Beetlejuice's picture

    Martial Law may be on the table.

    Good Afternoon everyone! The issues(s) requiring I be absent have resided ... for the moment.

    I ran across this article on New Eastern Outlook ...

    America’s Civil War Has Begun with Balkanization to Follow

    and all I can say, it's an eye opener. Of course, there may be some debatable points, but at least we can still debate ... I haven't checked the news yet to see if debating has become an officially tweeted national offensive criminal activity. It is a possibility within the realm of reason.

    What I found interesting was at the beginning of Bu$h's war on terror as the US was formulating their strategy, Bu$h and his minions were manipulating everything and everyone to establish the Executive was in charge and no one had any authority or oversight. Which sounds awfully familiar with the person sitting in the Oval Office at the moment.

    It seems as it a lot of isolated discussions floating around the internet may have a common root none of us expected. Then again, I may be reading too much into the article. It would be interesting to hear comments that may enlighten my understanding.

    Enjoy !



    I take Duff's point that attempts to override Judicial restraint is tantamount to a suspension of habeas corpus and that Trump's capacity to do that was enlarged by the Bush II expansion of Executive power. I agree with Duff's suggestion that Trump's clumsy handling of those instruments may cause more checks on the Executive Branch to come about in the future.

    On the other hand, Duff's discussion of "Balkanization" overlooks the confidence that Trump voters put in the idea that their economic fortunes would be improved by a change in national policy. This is a far cry from a laissez faire withdrawal from the control of markets but rather a vote for an Executive willing to manipulate the markets on their behalf.

    The Libertarians have been overtaken by a group that wants a Welfare State but they want it to have a gate they can control by remote. 

    This may not be helpful, but.

    I have a gut reaction against  a "theory of everything" such as Duff's. W's administration (i.e. not just him alone) was understandably unhinged in the fall of 2001. Unfortunately Cheney was around being Cheney. And as I vaguely recall  Addington was  sometimes described as Cheney's Cheney

    (A slight personal contact: Back in the days of the Good King W my wife and I had lunch with a well informed, pretty-left woman , a close neighbor's of Addington.  Said they had opposing positions on every possible issue. But that at the same time he was the most  helpful person she'd ever met.If your car was stuck in the snow it was a matter of seconds before he was out of his house pushing it. Doesn't change anything but just something I happened to know and so I'll stick it in here.) 

     I haven't read anything that convincingly made the case that after his messianic response to 9/11  W was permanently converted into a convinced believer in the  need for an unchecked Executive. Could be. But also  maybe he just continued to be a smart but deliberately unthinking  boyo with college grades better than Kerry's:  the "Decider" because that was a role he imagined  fit him to assume rather than because it actually fit so well with  a conception of himself  it facilitated dodging  his duty  deeply to consider the consequences for the country of his fumbling assumption of near-dictatorial powers. 

    Don't get me wrong.I'm glad Duff wrote this ,that you linked to it and I got to read it. But maybe much of  it is just wrong.


    Duff has provided something less than a theory of everything.
    He attributes to the Bush 2 administration what is part of a larger story of the expansion of Executive power.
    How far shall we go back?
    The Alien and Sedition Act?
    The fact that some of the States that were on board at the start of this Union have formed their own nation?
    The world war 2 thing?
    Our system has dealt with existential threats where different decisions would have built a different world if other decisions were made.
    Do all of those situations validate all those decisions?

    I am less interested in deciding what had to happen than what is left for us simple mortals to choose for our selves.

    That helpful nature is probably more common than not. It's the essence of tribalism. People are generally kind and helpful to members of their tribe. The question is how much empathy can one extend to those outside their tribe. It's similar to the person who claims he cannot be racist because he has a black friend. One may have a black friend and one may treat them very well. But at the same time not support any remedy for the general oppression of minorities. They may even consider their black friend one of the few good ones. The democratic party, however weakly or slowly, stands for justice and fairness. As a 59 year old white male without children much of the policy will not benefit me at all. It's empathy for those out side my tribe that causes me to fight for justice and fairness.


    People are generally kind and helpful by nature, and it's not just about tribe.  It's about being human at our core - the place that makes us love puppies, kittens, babies and cheese.  The place that makes the country stand still over a child trapped in a well or a bunch of miners slowly dying on the job.  The place in our gut that cries when someone dies and celebrates amazing achievements by those who seem like less yet feel like more somehow.  The place that makes us all worth fighting for.

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