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Desperate US man robs bank of $1 to get health care

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  #11  
Old 23-06-11, 10:27 AM
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How about Iceland? There's a quiet revolution going on there exactly now. They're debating a new Constitution, mostly on Facebook. It's the first time an advanced democracy has ever done that - the people, as opposed to a small self-interested elite - writing their own Constitution using the new media. I find it quite moving.

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Iceland is finally overhauling its constitution, and it has turned to the Internet to get input from citizens. More specifically, the 25-member council drafting the new constitution is reaching out to its citizens through Facebook (although Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr are also being used).

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Old 23-06-11, 10:31 AM
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Ooh. And it's entirely suitable for my absurdly low-set internal thermostat, too. That might be well worth considering - thanks!
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Old 23-06-11, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Stlukesguild View Post
Looking at the direction we are headed, what I most fear is just how far right this nation could turn if things truly did get tough.
Excellent post.

It was in the Reagan 80s that America decided that the notion of Community was quaint but unsustainable. A very insidious rewriting of history began: FDR was changed from a politician who took drastic measures to keep our economy afloat during the Depression to a socialist meddler who nearly drowned the nation in a cesspool of cronyism and sloth. WWII, the new narrative insisted, finally saved us from domestic Bolshevism by filling the factories again and instilling in us a new work ethic.

Likewise, the Great Society programs of the 60s were no longer characterized as necessary measures to ameliorate the plight of communities blighted by racism and corporate greed. Instead, Johnson's domestic policies (and not our entrenchment in Vietnam) were blamed for the economic instability of the 70s. Well-meaning social programs and entitlement schemes like Affirmative Action hadn't succeeded in eradicating poverty and racism, went the narrative, so we should stop wasting our tax dollars on trying to do anything about them.

The Democratic Party of Clinton was indistinguishable from Reagan's Republicans, and even the Obama Administration has capitulated in the face of deficit fearmongering, abandoning the effective stimulus spending that was so unpopular with right-wing ideologues.

I'm not optimistic either. In the words of John Dos Passos, "we stand defeated America."
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Old 23-06-11, 05:08 PM
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The US is a bit more ideological that Britain, where capitalism is viewed with some suspicion. The English upper class, in particular, sitting on inherited and landed wealth, view "capitalists" as vulgar little shop keepers. So there isn't quite the same fear in Britain about regulating it.

Capitalism is spoken of with almost reverence... quite often by the working poor, the nominally educated lower middle-class, all of whom imagine that they too will make it big one day, meanwhile all those poor "Welfare Mothers" are responsible for the financial mess we're in. Socialism and Liberal, on the other hand, are spoken of as if they were synonymous with Fascism and Nazi. The idea that at some point in time the wealthier, civilized notions recognized that providing an equal education, police and fire protection, access to roads, sewers, waterline, and the access to affordable healthcare was not only humane, but necessary to the continued growth and prosperity of the nation has been completely whitewashed over with the false faith that the the free market system will set all things right. All of the public services involve a form of socialism. I have never needed to call the police of the fire department, but my tax dollars pay for these services in the event that I ever do need them.

Our current batch of Neo-Cons, who are the greediest, self-serving bunch of bastards, would have us believe... after the great banking fiasco wrought as a result of a lack of government oversight... that we could eliminate all such services... teachers, police, fire, prison employees, highway workers, etc... and rely upon the free market system to do so much better. Undoubtedly, this will be true. Just as we have the greatest medical care in the world, so we will have the greatest schools, police departments, etc... But as with our great health system, these services will only be accessible to those who can pay. The poor can go to hell.
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