Thursday Evening Open Thread Discussion

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello again and welcome to the Thursday Evening Open Thread Discussion where off topic is on topic.

To get you started, I have two articles that I published earlier today and a few suggested topics.

(1) Senators Cory Booker and Rand Paul try to redeem lives lost to prisons

(2) Reject neoliberalism and resuscitate the fundamental right to human dignity

(3) Yesterday we found out that the ISIS forces have seized what was left of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons. Difficult to imagine a worse outcome than what has happened in and to Iraq since the Congress abdicated its constitutional responsibility to decide whether to go to war and authorized the President to make that decision for them. We all know how that turned out. President George W. Bush lied us into war.

No weapons of mass destruction, no connection to 9/11, al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, over 1 million dead Iraqis, and a destabilized country in ruins on the verge of more death and destruction caused by a sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia.

Remember Phil Donohue? He opposed the war and he was fired for speaking the truth.

Elias Isquith writing for Salon brings us up to date on Phil Donohue with this fascinating interview, including his reaction to seeing the people who lied us into war back on the mainstream media as experts commenting on what we are doing today in Iraq. Why, it’s almost as if they were never deceitful and wrong.

Were you in favor of or opposed to the war?

Do you think George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice and the rest of the neocons and torturers should be prosecuted as war criminals in the International Criminal Court for starting an aggressive war and torturing prisoners?

(4) Germany caught the United States spying on its internal affairs and has ordered the CIA Station Chief to leave Germany and the NSA has been caught spying on prominent American citizens by monitoring email accounts of five high-profile Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers.

Looks like our country has gone off the rails in the spy business. CIA and NSA are totally out of control and have to be stopped.

(5) Finally, this article in Think Progress gives us an idea of our government’s spending priorities that should bring out the torches and pitchforks.

Just days before its international debut at an airshow in the United Kingdom, the entire fleet of the Pentagon’s next generation fighter plane — known as the F-35 II Lightning, or the Joint Strike Fighter — has been grounded, highlighting just what a boondoggle the project has been. With the vast amounts spent so far on the aircraft, the United States could have worked wonders, including providing every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,000 home.

Do you think the candidates for president in either party will make war, spying and spending-priorities election issues or will they ignore them and urge us to go shopping? If they ignore them, what does that say about our system of government?

Can we fix it without a bloody revolution?

If you aren’t worried, there must be something wrong with you.

The pool is open and the water is fine.

Tell us what’s on your mind.

This is our 1127th post. If you appreciate what we do, please toss some money into the hat. We need it to keep the lights on.

Thank you,

Fred

27 Responses to Thursday Evening Open Thread Discussion

  1. crazy1946 says:

    This was an interesting article, but looking at the date and the individuals proposing this “new and improved” system of justice, I am compelled to consider it just another election year ploy used in an attempt to be re-elected to the palace of corruption (AKA the congress). After the election is done and over, this proposal like all sensible ideas of the past will simply be history…

  2. MKX says:

    Booker and Paul are tapping into an area that the Democratic Party should already be in.

    The War on Drugs is racist and stupid, yet most Democrats say little because they are afraid to be seen as “soft on crime”.

    Paying one’s debt to society and being given a chance at redemption is part of a just society, yet most Democrats say little because they are afraid to be seen as “coddling criminals”.

    Time to start taking a stand for a truly just and moral society.

    • Malisha says:

      It’s actually not really an issue: paying one’s debt to society. For most criminals, society defaulted on them long ago and that is how they ended up criminals. It’s about forfeited life interests from birth onward and by 18 we have debts bouncing all over the place, never to be repaid, only to gather crime-interest rather than the life-interest that was lost.

      • MKX says:

        That is a very well put argument.

        I doubt I will ever live in a USA that recognizes that the system itself is the source of most crime.

    • I agree and, although I hate to say it, I cannot identify with the Democratic Party because it has jettisoned labor and embraced the criminal Wall Street banks.

      Republican lite doesn’t do it for me.

      • MKX says:

        We have a right wing fascist party and a liberalism party. And that sets up the Overton window effect. The Reich screams “SOCIALISM”, the Democrats get scared and shift a bit to the right to appear centrist. The worst thing that happened in the USA was the purging of the IWW, Socialists and Communist. Without their voice, there is no brake on the right shift.

        • Love the IWW.

          Back in the mid 70s when I lived in Chicago, I used to hang out in a tavern that used to be a wobbly hangout. Great political graffiti carved into the walls and table tops. Place was called Johnny Weiss’s. He was a German-American and had German beers on tap.

          Place was a block away from the Biograph Theater. John Dillinger was gunned down by the feds in the alley between the Biograph and the Mee Woh Loh Restaurant.

  3. I thought lots of people would chime in on these topics.

    Guess not.

    Wonder if they are afraid to express their thoughts.

    • crazy1946 says:

      Professor,

      “Wonder if they are afraid to express their thoughts.”

      IMO, it is not that many are afraid to express their thoughts, it is instead (or at least on my part) that it is futile to continue to beat on an issue that has no real resolution. For example, 911 was (again IMO) allowed to occur by the Bush administration, but I don’t think they expected that the World Trade Center would be the target, nor did they expect the huge loss of life that took place. They thought the collateral damage would be less and more manageable, again they were wrong in their assessment.
      The war in Iraq, was a personal goal for the Bush family, and was a huge profit maker for the “dick” Cheney family, so in their eyes it was a good thing… too bad it was not their family that was to pay the price for their profit… History, if looked at closely, would show that the “cold war” was not ended by any thing that Reagan did, but instead was the end result of the Russian forces engaging in a non-winnable war in Afghanistan, an area that no war can actually be successfully waged. The end result of that war by the Russian forces was simply bankruptcy of their nation, similar to what ultimately we can probably look forward to. So what is left to discuss, who is to blame or why it took place or who profited and who lost? Even this crazy old man realizes that there is not real solution that a majority of people in this nation could/would agree on, so to attempt to come up with a clear solution would be similar to beating ones head against a hickory tree trying to get the nuts to fall to the ground, you might get a few to fall, but you won’t fill the bucket…

      • I’m not looking for a solution that we can all agree with.

        I just want to see the people who lied us into that war and the torturers in the dock facing consequences for their war crimes.

        • crazy1946 says:

          Professor, I totally agree, however with the lock on the voting process that the GOP/TP/NRA along with various groups like Koch Industries, the Chamber of Commerce, FAUX News Corp, and etc., there will never be any way to gain enough control of the political process to allow that to happen… Face it, if the GOP/TP/NRA could elect a military deserter like G.W. Bush to the position of POTUS, it shows the mind control they have over the mindless voters that actually turn out to vote in the process…

  4. MKX says:

    This song makes me feel better. Studio One employed some of the finest musicians I have ever heard. And they hit this one out of the park. Bob Marley and Peter Tosh are perfect on vocals. A true gem.

  5. MKX says:

    I was against the war from the get go.

    • MKX says:

      I was very disappointed by all the so-called liberals who fell for the “dog and pony’ show put on to sell that war.

      Even when I put all my social views aside, I am still pragmatic and gave the opinion, at the time, that a bunch of people will die, the country will be wrecked, and we will leave.

      The whole premise that the Iraqi people were just waiting to be liberated so they can be just like us was so ludicrous as to seriously question the mental state on anyone who believed it.

      What people forget is that France was already a modern western nation state with a representative government before we, and all those other countries we never give credit to, liberated it from the Germans. So, obviously, they made a quick “recovery”.

      IMO, Saddam was an enlightened despot in a country that was still in transition out of a Feudal society. So they were not going to magically become modern.

      Although it is true he killed many people, it is also true that our intervention caused the direct or indirect death of more people per 100,000 than his tyranny.

      Sometimes it is best to let sleeping dogs lie.

      For all we know, Saddam might have been swept away in the Arab Spring movement, if we had just let it go.

      But our conservatives can not let anything go.

      They have to intervene in other peoples lives in order to save them.

      And their duplicity make me sick.

      Although they look down on brown people like they are dirt, they were loud and proud about how they were saving those Iraqi children, all the while reveling in white men with guns murdering our brown children.

      They are a special kind of suck.

    • Malisha says:

      There really was no excuse for the war at all. W used “9/11” for an excuse for war, when it rightfully SHOULD have been an excuse to impeach his sorry ass. He was warned directly and in no uncertain terms on August 6, 2001 that Bin Ladin was going to strike INSIDE THE US using hijacked airplanes. HELLO HELLO anybody home? And then Rice explained that the reason that warning was not heeded was that “it was just generally informational” meaning “nothing.”

      W wanted a war. That is why we went to war. For him, war was better than viagra. He should have stuck with viagra. It is time these warlords (from all the countries) are slaughtered in their beds rather than the rest of us going into wars and murders for their flagging manhoods (even the women among them) to be tickled into action. shame on them for destroying lives and destroying their country with the bitter kickback of the murder they indulge in. Shame beyond shame.

    • Me three, and I was also dismayed by all the Dems who backed the war. So obvious that it was all a charade, or at the very least, a misapplied over-reaction.

      Look how many lives the war impacted negatively and the repercussions may continue to manifest for many years to come.

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