What we have been witnessing for 50 years is a persistent and ever more sophisticated campaign of the morbidly rich stealing our democracy using the tactics Thom has identified countless times. Some of their tricks have been around for a very long time, like frightening and enraging poorly educated folks with racism (or any of the other otherisms) making them easy to manipulate (especially if they’ve been cultified). By leveraging the speed and reach of 21st Century tech, they can crank out propaganda that Joseph Goebbels could only dream about, and now they have a bloc of voters that is substantial and monolithic. I suggest that we refer to members of the two parties as Democrats and Autocrats and no one can be a Democrat without pledging to promote our citizens’ general welfare using best practice-based solutions, and that includes protecting us from those that do things adverse to our rights and our communities’ interests. (For example, the oligarchs who profit from wars, or those who commit multi-trillion-dollar frauds, or the evildoers who take trillions in subsidies to sell trillions in carbon while the 6th Mass Extinction is becoming inevitable).

Or just make sure that we get a critical mass of progressives elected in November.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

The concept of American democracy being an "experiment" it not really appropriate.

Our democracy is more like an operating system.

Legislation is like installing updates (HR1 = major security patch!).

The 75-year retiree funding for the post office getting passed without awareness at the time is like someone opening an attachment with a trojan horse virus. And so on....

So just like installing updates and removing any viruses that get through is part of the daily life with a computer, so is the day to day operations of government.

If a virus infects an OS bad enough that your computer becomes unrepairable, does that mean the operating system itself is a failed experiment? No. It just means update patches and repairs couldn't keep up with the creators of viruses and more effort needs to be put into the race, and therefore the same with our political system. So as Thom & Bernie says we shouldn't despair. We should't despair that these onslaughts exist. The writers of anti-virus software don't despair that viruses exist. We should expect that it will always exist, and the test of our resiliency is how well we react and defend against it. Our collective efforts to keep this country running will always be subject to onslaughts so we just have to keep working to catch up and stay ahead of it. It's not an experiment pass/fail.

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Hahn, thanks for the great computer analogy. You have uncovered an aspect of our democracy that is seldom if ever addressed, and that is, what if the patches and repairs weren’t all intended to restore our democracy to it’s intended purpose? Just think of how many changes were put into our government over the years that shifted its purpose to serve the morbidly rich. There have been a whole lot of modifications that were implemented to make our government work for the oligarchs who paid to create and install the viruses, so we just need to take away their power and ability to do that. Rather than squandering trillions of dollars to deal with the incessant virus/patch/virus cycle, let’s compel our elected and appointed decision-making officials to reboot and go back to the last version that worked reasonably well (the late 60s perhaps?) and update it to reflect today’s requirements.

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Hi Dave, good point.

How I was viewing it though is that what you refer to as the “modifications” that favor the oligarchs are actually the viruses themselves, and the real patches are ones that after learning about the existence of such an attempted modification, immunize the OS to prevent attempts to make such a modification from happening the OS in the future.

So also what you refer to as “update it to reflect today’s requirements” is like those “cumulative patch” updates that we get from time to time.

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I have no ideas left. None. I won't give up on us - but that's just on principle. Everything I've ever read, seen, heard, experienced or contemplated, however, says we're shouting into the digital wind. The righting (intended) has been on the wall for decades. In my insignificant opinion, the ship of democracy sailed long ago and we're just now beginning to experience the unraveling. I don't know what we do with that. Like I said, zero ideas. True power dictates what is. And we wouldn't be turning to dust like this if we had any left..

Also, Jeremy Scahill's book on Blackwater and the subsequent happening of nothing to Erik Prince? Just a dot in the dictionary that is our unacceptable history.

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Blackwater aside, I believe that we can fix things in a timely manner (i.e., before the 6th Mass Extinction becomes inevitable), if only because Professor Erica Chenoweth researched and analyzed how citizens around the world (and over the years) have stopped their governments from doing things adverse to their rights and communities’ interests. And they did it by employing persistent nonviolent resistance (check out her latest book Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know). That’s the good news. The bad news is that it might be too hard to engage the critical mass of citizens that we would need to compel our elected and appointed public sector decision-makers to meet their purpose and kick the morbidly rich to the curb (like the Princes). According to Chenoweth, we need 3.5% of our fellow citizens to leverage our 1st Amendment rights and tenaciously badger our government’s leaders (and wannabe government leaders) into properly promoting our general welfare. (Now that I think about it, why didn't Trump hire Eric Prince as DNI (couldn't he get along with his sister)? Could he have been too toxic for even Trump?

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I live in a red county where armed goof-balls showed up to protect the local businesses from the "busloads of Antifa", and as a bonus, my sheriff is an Oath Keeper. You would think conservatives (in the truest sense) would not fall for the latest bullshit idea that comes along. The flag-wavers should be incensed about the foreign influence even if they agree with the premise of the propaganda. But no, that would require integrity.

I watched Trudeau answer questions in Parliament today. He beat his opponents and the Ottawa trucker crowd over the head. I loved watching him shame them. He masterfully pointed out who the true Canadians were; they're the ones that got vaccinated to protect others. He made sure every question went back to what the idiots in Ottawa were doing to the economy and the citizens living there, people trying to get some peace and quiet who are already trying to fight a pandemic. He made sure everyone understood 90% of the truckers were vaccinated, and he expressed how much he appreciated them.

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I’m wondering if a way to combat the Ottawa insurrection is just to wall them in. If they want to be there that badly, then they can stay without being allowed to leave - which means no going out for food or to use a bathroom and no food being delivered to them either. They can have their own autonomous zone if they like. 🤪

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Good to hear from you, Dave.

Too toxic for Trump - I don't believe we've discovered an element of that nature. I love the phrase, though - it's a bumper sticker in some dimension.

As for not hiring the Prince of Death for DNI, I believe Erik's role in an unofficial capacity was more effective (destructive) than would have been under the scrutiny and scandal of him being appointed to an official position. Live shadow-governing at its finest.

Dave, I believe I have said before that I am a fan of your optimism. This sentiment is true and will not change. Thank you for recommending Professor Chenoweth's book. I always wondered what you were referencing when you would say we needed 3.5% of the population...

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