• comment on a post February MyDD Straw Poll over 7 years ago

    "The deadline for this poll has passed, so this ballot will not be recorded."

    I would have voted for other (Kucinich) seeing as so many of the listed candidates are either not running, or ones I'd have to vote against in either the primary, the general, or both.

  • I had trouble with the wording too.

  • I will not work for or vote for any pro-war candidate.

    The war matters.

    I took the time to research the issues before the war, but few of the Senators or Representatives did the same (kudos to Russ Feingold). The Senators and Representatives who voted for the war, and the other politicians who expressed support for the war, did not take the time to research the issues before the war. They were asleep on their watch.

    If Hillary Clinton (to name just one) wins the Democratic Party nomination, I will not support her. I would sooner campaign for Paul, Nader, or Kubby, for all their flaws, if any of them wins the respective nominations (the latter two have decent chances at that level).

  • on a comment on Rallying over 7 years ago

    Similar experience with the cops. As recently as 2005, I got pepper sprayed (January) and motorcycle-rammed (September). Nothing comparable today.

  • comment on a post Rallying over 7 years ago

    The SDS called for a radical youth contingent starting from Dupont Circle. The planning got screwed up by two of the web sites being down for the past week-and-a-half.

    The RYC started with 170 people and gathered more along the way. An improvised snake march went from Dupont Circle to Maryland Avenue; it kept moving, both calm and bold, without fighting. There was a loud confrontation on 3rd street, but the police didn't attack, and other people from the mall joined in, and the police fell back while several hundred protesters reached the Capitol steps between 1:00 and 1:30.

    I don't think the big rally/march setup helps groups take these kinds of opportunities.

  • Sorry to nitpick, but affect is a verb, and effect is a noun.

  • comment on a post Why Street Protests? over 7 years ago

    Do you want to marginalize street protest? Do you want to limit dissent to calling congressmembers?

    If you want effective anti-escalation tactics, check the troop rotation schedules, find who will embark, from which ports, on which days, and block the ports.

  • comment on a post A Leftist Canon? over 7 years ago

    Ideology <-> Praxis <-> Organization

    The Netroots organize around electoral strategies, supporting democratic candidates in the Democratic primaries, supporting Democratic candidates in the general elections, and supporting incremental reforms in political policy.

    The Netroots cannot, therefore, include much of the left: those who doubt the effectiveness of electoral strategies, those who doubt the effectiveness of incremental reforms, and those who deny the legitimacy of state action (e.g. those who doubt the possibility of democratic oversight of rogue agencies and rogue policies).

    It sometimes seems there are three lefts, sometimes bumping into each other, but rarely talking with each other. Each has its own canon.

    I suppose these canons include the following kinds of texts:

    (1) Foundational Theoretical Works - (e.g. I'm honestly not sure for the Progressives; Proudhon's, Bakunin's, and Kropotkin's for the anarchists; Marx's, Engels', Trotsky's for the (current, western) Marxists) - which gradually develop the core theories.

    (2) Related Theoretical Works - (i.e. foundational theoretical works of other related philosophies, e.g. Locke's, Paine's, and Ricardo's for most leftist groups; Marx's or Bastiat's as more doubtful and more adversarial.)

    (3) Alternate Theoretical Works - (e.g. Gompers' for the Progressives, Tucker's or Tolstoy's for the anarchists, and Bukharin's or Kautsky's for the Marxists) - which also develop the core theories, but in different directions from the main tradition.

    (4) Summaries - these range from slim introductory works to multi-tome reference works which describe the philosophy, its main tenets, its various strains, and provide portals to the above.

    Some Marxists have put the first three categories together for Marxism; the Marxists Internet Archive is an excellent resource as those things go. And anarchists have done the same for the fourth category for anarchism; An Anarchist FAQ is an excellent resource for its purpose (though the primary works are more widely scattered).

    I don't recall seeing comparable resources on Progressive Liberalism. The DKosopedia might have been a start but seems to have slowed down (as have some similar projects for other political philosophies).

    Kos' Libertarian Democrat these prompted some theoretical discussion, but there doesn't seem to be much consensus on core values or core positions.

  • comment on a post Why People Supported And Opposed the Iraq War over 7 years ago

    I opposed the war before the Powell Presentation. I examined the photographs published with it. I opposed the war after the Powell Presentation. Bush, Powell, and the other liars claimed that certain photo pairs several months apart showed new construction, but they showed the same buildings, in the same condition. Because one photo was taken in the morning and one photo was taken the afternoon, and one was closer to noon, the two showed different arrangements of shadows, but not of buildings.

    I assumed that since they were lying about the C/W 'evidence' they might not have any C/W evidence.  And when inspectors claimed the C/W weapons were destroyed, I believed them, and didn't believe Bush.

    I assumed that Saddam Hussein would not repeat the mistakes of 1991, but had stockpiled supplies in the cities and would concentrate forces in the cities. I was wrong about that. The Iraqi army fought in the open and lost.

    So the U.S. Army took Baghdad without the several thousand killed I had expected/feared, but without the gas attacks many war supporters and war opponents alike had expected/feared. It would have made sense to declare victory and go home. Instead came the long occupation, handing the country over to Halliburton, shooting some protesters in until-then-peaceful Fallujah, etc.

  • Anomean/Aetian Christian.

  • I'm talking 6th century, not 8th century. And from surviving epitomes (Jordanes, Photius, etc.) we know that the 6th century West had many works and created new works which the mid/late 6th, 7th, and following centuries have destroyed. And from Roman historians (Procopius) we see that the Empire systematically devastated much of Italy in the mid 6th century.

    Cassiodorus' Variae (especially 11.38) might also be revealing.

  • Most Europeans were probably better off in 500-525 than in 300-325. It's hard to estimate overall literacy, but Wulfila translated the bible into Gothic and Jerome translated it into Latin (the Vulgate, largely replacing the older Latin versions) in the interval.

    In the third century, the Roman empire had faced uncounted civil wars, in the fourth century, seven civil wars, and in the fifth century (in the west only) five more civil wars (depending how we count), so the collapse of the empire meant more, not less, peace. In the sixth century, Justinian's western ambitions devastated Italy and resumed the cycle of warfare.

    Most Europeans were probably worse off in 600-625.

    The Roman Catholic Church was neither responsible for the barbarian conversions (which were mostly non-Nicaean) nor responsible for Justinian's wars (which were an imperial decision).

    Basically, the Empire did more harm than its opponents. Roman armies moving about with orders to kill everyone in Picenum (in 537) are only one example.

  • There are no healthy fisheries left. We need to stop overfishing, and we won't stop overfishing if we don't boycott seafood.

  • If you want to maximise the importance of individual votes, you minimize the number of participating votes (and either discourage or exclude potential voters); in the extreme case you have one voter, the dictator, who wins every vote, by one vote, so every vote's a deciding vote.

  • I thought 'Midwest' meant 'between the Ohio, the Mississippi and the Great Lakes.' In what sense are the Dakotas, Iowa, etc. 'Midwestern'?


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