Friday, August 03, 2007

Minneapolis Bridge: Sorrow then Anger

Nick Coleman is a second generation journalist, who writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and is heard locally on Air America Radio.

Nick Coleman: Public anger will follow our sorrow

The cloud of dust above the Mississippi that rose after the Interstate
35W bridge collapsed Wednesday evening has dissipated. But there are
other dark clouds still hanging over Minneapolis and Minnesota.


By Nick Coleman, Star Tribune

Last update: August 02, 2007 ? 11:33 AM
The cloud of dust above the Mississippi that rose after the Interstate
35W bridge collapsed Wednesday evening has dissipated. But there are
other dark clouds still hanging over Minneapolis and Minnesota.

The fear of falling is a primal one, along with the fear of being
trapped or of drowning.

Minneapolis suffered a perfect storm of nightmares Wednesday evening,
as anyone who couldn't sleep last night can tell you. Including the
parents who clench their jaws and tighten their hands on the wheel
every time they drive a carload of strapped-in kids across a steep
chasm or a rushing river. Don't panic, you tell yourself. The people
in charge of this know what they are doing. They make sure that the
bridges stay standing. And if there were a problem, they would tell
us. Wouldn't they?

What if they didn't?

The death bridge was "structurally deficient," we now learn, and had a
rating of just 50 percent, the threshold for replacement. But no one
appears to have erred on the side of public safety. The errors were
all the other way.

Would you drive your kids or let your spouse drive over a bridge that
had a sign saying, "CAUTION: Fifty-Percent Bridge Ahead"?

No, you wouldn't. But there wasn't any warning on the Half Chance
Bridge. There was nothing that told you that you might be sitting in
your over-heated car, bumper to bumper, on a hot summer day, thinking
of dinner with your wife or of going to see the Twins game or taking
your kids for a walk to Dairy Queen later when, in a rumble and a
roar, the world you knew would pancake into the river.

There isn't any bigger metaphor for a society in trouble then a bridge
falling, its concrete lanes pointing brokenly at the sky, its crumpled
cars pointing down at the deep waters where people disappeared.

Only this isn't a metaphor.

The focus at the moment is on the lives lost and injured and the
heroic efforts of rescuers and first-responders - good Samaritans and
uniformed public servants. Minnesotans can be proud of themselves, and
of their emergency workers who answered the call. But when you have a
tragedy on this scale, it isn't just concrete and steel that has
failed us.

So far, we are told that it wasn't terrorists or tornados that brought
the bridge down. But those assurances are not reassuring.

They are troubling.

If it wasn't an act of God or the hand of hate, and it proves not to
be just a lousy accident - a girder mistakenly cut, a train that hit a
support - then we are left to conclude that it was worse than any of
those things, because it was more mundane and more insidious: This
death and destruction was the result of incompetence or indifference.

In a word, it was avoidable.

That means it should never have happened. And that means that public
anger will follow our sorrow as sure as night descended on the
missing.

For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly
that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It's been popular
with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that
Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase - the first in 20 years -
last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road
repair. And yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone
through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes
to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in
coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.

I'm not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty. The outrage here is not
partisan. It is general.

Both political parties have tried to govern on the cheap, and both
have dithered and dallied and spent public wealth on stadiums while
scrimping on the basics.

How ironic is it that tonight's scheduled groundbreaking for a new
Twins ballpark has been postponed? Even the stadium barkers realize it
is in poor taste to celebrate the spending of half a billion on
ballparks when your bridges are falling down. Perhaps this is a sign
of shame. If so, it is welcome. Shame is overdue.

At the federal level, the parsimony is worse, and so is the
negligence. A trillion spent in Iraq, while schools crumble, there
aren't enough cops on the street and bridges decay while our leaders
cross their fingers and ignore the rising chances of disaster.

And now, one has fallen, to our great sorrow, and people died losing a
gamble they didn't even know they had taken. They believed someone was
guarding the bridge.

We need a new slogan and we needed it yesterday:

"No More Collapses."
RENEGADE EYE

123 comments:

Daniel said...

Perhaps this bridge falling down will provide the catalyst that will awaken the American people from their nightmare, stir them into action.

The rest of the world can but hope!

Farmer John said...

Amy Goodman had a lot of fun with this article tonight on "Democracy Now"... but she focused more on the "privatization" of federal highways.

Renegade Eye said...

Farmer John: You listen to Amy Goodman's show? I think I would be a weaker person, if my blog was only leftist. I always wanted to be on O'Reilly to talk about Venezuela.

Daniel: You have no idea how surreal this event is. This was not some bridge in the middle of nowhere. Rescue divers claim they hear creaking sounds.

The Pagan Temple said...

This bridge collapse is indicative of America's lax attention to our infrastructure. At the same time, this one episode is so minor, it pales in comaprison with the disaster in New Orleans.

Ask yourself how many people as of now give any thought to the disasters visited on the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina.

What has been done as a result? If you answered, very little if anything, you would be correct. Just a lot of talk, and very little action.

Two months from now, this bridge collapse will be as distant a memory as the destruction of Pomepii, and will be seen as about as important to the lives of most people.

It's going to take a disaster of epic proportions to awaken Americans to the need to invest in our infrastructure, on all levels. If what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast couldn't do it, this piddling little bridge collapse certainly won't.

politiques USA said...

Americans should have already been angry when the twin towers collapsed, but they'll never wake up.

Slave Revolt said...

Will 'Americans' wake up?

Gimme a break--they will never wake up from the American Dream.

It's gotta be the crack.

As long as they will vote for politicans that will screw them in favor of the coporate oligarchy, incidents like this bridge, or New Orleans, ect. will be mere blips through which we catalouge our progression into ignomny and mediocrity.

Tina said...

No more collapses indeed.
As an Ohioan, CNN put a scary stat up this afternoon: There are 265 truss bridges in the US. Of those 265, Ohio has 190 of them.
Add to my fears this fact: My Hubby spends 5 days out of 7 on Pittsburgh's MANY bridges and then on several of Ohio's interstate bridges on his way back into Ohio.
MSNBC reported that PA and OH are 2 of the several states that have bridges that possess 10% damage on them and risk collapse.
The MN bridge that did collapse was listed at only have 4% damage.
Hubby was already kind of queasy when stuck in traffic on a few of those bridges. Now, he is pissing his pants and whiteknuckling the steering wheel.
Unfortunately for much of America, Katrina could be looked at as a problem that "bothered" and "inconvenienced" just a few thousands of folks.
But nearly every city/ area in the U.S. has a bridge that could collapse.

Bob said...

I don't see anything changing in this country because of a bridge collapsing. Granted, Minnesota may spend more money on its own infrastructure, but the majority of the country will go on business as usual.

Imagine what kind of infrastructure this country could have if we cut military spending altogether and used the money to improve the things that really matter in the "American way" of life.

nanc said...

collectively, our family spent two years in sunny minnie and i'll say this in all earnest - the then guv, jesse ventura, made sure that all the children in the state had FREE BREAKFAST EACH AND EVERY MORNING, but lost sight of the state of the roads...

there's something rotten in minnie - the lunches they served were nothing but garbage - sunny delight, fruit snacks, donuts, sugar cereal with one-percent milk and other non-nutricious milks.

each day, i'd awaken and feed my babies whole wheat toast and scrambled eggs w/whole milk or 100% orange juice - after several weeks, the children told me they didn't need me to fix breakfast because they got FREE breakfast at school! EVERYBODY QUALIFIED - THIS WAS NOT JUST FOR LOW INCOME PEOPLE!

we forbade them to eat the garbage they were trying to feed the children.

feed my babies nothing but processed sugar and then tell me or other parents we needed to have our children diagnosed for "ADHD" AND PUT THEM ON DRUGS - KISS MY ARSE!

so, you see - sometimes the puzzle is incomplete without the last piece.

hmmmmmmmmm...safe bridges or hyped up children on ritalin...let me think on that a minute...

socialism at its heights of delusion.

nanc said...

p.s. - ren?

did you know that you are a nitwit magnet?

have you EVER been desirous of other company?

jeeeeeeez, i knew by the age of three that my own family wasn't right.

nanc said...

what is your point pagan temple?

because i'm sure it's nothing a nice white cylindrical cap wouldn't cover.

Renegade Eye said...

Nanc: I really try to be precise. Minnesota liberalism is naked capitalism, not socialism. In Minneapolis often the Republican Party doesn't field candidates. MN is still part of the USA.

I agree it is criminal to give drugs to children, so casually.

I think if you get to know Pagan, you'd think differently of him. He is a moderate, I didn't think Pagan said anything outlandish. The bridge in MN is rated higher for safety, than several others. This probably will not amount to a wake up call.

My blog has been a networking place, along with Sonia's. Why don't Marxists come to my blog?

The Pagan Temple said...

Wow! All the hell I said was if the New Orleans disaster wouldn't wake Americans up, the bridge collapse in Minnesota wouldn't, and for that I must be in the Klan.

WHAT THE FUCK??????????

Here, let me rephrase it. Black people should rise up and kill all of us white honkeys.

There, is that better?

Not that I really believe that shit, mind you, just saying. Sheeesh.

Koya said...

thanks friend for signing the petition

I have just visited GoPetition.com and found the following page very interesting:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/protect-raoghat-hills-and-the-mystical-tribals-of-narainpur-in-bastar-district.html

Regards

Koya said...

I thought only in India building and bridges collapse and that forest are being cut and indigenous people being displaced but look its happening everywhere...

America is the leader of the bourgeosie...

Dave Marlow said...

Off topic, but I just thought I'd let you know that I sent a link for you to read "Federal Socialism". If you have time, I'm interested to see what you think.

politiques USA said...

4 years ago I had read an alarming report about the infrastructures in the US: not enough money was spent on to maintain basic structures. These things happen all over the world: in the US, in France (Paris airport roof collapsed 1 year ago) and in Canada when a bridge collapsed recently killing a few people, all of that because no money is invested to really take care of these renovations. I think we should blame the system, since everything broke down under Reagan (tax system), it would have probably happened in a socialist system as well although they are more aware of collective state property.

So now we have to work without health care insurance, we have to drive without bridge or be sure that a bridge ain't gonna collapse while driving. What's next?

politiques USA said...

It's going to make it harder on Ben Laden to attack the USA since infrastructures keep collapsing:
link here

frolix22 said...

Prior to Hurricane Katrina I would have held out hope that a single major incident could bring the public to recognise the perfidy of the system generally and of the Bush administration in particular. But Katrina did not do it and, while a terrible disaster undoubtedly, this bridge collapse is nothing like the same scale.

Farmer John said...

I only listen to Amy if I happen to be in my car at 6pm. She's much more entertaining then NPR and occasionally she makes some good points. Like this particuler show... the Feds are selling the nations interstate highways and tollways to foreign companies... case in point, the recent attempts to sell the Jersey Turnpike.

This "infrastructure" problem is going to get much worse, before it gets any better. Can you imagine "corporations" making these safety and maintenance decisions?

politiques USA said...

It might be low death toll for sure but it's no different than terrorism when it comes to public safety.

Farmer John said...

The SCOTUS is always stretching the "commerce clause to justify government interference in state decisions and affairs... but apparently the federal government have begun ceding their responsibilities for regulating and ensuring the safety of interstate commerce to foreign corporations.

politiques USA said...

And this is not an isolated incident:

- One bridge in East Chicago killed 12 construction worked in 1982.
- In 1980, a freighter rammed into this Tampa, Fla. steel cantilever bridge. A large segment of the bridge, along with a Greyhound bus and six cars, plummeted into Tampa Bay, killing 35 people.
- In 1983, a 100-foot section of the Mianis River Bridge in Connecticut, a part of I-95, plunged 70 feet into the water. The failure of crucial holding pins was blamed for the collapse that caused three deaths.
- The Silver Bridge connecting West Virginia and Ohio gave way during rush hour and tumbled into the Ohio River, killing 46 people. The cause was eventually determined to be corrosion.


Steel corrosion on bridges is still a major concern. Infrastructure experts worry that thousands of American bridges are dangerously outdated and overburdened. In 2006, approximately one-fifth of interstate bridges were rated as deficient, either structurally deficient or obsolete.

Overall, one-quarter of all bridges in the U.S. are considered structurally deficient, and 80,000 bridges across the country need some sort of reconstruction or rebuilding.


Other recent bridge collapses include:

# July 31, 2007: A highway overpass under construction in Oroville, Calif., collapses, crushing a delivery truck and seriously injuring a construction worker who fell 50 feet.

# April 2007: A section of freeway that funnels traffic off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapses after a gasoline tanker truck overturns and erupts into flames. Only the truck driver is injured.

# September 2006: A bridge collapse in Quebec, Canada, kills five people.

# November 2005: A section of a highway bridge under construction in southern Spain collapses, killing six people.

# May 2003: A tractor-trailer slams into a bridge support on Interstate 80 in western Nebraska, sending the bridge crashing down onto the truck and killing the driver.

# May 2002: A 500-foot section of a bridge spanning the Arkansas River in Webbers Falls, Okla., collapses and kills 14 people after a barge hits it.

# July, August 2002: Two bridges in central China collapse, killing a combined 19 people.

# September 2001: The Queen Isabella Causeway in Texas collapses after a tow boat captain loses control of a string of barges and currents drive them into a bridge support. Eight people die when their vehicles plummet 85 feet into the channel.

# March 2001: A bridge collapse in Lisbon, Portugal, causes a tour bus to plunge into a river, killing more than 50 people.

# June 1998: A train traveling from Munich to Hamburg derails in Hanover, Germany, leading to the deaths of 101 people. Sections of the train flip off the tracks, causing the overpass to collapse.

# April 5, 1987: A bridge on the New York State Thruway near Amsterdam, N.Y., gives way, killing 10 people.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/02/earlyshow/main3126226.shtml

Farmer John said...

Kinda like the "port scandal" of a year or so ago.

politiques USA said...

Too many bad things to say about SCOTUS...

politiques USA said...

PS: the estimated cost to repair all the infrastructures in the US is 1.6 trillion dollars. It's enough money to freeze the DOD's budget for 2 years. It's always the same thing: there is always money to go to war, but nothing when it comes to all these cherrished things in the US, nothing for Americans on the land of freedom. If the US cannot take care of Americans, how do you want them to take care of Iraqis then?
...etc

troutsky said...

Im BAAAAACK. There is this interesting little law of thermodynamics called entropy.We look at our modern structures as impervious monuments toscience and engineering but everything breaks.

Slave Revolt said...

Troutsky, you are so right, everything breaks--empires inevitably fall, populations experience mass death from ecological disasters, hurricanes flatten the landscape along the coasts, sea-levels rise and fall.

This gives me hope.

The ruling classes always try to concretize the status quo--it cannot get any better, this is the best of all possible worlds, blah, blah, blah. The middle class sheep take solace in these assurances offered up by the paid corporate hacks and half-assed pundits.

The kids of the working class and the poor are sent to fight the imperial wars--while the empire's paid whores police the parameters of acceptable thought.

Ren---don't put too much pride in the fact that your blog attracts an inordinant amount of brain-washed, anti-democratic stoodges. Many of the people you buddy-up with are big time apologists for war crimes and myriad civilian deaths.

The liberal accomadationist is so full of bad-faith--strive to be different Ren.

Indeed, there is a very entrenched parasitical classs that merely repeats (or 'bleats') the common-wisdom of the captialist masters. The pathological trajectory cranks forward, toward nuclear and ecological disaster.

The huddled sheep have had their critical faculties dulled by the repetative din of 24/7 corporate propaganda--incapable of altering the collective inertia of the nation build on the quicksand of submerged history.

artie said...

I guess the biggest surprise for me is that such a horrible thing would happen in Minneapolis. I've always considered it to be a progressive, can-do city full of problem solvers.

It sounds like we're all stuck in the same muck: an American Dream mired in a level of misery/comfort/misery and priviledge that likely won't change until something truly awful happens. We're all just waiting. It'll be something that transcends party lines and local politics - an epidemic or natural disaster on a Hollywood/Science fiction scale. I hope I'm wrong.

My anthropologist friends say it would be easier to take over a foreign country than to fix the United States.

politiques USA said...

As good as it gets:

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday that three major insurers are not responsible for flood damages in New Orleans -- even if "negligence" caused flooding that inundated the city during 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina pounded the low-lying port city with powerful winds and a storm surge that breached levees constructed to protect from surrounding waters.

The flooding that followed cost billions in damages and hundreds of lives in August and early September that year.

Residents of the area, along with Xavier University, sued property insurers Allstate Corp, Travelers Cos Inc and mutual insurer State Farm.

Residential property insurance policies exclude flood coverage, which is provided under a federal program. But the plaintiffs said that, because the negligent design, construction and maintenance of the levees was responsible for the breaks, the insurers should pay claims on their homes and property.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, however, ruled the insurers' contracts were valid. Even if the construction of the levees was faulty, the resulting floods were excluded from coverage, the court said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN0226883620070802

politiques USA said...

What's the percentage of Americans that sign papers without reading them? I've seen many times Americans buying houses without even reading the documents (as a notary guy) but they still sign 120 pages' document because their want their loan for the house. Then the following year, ARM's go up, and they can't afford to pay anymore and they go bankrupt.
In Vegas we are often number 1. Number 1 in crimes, rapes and bankruptcy cases now. The system is screwed up, and The People need to do something about it, not the lawmakers.

Renegade Eye said...

Today I went to the site. In person and up close, it's really moving.

There were some nearby with 9/11 Truth signs. Those people scare me. They remind me of creationists, in that they believe progress comes in a straight, point A to point B line. I want to post about that subject.

Slave Revolt: I don't ask much on this blog. Don't get personal, troll or spam. The value of having opposing view I believe is three things. A) You get exposed to arguments you can't find amongst your own. B) It toughens you. C) It makes a good read. I have a hard time finding Marxists, who'll comment.

Troutsky:It's great you're back. You were missed.

Politiques: Thank you for the research.

Dave: I'll try to read your essay.

Koya: Not only in India, do bridges crack.

Tina: Thank you for sharing your story,

Bob: Great you visited again.

Frolix: I'm not from the school, that catastrophe sparks the masses. I think groups, with a history of some wins, can be more motivated.

Farmer: I agree with what you said, except it doesn't matter if a company is foreign or not.

Slave Revolt said...

Well, if you want to develop an interesting blog, then the first rule is not to censor or ban comments.

OW's is one of the few blogs that vociferously follows this dictum. The play of discourse is not stifled. One persons 'trolling' is another person's communication.

Unfortunately most people try to control of the flow of discourse--and this always has disasterous results.

There are exceptions to this general rule (e.g. computer-generated spam attacks), but it is a pretty good ethos to blog by.

I saw some your comments at Jungle Mom's blog. Given that she slandered me, distorted my comments, and decontextualized my discourse, your assurance to her that you 'talked to me' was rather off-putting, I would even say obsequious and ignoble.

This is a person that has no problem snuffing out tens of thousands of 'heathens' in the name of empire building. Sick shit, no matter how a liberal would try to parse it.

No, Slave here is not interested in ingratiating himself to those that openly and hyprocritcally take the side of massa. Fuck that.

A revolutionary rises above boot-licking the fascist fanatics of our day. The revolution is lived--not talked about in blogs.

Check your weapons, stoke the fire, ride!

you are living in the times of slave revolt.

Slave Revolt said...

Ren said (on another blog, over one year ago): " was for the invasion. I would have been more critical, if I knew Bush and the Pentagon, discarded contingency plans, for after the invasion."

Wow, your level of ethics is pretty questionable.

The US had a history of propping up Saddam, forcing child-killing sanctions on the Iraqi people, and bombing the country regularly (killing women and children)--and you supported the invasion?!

Now I know that I am engaging communication with someone that has a record of supporting crimes of agression. Whatever delusions you entertain to justify the imperial violence that you support is inconsequential--to the children maimed for life from the actions that you have endorsed.

Pretty ignoble and slimy--but typically "American".

Now I can understand why you have a difficult time getting the dreaded 'marxists' to comment on your blog.

Renegade Eye said...

Slave Revolt: I deleted from my blog, some things she said about you, that were out of line, and frankly dangerous.

She even for awhile thought I was Slave Revolt.

I really only had serious problems with one person on this blog, in its whole history.

I did what I did, to appease her, and protect you. She is out to hurt you. She is not shy to post what she thinks is your real name, and what city she thinks you're from.

I agree with you about Oil Wars.

In a rotten way, I was protecting you.

I have several posts planned, that will be polarizing. That will put this blog to the test.

I visit blogs from all over the world, I would say only a quarter percent right.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-don't change your blog for anybody, be yourself. It's your blog, run it the way you want, but I hope you keep it as it is.

Don't shut out anybody, because people from all walks of life need to be exposed to all realms of political thought, including yours.

Remember also, trolls come wrapped in many different cloaks of political persuasion, but they are all cut from the same cloth.

"Death To The (Trolls) As A Class"

Renegade Eye said...

I wasn't an activist or politically involved when started this blog.

My politics changed, like a lightning bolt. If you go back in my blog, you'll find I changed my politics drastically. I used to be a follower of Christopher Hitchens,

Renegade Eye said...

Slave Revolt: Who did I ban? I only have one person who less than welcome, in all of the years of my blog.

roman said...

Politicians only like to build new things. Ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking ceremonies are such great photo-ops. Maintaining and improving infrastructure? BORING! Seriously, heads should roll. These guys were RE-PAVING a bridge that was ready to fall down?! What's that all about? Also, what does this author have against that great American patriot, Daniel Boone? His comment about "wingnuts in coonskin caps" is way out of line :) Sorry, couldn't let that go.

Slave Revolt said...

Ren, please don't delete anything posted about me in your blog. Please don't do it for my sake. I can take the adolescent assults from the book-lickers for empire.


"I used to be a follower of Christopher Hitchens"

LOL

Geez, I guess 'road to Damascus' conversions are, sometimes, part of the human experience.

Let me make clear that this invasion, the 'shock and awe' campaign, severely maimed an Iraqi boy that I have become very close to these past four years. He has no arms and no legs, with burns over half his body.

Reallly, the fanaticism that supports this imperialist invasion/occupation in on par with Nazi Germany. This is not hyperbole to my friend--the young man that you ethical slugs would rather forget about.


But, anyone that justifies or supports criminal agression give me the creeps--especially the people that quote Neitzsche in a facil manner and glorify war and death toward the goal of imperial domination.

Imperial soldiers are not glorious--they are chump-tools for criminal mafia nations. They are rightly resisted and put down.

Mad Zionist said...

I agree that spreading terrorist ideology by conquest is really just awful. However, kicking the sh-t out of some nasty islamo-terrorist state that really has it coming to them is not only fun for the whole family, but also tastes great AND is less filling, too.

Liberal White Boy said...

Slave Revolt

I think you you need to relax. Many of us here have strong opinions. I'm interested in hearing yours. It seems like RE has dealt with this jungle mom thing in a reasonable way. I've already expressed that that situation seemed goofy. RE provides a reasonabe forum for us to express our views without limitation or censorship. You are free to disagree with him, even strongly, but you must show him a certain level of respect. I demand that, as I think most others that comment here.

Liberal White Boy said...

Oh damn it I almost forgot. Mad Zionist you can go f__k yourself.

Renegade Eye said...

Slave Revolt: I was wrong about Iraq. I believed the Iraqi left, supported the invasion. It was a position I came to, after years of not being involved. My blog shows my political evolution good and bad.

I couldn't keep up on my blog, someone posting your real name, hometown and a legal threat. That is trouble nobody needs. That tells me you're dealing with a dangerous person.

Roman: I visited the bridge today. It really seemed surreal. This bridge carried >100,000 cars daily.

Mad Zionist: I don't think the Iraq war, is a joking matter.

LWB: Thank you.

Renegade Eye said...

This post about the bridge, is a rare post, with little debate. What happened in Minneapolis, is a nightmare, that is universal.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

I wonder what a graphical comparison of all the deteriorating bridges in America corrollated against the political party in charge of their upkeep at the local level throughout their existence would look like.

We might actually get a ballpark figure on how long it takes a Democrat to turn urban structures into shit.

Renegade Eye said...

It's both parties. The GOP is more new roads oriented.

That particular bridge had problems noted since atleast 1998. The engineers erred against safety.

In Minneapolis, the city government is Democrat, and the governor is GOP.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

As it is in most big cities in flyover country.

How many plots of vacant and condemned houses are in Republican vs. Democrat dominated cities, at any size range?

Crap breeds crap.

Mad Zionist said...

I still say the bridge never would have collapsed if not for the wretched moslem cab drivers refusing to pick up undesirable infidel fares at the Minneapolis airport.

Ren, call me biased, but I consider myself to be hilarious. Now, let me tell you the one about the deported moslem...It's a knee slapper!

Wait, no, here's a belly buster about radioactive Arabian quartz...
I'm hot today!!

Farmer John said...

Slave Revolt.

Stop fucking with jungle mom. Your attempts to "shout down" your opponents at their own blogs and then cry "censorship" are pathetic.

Go fuck yourself, you pathetic little asshole.

So much for civility. Either practice it, or get FUCKED! And deservedly so. Quid pro quo.

Farmer John said...

If your looking for a "dangerous person" to fuck with, come fuck with me. I'll teach you the meaning of the word "dangerous".

Renegade Eye said...

MZ: Your total world outlook, is out of touch, with actually even Israel's view.

I'm against Islamic cabbies, refusing to carry alcohol, in addition I'm against pharmacists not dispensing birth control.

I'm disappointed in the snipes you throw out. Start showing more class.

Farmer: I'm sure Slave revolt will answer you. After that enough is enough.

Farmer John said...

I've got no complaints against you, renegade eye. You've always been more than civil. But idiots that go after women and children are beyond the pale, no matter how much within their "rights" they may wish to appear to be.

Jungle mom's "crime" is to speak her mind and about her experiences living in Venezuela for the past 20 years. Slave revolt doesn't like what she has to say. He wants her to be silent.

I lived in Venezuela for 4 years. I like hearing what she has to say. If anyone should be "silent", it is those who KNOW NOTHING from experience about the political situation in Venezuela.

Farmer John said...

...and a lifetime devoted to missionary work does not deserve this...

This is a person that has no problem snuffing out tens of thousands of 'heathens' in the name of empire building. Sick shit, no matter how a liberal would try to parse it.

She and her husband saved more "heathen lives" than words just uttered by slave revolt in LIBELLING her.

Slave Revolt said...

Ren, any Iraq 'left' with credibility did not support this invasion. Your generalization here is way, way, off th mark.

Stop making excuses--as an impressionable and not very politically astute person, you backed the general insane nationalism and the notion that might makes right in the case of Iraq.

It was entirely predictable that thousands of innocent women and children would be maimed through this illegal invasion.

Own it--deal with the ethical retardation that you embraced.

My friend, Amil, who now has no arms and legs, and no parents, deserves you smelling your own shit. He will never get his body whole again--but you can help heal this situation.

Let's start a movement in the US where we raise taxes to pay reparations to the Iraqi people after we take out ALL the troups.

Farmer John--your sinful slime speaks for itself. The ignoble causes that you valorize only impress the goose steppers.

You don't give examples of my 'harrasement' of the deluded relgious fanatic Jungle Mom. And then you resort to violent threats. Me and Amil are soo scared! No, I don't need to reciprocate in kind because you appear as what you are to any person with a modicum of responsiblity and ethics.

Now, enough with these ad hominem attacks. I criticize Ren based on his behavior. Notice that I don't provide an inauthentic balm for his past embrace of criminal state agression and terror. Note that I don't threaten physical violence (which I note that Ren doesn't rebuke his 'homies' for engaging.)

On another point. Ren, don't worry about people posting my name or address--inasmuch as this information is likely incorrect. More, this behavior says more about the criminal proclivities of the would-be internet terrorist than it does about me by any stretch of the imagaination.

The fact that you attract such a character of 'friends' to your website (with some inauthentic nation of liberal multiculturalism) should give you pause. Don't coddle a fasicist thug--because they will destroy anything decent that they touch with their pedophilic and necrophilic inclinations.

By all means, let the apologists for US state terror post here--but that is not the same as trying to be their buddy. That type of behavior is smarmy--if 'justice' in human affairs is to be anything other than a mere utopian abstraction.

Farmer John said...

an excerpt from jungle mom's blog...

TEARS! How many caskets have we built? I remember one baby we were hand feeding , drop by drop as we could not get in an IV. We were unable to fly our plane out due to government problems and red tape. We called for the health department planes, but they were BUSY flying assembly members to Angel Falls for a vacation. When the baby died, my husband built the tiny casket. Jewel lined it with a blue gingham material and Jayde sang Jesus Loves Me in Ye'kwana at the funeral.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John,

The historical record with respect to the cultural genocide that 'Chrisitan' missionaries have engaged is well documented. I suggest you read up on the matter--a good place to start is the book "Darkness in El Dorado" by Patrick Tierney. While this book covers the behavior of US anthropologists in the region, it does implicate these deluded 'missionaries' as being morally culpable.

JM's lies and distortions make a mockery of Chrisitanity. As well, her apologetics with respect to US state terror in Iraq is simply sickening. She is working for the bad guys--and this includes Satan, to use a religous metaphor.

But, that is all good. Far better to have people like JM boldly illustrating their imperialist and violent inclinations.

Farmer John, while I find you repugnant, please try to argue concepts and policies--your thuggish threats not move the conversation forward. And isn't this 'the point' of engaging in a blog discussion. Or is it just a bastardization of such a notion?--a place for you to vent infantile insults.

My discourse might be harsh--but I try to argue concepts and ideas. If you want to debate in a civil manner I am willing to oblige--but if you intend to displace your interalized angst with respect to supporting your cultures myriad pathologies, go to an S & M parlor and get your kicks.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John--what is the point with exerpting JM's inauthentic posturing as a 'savior' to these indigenous peoples.

Leave the indigenous peoples alone--the did just fine before the Europeans colonizers became parasites in the "New World".

This reminds me of the crap that the US military likes to post about how they are 'helping' the poor Iraqis--that they are so noble and 'good'. Any cursory look at the historical record will show all this is so much bad faith posturing.

Read your Nietzsche dude! LOL

Slave Revolt said...

Everyone sing:

Jesus loves me,
this I know,
because the bible
tells me so (hmm, books talk? wtf!)

Little ones he loves
the best.....(and so on, and so on)

This song would make a nice musical montage with scenes of conquistators slashing heads and the US miliary high-fiving while carpet bombing
'terrorist' enclaves (aka, as Iraqi neighborhoods)

Farmer John said...

I see no purpose to be served in arguing with you, slave revolt. You are obviously at a place that is "beyond" the reach of reason.

Just know that if you continue harassing jungle mom, I will go to that very same place.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John, I reject your slander that I am 'harrassing' Jungle Mom--just as I reject your designation 'terrorist' with respect to anyone righteously defending themselves against occupation armies. Or your attribution of 'terrorist' to anyone that calls you on your putrid apologetics for imperialist agression.

But, hey, when you have the corporate media on your side, I guess you can be pretty fast and loose with 'facts' and not be called on it.

No, I reject your slander--but it does point up the poverty of your ethics and thinkng.

Your threats of violence are typical of those aligned with agressive mafias. That you don't fight in the violence that you glorify speaks volumns. Nothing noble or 'ubermensch' about that type of behavior. LOL

Farmer John said...

for the record - I accept NONE of your premises. NONE. If you could provide one single example of anything "better" EVER having been done in the interest of saving lives than what jungle mom did, I'd love to discuss it.

Farmer John said...

ps - I don't accept your designations of "terrorists" either. My definition is at my blog. It's "you".

Slave Revolt said...

Well, Farmer John, the best thing that war-mongering Europeans can do for the world's indigenous peoples is to leave them the fuck alone.

If these nations admited and truely internalized a sense of shame for their past crimes, then that would be a decent turning point--then these parasitic, ecologically pathological cultures might just be humble enough to learn from indigenous peoples of the world.

But there is a very strong pathology that runs in European cultures that humankind is incapable of developing healthy, peaceful, and sustainable modes of living. The people that internalize this belief advance the 'death-drive'--this is based in self-hatred, and hatred of humankind. The most diseased displays of this are evident in the lust for violence that is so prevelent in US society--the 'nuke'm all and let God sort it out' mentality. This ideology is rooted in deep despair and a sickly pessimism. Incapable of reflecting or altering these beliefs, many advocates of domination and illegitimate heirarchies (race, class, gender) turn to dogmatic religious ideologies for solace. But their inauthenticity always comes to the forefront--like cheering the carpet bombing and Jesus in the same breath. These contradictions are not reflected upon, and these people are caught in the mire of pathological thinking. When this thinking becomes dominant, you can be assured that the pathologies will be increased to the point of massive catastrophe.

Such is the situation with the US at this juncture.

Seems pretty basic to me. But first the diseased Western cultures would have to admit that they have deep pathologies that need to be addressed.

Unfortunately they will likely wreck much more havoc on the world before they/you are open to any type of deep wisdom.

Indigenous cultures have engaged in destructive, imperialist, and ecologically destructive practices as well--but nowhere near the same degree as European cultures. This is especially evident in the oligarchic and imperialist grand nations that became powerful in various regions of the world.

Just like Western cultures--the imperialist indigenous nations coddled a corrupt, lazy oligarchy and associated preisthood. Various, non-conquored, small tribes of indigenous people are some of the healthiest in the entire world--but as Tierney's book, "Darkness in El Dorado" illustrates so cogently, when diseased, imperialist nations and their apologists/adjuncts pollute the integrity of these cultures, destruction and disease soon follow.

Psychic and cultural health are necessary for human survival. But some people are so tangled in the grip of the pathological death-drive that they cannot begin to fathom what a healthy, sustainable, free society would entail. They reject such a possibility outright. The best they can do is rally round the status quo, and engage in dogmatic delusions.

The stakes are high--and the responsiblity is ours if we are to develop a sustainable, healthy world for future generations.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John, I adhere to the standard definition of the term 'terrorist'--as someone that kills innocent civilians to further their geopolitical, economic, or cultural goals.

If you call me a 'terrorist'--at least have the balls to state my blog-name on your website. To not do so is pretty lame.

I will say that you support 'state terror' in your deluded nationalism--however, as I don't have any evidence of you personally engaging terror, I would not call you a 'terrorist'.

Terrorism is a tactic--and Slave here does not advocate harming innocent civilians to further his goals, not in any way, shape, or form.

Instead of calling me 'terrorist'--why not try to argue my ideas. I am not shy about arguing ideas--and if you present a set of compelling arguments, I am not adverse to changing my opinion on matters.

the truth is out there ;)

Farmer John said...

Why be specific when the general will do? Unless you want to fess up to all your psuedonyms here and now, I have no need to "name names" that allow you to escape under some new pseudonym.

And so far, the only "idea" you wish to discuss seems is that the west is uniquely rotten and indigenous peoples and cultures are uniquely "better". And I don't buy the premise, no matter how many stale accusations you care to sling.

So try picking a positive idea to discuss for a change. Like improving bridges and infrastructure. Or are your abilities limited to the "crtitical", and not the "constructive".

As for your not wishing harm on "innocents", that's a outright lie. You are, after all, a terrist. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Farmer John said...

Terrist/terrorist - A will to power without ability.

Nietzsche called them "zeroes". If you seek power... seek zeroes.

Slave Revolt said...

Wow, Farmer John, calling me a 'terrorist'--very constructive. Are you watching too much Fox News? Just asking...

FJ said: "And so far, the only "idea" you wish to discuss seems is that the west is uniquely rotten and indigenous peoples and cultures are uniquely "better"

You should learn to be a better reader. I pointed up the mal-effects of imperialism across all cultures. But, yes, I do indeed view human societies that display patterns that further ecological sustainability as superior to cultures that denude our precious ecological systems. So sue me. LOL

If I did not care for all life on the planet, and all peoples, I would not bother to be critical. Slavishly apologizing for a corrupt, ecological diseased status quo just displays cynical political opprotunism--and this is rewarded in the pragmatics of everyday life in US society.

Similarly, it was pragmatic in past US history to convey the notion that people of African anscestory (indigenous peoples) were genetically inferior to Europeans, and that they deserved to be enslaved. To say otherwise was to be considered a heretic, a race-traitor, etc.

I view the issues of imperialism and sustainability in the same vain: if we are capable of surviving, future generations will look back to the people advocating ecological sustainablity as quinessentially sane. The Limbaughs, O'Reilly's, and the other corporate toadies will be seen for what they are: diseased, alientated opprotunists.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq is a crime of agression. As the corporate oligarchy in the US are incapable of seeing as much, you can be assured that the superpower status of the US will soon come crashing down as the country becomes ever more isolated and ideologically deluded. God forbid that these fanatics kill hundreds of thousands of more innocent civilians in their quest to dominate the entire world.

I have enough love for my own culture and the people of the US and the world not to coddle and apologize for diseased, criminal behavior.

In a sane society i would be respected and supported--but whoever said that the US is, or ever was, a sane society?

Slave Revolt said...

FJ said: "So try picking a positive idea to discuss for a change. Like improving bridges and infrastructure. Or are your abilities limited to the "crtitical", and not the "constructive"

Good point FJ: my idea would be to engage a massive civil engineering corps. This would be funded by disengaging from Iraq and devoting our national(ist) engergies toward improving our nation's infrastructure, ecological restoration. This would be a massive decade's long private/public endeavor.

This would involve improving our educational infrastructure--training hands-on engineers, ecologists, trades-people, etc.

More, such an endeavor would focus our collective energies on postive goals, provide good paying jobs, and challenge the general public.

Let's not settle for being mere 'consumers'; let's not settle for the 'green pastures' type of mediocrity that afflicts so much of our cowed, herded society.

Is that better Farmer John? Now we can listen to our corporate media pundits tell us why this is a quixotic idea--and how we cannot possible develop to a higher level of social justice and behavior as a society.

Farmer John said...

Why not simply issue bonds? That's how the feds fund everything else. The war is going nowhere. Why wait?

There are also plenty of people in the country that already know how to build bridges and roads. Why do we need another specially trained government cadre?

Just put the existing people to work.

Farmer John said...

Oh, and perhaps they should ship all the illegals who normally work on road projects back to Mexico and Central America? They'd be more higher paying road construction jobs going to needy citizens if that happened.

Farmer John said...

You want "social justice"? Let's round up ALL the illegals and ship them back to their countries of origin, not just the road workers.

Farmer John said...

I'll bet wages would go up all around the country if that ever happened... and the House and Senate wouldn't even have to pass a single bill. They'd just have to enforce all the current laws they're refusing to enforce!

What, the federal government isn't doing its' job? Do you think they'd do any better maintaining the nation's bridges and infrastructure?

Farmer John said...

btw - I'm all for government oversight and funding of these projects. I'm just NOT for government overseeing or auditting themselves performing these projects. Nor am I for private companies overseeing themselves.

I like the current system. It's the "funding" bureaucracies that need a kick in the pants. This bridge in Minnesota was on the critical repair list for decades. It was an accident "waiting to happen".

Farmer John said...

Perhaps we need to mandate that gasoline taxes, licensing and registration fees and toll revenues all be used to maintain said transportation infrastructures, instead of being dumped into some "general fund" and allowed to be spent finance medical care for the children of illegal aliens.

Farmer John said...

Maybe the transportation system needs to be self-finanicing in some manner that prevents the diversion of resources to either wars or new social programs.

Slave Revolt said...

pqFJ--while our inner cities are in perpetual decay, with the Iraq malaise, I am presenting an idea to invigorate the national ethos, to futher a sense of common purpose.

Issuing bonds is one method, but one that is entirely insufficient to reinvigorate the nation's sense of collective purpose.

I base these sentiments on the notion that the US plutocracy has run out of ideas--the best they can promote is tax cuts for the rich and austerity for the permanent underclass.

The US is a generalized funk--and this points up the limits of consumerist capitalism, corrupted sports, and mind-numbingly inane entertainment.

We have massive problems that simply issuing 'bonds' will not address.

There is a general poverty of ideas in this nation.

About the illegals. This is a complicated issue--especially since many of these people have an indigenous heritage that has more legitimacy here in the US than do the anglo gringos.

That said, all nations need to regulate their borders--or they stop being nations.

The rulign elites allow a significant amount of illegal labor here in the US as a way of promoting downward pressure on wages for the working class--while they off-shore jobs that were once steady sources of middle class incomes.

I have no problem with tripling the wages for tomato pickers, carpeters, day-laborers.

The solution to this current problem should be multifold. And a central tenent would be to provide a way toward legalized work status on the part of people who have been engaged in low-paid, intensive labor in the US for decades.

I won't mention the number of upper middle class wasps that I encounter that are totally hypocritical: they disparage 'wetbacks' while they hire the low-bidder companies that pay povety wages to workers that they can super exploit because of their illegal status.

Same goes with road contracts, construction, etc.


Firms hiring US citizens willing to engage in intensive labor for wages that they can raise a family on are priced out of the market--for the most part.

A mistake is to focus totally on the illegals--and not on the larger 'market' forces that have made the phenomenon ubiquitous.

This issue is even further complicated by the diminished work-ethic of native US citiizens. One can find legal people that will work hard--but they will not stay in a labor intensive, skilled job for poverty wages, nor should they.

Few and far between are the contractors that will suffer the market forces long enough to remain economically viable in this type of dynamic.

Farmer John said...

But given how everything is "debt financed" and there is no limit to the amount of debt incurred... how could this disaster have been allowed to happen?

sonia said...

Predictable response.

When that bridge collapsed, I immediately knew that within a week...

1. A religious fundamentalist would claim that the bridge collapsed because of sodomy and debauchery in America.

2. A leftist would claim that the money needed to fix the bridge was spent on the Iraq War instead.

3. A right-wing Republican would claim that the money needed to fix the bridge was spent on ear-marked pet projects and pork-barrel programs.

Nick Coleman and John McCain took care of #2 and #3. I am only waiting for a religious nut and I'll hit a trifecta.

Farmer John said...

I have no problem with tripling the wages for tomato pickers, carpeters, day-laborers.

Fine. Then reduce the supply. It's real simple.

Farmer John said...

Or find a way to triple their productivity.

Slave Revolt said...

FJ said: "btw - I'm all for government oversight and funding of these projects. I'm just NOT for government overseeing or auditting themselves performing these projects. Nor am I for private companies overseeing themselves.

I like the current system. It's the "funding" bureaucracies that need a kick in the pants. This bridge in Minnesota was on the critical repair list for decades. It was an accident "waiting to happen".

FJ, I generally agree with your sentiments here.

I simply think that we can engage massive public works by incorporating public/private cooperation.

However, this would need to be engaged in a way that is vastly different from the pork-barrell politics of the past.

There can be a civilian corps of engineers that engage oversight and project feasability studies.

What about engaging a massive public transportation system of high-speed rail.

God knows that I would travel much more if I did not have to drive as much as these trips entail.

Youth hostels, re-vitalizing our national parks, ecological restoration. There are myriad examples of how we could improve the general national ethos. But, hey, the bottom-line is that most of the people with economic power would vociferously resist any such endeavors.

Without a revitalized national ethos, I don't hold out much hope that we can remain strong as a nation.

I simply don't see inspiring ideas coming from a political and corporate class that really fears an authentically engaged population. Plutocracy has gained power to the point that our democratic horizons to make the necessary, healthy changes are declining.

Farmer John said...

Unfortunately, any argument for an improvement in the national ethos is an argument that the United States adopt a national religion or ideal (that involves "sacrificing" our own personal wants and needs to some truly greater "common cause").

And I think most of us would agree, that this is a practical non-starter. It requires a "belief" in something. And spending your days slamming the USA and its' history is doing NOTHING to help foster any "belief" except hopelessness.

Farmer John said...

And simply switching to "new" infrastructure projects like rail, without dimantling the old (automobile), merely "doubles" the infrastructure load and cost.

Farmer John said...

...and I don't think this country suffers from a paucity of ideas. We probably have more ideals and idealists then anywhere else on earth.

They just never get on the same page. There's too much "competition" and perhaps some well deserved timidity in attempting to implement new ideas.

If someone tries and fails, they receive a public scourging. Just look at what happened to Bush and the Neocons.

This doesn't foster a spirit of trial and error.

Slave Revolt said...

FJ, I disagree. I believe that admitting moral responsibility for past criminal actions is the starting point toward healing.

Certainly, promoting self-serving illusions promotes a deep level of cynisim among the general population.

What this project would need, however, is a political figure that is respected by the majority of the masses. The current situation is not ripe for such an individual to arise and advance over the army of cynical pundits--the people that see the masses as stupid, expendable chattle.

Individualistic profit motives can only take a society so far--before an end point is reached where consumerism fails to be a stable, organizing ideology. Promoting mindless nationalism and a general fear of dissent (against imperialist endeavors that only benefit the oligarchs) has been a disaster.

But I think that we can both agree that national purpose is important for our ability to deal with the many challenges that we face at this time--and we can both agree that Reps and Dems don't have the personalities or the programs that can shift the current course.

Unfortunately, when the inertia becomes so overwhelming, then the crisis point will be necessary before people are humbled enough to consider alternatives.

In this situation, the best that one can do is engage meaningful, healthy endeavors on the community level and/or align oneself with global efforts that are in-tuned with one's particular system of belief.

Social change is as close to home as planting a tree, or becoming invovled in your local school, helping kids get off to a strong start.

politiques USA said...

Nothing wrong to be an idealist, and everything goes wrong when people start taking their dream for reality.

Farmer John said...

Imperialism - Do you think Osama's bin Laden's adventure in Afghanistan is a form of "imperialism"? Islam's stated desire to establish a greater "caliphate"?

Ecological Sustainability - Do you believe that the USA has exceeded its' limits of ecological sustainability? Canada?

Slave Revolt said...

Well Farmer John, an area that we disagree on fundamentals appears to be Bush and the neocon invasion of Iraq.

To me, based on US policies over the decades, the invasion was not an idealistic effort to spread democracy and nation build--it was and is an attempt to consolidate control over Iraq's vast untapped oil reserves in front of the increasing power of China and European competitors.

The fact that the US helped prop up Saddam for decades, while he engaged his most criminal actions, shows me that the pious rhetoric about building democracy in Iraq was simply propaganda intended to garner domestic support for this imperialism.

The recent Iraq oil law shows the imperial intent behind the continued occupation.

Chalmers Johnson is pretty astute with his observations that we cannot remain a nominally democratic republic AND be maintain imperial asperations at the same time.

However, in the end, the example of my friend Amil, a boy with no arms and no legs, with burns over his groin and the majority of his body--well, this summerized the moral decadence the the prospects of sucess from this Iraq invasion and occupation.

This might seem like moralistic grandstanding to the cynics--but I haven't found one person that can look this young boy in the eye and explain to him that 'shit happens' in the quest for freedom.

More, I haven't read any discussion of how US tax dollars are going to be set aside to help people like Amil, people that will need 24 hour care for life because of the US decision to invade Iraq. For that matter the victims of this 'liberation' do not exist in the 'Leftwing' US msm.

I'd like to see a poll where people agree with or oppose an effort to increase taxes to rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure--and help these people that have been maimed for life by the US invasion.

Accepting responsibility for one's actions is a moral trusim, and a central dictim of the US rightwing. The hypocrisy is simply glaring and obscene.

Farmer John said...

What past criminal action must I apologize for? Name one.

Farmer John said...

I must apologize for invading Iraq? Perhaps amil needs to apologize to me for not keeping the terms of the ceasefire with America subsequent to their great leasder's invasion of Kuwait?

Your friend amil can rot, for all I care. If he has anyone to blame for his condition, it is that of his people, and his ruler.

Farmer John said...

...as for imperial ambitions, once Iraqi's stop killing each other, we'll leave.

If anyone has any "imperial ambitions", its' the Iraqi insurgents who insist that THEIR SECTS control the oil.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John--the logic of what is called 'capitalism' considers as 'externalities' nasty little liabilities such as species extinction, pollution, loss of fresh water, etc.

In no way, shape, or form can the current global system of economic development be considered sustainable. This mallady is rooted in the ideology of the culture--and it is multiplied through what is called 'global capitalism', where a small amount of elites determine the destiny of millions, with little or no input from the people being harmed.

Ossama fought Soviet imperialism in Afganistan, and enjoyed US support. He soon set his sights on the US supported dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, his homeland.

Indeed, the Saudis recognized the limits of thier own population--and they ordered the US miliary out of their country.

Al Queda's attacks killed only a few thousand--US attacks to polster its global power kills tens of thousands.

This is not to justify the terrorist attacks on 9-11--but it is important to put these attacks in their proper, cogent contexts. No, they did not attack the US because they are jealous of our chicken Mcnuggets and Big Macs--they are not jealous of our 'freedoms'. They see US and Europe as infidels that have invaded their lands, proping up comprador tyrannies in the region.

The US cliet states decimated any secluar opposition, especially of the left-wing variety. When secluar leftism is repressed--this gives rise to religous extremisms. As with the US, when the left is thouroughly cut out from the mainstream--we witness flourishing conspiracy theories and other forms of conspiratorial paranoia.

These are my views, anyway.

i believe that humans have the capacity for healthy, sustainable development while maintaning market economies to a large extent. But there is a great deal of inertia from our history of being configured as mere observers to our current political system.

We have the capacity to develop in truely sustainable ways--but this will not be done sitting inside in the air conditioning, or typing away comments for a blog.

Which reminds me, Farmer John, I have work to do.

Peace-you have shown yourself to be, generally, a person of good will. I can admit asmuch while aknowledging that we have significant differences in our perspectives. People that are passionate can and do sometimes go for the jugular--after all, we are human...all too human. lol

Farmer John said...

We invaded Iraq because they were in violation of treaties. I don't know where you were in the run-up to the war, but the USA was given the green light to "go".

Saddam invaded Kuwait over the need to steal oil. Saddam tried the same trick with the Iranians.

America is imperialist? What about Iraq?

Farmer John said...

In no way, shape, or form can the current global system of economic development be considered sustainable.

How do you know what's "sustainable" and what isn't? And if you do know, please tell the rest of us the "population" and "economic activity" levels that ARE sustainable.

Farmer John said...

Who is being hurt by global capitalism? The overpopulated citizenry of 3rd world countries who work for these capitalist and derive their only source of income from them? Providing jobs hurts people?

Farmer John said...

They see US and Europe as infidels that have invaded their lands, proping up comprador tyrannies in the region.

We buy their oil. We give them tons of money. Their leaders spend the money propping themselves up.

We're so, so evil.

What about them? We should overthrow all the governments in the region and give the oil money to the people. Now who's the imperialist?

Slave Revolt said...

vvvFJ said: "I must apologize for invading Iraq? Perhaps amil needs to apologize to me for not keeping the terms of the ceasefire with America subsequent to their great leasder's invasion of Kuwait?

Your friend amil can rot, for all I care. If he has anyone to blame for his condition, it is that of his people, and his ruler.

05 August, 2007 14:59

FJ: Amil was only about ten years old when the US bombs crashed down on his home, killing his entire family--a family that long-suffered at the hands of a tyrant that the US supported for decades. Add to this history of support for the thug Saddam the crippling sanctions that killed tens of thousands of children.

No, I made a mistake FJ--you are not a person of good will.

You don't care if Amil rots? How typical.

You are in utter denial--and your cynicsm and callousness are a mere symptom of a larger cultural malady that will see the empire's power diminshed significantly in the decades to come.

Admitting one's guilt is the first step toward authentic healing. Without such recognition, you are trapped in the pathologiies that have brought us all into this nightmarish mess.

At least Ren can admit his guilt in supporting the illegal invasion. That signals ethical health--an effort to escape diseased delusions.

May Jesus touch your soul FJ--for the sake of all of us.

i will not comment further at this point--as I don't see any benefit in this discussion.

Amil, despite having no sexual organs, no arms, and no legs--he is already, as a teen, a bigger man than you can ever dream of being, FJ.

The incredible part is that, though he is maimed for life, he has already developed the capacity to forgive the people that dropped the bomb on his house. He does not excuse this action, or configure it as 'part of a necessary war of liberaltion' (lol)--but he has forgiven the ignorance of his fellow humans.

Now you must step up to the plate and apologize to the Amils of this world--least you stand condemned to an inauthentic life here on earth.

Enough said. i will not post further until there is a fresh thread.

Farmer John said...

The US cliet states decimated any secluar opposition, especially of the left-wing variety. When secluar leftism is repressed--this gives rise to religous extremisms.

Funny, the secular left and religious extremists combined in '79 to overthrowthe Shah. Then the religious extremists purged the secular leftists.

In Yemen and Sudan, the USSR collpsed and the religious extremists immediately purged the secular leftists.

If I were a secular leftist, I'd be looking to ally myself with a liberal democrat. After all, they seem to be the only ones that don't go around purging secular leftists.

Slave Revolt said...

One last comment, then I'll go:

FJ states: "...as for imperial ambitions, once Iraqi's stop killing each other, we'll leave."

LOL Farmer John, like you give a fuck if they kill each other?!

No, you will leave, and they will continue fighting until there is some sort of stablity.

The US should raise your taxes to pay the necessary reparations.

The war was illegal--you had no 'green light', no support from the rest of the world save for a few clent powers that always do the bidding of the biggest thug on the block.

You can come up with all the lame rationale in the world--but the fact remains, the invasion constituted the crime of agression.

The majority of Iraqi people want the US out--and they have the right to kill US soldiers that are rightfully seen as illegitimate occupiers.

The US will leave, eventually--because the Iraqi resistence will not be quelled, and the majority of the US public has long-ago come to see this as a fools errand that depleats the national treasury, and is intended to enrich a venal elite of chickhawk polticos and corporate hawks.

And you can take your two-billion dollar embassy and move it to Texas. LOL

Once you stop trying to come up with excuses for sheer criminality--then you can become part of the solutions. But, first, you must soul-search and understand that you have been played like a fiddel by some of the most corrupt, unpatriotic forces in the US society.

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward healing.

We are starting a twelve-step program for duped imperialist chickenhawks.

Let go of your inauthentic patriotism and let God take control of your life. Jesus heals!

Farmer John said...

Amil,

I'm sorry you were inadvertently hurt when our planes bombed your house and killed your family.

We are not perfect. Are weapons are not perfect, either. But we acted to the best of our abilities and in the best interest of your nation. I doubt you'll find anyone who wishes Saddam were still in power. And in a few years, provided some idiot do-gooders in our government do not mandate a precipitous withrawl, I'm sure there will be no one who does not believe that Iraq will be a better place for it.

Perhaps you owe someone an apology as well? I won't hold my breath.

Farmer John said...

There are causalties in every war. None are innocent. Not if you believe in things like "social justice". And if you don't, then stop preaching it. Because there an up AND a down side to every concept. And social justice is the opposite of justice. And war is merely a period a sanctioned injustice.

I feel sorrow and empathy for amil. But the USA is NOT responsible for his present condition. Saddam Hussein was. Saddam, was given hundreds of opportunitiesto avoid the whole thing. He, and the vast majority of people still fighting in Iraq chose not to. And so amil must pay.

And cut the Christian come to Jesus crap. I am NOT a Christian. I am a Platonist.

Farmer John said...

ps - You think you're an "authentic" patriot? You're about as authentic as a wooden nickel.

Farmer John said...

ps - As you can see, I offer no apologies for the war in Iraq. I offer no apologies for historical oppression. And I accept no premise that begins in an accusation by slave revolt.

Reparations. Sure the Iraqi's can pay us back some day. I won't hold the money we spent or lives we lost against them

Slave Revolt said...

FJ: When I talk to Amil again I will read your comments to him, and try my best to explain your support for the US occupation to him. The idea that his maiming was an 'accident' doesn't wash, however. When you drop bombs in the middle of civilian neighborhoods, the 'we didn't mean to hurt innocent people' doesn't wash. However, if that delusion makes you feel better--then protect it from any disabuse.

But I will have you know that the vast majority of the Iraqi people don't want US forces in their nation. They want the US out now--inasmuch as they see the continued US presence as an impetus for continued, unrelenting violence. US forces will always be legitimate targets of violence for Iraqi patriot with the courage to resist the occupation, or the imposition of a puppet government.

Sure, getting rid of a decades-long US client dictatorship was a good thing. But the means through which your allies engaged toward this end--which killed tens of thousands of civilians--were totally criminal.

Maybe someday, Bush and the politicos that support this criminality will be brought before an international court of justice. Maybe they can be brought before an international tribunal in Brazil or Venezulea.

You need to be taxed so that we can fund reparations money to help rebuild the infrastructure.

The embassy must be removed. They might let the empire have a corner office in one of the new buildings in downtown Bahgdad. Maybe--but don't count on it.

politiques USA said...

I think it's about time to go on another subject. People hidding behind their weapons don't have balls, they are simply cowards.
We killed so many people in this world, in the name of freedom (and that's fucked up) that some of these days it's going to get back at us, 20 folds.

Slave Revolt said...

"And cut the Christian come to Jesus crap. I am NOT a Christian. I am a Platonist."

Wow, FJ, that sounds like some serious shit.

Jesus forgives--he is the way, the light, and the truth. You will see this when you die, however.

About your feeling sorry for Amil--save your inauthentic tears. Just a few comments ago you were saying that he could 'rot'.

Incredible.

I will let the readers of this blog determine the sincerity of your comments.

But the fact remains, Amil is a much better man than you, by far.

politiques USA said...

I have a brother inlaw who was at war in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. One day before he was sent to Iraq, he called me up, asking me why the French did not back up the Americans in Iraq. It was the usual shit that we can hear on Fox News, Republican/Neocon rhetoric, and the conversation got so bad on the phone that I ended up calling him a "NAZI".
I'm not really antiwar and I beleive in justice.

Farmer John said...

btw - a piece of Osama history for you. When Osama joined his mentor in Pakistan and establish al-Quaeda, he really was fighting Soviet imperialism. But after a while spent training "international" fighters to serve in Afghan led units, he began to have a disagreement with his sponsor, Abdallah Azzam.

It seems Azzam felt that integrating the mujajadeen into Afghan tribal fighting units was the best way to win the war. Osama disagreed. Osama thought they should be trained as an independent pan-Islamic fighting force, that could be later utilized to re-establish the Islamic caliphate in other lands.

In '91 when the Iraqi's invaded Kuwait, Osama offered the King of Saudi Arabia the services of 30,000 muhajadeen for use in expelling Saddam. The King refused, and entrusted the task to the USA and international coalition.

So needless to say, the "imperialist" in this war on terror is Osama.

Farmer John said...

For all I knew, amil was in the Republican Guard or a jihadi. You could have explained, but you chose to set a little trap instead. That's okay. No harm, no foul. I made a mistake in not assuming that amil was a little kid. Are you sure he wasn't raped by US servicemen afterwards? That would put you into john brown's league of defamatory accustaions.

As for the tens of thousands blah-blah-blah... lets get something straight. This is currently ALL Iraqi on Iraqi BS. Shi'a on Sunni on Kurd, BS.

All they need to do is cut the BS, and we're out of there. It is they who choose not to, and it is people like you that give them daily reasons to resist doing so. You're their apologist, doing the same for them that you accuse me of doing for the current Bush Administration.

But get off your high horse. There's no "authentic patriotism" in what you're doing or saying. In fact most would say, that quite the "reverse" is true.

btw - Have you read the "Ethics of Authenticity" by Charles Taylor? Perhaps if you do, one day you'll discover the inauthenticity of authenticity.

Farmer John said...

Me, I never made any claims to authenticity. In fact, most of my claims can be "sourced". In that respect, I'm extremely inauthentic. And proudly so.

Mad Zionist said...

Ren, gotta admit to know me is to love me...where else can you find a rightwing extremist this hilarious?

Gotta admit, I have a lot of fun at the expense of those whose politics I disagree with.

Slave Revolt said...

FJ: do inform use rubes on the differnce between authenticity and its opposite, inauthenticity.

You read all of these 'authorities' to come to conclusions that most people understand on an intuitive, genetic level of awareness.

I will make you a deal: you and your US troops leave Iraq immediately. In exchange, they will stop shooting at US soliders deployed inside of Iraq.

Deal?

Indeed, most people can see the US discourse and putative goals pertaining to the years-long occupation of Iraq as distinctly 'inauthentic'. LOL

We don't need to read this authority, Charles Taylor, to inform us of the nuances involved in your suspect moral calculations.

No, I did not lead you into any 'trap' about Amil. I stated clearly who this person was from the beginning. It was your twisted, perverted, imperial mind that put him in the catagory of unworthy victim. A natural defensive posuture that is in every way--dare I say--'inauthentic' on your part Farmer John.

The occuptation that you support will continue to disappoint you--and your fanaticism and rhetorical acrobatics will become ever more tragic as time passes.

I hope you have nightmares about being stalked by Amil and his anti-occupation compadres.

Farmer John said...

No deal. How about this one. When Sunni and Shi'a stop killing each other in Iraq, we'll leave.

And please... you're autheticity has already stretched beyond the limits of what could be construed by normal people as truely authentic. Your condescending "May Jesus touch your soul FJ--for the sake of all of us." doesn't pair well with "You don't give examples of my 'harrasement' of the deluded relgious fanatic Jungle Mom. And then you resort to violent threats. Me and Amil are soo scared! No, I don't need to reciprocate in kind because you appear as what you are to any person with a modicum of responsiblity and ethics."

In other words, your authenticity knows no ethics and tends to frequently contradict itself.

ps - And I hate to disappoint you, but I'll have no nightmares over amil. His burnt, armless and legless body, which you exploit for own crass rhetorical purposes, does not weigh on my conscience. I feel no guilt. None at all.

And obviously, neither do you. How often do you see your "good friend". And please let me know how much he enjoyed your brilliant apologetics for the Saddam Hussein regime against my evil and crass imperialist warmongering.

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John, you should feel a sense of guilt about ever child maimed by your sick, failing invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is the pathological mind that cannot take responsibility for his actions.

The definition of 'terrorism' is the act of killing and frightening human civilians to advance your political, economic, and cultural goals.

You have no qualms about killing innocent people to advance your political goals. How many have to die before you can face your bad decisions, your will to believe the most discombobulated rationale for dropping bombs on people's neighborhoods?

Farmer J. you have been duped by people that think nothing of lying to you so that they might advance their geopolitical power-politics.

You fucked up--you believed the lies, and now you are unwilling to fight the violence that you support, and you are unwilling to admit your errors in judgement.

Mark my words, the US will leave Iraq, and the empire will be hated by the millions of civilians that have suffered the empire's criminal impositions. The world knows the depths of this depravity.

Jump ship while you still have some of your sanity.

Farmer John said...

I feel no guilt. Zero. None.
I take full responsibility for my actions and the actions of my nation. We feel no guilt. Zero. None.

We have no qualms about killing GUILTY people. We avoid, as much as possible, killing innocent people. But when the innocents allow the guilty to use them as human shields, or if we're not aware of the presence of the innocent, then I'm afraid they will die too. That is "social justice". And this fact is NOT my fault. It's theirs. The terrorists. Its' their WAR.

I have been duped by no one. The US Congress was duped by no one. The UN Security Council that authorized the invasion was duped by no one. We went into this war with eyes wide open. Success has many fathers. Failure, none. That's why the democrats were the first to scramble for rocks to hide under. Lies like "we were duped".

I don't give a flying fuck if the world doesn't like me or my country. It will suffice that they FEAR me.

Insanity would be to keep doing what America had been doing prior to the invasion if Iraq. Which was NOTHING or slowly retreating. It didn't work then. It won't work in the future. To believe that it would, THAT would be insanity.

If the USA were to abandon Iraq tomorrow in accordance with DNC wishes, the region would degenerate into absolute chaos and war as the Shi'a and Sunni struggled for control of Iraq and Iran, and Turkey for control of Kurdistan. Millions and millions of Arabs and Persians, Kurds and Turks would die.

Yet THAT is the policy the DNC is advocating.

Madness.

Farmer John said...

Power abhor's a vacuum. That's why the Iraqi government needs to be made "powerful". To prevent a greater and perhaps "endless" struggle from taking place. If the Iraqi government is perceived to be weak, they will be attacked on all sides.

THAT is why we must stay in Iraq. And if that is taking too long for you....TOUGH!

Slave Revolt said...

Farmer John says: "It will suffice that they FEAR me."

FJ, please, you watch too many bad John Wayne movies. And like Wayne and Bush, you are another two-bit chicken-hawk--allowing others to fight your battles for you while you thump your chest.

You are not feared--you are loathed.

Bush is feared the same way that sane people are alarmed by a drugged moneky with a razor-knife.

LOL

You remind me of the kind of guy that looks at his image in the mirror, trying out various 'fierce' facial expressions and body postures.

Gimme a break, 'It will suffice that the fear me"

LOL

Keep dreaming, your will die embittered that your arm-chair war was a complete failure. The fact that you don't put yourself in this fight says it all--two-bit chicken-hawk. Full of squawk but no cock. LOL

Farmer John said...

Machiavelli, "The Prince"

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause, but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. But when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed to its duties.

Among the wonderful deeds of Hannibal this one is enumerated: that having led an enormous army, composed of many various races of men, to fight in foreign lands, no dissensions arose either among them or against the prince, whether in his bad or in his good fortune. This arose from nothing else than his inhuman cruelty, which, with his boundless valour, made him revered and terrible in the sight of his soldiers, but without that cruelty, his other virtues were not sufficient to produce this effect. And shortsighted writers admire his deeds from one point of view and from another condemn the principal cause of them. That it is true his other virtues would not have been sufficient for him may be proved by the case of Scipio, that most excellent man, not of his own times but within the memory of man, against whom, nevertheless, his army rebelled in Spain; this arose from nothing but his too great forbearance, which gave his soldiers more licence than is consistent with military discipline. For this he was upbraided in the Senate by Fabius Maximus, and called the corrupter of the Roman soldiery. The Locrians were laid waste by a legate of Scipio, yet they were not avenged by him, nor was the insolence of the legate punished, owing entirely to his easy nature. Insomuch that someone in the Senate, wishing to excuse him, said there were many men who knew much better how not to err than to correct the errors of others. This disposition, if he had been continued in the command, would have destroyed in time the fame and glory of Scipio; but, he being under the control of the Senate, this injurious characteristic not only concealed itself, but contributed to his glory.

Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour only to avoid hatred, as is noted.


Poor slave revolt. He's still looking for love in all the wrong places.

Slave Revolt said...

yeah, when you are too cowardly to answer a criticism, you reach for a two-bit political hack that is worshiped today by people that amount to as much.

Pretty facil thinker, this Machiavelli. The the impressionable are certainly impressed--as they siddle up to the biggest thug on the mafia block.

No, you coward, you would give your children over for the blood lust of empire.

Jesus has nothing but pity for you child.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

I've had this scuffle with Farmer John before. I believe Machiavelli's The Prince was satire - every historical figure he held up as a model for
"the Prince" to emulate was a known political failure.

It was Machiavelli's way of telling the Pope that he needed to send forces to overthrow the Pope.

The Prince read as satire is wicked funny.

Farmer John said...

Some people just have trouble dealing with the world as it really is, and not the way they want it to be...

You can read The Prince as satire if you want to, beamish. But you won't find me doing that. If you're looking for satire, read the Mandragola. Or even better, Petronius Arbiter's Satyricon. Nothing like making fun of the homo's. ;-)

Anonymous said...

滿.............................................