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A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party

by : Charley Underwood
Sunday August 1, 2004 - 08:12
10 comments

July 31, 2004

I have been home a bit more than a day, and I wanted to give my perspective on the convention in Boston.

The first thing I want to say is that the entire convention was a sham. Perhaps I was naïve, but I went in with the perspective of Duluth (the MN Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party State Convention in May), where there was lots of expression from the delegates, including wrangling over platform, motions from the floor, significant interactions with other delegates. None of that was true in Boston; there were no discussions of platform, no microphones on the floor at all, no negotiations of any kind, no input of any kind from the delegates. By the end of the first night, I was very deeply upset, muttering things about "Stepford delegates" and wondering why they didn’t just get the crowd as extras from Central Casting, instead of going through the delegate selection process they did.

"Lock-step" doesn’t begin to cover the management of delegates by our minders. Since we were told that we could not bring in signs, I didn’t, but I made a sign on-site that said simply "Peace." It was confiscated, and in a very clever way that left me with no possibility of confrontation. For the first two days, they were ambivalent about the pink scarves we had printed that said "Give Bush The Pink Slip; Delegate for Peace." By Tuesday night, they were confiscating them by the hundreds at the metal detectors, and then going around the hall taking them from individuals. We confronted them on that one and got them to back off, but it was a tense battle that carried the risk of being ejected from the hall.

There was very tight control, even over the choreographed signs they passed out. If you held up a sign too early or too late, you got a reprimand. For example, if you held up a basically red Edwards sign from 15 minutes ago when everyone else was holding up the blue Edwards sign, you were in a bit of trouble. I saved myself grief by not holding up any of their silly signs.

So I want to say very clearly that this convention had absolutely nothing to do with grassroots politics or representative democracy. It was designed as a high-end infomercial. There was a constant drumbeat for "unity" and "message." Sadly, the message was entirely about how qualified John Kerry was to lead our nation in war. There was no mention of our desire for peace, except for some of Dennis’s comments and a few unscripted remarks by Sharpton.

One of my biggest goals in attending the convention was to deliver a warning to a high level Kerry advisor. I believe that their strategy of selling Kerry as a more efficient war-monger is extremely dangerous. They run the risk of tens of millions of people staying home, since they see little distinction between Kerry and Bush when it comes to the war.

I got my chance on Sunday, when I attended a teachers’ union meeting with Kerry’s pollster Mark Millner. After his semi-rousing speech, they asked for questions, and I obliged. I asked if he didn’t think it was dangerous to ignore the millions of people who want us to end the occupation in Iraq, since it risks them staying home instead of voting. He replied that it was all the fault of the God-damned Republicans who were paying to get Nader on the ballot. I came back, saying that I was not talking about Nader or Republicans, but loyal Democrats who wanted to vote for somebody against the war in Iraq. He repeated his Republicans/Nader mantra again.

In other words, they have their plan: Run like Bush-lite, then blame Nader when you lose.

As I talk to you now about the actual delegate vote, I want to be very specific about the exact sorts of pressure we were all feeling. Going into the convention, Kucinich had already released his delegates and strongly requested that they vote for Kerry on the first ballot. After Sunday’s emotional meeting, Dennis became clear that he could not direct our votes that easily, that many felt bound by conscience to vote for him, despite his unity urgings. Or perhaps it was rather that many delegates could not morally vote for Kerry while he voiced support for war and for the occupation.

At our Minnesota state delegation level, the pressure was enormous. I imagine it was the same in other states. Dennis had released our votes; if we didn’t follow our leader, he would lose all credibility at the national level. Dennis was not even on the ballot; if we voted for him, it would only be recorded as "present" - - a sort of abstention. We were in a life or death fight against Bush and party unity was paramount; if we voted for Kucinich, it would be our fault if Bush won, and the state and local Democrats would be unwilling to work with us on anything - - our credibility with the party would be finished.

In that context, there was absolutely nothing to be gained by voting for Dennis, but everything to lose. In that context, our Kucinich votes would not be seen as votes in favor of peace and progressive issues, merely signs of party disloyalty which would benefit the Republicans. Nearly all of my fellow delegates, in deep anguish, abandoned what they saw as a quixotic fight, in favor of building alliances within the party. I held out for some language of withdrawal from Iraq as a condition, got stubborn, and became very much the spoiler in what would have been a very practical deal.

In the end, I became weary of so much talk about strategy. I just couldn’t vote for a guy who spoke so fondly about a more international and more efficient occupation of another country. It just doesn’t fit with what Mrs. Walker taught me back in the 3rd grade, about self-determination, the Declaration of Independence, and who has the right to rule a people.

The next morning, I gave a speech to the Minnesota delegation, explaining my vote of conscience, and my hopes for cooperation. In the end, I do not know whether the DFLers will work with the Dean and Kucinich types among them, or carry an ongoing resentment toward us because of my own willful decision. Time will tell. I only know that the consequent loss will be as great for them as it is for us, if we are shut out and cannot find ourselves in the DFL.

I hope you can forgive us all for any decisions we made in Boston. Please understand that we were all isolated, sleep-deprived, living in circumstances where others dictated our choices and asked for our moral decisions in a context controlled by them and totally new to all of us. With each hour since my return to Minnesota, I see more clearly that it was a situation, in fact, much like the context of brainwashing or the psychological operations used in Guantanamo. We were never tortured, and never stripped naked (although the security checkpoints at the entrance and at the airport had hints of that). We were, however, isolated from our community, from our usual context, and even perhaps from the moral parameters we usually have.

A Kucinich critic of mine once said that I liked to tell others what to do. I thought about that accusation a lot, and I believe that he was correct. I often give unsolicited advice, so I want to be careful what I say next.

The question arises: Should we now support Kerry? It’s a hard one. How can we support someone whose idea of progress is to put a velvet glove on the iron fist of colonialism? How can we support someone who speaks of a willingness to support unilateral wars (under the right conditions) and whose campaign is so overwhelmingly military in his values.

But what would happen if we all stayed home or voted for Nader? Wouldn’t we then risk the true hell of what W. and his neocons would do if they won an actual mandate of sorts?

I do not know what you can morally do in this situation. Perhaps you can find it in your heart to go to the polls with a clothespin on your nose and vote for Kerry. Perhaps you can even find the energy to do voter registration or phone canvases or door-knocking. Perhaps you will not find any energy at all for the non-choice of this presidential campaign, but you will throw yourself into something like Patty Wetterling’s race or one of the Legacy Project’s candidates for Minnesota House.

In the end, nothing has changed. We all supported a presidential candidate who, for many of us, came extremely close to ideal. He lost that particular battle, but none of us can stop what we are doing.

In the end, we must still support all candidates who reflect our ideals. In the end, we must examine our own beliefs and temperaments, and throw our energies into the causes and institutions we want. So keep buying your food at the co-ops. Keep marching and conducting vigils, when you can. Keep writing your senators and writing the president and sending letters to the local papers.

If you are tired or discouraged, take a break. But please don’t quit altogether. Go to the grass roots and keep organizing like crazy. In the end, we will need these millions behind us, whether Kerry or Bush holds the title of president.

And I must add this next: Cultivate community. The only thing that kept me even partially sane in Boston was my sense of community back here in Minnesota. I kept hearing the gentle voices of my spiritual community (Quakers) and peaceniks and activists back home. The demonic pull of Boston’s imposed reality was quite strong. Hey, I chatted with Walter Mondale, was interviewed by journalists who put my name in the paper and on the airwaves, I spent hours with cameras on me. It was all quite seductive.

But the voices of my community here came to me from across the miles, reminding me that all this strategy was nothing, compared to the death of a single child in Falluja or a single grandmother in Raffa.

I beg you to support the Kucinich community we still have. If you disagree with anything in Boston, whether my decision to vote for Dennis or the decision of others to work with the realities they saw, I still ask you to understand very deeply that we were all making the most moral decisions we could. I ask you to trust our motives and our morality, even if you do not agree. We need this community to support us, to provide us with a strong moral context, forgive our mistakes, and carry us through setbacks to the next level of change. It appears that we still have a great deal of work to do.

Peace, Charley Underwood



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> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Sunday August 1 - 09:16 - Posted by e12133531b6d3010...

http://www.milforddailynews.com/loc...
"BOSTON — Props in short supply on the floor last week at the Democratic National Convention? Perish the thought.
But woe to the fool-hardy delegate sporting paraphernalia for the wrong candidate on the convention floor.
"We’re not here for Kucinich! We’re here to elect John Kerry," a teenage girl screamed at someone wearing gear for ex-presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on the convention floor Wednesday night.
The Ohio congressman, who drew a cult following throughout the lengthy primary season, had already endorsed U.S. Sen. John Kerry and told his delegates to "vote their conscience" by the time he took to the podium.
But the buzz on the floor Wednesday just before 8 p.m. was a combination of bristling and hushed complaining over the amount of Kucinich T-shirts in the direct line of national TV cameras.
Apparently, that wasn’t written into the script. "




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Sunday August 1 - 15:44 - Posted by d705416699761560...

While I appreciate the writer’s perspective and share his concerns, I would like to make the point that regardless of who’s elected President, if the Senate and Congress do not return to their policy setting and monitoring functions, our representative government (never mind democracy) cannot work. Moreover, if worse comes to worst, getting control of the House, where impeachment proceedings commence, is doubly important.
The other thing we have to start paying attention to is the revolving cadre of unelected bureaucrats who staff the legislative bodies, the executive departments and the political infrastructure—i.e. the DNC and DLC. I use the word "revolving" decidedly, because it seems to me that this unelected bureaucracy which seems to remain in positions of influence, regardless of electoral reversals, is a more detrimental influence than the movement of business executives moving into and out of governmental appointments.




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Sunday August 1 - 19:33 - Posted by f1c4496d84613191...

John Kerry helped form the DLC way back when they decided to control the democratic party from the inside. This explains why he is so well loved amoung the bigwigs. However he is not loved by the people of the democratic party. The convention was a big show, why weren’t the delegates allowed to talk about the most important issues in America, this illegal immoral war in Iraq, Our support of war criminals in Israel, and the assault on our civil liberties the ’patriot’ act. Why weren’t the delegates allowed to express dissent, allowed their right to free speech? All in the name of unity? It sounds strangely like Bush logic. It also seems like the clear majority were against the war, so it was actually Kerry and Edwards that were the dissenters, it was the majority that was told to shut up. Is this democracy? This is how low we have stooped in the democratic party, and yet I am still being shouted at to vote for John Kerry or it’s are fault Bush wins. If Kerry can’t beat the most corrupt president ever, it is HIS FAULT!

John Kerry is a huge problem for our country. He and his type are THE problem. Bush could not have done what he did without the assistance of John Kerry. We HAD a constitution for a reason, and he has done nothing to uphold it, our politicians job first and foremost. Anyone who allowed the bush administration to force the patriot act on us should be fired! Anyone who gave Bush the power to wage war alone should be fired! John Kerry should be fired as senator, not elevated to president. I don’t give a damn if they say he is our only choice, He is awful. I think his nomination is proof that the DLC is controlling the primary, not the american people. 95% of the delegates are against the war, and yet Kerry and Edwards snubbed everyone blatantly stating we will ’win’ the war when everyone knows the truth about Iraq. And thier views on the wall and blind support of Israel!!! I don’t think any democrat has ever been that blatantly stupid and/or evil before. We have sunk to a new low.



> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Sunday August 1 - 20:46 - Posted by 1058d178522749c2...

It’s a source of constant amazement to me when I hear/read from Kucinich supporters what an incredible "leader" he is and what a horrible ripoff it is that the Democratic party leadership has not permitted the former presidential candidate’s pet issues to be included in the party’s platform. It may well be that the party leaders have a better perspective of the "leadership" qualities the diminutive politician actually possesses as opposed to the new age psycho-politics he’s been extolling to the "fruits and nuts" who make up most of his constituency.

Here’s the version of Dennis Kucinich’s single term as mayor of Cleveland that his air head supporters believe and preach —and what they leave out.

The story: Kucinich "was elected mayor on a promise that he would not sell off or privatize the beloved and trusted city-owned power system, though Cleveland was deeply in debt. Cleveland Magazine offered this summary: ’Kucinich refused to yield to bankers who gave him a choice: Sell the Municipal Light System to the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. or the city will go into default. ...’ When Kucinich refused to sell Muny Light, the banks took the unprecedented step of refusing to roll over the city’s debt, as is customary. Instead, they pushed the city into default. It turned out the banks were thoroughly interlocked with the private utility, CEI, which would have acquired monopoly status by taking over Muny Light. … By holding to his campaign promise and putting principle above politics, he lost his re-election bid and his political career was derailed. But today Kucinich stands vindicated for having confronted the Enron of his day, and for saving the municipal power company. ’There is little debate,’ wrote Cleveland Magazine in May 1996, ’over the value of Muny Light today. Now Cleveland Public Power, it is a proven asset to the city that between 1985 and 1995 saved its customers $195,148,520 over what they would have paid CEI.’" (Kucinich campaign Web site)

Reality check: Banks expect borrowers to show responsibility. Muny Light was one of Cleveland’s few remaining assets and had been losing money for a decade. The banks wanted the city to sell it to cover previous loans. As one bank director put it to Kucinich (in the Cleveland Magazine article Kucinich selectively quotes), "You have the opportunity to straighten up some of your house by selling your losing Muny Light plant. If you’re going to ask us to roll over these notes, you’ve got to show some financial responsibility." In exchange, the banks offered to throw in an extra $50 million loan.

Kucinich rejected the offer. He asked the banks to wait a few months to let him hold a special election on an income tax increase to pay off the loans. The banks said no. Kucinich then tried to force the tax increase in a last-minute city council session and was rebuffed. Cleveland Magazine concluded, "It was [Kucinich’s] love of confrontation that eventually forced him into this ultimate confrontation." The default made Cleveland a national laughingstock and led to Kucinich’s overwhelming re-election defeat. In 1995, a panel of 25 historians ranked him the seventh-worst mayor in American history.

Now, I ask you, would any sane citizen feel confident that their government is in capable hands with a man who, in the only executive position he held in his entire political career, somehow managed, in a single two-year term, to steer a major American city into default (the first major city to do so since the Great Depression? If you said yes, my advise to you would be to lay off the funny mushrooms.

Take it from someone who has been a lifelong resident of Cleveland, this country would be in better hands with Al Sharpton, let alone John Kerry. Thank your lucky stars.

Mickey McDonald
Cleveland, OH




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Monday August 2 - 16:46 - Posted by fc304723a55c4b56...

He kept his promise to the people who elected him.

He saved the residents millions of dollars on their utility bills (as you stated). He was vindicated for his decision, because even the city council saw that he was right! He was honored with an award from the city council for his brave stance. Sometimes the correct and moral decision is not the easy and obvious one. In retaliation for their loss of profit, the profiteers smeared him and it was only years later that the city wondered where was this guy? The guy who had saved their utility company from the grasp of greedy for-profit companies.

And by the way, the privateers who pressured him to sell the utility were the same group of companies responsible for the huge blackout that blanketed most of the NE US and parts of Canada in August... Kucinich did well to stick to his convictions, keep his promise to the people who elected him, and not cave to the pressure of companies interested in profit over service.

Hopefully, Public Utility Districts will replace the for-profit companies like Enron who drain money from consumers with criminal methods.



> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Sunday August 1 - 21:14 - Posted by 0d42fc89065690ec...

Reflections on Dennis’s speech

Wow! - Dennis was incredibly dynamic! That has got to be the best speech I’ve ever seen him do! Yet It was bittersweet.

When he was announced and came on the stage - the whole place cheered! All those people who wanted to vote their hearts but cowered under to the ABB lie spoke up. The atmosphere was electric!

Many Kucinich supporters displayed Kucinich signs - illegally smuggled in. Ironic, a day after one of our kind was dragged off the floor in handcuffs for unfurling a banner saying US out of Iraq.

He spoke of what we wanted. What the country wants. Displeasure over the illegal war in Iraq, realistic solutions to health care, ending outsourcing, NAFTA, and the exploitation of workers overseas which would have been GREAT!, were it not for the segways to party unity and support for John Kerry - as if Kerry stood for any of what people were cheering for. To pretend that Kerry didn’t stand for continuing the occupation for at least 4 more years and committing to having our kids come home in body bags for that period. A military draft and committing more US troops overseas. More “free trade” agreements with the resulting continued undermining of our economy and the loss of whole industries. The continued erosion of our civil liberties with more “patriot act” type laws - all things Dennis spoke against, but Kerry is for. You could see the disillusion on the faces of many of our delegates as the camera’s panned the crowd.

I was disappointed that he laid these issues on Bush’s lap, but brushed under the carpet that Kerry wants to continue and expand the worst of the Bush agenda. Acting as if Kerry would fix what we cared most about when Kerry will do the opposite.

I understand why he did it. Political survival and his belief that he can do the most good by working within Congress to further our agenda. And to an extent, he is correct. But is still seems dishonest.

During the speech I couldn’t help but reflect on another Kucinich supporters post - a woman who identified herself as the mother of draft age children and trying to find an excuse to support Kerry. She said that Kerry’s spouse seemed “nice” and she liked his record on voting for environmental issues. I couldn’t help but wondering if those environmental issues would be better served in the long run by having her kids around to fight for them, rather than fertilizing a 6 by 2 ½ plot of ground…

Shortly after, Al Sharpton spoke and said: “the only freedom we have is to elect John Kerry as president of the United States”. It reminded me of a Modern World cartoon that bashed homeland security “… freedom to, uh, uh…” the woman next to him says: “ free to display the flag!” and he says - “yeah that’s it!”. Such hypocrisy!

The two parties are in fact only one - the corporate party and the system is rigged. This election was also stolen, as it was in 2000. Only the public is being duped into thinking we are electing an improvement over Bush, when in fact Kerry is worse than Bush.

In a couple of hours, Kucinich delegates and probably a few others will lodge a protest vote by voting for Dennis - but it won’t make a difference. It will make news for a few days, but it will be forgotten - having no long term effect. In November, many Kucinich supporters will “hold their noses and vote”, while others will stay away and swear off politics forever - like 50% of the American public. Our country is on a fast track to what happened in Russia when it fell, corporate America having corrupted our political system and like a bacterial culture that is about to overgrow it’s culture medium, or a cancer, it is about to dump us for more fertile media. We are truly doomed.




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Monday August 2 - 16:36 - Posted by fc304723a55c4b56...

Hey Charley —
Yes - I too felt a kinship with the victims of psychological abuse in Guantanamo. I was sleep deprived and ordered to attend daily meetings at 7 am that were nothing but pressure to conform. They could have taped the first meeting and played it every morning for the rest of the week, and let me get some sleep. All the running to and fro across town to the progressive events, then to a meeting back at the hotel to see if we would change our vote. I kept attending the meetings, to have a voice, feeling that if I didn’t go, a decision would go forth, stating we were all in agreement, when we were not. And then, when I clearly had spelled out that the speech was to include the phrase "visionary for peace" our elected official reader chose to read this as "missionary for peace" which to me sends a completely different message. At least peace was mentioned, and for that, I should give thanks.

The entire event was scripted and choreographed like a Hollywood oscar presentation. I was pleased when they passed out the "hope" signs when Edwars spoke, but was chastised and told that it was too soon for hope and to put my sign down... I felt used as part of a charade to fool the public. I gave away my Thursday night credentials and didn’t go.

The one thing we differ on is that I had no trouble at all getting my pink into the hall - and on Wednesday, I was searched with wands and still managed to get my Tibetan bell in, to ring for Dennis’s speech! (It was in my backpack, and they seemed to concentrate their search on my person, rather than my possessions). I brought in extra pink scarves every night! It was amazing to me how many people left their scarves in their hotel rooms - and every night needed another one... These Kerry supporters no doubt have more souvenier DJK scarves than we, his delegates were left with! oh well — at least the word is out!
Claire in Portland




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Tuesday August 3 - 02:28 - Posted by 3419afa3092554d2...

Kucinich delegates feel voice wasn’t heard

BOSTON — Minnesota delegates for Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich suggested Thursday that they were misled into casting most of their nominating votes for John Kerry.

"I am feeling regretful," said Kucinich delegate Donna Cassutt, of Minneapolis. "We are committed to electing John Kerry ... but I was sent here to represent [Kucinich] people. It was not an easy decision."

Faith Kidder of Minneapolis, who helped coordinate the state Kucinich campaign, said she felt she was "strong-armed" into voting for Kerry.

"It’s an example of the hierarchical, top-down administration of the Kerry campaign," she said. "I won’t do anything on a campaign that treats people like this."

http://www.startribune.com/stories/...




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Monday August 9 - 03:44 - Posted by cad97fc469ebe8d1...

The game in Democracy is persuasion. If you are not getting your point across then you may have to temper your idealism with a bit of realism.

So don’t give up on the Democrats, for the scene is no different in the Nader camp either. Keep working at it. If you are right then the world will come around to you later if not sooner.
Best wishes,

Syed Abbas
Toronto




> A Kucinich delegate in Boston and the totalitarian democratic party
Monday August 9 - 14:11 - Posted by b5af28134aa1b934...

Charley, if you’re looking for a TRUE "democratic" party, you might look to the MN IP or the MN Greens. Neither party has been corrupted by corporate money.

In the end, it will take a third party to set the other 2 straight.







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The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
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Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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