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Bill Moyers Asks: What's Your Take on What's Wrong with the American Political System Right Now?

Talking with Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) on this week's JOURNAL, Bill Moyers asked the following question:

"There is a profound sense in this country that something truly dysfunctional has gone wrong with our system. It ain't working. And they don't hear anybody really addressing the deeper symptoms of that, and it's not working for regular people anymore. What's your take on what's wrong with the American political system right now?"

(For Senator Feingold's reply, click here.)

What do you think? Do you think it can be fixed and, if so, how?


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Comments

Absolutely not worth supporting. The mandate is irresponsiblity, Congress is in a feeding frenzy. Given fun money from the insurance companies to insure that we must buy their product that is poor at best. I suggest WE ALL DROP OUR INSURANCE. That is a true revolution. Speaking with our dollars since our votes don't... seem to count! My health insurance with Aetna had increased not once but twice in 3 months. the increase is 35%. I have a $3,000 deductible. A limit on the insurance per visit. example: preventive visit is 100% covered up to $200.00, however there is a $35 visit fee and the typical well visit in Alaska is $300.00+. I would not be covered 100%. The wording is very trick to the average person. The insurance company sends emails suggesting you access your benefit--what benefit! When the deductible is never meet? The country is ready for universal health care. I am a voting republican and healthcare provider!! Amy

Absolutely not worth supporting. The mandate is irresponsiblity, Congress is in a feeding frenzy. Given fun money from the insurance companies to insure that we must buy their product that is poor at best. I suggest WE ALL DROP OUR INSURANCE. That is a true revolution. Speaking with our dollars since our votes don't... seem to count! My health insurance with Aetna had increased not once but twice in 3 months. the increase is 35%. I have a $3,000 deductible. A limit on the insurance per visit. example: preventive visit is 100% covered up to $200.00, however there is a $35 visit fee and the typical well visit in Alaska is $300.00+. I would not be covered 100%. The wording is very trick to the average person. The insurance company sends emails suggesting you access your benefit--what benefit! When the deductible is never meet? The country is ready for universal health care. I am a voting republican and healthcare provider!! Amy

My it staff forces us to use firewall software. The thing is that my yahoo messanger software does not perform correctly with it. How can I bypass the firewall to be able to chat with my friends?

Much reduced ethics appear to be the brand of commerce today where preying upon the least vulnerable is honorable or clever.

Americans had ethics at one time before they allowed themselves to be dominated by greed, and rationalize the lack of ethics as acceptable.

Because it is an attitude problem, and not a technical problem, it is not likely to change, and the world will get more and more ugly as people go to extremes for self defense when no one recognizes they have a right to it.

That is the erosion of ethics as derived from the failure to respect private property rights, or to ignore that they exist at all - and identify all property as property of the State (or Federal Government). Just look what happened to the Indians because of that problem, as the perfect example.

What is wrong with America? Researching both the political philosophy and letters between Madison and Jefferson, the question isn't what is wrong; rather, is there a better form to morph into? The country is too large and people (by and large) remain clueless about what is needed to move towards a concept of more people having a greater say. In conceptual terms, Hericlities (sp?) identified two stages of flux and said essentially, nothing is, but everything is becoming. This concept drives our way of life. Our Republic is becoming but 'is' never. Of the "ancient and modern confederacies" (James Madison), it is not designed for perfection or the achievement of utopia, "it" is designed to never become but a state of flux offering greater flexiblity than most.

Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/israel-shells-un-headquar_n_158078.html

Monday, January 19th, is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King taught us to live a life of service, and he led by example. He once said: "If you want to be important -- wonderful. If you want to be recognized -- wonderful. If you want to be great -- wonderful. But, recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness."

A conscientious journalist, and a beloved president are both severely pesecuted for merely telling a bit of the truth about the middle east...

What is wrong? America has become a mafia state under total and brutal control of the Jews, or the God chosen. What a gigantic scam, or ponzi!

Think of the all crimes on Wall Street, corruptions in Washington, lies in the media and on and on... The worst of all, as indicated by the comment below, any real disent is always mercilessly crushed, as the mafia do...

America has been mentally enslaved, and for too long. Only till we face up to the obvious wrong, here and now, can change come to US...

We have come to a time in America where, if you don't agree to the prevailing suite of lies that defines the desire for lack of accountability within many groups of people, e.g., the government or corporations, you are stripped of your right to have an ordinary life and are excluded from having a job no matter what your formal and informal education may be, as if having satisfying work to do is a privilege bestowed upon a person by the wealthy. The "shortage of people with suitable skills" worldwide is simply a proclamation by the ruling elite that they are not making money fast enough to satisfy their primal greed and is in fact, no shortage at all, rather, a seemingly unending effort to maintain their status quo and never have to tell the truth to anyone about anything. This shortage mindshare is largely supported by Washington through its inability or fear to step up to their wealthy peers and campaign contributors and force what are claimed to be "American" corporations (often with significant, low-wage and untaxed offshore facilities and staffs) to account to the American public on the facts of their operations and internal behaviors that contradict our laws.

For example, if you attempt to better yourself by studying and learning a new subject area from what you pursued in college, what knowledge you may have gained is not sanctioned or otherwise recognized in any way by any organization in the US, because you did not pay some school tens of thousands of dollars to help you learn it, or because some corporation did not "grant" you the time (at their expense - and tax writeoff) to learn it. There is this perception that it is impossible to learn anything without the aid of expensive resources like colleges and corporate projects (I, in fact do have a formal advanced degree, but I have never quit learning). There is even a form of protectionism between educational institutions and corporations that prohibits anyone not enrolled in a school to get "student pricing" for various software and other items that are integral parts of learning certain disciplines.

This is partly why college costs have gone through the roof, and why many very educated people in the US are not "finding" jobs - the ruling elite banish those that would hold them to account for their perversions of policies and laws that allegedly define the ethos and rule of law in this country. From another perspective, it is no longer possible to constrain knowledge to the scope of corporations or governments, yet both keep trying to do it by making bad excuses for not utilizing knowledge for the benefit of all, assisted by Washington via preferential legislative activities.

The innovation and productivity that used to drive this country have been hammered into an inflexible military-industrial machine that feeds on itself and increasingly denies the general population access to the American Dream because of its insatiable greed, through manipulation of our legal and financial frameworks. What leadership role can the US ever play, again, if we lose sight of our founding vision for the sake of greed and power?

As the US continues to set this bad example for the rest of the world, it is no wonder that financial markets crashed and there is a credit "crisis" and corruption within the governments of many sovereign states abroad.

The US is the only country where you can be punished, in many ways and by many organizations, including the government, for telling the truth.

Perhaps it is time for some regime change, not just the President, here?

Well, we got this new president coming in, see, and he don't know much about science and technology,see, and he ain't too savvy on the economy either; and he picked all these oldline advisors,see, who represent wealthy interests mainly, see, and he's gonna be insulated from us and reality, see, and be worried about plots and assassinations and his family, see, and they're even taking away his Blackberry. He's mainly a lawyer, see, an officer of the court so to speak, so he's circumspect and obedient to precedent, see, and our history of fairness ain't that hot. So it's like the door closed on his brain in 2006 when he started running, see, and it will be our responsibility to break down the barriers to communicate, see, and people's attention is all on money and job security, see, so I'm worried as Hell we're screwed, and in for more of the same. That's about it, Bill.

What would the sane citizen do without your insightful program? I don't know. Here's some ideas I have on how to start changing America from a 'State of the Deluded' -- Why doesn't Congress pass a law that all of the bail-out money given to the Banks & AIG-- (the first half of OUR $700 billion taxpayer money) that it Must be spent on supplying monetary credit to businesses & homeowners by Dec. 31st 2009 --and they have to prove it-- OR GIVE BACK any they haven't used for those purposes by that same date. It kills me that they wouldn't give $ to the auto industry when they have been subsidizing foreign non-union auto shops for years in the US. Now's the time for a total Paradigm shift: 1) Create non-fossil fuel cars & energy sources for everything, e.g. non-fossil fuel for heating our homes 2) Create huge industries based solely on recycling-- e.g. computers, electronics, cellphones instead of illegally dumping toxic waste in 3rd world countries-- & e.g. create a fashion industry out of recycling used clothing instead of dumping it in Africa. 3)Create an industry out of recycling furnishings from foreclosed homes instead of dumping it in landfills--this is a new growing business owned by The Banks currently. 4)The World Bank should CLOSE DOWN ALL SWISS & OFF-SHORE accounts so Swindlers, drug cartels, terrorists can't squirrel away billions, e.g. Madoff. If the USA wants to lead the world in the next 50 years, we need to make an American industry of Alternative Energy & Waste Reduction-- instead of lining the pockets of the rich. Do we really need more useless junk? oh yea, and mortgages should be frozen for six months while banks re-structure mortgages w/ clients-- mandatory. How can Congress & the financial 'Experts' wonder why the public has no trust in them? Because they keep throwing money at banks instead of throwing crooks in jail!

Sometimes I think the trendsetters, the decision-makers,refer to old science fiction treatises for inspiration (say "Brave New World" or "1984". When I was a schoolboy that's what the gifted and talented (children of the better off)were reading. Later such diabolical (devilish) ideas would inspire them in their careers. You probably had these shadow dreams when you were a manager, David Eddy, so it should be no surprise to you now.

I'm a vegetarian because of the s**t they put in meat and not only because I believe animals have feelings like us. I think the ideas of human dominion is debunked when humans more or less live in a feedlot; when we are compelled to "take our medicine." When I say "medicine" i mean the costs and practices as well as the pharmaceuticals. Medical care is balanced right now: It does as much harm as good. When you see a child saved by extreme torturous measures, and rejoice, you celebrate corporate scientific domination more than healing. If our world weren't made so toxic by bad practices much of the disease and malaise wouldn't exist.

I visited a classroom last year where most of the kids were on behavioral meds. (I came to read my juvenile story about sailing on freighters around the world.) I knew something was missing in that too well behaved kingdom. I left as quickly as I could mourning for the spark that had been exterminated. Luckily, a strong market for violent video games and online gambling had been created. Soldiers would be easier to recruit; soldiers that would not question the digital physics that would maul and burn them; that would eviscerate their vestigial conscience. It hits them when they come home. Then they need more meds.

Mumia W.,
We are being pounded with commercialism until it comes out our ears. It is getting so that people drool every time a commercial hits the screen.
we need to take our lives back and celebrate the important things in life not canned trivia.
We need to have the moral fiber to resist the forces of capitalism. Now the advertising people want to hook children on phony preventative medicine and the medicine that does not cure anything.

michael van david: I hope you remain with us. It was never as simple as term limits. It is the revolving door of collusion between people in business and government. Didn't you notice how Madoff's daughter had married a regulator from the SEC (symptomatic).

It's the same reason I can kid a man I admire (Billy Don Moyers) about his pov, his guests and the revolving door between academia, the think tanks and foundations, and being a media pundit. In the limited airtime to discuss wrenching issues one friend chooses to present the other's newest book. (Actually, Charlie Rose is more the ass-kisser.)

You see, Michael v.d., how Mumia isolates corporatism as a cause. Corporatism is the glove of immunity against accountability that the privileged have devised so their profitable carousing can continue unmolested, just business as usual. According to a writer named Ted Nace ("Gangs of America") modern corporate charters are much more powerful and comprehensive now than 200 years ago. If any Constitutional construction has been legislative in its effect corporatism has been. And yet the constructivist justices sit every case blind to the process, eroding more human rights with each decision. That's collusion too, as when Scalia accepts gifts, trips, accolades, and jobs for his offspring. That's the way the upper middle class so many emulate works. How does one secure a job: networking, not by merit or virtue.

Mumia, Did you ever think of devolving the corporate charter back to a reasonable level. Then the wealthy would face more accountability. The financial morass is the direct result of intentional mystery and opaqueness made possible under corporate law. A dead thing has more privacy than we living things.

@Hans, December 17, 2008 9:58 PM;

It's not too difficult to determine what's wrong with our political system. As many others such as Ralph Nader, Ed Santoro, Anonymous9, David F. and David Eddy have said: corporate domination, greed and hubris are making our political system dysfunctional. As Ralph Nader has said, we have to subordinate the corporate entity to the sovereignty of the people, and we must displace corporations from the critical parts of society. So many people are operating out of greed that our society and world are suffering the tragedy of the commons.

Corporate domination not only affects our politics, but it affects our own morals. Corporate domination breeds cynicism and selfishness. As Ellison Hunt said, we've got to move toward a more family-based model of moving society rather than a corporate model, because the corporate structuring of society is destroying our senses of ethics, humanity and hope. It's also destroying all of the natural resources that a residual human population would need to survive after the end of the fossil fuel era.

What ever happened to,"Let go; and let God..." that even the vermouth-breathed Jesuits mouthed when I was a child? If we were created, then, our Creator is responsible for our nature and free will is only an individualistic proposition, and not a collective one.

If we are a phenomenon of the cosmos, and not Created, we may lack collective free will in that instance too. But, at least we can conceive of it. Jesse Jackson,Sr. hopefully mused, "If you can conceive it; and you can believe it; you can achieve it." We have to make the "you" plural, and then the only obstacle is the believing: faith. Faith can be secular too, as in "the full faith and credit of the United States." Our credit is almost kaput, and our faith isn't far behind. I guess I could live without the good old USA, since I mostly live without believing in God, and have survived 11 foreign lands. I do it by making things plural.

Too many people get into the Washington political machine and stay there. Term limits for any and all might prevent the abusive nature that seems to permeate our government...from local to federal...If one cannot achieve a goal in two terms/12 years, or have someone who is will to carry that goal forward, maybe it wasn't worth it in the first place. However, this appears unlikely due to the fact that the very people who would have to pass a law pertaining to term limits would be the very people who would be affected directly by said law. My hope is that we, the people, wake up and realize we can evoke a meaningful change if we become less complacent with our elected officials' performances in office.

The outrage displayed by members of congress during congressional hearings is phony and for display only. Our representatives should have asked for accountability and safeguards before approving the bailout bill. They could still take action to demand this now.

I'm not entirely certain what's "wrong" with our political system.. except it seems like it's mostly wealthy people and mostly people who are or have been out of touch with what REGULAR everyday people deal with... definitely there's WAY too much insider influence and lobbying going on.. it all seems corrupt and sluggish and tangled up. My OWN feeling is that people are entirely too caught up in making money and profit and greed, rather than doing what is "right" and acting solely on principle.. but that goes much farther than simply government.. that can be said about our entire nation and society and all the corporations that RUN everything. Maybe we need to crack down and get back to the classic Constitution and root out all the lobbyists. oddly I agree with another commentator who said basically, if we don't all stop fighting and squabbling and trying to cheat or get the best of one another and START cooperating and doing whats right for us and for the planet we live on, then we're toast. As to how to "do" it, well I'll leave that to smarter people than I - all I can say is that I try to be kind and helpful and humble in MY life.

learning to go without and live within our means and caring for the environment rather than raping it for profit would be a good beginning. we all need to demand that corporations AND government act responsibly. But I have the sense that too many Americans are spoiled and feel entitled - I don't see them willingly making sacrifices. the thing is that we ALL need to do it. TOGETHER.

To be honest with ourselves we have to first acknowlege that there is no justice in America.
For justice to exist the laws must be applied fairly to everyone and currently they are not.
For justice to exist any crime involving more than 1 million dollars should carry a mandatory 10 years
no chance of early parol.
For justice to exist any politician caught abusing the power of their office for their own gains ahead of the people or laws should be given mandatory 10 years no chance of early parol.
For justice to exist prison means prison in other words the senator or wealthy businessman goes to the same prison as the average American no special treatment.
These are but a few examples....

Ed santoro,
You are right. Our disconnect from reality has been a disaster. we are beginning to pay the price.
We need to reconnect to reality and do what is necessary to get our country on the road to good government, efficient economics and a quality society. We have the technology, resources and the talent to make it happen. All we need is the determination.
Hopefully, President-elect Obama will provide the necessary leadership.

Klark M,
I share your frustration with the possibility that we are "preaching to the Choir" and not getting any constructive response.
There is a problem that everyone is talking but no one is listening; especially a problem that Politicians are not listening.
On the subject of Religion...
I am presenting my read on Christianity and only wish to give credit where credit is due. I have studied all of the major religions and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. I do have a problem with atheists who come across as ignoring reality in order to promote their anti-God agenda and have no respect for other people's beliefs.
Personally, I am glad that Klaatoo called of his Nano-Bugs. There lies our difference. I believe that people can change; especially when it is in their own best interests.
Government is infamous for its capacity to ignore people's desperate situations.
The media brainwashing and Hollywood violence could very well be the coupe de grace.

Across the spectrum in American society we have become victims of our own PR hype and are unaware of reality. Britain did the same thing at the end of the nineteenth century.

Our political leaders speak as if this is 1950 and the U.S. is just head and shoulders above the rest of the world. On television we have fictional depictions of America's top model, top chef, top designer, top cop, top survivor, top scientist, top lawyer, top politician, top psychologist, top doctor, top teacher, top taxi driver, top dog walker, toptoptoptoptoptoptoptoptoptoptop.

It is all a propaganda machine that allows Americans to feel good about themselves, their society, and their position on the world stage. The only problem is that it isn't true. Most of America's top anything speak with a heavy accent not native to any of the fifty states.

The reality is that America has gotten out of the business of being top anything except MANAGERS and ADMINISTRATORS of real talent.

Our leaders need to turn off their television sets, as they've duped themselves with their own propaganda.

I just completed monitoring of a 1 hr. web chat with Diane Rheim. I proffered one comment and she responded in agreement. She was honest with us listener-correspondents. I learned much about her and the experiences of her listeners. I wish Bill Moyers would schedule a chat with us as Diane Rheim does.

You may see that Davis Eddy and I have the same societal goals. I would be interested if others think our exchages are any use since we do not share the same "foundations." (I think there can be a perfectly serviceable ethics without belief in the same God as David. He thinks there is no ethics without that belief.)

I have differences with everyone here, and I am testing these differences in an effort to draw people out and understand them, not to instruct. selehka, I have kidded you too, in a serious way, and I argue economics with anyone who will respond, including Ellison. I just wonder if the Figgers were right, that this blog exposes us to corporate frustration and accomplishes nothing constructive. Last night I saw a sucky movie, the remake of "The Day The Earth Stood Still." The characters kept telling Klaatoo, "Don't destroy us. We can Change." John Cleese's character argued that people will "get the change on" when a tipping point is reached. Well, we overshot our exit on the economy, and we seem to be speeding by the carbon emissions ramp because of it. I kind of wish Klaatoo hadn't called off his swarm of nano-bugs. (What a depressing digital cartoon it was, worse than Wall-E!) It really got me down. Maybe media brainwashing is responsible for our governmental dementia.

Bill Moyers Asks: What's Your Take on What's Wrong with the American Political System Right Now?
What do you think? Do you think it can be fixed and, if so, how?

Christmas Greetings Bill Moyer; I appreciate your concerted effort to provide the programming that is so needed in this time of transition.

Where we went wrong was voting a president into office that is a paranoid sociopath and is disconnected from reality.
I think he is also a victim of circumstances.
Because of the importance of the office of president of The United States of America to everyone's life; it should be required that every candidate for that office be checked out for mental problems.
The problem is that we have been a ship without a rudder and have lost our moral bearings. We are spinning out of control.

The solution to our problems is to find our moral bearing and apply it to our social system. We need to modify our social system to meet people's needs and desires not their self-centeredness and their greed. We need an efficient economic system that provides the necessary funds to provide justice and equity for all of our people.
When you build a house, you build it from the foundation up not from the roof down. The same method is a necessary process for building an efficient economic system on the bases of providing the necessary funds for a quality society.

Selehka,
David Eddy says the Bible is a text book because it is the source of having knowledge of the Christian/Judea religion.
Yes, I have read the Bible and have done many Bible studies.
The Bible does not teach genocide, mass murder, cruelty, slave ownership (and the slave is to answer to his master no matter how cruel), sex slave ownership; the list goes on. It provides a history of these things.
If the Bible was just a book, it would not have included all of the down side of God’s people. It tells it like it was. Christians are not enslaving anyone. They provide people with the skills and income necessary to support their families.
Some people call themselves Christians when they are not Christians. Their attitudes and actions prove otherwise.
I believe the Bible is what it is; the writings of many scholars who were inspired by God to provide a documentation of people’s lives and their relationship with their God. The Bible is not literal and is meant to be a comprehensive understanding of its intent. I believe in God and use the Bible as a reference. I also have the guidance of the Holy Spirit to keep me on track.
Personally, I think atheists make lousy politicians because they only understand the physical aspect of life and have no sense of the intrinsic value of life.

Mouvinon
I like the song that goes, "I'm a little tea pot short and stout, tip me over and poor me out".
Physically we are all earthen vessels containing the essence of humanity.
Christians wrap themselves in the armor of God; the belt of truth, the breast plate of righteousness, the Shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit
that they might quench the flaming arrows of the wicked.
You have a good point that we are more than the sum of our parts; however, the fact remains that we are a product of nature and nurture. Without nature; we would have no physical attributes. Without nurture; we could not survive. The best we can do is respect each other and appreciate our association with other people. We also have the spark of intelligence and a free will. It would not be realistic to think that we are other than a part of a grand scheme. Christians are subjected to nature and nurture just like everyone else. The only difference is that they try to live their life consistent with the teachings of Christ as best they can.
Business without ethical principles is the reason for our current disaster.
If we were all Godless Atheists; people would never have been able to accomplish the level of civilization we now enjoy. Despite the failings of religion; It has raised people above the survival of the fittest.

Our Federal Government is a hierarchical system of Privatized Profit – Commonized Cost (PP-CC) games (as in Game Theory). Garrett Hardin identified this as a social dilemma and called it Tragedy of the Commons. This seems to be a characteristic of democracy that cannot be separated from it.

The productive capacity of the American people is a commons managed by Congress. Tax revenues and political power accrue to the government. They are doled out to government agencies, government favored businesses and special interest groups. Earmarks on legislation is not an aberration of the system, it’s just another way things get done.

Years ago I lived in San Mateo, California and Tom Lantos was my congressional representative. A couple of months prior to his re-election he would send out a newsletter. In it was a table of “Federal Spending in Our District” He included Federal Wages paid, Social Security Benefits paid, on and on. He understood that his job was to bring home Federal Spending to the district. Fail to do that and he would b replaced.

To oppose this PP-CC system involves playing a Privatized Cost – Commonized Benefit game (PC-CB). The objecting individual or group take on the expenses of protesting and often suffer consequences. If successful, the benefits of the protest apply to a larger group. PC – CB seems to me to be the very definition of heroism – a hero risks, the larger society benefits.

David Eddy says: The Bible is a text book that teaches us how to avoid evil and how to do good.

Have you really read the bible? It teaches genocide, mass murder, cruelty, slave ownership (and the slave is to answer to his master no matter how cruel), sex slave ownership..... the list goes on.

Jesus taught that if you had wealth you'd never see the kingdom of heaven. Seems to me if someone were to be truly a christian they would shun wealth and not seek it. Our politicians/major religious leaders/major financiers claim to be "righteous christians". I guess you could say from their actions they truly are doing God's work when they turn the American people into their slaves. Good christians follow their lead in their mad seeking of wealth and persecution of others.

Now - do you or do you not believe in the bible? It would seem to me that all the attributes given Satan belonged to the christian god. If you're going to pick and choose what parts to believe in - then it is obviously not a Holy Text but just another book.

Maybe we should make sure all our politicans are atheists or agnostics - there in lies the way of justice.

@Anonymous9, December 13, 2008 3:29 PM;

You're right: we don't have good leaders, and most of the political leadership wants to "get back to normal." Unfortunately, "normal" is using up 25% of the worlds resources (over the years) and spewing 17 million tons of CO₂ into the air each day.

No one is preparing for when the oil runs out; no one is attempting to flip our economy from a consumption economy to a production economy before America's domestic oil runs out. No one is advocating that people engaging in saving over spending (although people are figuring this out themselves).

As Brian Lyew commented in the other blog, "trickle down economics" does not work, and despite the expense, it's not working now. The correct way to jumpstart the economy through consumption would be to provide money for the poor. We need to undo all of the bailouts (except for the $300 bn given to the nine big banks). That money, such as it exists, should be used to increase welfare payments and extend unemployment to ten years.

As painful as it may sound, we need to move toward a balanced budget within two years. The ultra-wealthy can be heavily taxed for everyone else's benefit. Before the new taxes are passed, we need to place restrictions on the flow of money into and out of the country. We also need to end the War on Terror (which we've lost).

However, our political leaders don't wish to make any rational policy changes, and the country is very vulnerable, so we are near the end.

ARE WE ALL PRODUCTS? (It doesn't sound Christian to me. How do I open you? Where do I pour you out? Where do I throw the wrapper when I'm done? It doesn't sound ethical or sustainable or fun either. It is dangerous to combine religion and business training.)

Klark M.,
We are all products of nature and nurture...
We come into this world with a set of circumstances that affect our physical and mental makeup. It is what we do with what we have to work with that determines our success in life.
"Success" is a relative term that means something different for every person. We set our own standards and objectives. What is "good" and what is "bad" is dependent on the results of our actions. If what we do creates a quality life style in a quality environment it is "good". If what we do creates hell on earth; it is "bad". If
what we do is what makes the world a better place; it is good If what we do is selfish and sociopathic it is bad.
Wrong attitudes create wrong actions.
You are right. We need to work together to solve human problems and make life the best possible experience.
Religion that is not consistent with people's best interests is inconsistent with a benevolent God that expects us to "do unto others as we would have them do unto us".

Davids E and F: Maybe Bill could do a program on how believers, agnostics and atheists can work together for the common welfare. An attitude of either,"No good without God," or of,"Delusional because of belief," both illustrate ignorance. Wealthy operators of diverse spirituality seem to collude very well when their material and strategic interests come into play.

All of us here are thinking, working, procreating, communicating and striving people, living in America. Isn't there some way where we can combine interests without questioning one another's motivations. It does anger me when someone suggests I cannot reason without divine assistance, but I should probably get over that. I have tolerated silly workplace questioning of my parentage and sexuality without anger. We should quit kidding each other and set our conspiracy of egalitarian justice into motion. The masters enjoy it when we squabble.

An Alternative to Capitalism?

The following link, takes you to a "utopian" article, entitled "Home of the Brave?" which I wrote and appeared in the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:


http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm


John Steinsvold

The current financial meltdown DOES mark something fundamental, more fundamental than the causes mentioned by Sen. Feingold: perhaps the inevitable final collapse of fractional reserve banking. I would love to see this issue explored in a Bill Moyers Journal program.

For more, see http://whatsnotso.blogs.com

Klark M,
On the subject of The reality of God's presence...
My personal experience is that I had an internal revelation of God's presence. I had both a mental and a physical response to His presence. Mentally, my mind was clear and physically, my body felt very light. I felt at peace and euphoric. I made the choice to accept God's spirit as part of my being. Since then, I have had a sense of His presence in my life. While I use the Bible as a reference Book; It is the Holy Spirit of God that is my source of spiritual understanding. I also study many secular subjects so that I am well informed.
It is my understanding that God has His choosen people and while there are many who believe in God, there are few who are His choosen. God has a free will and choses whom so ever he pleases no matter what their gender or race.
On the subject of Biblical truth...
The Bible has been subjected to revision, omission, and translation. Yet, it still remains an important document for the spiritual and physical welfare of people. There are many forms of literature in the Bible from myths to commandments. Truth is a relative term that changes with time and circumstances while history does not change.
On the subject of Materialism...
When we exist in the physical; it is necesaary that we have to deal with the physical while still being concerned with the spirirual. Physical life is altered by applied moral or deviant behavior.
On the subject of good judgment...
First you have to know what is good before you can use good judgment. The book Plato's Republic is devoted to an understanding of the term "good".
Social skills are good. efficient social organization is Good. Love one another is Good. Inversely, Greed, hate, malice, injustice, Inequity and sociopath are bad.... These are all attitudes that affect the quality of life.
Everyone is responsible for thier behavior and will be held accountable. Everyone Choses their life story from available opportunities. We have a free will and religion only provides us good advice and the strength to do what is right and good.
You can believe what ever you want but it is dangerous to ignore reality. All I can do is post my read on what is real and what I perceive as our best options.

Hi David Eddy,

Unfortunately, People have a way of twisting information to meet their own ends. Just like the people in the Old Testament; people use religion for evil instead of good and pay the price. Our present disaster is a prime example of that fiasco.

Sad, but true.

And yeah, I almost labeled “The Old Bible” as a history book too.

to Anonymous9 Dec. 13 3:29pm
You express alarm & frustration in a way that sounds as though you 'Are mad as hell and are not going to put up with it any longer!'

Ditto!

Treason is betraing our nation security, and my question is, what spies have harmed our country more than the political & corporate leaders that have devised, schemed, looked the other way, accepted the gain, from this FINANCIAL CRISIS?

TREASON sounds radical, but, once you think about it, do you think JAIL time is appropriate for the likes of Greenspan, Paulson, etc.

Billy Bob, Florida where ya'll did not give a damn that the DNP denied our nomination-election vote

Mr. Moyers,
What is inheritantly wrong with our government? JS Mill reflected upon the notion of a happy pig and and discontented educated person. My thought is to work on our educational system as one measure to help improve our govt. What is wrong with our Govt? We've become the happy pigs through direct or indirect measures. If we insert "God" (a mythical figure) into the equation, we will revist the 12-1600's as a society.

Over 40 years I have spent many hours around religious people at religious and helping institutions (between jobs and overseas contracts) and never have God of Christ revealed themselves to me, posited themselves to be real of effective. Christianity, even when combined with Islam and Judiasm is a minority mythology most Earthlings do not believe.

Davd Eddy: Are Christian teachings responsible for your success? Christ's teachings seemingly contradict your devotion to personal property, and even your prolific procreation. Maybe one foot remains in the Old Testament? I understand that you, like Dub Bush, consider the Bible literally true? What about all the lost and destroyed testaments and books? Does that make God the editor or the author? You are too smart a fellow to be painting yourself into these corners. If you think I am a devil, remember that there is scant basis for me in your holy texts. I am one who would share the apple of knowledge with you, but see myself more as a Prometheus than a Lucifer. The implication is that for all your good will and benevolent intent you are an Epimetheus who refuses to see the consequences of your obstinance. For instance, your misogyny probably attracts you to Biblical paternalism, and not the reverse. Many of my Believer friends use religion as a club to assert themselves and their cruel prejudices. Christ scourged only licentiousness and privilege, instructing the less fortunate by homily and example. Is that what you do? I have my prejudices too, but no religious excuses. For instance, I despise rich people who thank an imaginary deity for their good fortune when injustice is to blame.

David F. : As a person who has wasted many hours on theological scholarship I feel we should drop our objections to David E's superstition. Never fear, he will not convert us with insincere rhetoric and authoritarian resort. The story of Christ is of one who has tasted freedom and reality and will not be denied, like a Liberation Theologist, not a sheepherding slaveowner.

Recently Der Spiegel had a great article on Santa and his black slave as is traditional in Holland. Now they say the helper was blackened in the chimney. But if so, how did St. Nick stay so white? Sometimes the paradigm shifter gets stuck between gears. (Apologies to Thomas Kuhn)

Hi David F.,
Just like the paradigm shift in God's relationship to man before and after the original sin; there was a paradigm shift when Christ was slain as a means of redemption for mankind.
We are no longer under law but under grace.
Our relationship with God changed. The law still applied as a good rule of conduct but we were no longer separated from God because of our sin. Now we can go directly to God for his guidance and strength. The Bible is a text book that teaches us how to avoid evil and how to do good. The Old Testament gives us the history of people's relationship to God and the history of His people. The New Testiment gives us the story of Christ, the establishment of His Church and the intent of living Christ like lives.
Unfortunately, People have a way of twisting information to meet their own ends. Just like the people in the Old Testament; people use religion for evil instead of good and pay the price. Our present disaster is a prime example of that fiasco.

The Political System is great and working perfect if you are in the Top 1%

Even the Glorified Intellectuals in their comfortable Ivory Towers and their Universities that have nothing to do with real life are doing great.

Congress, well they have it better then anyone because they have the power and even though the 1% can buy all they need the Senators and Representatives are omnipotent due to the stupidly of the 90%.

Speak of a class system well the USA has several and they are doing very well at the top, thank you very much.

Don’t you wish that God was really real? Or how about Santa Clause? What would a world of ethics and morals be like? I think they speak of God and ethics and morals in books don’t they?

You know, surely you know what books are, those things full of pages and depending on the subject filled with filth or dreams. I have read books all my life and they didn’t give me a clue as to the cruel, unethical, and immoral behavior man is capable of.

Example, Congress gave 8 Trillion Dollars to the Sons of B**ches and Mercenary Bastards that stole all the money in the economy and caused the failure of the financial system and walked away billion airs with out threat of punishment. Got away with it and came back with enough gall and guile to get the Bastards in Congress to give them more…………..

How are the Workers doing? Well they seem to cost the Car Companies 10 to 11% of the cost of a vehicle. But the 90 to 89% Overhead Management don’t seem to be responsible for the failure even though only Management can make decisions. I have never know labor to be asked to do anything except sit down – shut up – and do more, more, more for less pay.

Lets see, back to the Evil Senators and Representatives who only know how to do what the rich want. 90% of the Citizens were against the bail out but they both voted to bail out every failure they could find and no questions asked about how much they made.

The political system sucks and I can’t think of one good thing about it. All the talk about change and we now have with the exception of Bill Clinton and daughter the whole Clinton White house back in business except for Obama and if you think he is going to change things you better buy a lunch while you wait for it to happen.

I have passed my one page limit of trying to find words that could criticize a failed system and government and to tell the truth they don’t exist.

We are with leaders, without consequence, and without solutions. No one has done any wrong and no one should be punished. All our laws have lost their meaning and everyone wants to be left alone to do as they please.

No one is seeking to serve or be of service to a greater good… just fix the system and get back to business as usual and give us more debt and dumber down. It is all so sickening.

We should all be thinking and contributing to Obama's Transition Team, what the most essential public works projects that we can envision. Because, as everyone knows, Obama is soliciting multimillion dollar project proposals from local governments. This is the golden moment for change starting to flow into government before economic support flows from government.

My own goal would be to work for the United Nations with economic and organizational reform projects--because the UN is only as powerful as the US allows it to be, and it is a necessity that we strengthen global governance and cooperation. The UN can help with a great many basic necessities worldwide--food, shelter, and education, as well as projects to rapidly reduce our GHG/ecological-footprint.

I would love to join others in support a Jeffersonian-Republican party, probably run by a union of local farmers and labor unions. The neo-con GOP movement is dead, but the sole of the Republican party is strong in the hearts of people everywhere. Every level of government from ward to local to state to federal to national, should be represented at regular community meeting--taking place on a global scale, but especially the G20.

Hopefully the Federal Legislative level can get their shit together with private and business tax related issues. However, local currencies of value should be established to prevent shock--and a genuine progress indicator should replace the GDP as a universally valued index for success.

My vision demands an economic redistribution of wealth, a downsize of the economic complex (the tax code), the military-industrial complex (weapons and buildings) and the agricultural industrial complex (true price of meat and dairy, reduce fossil-based chemicals), and a shift in priorities to global parity and greater egalitarianism (inheritance taxes in 20). My vision demands that the public is more democratically represented in government and citizens are able to participate in direct voting at all levels of governance, including the United Nations.

Means of Preventing the Usurpations by the Government (Rousseau)
The legislative assemblies, which have no other object than to maintain the social treaty, ought always to open with two motions which it should be impossible ever to omit, and which ought to be voted on separately:
(1) Whether it please the Sovereign to retain the present form of government.
(2) Whether it please the People to leave its administration to those who are currently charged with it.

When Morality & Ethics are important only when we as individuals are adversly affected, then we are doomed to repeat this mess until our Forefathers Dreams are no more!

If the Am.-way-of-life is threatened by this economic crisis, more than the Iraq war, then does this not rise to the level of TREASON?

No responsibility; no accountability; no American Dream!

Billy Bob, Florida

What is wrong with our political system is the belief that instead of people finding solutions to problems that politicians have promised to solve all of their problems. This means less freedom because instead of each person making decision for him or her self and their family, politicians now make the decision for you. People have decided not to buy cars right now and no matter how much government gives to auto manufacturers, people still would decide not to buy cars right now.

Austrian economists have been right in the cause and effect of government intervention into the free market and instead of listening to those who have been warning us about the crisis of fiat monetary policy, our leaders have decided that the solution of excessive credit is more credit.

Bad businesses must go in order for those who have been good stewards take over the assets. But politicians are rewarding poor business decisions with taxpayer money, which the government has to borrow through the printing press. Sterling National Bank has nearly $2 Billion dollars in assets because they decided two and a half years ago to NOT be involved in subprime mortgages. This good business decision is ignore, but the bad business decisions by other banks get rewarded through government coercion of taxpayers. It is absolutely ridiculous!

Dear Mr. Moyer,

First off ... The happiest of Holiday wishes for you, your family, your staff, and their families. Secondly, thank you and PBS for such a valuable program and forum for myself and my fellow concerned Americans.

At my website, I have done a lot of political grumping ... I'm old, annoyed, I vote, so I'm allowed. Over the last 20 years, I've noticed the U.S. Government becoming a "Corporacracy" (My own word for big business corruption and interference within American politics) ... The Wallstreet Bailout proved, as the funds are not being used to encourage economic growth, but rather, imsuring the continuence of 'Golden Parachute' ethics and class separation.

It is a sad thing that most Americans believe that every politician is corrupt and there is nothing they can do about it, especially when some leaders of importance, like Speaker of the House, Namcy Pelosi vowed deliberately not to pursue any investigative action toward the President with regard to impeachment.

To reinstill political faith in the U.S., three things have to happen almost immediately once President elect Obama assumes the office of the Presidency.


  • A sweeping investigation of all branches of government, concerning any illegal actions of any part of the federal government acting contrary to the people and constitution of the United States.

  • Restructure FDR's New Deal programs to work in the present day economy. There are many areas that need workers, such as laying fiber optic cable throught the whole of the United States.

  • Stop pork barrel spending by disallowing rider bills. Put a spending cap on politcal contributions and on how much a candidate can spend on their election campaign. In other words, make it affordable for the average person to be able to run for office.


There's really just too much to be done almost and the sad thing is that it will most likely lead to a civil war, because there is truthfully, no one in the United States Government that can be trusted.

Everyone cries for investing in educating our youth, yet that educational investment is first to be sacraficed at the leading indications of economic woes.

George W. Bush had a golden opportunity to be one of the great Presidents in U.S. history ... He has opted to be reknownst as the worst and most evil of Presidents in American History.

Ok - let's try it this way. What's the major problems with our political system - try 2 words: Media, Money.

Why do politicians need millions to run a campaign? For all that media advertising. Them that can afford the most - gets the most - is the most indebted to single subject interests. As long as Big Money is needed for a campaign - we'll never get the Real people who would honestly listen to the People and do what is best for the country without regard for lobbyists. The whole system is set up to guarantee we won't get the right person for the job. And politics Is a job.

How about this? We want people who listen to the people, right? So, no television commercials, no billboards, no full page newspaper ads.... Let their words say what they can do, and keep the visuals out of it.

The people vote on salaries for All politicians every year. If they are doing a good job - bonuses, a lousy job - pay cuts. The people vote on all major laws that will affect the population. No more pork barrels for one state or special interests. Every year we have a National issues referendum. Taxes up? We vote for it, Capital Gains - we vote. Radical I know, but it gives the power back to the people that make this country a place worth living.

The Democrats, including Obama, have NO principals, NO agenda, and no IDEAS other than to try to "touch the middle" or "the "bottom", which is much like drowning in a public pool while reaching for the bottom to retrieve your contact lenses because you were SIGHTLESS without them!

We need an IDENTITY, AND IDEAS, NOT "THE MIDDLE" OF THE MORASS!


With two wars going on, over 4500 men lost of life, thousands wounded, trillion of dollars spent for the war and trillions of dollars for the bailout, economic meltdown, ramped corruption, Depression and “Financially the U.S... is bankrupt”, the president states, ‘‘With all the actions we’ve taken these past eight years, we’ve laid a SOLID FOUNDATION on which future presidents and future military leaders can build.’’ GOD HELP US! A senator states, “I will not support a bill that revives the patient with a taxpayer dollars...!” Why did he “support the others patients such as, “AIG, Freddie Mac, Banks etc.?” “The politicians are rolling out a draconian emergency response which will loot the assets and seriously undermine the freedom, liberty...!” To ignore the tyranny at the local level of government, authorities, school boards etc. would be an understatement.
Depression, National bankruptcy and financial chaos are here. Crises rooted in fundamental problems cannot... be fixed by ramped corruption and tyrants. Many do not have the slightest idea “from the unfolding chaos and its lasting after-effects!” The judicial theory of “substantive due process was a means... by which establishment retained control of... the institution and government.” Thus, they defined “LIBERTY” to mean “liberty of contract”, a term not expressly stated in the Constitution. A man states, “we must speak our conscious in a moment that demands, even if we are the only voice”. The “RULE of LAW” - the power is maintain by the establishment to silent the voice, the truth and the “WILL of THE PEOPLE!”


Hi David Eddy, some people refer to the so called “Conservative Christians” as the an-eye-for-an-eye Christians, so I’d like to think that a so called “Liberal Christian” would be a turn-the-other-cheek Christian. Along with the separation of church and state, I think we should also have a separation of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament and the Dead Sea scrolls could be in a book called “The Old Bible”, and the New Testament and Gnostic scriptures could be in “The New Bible.”

Jesus taught humanity to his family, not vengeance, and I believe most Conservative Christians are aware of this, but they’ve chosen to separate their mines from their hearts.

Jesus Padilla,
I was wondering as I wander...
What is your definition of "Secular Franciscan"?
I agree about the separation of Church and State. I have been attempting to get Christians to live their lives consistent with the teachings of Christ. I have also been trying to translate what Christ taught into a practical application to secular life. So called "Conservative Christians" are in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. He taught compassion and humility not corruption and arrogance. What Christ taught is consistent with people's best interests. Fortunately, God is benevolent. Otherwise we would have been extinct a long time ago.

I first want to express my great appreciation for this blog and my admiration for you Bill, whom I have watched and listened to for most of my life. Thank you for all you do.

Being a Secular Franciscan and Clinical Psychologist, I think that one of the greatest problems facing our country's political system is the lack of separation between church and state. It seems to me that the use of religious symbolism for political ends is precisely what Jesus warned us about in his response to the question of whether people should pay taxes to Ceasar. I believe it was the very first declaration, in fact directive, to separate church and state when he told them, "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's but give to God what is God's.

Let's keep religion clean by not sullying it with the dirt of politics.

Thank you.

"stanley's observation that the USA has always had corrupt and treacherous characteristics is well stated. His emphasis on the fight for media control (and the Internet) might be overstated in a nation where the populace is rapidly retreating into gaming fantasies and away from activism and information. If your state taxes increase you can always depressuize using "Facekicker III." stanley, yours is a blatant affront to apologists like David Eddy who speculate our holy government started out as "gooude" and was corrupted by worldly contamination. Thank you for pricking the balloon.
Ted M. Morgan agrees that our politics under elite media oppression consists of big lies and victim blaming. (Democrats do it too.) How long can we remain fixated in proto-Nazism."

Irene E.

Maybe you could try to rephrase this passage of your post so that it is less difficult to understand.
I am not making an apology for our government past or present.
While our government began as a bold attempt to establish a Democratic system of government; it was soon influenced by The Republic form of government and resolved into a representative form of government which is fundamentally an Oligarchy.
The next corruption of our system of government has been the recent advent of an attempt to form an Autocracy. Actually what we need is a Humanitarian Technocracy that has the capacity to efficiently run a functional society that meets the needs and desires of its people.
It is the efficient management of supply and demand and a just and equitable society that improves the quality of everyone's lifestyle.
Your rampage about IAmWoman and computer games is indeed a problem because it is undermining the stability of our nation. We need to be united in our effort to salvage and rebuild our nation.
The people who are "Pricking our balloon"
and taking the air out of our sails are the conservatives and the religious fanatics who do not have the intestinal fortitude to overcome the corruption that is undermining our social system and our quality of life.
the proto-Nazi revival is also a great danger to our society. Our freedom as individuals is seriously threatened. Proteus was a Greek Sea God who could change his shape at will. Hopefully, we will be able to change our present
form of government into a progressive government that will solve our problems and get us out of our present dilemma.




The last two minutes of this interview were mint. A brilliant (and revealing) observation on the breakdown of representative government. The impending bankruptcy reorganization of the entire global financial system should go some way toward significantly remedying the compromised political dynamic Senator Feingold describes.

Perhaps easier to ask what is right? Simple answer - nothing.

What we need isn't the New Deal but the Real Deal of the people getting involved ala 1960's. Strikes, sit ins, marches, protests - think if we scream loud enough media will listen? Probably not the US media, but at least media outside the US shows more reality of what is happening here.

My personal protest? Stop buying. Buy only what is necessary. Get rid of the "goodies" that make you think you're doing ok - while you try to make payments. Tired of MSM? Discontinue cable and unplug the tv. Turn off the radio except for those few that actually address real issues - and not the fear mongering meant to keep us from noticing what is happening. Ignore the Big 2 and start writing in other candidates.

Impeach Bush and cronies - or at least start the trials... Give us back our rights.

America is a dictatorship by wealth. They just pretend it's otherwise to keep the "little" people supporting their demand for power.

What's wrong with the American political system?

There are so many possible answers that the question is more like a Rorschach Test than one likely to have an agreed outcome.

One could point, for example, to our continuing difficulty in dealing with the commodification of individuals in our society -- treating individuals as if they were nothing more than another commodity in the raw materials streams that feed our businesses and institutions. It's a lingering but still powerful result of industrialization, the profound ramifications of which our political system has yet to deal with.

I'd continue, but I've run out of electrons.

Why US is dysfunctional?
Too many Changos onboard.
Whoever wrote in Genesis
"Go forth and multiply"
was IGNORANT of facts
[Earth ain't Flat]
Means those promoting high
Birthrates are unwittingly
promoting high Deathrates
downstream in time to
balance out the economy.
It was root cause of the
Genocide of WWII & Nazis
Final Solution & will go
again and again. Saying
Never Again is IGNORANT
When intelligent life is
discovered on Earth we
might have a chance to
pull out of recurring cycle
of genocide every 66.6yrs
(yes, its in the bible)
happens every 3 solar
cycles (22.2yrs) when
4th generation arrives as
straw that breaks economy
to support Aged & Newborn
neither works to produce.
This leads to our present
"Blame Game" of financial
meltdown mess while the
Root Cause is IGNORED-
and we are DysFunctional
Sorry about that-

I agree with Mary, Peter, stanley w. and Ted M.M. I disagree with Billy Bob, and not because I'm a Democrat. BB sees government as a cult of cliques and personalities. He needs to break through the "Entertainment Tonight" screen and admit the systematic and structural problems keeping citizens zombies. First admit that voting is a joke in an electorate with no "chices" (media pronunciation of choices) and artificial issues. If you had patriotic potential BB, you'd find other ways to "vote" (Maybe with civil disobedience, your spending, and all the other decisions you can still make in life).

stanley's observation that the USA has always had corrupt and treacherous characteristics is well stated. His emphasis on the fight for media control (and the Internet) might be overstated in a nation where the populace is rapidly retreating into gaming fantasies and away from activism and information. If your state taxes increase you can always depressuize using "Facekicker III." stanley, yours is a blatant affront to apologists like David Eddy who speculate our holy government started out as "gooude" and was corrupted by worldly contamination. Thank you for pricking the balloon.

Ted M. Morgan agrees that our politics under elite media oppression consists of big lies and victim blaming. (Democrats do it too.) How long can we remain fixated in proto-Nazism?

Mary has gotten outside the bubble and realized that this economic system originates in slavery and can only result in a majority of wage slaves and unemployed zombies. She's a UN girl, so where is her "black helicopter" parked? Maybe its behind the union hall, where almost all benevolent conspiracies are hatched. Mary: My company computer asks: "Is this web access required for your job?" every time I log in. Today I answered,"Yes, if you want me to do any more work today." We'll see how that turns out.

Peter, I almost forgot you and your rhetorical "Whys."
When you say revolution, I'm sure you mean a new legal basis for government. They're need not be violence, just a spontaneous consensus for change among the people. How about being a good Emma Goldman, Peter, and delivering those wake-up calls. You'll find some way. People power starts with only two people, just like love.

The Becky Millen's of this blog dismay me. They are so thankful for symbolic placation of their guilt and fears. Better you should ask how "Playing for Change" is funded and who gets profits or a big salary from it. Too many times we have seen big names and smart operators graft themselves on to "world music" like tapeworms or a US corporation onto a small government. It just goes to show one can dwell in California and remain intellectually backward and unquestioning. Becky, do you also praise the gas company for the lovely reading of your personal meter, and thank them for the odors?

IAmWoman is more my speed. Who is is them "Elites", Woman? Know any personally? Even though you're too short to poke them in the eye, you can still kick them in the nuts. It all starts on the ground in the community, by listening to those who suffer, and adopting their POV and language. We need more factory sit-ins and general strikes before we accept top-down unionism. We need more industry too, owned and run by the workers, and we need to realize that knowledge workers need unions too. There is a bigger unionism in the wings that dwarfs the government sanctioned experience. It is industry: It is the government: It is all of us. In a worker run, labor appreciating economy you can vote every minute with your entire body and being. On a clear day I can see forever...


DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE GO HAND IN HAND! Dark, musty, cloke room, power politics gets us where RALPH NADER has been warning for decades!

I dimissed Nader as a radical until by chance a ".....lens" production on PBS, An Unreasonable Man, shed light on Mr. Nader,s crystal ball viewing.

I have commented to blogs & congressmen that the banks would 'take the money' and clean up their balance sheets first & loan only to the most risk free customers...AND I have picked up from blog comments that many Mainstreeters could also see this coming.

Also, it was apparent that Senators Kennedy, Kerry, McGovern, Biden & Edwards wanted anybody but Hillary.
Now, we hear of Senator Ted's health plan, JFK's Caroline wants Hillary's senate seat, so Hillary's health plan is no longer competition & there is still an opening for the FIRST WOMAN president!

Was Hillary's loss really to the Kennedy clan?

Paulson demanded $700 billion but was sent home by congress which later gave him over $800 billion!

The big 3 Auto cos. ask for $25 billion but were sent home because there was no plan, so, they returned for $34 billion!

Get the picture?

WHAT DID THEY KNOW? WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT? WHY DID THEY NOT IT EARLIER?

MANY BUSINESS LEADERS HAVE failed OUR COUNTRY FOR YEARS TO THE LEVEL OF TREASON!

Billy Bob, Florida
where most of America did not give a damn that the DNP & Obama denied our nomination-election votes.
Ya'll didn't give a damn about my vote, but your financial crisis gets your attention! With out freedon to participate in govrnment your money isn't worth a damn--or soon won't be!


Please if you have the time visit this website:

http://www.chycho.com/?q=US_fascism

It provides clear insight into the measures taken by Preident Bush to erode democracy in America, along with facts and links supporting the claims. Please Mr. Moyers I would like to know why the mainstream media and press are simply not bringing these issues up or are burying them in language that does not address the bigger problem?

Thank You for your time.

I’ve been following the blog responses to this topic from their inception with great interest. They seem to all agree on the enormous greed and corruption found within our governance. I don’t find this to be out of character with the history of the founding and governance of America. Greed and corruption have dogged American politics and governance since before the revolution. What is “new” or unusual is the ability of the populace to be aware of it immediately and with such accuracy and depth. Prior to the 20th century, few were able to learn of it to any extent let alone with any confirmation. In the 20th century, thanks to electronic and printing advances (radio, film, the popular printed word, and eventually TV), the information started becoming increasingly available to the populace, though it still required physically obtaining the material (or getting oneself to the library, theatre, etc.) to grasp the severity. Today, with a few clicks in the comfort of one’s home or office, it not only all plays out, but analysis and commentary to accompany it (like this blog). The Dean/ Obamma use of the internet for political leverage bears this out. The tragedy lies not with the corruption and greed, but with the challenge laid down by its undisguised and flagrant occurrence. This was best exemplified by the 8 years of Bush administration unmitigated lies in the face of documented evidence to the contrary. It continues with the GOP actively courting “Joe Six Pack” in the last election and then dissing him by totally opposing the basis of his livelihood- the jobs associated with manufacturing in this country and the wage foundation of those jobs. I don’t think the question is “what’s wrong with the American political system?” (since it is as it is and always was), rather, I think the question is whether in the face of such extensive information and knowledge, people will act. There is a long history of people preferring to make sure they and theirs, their well being and security, come first before there is any mobilization for any greater cause or ideal of a common good. The October uprising only took place after the discrepancies of corruption and greed became totally intolerable in the Russian empire. I think the easy and immediate access to information and communication is rather a beginning, an invitation to choose a response, a future to be constructed. This may be why media ownership, control, and “journalistic integrity” have found themselves at the very forefront of this struggle (why the Chinese censor their internet so rigorously and why “improving” the internet is continuously lobbied for in our own legislature). It may also be why someone who should have retired to a less active and more leisurely role, like Bill Moyers, has taken such a passionate interest in the outcome. I don’t think anything is “wrong” with the American political system. I just think we are much more blatantly aware of its actual character than ever before in its history. It is now no longer something that is rumored or communicated with a wink and a nod, explicated only by authoritative academics and historians. Now it is totally in your face, and intended to be precisely that.

People running multinational businesses usurped government function. Susan Schwab negotiates trade deals favoring businesses over individuals. The Chamber of Commerce informs labor laws. Monsanto, DuPont help write health, agriculture and OSHA regulations.
Today is International Human Rights Day--the day of Jobs with Justice's kick off event for the EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT which Obama vowed to sign as President.
"We the people..." need you to tell our story!!
The Employee Free Choice Act is supported by the 1st Amendment to the Bill of Rights, The Wagner Act of 1935 which enshrine freedom of association. "This freedom is a long-standing American principle and tradition that working people may join together to improve their economic circumstances", writes the Committee on Education and Labor of the 110th Congress.
Union busting is big business...The Chamber of Commerce is pumping millions of dollars into killing this bill.
People need to organize without employer intimidation, workers can vote for President by simply signing a card--we need the same right to form unions. Employers need big fines for breaking unions. HEELLPP--give labor a voice-- &
environmentalist-&
intellectuals----&
all of us, who sell our bodies in exchange for a dollar. Tell our story.

Mr. Moyers, thank you for the opportunity to speak in such a broad and open forum.

The Bush govt has recently taken to infiltrating Protest groups or Activists who take on issues such as gay rights, abortion, civil liberties, global warming, scientific research, specific religious or non-religious groups are also targeted, as well as drug war opponents. This takes place not only in the Physical World of activist meetings and rallies, where undercover agents pose as members or try to incite violent behavior. It is also occuring in the Virtual World under the guise of "The War On Terror".

Covert data mining, cyber-surveillance, and the use of Artificial Intelligence to gather information about Americans is a hidden tactic being used currently. These are not terrorists that are being targeted, they are Americans who do not share the doctrine or ideology of the Bush govt. The information garnered from these operations is shared amongst the various Federal and State agencies.

When a governing body or interested party can create a database about you, your personal interests, and your day to day activities, it equates to nothing more than Orwellian "thought police". Where you live, who you love, who or what you disagree with can all be accessed in milliseconds. How can one defend themselves from such an overwhelming, hidden force? All one can do is be subservient, keep his head down and hope he doesn't become a name on a list that will mark him for life.

Please, if you could Mr. Moyers, bring this to the publics attention, I'm begging you. Unchecked power and misuse of authority is an abuse of power and it undermines the very basis of our civil liberties.

Thank you

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/washingtondc/la-na-cop-spy7-2008dec07,0,4658962,full.story

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/17264prs20030520.html

http://www.hybrid6.com/webgeek/2007/01/cyber-surveillance-and-internet-data.php

http://www.darkreading.com/security/cybercrime/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208803768

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/FBI_linked_to_national_eavesdropping_program_0408.html

Changes in government necessitate a minimal level of public awareness and mobilization.

The public has an important role in holding corrupt representatives accountable in elections and make government reform a top priority. The public should pressure representatives to support a number of important reforms:

* H.R. 1255 for public access to presidential records,
* H.R. 2316 to require lobbying disclosure and enforcement,
* H.R. 928 for Inspector General independence and accountability,
* H.R. 1309 for public access to government information,
* H.R. 1317 for protection federal employees who report waste, fraud, abuse, or national security violations, and
* Opposition to H.R. 6166 & S. 3930 that would pardon President Bush from war crimes.

Additional reforms not currently in Congress include:

* redistricting (gerrymandering) reform for more competitive elections,
* increasing Congress’s work schedule,
* reducing earmarks,
* committing more committee resources to oversight and establish priorities for all programs within their jurisdiction,
* prohibiting lobbyist solicitations if they have business before the body,
* creating an Office of Public Integrity, and
* Increasing election competition with a change in campaign finance reform.

Bill,

Love the show, and the work you and the people around you do. Thanks.

What's wrong with the USA is that we have "profit before people and the environment" when it should be "people and the environment before profit."

As a result we have an elite corporatocracy that borders on fascism. In fact, it seems like we are already deep into it.

So, here's a good hard question: "So many people with so little, so few people with so much, if our leaders are so righteous and good, how come they haven't cleared these problems up?"

The point is, the wealthy elite don't want to fix these things. As Naomi Klein talks about, it's disaster capitalism, but it's also the old idea that "scarcity = dependency = control; abundance = choice = freedom."

We still haven't gotten past the master/slave paradigm in the USA. We still have slavery in the USA, it's called "working for a living."

As George Carlin wisely said, "The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."

The only way the political system will EVER change is when the American people come together and insist that it changes -- from the grass roots on up with voices singing loud and clear and free, and as Emma Goldman once said, with some dance in our revolution.

Peace,

Peter


Our political system is broken because of (1) civics and (2) economics. It can be fixed, but only if we can summon the conviction and restraint to make sense of our condition and repair the civic life on which democracy depends.

Our political system is broken because, according to Michael Sandel in Democracy's Discontent, our political agenda is lacking substantive moral discourse, a symptom of the public philosophy of the procedural republic (the priority of individual rights, the ideal of neutrality, and the conception of persons as freely choosing, unencumbered selves, taken together form the procedural republic). As a result, public discourse is preoccupied with the scandalous and the sensational. We need to revive virtue and moral judgment as considerations in public policy an political discourse!

We cannot hope to govern the global economy without transnational political institutions, and we cannot expect to sustain such institutions without cultivating more expansive civic identities. This is the moment of truth in the cosmopolitan vision. But if the nation cannot summon more than a minimal commonality, it is unlikely that the global community can do better, at least on its own. A more promising basis for a democratic politics that reaches beyond nations is a revitalized civic life nourished in the more particular communities we inhabit. Practicing self-government in small spheres, Tocqueville observed, impels citizens to larger spheres of political activity as well.

In order to nourish and perpetuate the republican spirit, Jefferson proposed dividing the counties into wards, local self-governing units that would permit direct political participation. By "making every citizen an acting member of the government," the ward system would "attach him by his strongest feelings to the independence of his country, and its republican constitution." The division and subdivision of duties among federal, state, county, and ward republics was not only a way of avoiding the abuse of power. It was also a way of cementing the whole by giving each citizen a part in public affairs.

Our political system is broken because dominating economic forces disempower communities and erode the social fabric of democratic life. The republican tradition teaches that severe inequality undermines freedom by corrupting the character of both rich and poor and destroying the commonality necessary to self-government. We need greater equality! We need a redistribution of wealth (which is how FDR saved capitalism). If democracy is to survive the concentration of economic power it will have to be met by a similar concentration of political power.

I would first like to say that I love your show. The only news programs that I trust these days are NPR and a couple of shows on PBS. I don't claim to know everything there is to about our government or politics, but it's my opinion that in order for the system to change, it's going to take three things.

First, I think that the working's of our government in terms of legislation and daily decisions made by Congress and the President is going to have to be more transparent and easy to digest by the common citizen. I feel like I couldn't get a grasp on what's going on if I wanted to, and since we are supposed to be represented in Congress, shouldn't that be easier than it is? And in the other direction, I think that there needs to be a easier faster way to get our opinions heard.

Second, we need to take ownership. I know that I could do more to make my voice heard and gain understanding. The nation as a whole, I think, is complacent. The voter turnout was better this year than most, but on the average, it's not what it could and should be. And beyond election years, I think that most people just don't worry until something major happens. I believe that there are many issues that the people as a whole have the same opinion about, and our representatives need to hear it.

Third, there needs to be a fundamental change in the mindset of the federal government. Forget comments about how we should spend money and all that, they need to remember that they serve and protect us. Senators, representatives, the President, etc. are all public servants. This selfishness and sense that they can do anything that they want without consequence or consideration for the people needs to stop. Everyone in every aspect of government needs to know that they are not above the law abiding citizens they serve. This business of "no, because I don't want to," needs to stop.

If they could stop acting so selfishly, realize that they are public servants again, and start making decisions that are for the greater good, which I am sure every person in the federal government is capable of, the system will fix itself.

david peri wrote:

Remember what Chaney said in the mid-90s that it would be a huge mistake to invade Iraq.

I guess the juncture is now prudent.

I agree with others here about the problems of corruption, lack of accountability, power imbalance between the three branches of government, greed, and corporatism.

It's also important to remember Sanford Levinson's critique of our Constitution's "grievous defects." This includes the allocation of power in the Senate, excessive presidential power, the inability to get rid of an incompetent president, and the functional impossibility of amending the Constitution with regard to anything truly significant.

Levinson's solution? "...building a mas political movement that might be able to induce Congress to call a constitutional convention in, say, 2012..."

However, as a Jeffersonian, I believe it is important for us to remember the "Laws of Necessity."

Thomas Jefferson references "the laws of necessity" in an 1810 letter, justifying the unconstitutional Louisiana Purchase: "A strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means."

Harvard political theorist Harvey Mansfield talks about how an emphasis on legal limits is "simplistic," and argues that "Any set of standing rules is liable to encounter an emergency requiring an exception from the rule or an improvised response when no rule exists. 'Necessity knows no law.' We need both the rule of law and the power to escape it--and that twofold need is just what the Constitution provides for."

Constitutional experts such as Ornstein and Mann believe that the majority of leaders in Congress are not interested in change and that for change to happen it must be forced upon them or they must be replaced. We the Sovereign, must let our legislators know, in no uncertain terms, that it is time for this corruption to stop.

In the name of self-defense, a citizen militia now has the moral authority, legitimacy, and obligation to hold specific members of congress accountable--those who have broken the social contract and proven themselves to be enemies of the public.

An Aristotelian solution needs to be considered: government self-reform can be stimulated by an awareness offered by the political disobedient by warning the insolent and greedy to mend their ways—warning that oppressive government is what causes revolution.

Godspeed.

What’s wrong with the American Political System? It is corrupt: “Power corrupts …” The corruption reflects our society’s belief that the best, usual way to succeed is to lie, cheat and steal; and this is proven true in most instances. We as a people have lost our better values. We no longer value compassion, justice, peace and stewardship; except in others.
Can it be fixed? Yes; but not easily. The changes in our society’s contemporary customs and values would be necessary. That change is not apt to happen but it is possible.
How? The GOP (Greedy Old Party) will need to return to its social foundations now known as its liberal roots (Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower). The U.S. is not served by the Republican strategies of lying, cheating and stealing; i.e., Nixon, Reagan, G.W. Bush and all their GOP political and economic/business supporters. Free-enterprise must change to fair-enterprise and serve the customer’s interests, first, and not the profit motives of the enterprise. Fair profit is a reasonable expectation but not profits at the expense of the customers, employees and society. And the enterprise profits cannot be a result of lying, cheating and stealing.
Unfortunately, too many New Democrats are as guilty of these business and profit abrogation as are the leading Republicans and the GOP platform. Proper blame exists with business schools and universities where profit is the criteria for business success rather than public (social) improvements. Imagine a CEO getting social recognition and admiration in place of stock and salary bonuses as a result of his corporation’s annual performance!

what is wrong?

1. corruption-everyone needs money to fund campaigns to get the money they trade there influence, rewarding contracts via pork- why are bills hundreds of pages, one law per bill. we have private contractors in iraq messing up, hurting soldiers and no accountablity, we have veterans hospitals with no accountability, we have banks and financial institutions and auto makers with no one being accountable, no oversight. trillions missing from the pentagon under rumsfeld, billions missing in iraq under bremer, rove setting up republican election office in the white house. it seems that someone, some group owns congress, and owns the television media, most americans are gullalbe enough to buy the spoon fed nonsense on tv, most is propoganda in my view, except for you guys at pbs, maddow, and olberman,

2. everyone in congress is a millionaire, how are millionaires supposed to solve problems for people when they have a hard time relating to those people? the avg joe has different problems than millionaires.
i would like to see a second congress, supreme court and president with requirements based on salary.

if i was running the show i would set up institutions to mirror our 3 branches where low saleries are required
-start holding everyone accountable, if run corporations into the ground or act in a shady manner, you are banned from working as an exec in the business world, and the govt as well, if a disaster happens on your watch you have to resign, this happens in other coutnries, so rumsfeld is out after 9-11, bernanke and paulson are out after this meltdown,

but in the end i still think our government leaders are a reflection of our society, so we need to change ourselves before we can change our govt.

I am not convinced we've turned a "corner of no return." Republics are not efficient, nor are they of the people, for the people, by the peoeple. Look at Locke, Plato, JS Mill and you get the idea that a Republic is meant to vacillate between ideologies and allow different forms of influence (socialism, etc) to help sustain our Republic. There are danger signs: Gitmo, Iraq War...but the most essentially element not effected is the ability TO CHANGE. If that is taken away, I would agree with you Mr. Moyer.

Adam Williams

A couple of things come to mind. First, I think it's clear that corporations are firmly in control of the government at all levels, because we have allow it to happen. Corporations have far greater money and influence than any citizen, and are treated as if they have rights. We have handed our collective future to soulless and amoral entities and we have little hope of reclaiming it.

A second point: Americans as a people seem to have a fairy tale view of our own history. We actually believe that there is a devine intention for us to enjoy relative freedom, and to indiscriminately exploit the very land we live on. This odd sense of entitlement implies no equivalent sense of responsibility.

When Moyers and Feingold talked about the countries that invaded Afhganistan..and we didn´t learn the histories of their failures. Remember what Chaney said in the mid-90s that it would be a huge mistake to invade Iraq. I guess we still don´t listen and learn!!

Dear Bill,

Problem: Threads (strings)

I do not believe citizens are treated as adults. How can we have an honest dialogue with our leaders when they (presidential administrations) continue to practice (mostly covert)social engineering? Nader was wrong when he said there was no difference between the parties, but Amy Goodman was right when she recently stated (toungue in cheek) that Obama should change his mantra to "continuity" we can believe in. There are threads that maintain US Policy through various administrations. The threads are most evident in military conflict cycles, defense contractor enrichment cycles, weaponry inventory reduction cycles via military conflicts (like shock and awe), corporate welfare cycles, corporate deregulation cycles, corporate corruption cycles, housing boom cycles, predatory lending cycles, foreclosure cycles, remaining stretched home buyer cycles (easily destroyed by one catastrophic illness), oil price cycles that prevent alternative energy competition, market crash cycles connected with unemployment cycles connected with time to rebuild our infrastructure cycles, debtor economic cycles (where the fed loathes our nation when it has no federal deficit). Certainly human lifespan and evolutionary residue affecting human nature play a potent role in our travails--(including the vast majority of citizens unable to grasp (internalize) the difference between:(4,000 dead americans along with 1,000,000 dead iraq citizens) VERSUS (a blowjob or a windsurfing commercial). I believe John Adams once said something to the effect that societies have a hard time being good when times are good, but Americans are great when they face a challenge (This is not a good paradox). Our problem stems from the inability of leaders to trust anything but age old cycles and social engineering, while citizens are unable to learn form history and prior dysfunctional relationships - like religion and government (No Christian in their right mind would 'love to tell the story' of the crusades and the spanish inquisitions, but here in the 21st Century we have a Government that talks about Jesus and shock and awe in one breath -- and the people eat it up for the most part.) The dysfunctional (human nature induced) relationship between leaders and citizens must evolve. Human nature, is, of course the hardest thing to change. There are more tools to help us than ever before (good historians, better technological documentation of prior events(mistakes), treatment for mental health issues, more access to educational materials via the internet, self improvement emphasis, etc.,. However, while this is going on, the seeming unending drive of many to monopolize, control and censor media and engineer society also increases. Will it ever end?

Decades ago, C. Wright Mills described the working and the triumph of "power elites." Or,
Homo Hierarchicus as Louis Dumont termed it.
The US political system and democracy have been upended by these elite collusional interests. Elite formation is an inevitable process in all complex social groups and societies.

Q. What can those (few?) invested in promoting the Greater Collective Good actually do?

Work with whoever is even remotely progressive -- Moyers, Feingold, Obama, Mumia, the Tin Man et al, clever primates, to the extent that they actively advance the public good.

Eat Green, ride the subway, crochet, use less, recycle more, take to the streets, take the streets.
Thanks Bill.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy as Lived Practice
http://EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com


Like many well intended governments; our government has been around long enough to be corrupted by vested interest, greed and excessive power.
The concept of a government of the people, by the people and for the people has become a government to subjugate its people, support the greedy rich and pay off crooked politicians. The first sign of a corrupt government is the failure of its infra-structure; Then comes starting wars to smokescreen government corruption. After that is undermining the justice system. Next is to confiscate the wealth of the citizens so that they are dependent on government handouts to survive.
The solution to that situation is to remove the corrupting influences from government and making politicians acountable for their actions. It is also necessary to confiscate illegitimate profits through scams and war profiteering. Laws must be passed to assure wages that are consistent with the cost of living. Finally, the economic system must be adjusted to assure equity throughout the country. Trade with other nations must be monitored to assure a fair exchange of goods and services.
The strength of any nation is dependent on its support of its citizens.

Hi Klark, I saw on TV today that the Gov. from Illinois is started a statewide boycott of Bank of America, because they won’t loan money to a window manufacturer. The people in “The Take” blamed the International Monetary Fund for their depression, but I don’t remember if they gave details to why (I need to find that DVD, bad). So now I am wondering if BofA is just a stepping stone to uncovering the real culprit, the IMF or maybe even the World Bank. I’d like to know who runs/owns/influences these institutions.

Hi Mumia, yeah Pelosi should have impeached Bush, but she put her tail between her legs and rolled over for his Cartel.

Pelosi and other Dems also ran on the get-out-of-Iraq platform in 2006, then in May of ‘07 they passed a bill to allow it to continue. Now I’m not sure if Pelosi did this because she was afraid of the Bush Cartel, or because she thought it would be beneficial to the Dems if the war was to continue, which in turn would continue to bring down Bush’s approval rating, but either way Bush still got what he wanted because we’re still in Iraq.

I thought this was funny when I heard it today, Bush says he’s moving to Texas after leaving D.C., but then I thought, why would he want to stay in a country where he had destroyed its economy, when he could buy 100,000 acres in Paraguay and live peacefully there?

How quickly we forget. It has been only a few weeks since Andrew Bacevich appeared on Moyers' program and called as it is: the central purpose ofboth parties is to ensure their reelection; we have in his words a one party system: the party of incumbency.

Individual citizens can put this to an end in a single election cycle by simply not voting for either the Dems or the Reps. Already there is one party in the US that actually stands for something: the Greens. One nice thing is that anyone can found a party, or run as an independent.

I suggest that you, dear reader, take the time to learn something about the other democratic systems in the world, perhaps starting with those of Europe. You might find that there are in fact workable alternatives to the American system of greed and rampant capitalism that also avoid the excesses of Marxism, Oligarcism, and totalitarianism.

@Ted Michael Morgan, December 8, 2008 5:35 AM;

Perhaps this video can explain a possible reason why Bush was never impeached: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIO-tCPSfHA&feature=related

Even so, it's the Congress' job to stare the devil in the face and do their jobs--defend the Constitution.

@Wilson0500, December 8, 2008 10:40 AM;

The Constitutional system is indeed broken and for the reason you mention: leaders are only ever responsible for the short-term. However, there is a more fundamental reason our Constitutional system is broken: it requires unlimited growth to survive: http://www.warsocialism.com/democratic.htm . Unlimited growth is impossible on a finite planet (like the earth).

Democrat (n) the airbag of the Republicans, that protects them from the political repurcussions of their crimes. Primarily this is done by articulating .00001 % of the total frustration with the Corporate Status Quo

Erratum: Where the first sentenc of my previous post has "signing statements," I intended "orders." Apologies.

Thanks very much for the interview with Senator Feingold. He provided, as usual, a nice progressive touchstone.

However, I was sorry to hear his endorsement of the use of executive signing statements to accomplish such ends as the closing of Guantanamo and the reform of US interrogation rules. If the current administration has taught us nothing else, it has provided ample lessons about the drawbacks of unfettered executive power, as Feingold well knows.
Instead of endorsing the current expansive executive powers, Sen. Feingold should draft legislation either to restrict the use of executive orders, or to mandate more direct congressional oversight, such as powers of advice and consent, over such orders. It is silly for a legislator to merely hope that a president will renounce his own powers, especially since one of the legislature's constitutional duties is to check them.

It would be nice, especially in light of the last eight years, to see the legislative branch assert some autonomy. I'm not holding my breath.

Mr. Moyers Et Al:
As Senator Feingold has succinctly implied, we need a determined Progressive uprising in our body politic. There are many of our citizens, as evidenced herein, that understand how and why our nation has drifted from the democratic republic, envisioned by our for bearers, towards fascist oligarchy.
The election of 2008 is merely the first step in reclaiming our true national legacy and destiny. It is incumbent on all of us to continue the quest, undaunted by the dissemblers and naysayers; there is, by deed, much to do before we can rid our government of the charlatans and ideologues that permeate all of it's institutions. As I see it the next step is to elect a bonafide super majority in both houses of Congress in 2010. We can not expect the Progressive changes needed to be codified by a Conservative/Moderate legislative branch.

David F., TonyForesta , beecham and Annie: I'm sad to say you're my best comrades in the World though I can never see your faces. When David F. recalls his "Take" video about Argentina the conceptual problem is highlighted. Like the colonists of 1776 these factory workers violated established law, backed by power, when it oppressed their right to earn their living. Most Americans are frightened wage slaves who would "turn off" if they watched agitprop like "Zeitgeist." Unfortunately, a limited amount of humane info-documentaries like (associated with Naomi Klein and spouse Avi Lewis: Canadians) "the Take" are available to the American public. As I watched "WALL-E" (Disney) the other night on DVD I cursed and raved. Such blather is an insult to hungry intellects, children or otherwise, just sugar pops for the malnourished. We live under censorship by glut because our legal structure puts sacred accumulation of property first. Yep, the USA revolution, and our Constitution that made those the color of Obama 3/5 human, has failed repeatedly. There is no mystery why the Supreme Court always undermines even mild reform. No doubt political purchasing will remain dominant until we restructure our founding documents. That's why Obama will reign under indentured servitude as a body slave: His faith was mistaken in law.

As for Bill Moyers. He lives on the plantation too. But he rises in the middle of night to mess in Massa's bidness. This open blog, he insists upon providing, says the things he is not able to say without an ass-whoopin'! He may be a house slave and a lapdog of foundations, but he sometimes nips fingers and pees in the flowerbed. If the spongy blues video of Mark Johnson is empty calories, it is also our camouflage. "Let's get together and feel all-right." lindengallery@hotmail.com

The only way to fix our stagnant, corrupt government is to outlaw political parties altogether. Partisan politics WOULD NOT EXIST if political parties did not exist. Get it?

Having watched the Feingold interview, I have to say I am even more concerned with the people Obama ahs picked.It is becoming increasingly harder to hope for the change promised. To truly see how the US got to where it is one need only look as far as the last market crash. The bankers and global elitists decided amongst themselves that the financial institution should NOT BE ALLOWED TO FAIL AT ANY COSTS, INCLUDING THE DECIMATION OF LOWER & MIDDLE CLASS citizens. As of now there is a direct affront to NorthAmerican "FREEDOM", the reason being for this financial debacle is to ruin the US financial system so that a NEW WORLD ORDER can become reality. There is an endeavour by these same avaritic and farcinorous elitists to take "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE" of the US to new heights. My take on no impeachment for Bush is the fact that GHW Bush and Clinton are "VERY CLOSE",and also that it would "seem" that the bush arms dealings coincides nicely with clintons black ops during his tenure and has "seemed" to continue under the umbrella of clintons fund(cannot remember name). I am sure that the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilatteral Commission is extremely happy that they have finally gotten the Whitehouse they want.Too bad the American citizen might NOT have.

No; the constitutional system is broken because it encourages a focus on the short-term over the long-term. No one can get elected by doing what needs to be done to fix this nation over the next 20 years, because the present voters will not allow it to happen. Our system was designed as a republic, not a democracy. That fundamental change in the nature of the system, without changing its stucture, is at the root of our problems.

It is hard to understand why our congress has not impeached President Bush.

". . .we have just had 20 years of unleashed greed in the financial sector and 8 years of tax policy redistribution for the very wealthy. First, Wall Street fell in love with derivatives—financial instruments that allow investors to speculate on the future price of something without having to buy it. Then the Clinton administration tore down the regulatory walls between banking and investment firms. Then the Bush administration refused to enforce protections within the law, cut the capital gains rate to 15 percent, and gave enormous tax windfalls to the top five percent of earners. In the past eight years virtually all of America’s economic growth has gone to the top five percent, while the middle class has been saved from drowning only by taking on greater debt. But now the debt resort has reached its outer limit; and people are losing their homes, jobs, and pensions." Gary Dorrien in a speech to an assembly of the National Council of Churches in September 2008. Full text is at the NCC site. Professor Dorrient is a historican of liberal religion in the United States.

Word Mumia. Many excellent commentaries her are focusing the same primary issues. Fascists commandeered the American government, a cowardly and politically expedient and/or complicit congress dutifully bowed - every time - even now to the fascists in the bushgov, trillions of the people's treasure and oceans of blood have been wasted in an illegal unnecessary war, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the people have been robbed, pillaged, betrayed, and even more Trillions of the peoples dollars has been funnelled into the offshore accounts of the criminals, thieves, swindlers, and pathological liars in the finance sector - and lastly - sadly - no one is accountable for anything - there is no accounting or transparency, and the structural problems and the crimes, and abuses do not change!

The superrich, - the predator class - sucks the the blood and the treasure of the poor and middle class, pilfers trillions of dollars and retire in oppulent luxury and heaps monsterous debts and deficits on the shoulder of our government, - basically defining was and is "...wrong with the American political system."

@David F., December 7, 2008 6:23 PM;

Pelosi's decision to disallow any impeachment of George W. Bush will likely go down in history as one of the greatest failures in Congressional history. The United States never had a more impeachable president by far. Andrew Bacevich is right: the Congress has gotten into the habit of thrusting power to the executive--even when the executive doesn't want it and doesn't deserve it.

The Big Three went to Congress to get a bailout, but Congress balked and wanted to cop-out: they (twice) tried to get Bush to use the $700 bn bailout to fund the automakers; Congress doesn't want the responsibility of making the decision so badly, that they'll give it to the most crooked (and incompetent) administration in American history.

And on top of the $2 trillion in bailouts that have happened already (with very few strings attached), another $38 bn is given to companies (not people) which have dying business models. The Congress uses the rhetoric of demanding changes from the Big Three, but the requirement that the money be used to fund hybrid technology was removed. Another perverse aspect of this was that some of the automaker bailout money could have come from the $25 bn given to JPMorgan/Chase--money that the company didn't need.

The incompetence of our government is astounding. It's almost as if both the executive and legislative branches want to rocket this country's government toward destruction. The executive wants to be crooked, and the legislative doesn't want to hold the executive in check, and neither want to manage the country's finances sanely. We are just the American people; we are not running the country's government directly. It's all just slipping through our fingers; how can we keep a government that doesn't want to continue as a government from self-destructing?

WHAT IS WRONG?..WHY ARE NONE OF THE WALL STREET TERRIORIST GOING TO GITMO? THEY HAVE SUCCEDED IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE US ECONOMY - NOT BIN LADEN ...UNTIL THEN THE PUBLIC CANNOT HAVE ANY TRUST OR CONFIDENCE IN ANYTHING..THE BAD GUYS HAVE ALREADY WON AND NOW WE THE PEOPLE WILL PAY AND PAY AND PAY IN EVERY WAY...R.I.P. ...THE AMERICAN DREAM IS DEAD

The Russ Feingold interview was a waste of time. The Senator is a Democrat, and he is not going to express criticism of P-E Obama. Clearly, Sen Feingold must be disappointed when he sees the sorts of appointments Obama has made. P-E Obama is, I am sorry to say, a slick fellow who knows how to get elected, but his promises are not worth two cents - change that to two inflated US dollars.

Re: the comment on Zeitgeist. Of course there are lies on here but there is also much truth.

Anyone with any history at all can tell its a psyop meant to allienate 50% from wanting to try to find out the truth about 9/11

Or will I get to be called ""rational"" and not a "" Conspiracy Theorist"" if I just accept an investigation that spent 4 mil compared to 60 million on Clinton's wiener?

Or accept the credibility of a Media that knowingly allows Pantagon profiteers onto the networks that radiate millions at a time with RAW PROPAGANDA straight from the Penatagon. Want to end Conspiracy Thoery? STEP 1: GET A FREE PRESS, WITH THE SAME ACCESS TO THE AIREWAVES THAT THE BILLIONAIRE PRESS HAS NOW.

The oxygen of "conspiracy thoery" is the non-existent credibility of our media.

Pew Center heal thy Sunoco! (editors note: the Pew Charitable trust which funds our corporate media "critics" get their money from what was originally Sunoco Oil. The crticism lands not far from the well!)

The primary problem is the domination of elite interests over the public welfare, rendering our democracy almost unworkable.

Our two mainstream political parties primarily represent business interests, and alternative viewpoints are marginalized by a mainstream media that is first and foremost a business itself, and reflects a business paradigm. Though there is argument within the two-party-plus-media system, the true range of opinions is quite narrow. Many possible solutions are unacceptable to those elite interests-- the political and upper classes, if you will-- who control the range of debate. Thus an easy solution to our healthcare crisis like providing medicare for all-- a solution favored by a majority of Americans, including doctors-- receives no serious consideration or coverage because it violates the business paradigm and threatens the notion of profit and control by the prosperous few.

A widespread, truly alternative media willing to challenge the power structure, and expand the debate-- as epitomized by the show Democracy Now!-- will go a long way toward fixing the problem, but it is just a start.

JFK Jr., Carnahan and Wellstone, either you play ball, or you get out. http://www.alternet.org/story/14399/

Does it go like this?

  • If they don’t except lobbying bribes, kickbacks or jobs for family members, then they are blackmailed.
  • If they can’t be blackmailed, then they, or family members, are threatened with bodily harm.
  • If they are true patriots, the “give me liberty or give me death” kind, then their instruments seem to stop working in stormy weather (and there always seems to be a staged news interview where an unknown local pilot says “I can’t believe someone would be flying in this weather, I knew something would happen”).

Pelosi, Reid and the rest of this chicken-feathered Congressional Corporation must be playing ball. God, Pelosi really let us down. Why the abrupt 180? Now you guys are really making me question Obama. “There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee…”

Doc Chitra KarunaKaran,
Your original post (to what you deem to be the Feingold blog site) was as though lifted out of Said, written at about the time Microsoft first incorporated (and a satellite phone was about the size of a full grown house cat and just as unwieldy). “Bare foot and pregnant” is a colloquialism indicating how politicians can exercise control through poverty by maintaining ignorance. Within the environment of easy and readily available access to communication and information, it is very difficult to maintain the privilege of authorship (authority), whether the authority status of higher education, nationalism, or being the representative of a political party/legislature. As Hardt and Negri have pointed out, international, “global” corporations and business have no allegiance to nationality. But they do need someone to be the cop and enforce a modicum of law and order to be able to conduct business and profit. Reading through all the posts here, this is precisely what folks are discussing- the efficacy and authority of representational government (as well as political parties) today, whether people can be treated as mushrooms by their elected officials anymore (another colloquialism meaning “kept in the dark and fed manure”), the use of hunger and health care to maintain control over the populace, the content of their food, etc. Some folks are looking at this and attempting to fathom some future. What you have offered as a solution for your particular area of interest is outdated and inadequate. By the way, like you, I have a full name. Your name is just as hard for me to spell out as mine is for you. We are equals.

Money. We have two elections. The first is decided by contributions. The second by votes. As long as the purse shapes American politics(as well automobiles, quality of education, entertainment, health care, add your favorite) we will be governed by the marketplace.

The biggest thing that is wrong is that we HAVE TWO REPUBLICAN PARTIES-- and that the one called the Democrats do their best to be a MUTE IN THE TRUMPETS FOR CHANGE.

Just think about what we heard from Feingold tonight. Imagine, this is considered the far left of the dems right now!!!!!

And yes I can already hear the excuse timing, Obama is not yet president yet clean slate time to be dipolomatic etc!

NOT!

We already had two years of Mute Las Vegas Mormon Mummy in the Majority speakership. The dems with two majorities SAID LESS THAN REPUBLICAN MINORITIES IN THE FIRST YEARS OF THE CLINTON YEARS!! And this with the least popular president in American history.

The Dems are Pro-War period. Those who believe this clean slate- be bipartisan crap want to start building all over again are just ignoring the sixty percent who EVEN WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATION ON THE NATIONAL AIRWAVES still want out very soon ? What would this percent be if a Democrat (gasp) actually said something on the national airwaves.

I am getting really sick of this Corporate Democrat strategy of 1) spitting in the face of grasroots face and 2) offering their Feingolds and Murthas to go and placate the people who actually read.

This is nothing more than a PR strategy for the Pro-war Democrats, and we will not make anyprogess it we dont call the bluff of these PR stragies.

It is perhaps time to research the history of the CIA's "left gatekeeping" magazine during the Cold War called Encounter magazine.

We can no longer trust these niche market dems like Feingold. Not until the leadership actuall shows signs -- any signs of doing more to oppose the Republican agenda than divide the opposition to it-- should we trust these track-recond Bush enablers again.

Is this extreme? Well perhaps on our current telegenic political spectrum which is as wide as a knife blade-- but ah the pretty colors!

What's Wrong with the system?

1. The concept of a MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL machine being legal.

2. Politicians or public servants being allowed to own businesses that prosper or profit from health or war.

3. The currently inbred mix of Politics with Banks, Oil, Pharmaceuticals, religion,corporations and any other special interests with selfish motives.

4. Private enterprise not being private and separate from Government.

5. The incredibly outdated thought that the American people can not be told the truth and that a Government cannot be transparent.

6. The concept and practice that a government .. who works for the people.. is not bound by the same laws as the people it governs.

7. The practice of 1st.. we warn the people.. 2nd.. we create the problem.. 3rd.. it becomes the reality.. and 4th.. we told you so.

Stanley Wrzyszczynski (see below) has speciously elected to mis-characterize my core ETHICAL point, namely that the SOVEREIGN nation-states, even failed or failing states, of the South Asia region have a right to conduct relationships among themselves, without the self-serving interference of a hegemonic capital-driven aggressive and invading superpower. Therefore, my point about ETHICAL geopolitical interests vs. the above-described US geopolitical stance is NOT, as you disparagingly note, "nationalistic" (what's wrong with that anyway)but an intra-regional, neighborly approach among South Asia nations.

SW, What would you advocate? U.S.-directed Pan-Zionism for our South Asia region? That prescription has disastrous consequences in West Asia (to us), Middle East to you!

And also as usual we need to be guided by the enlightened and progressive US how to treat women in our countries, as your additional gratuitous comment seems to imply. This is absurd paternalism.

[Please note I don't reply to posts to my post on any site in which I participate. Instead I post my replies to your comments right here on my own Blog].

Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com

Thanks Doc!

@Michael J Ahles, December 6, 2008 10:25 AM;

Thanks for your comment. Both you and Moyers may also want to see this also: Zeitgeist, the Movie, Debunked: http://www.conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/ .

Zeitgeist concerns me because of the bad timing. At the same time our country converts to corporatism, an extremely well-produced package of lies containing Nazi propaganda becomes one of the most popular online videos. Someone is planning to seriously screw with this country.

There are two primary problems with our political system: our political system is dominated by corporations, and the media does not encourage the political system to re-energize itself.

For example, a month ago, nine big banks merged with the government--creating for us a new form of government: corporatism. A healthy political system allows outsiders to enter with new ideas, but Bill Moyers participated in a media blackout of Ralph Nader's presidential campaign, so the political system had no incentive to adopt (or confront) any of Nader's ideas (such as the subordination of corporate power to the will of the people).

Therefore, no one (in the president-elect's cabinet) is talking about the primary problem facing American society: the domination of our society by corporations and the impending destruction of our country caused by that domination. I appreciate comments like those from Anne Vacca, Tony Foresta and Nannette Croce. Some people do understand what the problems are, but our leadership takes no action.

To Stanley W:
Please note, I don't reply to posts to my post, on the Moyers site, because the current focus here is Feingold's interview.
I have replied to your comment on my post, on my blog.
Thank you for your comment.
Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com

I live in Wisconsin, and I am focused on supporting my senator, Russ Feingold, as he champions the cause of restoring the rule of law. In a statement on the occasion of the 221st anniversary of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Sen. Feingold said, "I want the next president – whoever that may be – to pledge his commitment to restoring the rule of law. It is a sad fact that for the past seven and a half years the Bush Administration has treated the Constitution and the rule of law with a disrespect never before seen in the history of our country. The years that follow this president’s shameful legacy will be the true test of the strength of our democracy. I want to help the next president undertake this critical task by providing a blueprint of what must be done to restore the rule of law." You can read more about the blueprint that Sen. Feingold is pulling together here: http://feingold.senate.gov/ruleoflaw/
and you're also invited to join our facebook Restore the Rule of Law group, dedicated to these efforts, here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=35731313294

Dahlings,
It may be just too upsetting to hear, but sometimes we really must call the devil by name, so to speak.

Therefore, I suggest that our political system(s) (for there are probably, in reality, many rather than one) are blatently, publically, corrupt. Our standard of morality has become "you can do what you want as long as you don't get caught", accompanied by the
ever useful crisis management tool " tell the truth (after the fact) and show remorse, then you are free to carry on as you were". The three, ahem, auto industry CEO's, are a recent example...I mean they would be laughed right out of my high school Student Council meeting
of many years ago.

There is no fix for this. The system(s) is broken. It must all just stop.

Chitra KarunaKaran,
What you say cannot be disputed. In the absence of US imperialism, do you believe other mega rich nation states will not intervene (such as China, Russia, the EU, etc.)? Alas, you elide certain aspects that are “strategically” left unmentioned; internal factional violence runs concurrent with imperial hegemony (Shi ite /Sunni, Hindu/Moslem, Kurds/nearly everyone else, etc.). This is not unusual within the context. The disappearance of imperial hegemony will not eliminate these, for this animosity pre- exists any imperial presence. What you ascribe to imperial hegemony may have more to do with the wonderfully clichéd “globalization.” The interdependence and inter-effecting of all areas of the world with each other through electronic technologies and immediate communications (for transfer of goods and services) may be masked by what you ascribe as imperial hegemony. Most agree that the imperial hegemony of the US, like the British before, is on the wane. Yet the rise of immediate access to goods, information, cultural influences, climate change, education, armaments, etc. due to “globalization” continues and increases. This underlying reason for the vehement animosity may be displaced by what you describe as imperial hegemony. After all, keeping women barefoot and pregnant is a lot easier to do if they are not privileged to know what other women in the world can be or do. Much of the restlessness is on account of access to what previously was denied. Cell phones originally were designed for easy and readily available communication, not as triggering mechanisms for roadside bombs. The nationalistic solution to the strife, that you advocate, is a bit outdated and inadequate, some would say even reactionary.

Bill,
What is wrong with our system? There are many answers but virtually all these answers stem from one truth -- we have lost touch with Nature and the Earth. When we talk about ecology, we talk about systems of interrelationship, not practices imposed on a supposedly subordinate physical world.

Once we realize that "harmony" with our world should be our goal, not growth or some material definition of progress, then the path we must walk becomes clear. Mark Johnson expressed one of the principle changes we need to make in ourselves. We must become humble. And when we do our relationship to everything changes. And that humbleness begins with listening.

hello, bill. i was wondering what you were doing lately. you have received many fascinating, informed, and fluent responses, so i will have to offer in the unfascinating, undetailed, and prosaic opinion that a mass culture of this scale is not likely to sustain itself as a democratic society, as the complexity of its'issues have completely outdistanced popular understanding and dextrous, responsive handling. the outcome that has evolved has been a simplified, imperial inclination to detached aristocracy and rule. regards from the underground, alex

Gonzo

That Mr. Moyers simply ignores the information presented by David Ray Griffin is not only unacceptable, it is irresponsible, and dangerously negligent. But not surprising.

Those three people I mentioned, and of course many others, pose a serious threat to the power structure of this country, and so therefore, they must be ignored.

This program, while at times valuable, has never, and I am almost certain, will never, present information that poses a serious threat to the power structure of this country.

Mr. Moyers is still wondering if we are losing our democracy.

Problems with the American political system? This question is like asking, "What is life?" The following could be a beginning of an answer:

-Presidential findings and pardons tend to work against both our system of checks and balances, and tend to encourage the placement of certain individuals above the law.

-The Dem. and Rep. political parties have effectively and dangerously monopolized power with the help of corporate media, thus further altering the quality of our democratic process.

-Congress tends to govern by consensus and compromise in a less transparent manner thus diminishing representation and increasing opportunities to govern by way of special interests.

-New rules and definitions need to be devised for the current existance and use of "special interests" and lobbyists. We need to enhance transparency and assure the proper representation of our most important special interest, i.e., the American people, rather than American business profits.

I like the idea that a majority of voters who supported Obama did not vote for the Dem. party. Perhaps the Dem. party will now need to rethink how it goes about doing politics. We really do need to open up our political system to other viable political parties if for no other reason than to bring fresh ideas into debate.

Sincerely,
Mike Rogow

Amen Russ Feingold. I do hope that President Obama makes restoring the rule of law a top priority of his administration.

Russ Feingold is a man of high integrity and I hope Obama hears his voice and listens to his ideas and concerns.

The U.S. political system, in which all discourses including this one, are commodified and branded, has a core problem. The political/economic system is UNABLE TO ALIGN its strategic interests with its ETHICAL interests. US history has demonstrated that this govt and her people have ethical interests. However, ethical concerns are nearly always overturned by US perceived strategic interests.

I will highlight the South Asia case as an example:
1. The US has no ETHICAL interest in India or Pakistan or Afghanistan.

2. The US is primarily interested in advancing what the US considers its own narrowly defined, completely self-interested strategic interest in the subcontinental region.
This strategic interest of the US does NOT coincide with the strategic, intra-regional or domestic interests of Pakistan, India or Afghanistan each of whom have mutually overlapping ethical and strategic interests, which are not shared by the US.

3. The US strategic interest benefits from a compliant India, weak Pakistan and weak Afghanistan, ALL of whom can then serve as a base for US ground and air intelligence operations.
India's alleged "belligerence" against Pakistan, serves the US strategic interest, because the US can then continue to maintain an ostensibly "mediating" strategic presence on the ground in the region, as well as have a hold on the Security Council in the UN and other intergovernmental agencies, on the question of peace and stability in South Asia.

4. The US strategic interest is part of a longterm, but not necessarily consistent or well-reasoned policy strategy, which began in the State Department of the Eisenhower administration, under Secretary of State John Foster Dulles(1953-1959) with the creation of SEATO and CENTO, to counteract NAM -- The Non Aligned Movement, an historic alliance of formerly colonized and therefore oppressed, newly liberatory sovereign nation-states of Africa, Asia and Latin America, with rich natural resources.

5. The US strategic interest in South Asia is to maintain a dominant presence in the region to counteract the influence of Russia and now Iran, on the Western sector adjoining the South Asia region.

6. The US strategic interest in South Asia is to maintain a dominant presence in the region to counteract the influence of China on the Eastern sector adjoining the South Asia region.

7. The satellitization by the US of Pakistan and now Afghanistan is consistent with and linked to the US strategic interest in West Asia, where Israel has been voluntarily satellitized, to confound and impede stability, peace, civil society development and democracy in West Asia (constructed as "The Middle East" first by imperial Britain and now by the neo-imperial US). Middle of What? East of Where? The intentional construction of the Middle East as a non-place serves the US strategic interest, just as in the period of U.S. slavery and plantation economy, the construction of the slave as Negro, made him/her a non-person without a place.

8. Ethical Democracy in South Asia is best advanced by mutual collaboration among India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and all other sovereign nation-states of the South Asia geopoliticalregion.
People-to-people crossborder civil society development exchanges are a vital ETHICAL strategy for the accomplishment of this objective.
The US cannot be part of this ETHICAL strategy, because it has narrow self-serving strategic interests in the South Asia region.
So please US, get out and stay out.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
http://www.EthicalDemocracy.blogspot.com

I have a documentary called "The Take" (somewhere), I haven’t watched it (read subtitles) for three or four years. But, it's about how Argentinean manufacturers shut down their businesses so they could outsource the work. I think the TV stations were also controlled by big biz. The country was going through a depression when some workers from a couple of plants reopened the doors without permission from the owners. They started working and became productive again. The last I heard the workers refuse to leave and owners are taking them to court.

The people believe the IMF was the cause of their problems and one elderly gentleman said it doesn’t matter if you vote for the left or the right; they were both the same and neither was going to help them. If Obama is going to do what said he would, can he really trust the team he has assembled? To be an optimist, I’d say we’re screwed.

Dear Bill:
I absolutely agree with all of the writers of this blog. The blaring lesson of this interview was: If you can’t beat them, join them It is true that one gains more by becoming one of the crowd, no matter how you slice it. The difference between the interviewee and us is that he is following the elites who run the country; whereas, we would like to think of ourselves as patriots. The First Amendment Patriots.(FAP). Have we lost our ability to act for ourselves? Are we enslaved to a representative government through a dictatorship of elites?

Did the Elites buy themselves an election?
I am not qualified to talk about anything, but I have been thinking, yes, again.

I have been thinking about the time frame of the path that led to the White House. President Elect Barack Obama has campaigned for two years to win the election. He started on this campaign only two years into his first term in Office. It would seem that he was recruited from the last presidential campaign. I would think because he has all of the “characteristics” of a leader. I think we can rest assured that the program of the “Elites” will continue. Divide and conquer.

Amen

True that Tom A. We can only hope. My point is that discussion, the oldword traditional methods of representation have been absconded, and now the only hope is action. Look to Tiawans' recent triumph. Look to Venezuala repudiating a CIA attempted coup.

The traditional methods and mechanics no longer apply. The predator class has invidiously usurped that power. The American people must rise up, be heard, and demand accountability from our leadership and a predator class, the superrich - that have robbed us blind, heaped imponderable debt and deficits onto the shoulders of our children, and slithered away in oppulent luxury, - immune, unaccountable, beyond superrich, Olympian. We either accept and tolerate this crime and grotesque abuse, or we don't. If we do - then we will have hell to pay. If we don't - then the time is NOW to stand up and demand accountability from our leadership and force - FORCE - said leadership to quit promoting, defending, shielding, supporting, and advancing the predator class - the superrich.

The predator class - the superrich will be just fine no matter what happens to America, or middle class American citizens. But it is the American middle class the needs support, assistance, and largess from the government - NOT the superrich - the predator class.

What's wrong with the American political system? MONEY!

The system is broken because the electorate has yet to fully embrace the use of technology to hold their elected officials accountable. The day is soon coming where voters will be able to follow and react to the day to day activities of their judicial, executive and legislative representatives in government on any or all of the issues that interest them. The fourth estate is learning how to use these technologies to inform the electorate, to enliven the political debate and to become advocates of ideas again. I believe that this will blow a hole in the dam of corporate malfeasance in the delivery of information to the American people. We are seeing it happen today with the challenge to the print media. They are being forced to cover the issues and events of the day in a compelling way to attract and keep readership, whether online or in print. I think that Thomas Paine would be gleeful to learn of the rebirth of fierce political discourse in this country. It can only lead to better ideas and solutions to the issues of our day. In the coming generations of Americans, I believe that there will be great progress in representative democracy due to the ability to hold elected officials instantaneously accountable for their votes, their policies and their financial contributors.

Beecham.. Kudos to you.

There indeed should be a 6 week segment for D.R. Griffin to present his case to the public the way they seem to absorb it best - via the airwaves.

Well spoken indeed.

"The first amendment supposedly afford the people "...the right to petition the government for redress of grievances."

In reality, this was over before the ink dried. Lots of little rebellions in the early days by the little people - mostly vets - who were getting royally .. taken.. by those in power.

Don't take my word for it - read Zinns Peoples History of the United States. It makes for a chilly rejoinder to those civics classes when everything was cut and dried, rule-of-law.

We are now, and always have been, a nation interested first in what we can get instead of what's in our best interest.

Forgiver the double post but allow me to clarify, and clean up the previous post which should have read:

(Eight years of {robbing} from poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, - the predator class - {has} gutted the American and global {economies}. It is a complex series of interpenetrating crimes and failures that contributed to the coming collapse, - but the single lynchpin, - the final thread that {caused} the great unraveling or unwinding we are now {experiencing}, - was the ruthless gutting, abusing, depriving, and oppressing of the American middle class which {we} all recognize now was the heart and engine of the global economy, by the fascists in the bushgov.

And: -
The superrich, -
The predator - class DO NOT need any additional help, shielding, or largess from the government. Democracy is supposed to be a {system of} government wherein the authority of the government is derived from the consent of the {governed}. We obviously no longer live in a democracy. We live in an authoritarian dictatorship, or a kleptocracy, or an authoritarian oligarcy depending on the semantics, but NOT a democracy.

The first amendment supposedly afford the people "...the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

The American people have lost that right. If that right still exists, then Cheney, and Bush, and Rice, and Paulson and several others in the fascist regime that is the bushgov would justifiably be IMPEACHED. Eight years of robbiing from poor and middle class Americans to feed the superrich, the predator class have gutted the American and global economy. It is a complex series of interpenetrating crimes and failures that contributed to the coming collapse, - but the single lynchpin, - the final thread that cause the great unraveling or unwinding we are now experience, - was the ruthless gutting, abusing, depriving, and oppressing of the American middle class which will all recognize now was the heart and engine of the global economy.

The superrich, the predatory class DO NOT need any additional help, shielding, or largess from the government. Democracy is supposed to be a government wherein the authority of the government is derived from the consent of the government. We obviously no longer live in a democracy. We live in an authoritarian dictatorship, or a kleptocracy, or an authoritarian oligarcy depending on the semantics, but NOT a democracy.

What is most wrong with our political system is that we all, democrats, wingnuts, and the rest of America allowed FASCISTS to commandeer the government pervert, betray, dismember and reengineer the rule of law and the Constitution, and worse - even now - we allow these criminals, thieves, traitors, pathological liars, and wanton profiteers to walk away unaccountable, and - superrich, predatory - Olympian. America deserves the fiery pit and hell the fascists in the bushgov have hurled us into. We have become, under the odious reign of the fascists in the bushgov a lawless, unprincipled, criminal, perverted nation, and now we must pay the terrible price and suffer the horrible consequences for our apathy, complicity, and ignorance.

Divide to conquer tactics is what is wrong with American politics. Karl Rove's reputation is now solidified as The Architect of the GOP's Destruction. How did he accomplish this? By pandering to the extreme right-wing of the party he has cemented them into control of the GOP, thinking all the party would ever need was a single constituency. In his New Republican Party, notable Republicans of the past like Barry Goldwater or William F Buckley would be labeled "elitist" "arugula-eaters", alienating the intellectuals of the party and narrowing it's appeal. In the drive to win at all costs, he has reshaped the GOP to seize a momentary gain, but saddled it with internal conflict and strife for the forseeable future by combining two irreconcilable viewpoints (can you imagine William F Buckley giving a rousing introductory speech for Sarah Palin, praising her colloquialisms and appeal to "Joe Sixpack"?). Pelosi and the other Democrats may have been gnashing their teeth for the past few years, but they have only Rove to thank for the Democrat dynasty that is to follow.

Contrary to what many seem to believe, a two-party system is not written into our Constitution, and it is badly outdated. As so often happens, those who came after improved upon our system. Pundits like to speak of a "right and left" in our system. In reality, the left no longer exists. What we have is "extreme right" and "center." By adding a party that is more to the left, parties in Congress would then need to form coalitions as they do in Canada and so many other European countries. Such coalitions get more accomplished and ensure that no one party has its way all the time.

Unfortunately, most third parties start out by running someone for president. They should focus on Congress.


Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The love of money is the root of all evil. Thus saith the preacher, there is nothing new under the sun.
More specifically, since WWII, Americans have conflated the government with the country. They are not one and the same. Most all politicians have nothing but their own interests at heart.

Senator Feingold correctly identified the issue as being related to checks and balances. Too much attention has been paid to bipartisanship. The Obama administration and the 111th Congress should each focus on making their branch of government as efficient and transparent as possible. They should also agree to consider each judge's record on issues related to checks and balances when considering appointments. Both branches need to avoid the temptation of coming up with quick fixes for complex problems. Although the Democrats control both branches, Congress should send important proposed legislation through the full committee process, and encourage real debate. This is the only way confidence in the institutions of government will be restored.

We need to restore vision through the perspective of "Justice for ALL"; to realize a state of justice is dependent on recognition of the WORTH of EACH PERSON; to develop and release that worth. Instead we regressed to an 'Old World' where people are made dependent,--programmed to do a job,--to compete against each other for status and money,--wages are unequal and unfair,--and the poor are thrown a bone. Our former prosperity happened when a sense of fairness prevailed,--when one person felt a sense of responsibility for the welfare of another.

For me The Journal has been the most enlightening source for how we (USA) got into this financial and political mess. I find myself frustrated near the end of most broadcasts with the lack of time spent on solutions to said mess.

There are voices out there proposing solutions. Please, please, please invite Van Jones, Majora Carter, Bill McKibben, and any environmental economist to appear on The Journal. Its obvious an economy based on monopoly money and gambling cannot succeed. Its just common sense. You should not gamble if you don't have the capital to pay potential losses.

Our current GDP does not consider the value of actual capital. Capital is a limited resource. Whether it be human or natural (and I hesitate to differentiate the two) our GDP must be based on tangible resources.

Economic and political reform are therefore inseparable from a populist or progressive ideal. Ideals that neither party owns. Social and environmental justice are not issues to be considered separate from economic recovery.

It strikes me that leading thinkers in this vein should logically be the next round of guests on The Journal.

Senator Feingold has most of it right and I hope he comunicates frequently with Obama. Regarding "stupid" verses necessary wars, I believe that all wars are not only stupid but criminal. Afghanistan is another case in point. Not only will the US never have a "victory" there, but continued military attack will only oncrease the hatred of the Afghan and other Islamic peoples against the US, as well as cause ever more death and destruction. We need to get the military out of Afghanistan and come forward with medical, education and economic assistance to the area. This type of assistance should also be offered to Pakistan, and the military raids into that country stopped. The only way the conflicts can ever by ended is by political diplomacy and economic aid.

I feel a tax should be levied on any food that has known poisons added such as aluminum, aspartame, fluoride (see http://charles_w.tripod.com/fluoride.html ), sulfite, and etc. or essential nutrients subtracted. I am certain this would cause an improvement in our country’s health when processors corrected the situation or, if not, when less of it was purchased. If a tax were placed on food that has had essential nutrients removed the improvement in health would be dramatic. A fringe benefit would be to enable the heavy Medicare tax to be reduced or eliminated. Perhaps you can use your influence to get such a law passed.
We talk endlessly about better health insurance. Insurance is a marvelous invention, but there is no excellent substitute for not getting sick in the first place. In any case, if everyone is healthy, the insurance premiums will go away down as a side effect no matter how they are instituted. With the extra money we could then start to pay down that miserable national debt and with the extra time, enjoy ourselves.

Dear Bill,

I am so grateful that you are once again on the air with your journal as I have watched you over many years.
I missed the first show on "Playing for Change" and appreciated being able to see the encore, what a beautiful and giving person Marc Johnson is, and what a wonderful project! I admit there were tears in my eyes at the end of the piece from the pure joy of the music and the musicians performing it. If this can't affect change in the world then we are indeed lost.
P.S. Why didn't Russ Feingold run for president? A refreshng politician.

I was so disappointed by Mr. Moyers---and I hope he reads these comments---that I kept switching off during his questions, which had taken a decidedly negative oppositional view. Unfortunately, I missed some of Mr. Feingold's answers, which were very good, despite Mr. Moyer's hostility. So disappointing to hear opinionated "questions."

Dear Mr. Moyers,

Have you seen this movie:

Zeitgeist - The Movie

And what are your thought about it?

=
MJA

I am profoundly disappointed in Bill Moyers's characterization of Barack Obama's decision to opt out of public funding for his presidential campaign as a "violation of a pledge."

Obama promised to pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to fund their campaigns publicly in response to a questionnaire by a public interest group-a questionnaire to which John McCain did not bother to respond. McCain made no effort whatsoever to honor the campaign finance law that bore his own name and he even flirted with violation of that very law.

To equate a conditional response on a questionnaire with an ironclad pledge of action is disingenuous at best. I expect the highest standards of accuracy and fairness from Bill Moyers. I just listened to his replay of the "Stand By Me" compilation video on the same show. It pains me to have Moyers soar so high and fall so low in the same program. I hope he will pursue the truth of the Obama campaign issue and clarify it. That is in keeping with the standard he has set.

Long overdue to give Feingold a voice to the public. He is one of the few level-headed in the Senate. Brilliant and underestimated.

Ionalu

Bill, you know what's wrong with America, and so does Mr. Feingold.

But you seem to have no interest in the answer.

Why is Peter Dale Scott not on your program? Where is Webster Tarpley? David Ray Griffin? How can you ignore them?

The problem is that the true government of this country, not only does not care about the American people, but is actively, intentionally working against their interests, and has been for many, many years.

Barack Obama is a con man. He is the latest puppet here to manipulate, mislead, and distract the masses.

You cover the symptoms but never the cause.

Tell us about the Federal Reserve. Tell us about Fractional Reserve Banking. Tell us about the military industrial complex. Tell us about false flag. Tell us about the real activities of the foundations, the people who fund your program.


Thank you for such a valuable program!

I am employed in public health and I see profound conflict of interest in the health care system, such as pharmacies, the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance companies and I see the influence for profit companies have on our public policies. This is going on in the public and private sectors and we’re literally crumbling from the consequences of conflict of interest.

To fix this culture we must change the culture. We can enact regulations to ensure corporate profits do not compete with the public health, safety and welfare. We should enact strict codes of conduct for public officials. We need to immediately pass laws to criminalize the use of taxpayer money for private sector profits, including bonuses and excessive salaries.

President Obama should convene a Conflict of Interest Commission and begin to dentify the conflict of interest in the private and public sectors, including medicine, science, education, government, banking and all the others I can’t think of. The point is to identify it and bring it out in the open. That would be a start.

Our new political leadership must set a tone intolerant of abuse of power and conflict of interest. We will need to rediscover a culture that values basic decency and ethical conduct. I’m not hopeful our country can move beyond this cutthroat era unless we are willing to hold people accountable for immoral, unethical and criminal actions. This must start by investigating the Bush and Cheney administration. Congress can start by enforcing the subpoenas issued to Karl Rove and Harriet Myers, which are long overdue.

The problem is, I don’t know if the politicians in Washington will hold the Bush administration accountable for the unprecedented corruption and violations of law. House and Senate leaders have the authority to enforce the law and if they don’t use that authority then they are not upholding their oath of office. How can we expect anyone to follow the rules if no one is willing to enforce them?

I don’t know who the “we” is in “how do we fix this.” I guess I don’t know who is listening to me but I have been thinking a lot about this. The economic crisis brings the inequalities to light and I see the consequences of our conflict ridden culture in my professional life, which troubles me every single day. So, I have started writing to every single elected official who represents me and some who don’t. I have and will continue to make it clear, I do not intend to vote for anyone unwilling to enforce the rules, I will not vote for anyone unwilling to prosecute those who violate the law and I will not vote for anyone who upholds the Constitution only when it’s convenient. We can’t afford to tolerate abuses to our government, our trust and our neighbors while our elected gatekeepers are too scared or too lazy to do their job. I plan to express this opinion to as many people, in as many forums as possible.

Thank you.
Anne Vacca

Senator Feingold's assessment is accurate: the Bush Administration has wreaked havoc with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our freedom. But the biggest problem is that Congress let the Bush Administration get away with it.

I agree with posters "TonyForesta" and "Annie": Congress is rolling over for the monetized ruling class, as recent "bailout" events have demonstrated. There appears to be little that the average American can do about it anymore.

Absent a Congress willing to act in the interests of "Main St." America, what hope is there? Sorry to be pessimistic, but we're doomed.

"TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE INAUGURATION"

'Twas the night before Inauguration, when all through the land,
Not a preacher was chirping, not even their clan.
Our symbols were hung by the staging with care,
In hopes that Obama soon would be there.

Overcome with insomnia, I toss in my bed,
Recalling eight years of the road we were led.
A conservative with compassion, Dubya babbled his rap,
Showing to be neither, yet he still filled his trap.

When Fox called the election there arose such a clatter,
His brother from Florida would govern the matter.
With CIA in their blood, they were taken to court,
Where Justice Scalia gave the final retort.

With “My Pet Goat” in hand came a grueling attack,
Then bin Laden had vanished, so we were off to Iraq.
Through passing the Patriot Act with Congress in a fear,
We soon found out later it would make people disappear.

Then came a scary period when dissent went astray,
Dixie Chicked by one’s neighbor was the o’ Nazi way.
Turd Blossom their leader, with no hesitation they came,
To spread his propaganda he called them by name:

"Now, LIMBAUGH! Now, DOBBS! Now, MATTHEWS and O’REILLY!
On, BLITZER! On, HOLT! On, HANNITY the o’ wily!
To the top with fear mongering! To the top with appall!
Now spin away! Spin away! Spin away all!"

Winning another election with Ohio in doubt,
Yet Dubya praised “The Architect” and boasted his clout.
Along came Katrina leaving most of us nervous,
Our Decider took no action, except for lip-servous.

Outsourcing, relocating, the trading deficit and NAFTA,
Poppy Bush’s globalization gave America the shafta.
His friends from Arabia, laughing all the way to their banks,
Through oil price speculation, making it hard on our tanks.

The Commodity Futures Act passed back in 2000,
Thanks in large part to Senator UBS’s arousin’.
Written to protect stock insurance bookmakers, (bookies)
Yet, only to profit CDS gain takers.

From a stock insured policy sprung a well designed bet,
Where a mortgage company’s stock would flop into debt,
When Congress let Freddie sell subprime, no doc loans,
It drew in the less fortunate, to what they thought were their homes.

Back in 2001, oil cost $23 per barrel,
Seven years later, it had our nation in peril.
With the number of foreclosures beginning to rise,
Indymac’s colapse would open our eyes.

AIG, as a bookmaker, lost it shirt with this bet,
Scrounging for a bailout to pay off its debt.
With Arabians, as gain takers, would it be no surprise,
They’ve stolen our trillions to create our demise.

With America in depression will globalization still thrive?
Now for the million dollar question, will we have to fight to survive?
Not a moment too soon, could things get any bleaker?
From out from the blue came the eloquent speaker.

Now, being bipartisan is a very serious matter,
But “Change we could believe in” was on the blue platter.
Proof will be in the puddin’ with this glimmer of light,
“SO HAPPY INAUGURATION TO ALL WHO FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!”

Since the question asked here hardly fits the interview nor the space required to answer it, I'll forego it and confine myself to the auto industry discussion, just pausing to say that I think Feingold and I would not have voted differently on very many issues.

The US automakers have 48.1% of the US mkt. Most of that mkt is however in the Midwest, Deep South, Southwest and Northwest - the Northeast and California being conspicuously absent. In DC you almost never see one unless it is truck or van or SUV and then usually a Cadillac, but even here more foreign brands of these are now sold, and 76.9% of total new registrations are for foreign cars. It is not that Wash understands bankers and not mfrs, but rather that they don't understand money at all, and have just enough knowledge of carmakers to make silly jokes about them. I sympathize a little with the latter, having grown up myself overseas, and in New England at a time when US cars looked like aircraft carriers designed by costume jewelers, union workers made more than college professors, little thought was given to sales overseas or fuel economy or pollution, first-time buyers were treated to a stripped down version of the same basic car, and a dollar bought four DM. Then there was some justification for a preference for a VW, BMW or Mercedes, and later for a Datsun or Toyota, a reason that grew as both the dollar and American quality nosedived. Less justifiable though was the marked shift in wealth from the declining mfring sector and towards the financial, service and commercial sectors concentrated in Southern California and New York, that mushroomed in the Washington area along with the military industrial complex, and which brought with it a certain snobbishness and lack of concern for middle America, while waves of immigrants compounded the affront by buying the products known in their home countries. The shoe was suddenly on the other foot; the once wealthy, were the new poor. It is somewhat ironical now to see the Democratic party, so heavily concentrated in precisely these areas, pleading for bailout money, while the so-called Republican free-marketers who preponderate in middle America argue against it. Why indeed should the ppl in Ohio and Michigan have voted Republican?

You have to many corrupt, dishonest politicians like Barack Obama I lived in Illinios for a year and there are a lot of bad politicians like him in that state, I do not associate with felons, The other problem is medi people like you MR Moyer who are in the bag for this loser.

Where has Roger Ridley been all my life? What a find!!! Thanks, Marc. I'm eager to get the DVD [Playing for Change]. I wish it was available prior to the holidays this year. I'm eager to get to your website to read about the school-construction effort. And Bill, I count on your program to set the tone for my weekends. Thanks for the weekly does of humanity and clairvoyance.

The FCC has the responsibility to give equal free time to all the canidates for office. That would stop some of the time spent with lobbyists to raise campain funds. The air waves belong to the people or a least they are supposed to. We no longer have investigative reporting in the main media so we have talking heads reporting gossip and opinion in hindsight rather than information people can use in advance of the issues. The media keeps us in the dark both at home and in world events. We need you Bill Moyers.

The American political system, like our economic system is owned and controlled by the predator class, the superrich. The people have no voice and no representation. Message-force multipliers and high priced PR firms promote and advance the interests of the predator class exclusively, and there is no mechanism for the people to be heard, or to advance policies that work in favor of the peoples best interests.

The wild divides between thehaves and thehavenots is expanding exponentially and destroying the foundation America.

Having drifted off in a sweet slumber while viewing the Bill Moyer's Journal suddenly I awakened as I heard a familar tune "Stand by Me"; and as I opened my eyes I became lucid to what was happening in a global sense.
This was the making of our journey to Heaven and our connection to the Divine...This was a glimpse of Heaven, this was "epiphanimical"!!!
"Playing Music for Change", instantly changed me, my body, my mind and my spirit. I am still crying; how do you write tears?
Mark Johnson had an anointing to have the vision and the wherewithall to pool so many from far and wide to making this documentary a commentary on how Love is the redeeming factor for mankind. And, Music its equivalent.
The experience of my awakening to view this work of art will stay with me throughout my remaining years on "Urantia". Kuddos, Bill for introducing us to Mark Johnson whom may never know how empirically he
has touch our innermost beings.

The elected representatives have become entirely uncoupled from the citizenry. Corporations and special interests fund representatives to do their bidding, and we no longer have a critical mass of legislators who do the people's business. Senator Feingold has valiantly carried on a one person Constitution restoration campaign, and I consider him one of the very few principled patriots who has upheld the oath of office against many great pressures brought to bear.

But his stance and actions, which should be central to those of both parties, is instead now an extreme outlier.

I believe based on evidence that we no longer have a functioning republic, and that the constitutional dictatorship is teetering on catastrophic failure.

So many people are totally disenfranchised from civic life, cast out of their homes, are hungry, have no job or contributory prospects, and are sick and dying.

The US has become an extreme two class society of predators and very vulnerable and victimized prey.

The center did not hold, and the masses are at two extremes.

We have a mercenary army, a US Army division now operating on US soil - both have always been verboten.

We have torture as US policy, and the US is now perceived as a rogue torture state around the world.

We have millions of impoverished people who have no available routes out of poverty.

We have an entitled corporate jet class who fly in to to beg for taxpayer rescue for their failed corporate leadership from people with no food on their plates and no heat in their foreclosing homes.

Americans haven't had sound education which teaches critical thinking and civics, history and an appreciation for the liberal arts in so long because the idea of intellectualism and a meritocracy was ridiculed and politicized into oblivion.

Our best and brightest enjoy no job security, no national recognition and support and no respect. They are leaving their professions and disciplines for jobs that keep them in house, heat and health. They are increasingly abandoning the US and going to other countries which do reward brains, research and academic discipline and scholarship.

The Republicans who believe in no government have ruined everything in their path - national infrastructure, the treasury, farm land, forest, mountains and the ocean. They have fouled the air and dumped filth in the sea. They kill for sport and profit - and a large part of that killing is in withholding healthcare from those who can't afford it or can't access it.

They have lied to enough gullible people to vote against their own interests, and as they lied, they profiteered in every conceivable way - and in ways yet to be uncovered.

Whether they have tipped the country past a point of no return is yet to be seen, but given the evidence and the dogged dogma of them, their consistency in lying, gutting and raping leaves me with very little optimism that the country will remain free, and that the citizenry will recover.

Not only is the US not morally decent, it has only its citizenry to blame as the people voted - or not. And those elected betrayed their oath of office, betrayed the public trust, and committed treason to their country.

All of this horror has and is being done in our names.

Yet, Senator Feingold's political party's House leader preemptively removed impeachment - a Constitutional DUTY - from consideration without cause (except to protect her own interest).

I've been reading some of the Nuremburg trial testimony at the Avalon Project at The Yale Law School website. I think the US social mores is below Nazi Germany in some respects. It's viscerally sickening to consider, but here's just one quote to consider at this season of making merry. It begins with a listing of the torture techniques perpetrated on camp prisoners and then speaks to Christmas-tide murders:

"Hunger and Starvation Exh. B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4
Freezing Exh. B-11
Medical Neglect Exh. B-1, B-12
Torturous Beatings and Exh. B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, B 3,
Floggings B-11, B-13, C-2
Forced Suicides Exh. B-2, B-13
Hangings Exh. B-1, B-2, B-4, B-5, B-6,
B-7, B-12, C-2
Hand Hangings Exh. B-11
Poison Injections Exh. B-1, B-8, C-1, C-2
Typhus and Spotted Fever Exh. B-1, B-2, B-9, C-1, C-3
Shooting Exh. B-6, B-2, B-3, B-13, B-15

The system set up at this camp seemed to be one of mass elimination of the prisoners caused by devious means. Starvation diets wilfully designed to produce death within a few months played a major role. Typhus and spotted fever were encouraged as a means of disposing of many. There were innumerable executions, mistreatments, beatings, flogging to death, which continued up until the time this camp was overrun by our forces. Mass hanging took place. Generally, the persons hanged were stripped naked. Oftimes they were beaten before hanging till the unfortunate victims begged for immediate hanging to ease the pain. At first the SS men in charge of the hangings were given extra rations for each hanging. Later on the hangings became so numerous that the extra rations were stopped. Hanging a person by his wrists with a heavy barrel suspended from his ankles was another method of execution. This caused the person’s insides to be torn up and he died. (Exh. B-11) On Christmas 1944 a number of prisoners were hung at one time. The prisoners were forced to view this hanging. By the side of the gallows was a decorated Christmas tree and as expressed by one prisoner “it was a terrible sight, that combination of prisoners hanging in the air with the glistening Christmas tree.” (Exh. B-12)" (emphasis added)

I believe in forgiveness, but with a caveat: We DO know what we do. Do we have a collective will to do something about it?

We are a nation of sick souls.

tonight's was an exceptionally wonderful program. I missed PLAYING FOR CHANGE the first time so I am delighted that you ran it again. And Russ Feingold is a gem.

An example: Credit card companies can charge enormous rate of interest, particularly with those least likely to understand or have the resources. How was it that the credit card companies managed to get bankrupt laws changed to their favor. Why did our legislators allow this to happen. I now realize how little the ordinary person has a chance or government that works for all instead of the few.

The liberals thought in 2000 they were going to cash in on the 60ty years of teaching socialism to economy & journalism college students.After the 2000 elections the teaching started in high schools--- and the journalists picked up the "FIRST RESPONDER" thinking of the elite democratic party, joining in the hands down thinking of a land slide in 2004.
The next four years will return those not wanting more socialism to the folds of freedom loving Americans.
That is if there is any American population to cast a vote!!!!!!!!!

A fascinating author and lecturer, Benjamin Creme, says that the reason that, throughout the world, governments cannot seem to create conditions of harmony and peace is that we are in transition to a new age, the Age of Aquarius. In this new age, he says, people will gradually change from being competitive, idealistic and impractical (ideological) to being cooperative and practical. Our political structures, in particular, are almost at the breaking point as they are being torn apart by warring factions.

Mr. Creme says that we all are going to learn the necessity for brotherhood and justice among people everywhere, or else we will destroy ourselves and our planet. You might think about interviewing him sometime. His perspective is unique, but as we go along in our troubles, it seems more and more reasonable and above all hopeful.

Many things are wrong, I hope it can be

Hi Mr.Moyers,
As a French Canadian, even if my English isn't that good, I religeously watch your program every week. I can tell you that I really understand social and political issues from A to Z in English as well as in French, probably because it's so close to my heart and my spirit. Since the 70's, we have never been call out to something greater than ourselves...no interesting society projects. Week after week, you and your guests give me the courage and the strenght to make something happens in my own country. I will keep you inform about the projects that I'm putting in place with some good friends so you can see all the good you bring in the world. Thank you so much for your humanity and please don't retire before 2045...minimum!

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