A Coup on the Mind

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Dear Friend and Reader:

OVER THE LAST four years, whenever I felt unsure about the political state of the nation, I’d run and grab for my Casey fix. My friend Casey, met while volunteering for the Kerry-Edwards campaign as a blog moderator in 2003-4, is a political strategist and communications consultant who has worked for local representatives in upstate New York as well as for Tom Hayden here in California.

It’s been said about Casey, with all due respect and admiration, that you can count on her to bring the perfect knife to use against the opposition in a political fight. Thank God she’s on our side.

Planet Waves
Henry Paulson, Secretary of the US Treasury, in Asian garb for some reason. Maybe his mom bought it for him.

Whenever that sense of overwhelm grips and I feel so fearful that I can’t quite read the portents, I call Casey for my fix of real political straight talk, take the load from our minds on what’s happening, and laugh our asses off over the strange kabuki that American politics has become.

When I asked about the credit crisis on Wall Street, Casey quipped: “First of all, Fe, you have to do a ‘what’s up?’ with Hank Paulson’s resume. He’s formerly the CEO and Chairman of Goldman-Sachs. (Paulson joined the Bush White House as Secretary of the Treasury in 2006.)

In the heat of Wall Street’s shakeup two weeks ago (described in full here at Planetwaves) Goldman-Sachs seems now to be relatively safe, quietly announcing their new role while competition roiled and fell in the midst of the “economic crisis.” Do you think Goldman-Sachs might have been working off of insider information? Does this remind you of how a certain Vice-President we know, formerly of Halliburton, whose former company benefitted from no-bid contracts from the Iraq war and reconstruction?

Using the name that’s now a verb in popular culture: Was Paulson Cheney-ing the country’s economy? Was the over-hype of the crisis a cover to protect Goldman-Sachs while they re-structured and allowed other larger banks free reign to swallow up their smaller-sized competition?

On another front, losing in key battleground states on the issue of the economy, the McCain campaign’s strategy now is to use its most recent shiny object, VP candidate Sarah Palin, as our latest distraction. She reminded us at Thursday’s debate how dangerous a nuclear Iran was, and that Obama’s ‘naive’ plan for Iraq was tantamount to “the white flag of surrender”. Not that I am sure she understood what she was saying, but yes more military, more threat, more outside incursion. No common sense. No communication. Just four-inch heels and boogeymen.

The last eight years we’ve been besieged by a coup on the mind of the American public complete with government sponsored terror and its glamourization by the media. We’ve seen how it operates from that shocking threat to national security from dark-skinned foreigners and color-coded warnings. We’ve seen it in the tragically-flawed judgement of Iraq’s “Mission Accomplished”, the subsequent 4,177 US dead, and the eighty or more thousand of Iraqi civilians killed. These numbers still grow. We have croneyism and corruption with Jack Abramoff and corporate corruption unchecked on Wall Street.

Instead of doing journalism’s job of giving us the facts, a cowed press gave us just enough information to sensationalize and tittilate, frightening and deadening us into accepting what was given for us to consume and believe. Regardless of its defiance of logic or common sense. If they lied, they repeated lying until it became truth, without accountability.

As Casey said: (They) “lie, repeat, rinse.”

If it wasn’t for the internet infrastructure allowing the grass-roots their own network of communication, giving us the ability establish a nationwide effort to connect the dots, we wouldn’t be nearly as informed as we are. I certainly wouldn’t be. Because we’ve been lied to, we care enough to fact check ourselves and each other on each and every blog we post, as well as write letters to the editor, or establish campaigns to slam a reporting less than honest or carrying freight for the Administration. We’ve become a virtually-armed resistance movement to “the coup” on our minds.

The internet’s power is such that mainstream media need it to “mix it up” with those of us on the ground to retain credibility and connection with their audience. MSNBC’s “Countdown” anchor Keith Olbermann posts diaries on Daily Kos, while weeks ago, former Clinton advisor and DC pundit Paul Begala wrote his first Kos diary.

While living in a space of anxious anticipation for this election, I also feel soul exhaustion. I’m exhausted with the hype and the drama we’ve become accustomed to these last eight years. My mind can’t handle another maddening economic situation or more lies bound to come out of a politician’s mouth.

In eight years we’ve been made so numb we now need that bright shiny object or totally scary thing to keep us conscious. So saturated with fear we’ve lost the sense of being in control of our lives and minds. So angry that before discourse can begin, we need to excoriate anyone outside our political tribe as a personal pre-requisite. I’ve experienced all of these symptoms of “the coup”. Distraction as drug, an entire nation under its addiction. America needs to be in recovery from “the coup”.

I want the leaders I vote for to deserve my respect, not contempt, and leaders who will treat us as adults. I want to function in a society that runs on FACT, not lies. I want to be able to understand how much I’ve been closed off so that I can reach across to others who don’t think like me. I just want to trust people again.

I want to work to get our country to regain the trust the rest of the world had in us, before we got psycho with the addiction to fear and violence, self-pity and greed. I’m willing to work hard even when times are tough. Because I sense that’s exactly what they’re going to be. Most of all, I just want to laugh with Casey about books, great theater or the latest HBO series instead of obsessing about politics. I’d rather we talk about her son’s school, improving our osso bucco recipes, sending energy and love out to all of us here on this little whirling orb.

I want the coup to be over.

Thirty more days.

Yours and truly,
Fe Bongolan in San Francisco

Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.
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42 Responses to A Coup on the Mind

  1. Gardener says:

    Well…and many people are suggesting that the hidden dimension will be available to everyone soon. I’ve had experiences not much different than those that Mystes describes, and take the view that we make things happen by thinking about them. Right now, too many people are panicking over the stock market – and that is VERY sad. It is best to assume that even if the economy disappears, a new and better version will take its place. Assume that food will be available and that the way we work for a living will chane for the better.

    The internet space is strange, but someday we should be able to communicate by thought. Only it won’t happen until we each learn to love unconditionally and accept that *God* is.

  2. Mandy H. says:

    Hmmm… I guess we’re essentially differing on the definition of what is ‘real’ and what is not…

    And virtual spaces don’t rule out group effort or community building or if you do participate in virtual worlds it doesn’t preclude you from participating in the offline community… (I prefer online / offline to real / make believe as there is a deep philospical discussion involved in that distinction ).

    *Shrugs* Personally, I feel I’m in reality whichever media I’m using to communicate and therefore relate with, of course *g* the physics of the reality changes 😉

  3. Gardener says:

    Mandy that’s correct about being good for the handicapped, but I really prefer working with a group on a team and that is the one thing I missed the most when I left work. A group of people working together can solve a lot of problems. You tap into a higher consciousness, so to speak, and the answers seem to just appear out of thin air. Orville and Wilbur Wright said “we hardly knew we were working!” they were so absorbed in their discoveries.

    The best job interviewee I ever had the pleasure to meet was a man who had been an engineer at 3M (retired). He had been on the team that developed the floppy disc. He said they worked and worked on the floppy and they knew it would work, but it kept getting damaged when they tried it in the computer drive. Then they got the idea to enclose it in an envelope! It was a stunning development in our modern history, because from that point forward, the computer was developed easily for business and for personal use. A little later the disc was improved to a hard plastic disc, and later into a CD and DVD. I got goosebumps just listening to him talk!. That is the sort of thing that happens in team efforts.

    I keep wondering why all those brainiacs at the Treasury Dept haven’t come up with some wonderful plan for the economy. LOL

    Handicapped people are still the least employed group who face the most discrimination by potential employers. In fact, if there is one legacy the Bushes left that can be counted as *good*, it is the Disabilities Act and the Amended Disabilities Act. It’s great that the handicapped can now do all shopping and work on-line, but they are still extremely insulated from real people and real jobs.

  4. Mandy H. says:

    Gardener,

    Hey Mandy, I’ve been wondering how I could supplement my retirement income. Guess I’ll head on over to Second Life for my second or third income attempt. I’m a fabulous soapmaker, but the ROI is pitiable. Maybe all those laid off auto workers should tune in as well.

    Perhaps you should, Gardener, the person I was talking about is a disabled female former trucker, former homelessperson so you never know there may be hope for you…

    Really, I don’t see why individuals look down on new spaces such as facebook, Livejournal and the rest ‘as not proper places’, is it because ordinary people can access and use them and use it as a creative space that’s not owned / controlled by the intelligentsia?

  5. smilema says:

    Fe: I wanted to thank you for your clear and informative post :”Eric has said………” Your responses to my comments were clearly stated and I get where your head is. Thanks.

    Clearif: You are right I should be more forthcoming on my views. I thought I was being honest about how I felt about the comments being posted on this site and readers would get my slant on things. Evidently I thought wrong.

    Jane: You I don’t wish to address with any comment on what you have posted. If I wanted a shrink I would go to one. I don’t want to be or appreciate being subjected to namecalling by you. I thought about ignoring you completely but I felt you would think I was cowardly. I just don’t think your issues whatever they may be are my concern.

  6. Gardener says:

    For lots of info on grocery and drug store shopping at huge savings, visit http://www.moneysavingmom.com. No need to starve when there is gold in this here internet.

    JLO it is my experience that everyone goes through certain conditions and experiences in order to be able to help someone else. Right when you think you cannot take it anymore, someone will come along that you will need to help. Don’t turn the person away. Thought is deed in the spirit world, so keep the thoughts as loving and compassionate as possible, and don’t conjure up *fucked* scenarios because you bring them to life by visualizing them. Think abundantly, or as abundantly as possible.

    Hey Mandy, I’ve been wondering how I could supplement my retirement income. Guess I’ll head on over to Second Life for my second or third income attempt. I’m a fabulous soapmaker, but the ROI is pitiable. Maybe all those laid off auto workers should tune in as well.

  7. mystes says:

    Fe writes: However, if I think you’re saying what I think you’re saying, yes, there needs to be more consciousness about that phrase and using it, and that its not always about survival. If that’s what it is… please confirm.

    And the Ayes carry it…

    (Footrub…. ahhh yes…. the bigtoepull is the Supreme Commander of the Lunaverse for me.)

    You’re right, this topic has to do with how much has been gotten away with, and how very ready we are to see the end of this regime. Decades ago it was pointed out to me by one of the wealthiest people I know (he’s married into the Well-Fargo caboodle) that those people don’t just get their power from ‘wealth’ – they also have the ability and resources to mess with the collective unconscious.

    This was shortly followed up by two major intellectuals assuring me that any research I did in the areas of my expertise (consciousness and art) would be CIA’ed in a heartbeat. Weaponizing would take a little longer. Knowing this moved me from intellectual/scholar to a more hands-on approach.

    So as much respect as I have for the nuts and bolts of political process, if we don’t also actively work the archetypal arenas, we’ll be outgunned by people who actually are in those spaces with their phazers set to ‘Mischief.’

    Hence that leetle tiny phrase: But you gotta eat. It’s been positioned to catch the panic light juuuuuust so.

  8. mystes says:

    Mr. Lo,

    The moral of my story: Most of us here are the demo-babies for the possibility that one can maintain the roof and the yard and the electricity and water flowing while saying >YES< to the wilderness. I go where I am called; I face so-called penurious circumstances regularly BECAUSE I Go Where I am Called. It doesn’t always ‘work out’ in the security sense, but it always works out in the creative sense.

    This goes to the question of fear, and what precisely we find terrifying – because *that* is where we can be controlled. Example: the current depredations carried out on a political level in the name of ‘security.’ Those of us walking around with 5% higher voltage flickering between our eyes (you know who you are) need to peer into the navel of that fear until the smoke starts to curl off of its toasted little buttons.

    Back to it…

    M

  9. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    mystes:

    “It is up there with getting my earlobes pulled. ”

    Personally for me, its up there with getting my feet rubbed.

    This looks a good topic for Planet Waves at another time!!!

    However, if I think you’re saying what I think you’re saying, yes, there needs to be more consciousness about that phrase and using it, and that its not always about survival. If that’s what it is… please confirm.

  10. mystes says:

    Ah… just in case it looks like I’m advocating (or more likely, pontificating) from middleclass safety.

    Uh, I’m not.

    The flight to CA was paid by the connubial blisskids, and upon arriving home I had 16$ in my business account, 24$ in my personal account. And my businesses were all tits-up. But I also have a dozen or so crackerjack magi in my circles who love me to life and back.

    Soooo… ->Ting-a-ling!<-

    And here we are.

    How did our boy Willy Butler put it? “Love is all unsatisfied that does not feed the whole body and soul.” Something like that.

    (Which isn’t to say you can’t also put it IN the food!…)

    Kissies,

    M

  11. jlo says:

    Fe, as funny as it is, I got rid of my vehicles over 3 years ago, so when I’m in S.F. it’s the planter box between 4th 5th Market Mission. No roof, but oh well, i’s all cool.

    Myst,… Yes, No… YARN….. I don’t have to be where I’m at… I choose my reality. I most definitely could have conformed to societal standards, but that would have made my soul sick. Now I’m at a point where I’m willing to (capable) of living a life that is in line with MY being.

    I’ve seen some wierd shit, and so have most here.

    WE are the ones who will dictate our own perception…..

    Again, I say Love

    Love?

    Yes, LOVE!

    LOVE!

  12. mystes says:

    Fe, it doesn’t have to do with not eating, or as you say, not feeding the temple. Me, I loves to cook, loves even more to feed others. It is up there with getting my earlobes pulled.

    The observation that came through that practice (which is too complicated to explain here, but is a new/old oracular process) was there was a particular *hold* on the idea ‘but ya gotta eat…’ and that we needed to be careful about instinctually grabbing that phrase as a justification for positions, activities, expediencies that would otherwise be reprehensible.

    That phrase, in short, grabs us back. It needs to be carefully wiped off before putting back in your mouth.

    Trust me on this.

    Love,

    M

  13. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    Keith Olbermann on Daily Kos: “Hockey Moms in Glass Houses”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/6/172419/580/460/621962

  14. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    mystes:

    I think we need to feed the temple that houses the spirit as much as we need to feed the spirit. And I think we’ve got to love because it feeds the soul. And that there are those who can’t afford to be able to choose between eating and not eating. Many need to eat because they are starving and need to eat or their temple will die.

  15. mystes says:

    “Good luck, and LOVE

    That’s right, LOVE

    And once more, LOVE

    Oh shit! Broken record….

    LOVE”

    Back at you, young’un… One of my daughter’s more privileged friends unwound a long yarn about squatting for a few months in a vacant building in Brooklyn last year. And she’s got a Rabbi father and serious inheritance from her mammy. One of Angel’s best friends is Wiley Wiggins (who’s in most of Linklater’s films and has quite enough cash) and he too streets it out from time to time. I don’t get it, but I think its a new kind of respectability.

    So you just keep being what/who you are. It’s loosening things up for the rest of us.

    Meanwhile, back at Fe (and everyone else’s) ‘gotta eat’ clause. I would like to state for the record that food is overrated as a source of nutrition. I recently chose to fly to California and do ritual rather than secure the larder, and yes, I came home to a a bare nekkid kitchen, and most bills dangling. It was totally worth it.

    A couple of years ago I did an oneirocriticon on a suite of alchemical paintings. One of the things that came out of that three day retreat was the awareness that the phrase: *But ya gotta eat* had been infected with some fairly unsavory (hahaha) energy. I kept that under wraps since 2005 (the Oneirocriticon itself will be released early next year), but it’s time to start alerting those who can hear this. The phrase has been positioned to take people to places they do NOT need to go. We don’t gotta eat, we gotta love. It is now and has always been the bottom line.

    Kissies,

    M (the 13th letter)

  16. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    jlo:

    I know the TL, so I’m hoping you have a place where you can park that’s got a roof and four walls and a clean bed and bath. And that you can park there for good and for real.

    Even if its played over and again, love is never a tired thing.

  17. jlo says:

    So… what do we do?
    Love.

    It’s one answer.

    Of course that can be twisted as much as….?

    I respect, completely, and look forward to the education I receive on this site, you cats have knowledge I don’t possess. I appreciate it. PLEASE, continue!

    I’m one who knows “the streets”. Give me any scenario of “fucked” and I can navigate the shit. Whether it’s personal or other. You want the streets….. try S.F. tenderloin. Ellis,Eddy,Ofarrel,Larkin, south leavenworth,… It’s a trip… If you’re up for trippin’ out.

    I can bounce between having the guile to exist in this realm…. as I’ve bounced this summer between Santa Cruz and North Sac. suburbs, sleeping wherever I found safety, sometimes in a planter box that held my fetal shape.

    So, Come on now… Fuck the B.S….. When do we get together, see what NEEDS to be done, and put our minds there.

    I’m completely different from most here, …but… you cats have some good vibe. My ears are open.

    I think it’s just conjuration that I speak from… but… (Hell, maybe someone has half a clue that actually accomplishes something in this universe/world)….

    Good luck, and LOVE

    That’s right, LOVE

    And once more, LOVE

    Oh shit! Broken record….

    LOVE

  18. Mandy H. says:

    Gardener…

    The virtual world seems to be replacing the real world very quickly. People on facebook seem to be great put-ons, like �keeping up with the joneses’ in virtual reality instead of in their physical neighborhood. You post your best photos, cute pictures of the pets, send virtual flowers to everyone you know, and even get caught up in community game playing.

    I know a woman who is older than I, who spends ALL NIGHT on the website Second Life. It is a virtual community where you build, design, buy land, or whatever – all as virtual community, not real community. She designs furniture and sells it on line to people on Second Life. It is not real furniture – just virtual furniture. I get confused when she talks about her furniture store!

    To me, that is pretty far gone. All she needs is a room and a computer hook up and a cup of Starbucks. No insurance needed, no property tax, no sales tax, no fuel costs (other than electric) no salaries, no supplies (fabric, paint, designer, delivery fees). So is that where we are all headed? We confuse reality with make-believe?

    Sigh….

    Facebook,Live Journal, Second Life,My Space are places where people relate to each other – its just a different space that’sall. The interaction is just as *real* as anything that happens over a phone or even face to face.

    Come and experience SL for yourself and you’ll find it’s not just *make believe* it is a living breathing space where human beings from all over the world, communicate, relate, work and enjoy life. As for make believe – someone I know quite well there actually earned $238, 000 dollars there last year.

  19. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    As Eric has said recently, this website is about politics, sexuality, culture, art and astrology. All of those topics hit my buttons, and I’m pleased to be writing here.

    What I find interesting about this site is the beginning dynamic of a conversation. Hopefully an agreement to disagree amongst its participants, and a willingness to grow. That means everyone, including me.

    smilema:

    “What I question is the talk on this site which appears rebellous and smacks of revolution. Are you really advocating a new government in line with “your” ideals.”

    No, I am advocating a return to the Constitution which was shredded by the last eight years of a Bush Administration.

    “If so, I’m not sure just what your ideals are and where they are coming from. I still trust in the ability of the American public to recognize the values we have always stood for.”

    But if the American people are misinformed or NOT informed about the potential of any decision being made in their name, from engaging in a war to the value of your retirement fund, what is left for the American people to recognize? It’s certainly not my ideals.

    “If we seek change it should be an evolution from sound American values and not something simply pushed by facebook, myspace and political blogs.”

    This is where we need to clarify, as I said upwards in this thread. ALl of these sites are TOOLS, not generators for the actual political agenda. And they are common places for people to evaluate what’s going on politically. And there are differences of opinion. But its not a propaganda machine, its a national community banded together virtually.

    If I remember correctly, sound American values include the right to peacefully assemble. The right for Freedom of Speech. The right to have an opinion. We can have opinions here and in the cafe and lavoratory but is it a place where your local politician, outside of his/her office can access? That’s where the tool of internet comes in handy.

    “Clarity of vision is difficult to acheve when constantly bombed from all sides, the internet, the media and other literature. I’m still trying. Talk about being oversaturated. But I wouldn’t change the government we have for all the ideals in the world.”

    Neither would I.

    And nor am I an idealogue. Actually, I’m a pragmatist who has lived and worked in the most liberal region of the nation. I am also a government administrator. I have worked as a legislative advocate on a federal, state and local level. I’ve consulted with mayors, city and state departments on capital projects, and outside businesses on how to work with government(s). I’ve been doing this now for the last twenty-eight years, so I think I’ve seen enough to know about how government works, what bureacracy is, what it takes to get legislation moving, and when a politician is lying.

    As for clarity of vision, all we ask for here–not only on this thread, but in Eric’s astrology, and even his thread on Auschwitz above: is cognition of history, trend and using the astrological information as best we can. Its not the predictive aspect of astrology, but the framing of the time that provides context for what decisions we do make with our lives. The information we give you is really up to you to ingest and create with. You don’t have to eat anything or everything. Its still always your free will and decision.

  20. JanesDefense says:

    Smilema:

    “Jane; it appears I’ve gotten under your skin. you sound angry. and defensive. I was not. I’m going to work but I will address all of your points this evening. What’s bugging me? I was clear on that. You still refuse to hear me. You haven’t understood me at all. I dont’ need your attention. Cool off.”

    :). I’m quite fine and I’m not angry. But this is what I mean by passive aggression. Your comments are totally unclear. They are vaguely accusatory. You have general complaints about freedom ,and the constitution, and somebody’s needs not being met.

    I can confront you about this directly and say what do you mean – and what you will say is: Chee, stop being so angry! What’s the matter with you? You really have a problem. You’re defensive! Cool off! Jane, stop being the aggressor, you’re so hotheaded and unreasonable!

    That’s passive aggression. It’s really a form of trolling.

    I’m not angry, at all — but I am pointing out that you are the one who complained about the content of peoples posts here, not me.

    ~j

  21. creatif says:

    smilema – I have read your exchanges with interest. And I guess this post is to invite you to be more ‘transparent’ for want of a better word of YOUR views, rather than criticising contributors who are being very honest with their views. Whether anyone agrees with them or not is not the point – they are stating them openly and I don’t feel in any doubt as to where most people stand. But I am not clear as to where you stand at all. I am curious to know more…

    I do agree with some of what you say regards the site regards posts under Campaign 08. Some posts have left me feeling that the authors (in those moments) are potentially as closed and judgemental as the people they are criticising. Particularly those around Palin/McCain (and I am a firm Obama supporter). The views haven’t landed well for me. But so what?

    IMO the majority of posts have been enlightening. I love this site, I support it by subscribing to it, and I like the breadth of subjects and views it shows – even if some of it makes for uncomfortable and challenging reading.

    Maybe more from you in terms of your ideas, suggestions on the topics?

    Best wishes.

  22. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    Mornin’ all:

    Going through the comments I want to clarify a few things. I believe the internet has been a useful tool in organizing and community building. I’ve seen that happen in the best sense and under very specific political circumstances–a Presidential campaign.

    It actually helped to deliver boots on the ground – people going out and delivering message, getting clear on message, and relaying back message from the ground back up, as well as generate campaign funds and a huge network of new voters. That’s progress

    Facebook and Myspace are recent phenomenon, and another step towards organizing as explained above. And not to say all blogs and online communities are the new wave in advanced political machinery, but focused blogs and web communities ARE, and have been very effective. These are tools. Are they going to supplant people? I hope not.

    Alot of times these venues are misused and over-used. The predatory aspects of Facebook and Myspace and the downright silliness of even some political blogs need contant self-policing. But their effect is powerful and should not be underestimated. Same goes for the mainstream press

    In these days, my level of trust for what is generated and reported from online communities, particularly blogs and websites which do rely on the integrity of their information–is much higher than the Associated Press, which is the single news source agency in the country now (and I suspect its poiltical agenda). Most single-arm media outlets are ripe for manipulation and manipulating. Please Google Ron Fournier.

    I read Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Andrew Sullivan, Politico, Five thirty-eight and The Field. Sometimes I read Jack & Jill Politics, Pam’s House Blend, and Juan Cole’s Informed Comment. Recently, I’ve taken to enjoying a new small state-focused blog called Mudflats, a sweet little blog all about Alaska politics.

    To close, when Paul Begala wrote his first Kos Diary a couple of weeks ago, everyone in the community was amazed. He said, “I read Kos everyday. I need it to keep up with what the community thinks.”

  23. smilema says:

    Gardener: Thank you for looking beyond the words and understanding what I was trying to say. You are more articulate than I and I thank you.

    Jane; it appears I’ve gotten under your skin. you sound angry. and defensive. I was not. I’m going to work but I will address all of your points this evening. What’s bugging me? I was clear on that. You still refuse to hear me. You haven’t understood me at all. I dont’ need your attention. Cool off.

  24. JanesDefense says:

    “sound american values enbodied in our constitution”

    Are you suggesting this website does not support the Constitution?

    “tolerances for different views and faiths”

    Can you show me where this website or the commentors, I guess, have shown intolerance for other *views*, and what are the views? Can you point to ( and you could use the copy and paste function for this so it shouldn’t be too labor intensive) places on the site that are *intolerant of other faiths* — and what are the faiths, because I was under the impression Planet Waves was nondenominational.

    “independence and liberty regardless of religion, race or creed”

    Can you show me where this site or any commentor has voiced opposition to independence and liberty for all types of folks? Equality is basically endemic to the internet — there almost no way to achieve disparate treatment in the cyberuniverse – how is equality being undermined at Planet Waves?

    “The tendency here is to interpret the comments according to your own agenda.”

    What criteria are you personally using to interpret the comments?

    “I don’t have facebook and myspace accounts, those were mentioned by you. ”

    Can you show me where? You said: “If we seek change it should be an evolution from sound American values and not something simply pushed by facebook, myspace and political blogs.” I suggested you close your accounts and not read these things if you don’t like them.

    “Again the need to have this site represent only one side of a view remains prominent. ”

    What side of what view are you referring to?

    “Does it help you to misunderstand me?”

    :). Actually, no, I understand you very well. What you are doing is called, let me whisper it: *passive aggression*. You either want some attention or you don’t like something somebody said ( possibly me) so you voice a general complaint that everybody in this little corner of the world just isn’t meeting your personal standards, instead of directly and clearly confronting what’s really bugging you.

    I’ve given you some starting points above to make your points more clearly. Does that help *you*?

    ~j

  25. Gardener says:

    Smilema we were thinking alike but I got kind of windy

  26. Gardener says:

    The virtual world seems to be replacing the real world very quickly. People on facebook seem to be great put-ons, like ‘keeping up with the joneses’ in virtual reality instead of in their physical neighborhood. You post your best photos, cute pictures of the pets, send virtual flowers to everyone you know, and even get caught up in community game playing.

    I know a woman who is older than I, who spends ALL NIGHT on the website Second Life. It is a virtual community where you build, design, buy land, or whatever – all as virtual community, not real community. She designs furniture and sells it on line to people on Second Life. It is not real furniture – just virtual furniture. I get confused when she talks about her furniture store!

    To me, that is pretty far gone. All she needs is a room and a computer hook up and a cup of Starbucks. No insurance needed, no property tax, no sales tax, no fuel costs (other than electric) no salaries, no supplies (fabric, paint, designer, delivery fees). So is that where we are all headed? We confuse reality with make-believe?

    I think I understand what Smilema is saying. You can create a personality on line that is not your real personality and not even the person your children and spouse know and love. You can be anyone you want to be – whore or saint, democrat or republican.

    For me the sound American values are what we have in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence – what our politicians have destroyed. I think we will yet see a revolution, but we have not passed the point where the pain of staying the same, is worse than the pain of changing. My preacher did a sermon on that subject and I wish I had a copy of it (the pain of adultery, gluttony, thievery, lying, cheating – take your pick) The pain of continuing along the same path we are in will grow far worse as this economic ‘crisis’ continues to grow.

    It was the pain of paying excessive tariffs to England that became the tipping point in the American Revolution, but most of our ancestors came here to practice their religious beliefs without fear of persecution. My ancestors were Quaker, Catholic, and Morman. They left Europe to escape tyranny, but yes they encountered it here as well, only they are protected by the constitution for now. My spouse is Native American. Native Americans were not given the right to practice their own religious beliefs until Jimmy Carter sign the Religious Freedom Act in 1978. They were not recognized as human beings until the Standing Bear Trial and many states did not give them the right to vote until 1948. The Indians knew how to live in balance and harmony with nature, but that way is foreign to us. We thought they were animals.

    Right now, we are knocking on the door of socialism – taxation without representation – to pay the banks. I read someplace that every family in the USA could get 125,000 for a cost of about 40 billion. Just think we could have paid off mortgages and credit cards, bought new homes and purchased new vehicles and put thousands of people to work and created wealth for the government too. I know that somewhere in that 700 billion is 40 billion dollars worth of pork – but the politicians do not want us to decide how to spend our own money. It is ALL about CONTROLLING THE POPULATION. Even Hillary said it about individual health care accounts “we can’t let the people have that much money! It has to stay in Washington where we can take care of it!’ maybe not the exact quote but close enough and then they were only talking about 5,000! This thought permeates the Washington mindset.

    The other problem that really bothers me a lot, is the anti-christian movement. It is wrong to tell other people how to believe. All you need to do is read Eric’s essays on the Holocaust to see how badly it could end up. Educating and informing is the right thing to do, while at the same time withholding personal judgment if the student is not ready to learn.

    Freedom to choose isn’t really freedom to choose for a lot of people. What they mean is, do it my way or I’ll kill you. Do it my way or I’ll make fun of you, steal from you, cheat you anyway I can, take your property, your home, and throw you in jail too, for good measure.

    In the county where I live, the police tend to live and let live as long as the citizens are not causing anyone harm. One of our longtime neighbors of 35 years always grew his own pot. To be sure, it was a bad habit, but everyone knew that he liked to sit on the porch in the evening and enjoy a pipe. He didn’t hurt anyone. he was self-employed, and his kids and family were regular attendees at church and church camp. Everyone knew he smoked pot, but he was well loved by many and we turned a blind eye. So did the police.

    Last year someone from the city moved into the neighborhood and wanted to buy a piece of property from him. He wouldn’t sell, so they called the cops to complain about his marijuana patch. Nothing happened. So they called the FBI. The FBI had no real interest in it, but naturally they had to call the county sheriff – and so an arrest had to be made. The pot patch was destroyed, and the old guy (he’s in his late sixties) went to jail. The spouse was embarrassed and so were the now grown children. They owe a big legal debt and couldn’t pay the property taxes last year.

    Was he wrong to smoke pot? Well, yes – it IS illegal still, but in our community, which is a Quaker community of people who know how to mind their own business, you DON’T call the FBI on your neighbors. And you don’t covet your neighbor’s property either. If I catch someone’s kids out boozing or smoking pot, I’ll call their parents, but not the cops. Our way would be more to try for a conversion of sorts. I’m sure our preacher worked on him for the last 20 years or so, and probably felt the pain of failure when he was hauled off to jail.

    Remember, Hitler started out by getting the schoolkids to tell on their parents, and called it patriotic.

  27. smilema says:

    sound american values enbodied in our constitution, tolerances for different views and faiths; independence and liberty regardless of religion, race or creed. equality for all men(women too}

    I was not alluding to people blogging on different sites when I sensed the voice of rebellion. I was referring to this site. read the comments more closely. I have. The tendency here is to interpret the comments according to your own agenda. I don’t have facebook and myspace accounts, those were mentioned by you. Again the need to have this site represent only one side of a view remains prominent. Does it help you to misunderstand me?

  28. JanesDefense says:

    Smilema;

    Revolutions are really not very fun to do. They’re fun to think about, they make great movies, they’re going to generate some catchy tunes, but overall, on the ground, real revolution sucks rocks. It’s a real bad time be a baby or an old person, good time to plan to get rounded up and shot.

    I don’t think you’ll run into any blogpeople who are truly advocating a well and true revolution. They’re hard to live through and as far as I know nobody really gets what they want anyway.

    What I want to know, though, is what you mean by evolution from sound american values — without the input of political blogs, which are confusing the issues to you? You could just not read political blogs, and get rid of your facebook and myspace accounts, wouldn’t that help?

    ~j

  29. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    Smilema:

    What do you term sound American values?

  30. smilema says:

    You have only made the point that an well organized campaign to influence blogs on the internet is possible. It is the internet that has funded Obama campaign at the same time that it has masked his rise in politics. Most of us who surf the intenet blogs get different stories which depending on our subjective inclination will sort out and choose to believe. Both McCain and Obama are skilled politicians and seek the best slant of the issues to get our vote. The idea of a “coup” is probably already a done deal to happen in November. What I question is the talk on this site which appears rebellous and smacks of revolution. Are you really advocating a new government in line with “your” ideals. If so, I’m not sure just what your ideals are and where they are coming from. I still trust in the ability of the American public to recognize the values we have always stood for. If we seek change it should be an evolution from sound American values and not something simply pushed by facebook, myspace and political blogs. Clarity of vision is difficult to acheve when constantly bombed from all sides, the internet, the media and other literature. I’m still trying. Talk about being oversaturated. But I wouldn’t change the government we have for all the ideals in the world.

  31. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    Tachikata:

    Agreed. We need to re-create a local economy. But that also means re-tooling and re-orienting the one we’ve got.

    Is America manufacturing anything of import that can become an engine for its economy again? I think clean energy is a start and sustainable infrastructure is another.

    As for school, for some there’s evenb less there that can actually help. Its not even a matter of strangling just creativity. Its about strangling any semblance of hope that you’re not going to juvie and prison by the time you’re 18.

  32. creatif says:

    smilema – I couldn’t agree with you more.

  33. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    paul hill-

    thanks

  34. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    “The caveat is that our baby-steps shamanism (deep bow) can carry us to some apparently-solipsistic spaces; but perhaps we can reframe those heal-the-self-first practices as a preliminary training for the eyes-open, mind-engaged, hands-on refocusing of what becomes possible within the social body (from potlucks to conventions, eh?).”

    mystes:

    I theorize that fear has always been the primary motivator for the isolation and tribalism that has led to the polarization between races and classes and political parties in this country.

    Soon, there will be alot more poor or struggling middle class, and we’re going to need to find some sort of local interdependence to cope. We’re going to need to connect with each other, get our kids to school and ourselves to work if we do have jobs, and we’ll all have to eat. I have a feeling we’ll probably all need to know each other better because isolation, unless you’re very rich, is not going to be a sustainable survival model.

  35. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    “The problem with these fuckers is that you never know when they *might* be telling the truth, and you never know where you might run into a CIA-style infomassage. Unrelated items dropped in newspapers…words echoing across the mediascape…panic — don’t say Panic- it’s not a PANic – no reason to PANIC — ”

    Jane:

    I know you’re awake so you already got that there’s some real lizard-brain exploitation going on out there, especially the Noun. Verb. 9-11 Politics.

    “Whatever is going on with the economy is a little true, gotta be. But these things usually frame out with a delayed punchline. I’m waiting for the unpalatable political consequences we’re going to have to swallow as good Americans because of the “global crisis”.”

    Exactly my point. The purpose for the article was to point out that these tactics are getting old, but still being used. That the Republican ticket is now resorting to using sexual tactics to make a point Ms. Drill (me)-Baby-Drill (me) shows that they still intend to distract in order to get their agenda through. But I’m thinking and hoping there’s more of us now than in 2004.

    As for the vampires, agreed the melanine content is disturbingly low. Let’s hope they’re not filming when they burst into flames when exposed to sunlight.

  36. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:

    fluidity:

    I agree with your doubt, but its because I think more can be done.

    As an online organizer through blogs, building community has always meant real boots on the ground to do the actual hard work. In the case of politics, that means getting out the vote, informing the low-info voters, connecting with people on the ground using good information found on the site.

    The ground gained since 2003 has been amazing, and I think it was a combination of the netroots building towards their first win in 2006 that we see what we see with the Obama campaign today. Obama was the first Facebook candidate. Not Democracy For America, but Facebook.

    At the Netroots conference I attended in Chicago in 2007, Facebook and Myspace had replaced Online Organizing 1. 0 (Meet-up, Move-On and a larger number of political blogs). Its the ultimate virtual convention where you’re networking and building support. That’s how the Obama movement gained speed. From that point, after Iowa, they pulled in Kerry’s 2-million name e-mail list–all potential new donors to Obama’s already teeming coffers. That’s why he’s been so effective.

    The internet is still a money machine for politics, but I also know that its an immediate venue for politicians to start connecting directly, locally, and immediately with constituents.

    “the real obstacle I think to people becoming active, to people becoming really involved, to people devoting themselves, committing themselves to winning something new, is gaining some clarity and confidence about what that new thing is. Clarity about vision. … So the content which is being delivered, the information which is being delivered has to be about what’s wrong but also about what we want, what’s desirable, what we’re seeking and desire to win, and how we can go about doing so. …”

    I look at what’s happening now that we’re all, at different phases, waking from a group dream. Some of us more awake than others, others still sleeping. But once we wake, we can begin the group conversation. Only on a larger, and with “the tubes” more immediate scale.

    I am willing to believe that once the polarization from the coup is further revealed to more who have been asleep, that a truly remarkable conversation can begin. But first–we need to know we’ve been asleep while thieves came through and ransacked the house.

  37. smilema says:

    It- would be nice to have a discussion on the issues -discussion requires two points of view. I rarely find it on this site.

  38. JanesDefense says:

    First of all Fe I just want to float this past you:

    It might just be that Washington is being infiltrated by vampires. Look at Paulson, he’s Nosferatu, no doubt in my mind at all. His skin is all papery, indented at the temples and his teeth are all sharpened down, like he uses them to rip flesh from bone. He is completely the wrong color if he intends to mimic human skintones. And then there’s McCain: waxen, you know? His face always looks like its about to melt off his skull. I’m no expert but seriously, that can not be good.

    The problem with these fuckers is that you never know when they *might* be telling the truth, and you never know where you might run into a CIA-style infomassage. Unrelated items dropped in newspapers…words echoing across the mediascape…panic — don’t say Panic- it’s not a PANic – no reason to PANIC —

    Some things need to endure a series of tests before I feel safe to pronounce them bullshit and some things obviously *are*, like the weapons of mass destruction thing, which I couldn’t believe other people actually bought. I remember saying *of course* it isn’t true, but they have to make up a reason to erase Saddam because we actually pay for and get killed in the army they want to use.

    Whatever is going on with the economy is a little true, gotta be. But these things usually frame out with a delayed punchline. I’m waiting for the unpalatable political consequences we’re going to have to swallow as good Americans because of the “global crisis”.

    Remember The Hunt For Red October? The Captain! He is scuttling the ship!

    ~j

  39. mystes says:

    Fluidity writes that M. Albert wrote…
    “The second part of the problem is that the website or the publishing operations should not just deliver content to an audience but should galvanize the audience into working together.”

    Yup. As the Philosopher Husband (1981-88) pointed out, in Western civilization there is an inverse proportion between how much an intellectual knows and what s/he can do with it. Here is where the question of “galvanics” comes into play – and why my favorite intellectuals (Robert Antone Wilson and Terrance McKenna come to mind) are also pretty seriously shamanic. When we’re talking about moving things through ‘media,’ one also has to take into account that there are interested parties who learned how to move things high, wide and ugly from places that mere social, or socio-political, or socio-political-economic focus cannot touch.

    The caveat is that our baby-steps shamanism (deep bow) can carry us to some apparently-solipsistic spaces; but perhaps we can reframe those heal-the-self-first practices as a preliminary training for the eyes-open, mind-engaged, hands-on refocusing of what becomes possible within the social body (from potlucks to conventions, eh?).

  40. fluidity says:

    “We’ve become a virtually-armed resistance movement to “the coup” on our minds.”

    And how effective are we really?

    I am worried that people (maybe because of ‘the coup’, maybe just because they’ve never developed a well-functioning analysis) aren’t tuned in to what really needs to come together to bring about real change. for example, all the focus on the political people, who are only there by virtue of a system that hopefully you’ll agree doesn’t work, and even though the election only gives you two choices, and they were both pro-bailout(!)

    I could say some more, but I’ll quote Michael Albert instead (about effective media):

    “For most people, effective means reaching a reasonable size of audience with good material. That’s not what I would mean if I use the word effective. What I would mean would be being part of a process that’s going to win a new society, and that’s very different if you think about it. … So if I ask myself what is needed from a publisher or website or a political organization, the answer is more and more people consciously and militantly desiring a new society and working to win it. … I think you have to build a community of people who by virtue of the information they are receiving and also their connections to each other become a movement, and even a more and more effective movement. …. the real obstacle I think to people becoming active, to people becoming really involved, to people devoting themselves, committing themselves to winning something new, is gaining some clarity and confidence about what that new thing is. Clarity about vision. … So the content which is being delivered, the information which is being delivered has to be about what’s wrong but also about what we want, what’s desirable, what we’re seeking and desire to win, and how we can go about doing so. … The second part of the problem is that the website or the publishing operations should not just deliver content to an audience but should galvanize the audience into working together.”

  41. Musicman 1 says:

    My Dad always used to say….

    “…try and imagine what it will all look like in 2 weeks…looking back…”

    So let us take a peek….

    Osama Bin Laden worked…(and probably still does…) for the CIA……better to have the head of Global Terror reporting back to Cheney…just in case there is a rogue operation going on…….

    His brief was to keep the Russians tied up in the East while British Intelligence put 400 officers into their Berlin Station….and dismantled the Soviet Union…and the Berlin Wall…brick by brick…..!!!

    All flushed with heady success…..Bush Senior…and Bin Laden Senior …..cut a deal…..sealed with a kiss…just hours after 9/11…
    Both their sons would be Global Heroes in their respective Theatres of Operation

    Having achieved all this…it was time to pay off all of their cronies who had participated in the Scam of the Century!!

    Now…using the same principle…it is obviously better to have the man on the inside…(Paulson) controlling the trillion dollar heist that we are now witnessing…..and George W. doesn’t really care either way about McCain or Palin……

    But….. looking back in six months…..only the greedy… snout like…. trough ridden pigs….. that will have been turfed out as the worst bunch of cowboys in history…… will be complaining….!!

    In Homeopathic terms….these 8 years have been necessary to bring this sick element to visible status….and convict them by their own hand…..!!

    There is nothing left to fear……and there have only ever been two kinds of people in the world…….

    Those who go around making a mess…

    And the rest of us who clean it up……..!!

    This then evolves into a process of continuous refinement……

    I would offer as words of comfort as we near the end game…….

    All of those thugs who have stolen so much…are fast becoming an ever shrinking ethnic minority…….a truly endangered species….!!

    Best wishes…..your work is a great read…!!

    paul hill

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