Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Revolution. Or maybe not.

Most people seem to despise Washington, Capitol Hill and our elected representatives, but not necessarily in that order. And on a regular basis we vote the people we despise the most out of office; those are the ones who won the prior election and proved to all of us that they couldn’t get anything done. Then we move the people into power who weren’t allowed to do anything, but at least they haven’t proven that they couldn’t get anything done, so we are still happy.

And that’s called democracy. Something like 30% of eligible voters in this country vote for Republicans and about 30% vote for Democrats, the other 40% don’t vote because they don't think it would make a difference.

So clearly, a majority of voters have shown by their overwhelming refusal to vote that they don’t think the system works. They also know that all the currently elected representatives don’t want to change the system which elected them.

In the old days this usually resulted in a revolution. It happened over and over again in a lot of big and small countries.

But today a revolution is a little bit more difficult to achieve. In the old days the government had a few musketeers and cannons, and the people had a few rifles and hayforks. It was pretty even. So when enough peasants got pi--ed off at the king who chopped off their heads when they didn’t bow deep enough, like the Russian Tsar, they stormed the palace and chopped off his head. Or something like that.

We can’t do that today. Not only is a revolution just as illegal as it has been since before the Boston Tea Party, today the government has atomic bombs and black choppers. So, perhaps for the first time in world history the peasants and us others have no chance to change the system.

And since in most states winners take it all in an election, the result is that only two parties are allowed to flourish, and, of course, those two parties are jolly happy about that.

It shouldn’t be surprising that one of the first quotes from the Democrats to big business was “now it’s time for you guys to start paying us.” I read it in the New York Times, I think, and I’m sure this isn’t official policy, but something tells me most of my readers will agree it may be a very in-official policy.

After all, forty percent already gave up on voting.

So I have shared in the joy that we have new people in Congress and the world will be a better place to live. But I’m not so sure about that.

I know that Nancy Pelosi has promised to change life as they know it for the drug companies and the oil companies within the first 100 hours of the new Congress, but I’ve also read the comments from the White House saying that any proposal to allow the government to negotiate drug prices would be vetoed.

So I just wanted to remind everyone that Bush is still the one with the executive powers. And he has that little thing called a veto.

Of course, all the opinion polls tell us that most of the American people hope that when Bush finally gets out of the White House, he’ll be replaced with someone very different. And maybe we’ll get lucky and that will really happen. Because the only way a revolution will ever happen again is from the top down. The people will not have much say in anything, ever again.

After all, most of them don’t even show up to vote.


Anonymous said...

"I know that Nancy Pelosi has promised to change life as they know it for the drug companies and the oil companies within the first 100 hours of the new Congress, but I’ve also read the comments from the White House saying that any proposal to allow the government to negotiate drug prices would be vetoed."

One of the good things about this election, is that Bush still doesn't understand the position he's in.

All the Democrats have to do now is look for an excuse to impeach him. And something tells me it won't much for this to begin. He's already a unpopular lame duck with a low approval rating whose been deserted by his own party after the last election.

You're correct about the other things you wrote about. Not sure what to do about that.

Peter Rost said...

The good part is that if Bush starts throwing his veto around he'll make republicans even more unpopular and they'll lose with an even bigger margin in the next presidential election. Sometimes it's not too bad with bad guy who's making himself as unpopular as Bush . . .

Anonymous said...

Ummm sort of hard to want to believe they will become more unpopular. The problem of course the amount of damage this Idiot In Chief we have can keep on doing.

He is so far out of the loop he's beyond any hope. Seriously this is one of the most incompetent presidents I think this country has had the misfortune to have (S)elected. I hope Pelosi keeps her promise but somehow I don't think she will. Money talks and right now I can see all the oil and pharma lobbyists pointing how much the democrats stand to gain if they just sort of ease away from all of this posturing.

And being the good little HO's they are, Nancy will probably do just what they want.


I met my mother's doctor's pharma rep (one of them) AND WHAT A BABE! Oh my God, this woman is drop dead gorgeous. Blonde, curves everywhere well dressed but just a hint of mischief in her eyes (you know the look, lowered lids, a little smile that says, "You might get lucky one of these days doc") and the doc was smitten, even wearing the wedding ring he has on.

The hilarity of it all was both funny and frustrating. But jeez what a looker.

Anonymous said...

There is an override, but again... not likely.

Most politicians have to compromise so much that the lines become fuzzy on what is a detail and what is a true value. Pretty soon you are able to justify most anything.

I would think a pointed bill on govt drug negotiating powers might have a slight chance of being a champion cause 'of the people for the people' and steam rollering its way into being due to overwhelming unpopularity for the politicians voting against it. However, our collective memory is very short term.

I am convinced that the only way a revolution would happen is if our media were more in the control of the people.

beeta said...

a-I like your new format!
b-On the subject of politics of the US, I'll tell you what I think for what it's worth.
Elected officials are the front men and the money backers(lobbyists, K Street, big Pharma, Oil Executives, big business in general) are the real shapers of policy domestic and foreign.
The politicians follow what the money backers dictate(Republican or Democratic), but the money backers follow domestic and foreign trends.
When policies do not go over well or are too contested by allies or enemies or citizens, the powers re-think and re-direct policies, in a direction that they assume will get more support. They will consent to as little as possible in this game of give and take, and they are not above using every weapon(fear, patriotism, war, lies, vote fraud....etc.)to keep the opposition mullified. What happened with the mid-term elections was an example of this re-direction. Too many nations and too many citizens were against the current policies(you are right about politicians being all the same, after all they are elected by the same mothod, money and influence).
c- Don't forget the power of the masses! They can(public usually undermines it's influence by not voting)force change if they wish(even in this enviroment). There is a lot of propaganda trying to stiffle voting(unless it's very directed towards a given goal).
d-If you give up on the power of people, you will reach the conclusion that you have reached(no change will accure, no revolution will succeed).
f-The people can force change, but they have to be informed of their power first!

Anonymous said...

"Don't forget the power of the masses! They can (public usually undermines it's influence by not voting) force change if they wish (even in this enviroment). There is a lot of propaganda trying to stiffle voting(unless it's very directed towards a given goal)."

I'm kind of leaning the other way because I think some people aren't qualified to vote, which is why we end up with the current mess we have.

C'mon, admit it. Overall, the public watches too much Oprah and is uninformed about issues and is completely gullible (like the poor doctor matching wits with a pretty woman pharma rep whose expertise consists casting demure and come hither glances). The US public seems to think the world revolves around them. I mean after all, isn't English the language of the world?

Anonymous said...

Fore rosethejet; Some hystoric facts. Til about 35 years ago, the pharma biz was strictly "good old boys club". In a way was nice and some would refer to those days as, you guessed it; "good old days".
35 years ago I went for training as new rep to USA head office and out of about 40 reps they had only 2 women, the only ones in company with about 500 reps at the time.
The first pharma co to start employeen the model like reps was Astra ( Astra-Zeneka today) about 20 years ago.
At a cardiology related scientific meeting in Toronto, at around that time Astra brought in their "star" sales lady, who looked like Paris Hilton except with real curves. She did not need designer duds change every few hours to be noticed.
Poor cardiologist and the rest of us were running around like chickens without heads to see this attraction. Needless to say Astra was the most "seccessful" at that meeting. I belive they were selling thier beta blocker Betaloc.
How times have not changed. The docs and rest of us are still attracted to attributes prized by the superficial man. But hey that's marketing for you.
By the way, the ladies have changed this business for the better in many ways.If hireing of these wonderful creatures were the only "sin" of big pharma we would not hapily have this discussion. The misconduct though is mainly invented and done by the "superficial" men. That is still the "good old boys club", perhaps because it is so lucrative.

MsMelody said...

There are still a lot of us around who had good enough history teachers so that the merits of the Boston Tea Party remain. If Dubya and his ilk can successfully dumb down education, future generations will no longer learn of this revolutionary methodology--and the "crimes" that gave birth to it. Dumbing down our educational system certainly serves a very real and forward-looking agenda for the elite powermongers of this country.

Anonymous said...

alex said, " I think some people aren't qualified to vote, which is why we end up with the current mess we have.

C'mon, admit it. Overall, the public watches too much Oprah and is uninformed about issues and is completely gullible"

and the point about a dumbed down education

all point back to media control to me.

Who controls it actually controls each of us in a way. Without magazines, television, newspapers, websites, where would you get your news, trends, and feeling of community with the bigger picture.Media shapes who you are and right now about 8 companies are in control of most of what you see and hear.

Anonymous said...

"After all, most of them don’t even show up to vote."

The issues over voter turnout aren't quite so simpy. Take a look at the United States Elections Project website in order to gather a few more insights - http://elections.gmu.edu/voter_turnout.htm

Quote -

"Statistics on voter turnout presented here show that the much-lamented decline in voter participation is an artifact of the way in which it is measured. The most typical way to calculate the turnout rate is to divide the number of votes by what is called the "voting-age population" which consists of everyone age 18 and older residing in the United States. This includes persons ineligible to vote, mainly non-citizens and ineligible felons, and excludes overseas eligible voters. When turnout rates are calculated for those eligible to vote, a new picture of turnout emerges, which exhibits no decline since 1972. (See graph of voter turnout.)"

Additionally, take a look at conditions in the state of California -http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/16016483.htm

Quote -

"The turnout of voters for last week's gubernatorial election hit an all-time low. Although there are still late absentee and provisional ballots to be tallied, as few as 7.5 million Californians cast ballots, well under 50 percent of registration and only a third of the 22 million adult citizens who could, if they wished, vote. Whatever the final number turns out to be, it will be much lower than even the most pessimistic pre-election forecasts.

The characteristics of voters, derived from news media exit polls, stand in stark contrast with those of California's overall population. The Los Angeles Times exit poll, for instance, found that 75 percent of voters were non-Latino whites, even though whites have dropped to well under 50 percent of the overall population.

California's white population is aging rapidly, with a graying baby-boomer generation, a very low birthrate and little immigration, which means the electorate is also aging. Depending on which exit poll one examines, at least 65 percent, and perhaps as much as 75 percent, of last week's voters were over 45 years old, and only a third had children at home. Voters are also much better educated (over 50 percent with college degrees) and more affluent (over three-fourths with family incomes over $40,000 a year) than the state's overall adult population."

More of the population every election cycle aren't showing up to vote because, they aren't eligible. The other issue is that 'business' has a 'big' role in the election process. Last time I checked businesses weren't eligible to vote either.

Kansas said...

Alex, you are exactly right. All Hail Queen Oprah and King Phil! I swear if those two told their audiences to vote for O.J. Simpson, he’d be our next president.

As for the 40% who don’t vote? Well, I’m wondering why we need them in the first place, as long as the remaining 60% educate themselves on the issues. And that’s really what it boils down to; you have to care enough to do your homework.

The Democratic bloggers are the reason we won this election. Sites like Crooks & Liars and (ugh) HuffPo are solely responsible for holding the Republicans’ feet to the fire and keeping the scandals and dirty tricks in the headlines. Say what you will about HuffPo, no one makes a fool of evil-doers quite as loudly as they do.

I think bloggers are changing the face of politics as we know it. They do their homework and are beholden to no one. Perhaps the fear of being outed on a hugely popular website, for the entire world to see, will keep some of these people in line. It’s obvious the mainstream media isn’t going to do it. So I have hope for the future.

As for the 40% who are too illiterate or lazy to vote, I say screw ‘em.

The bloggers are the real revolutionaries.

Anonymous said...

So doctor -- there does seem to be a chance for a revolution from the bottom up (I always wondered if there would be a revolution in my lifetime). All we need is to combine the lefty bloggers who do their homework with the inner city gangs who have all the firepower (thank you NRA) and we could just start an insurgency or a rebellion. Especially with our military over extended overseas. Of course it would be a long, ugly struggle -- martial law, curtailment of rights -- who knows, maybe it's what the powers that be want. It gives them an excuse to "protect" us in a meaningful way.
We're becoming very paranoid as a country and the more we try to "protect" ourselves, the more dangers we'll need protection from. Kinda reminds me of the Russian Revolution -- once they'd offed the tsar a long line of enemies kept springing up needing to be eradicated.
The next few years could be critical.

Anonymous said...

hipmama said...
"...and the point about a dumbed down education...all point back to media control to me...Who controls it actually controls each of us in a way. Without magazines, television, newspapers, websites, where would you get your news, trends, and feeling of community with the bigger picture. Media shapes who you are and right now about 8 companies are in control of most of what you see and hear."

"dumbed down education"...I agree. "Critical thinking" is a lost skill these days, otherwise people will accept being spoon-fed what the media corporations (and in turn the political parties) want them to believe. Some people are straight ideologues, which means they ignore the facts; those people are the cultists who will always do and believe what they're told. Some of these people still think Bush can do no wrong and Nixon wasn't a crook. Some people can't get past labels like "Democrat", "Republican", "Liberal", "Conservative", "Libertarian", which means they choose their facts to base their opinion. And yet we still have people like Cheney as recently as weeks before the election stating that WMDs were found in Iraq as though it were true clearly after it's been found to be false. Like the saying, "everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not their own facts".

"media control"...I agree somewhat...but a majority of people have the same tools at their fingertips and there is an alternative media available. The internet, blogs, programs like Democracy Now! (tv, radio, podcasts, website), channels like Free Speech TV and LinkTV. It's there if people want to find it and are curious enough to want to find facts to have an informed opinion using reasoning. I turned off mainstream media a long time ago because it's mostly entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Moogirl, Judith Miller's head recently exploded in Kansas as she was giving a speech.

The November 14th Washington Note (third entry down) had Judy doing an about-face on the Bush Administration and telling people that blogs were tabloids.

This from a "journalist" that was in the White House steno pool and who thinks reporting is writing down verbatim what they're told.

In case she's forgotten, she was outted for her sloppy reporting skills by the blogs. But then again, I suppose when your only "tools of the trade" are kneepads, then investigatory skills aren't needed much.

Thank the stars for reporters like Seymour Hersch. Too bad we don't have more like him or the late Jack Anderson and IF Stone.

Anonymous said...

As long as blogs can freely express opinion, I believe we do have an opportunity to make changes. With al the resources mentioned above, please do not forget the foreign press, mainly newspapers. Most all of it is available, online, in English, even Al Jazeera. It gives an added dimension. It is difficult in the U.S. to form independent opinions just because people are not able to read foreign languages and therefore do not. That is a little limiting. Translations are never precise. as every translator knows, often you have to make approximations, but a good deal of it is accessible. What is especially interesting is to read different opinions of immigrants in certain countries, such as muslims. They do not all agree on everything. One also has to be aware that culture and politics play an even larger part when you read the foreign press, especially because you are not familiar with it. Besides blogs there are other means, such as buying votes in large corporations, shares you can vote, or you can obtain proxies. Large enough blocs will make a difference. Let us get a little smarter. Watch Glenn Beck tonight, Headline News, and then check his sources as well.

Kansas said...

I posted a column on my site today from Paul Craig Roberts who addresses some of the questions we all have about whether or not the Dems will be any better.

This is exactly what needs to happen, writers now need to be holding the Dems as accountable as the Reps. But we also need to address all the wrongs that have been perpetrated by this Whitehouse. Roberts writes about this too, that if the Dems don’t do anything about the crimes by the Reps, then they are just as responsible.

The Dems have a huge responsibility, and we're all going to be watching.

And I agree, if you want the truth, it’s out there, you only have to look for it somewhere other than mainstream.


Anonymous said...

Another thing the politicians and punditocracy have done is to frame and rename things so they sound completely different from what they really are.

For example:
"Re-deployment" replaces "retreat" and "withdrawal".

"Extraordinary rendition" replaces "kidnapping" and "disappeared".

Anonymous said...

I understand the point that indy news is out there, but the fact is that Jo and Jane average are not going the extra mile to educate them. Why not have energy technology be common knowledge like Britney's divorce is today. It's the people's airwaves are we are supposed to have an interest served by the corporations using them. We could insist on better, more diverse content.

MsMelody said...


Have you heard the latest "renaming." Instead of masses of undernourished, hungry people, we--here in America, bountiful land of plenty--we have 35 million people experiencing "low food security" Bet that new name satisfies the craving in their bellies!

beeta said...

How about:
"inbeded"=in bed with
"smart bombs"=usually but not always...oops
"targeted assasinations"=no need to round people up and put them in concentration camps, just kill them where they live along with
"colateral damage"=just not your lucky day
"democratic governments"=any country that spreads its legs wide open for America
"vibrant economy"=we are making out like bandits and you dumbasses are letting us

Anonymous said...

MsMelody and Beeta,

Isabel Allende, niece of former Chilean president Salvador Allende, made a good point in an interview, that it used to be that 90% of casualties in war were military and 10% were civilian.

Today those are numbers are reversed. And those civilians are "collateral damage" instead of "women and children killed".

If the correct terms were used instead of using "renaming" them, the public would probably get over being "dumbed down".

Otherwise, it just blends into the innocuous background and people don't pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Revolution - shmevolution! It is needed but ain'g going to happen, especially in USA for all the reason already expressed here. Unless? Remember the great Canadian, professor Golbreit's famous explanation of the current US society where THE CONTENT MAJORITY is the key what happens. As long we have this majority content and satisfied, there will not be any major movement, let alone Le revolucion. The current system, althoug is vaging the "war on middle class" as Lue Dobbs would argue still makes sure that there is a significant content majority that can continue to be brain washed into submission and obidience.
However the trend seems to be that the numbers of those who "suffer" are on the increase and if ever the critical mass is reached, nothing will stop them. Not the nukes, not the gas, not the bugs, not stealth fighters/bombers not the M16's, for those who have their fingures on the arms would be in such manority and having parents, families and children on the other side, would not pull the trigger. That has happened numerous times in history. Most recently in Ukraine,Serbia, East Germany, remeber when Gorbachev stopped their had guy from using deadly force against his own people and so on. The critical mass is the key. In US there are already mini revolutions. You call them "gang wars" in LA for instance. It is just a matter of time. How long can millions of poor, underprivilaged and destitude Americans be kept down while their fellow rich, entertainers, business types, including the big farma "evil doers" live in luxury never seen before. The kings, queens, emparors even some dictators like that guy Chauceskue (something like that) of Romania, who had everything made of 24K gold, including his toilet, not only the seat but the whole thing, had nothing on the lifestyles of the current elite. Where is he and others now?????