutional limitations on federal power.

If you're happy with the way things are working, though, you're welcome to vote for David Price. He's been advancing the status quo for 22 years. I'm just asking for 2.

BJ

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I'm glad to see you've changed your mind on

the Fair Tax, BJ. That says a lot about the way you think.

While I've received criticism from some for "flip flopping" on this issue, I frankly think constant questioning and critical thinking are essential -- and I always reserve the right to listen, consider data, and refine opinions with education.

But you may want to tweak your website, as it still says you want to replace income tax with a consumption tax.

We ran our country

for a long time with non-discriminatory tariffs and excise taxes (which are specialized taxes paid by businesses, targeting products or activities). I consider both tariffs and excise taxes to be forms of consumption taxes, since they are levied against businesses but simply get passed onto consumers based upon their consumption of the underlying goods and services.

Consumption taxes are far preferable to income taxes, especially since consumption taxes can be targeted at types of consumption that have negative side effects, such as pollution or unsustainable use of natural resources. Consumption taxes can thus assign costs to those externalities so they are visible in the market.

The bottom line, though, is that right now we have a national fiscal crisis -- a spending problem, coupled with a solvency problem. Changing taxation structure is secondary to asking basic questions about the role of the federal government.

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

Yes, but ... and I'm sure you've heard this before ...

when we were running our country on tariffs and excise taxes (pre-1913) the gov't didn't build and manage roads or bridges or port facilities, we didn't require all children to go to school until they were 16, we didn't fund college educations for anyone (including veterans), we didn't fund scientific research any where for any thing, we didn't have a Department of Veterans Affairs, we didn't have the EPA or NASA or the FAA or the FEC or NIH or NIEHS or FDA or the FHA, we didn't have social security or Medicare or Medicaid or a federally funded safety net of any kind for anyone (including veterans), and we were not funding a permanent military infrastructure to the tune of $420 Billion a year, not counting regular supplemental war-funding requests from the WH.

At the risk of sounding like I haven't read anything you've written Mr. Lawson, (which, with my apologies, I have not), how many of the above departments do we disband so we can go back to getting by just fine on tariffs and excise taxes again?

What kind of tariffs do you reasonably project we will pay on our Glenlivet, Pouilly-Fusse, Weißbier, WII, Pocky, laptop and lawnmower to cover the cost of prosthetics for returning veterans and my parents' monthly SSI checks?

What level of excise tax do you project we will pay on our Jim Beam, Big Boss, Marlboros, Jolly Ranchers, gasoline and kilowatts to cover the cost of the next inspection at the sterile fill pharma facility down the road from me?

How does the fed/state gov't monitor and regulate the sale of "specially taxed goods" to ensure that the onerous excise taxes are being collected and paid and a new business for the criminally minded (the American black market) isn't inadvertently birthed as our brand new "consumption tax"'s evil twin brother.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Leslie, you're right

We certainly can't get there overnight. But while our position is darn near hopeless, it's our direction that condemns us to economic and social disaster.

Federal government agencies that may have been started with the best intentions have, in many cases, turned into self-perpetuating bureaucracies that consolidate power and serve lobbyists and corporate interests. We have the military industrial complex, medical industrial complex, educational industrial complex, energy industrial complex, agricultural industrial complex, and at the end of the day...

NOTHING we are doing is sustainable.

(No need to apologize for not having read anything yet. But please read the above.)

That's my primary concern.

Again, we can't fix it overnight. We can't change our position overnight. But if we can get enough people to reject the status quo and self-serving "politics as usual", we can change our direction and start moving towards a more sustainable equilibrium.

Otherwise, the rest of the world will pull our credit card. In the setting of Peak Oil and Peak Credit, having the world lose confidence in our currency would be an unwelcome development:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/07/merrill-us-may-face-financing-crisis.html

We'll then discover the danger of being the biggest debtor nation in the world, with the largest military in the world, surrounded by creditors who have natural resources we need for survival and who themselves possess ability to destroy the world several times over.

Look, I'm not claiming to have all the answers. My concern is that neither McBama nor my opponent are fully acknowledging the underlying problems. We've just celebrated the demise of the 4th Amendment, and things are going to get even more challenging for us.

Without principled leadership interested in protecting individual liberty and solving problems instead of just getting re-elected, we are on a trajectory that can lead to tyranny:

Naomi Wolf speech -- worth watching

Oh, and I don't care who gets credit, either.

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

I'll meet you halfway, doc.

I added the "doc" because I want people to be aware that you are a (former) surgeon. Which is, you know, pretty damned impressive. :)

Okay...as an environmentalist, I am naturally inclined to pursue taxing (or fining) negative externalities, at least in areas that direcly affect the environment. I consider a "carbon tax" (as opposed to cap and trade) just such a vehicle, and I believe they could have a very positive impact on the way industry behaves.

But (and it's a big one) I do not believe this could even come close to displacing the revenue that income tax brings in, especially considering the drop in revenue that good behavior would (theoretically) bring about. But even if it could, those increased costs to industry would be passed along to the public.

Now, you will (probably) point out that, in the absence of an income tax, the public could afford the higher retail/services/utilities prices. But then there are the lower income folks, who would least benefit from the removal of income taxes, and could least afford these new higher prices.

So...a limited taxing of negative externalities, combined with a limited reduction in income tax rates, and we've got a plan, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Here's where it comes apart:

Creating more value in the community is a good place to start. If we stop taxing income (and thus productivity and wealth creation), it should be easier for those at the margin to earn more

Something like a third of American families (with children) are classified as "poor", meaning they fall underneath the $40,000 per year household income level. A lot of these folks receive Medicaid, food stamps, child-care subsidies, subsidized housing, etc. Benefits that can easily represent $15,000-$20,000 per year in assistance.

Do away with their income tax along with those benefits, and you're talking a net loss of over $10,000 per year. Not to mention the fact that those benefits are (mostly) to ensure the children of those families are well enough in mind and body to compete with their more wealthy classmates.

and depending on their spending behavior, they'll potentially choose to be *less* poor.

While a small percentage of these folks would be crafty or thrifty enough to actually improve their economic standing under this "no tax, no benefits" scenario, the vast majority would suffer even more, while the rich would expand their portfolios like crazy.

Tell you what: trim back those 67,000 pages so we can get an equitable amount of revenue from corporations, and then we'll see about this personal income tax thing. But stop wasting your time telling me an extra fifty or sixty bucks a week is going to help a family who just lost health care, foodstamps, child care (there goes job #2) and rent control. If this was a movie, that would be a huge plot hole...

3 Questions

1. Where are those $15-20,000 in "benefits" coming from?

It's not just income taxes. In 2007 our federal government took in $1.2 T in income taxes, yet spent $1.8 T (non-earmarked funds, so other than Medicare & Social Security). Our federal government is borrowing and printing $1-3 billion per day just to keep the lights on. What are the consequences of unrestrained government borrowing? Continued debasement of the currency, resulting in rising prices (especially for necessities like food an energy).

But if the "solution" for rising prices is to borrow and print more money for benefits, then what happens? We're on a path to making the problem worse.

2. What about safety nets, then?

I have no intention of pulling the rug out from individuals. Instead, we want to give individuals a springboard to improve their life.

I had dinner last night with an amazing woman who is my age, single mother of three, recovering from significant challenges including an abusive childhood an addictions, and trying to get out of the welfare system. She's discovered firsthand that the system designed to "help" is actually quicksand.

She is studying for her nursing degree at Durham Tech. She also doesn't want to take on debt (in that sense she's smarter than I was). But it's only due to her finding some private individuals who are helping her with food, housing, and her children that she can pay for school, support her family and simply live (live very simply). It also helps the her children are teenagers instead of infants.

What if she were to try and work? The benefits dry up. But she knows she can accomplish more in life, and thanks to the efforts of other concerned individuals, she's found a local safety net that doubles as a trampoline.

Without getting too much into welfare or monetary reform, I'm simply suggesting that the way we change the world is to start locally, instead of perpetuating a continued dependence on a federal government that is (intentionally or not) enslaving all of us with paper debt-money at an accelerating rate.

We do not need to start by ripping out safety nets for individuals. We should start by encouraging safety nets to develop locally, using sustainable and accountable local resources -- which implies that we leave more resources locally in the first place.

3. Do corporations pay taxes?

Corporations are simply a means of moving money from customers (providing revenue) to employees and suppliers, with the owners taking the difference as profit. When we tax corporations, who pays? Not the owners, certainly -- at least not if they can help it. They will try to pass the tax on to their customers if they can raise prices, or try to reduce wages or their other costs of business proportionately.

So just "taxing corporations" is a bit of a misnomer. The tax just gets shifted to those who are less able to afford it.

The bottom line is that I have become skeptical of our government in Washington's ability to "help". Federal food programs are joined at the hip with industrial agriculture, who are raping the land such that our soil can no longer grow food - soil is now just a means to transfer petrochemical-dependent fertilizer into proprietary plants. That's not sustainable, especially when you consider the reality of Peak Oil.

Do you agree that we've slid into a corporatocracy, where lobbyists and corporate interests call the shots? Look at who donates to my opponent.

We need sustainability -- and what we're doing is not sustainable.

BJ

William (B.J.) Lawson
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

William (B.J.) Lawson, M.D.
Congressional Candidate, North Carolina's 4th District

A couple of things, BJ

I have no intention of pulling the rug out from individuals. Instead, we want to give individuals a springboard to improve their life.

That sounds real nice, but by decentralizing the system of safety nets, a whole lot of people will fall off the board instead of gaining altitude.

One of the reasons why these programs emanate from the Federal level is because of the vast disparity between local efforts to help people. Some are fantastic, and others barely exist. And that ain't gonna change if we stop taxing income and trim the government down to size.

But it's only due to her finding some private individuals who are helping her with food, housing, and her children that she can pay for school, support her family and simply live (live very simply).

I'm assuming she's getting help from a church or some other philanthropy. Which is nice, but these orgs have to pick and choose the people they are going to help, because they can't help everybody. And sometimes the criteria they use to decide who gets helped is patently unfair.

As a supplement to government assistance it's okay. But to believe a vast network of private (local) charities will pop up to replace Federal assistance programs, without allowing a huge number of families to fall through the cracks, is taking a leap of faith with someone else's body.

I agree with you scharrison...

As a supplement to government assistance it's okay. But to believe a vast network of private (local) charities will pop up to replace Federal assistance programs, without allowing a huge number of families to fall through the cracks, is taking a leap of faith with someone else's body.

I agree with you here, scharrison.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin

~Ray McKinnon

Obama's FISA vote

I think the crux of his argument is

Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise . . .."

It was actually a pretty well crafted response. For him to have come right out and said that he thinks he will gain more votes than he loses by signing this bill would have been kind of crude, but it's in there if ya read it a couple of times squinting.

I'm not thrilled by it, but I'm not so upset that I'd vote for McCain or fail to vote for Obama.

That's exactly what he was banking on

Obama is no idiot. He knew that he was going to be able to capitulate here and lose relatively no Dems and possibly pick up some of those centrists! Personally, I am a Clinton supporter and I am not the least bit surprised. I will certainly still vote for the guy but I have known all along that Hillary is FAR more principled than is he (btw, she voted it down!) This is why 18 million democrats voted to nominate her...she is principled, wise and a LEADER!

~Ray McKinnon

NO Kidding?

Obama is no idiot. He knew that he was going to be able to capitulate here and lose relatively no Dems and possibly pick up some of those centrists!

I think I just said that. As for your claim that Hillary is far more principled --Horsechockey. She'd have voted the same way if she were still in the race.

Yup.

Nothing to lose.

Can we, instead, start talking about "for the good of North Carolina?" --Leslie H.
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Except for the fact that the existing FISA law was fine

We were in no danger of "losing" any tools.

He caved. PERIOD. He went back on his word. PERIOD.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

In response to Huh

You asked:

So is your group going to try and push out all the rest of us?

I don't think that's the goal of the Progressive Democrats, anymore than it's the goal of the Democratic Women, or the African American Caucus. It is a group of Democrats within the Democratic Party, and there is not a thing wrong with that.

Your question resonates with a bit of concern - are you afraid of being pushed out? That couldn't happen. The way I see it, the push and pull with in the Democratic Party keeps us all moving. Some of us would like to see things swing a lot more to the left than they ever will, realistically. Some of us want to see things swing way more to the right than most Democrats would be comfortable with. What we wind up with - right now - is one of the most invigorating campaigns for President that we've seen in a long long time.

I think this will be a good year for Democrats up and down the ticket, despite the bad feelings about the FISA vote.

When it comes down to it, historically, we've been better off with Democrats in office than we've been with Republicans in office. And so I know what I'm working for is to see more Democrats in office, even though most of them are not nearly as liberal as I'd like for them to be.

Can we, instead, start talking about "for the good of North Carolina?" --Leslie H.
Pointing at Naked Emperors

There is a difference between

the "Progressive Democrats" organization and groups like AAC, Democratic Women, Senior Dems, etc. Each of these groups is a subgroup within the state party organization while the PD's are a seperate organization all together. So you have two seperate organizations, not a subgroup within the larger State Democratic Party.

My concern is that a small, well organized group with ideas out of step with the majority of the rank and file could come in and take control of the party, in essence performing an end run around the membership. I witnessed this being attempted by a group of PD's just a couple of years ago. It left me very concerned and with a degree of lingering resentment.

I would much rather see everyone working together, agreeing to disagree sometimes, finding common ground whenever possible, and compromising with each other as needed so that the party can grow and make our local, state and national governments better servents of the people.

Personally, while I would best describe myself as a moderate or centrist I don't much care for the labels (liberal, conservative, moderate, progressive etc)because they only serve to divide us and do a poor job of identifying individuals. My views on issues seldom are that simplistic and are based not on what a (fill in your favorite label here) is "suppose" to think but what I percieve as the best solution.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

I wonder if we remember the same event ....

My concern is that a small, well organized group with ideas out of step with the majority of the rank and file could come in and take control of the party, in essence performing an end run around the membership. I witnessed this being attempted by a group of PD's just a couple of years ago.

I think it was the 2006 state convention (could have been an SEC meeting). Progressive Dems ran 6 resolutions right down the throats of the assembled delegates. Questionable parliamentary procedures and yea's and nay's and votes on which the body had only a vague inkling as to what was being voted on were just a flyin'.

I had no problem with 5 of the 6 resolutions as I generally agree with most of the PD positions. Most. I do not recall the details, but one of those resolutions was troublesome to me. No debate or discussion was allowed.

That incident still rankles.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

History

You might want to read your history books a little on that one. In NC the Democratic Party has been many things over the years. We've been the party of the wealthy land and slave holders, the party that made us the "Rip Van Winkle State," we've been the party that fought an eroding of our constitutional rights during the War Between the States, and fought reconstruction after the war, the party that disenfranchished blacks and instituted Jim Crow, the party that had strong conservative and progressive wings when we were a one-party state, we've been segregationists and we've been integrationist, we've been the party for the common man and the party for the big man. We've been the party of moderation when the Republicans were/are the party of extemists.

Actually I'd say historically speaking that the Whig Party was the party who's heart and soul was progressive ideas.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Maybe we have been those things

in the past. What of it? Today's Democratic party is the country's best hope for the future America dreams of. If you don't espouse the values of the progressive wing; economic and environmental justice, human and civil rights, a woman's right to choose, immigration reform, publicly financed elections and criminal justice reform, what do you believe the Party should be about?

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

I just wanted you to put things in perspective a bit.

I certainly agree that the Democratic Party is the best hope for the future of America and generally agree that the issues you mention are important. However the "how you get there" of the issues and what the issues mean to each of us may well be a little different.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Continued discussion with Huh!

Regarding ending slavery without having to lose 650k men, ruin the economy of a whole region, and set up freedmen for generations of continued repression my point was that if the abolitionists hadn't taken the immediatist approach negotiations would have started much sooner and gradual emancipation could have possibly led to an end of slavery sooner than it did. The first logical step would have been for an end to perpetual or generational enslavement by declaring all babies born after a set date to be free. Dates would be set for the granting of freedom for adults and within a set number of years slavery would have ended.

Sorry, but you are blaming abolitionist for slaves not being freed sooner, again with the implication that if only the abolitionists had been "reasonable" and "compromised", the Civil War could have been avoided.

You are missing my point on how such a compromise could have been the slightest bit moral. How do explain to a man that he is a slave because he was born in the wrong year? "Boy, if your mama had only held out one more day, you'd be free."

Again, it is EASY to make such compromises when your own freedom isn't at stake. Garrison summed up these types of "compromises" thusly:

The compact which exists between the North and the South is a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell.

Also, as I recall from my history, there WAS a compromise in 1820, which was then reneged upon via the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. What would have been the point of "compromising" about slavery if the other side never intended to keep its word?

I can argue that if the anti-slavery delegation had refused to compromise in 1787, slavery could have been ended before 1800. Instead, one side "compromised", "reached across the aisle", "took a realistic approach" and literally sold 400,000 black men, women, and children down the river.

As far as the eroding of the Bill of Right and the War in Iraq I've opposed both.

You're missing my point. I am not accusing you of supporting these things, I am pointing out that these things have come to pass because of the strategy you are trying to persuade me to adopt.

Regarding your all or nothing gay marriage position you don't seem to understand that there will be no Democratic politicians in office if they take it up. In short it just ain't going to happen because it's political suicide.

That is the conventional wisdom. It is, like most conventional wisdoms these days, completely wrong. The reason it is "political suicide" is that the Democrats have not only allowed the GOP to define the issue, they have colluded with shaping it that way. As long as they continue to "compromise" in this manner, they will lose.

It seems you would be happier being right (according to your definition)

Oh? How, pray tell, am I wrong? What is immoral, unethical, or factually incorrect about my position? You position seems to be (and please correct me if I am wrong) that it is OK to allow evil, as long as you ultimately phase it out and that demanding that something evil be stopped immediately is "counter-productive" and "self-righteous". Based on your argument, it would have been perfectly acceptable to allow slavery to continue for x years, so as to avoid the Civil War. Did I get that wrong?

and having no influence than seek compromise and not get everything you want.

Hmmm. I gave you an example of not compromising, but still getting what I wanted. If this is impossible, how did I manage it?

Also, Bush has not compromised on anything, yet he has consistently gotten what he wanted. Again, if this is impossible, how does Bush manage the impossible.

The answer is, of course, our leaders keep "compromising", he doesn't. He get's what he wants (war funding, Supreme Court judges, legal wire-tapping, immunity from subpoenas, etc), while we don't.

What makes our government work is in fact the art of compromise.

Our government stopped working long ago, specifically when we stopped standing on principle and started "compromising". Yes, once upon a time, even Republicans voted in favor of OSHA, the EPA, and Food Stamps. But it is now 2008, not 1970. Folks need to start learning the rules of the game that is being played NOW, not 30+ years ago.

Call me all the names you want but in my opinion you are way off base.

Have I called you a name? Please point it out and I will correct it immediately and apologize.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

I'll try a third time

I've tried to respond twice and each time it for some reason doesn't go through. I'm not going to try a long response again. Basically I responded to several of your points and closed by saying it's no big deal about the names, I was referring to you saying that those that disagree with your position were bigots and since I was the one debating you on the issue that would seem to point the finger at me. However I don't take offense easily,and never take internet discussions personally. I concluded by saying I enjoy the back and forth, get a lot out of hearing other points of view, it causes me to reflect on my own ideas and hopefully grow a little in the process. All in all it's a good experience.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

You're having problems with posting too?

I have started making copies in notepad as I type responses because I have had MANY problems with posts getting dumped without recourse.

Arrrgh!

I enjoy the discussion, since, as you say, it requires hearing out viewpoints and thinking, something a lot of people can't be bothered to do. :)

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Oh, another thing

I'm working on another post which hopefully will find us on the same side, fighting the powers of evil and injustice. I'd prefer to have you fighting on my side, whenever possible. (See, I can play nicely with folks I disagree with :) )

David

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Brazilian abolition

A Canadian Ph.D. student in history of my acquaintance who happens to be (partly) of African descent* participates in message boards with unreconstructed Southerners who are all about their CBFs and insist that slavery was a wholly peripheral issue to the cause of the War of Northern Aggression [sic], and has posted on the subject of abolition with the patience of Job.

One of the many cogent points he makes, which usually provokes fairly revealing reactions from the (wanna-be) good old boys, is that there were means of abolition that didn't require wars and all their concomitant economic shocks (to say nothing of the lives and livelihoods lost). Brazil is one example.

I am not an expert on Brazil or its history, but it is my understanding that 1) Brazil essentially "bought out" its slaveholders in the mid-19th century through a policy that amounted in our terms to eminent domain (the government took slaveholders' "property" and then immediately emancipated "it" with full citizenship rights); 2) Brazil today does not have anything approaching the racial tensions that the United States does. By comparison to the U.S., Brazil is a free-lovin' multi-ethnic utopia.

I don't know that the U.S.'s achievement of abolition in an orgy of bloodletting makes the accomplishment more noble in any way. (The rich plantation owners who owned the vast majority of slaves survived the war anyway—as ever, the poor of all races did the bulk of the fighting and dying in furtherance of the aims of their society's aristocrats.)

* I hate phrasing it this way. We're all of African descent.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Being of entirely Southern ancestry I can assure you that this

would be the much preferred route to emancipation. Slavery was the overriding cause of the American Civil War (or War Between the States) but there were other causes as well. It's safe to say that if either all the states had had slavery or none of he states had had slavery all the other issues wouldn't have led to the split. What is often misunderstood is that the war did not begin as a war to end slavery, but to force the seceeding states back into the union. Only after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued did ending slavery become an objective. What's CBF?

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Bah

I had a more lengthy reply to this but I got f*cked by the idle timeout. Oh well, it boiled down to me saying that I didn't want to get involved in a discussion of the causes of the Civil War. So I guess it's just as well, since I started to involve myself anyway. :)

Anyway, CBF = Confederate Battle Flag; the one everyone recognizes.
--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

ahh

I see said the blind man to the deaf dog.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Secret Southern Societies in Brazil and Slavely!

I am not an expert on Brazil or its history, but it is my understanding that 1) Brazil essentially "bought out" its slaveholders in the mid-19th century through a policy that amounted in our terms to eminent domain (the government took slaveholders' "property" and then immediately emancipated "it" with full citizenship rights);* Braden

Not really! The bunk of the Slave holders in the South escape to Brazil and build massive trade centers thoughout it. You will find that two things were important in politics in the South during the era of slavely. One, you had to be a lawyer and the 2 nd most important thing was to be a member of a secret society. Brazil was no exception to this rule. You will note the recent death of Senator Helms, he was a member of a secret society and was a 33 degree brother, which in secret societies terms, means he was a high level political thinker and mover and the classic bigot and racist in politics. Please note the second link! It will blow you away.

http://www.essortment.com/all/postcivilwarr_rrid.htm

http://www.scottishrite.org/council/journal/jun01/klein.html

Hmmm

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson made the Illuminati a lot more fun.

I'll just be booking a flight to Ingolstadt now...

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Dude

I first played that game back in 1985.

I think it would make for a howlingly good time at a future BlueNC get-together. I've got a copy of the re-released set from earlier this decade.

The Semiconscious Liberation Army has taken over the Cattle Mutilators! Madison Avenue has resisted an attack by the Boy Sprouts! The Reformed Church of Satan has destroyed the Trekkies!

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Don't leave out the Bilderburgers

I imagine most of them have secret hideaways in Brazil where they plot their one world theory and practice satan worship.

Wake Forest won't play us anymore
Michigan last year
LSU - you are next
Go ASU!

Satan Worship in the Durham Democrat Party?

I imagine most of them have secret hideaways in Brazil where they plot their one world theory and practice satan worship* True Meck Dem

Naw! Those damn satan worshiping fools were located in Durham as democrats!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,384841,00.html

North Carolina 'Cult Abuse' Case to Go to Trial
Thursday, July 17, 2008

A North Carolina judge ruled that there is enough evidence in an alleged cult abuse case to send it to trial after the accusers’ horrific testimony, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday.

The victims, a 44-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man, took the stand in Durham County Monday in a probable cause hearing for accused cult leaders Joseph Scott Craig and his wife Joy who were leaders in the Durham Democrat party

You're not quite acurate on some of that Max.

The articles you site were both extremely interesting and informative. But to say "the bulk of the slaveholders in the south escaped to Brazil and build massive trade centers" is incorrect and misleading. According to the first article you sited as many as 9k immigrated to Brazil soon after the war ended. There's no escape to it, just immigration. Large slaveholders weren't rounded up and inprisoned or anything and 9k people is not exactly "the bulk" in fact that's just a few people. I also think Freemasonry makes for great novels and movies but your assertions about them seem a bit over the top. But thinks for linking the two articles they were very interesting. Brazil is truly as land of immigants with a very interesting culture. I'd love to hear a Brazilian Bluegrass band sometime!

Here's the lowdown on the end to Brazilian Slavery. They ended foreign slave trade in 1850, many slaves gained their freedom between 1864 and 1870 when the enlisted to fight in the Paraguayan War, in 1871 the sons of all slaves were set free and in 1885 slaves over 60 were freed and finally in 1888 all remaining slaves were emancipated.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Word, Huh

Max has been issued a special license to engage in hyperbole. I don't know of any other online character I've encountered from whom I'd take some of the stuff Max dishes out, but for some reason, I can't bring myself to object to him.

Oh, Max! (she sighed again)~

Liberal Urban Myths defending the Brotherhood of Man?

Hmmm

Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson made the Illuminati a lot more fun.*Branden

That's easy for you to say! You weren't at the end of a Illuminati guillotine, during the French Revolution

I'll just be booking a flight to Ingolstadt now...* Branden

Naw! You need to rent out Tomb Raiders and find out where Laura Croft stash her Illuminati Father.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't leave out the Bilderburgers* TrueMeckDem

What for? The boys from Brazil would never let you in the club since you believe the Bilderburgers are a harmless old age sissy rich white boy club!

I imagine most of them have secret hideaways in Brazil where they plot their one world theory and practice satan worship.* TrueMeckDem

Naw! They are all cramp into a Skull and Crossbones coffin with George Bush and John Kerry viewing each other navel button or is it their anals?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
You're not quite acurate on some of that Max.* Huh

The articles you site were both extremely interesting and informative. But to say "the bulk of the slaveholders in the south escaped to Brazil and build massive trade centers" is incorrect and misleading. According to the first article you sited as many as 9k immigrated to Brazil soon after the war ended. There's no escape to it, just immigration. Large slaveholders weren't rounded up and inprisoned or anything and 9k people is not exactly "the bulk" in fact that's just a few people.* Huh

Right! That is what a few republicans said when the immigration laws were relax under Reagan! If 9 thousand folks show up at your farm with a wagon load of Confedrate Gold, You would be the Hilton Chain of Brazil

I also think Freemasonry makes for great novels and movies but your assertions about them seem a bit over the top.* Huh

Hey! I didn't write the articles and what makes you think the Boys at the top of the Pyramid are a bunch of old harmless dudes in Tuxs?

But thinks for linking the two articles they were very interesting. Brazil is truly as land of immigants with a very interesting culture. I'd love to hear a Brazilian Bluegrass band sometime!* Huh

Good for you! Wille Nelson would be your boy since he believes 9/11 was a inside job and he just loves watching the brotherhood going nuts when he plays in Brazil Bluegrass.

Here's the lowdown on the end to Brazilian Slavery. They ended foreign slave trade in 1850, many slaves gained their freedom between 1864 and 1870 when the enlisted to fight in the Paraguayan War, in 1871 the sons of all slaves were set free and in 1885 slaves over 60 were freed and finally in 1888 all remaining slaves were emancipated* Huh

Wait a minute! If slavely ended in 1850, How in the heck did all of the escape Confederate masons build those Plantations in Brazil?

Get your facts straight Max!

And you seem to be reading a lot into what you read that just isn't there. You seem to be seeing conspiracies everywhere man. For the record slavery didn't end as you said in 1850. Go back and reread what I posted. Foreign slave trading in Brazil ended in 1850 and from that point on there was a gradual emancipation of slaves that concluded in 1888. I think you are letting your emotions get ahead of your reasoning and comprehension there. Most importantly Willie Nelson is not and has never been a bluegrass artist. Where you got that idea from I have no idea.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

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