The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

What is legal and what is just are two different things

Just saying. A lot of people seem to have forgotten that.

While we’re at it, you either believe that human rights should be inalienable, or you don’t.  That doesn’t mean they can’t be taken away, it means that any time they are taken away it is automatically unjust.

Next: governments exist to serve the interests of their citizens.  Any government which exists for any other reason is illegitimate, and defacto tyrannical, no matter how many or how few kneecaps they are breaking.  The relationship is similiar to a fiduciary relationship, where the government has its powers only in order, and so long, as it is acting in the interests of of its citizens.

Next: governments and individuals are different types of entities.  The presumption is that an individual has the right to privacy unless there is reasonable cause to believe the individual has committed a crime.  The presumption for government is that its proceedings and actions should be transparent to its citizens because it exists to serve its citizens, and they can only know that it is doing so, and doing so in ways they would approve of, if they know what it is doing.

Governments which do act in the interests of their citizens and do so transparently and justly, respecting inalienable rights, are legitimate governments.  Because such governments are how humans organize to meet needs which cannot be met by individuals or smaller groups, citizens owe those governments their support, but only to the extent that they are just, transparent, respect inalienable rights and act in the interests of the whole body of the citizenry.  When they fail in this it is the duty of citizens to oppose those failures.

Mindless obedience to bad law is what makes tyranny of any kind possible.

Justice and law are not synonyms.


An American Future


Why Assange and Wikileaks have won this round


  1. Hear, hear!

    An awful lot of legal bullshit gets promulgated to cover people’s asses, to prove that even something immoral is still “legal” (John Yoo, et. al. only one of the most egregious examples).

    “. . . you either believe that human rights should be inalienable, or you don’t. That doesn’t mean they can’t be taken away, it means that any time they are taken away it is automatically unjust.”

    Precisely. Constitutional rights aren’t given; they are that which can’t be taken away. If they are, and we allow them to be, then we are slaves. We are enslaving ourselves.

  2. John

    Big Brother in the West ( a quote from Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer on NPR today regarding who is really pulling strings in Sweden) has another view. The law is always right.
    Of course, that policy was followed by the Germans with Teutonic thoroughness in the 30’s and 40’s and it really didn’t work out so well for anyone involved.

  3. Bernard

    mindless obedience, lol. boy does that sound like the “REAL” America, My Way or the Highway” John Wayne PR/BS. lol. “Dancing with the Stars, Survivor et al” You too can be an idiot/Rich, and follow the bouncing ball. Trust me!!

    I frankly have no clue as to how America could be otherwise. after all these years of indoctrination about “American exceptionalism”. We’ve been told what to think for so long, and Wars help weed out the “traitors” amongst us. We know who the “REAL” Patriots are!!

    like why don’t “the rest of the World” appreciate what America has done for the World. We are here to “protect” you. from those “ferners” and immigrants, hippies, gays, women, Muslim fascists et al.

    as Jackie Gleason said, “How Sweet it is!”

    The American way!! no questions asked! or allowed!

  4. anon2525

    IW, 12/06: “I have said it before, and I will say it again. If you can get out, get out.”

    IW, 12/07: “When they fail in this it is the duty of citizens to oppose those failures.”

    So, if you can get out, get out. But if you can’t get out, fight injustice. While the ship goes under.

    To use the Titanic metaphor, IW is on a life boat shouting with a bullhorn: “Abandon ship! Get to the life boats! At least put your children on life boats! Those who are stuck in steerage, sorry. Really. But keep fighting the injustice! It’s your duty! The rest of you, get off while you still can!”

  5. Ian Welsh

    Citizenship is not slavery. One of the most basic of human rights is the right to leave a state which is abusing you. The state serves you, you are not its property. But at the end of the day, you’re going to live somewhere, and wherever you are, the fight for justice continues.

    Anon2525: “Everyone go down with the Titanic! Everyone! If everyone can’t get to the lifeboats, no one should! Screw getting your kids out, the little buggers should go down too!”

  6. Suspenders

    Inalienable rights is a nice theory, but it’s one of those things that just doesn’t exist in practice, and probably can’t–and that to me is getting too hard to ignore. Like every rule, there are always exceptions, and that undermines the whole premise of “inalienable” rights.

    Things also depend on what your definition of inalienable rights are exactly. You can say you believe in them, but that tells me little about what rights you actually believe are inalienable. There are some rights that I consider universal , like the right to life and freedom from slavery, but even here I struggle with contradictions, like the death penalty. I’m a supporter of the death penalty for war criminals (death by hanging a la Nuremburg), but that just doesn’t jiive with the “inalienable” right to life, and I’m not willing to give up the war criminal thing.

    Foreigners (“outsiders” may be a better description) are another problem. Every state/political organization that’s ever existed has treated outsiders differently, sometimes substantially so. That won’t change anytime soon, if ever, and this is another direct affront to concepts of universal rights.

    “Universal” rights shared by all citizens is useful though, as an anchor to society and everyones relationship to each other in that society.

    I chuckled a bit after reading your description of government. I firmly believe in that idea, that they exist to serve the citizenry, but man is it sad that there are so few governments that have actually fit that description throughout history.

  7. anon2525

    Citizenship is not slavery. One of the most basic of human rights is the right to leave a state which is abusing you.

    Of course. But once you have told people that their country is a lost cause, you undermine that assertion by telling them to fight! fight on! Those people in steerage are doomed. And it really is worthwhile to tell people who can save themselves to save themselves. Unless you think that they should be helping as many people as they can get out of steerage. At the end of the day, if the ship really is going down, and soon, then there is no more fight for justice. And those who are warning us to get off the ship have nothing else to tell us. “Get off the ship! Save your children and yourselves!”

    Understand the age of compromise is over. It is now too late to save the old system. It’s over. We tried, and we failed. It is beyond “reform”, it is going to flame out, the only question is how many people it will burn to death as it does so.

    How’d that work out for the Germans, Italians, Japanese and Spanish who decided to stay and fight.

    If anything I should have screamed more about the financial collapse. I might have saved a few more people the loss of half their savings, or being stuck underwater in a house.

    When things get bad in the US, I do not want to think “If only I had written about this more, I might have saved more people.” Of course, I will think that.

    Again, you are undermining your message that people need to get out when you tell them that they have a duty to fight, which implies that they have to stay. If the situation in the U.S. is so bad that everyone who can leave should leave now!, then there is no point in telling them to fight. The fight is over.

    Or, the fight is not over. Because the U.S. is not a lost cause. There is something worth fighting for.

    Or, is your post only for people who don’t live in the U.S.? I think that it’s OK if it is, but if it isn’t then you have a fundamental contradiction in your thinking and writing that needs to be resolved. And if it is, then I think you should say so: “For those of you in the U.S., your country and gov’t. are a lost cause and you should get out if you can. For everyone else, keep fighting.”

    (My apologies for my U.S.-centric viewpoint. I’m a fish trying to look outside of the water. I think.)

  8. Ian Welsh


    I think naturally in terms of odds. I just went to Vegas and came back $2,100 dollars richer. The time before that I broke even.

    The odds of success in the US are grim, they are very very bad. Nonetheless, I’ve had massive odds against me and won at times, I just don’t bet on such things if I can bloody well avoid it.

    If you can get out, get out, because the odds are so bad that they amount to “you’ve lost”. Sure you might win if you stay, but you’re betting your life and that of your loved ones and it’s a bad bet.

    More specifically, at this point the route to success which does not lead through a right wing government presiding over a full fledged economic collapse is miniscule. If you want that to happen you need to both succesfully primary Obama, then win the next election with someone who would actually be a liberal president and who has the guts to use executive power to its fullest and the whiles to manage Congress (s/he doesn’t need Congress’s help, just for them not to get too much in the way). That’s not impossible, but it’s low probability, to put it mildly.

    The odds of turning things around after the totalitarian moment and economic collapse are somewhat better, though harder to calculate, being rather further out. Making those odds better still requires thinking ahead more than one goddamn step, and part of that is repudiating Obama, win or lose, through a primary, so that liberalism is less discredited that it will be otherwise, giving you a better chance during the dead cat bounce to get a liberal revolution/left wing revolution after the right wing clusterfuck.

    I’m mystified by why you’re caught up on this. Get out if you can. If you can’t or you don’t believe it’s right to do so, fight. If you don’t want to fight and won’t/can’t leave, then at least prepare for what’s coming. That’s the decision tree. It’s not rocket science.

    We have a moral duty to make our societies better if we can. If we can. If you think your personal martyrdom is what will make the difference to the US, then by all means, martyr yourself. I actually think it’s the right thing to do. But if you don’t, then get the fuck out. And if you can’t, fight or prepare.

    America was founded by people who said “fuck this hole, I’m going to the New World and making a better life for me and my family there.”

  9. John B.

    IW: “America was founded by people who said “fuck this hole, I’m going to the New World and making a better life for me and my family there.”

    Yes, partly. And that essentially was the Pilgrims in New England’s story but the Virginian Jamestown story is a bit different in that it was all along a business and money making venture, not just we want to get out of dodge cause it ain’t working for us anymore…and both of these first settlements and all the consequent ones after of the English variety (and of Spanish and French to lesser and more degrees depending)used genocide and murder as elements of American exceptionalism…

  10. Ian Welsh

    Well yeah. I’m not suggesting American form corporations and go to other countries then murder and pilla…


  11. anon2525

    If you can’t or you don’t believe it’s right to do so, fight.

    1. Tell me if you think I’m being obtuse or argumentative, but aren’t you with your statement above contradicting your rhetorical question, below?

    How’d that work out for the Germans, Italians, Japanese and Spanish who decided to stay and fight.

    2. To go back to the Titanic metaphor, what are you saying to those who are trapped in steerage (those who can’t get out)? “You’re going to die, and soon. I wish it weren’t so, but there’s nothing that you or I can do. So, fight on.” Fight for what? When it is survival that we are talking about, there is only one potential fight for those in steerage, and that is to claw over or through the people around you to escape. (Or sacrifice yourself and help others out.) And anyone who is not trapped in steerage should be moving them and their families to the life boats as quickly as possible. Get away before it is too late and you are pulled under.

    I don’t want to appear to be argumentative about this, so I’m going to leave this discussion at that. Survival is a deeply emotional issue (people are going to die) and I think that people need to let it sink in because rational thought becomes difficult.

    P.S., For those who haven’t seen it, the video of people who have or are about to run out of unemployment insurance in this article about unemployment shows the face of desperation that people are already experiencing: 9.8 percent: The Number that the Deficit Commission Left Out

  12. Albertde

    I am very happy having left the USA some 45 years ago. My children, thankfully, are Canadian and we, thankfully, live in a mostly civil society. I am appreciative of the education (especially mandatory junior college before university) my children received in Quebec and their ability to speak English and French fluently. And this without hearing the patriotic nonsense that Americans are filled with.

    Medicare it goes without saying is a “blessing”. BTW, there is no problem with Medicare for the under 65. The question of the afford-ability of Medicare arises because of the rising number of seniors and the attendant medical costs. So it will be a problem for the US, as well.

    The situation in Canada is very different from the one in the US. The evangelists have less influence and even Harper”s Conservatives espouse positions to the left of the US Democrats. There is still a very much alive across-the-political-spectrum separatist movement in Quebec, which is especially popular with Francophone baby boomers. Still 40% of the French in Quebec oppose separation.

    Canada has received some favourable publicity, some of it undeserved. Contrary to what you have heard, the six major Canadian banks are way too big to fail. The smallest has some 900 branches coast-to-coast. Martin as Finance Minister in the Chrétien government prevented the merger of two way-too-big-to-fail banks. And we did suffer from the US derivative crisis. The Canadian money market nearly collapsed at one point – just ask AirTransat how much they lost.

    Yet that decision I made to leave is one I am very happy with.

  13. Boo Radly

    I agree with 99% of what you have been saying for the last two weeks. I saw the possible path that could be taken back when Bu$h was selected. Eight years I howled – usually just at the moon because I live in a red state mostly, or the people are apathetic in this perpetually depressed mountain area. I knew there would be no moral compass used by my government. Family accused me of Bu$h Derangement Syndrome. He went beyond my wildest nightmares. I suspected BO as a plant early on as he had nothing – no record, nothing to explain media hype. He never seemed a democrat, had never supported my issues. Bumbles’ use of the word compromise means he is doing exactly what he was selected to do. I watch zero TV now that Bu$h has come out smirking again. My GI tract can’t handle it.

    I will have to stay here, but I will fight. My daughter has my only grands – she loves international travel and does a lot of it for business. She will take my grands. Horrible lose but their future and hers are the most important thing.

    It is good to read and see pundits finally getting the message straight. It’s not conspiracy – it’s fact. Those pundits who are still shilling for Bumbles are sad representations for human beings.

  14. Ian Welsh

    People will die doesn’t mean everyone will die. I don’t want to put a figure on it, but your odds of survival are good. It’s just that no one won’t know someone(s) they care about who die, just like no Russian didn’t know people who died in their collapse. The period will be ugly. Like the Japanese, Germans, etc… you’ll come out the other end. But getting there will be bloody unpleasant. (Read Dimitry Orlov on what Russia was like.) Spare yourself that if you can.

    This ain’t the Titanic, everyone is steerage isn’t going to die, they’re just going to go through a very ugly period, and some of them will die.

    And if things don’t get too totalitarian, there’ll even be some fun along the way. Once you know you’re screwed, you can let lose and enjoy yourself sometimes.

  15. Boo Radly

    If you are speaking to me regarding death – not thinking about it for me or mine. The loss I spoke of was my family being near. Life without quality, meaning principles, not wealth, is something to fight off. I have realized for some years that we are each in charge of our safety, well being, for the main part. Laws are not applied equally nor are professional services regulated any more. Been standing up for principle all my life, some instances more painful than other, but most painful. You are not considered smart if you don’t ‘go with the flow’ or if you expect words to have real meaning. The media certainly frames the celebs, pols and those in the 2% (Alphas) as so interesting. It’s what you do with what you have and the respect you show for all life that I’m interested in. I’d leave if I could just to escape the imbecilic media – the worst money can buy. I often wonder if there is any core value in their lives. I have never watched a reality show – watching the commercials for them turn my stomach. Bad just means bad to me. Things have been scripted for a while now.

    It is a little like the Titanic in that all passengers aboard were effected – not just steerage. After they wreck SS (it’s not about it being in the deficit – it’s fine, the govt just does not want to pay back what they have stolen) there are no more pots of gold, few jobs, who will be able to pay for goods – who are they going to ravage? Bless their hearts – where will the 2% get more money? Who is going to be able to afford the “required” medical insurance that was demanded by the instance companies? The banksters got their tarp and now are being assisted in a land grab(non regulated loans). Who are they going to sell their ill gotten land to?

    Yeah, it’ll be fun watching this train wreck so many of us got beat up predicting.

  16. Lex

    To the best of my knowledge, the Pilgrims were pissed off that their allies weren’t running England anymore and that the English people didn’t appreciate not being allowed to celebrate Christmas, or dance, etc.

    They weren’t persecuted so much as they weren’t allowed to persecute anymore. So they came to America where they could persecute to their dark little hearts’ content.

    There’s a reason that the European fishermen working those shoals since long before the Pilgrims arrived didn’t help them. They were assholes. Now they’re mythologized assholes.

  17. Julien

    Right and good being two different concepts, not necessarily in synch was driven into me early in life by, of all things, playing Dungeons & Dragons. Some much so that I sometimes forget it might not be as clear cut to everyone.

    In short, I agree with everything you said. To me, the State exists to help and protect it’s citizens, and it is very much necessary in that role. When it stops doing that however, when it becomes a creature of another master, then it’s legitimacy disappears and I owe nothing to it. But then, I was always Neutral Good at heart.

  18. jcapan

    I dunno, elites advocating other elites to abandon ship, b/c they can, leaving the bloody fight to the proles who can’t and who almost assuredly need our assistance if there’s to be a less horrible future for America. It’s just unseemly, and I say this as a long-term expat myself. I don’t feel pride that I’ve left it behind. I don’t pity those who are still there facing a rather bleak horizon. I’m sick of reading fellow expats bleat about how right or happy they are abroad.

    It’s unseemly on a different level. Another, far more elite class has wrecked the nation and they will, if the situation becomes too untenable, do the exact same thing, expatriate themselves and their “winnings” to a more friendly environment. Again, we don’t share culpability with this parasite class or their portfolios, but the shared out, the cushioned landings…

    Ian, do you think you’d feel differently if it were Canada and you were advocating your countrymen to get out? And finally, given your readership, do you honestly think they’re incapable of entertaining such a notion on their own? That there are any educated liberals in America who’ve not had serious thoughts about alternative domiciles during the last decade?

  19. Ian Welsh

    There are very few people who read my blog who are actually elites as I use the term, though there are some.

    And yeah, I think I may convince some people. I did about the housing crash, and regular readers were reading me on that for a good 5 years or so. Many of them still didn’t take it seriously. Educated liberals who couldn’t get past the emotional hump to really understand the train barreling donw on them.

    If people want to stay and fight, good for them. Some of my ancestors fled the Irish potato famine, and good for them, too.

    Might ask some Russians if they would have gotten out in the 90s if they could have, and how well “staying and fighting” worked for them.

    Canada is facing significant problems, because it is tied to the US so closely. It may be better off, but a lot will depend on the wisdom of our lords and masters, who are brighter than yours, but not by much. Am I leaving? Maybe, maybe not. I grew up in many countries, I am proud to be Canadian and I love Canada but there are other loveable countries one can be proud of and only the jingoist thinks otherwise.

    If people think it’s ethically wrong to get out, don’t. No problem. But I want people to know what they are probably facing if they don’t, so they can make an informed decision. I consider that my moral duty, not to tell them “stay and suffer”.

    And, um, I don’t really care that much about appearances. If it saves people, who cares if it is unseemly?

  20. jcapan

    Well, I’m referring to educated/professional elites. Versus those with useless high school educations, shit jobs and zero savings.

    Otherwise, fair enough. I wonder if my resistance to your call is b/c I’m just not mentally there yet. Would I have told Jews to stay and fight as the Germans swept into Poland? Or the Hmong in Laos when the Pathet Lao took power? Of course not.

    So, I guess my agreement with anon2525 turns on this: “Or, the fight is not over. Because the U.S. is not a lost cause. There is something worth fighting for.”

  21. Ian Welsh

    By the time you think it’s a lost cause will it be possible to get out?

  22. John

    Very true, Ian. Timing is everything.
    Jcapan, when Hitler swept into Poland, it was already too late for an average Jew to leave Germany or Poland. No where to run to, no where to hide. Timing is a huge issue. America is not Germany. History rhymes, but it doesn’t repeat itself exactly.
    The expected path after a wingnut takeover is a total financial crash, then a war. If McCain and Palin had won, we’d probably already be there.
    If you are potential cannon fodder, it would certainly be a good idea to look for some escape routes. But it’s a pretty small planet these days as Mr. Assange well knows. And there are not too many safe harbors.
    If you are nimble and smart, stay and see how much trouble you can cause.
    I was forced to spend three years in the US military a long time ago and it is amazing how a good passive aggressive attitude can cause a lot of trouble in an authoritarian hierarchy.
    I was also lucky and smart enough to avoid any actual combat.
    And I never forgot that they wanted to put me in that situation where I would die for nothing.

  23. Pepe

    It’s possible to get out now? I mean, if you’re working paycheck to paycheck.

    And it’s not like being in Canada is any great shakes. When the US starts flailing about, and wants fresh water, and more oil, and easy access to the arctic, I would not want to be in the path.

  24. Pepe

    should read: living paycheck to paycheck

  25. Z

    “What is legal and what is just are two different things”

    Especially when unjust, immoral people create the law.


  26. Ian Welsh

    It’s possible for some people. It isn’t for others. If you can’t get out, you can’t get out, that doesn’t mean others shouldn’t. That may not be fair, but are you really requiring them to take a bullet with you?

    I didn’t say “go to Canada”, I actually agree that when the US goes down Canada will have real problems. There’s a reason I’ve advocated for Canadian nukes for a long time.

  27. John B.

    Canadian nukes? My lord…how will that make anything better?

  28. Ian Welsh

    Good god man, have you not watched what the US has been doing? We have water and oil. Think the US won’t come take it if we won’t sell/give it to them at some point in the future on exactly the terms they want.

    If so you have much more faith in the goodness of America than I do. Of any large militaristic power, for that matter.

  29. anon2525

    Would I have told Jews to stay and fight as the Germans swept into Poland? Or the Hmong in Laos when the Pathet Lao took power? Of course not.

    I would have told them to stay and fight. It is their lives — they have a right to it.

    Had you told them and had they believed you (“Look the Nazis are planning this ‘Final Solution’…”), could millions of people have made an orderly exit? To where?

    The median wage in 2009 was about $26,200 (half of all wage earners make less than that per year). About 60% of all wage earners live paycheck to paycheck. They cannot leave. There needs to be organizing and strikes and protests.

    And there should be an end to this talk about “stimulus” and “stimulus packages” and “larger stimulus needed.” There does not need to be a stimulus that trickles down to create some jobs. There is a simple way to put people to work: Pay them money. People will work for money. Start a jobs program and put unemployed people to work.

  30. alyosha

    @jcapan wrote: I dunno, elites advocating other elites to abandon ship, b/c they can, leaving the bloody fight to the proles who can’t and who almost assuredly need our assistance if there’s to be a less horrible future for America. It’s just unseemly, and I say this as a long-term expat myself. I don’t feel pride that I’ve left it behind….

    Who says that leaving means you can’t help those left behind? While I am very committed to getting out, I DO feel a strong karmic responsibility to the USA. “You can take the girl out of America, but you cannot take America out of the girl”, someone said. There are family members and friends I expect to be helping. Merely by creating a new and vibrant life somewhere else, you become a beacon of hope for others. There are other more strategic ways I hope to be involved with that I can’t discuss here.

    Although I don’t for many reasons consider him the ideal role model, Vladimir Lenin spent much of his life outside Russia, periodically sneaking in when he felt the time was ripe.

    I also feel that the USA – or what will become of it – will be a good place once again, in a couple generations. Once people wake up from the massive bender this country’s been on, and once some form of responsible government is reinstituted (which admittedly could take many generations, and will probably be more local than national), America has some strong cards in its favor: abundant farmland, freshwater, a culture of innovation on many levels. This country (or more accurately its people) is coming back. It’s just that there’s going to be a big adjustment ahead that will in all probability get quite ugly.

  31. anon2525

    Good god man, have you not watched what the US has been doing? We have water and oil.

    And this is why there won’t be a war with NKorea. They don’t have anything the int’l. corporations want and they have lots of weapons.

  32. anon2525

    What is legal and what is just are two different things

    I would have phrased it differently: “What is legal and what is just aren’t necessarily the same thing.”

    What WL has been doing is legal, which is why there has not been any public citing of laws that they have broken. What they are doing is no different, legally, than the U.S. revealing secrets of the former Soviet Union or vice versa. Neither is subject to the others laws. If someone at WL were caught spying in the U.S. (or, equivalently, at some embassy or military base), then that spying would, as always, be illegal. All spying is illegal and (almost?) all countries do it. But no country can create a law that says that a non-citizen’s revealing the stolen information is illegal.

    And what about the information itself? (You know, when you’re done shooting the messenger.) Gov’t. and corporate employees commit crimes and then attempt to hide them. When does the revealing of a hidden crime stop being a crime and start being a help to law enforcement and better gov’t.?

    I await Obama’s, Sec. Clinton’s, and AG Holder’s public statement that WL has broken no u.s. laws and is not subject to u.s. jurisdiction.

  33. John B.

    IW: If so you have much more faith in the goodness of America than I do. Of any large militaristic power, for that matter.

    I have no more or less faith in the goodness of America. I am a realist regarding the origins of our actions, but I don’t see more nuclear weapons as an effective deterrent or a realistic alternative or a good thing in and of itself. It’s not that I don’t understand your point, but I am just surprised at your advocation for more nuclear weapons especially for a country like Canada…

  34. Bernard

    the only reason North Korea hasn’t been Iraqqed is , because it has nuclear weapons. and why Israel wants to stop Iran from getting them.

    i have no doubt American politicians would invade Canada if they wanted to. and i think they will some day in the future for the water and other “resources”.

    there are those of us who work/appear stuck and can’t take our non-existent bank accounts and leave now. I wish i could. i suppose we will be the ones who remain and fight in whichever way we can. i know if i had enough money and/or a skill to sell, i would have been in Argentina or Chile a long time ago. Foreseeing the destruction of the America as i grew up in has not been a “gift” of knowledge. i have predicted this years ago, after “getting” what Ronald Reagan symbolized.

    kind of like the dumb Germans never expected Hitler to do what he did. i “Hoped”sanity would prevail. lol. that enough Americans would wake up, before now, that is. and it’s way too late now for a myriad of reasons.

    i do plan on covering my ass though, in case things escalate. i would presume poverty somewhere else may be more tolerable in a more just society. for years now, i have seen what is called “the American values system” and don’t like what “success” is or has been measured by.

    while things are definitely going downhill super fast now, i can’t imagine i would willingly stay if and when i thought it best to leave.

    It is good though the see the alarm bells being wrung, though.

  35. anon2525

    i suppose we will be the ones who remain and fight in whichever way we can.

    Fight as though your life depends on it, because it does.

    Expect crime to go up. Under the Obama tax plan, if passed, the number people who have passed 99 weeks and receive no more unemployment insurance will be approximately two million people, and by the end of 2011 that number will have increased to four million people. And more people should expect to become unemployed as states and cities cut their budgets more.

    Instead of passing additional unemployment insurance spending, the fed. gov’t. should start a jobs program for anyone over the age of 18. Want to get two million people off the unemployment rolls? Hire them.

  36. A couple of quotes on power from great writers of the twentieth century:

    George Orwell wrote in a 1942 essay about Rudyard Kipling, ” There is no ‘Law’, there is only power.”

    Kurt Vonnegut, at the age of 81, wrote,

    “Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.

    But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America’s becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power.”

  37. @ Boo Radly “I’d leave if I could just to escape the imbecilic media – the worst money can buy.

    Actually, you don’t have to leave to escape the media – just change the channel or turn it off. I speak from experience – my life is better, not worse, since I stopped watching the Sunday morning talk shows, etc.

    Just this month I checked in detail as to whether I could really move to Canada. It turns out that, as a retiree without the experience or capital to start a business, the answer is no – they don’t want me to come live there on my modest pension. This is true, in fact, for every English-speaking country. So it goes.

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