Thought to continue the discussion down here as it is going (evolving) in a different direction in the main room. Turns out the dynamic involved more than a "word," but the "word" was a flag for much of the whole thing.
Actually, I find voting to be as futile as you do. Personally, I think that charging the current crooks in office with treason, or war crimes, or for disregarding their oath of office is a much better way to go. Eliminate the bastards one by one until they get the message.
Thanks for the excellent reply. But in truth I was hoping you'd have something to say about the character of the typical republican so I could call you a xenophobe. (I'm subtly ribbing the xenophobe-users here)
You gonna charge the bastards with treason, BO? Where? In court or in Congress?
Let's take Congress first. That's called impeachment. So you get the evil bastard before the House, swear them in, and a Member of Congress aske:
Congresspuke: "Are you guilty of the crimes set forth in these Articles of Impeachment?"
Evil Bastard: "Why ask me? You ought to know--you voted for every one of 'em."
And the fact is that if it happened, a majority of Congress voted for it, so the majority would have to impeach themselves.
Okay, that doesn't work too well, so let's take it to the Supreme Court. You know, that unelected body of nine citizens who constitute the highest law of the land and whose decisions cannot be appealed. An establishment totally incompatible with democracy in any sense of the word. You remember the Supreme Court, don'tcha, BO? The people who stopped the vote count, nullified the election, and installed the President of their choice in 2000?
Yeah, gotta get some sleep myself. Nice to see that we're in agreement about a lot of stuff, BO. And calling my response "excellent" swelled my head right up--I'm gonna ask Waldo if that'll raise my F to a D-minus. :)
Not to beat a dead horse, but the playbook for--at the very least--prosecuting Bush for misleading the country into war was established by Vincent Bugliosi in his best selling book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. His methodology for obtaining justice is applied at the state level as any relative of a soldier killed in Iraq can file a case charging Bush with murder through their local courts. I believe that Vermont has already issued warrants for Bush and Cheney's arrest--albeit more symbolic than executable.
Because it hasn't succeeded yet doesn't mean that it wasn't the right approach. What's missing is public interest. If the left didn't have the attention span of a nat, it might have actually worked.
Here's a vid of Bugliosi testifying before our brain-dead, criminal congress...
I don't think public interest is the missing factor, BO. If we the people had any power over government, public interest would do the trick. But we don't. Power is when the people can force their rulers to respect and be bound by the rule of law. When all the people can do is petition for redress of grievances, the rulers may choose to respond or they may not, but the people have no power to demand that their grievances be redressed.
In delegating your power to another, you have to be very careful to ensure that the delegation of power is revocable. Otherwise, if that power is abused, you have no recourse other than to ask those in power who are abusing their power, to please stop, a course of action that has had historically poor results because power tends to corrupt.
In voting for the Military Commissions Act, a majority of Congress, fully aware that they had voted for and were thereby complicit in war crimes, voted themselves immunity from prosecution for war crimes.
And although lawsuits might prevail in the lower courts, they will always be appealed until they reach the Supreme Court. Do you know of a U.S. President who isn't or wasn't a war criminal, BO? Well, it is Presidents who appoint the Supreme Court--members of the Supreme Court aren't elected by the people or accountable to anyone. Justices who were appointed by war criminals, aren't very likely to condemn war criminals. Particularly if they have had any hand in ruling that specific war crimes or Presidential abuses of power were legal and Constitutional.
Maybe you missed my statement regarding Bugliosi's approach...
"His methodology for obtaining justice is applied at the state level."
Poorly worded as most of writing is.
But, I respectfully disagree when you say, "I don't think public interest is the missing factor."
I think we suffer the apathy that comes with diminished expectations. Our automatic response to any outrage these days is give up before the game even gets started.
Remember, we did manage to oust a president from office in the seventies for a much lessor crime. The only reason Nixon avoided prison was because he was given a presidential pardon. But remember, several of his cohorts were actually convicted and did end up in prison. Try to imagine anything like that happening today.
My point is, it can be done when the desire is there to do it. That's what we lack. Public leaders do respond when the outcry becomes loud enough.
But alas, I believe Americans have become too self-absorbed to ever accomplish anything like that again.
Didn't miss it, BO, just pointed out that convictions of high-level officials at the state level WILL be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Power lies in having the final say.
Take elections, which is something I know a little bit about.
The popular vote for President is NOT the final say.
In 2000 and 2004 the President was sworn into office BEFORE the popular vote count had even been completed. (In 2008 millions of votes disappeared, but since they would have gone for Obama and he "won," nobody made a fuss about it.)
But say that the popular vote is actually counted and that it is even counted accurately.
1. It can be rejected by the Electoral College, as they are not bound by it.
2. Even if the Electoral College votes in accordance with the popular vote, Congress has the power to reject Electoral College votes.
3. The Supreme Court can intervene on any pretext it wants, rule that the both the popular vote and the Electoral College vote not be taken into account, that any action by Congress was unconstitutional, and install a President of their choice. No matter how absurd their pretext and their reasoning, their decision CANNOT BE APPEALED. It is, in other words, the final say.
All of which is irrelevant, of course, because it is the political parties, in obedience to the policy-making bodies who can make or withhold the donations they need to exist, that select the nominees. So in 2008, although Congress had only about a 10% approval rating, and more than 90% of Americans opposed the bailouts, both major party nominees were Members of Congress who fully supported the wars of aggression, the bailouts, and everything else that most Americans opposed. You could cast a protest or throw-away vote, but if you wanted to vote for a winner, your choice was between wars and bailouts, and wars and bailouts. You could have older, white, Republican wars and bailouts, or younger, Black, Democratic wars and bailouts, whichever you felt might be the lesser evil, but you didn't get to "pick a card, any card," because the magicians were forcing the deck.
You may believe that, "The only reason Nixon avoided prison was because he was given a presidential pardon," but Bill Clinton said "we have to uphold the precedent," and the precedent is that Presidents pardon their predecessors, because they know they may need pardoning in turn. Underlings may take the fall, but they're usually quickly pardoned, or their sentences are reduced, and in most cases they're soon back in positions of power.
Where public apathy comes in is in thinking that if different people or parties were in power, the system might change, or that a system designed as a bureaucracy to protect the powerful from the powerless, can be made to work for the powerless. A car is designed to drive on land. It would have to be totally redesigned before it could be used to sail or fly across oceans. That can be done, but it is more sensible to use something designed for the purpose, like a boat or a plane.
Take the business analogy again, BO. Suppose I have a business and I've got some problems. Lawsuits, customer complaints, overdue bills--things haven't been going too well lately. I'd have to be an idiot to deal with all those things myself. I'm going to have the legal department deal with the lawsuits, the financial department deal with the bills, and the customer service department deal with the irate customers. My receptionist is going to make sure nobody gets through to my secretary unless I want them to, and I'm going to play golf.
For the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, the people who own a controlling interest in the big multinationals that have more money than most governments and actually own most of the planet (Waldo calls them the fatties), governments are the bureaucracies they put in place to cope with all the hassles while they enjoy life. You can have the heads of every elected or appointed official in Washington DC on pikes, and still not get anywhere close to the real power.
When I say that the facts have nothing to do with it, this is what I was talking about. In this case the Supreme Court made an exception to their usual rule, which is that factual innocence is irrelevant and that if a person has been convicted of a crime they didn't commit, it is Constitutional to execute them.
We can also, according to the 13th Amendment, sentence them to genuine bona fide slavery once they've been convicted of a crime they didn't commit, as the 13th Amendment didn't abolish slavery, it established it as punishment for a crime. Until now, it mostly was used against blacks, and many people think the FEMA camps will only be used for immigrants, but as long as it is Constitutional to enslave or execute somebody for a crime they didn't commit, it could be used against people who don't happen to be blacks or immigrants. Of course by the time they figure that out, like Pastor Niemoller eventually did, it will be too late.
Allen Ginsberg saw SOME of the best minds of his generation. Howl was written before he came out of the closet, but his preferences were known from incidents like when he and some other Greenwich Village poets were taking a taxi and Ginsberg insisted that a female poet be left behind, saying that he wasn't going to ride in a cab with a female. Pitt is a pretty good writer--I've usually liked his stuff.