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Profile Information

Name: Ernie Ferguson
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Plano, TX
Home country: USA
Current location: Plano, TX
Member since: Thu Apr 30, 2009, 11:22 AM
Number of posts: 939

Journal Archives

Absolute Power

One of my father's favorite quotes was "...power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely..."--a line from a letter written by Lord Acton to Bishop Creighton.

These kinds of events are real world examples of the result of unchecked power. This particular officer, who apparently has had other use of force issues in the past, knows he has the power to kill and not have to bear any real consequences.

The problem is that often, we the people, explicitly grant them this kind of power. In this case, the community is up in arms. But in other cases, when incidents of police brutality go before grand juries charges are not filed because the perpetrator is a member of the police.

For example, a K9 officer who lifted his dog up so that the dog could bite a man who was being apprehended after a lengthy high speed chase. One of the articles on this can be found here: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/national/police-officer-tosses-k9-onto-suspects-lap-video.

We need civilian review boards in every state that have complete state jurisdiction over all police operations. But, we the people need to start forwarding criminal charges when a crime has probably been committed.

The legal reasoning being used today gives police the right to kill, beat, and stomp almost without limit. In some areas, encounters with the police are more like running into the local chapter of the Hell's Angels than the police. Especially if you've already pissed them off somehow...

In San Antonio, this last weekend, a member of the campus police was apprehending a student for a traffic violation. Somehow things escalated and the cop emptied his gun into the student killing him instantly. The student did mouth off to the officer. He was struggling with the officer. What do you want to be that he'll: 1) evade any criminal penalties and 2) keep his job?

Posted by Moral Compass | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 11:35 AM (0 replies)

Seditious Conspiracy

Not a lawyer, but isn't some of this legally actionable? Isn't this, in essence, the taking over of state governments under the cover of being a charitable organization? There is corruption in here somewhere with money changing hands. Otherwise, these legislators wouldn't be such willing accomplices....

Someone out there talk me down or set me straight if I'm wrong...
Posted by Moral Compass | Fri Dec 6, 2013, 03:30 PM (0 replies)

The Criminal Class


Conservatives have always been on the wrong side of history. Just like the poor, they are always with us. Violently opposed to anything that remotely resembles progress and often willingly, enthusiastically violent.

They will kill for their wrong headed causes.

We are reaching one of those inflection points of history.

Mark my words...There will be blood. It is just a matter of whose.
Posted by Moral Compass | Fri Dec 6, 2013, 03:24 PM (0 replies)

Bread and Circus

I've never forgotten. What so many fail to see is that MSNBC adroitly straddles the fence, but if you distill it all down they always adhere to the corporate/security state narrative. One has to travel out of the country and just pick up a few publications to realize that everything we hear and read has a slant. At that time, the slant was that we were going into Iraq because, by God!, we were going into Iraq. Hans Blix couldn't be given time to show the world that those chemical weapons (which even if Sadam had had he couldn't have delivered to the U.S.) didn't exist because we were going to go in.Period. End of sentence. The U.S. had decided to wage unprovoked war. Again. We were going to go in with all guns blazing because we were going to go in, dammit! It was an elegant tautology.

The MSM, as we now call them, willingly and enthusiastically beat the drums of war. MSNBC was no exception. Chris Matthews, a supposed liberal Democrat, was the loudest and the most enthusiastic proponent of the Iraq war. At times, he made Fox seem measured and moderate.

These are the United States we live in. The press is no longer the 4th Estate, but is part of the apparatus of the national security state. They know very well what side their bread is buttered on.

What doesn't fit the narrative of the moment is disappeared. Anyone that has done any writing and taken a basic writing class knows that the narrative is crafted as much by what is left out as by what is left in.

Martin Bashir had to go because he said something true (albeit very offensive) about someone the power elite finds very useful--Sarah Palin. She distracts with a potent concoction of nativist, populist nonsense.

The whole show--whether Fox, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC...is to distract us from what is really going on. The U.S., at some point during the Cheney administration (I do not say that with tongue in cheek) became a rogue nation. The blatant, deliberate amorality of our national policy and the easily discerned continuity of our brutal realpolitik reveals that our votes ceased counting some time ago.

We, the masses, are to be entertained while we are being robbed of our rights, our wealth, and our souls. A few of us, impotent Cassandras, try to point out what seems to us so very, very obvious...to no avail.

The truth is that you and me and everyone that posts here and on any site has to continue to live and we cannot muck with the power any more than any mere laborer can afford to buck the master.

We should all go back and read the powerful writings of the late, and very lamented Joe Baegant who spoke eloquently about how we're all caught in the hologram and cannot escape. At the end of his days, I believe he had lost all hope because we are as a people glued to our electronic input devices like fetal marsupials riding in their mother's warm pouch with their mouths glued to her life giving teat.

The elite fear us because we so many, but as long they provide us with bread and circus and the illusion that there are two sides to every issue (when, in actuality, there is always only one consensus) then all remains the same. We are not privy to the workings of power. We are just to go to work and then go home and play with our phones, wield electronic weapons on electronic battlefields against electronic enemies, and watch whatever pap is spewing from our screens. As long as that continues we are safely inert.

Move along, move along...nothing to see here. As long as we are just subsisting we are their pawns and slaves. All the rest, on MSNBC or Fox, is just part of the show. Sit back and enjoy.
Posted by Moral Compass | Fri Dec 6, 2013, 12:29 PM (1 replies)

It's about the business model

These tweets completely miss the point of the "whining". People (some of them liberals) are protesting a business model that pays its employees such low wages that these almost full time employees have to be on benefits programs such as food stamps and Medicaid to survive.

Won't even go into the economic issues about Walmart squeezing it suppliers so hard that some of them have failed. That having Walmart come into a rural area will cause most local retail business to fail leaving more people unemployed than the new store will employ. That their food prices really aren't that good and that the poor shop there because the commercials Walmart runs tell them that the prices are lower. That Walmart varies its prices by area so that in some places (like where I live Plano, TX) their prices are even with standard grocery stores)...

This post is a simple attack on the word liberal. I'm not on the jury or really much a part of the DU universe, but this post sounds like something you might find on another type of site.

These tweets are almost Fox-like in how they make points without context and leave out a lot of very important info (some of which I detail above). Just to take a swipe at those silly liberals.

The primary point to keep in mind is that Walmart and its business model is a major factor in creating these poor that can only shop at Walmart. Walmart is such a huge part of the national economy that it influences the national economy. I think you could make a pretty strong anti-trust argument about Walmart. It is so big that, to compete with it, other retailers have to also pay low wages, squeeze their suppliers, have excessively harsh job rules, be rabidly anti-union, buy everything from China etc.

Look at what happened when they decided to open on Thanksgiving. Most retailers followed suit.

I believe (and these tweets do nothing to change my mind) that Walmart needs to be unionized. But I also believe that we need to petition our government to look at breaking up Walmart due to its almost monopolistic power in our economy. This is what anti-trust laws were designed for.

Oh, and I bet the economic impact of Walmart paying better wages would have such a positive impact on the economy that many of the poor would end up being able to pay the somewhat higher prices that would be necessary to maintain Walmart's current margins.
Posted by Moral Compass | Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:48 AM (4 replies)

The Media will Eat Up Republican Convulsions

I agree will much of what you said. We may, in some ways, be watching the twitching of a still warm corpse. The Republican party in its current form may well be dead.

I watch this with some unease. Not because I feel any sympathy or empathy for these heartless psychopaths, but because of the damage they can do while the body decays.

The media, including the left leaning media, will be eating up the sound and the fury that will come with a major party dying and then being reborn.

I don't see how Republicans can survive. Reaganism has been a proven failure that was always based on economic wishful thinking. Supply side economics was always, at its core, a yearning for a free lunch. Reaganism imagined sn Oz-like paradise where cutting taxes leads to more revenue and the government shrinks away to nothingness because regulation just isn't needed due to the all-powerful and infinitely wise free market. This vision of the world has always had less reality to it than found in a Grimm fairly tale.

Because this kind of radical magical thinking has led to a decades long purging of anyone remotely rational from the GOP there isn't really anyone left to bring them back into the light of reason. All their thinkers and intellectuals have long since become independents or, worse still, Democrats. Even Barry Goldwater thought these folks nuts by the time he died--if that gives you any indication of just how lunatic this fringe has become.

My fear is that they'll not go gently into their good night. And in making all their furious noise they'll suck the air out of the national conversation that we should be having right now. The Republicans have finally shown their true colors in all their nasty, simple meanness. The ugliness just came pouring out, first in their convention which resembled a white power rally more than a major party convention, and then in the constant, so-called gaffes that were more unwitting revelations of truth.

These people are mean and they don't like being told they're wrong and they're willing to fight over it. This cast of idiots has already announced to the world that they don't see anything wrong with their ideas and message there was just something wrong with their packaging.

The death throes are going to be violent and there will be collateral damage. The media. always eager for a great story, will feast on this. I just hope we survive it intact and not in civil war.
Posted by Moral Compass | Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:18 PM (1 replies)

Minority within a minority

This million people is the minority within the minority. Have these folks even been taught how a democracy (even one as imperfect as ours) operates? We really have to go back to requiring Civics in high school.

This little tiny splinter group is going to disassemble the Union. How cute.

Perhaps we should create a reservation for them somewhere...
Posted by Moral Compass | Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:09 PM (1 replies)

I just like the term "pandas of politics"...

Posted by Moral Compass | Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:55 PM (0 replies)

Sorry for your loss

I've stopped talking to a lot of people or they've stopped talking to me. The one that's bothered me most is my ex-wife.

We've had a great relationship since we split up and we've remained close friends for over 25 years. This hasn't always gone over well with my wife and daughters but it was innocent.

She live in Missouri and when the Akin thing broke I sent her a snarky text that I thought she'd completely agree with. Now that I think back on it I don't think we'd ever discussed politics. Not when we were married and not after.

The text I got back stunned me. She didn't defend Akin, but she talked about how much she hated Claire Mckaskill and then went on an anti-Obama rant about how he was a "right wing socialist". We went back and forth a couple of times with my pointing out that she was just spewing boiler plate, Fox talking points without anything to back them up.

Then I ended the conversation.

I haven't heard from her since. I miss her and I'm worried about her. She's unemployed and she's depressed and I'm sure she's scared. But you get to where you can't communicate anymore when someone is spewing hatred and lies and now thinks you are evil incarnate because you don't agree.

Do what I'm going to do. Let it die down a bit. And then be the peacemaker. Reach out to her. Maybe you'll turn her around. That's better than writing off a friendship like that.
Posted by Moral Compass | Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:27 PM (0 replies)

Colbert Rocks!

Oh, Steven you got this one soooooo right!
Posted by Moral Compass | Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:15 AM (0 replies)
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