Comments posted to Electrolite by :

posted 04.18.04 on entry Recent history.:
I decided to post my more general screed in a separate message. :)

I think the question of "what's moderate" is an interesting one, too. It's one I've often pondered.

There's moderate with regard to ends, and with regard to means. I consider myself a moderate with regard to means -- I prefer using the tools of consensus and dialog to effect change -- but I don't consider myself in the center -- not in the center of US politics, anyway -- with regard to the ends that I desire.

For years after coming back from Kenya, and realizing just how the US acts overseas -- and how filtered our media here is -- I was a European-style socialist. But after working in business for many years on my return, I came to see how powerful an economic engine capitalism can be, and how a large number of people can benefit from it, and I moderated my views on the subject. People benefit from having the opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their loved ones, and society benefits as well.

But there's the rub. The balance of power between capital and labor is seriously out of balance in our country. Having money is all that matters. There are so many problems with the US socio-politico-economic system as it functions now, that when you stand back and look at the big picture, it's downright appalling.

The nature of capitalism is to compete. Without constraints, corporations chase the dollar all the way down into the abyss of human misery and environmental blight. Good laws and regulations level the playing field, and set a minimum bar of behavior that is absolutely necessary for the sake of the people who can get caught in the gears of the machine.

Without controls on how the powerless may be treated by the powerful, abuses become endemic. There are not enough economic safeguards in place for the poor. (And don't get me started about OSHA!)

The environment we've been more successful in protecting, historically; there's been gradual improvement over the past thirty years. But now BushCo is upending all that. And the consequences will be real -- tens of thousands of Americans will die because this Administration has chosen to gut -- or refused to enforce -- crucial environmental protections.

And then there's the runaway junk explosion. Consumerism is at the heart of capitalism, and Jesus, am I the only one who is sick of the pile-up of stuff in our lives??

And I realize that the international arena is a free-for-all and that no one's hands are really clean, but I mean, can't we at least try to live up to some of the ideals in our Constitution?

posted 04.18.04 on entry Recent history.:
I always appreciate when someone is wo/man enough to suck it up and admit sie's wrong. That takes guts. It's much more comfortable to dodge responsibility and obfuscate and blame others -- the way the Bush Administration has been doing consistently ever since they took office.

I feel some compassion for those who bought BushCo's lies and supported the war. I'm sure they feel utterly betrayed, as evidence of our government's misdeeds come to light.

But the time for excuse-making is past. The Iraq war is a disaster. It has taken a terrible toll, and will continue to for many years.