All four talks were excellent. It was a packed house, and the crowd was very enthusiastic about each of the four speakers. Chomsky uniquely got a raucous and sustained standing ovation.
There's a bit of laughter during Chomsky's lecture that you won't understand without video. What happens is as Chomsky is speaking a man conspicuously walks in front of him holding something like a sheet of paper. Chomsky says something like "Yeah, all right." So it was apparently someone holding a sheet indicating the time. We'd have thought FAIR was trying to hurry him along, but then Chomsky says "I authorized that." He then said something like "When my kids were young and would ask me a question they'd say 'Just a 5 minute one.'" They understand that he gets going and it's off to the races. So he apparently asked someone to warn him so he didn't go too long. It's funny because here's Chomsky at 82 and he just goes and goes. He looked great. On the right they wish he'd pass on, but it's not going to happen any time soon thankfully.
These are an apple format, so i-pods or Quicktime work. I can convert them, but there would be a bit of loss. Watch out for the applause because it's loud as contrasted to the speaking. Otherwise the sound quality is pretty good.
It looks like Glenn has linked to my audio files here, so the above links are updated to accommodate the additional bandwidth. Also commenter mubak has edited the files to improve the audio disparity during the applause and loaded all 4 talks as a single zip file which can be downloaded here.
Thanks SO MUCH!
Absolutely superb. Thank you.
I've run the files through 'Levelator' to iron out the differences in sound levels. It's also a single zip file containing the four speeches (just download as a free user from Rapidshare).
Excellent. thanks so much, jon and mabuk.
been looking for this all day and yesterday. still not seen the clips, nor do i know how i got here. thanks in advance
Glad I found your blog. However Zipped folder is corrupted, can't open it.
So obviosly I knew absolutely nothing about the 4 gents mentioned in your blog. When I looked them up starting with this guy Chomsky I guess I was not surprised to find out that this guy has made nothing and contributed nothing - he is just a voice. He is not an inventor, not a scientist that cured a disease, not a successfull business man, never appears to have had a real job of any kind of any substance - he is a scribe so what does he offer again - I am confused?
It's interesting, Chad, that you've never heard of Chomsky. Not that I'm surprised. Let me note just a couple of things about him. He's the most frequently cited living human. He's been voted the world's top public intellectual (for what that's worth). He's interviewed constantly worldwide. Wherever he goes to speak is standing room only, always sold out, and he's only able to accept a fraction of the speaking offers that are made to him. You've never heard of him. Neither had I until relatively recently. There's a reason for that. Stick around this blog and you'll find out why.
Jon - some people are just best ignored.
You forgot to mention, longtime professor of linguistics at MIT. And YOUR contributions to society have been...?
Are transcripts of these available (perhaps elsewhere)? I've looked around but only see audio/video.
lol @ Chad. You've heard of Santa right?
Let me get this straight all - your hero/leader is Chomsky? Based on him being in the top 2% of earners in America and the hypocrisy at which he has lived his life - well I guess it is perfect for the Left.
Article: Noam Chomsky: Do as I say and not as I do.
I never thought a self-described socialist dissident and anti-imperialist crusader could be so thin-skinned.
I had sent Noam Chomsky several e-mails, questioning him in a mild but insistent way about his personal wealth, investments, and legal maneuvers to avoid paying taxes. What I got back was a stream of invective and some of the most creative logic I have ever seen in my life. No wonder he is considered one of the most important linguists in the world; he's adept at twisting words.
Noam Chomsky doesn't look like your typical revolutionary. The soft-spoken MIT professor is thin and poorly dressed, with a shy smile and gentle manner. But when he speaks or writes about America, the Pentagon, and capitalism, this self-appointed "champion of the ordinary guy" erupts as if the wrath of God had descended from heaven.
Chomsky doesn't think America is a free country: "The American electoral system is a series of four-year dictatorships." There is no real free press, only "brainwashing under freedom." In his book What Uncle Sam Really Wants, he describes an America on par with Nazi Germany. "Legally speaking," he says, "there's a very solid case for impeaching every American president since the Second World War. They've all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes." His views on capitalism? Put it up there with Nazism. Don't even ask about the Pentagon. It's the most vile institution on the face of the earth.
Chomsky may sound like a crank, but he's a crank taken seriously around the world. Hundreds of thousands of college students read his books. Michael Moore has claimed him as a mentor of sorts, and the leadership of the AFL-CIO has gone to him for political advice. The Guardian declares that he "ranks with Marx, Shakespeare, and the Bible as one of the most quoted sources in the humanities." Robert Barsky, in a glowing biography, claims that Chomsky "will be for future generations what Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Mozart or Picasso have been for ours."
Part 2 next
Though he originally made his name as a professor of linguistics, his political radicalism has made him a superstar. He is embraced by entertainers and actors as some kind of modern-day Buddha. Bono, of the band U2, calls him "the Elvis of Academia." On Saturday Night Live, a cast member carried a copy of his collected works during one skit in obvious homage to him. In the film Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon played a brilliant young man who quotes Chomsky like some Old Testament prophet. The rock band Pearl Jam even featured Chomsky at some of their concerts. With thousands packed into a concert hall, the slender Chomsky would come out onstage and ruminate on the horrors of American capitalism. Other rock bands have proclaimed him their hero, and one even named itself "Chomsky" in veneration.
Chomsky regularly lectures before thousands of people. In Blue State strongholds like Berkeley, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, hundreds are turned away at the door. Even in Texas, the heart of Bush Country, a recent campus appearance brought two thousand to the auditorium. David Barsamian, host of Alternative Radio, explains that the professor "is for many of us our rabbi, our preacher, our rinpoche, our pundit, our imam, our sensei."
Chomsky plays the part. He dresses simply, proclaims his lack of interest in material things, and holds forth like a modern-day Gandhi. His low-key, deliberate manner is part of his secret. MIT colleague Steven Pinker recalls, "My first impression of him was, like many people, one of awe."
Despite his voluminous output, Chomsky's message is remarkably simple: Do you see horror and evil in the world? Capitalism and the American military-industrial complex are to blame. He has charged that the crimes of democratic capitalism are "monstrously worse" than those of communism. Spin magazine has called him "a capitalist's worst nightmare." He considers the United States a "police state."
Chomsky often calls himself an "American dissident," comparing himself to dissidents in the former Soviet Union. He calls his critics "commissars" and says their tactics are familiar to any student of police state behavior. When asked by a reporter why he is ignored by official Washington, he said, "It's been done throughout history. How were dissidents treated in the Soviet Union?" (Hint: They weren't "ignored"; they were harassed or imprisoned by the KGB.) Yet despite its manifest absurdity, visions of Chomsky as some sort of American Sakharov have caught on. In Great Britain he has been welcomed by Labor MPs and called America's "dissident-in-chief."
But Chomsky's image and persona, carefully cultivated and encouraged by his followers over the decades, is nothing more than a well-constructed charade. Chomsky has built a highly successful career by abandoning the very ideas and principles he claims to hold dear. Indeed, his greatest accomplishment is not intellectual but entrepreneurial: He has figured out how to make a nice living as a self-described "anarchist-socialist" dissident in a capitalist society. Disdaining the petty contradictions that limit other men's achievements, he has marketed himself as a courageous truth-teller constantly threatened with censorship while publishing dozens of books and holding a tenured position at one of the world's most prestigious universities. Most audaciously, he has enriched himself by taking millions from the Pentagon while denouncing it as the epitome of evil.
This hypocrisy is particularly stunning because he first entered the national political stage in 1967 with an impassioned article in the New York Review of Books called "The Responsibility of Intellectuals," in which he challenged the nation's writers and thinkers "to speak the truth and to expose lies." He attacked establishment figures like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Henry Kissinger, claiming that they demonstrated a "hypocritical moralism" by professing to be something they were not. Chomsky long ago embraced the leftist notion that the personal is political, and that intellectuals should be held strictly accountable for what they say and do. His advice to young people in a recent interview: "Think for yourselves, and observe elementary moral principles, such as taking responsibility for your actions, or inactions."
Chomsky has made a career out of scrutinizing and passing judgment on others. But he has always worked to avoid similar scrutiny. As he told a National Public Radio (NPR) interviewer, he was not going to discuss "the house, the children, personal life--anything like that . . . This is not about a person. It's about ideas and principles." But in a very real way it is all about Chomsky. Is this self-professed American Sakharov really who he claims to be? Does he live by the "moral truisms" with which he has pummeled others over the past four decades?
Let's start with Chomsky's bête noire, the American military.
To hear Chomsky describe it, the Pentagon has got to be one of the most evil institutions in world history. He has called it several times "the most hideous institution on this earth" and declares that it "constitutes a menace to human life." More to the point, the military has no business being on college campuses, whether recruiting, providing money for research, or helping students pay for college. Professors shouldn't work with the Pentagon, he has said, and instead should fight racism, poverty, and repression. Universities shouldn't take Pentagon research money because it ends up serving the Pentagon's sinister goal of "militarizing" American society. He's also against college students getting ROTC scholarships, and from Vietnam to the Gulf War he has helped in efforts to drive the program off college campuses.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered Chomsky's lucrative secret: He himself has been paid millions by the Pentagon over the last forty years. Conveniently, he also claims that it is morally acceptable.
Chomsky's entrance into the world of academe came in 1955 when he received his PhD. He was already a political radical, having determined at the age of ten that capitalism and the American military-industrial complex were dangerous and repugnant. You might think that Chomsky, being a linguist, worked for the MIT Linguistics Department when he joined the faculty. But in fact, Chomsky chose to work for the Research Laboratory of Electronics, which was funded entirely by the Pentagon and a few multinational corporations. Because of the largesse from this "menace to human life," lab employees like Chomsky enjoyed a light teaching load, an extensive staff, and a salary that was roughly 30 percent higher than equivalent positions at other universities.
Over the next half century, Chomsky would make millions by cashing checks from "the most hideous institution on this earth."
He wrote his first book, Syntactic Structures, with grants from the U.S. Army (Signal Corps), the air force (Office of Scientific Research, Air Research, and Development Command), and the Office of Naval Research. Though Chomsky says that American corporations "are just as totalitarian as Bolshevism and fascism," he apparently didn't mind taking money from them, either, because the Eastman Kodak Corporation also provided financial support.
His next book, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, was produced with money from the Joint Services Electronic Program (U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force) as well as the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Division.
Serving this "fascist institution" (as he has repeatedly called it) became a family affair when his wife, Carol, also an accomplished linguist, signed on for Pentagon work participating in a DoD-funded project called "Baseball."(11)
Why would the Pentagon fund research into linguistics? Were they simply interested in advancing science? Chomsky would call anyone who believed such a thing supremely naive. As Chomsky well knew, his work in linguistics was considered vital by the air force and others to improve their "increasingly large investment in so-called 'command and control' computer systems" that were being used "to support our forces in Vietnam." As air force colonel Edmund P. Gaines put it in 1971, "Since the computer cannot 'understand' English, the commanders' queries must be translated into a language that the computer can deal with; such languages resemble English very little, either in their form or in the ease with which they are learned and used."(12)
Given Chomsky's high profile and shrill rhetoric, it is amazing that he has never been called on this glaring hypocrisy. The one example I could find when it actually became an issue was back in 1967, when Chomsky famously challenged his fellow professors to take moral responsibility for their actions, denounce the Pentagon, and admit that they were compromised by advising the government. George Steiner, a professor at Columbia, wrote Chomsky a letter that was published in the New York Review of Books, asking him earnestly: What action do you urge? And he directly asked: "Will Noam Chomsky announce that he will stop teaching at MIT or anywhere in this country so long as torture and napalm go on?" Chomsky had urged people to avoid paying taxes, resist the draft, and protest the war. He even advocated civil violence as a possible solution. But Chomsky balked at Steiner's suggestion. He could have publicly resigned, denounced the Pentagon, and taken a faculty position at any leading university in the country. But Chomsky wasn't willing to give up his position. Since then, he has tried to avoid discussing the subject. Along the way, he has been paid a nice salary for more than four decades courtesy of the Pentagon.
Armed with evidence of Chomsky's willingness to accept millions in salary and benefits from the Pentagon while trying to run ROTC off campus, I wrote him an e-mail asking him to explain himself. To his credit, Chomsky did respond. But what he sent back was less than convincing.
"I think we should be responsible for what we do, not for the bureaucratic question of who stamps the paycheck," he wrote, adding provocatively, "Do you think you are not working for the Pentagon? Ask yourself about the origins of the computer and the Internet you are now using."
Somehow, the fact that I use the Internet, which was created by the U.S. military, not only means that I am "working for the Pentagon," it is the moral equivalent of Chomsky himself growing wealthy on Pentagon contracts. I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for my check.
Intriguingly, Chomsky seems to have taken me for someone even farther to the left than he is. Thus as our correspondence continued, he suddenly grew defensive and accused me of attacking "those who have not been living up to your exalted standards."
But of course it was Chomsky himself who had created this "exalted" standard by condemning those who might consider taking grants or scholarships from the Pentagon.
When Chomsky appears on college campuses, he usually dresses in a rumpled shirt and jacket. He is identified with dozens of left-wing causes and professes to speak for the poor, the oppressed, and the "victims of capitalism." But Chomsky is himself a shrewd capitalist, worth millions, with money in the dreaded and evil stock market, and at least one tax haven to cut down on those pesky inheritance taxes that he says are so important.
Chomsky describes himself as a "socialist" whose goal is a "post-capitalist society worth living in or fighting for."(13) He has called capitalism a "grotesque catastrophe" and a doctrine "crafted to induce hopelessness, resignation, and despair." When speaking about class struggle, Chomsky uses terms like "us" versus "them." Them includes "the top ten percent of taxpayers" (the bracket he himself occupies). Us, he says with truly audacious dishonesty, includes the other 90 percent. He further polishes his radical credentials by boasting about how he loves to spend time with "unemployed working class, activists of one kind or another, those considered to be riff-raff."(14)
Yet this man of the people, who is among the top 2 percent in the United States in net wealth, moved his family out of Cambridge, Massachusetts--hardly a working-class district to begin with--to the even more affluent wooded suburb of Lexington, where he was even less likely to mingle with blue-collar types. Moreover, he made the move around the time forced busing was being imposed on the Boston area; Lexington was exempt from the court order. Today, America's leading socialist owns a home worth over $850,000 and a vacation home in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, valued in excess of $1.2 million. Chomsky's home on the Cape is smack in the middle of a state park, which prevents any condos from going up nearby and obstructing his view. And don't look for oppressed minorities in either neighborhood. This self-described admirer of the Black Panthers, who says intellectuals must combat "all forms of racism" and complains that America "excludes" blacks from large parts of the country, owns a home in a town with a black population of 1.1 percent.(15)
Chomsky is not lonely in Wellfleet. His close friend and fellow radical Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of America, also makes his home there. Zinn has made a comfortable living over the years trumpeting his economic idea "that there should be no disproportions in the world," that everyone should basically have the same amount of wealth. He is also quick to pull the trigger and use words like perpetual racism and racist segregation in American society.(16) For all of his talk, Zinn owns two homes in expensive lily-white Wellfleet and a third in multicultural Auburndale (minority population 3.3 percent). A bit disproportionate, don't you think?
Like I have said so many times before - Socialism is for the people, but not the Socialist.
This guy is a fraud.
Chad, just a few posts up you're telling us you've never heard of Chomsky. Now you've read a little from some of his antagonists and you think you have it all figured out. Don't you think that judgment is a bit rushed? Have you had a chance to read any of his articles or books? Maybe listen to some of his lectures, like the one I've posted here?
All you posted here I've read before. It's not an article. It's part of a book that skewers a variety of leftists. It's all easily dismissed by those familiar with Chomsky's actual positions. But you would need to consider both sides of the story to know that.
Even if these personal foibles were true, which they aren't, I wouldn't really care that much. Supposing he were a hypocrite, which he isn't, this wouldn't mean his arguments were invalid or his facts were wrong. If you ever do consider the other side of the issue, that is if you actually listen to him and others that think similarly, you may come to understand why his critics focus so much on personal things or other irrelevancies. They don't want to deal with the arguments.
Just to whet your appetite, maybe watch the documentary Manufacturing Consent, available on youtube and google video. At least spend a tiny bit of time considering both sides of a debate before rushing to judgment. You'll quickly learn why his critics want to talk about things like his nice home rather than the substance of his claims.
Complete denial and deflection to the truth, typical.
It is disheartening that you can dismiss facts because it does not fit your arguement. You vilify the Koch Brothers for thier past and how they gain their riches, but yet they have contributed 100 times more to community, to charity than Chomsky has. The Koch Brothers have employed hundreds of thousands of people in this country. They provide a valuable resource that we use every day, but they are the evil ones - unbelievable.
You also assumed - wrongly - that my look into Chomsky was limited to the factual dirt about his life. When I watched to 4 or 5 different You Tube videos last night I disagreed with a good majority of what he had to say. He is an elite socialist who hates America so there very little he offers for me personally. I fall under the umbrella that if you don't like American - leave. Because I am not a fan, I looked for his slip ups and they are so numerous it is hard to keep track. One author - Paul Bogdanor - wrote a 66 page document named the Top 200 Chomsky Lies and documented each. This is scary man to be honest and he is Anti-American - this guy is a very scary man.
What exactly are you expecting of me, Chad? Do I need to respond to every detail in each of your lengthy 7 posts or else I'm guilty of denial? Seriously, what are you expecting from me. There's a lot of error there, but I can't just sit down and right a book.
I've spent a fair amount of time at Bogdanor's website going through his supposed 200 lies. It's been a while, but I spent time going to the sources he offered. I did the same with some criticisms from a guy named Brad DeLong. DeLong is not the hack that Bogdanor is. You can read my response to DeLong here. Every single thing that I was able to check from Bogdanor was bogus. Other things sounded bad, but I couldn't check them. And I learned that Bogdanor was not to be trusted with regards to whether he would present things truthfully or fairly.
I find there's not much to it. Not that I care. Maybe Chomsky has made mistakes. In fact I think he has because I disagree with him on some things. Maybe he has lied. I'm not aware of it, but it's not like I know him personally. People do sometimes lie or make mistakes. But a past lie or past error wouldn't change the fact that the claims he makes and arguments he makes in the lecture above are good and must be dealt with. Have you listened to the above lecture? Do that and then let's talk about how unreasonable or terrible he is.
And by the way I don't measure the worth of a man by how many people he employs.
No one should be judged soley by the number of Americans a bussinessman may employ, but the Koch Brothers have done far far far more for this country than Chomsky in so many ways.
What is ironic here is the all evil Koch Brothers not only are the second largest private employer in this great country - involved in an industry vital to the US they out give those on the left that are supposed to shoe the way. Where is the Chmosky wing at a hospital, where did he give away part of his vast riches to the poor? Where and when did he volunteer his time or money anywhere?
You want to measure the Koch Brothers love for people and this country outside the business world then try these donations on for size;
New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell: $15 million
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: $25 million
The Hospital for Special Surgery: $26 million
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: $30 million
Prostate Cancer Foundation: $41 million
Deerfield Academy: $68 million
Lincoln Center's NY State Theater: $100 million
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $139 million
Chad is obviously a troll, and his first comment was meant as a provocation so he could paste (not write) all of his ad hominem.
Chad is actually someone I know personally and I think (though I could be wrong) that he has very little exposure to progressive thinking. It's all filtered for him by right wing radio and Fox News. So I think the trollish comments are like an allergic reaction to arguments and thinking he's never had to deal with before. Maybe being weened of right wing thinking is like going through withdrawal and many react with hostility. I say that because I look back on my own transformation and see some of that.
It's the same with religion. You challenge that stuff and people don't know how to react, so they are hostile. But that says to me that contradictions bother them. That says to me you could be dealing with an intelligent person that thinks about things. Those are the people that may turn out to be open minded and willing to consider new paradigms.
On the other hand sometimes these are just trolls, but knowing Chad I don't think that's the case here.
By the way, Chad, Chomsky is a teacher. There are other ways to bring value to society other than belching greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Many millions of people are grateful to Chomsky for his dedication and hard work, which has served to inform us.
For instance I understand that Chomsky used to spend about 8 hours a day reading about events of the world and scholarly studies. He isn't paid to do that and is obviously a ton of work. He does it so he can be an effective teacher. He could very easily charge money for his lectures. The reason everyone clamors to hear them is because he has studied to where he is among the best informed people in the world on these issues. What Chomsky does is he encourages everyone to torrent his lectures. He provides links to torrents from his own website. That's pure volunteerism.
When he went to Vietnam he met students starved for instruction, so he just taught them. Not for compensation, but to help suffering people. I think he taught them regarding linguistics and other fields of study that he understood.
The Koch brothers have done a lot of good things too. The Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian is pretty cool. They funded that. HP points out that they advocate on behalf of civil liberties and against the surveillance state. That's great.
Life is complicated. People can on the one hand do commendable things and on the other do reprehensible things. The Koch brothers do some good things and some bad thins. Just because they do some good, this doesn't mean they shouldn't be criticized when they do bad.
Definitely not trying to be a troll (thanks for standing up for me Jon), but can certainly see how it may appear that I am with the copy/paste job I did.
One thing about me is that I rarely give free passes to anyone - especially if they claim to be a little r - Republican or a Conservative. If they are a fake phony fraud like Ricky Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and about 95% of the rest of them currently talking about a Presidential run I will call them out big time too. Would I take anyone of those guys over Obama - that is a big heck yes, but so far the lineup for the GOP stinks.
When it comes to the Koch's Bros. I think that they do more good than harm to our country, but they are far far far from perfect. The lobbyist money they spend to eliminate competition is nearly unforgiveable. And even though I do not believe in Global Warming at all - 0% - there is a responsibility to make damn sure of that fact and more in my opinion.
On Chomsky's contributions - I understand what your saying there and respect what he does to a degree*, but only ask that you don't lose sight of the fact that this guy is a Top 2% earner in this country. His views are clearly left to super far left so he is in a position financially to have a greater direct impact than just teaching is all I am saying.
* My little asterick there - education and guys like Chomsky are a big big sore point for me. Our education system has been leaning/falling to the left for the past 50 years led by educators like Chomsky. His views - in most cases - is in direct conflict to what this country was founded on. His personal beliefs are - again in many cases - they are simple Anti-American and so when you outline his contributions to America through teaching well I must take exception to that.
What is so very interesting to me today is the change that the internet and the 24 hour a day news/information cycle has done - especially in the last 10 years. For so many years and for so long the education system was nearly unchecked and unchallenged allowing the left to control text books and lesson plans, but due to the internet things are starting to change and quickly. I believe the days of guys like Chomsky teaching kids are all but gone - there is no way possible that a version of Chomsky will every exist again because of the media.
I say this all the time to people, but Bo and Woody would never have coached a single down of football if they were coming up now with today's media. They are God's to football because they made it through before the 24 hour media - they broke rules all the time, there was no time limits on practice, there was no recruting violations and they did it their way which today would not work.
I'm not aware of anybody that thinks we should have perfect economic equality. Nobody that I know says that it's bad to be a person that finds themselves amongst the top 2% of earners. That's just right wing myths.
Chomsky is a super far lefty if you define a lefty as to the left of politicians or to the left of major media (which is the same as saying to the left of the corporate interest). However if you measure it by public opinion, then Chomsky is purely centrist. Let me offer some examples of American opinion.
Should the government negotiate prices with drug manufacturers? 85% of Americans say yes. Republicans managed to block legislation that would have permitted this.
Should our government provide health insurance for all? 64 to 27 Americans say yes.
(From January 2003) Would you support the invasion of Iraq without UN authorization but with the support of one or two major allies? Oppose 52 to 39%
(From January 2011) Do you favor or oppose the US war in Iraq: Oppose 66 to 33%.
(From August 2010) Do you think the result of the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not? Not worth it 72 to 20%.
Would you favor or oppose taking away collective bargaining rights from public sector employees similar to what Governor Walker of Wisconsin is proposing: Oppose 61 to 33%.
(From November 1978) Would you agree with the following description of the Vietnam War: More than a mistake, fundamentally wrong and immoral. 72% agree.
Should US companies be allowed to trade with Cuba? Yes 62 to 26%.
What about preferences related to cuts in military spending vs cuts in social security and medicaid? What about opinions regarding Wisconsin? How about raising taxes on millionaires. The idea that a person like Chomsky is regarded as an extremist just goes to show how skewed political discourse is in this country.
I'm hopeful that you are right about the internet. We now have better access to information and we can easily debunk the corporate narrative. Time will tell though.
It is my opinion - strong opinion actually - that the internet has proven to be more harmful to the left and the progressive movement far more than it has damaged the right and their movement.
In 2007/2008 the world got swept up in "Change" and a perfect storm was born - hell I was smack dab in the middle being woo'd into Obama's web - I believed in what he said hook, line and sinker and as you know I voted for him. But here is the thing that happened - I actually got interested in politics and I started to listen to talk radio, I started to subscribe to newsletters and I started to read and study things for my self and it didn't take very long to figure out I was playing for the wrong team. Well - let me correct myself on that one, I realized that the greater evil to this country and this world frankly was the belief system coming out of the left. The right was has been and continues to tear at the fabric of this great country, but their roots - their core beliefs are far more closely related to mine.
I agree with that to a degree. I'd say that the internet is tough on Democrats in that they try and pretend they are leftists or progressives when they aren't.
Think about what the left got with Obama. As I've pointed out repeatedly single payer health care is not just popular amongst the left. Even Republican voters like it. Obama killed it in a corporate give away. See here and here.
Obama's tax cut regime raised taxes on the poorest only and gave huge tax breaks to the rich. Obama has a deficit commission that's pursuing cuts in Social Security benefits. Supposedly the program is in trouble. At the same time he's cutting Social Security taxes to turn the program into a real crisis, which was a cut Americans opposed. Not just leftist Democrats. A majority of Americans.
Obama just had an apparently unarmed man shot in the head twice and his body dumped in the sea. He followed that up by targeting a US citizen with a drone strike that killed nearby innocent people but missed the target. He's like a king, killing whoever he wants without regard to the Constitution and due process. While Bush imprisons US citizens with no judicial review Obama just kills them. He's expanded the wars into Pakistan, Yemen, and now Libya. No Congressional authorization, all to the cheers of the neoconservatives, like Cheney and the various other war mongers. He's allowed the 10 months brutal treatment of Bradley Manning and God knows how many at Bagram and Guantanamo.
In what sense is Obama a liberal? What I'm hoping the internet will do is expose 2 things. Republicans are not for smaller government. They only want government smaller insofar as it helps the poor and needy, but larger insofar as it serves the corporate interest. Democrats likewise prefer bigger government, but they are war mongers just like Republicans and likewise serve Wall St and the defense industrial complex.
I can't disagree with much of that - the lines are blurr'd and nothing is as it seems.
That is the reason why I believe to my core in States Rights - unplug the gov't and give all of the power to each individual state. You are responsible for you own and you can not borrow money from the gov't or other states - make your model work or change it.
If a single payer system works in Ohio - adopt it in Indiana if they want, but the same model may not work in Arizona so they may do something different - great! If Arizona wants to deport every illegal citizen then California can say come my way if they want. If Illinois wants 50% income taxes then have at it - if the people are ok with it then roll on.
Having a one size fits all model - it doesn't work and it won't work - not ever. The only thing that will happen is the needle will be pulled a little left at times and little right at times and neither side will feel like they got a good deal.
I joke around with you all the time and I say - you take a State and I will take a State. You run your state the way you want and I will run a state the way I want - we will not tax each other and we will engage in mututal and benificial transactions. I truly believe in that - 100% - I don't want to tell California that they can't legalize gay marriage, but I don't want California to expect me to pay for that when I live in Ohio - so they take on the burden of allowing that to be law, they take on the insurance burden, they take on the additional costs and if it works for them then congrats. If a citizen or business does not like the environment then they have a right to move to another state then. If Wisconsin decides that they want or need to tax the rich 50% of their income then vote it in to law and if the rich don't like it then maybe they move to Ohio where there tax structure is 35% for the rich.
Let us be free - your freedom to be you allows me my freedom to be free from you. I will live in a state with low taxes, no entitlement programs and free market health insurance options - good for me. You can live in whatever state goes to a single payer option, who believes in bigger government, higher taxes and who is putting together your retirement program for you - good for you. In the end we will find out who was right or maybe what we will find out is when you invite similar thinking people to pull on the rope from the same direction - maybe both models end up working? If your state is 88% democratic then you should all be on the same page - programs should be well funded and there should be no issues to adjust your program when there is a bump in the road. If you need to raise taxes to pay for a program then you should be able to pass that with flying colors. If either model fails then adjustments would have to be made accordingly.
If Arizona wants to legalize drugs and New Mexico wants to be a dry state - fantastic I won't be visiting New Mexico anytime soon (lol). If Illinois wants a flat tax and Indiana a progressive tax then go for it lets see which one works best then.
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