Iceberg Louie's Journal
Member since: Sat Feb 25, 2012, 03:43 PM
Number of posts: 190
Number of posts: 190
Womens' rights have been under assault from two fronts in North Dakota this election cycle. Firstly, ND Measure 1 follows on the heels of a string of anti-abortion bills passed during the last legislative session. In short, Measure 1 is a "personhood amendment", placing in the state constitution the assertion that "life begins at conception." The measure's sponsor, District 35 senator Margaret Sitte, has made clear that the intention of the amendment is to challenge and overturn Roe v. Wade, backed by a heavy budget surplus coming from the oil boom of the last few years. Sitte had significant backing from the oil interests and from the Catholic League, a very powerful lobby in Bismarck. One highlight of Sitte's campaign has been her absurdly oversized yard signs.
With 268/427 precincts reporting, and more importantly, with left-leaning oases Fargo and Grand Forks yet to report, Measure 1 stands at 63% No, 36% yes. Even better, though; with 6/6 precincts in...Erin Oban (D) beats incumbent Margaret Sitte 56 to 43%!
Once again, common sense prevails in the armpit of our nation.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Tue Nov 4, 2014, 11:48 PM (1 replies)
Right now the "extremists" on both sides are clamoring for a third party. However, best of luck to anyone who tries to put together a platform to unite these factions. On the right, we have bigoted knee-jerk reactionaries puppeteered by laissez-faire anarcho-capitalists. They call themselves "libertarians", but could give a hoot less about the liberties of immigrants, women, gays, underprivileged, or for that matter, anyone who sees Leave It To Beaver as anything but a wet dream. On the left are the progressives, social libertarians and proletarians. The very notion of accepting that the world moves forward is enough to disenfranchise the reactionaries, who since at least the Industrial Revolution refuse to let go of the whimsy that if they close their eyes, plug their ears and yell "lalala" long enough and loud enough, the "good ole days" will return, or, at least, the forward passage of time will be stunted. Without the capacity to move beyond this signature stubbornness which defines their very nature, the teabillies, Moral Majority, John Birch Society, KKK, or whatever new shine they slap on the old turd, will by definition oppose anything under the umbrella of "progress". The progressives, motivated by a zeal for social justice, concern for the realities of the future, and an arguably naive optimism for true equality, will, by their own nature, reject concessions to the reactionaries.
So both sides, equally disenchanted by the establishment wings of their respective parties, form a third and fourth party. For the sake of discussion, let's call them the Progressive and Regressive Parties. Rallying their base might not be so hard for the Regressives, for they have been well-conditioned to react to phony indignance and effectively bark on command (these are, after all, the ones who oppose teaching critical thinking in public schools.) For the Progressives, we must be honest. Many progressive idealists share a tendency towards individualism, and are often characterized by, for lack of a better descriptor, aloof intellectualism. While these can be positive qualities in generating ideas and discussion, they hardly form the basis of unity and action. Ideally, the pro-labor faction would be on this side as well, wherein we would see a greater cohesion than otherwise. However, this does not assume that the whole of the working class/middle class will become endeared to the message of fairness, equity, and a level playing field. Many among them have conservatism in their blood, and as such are easily spooked by whisperings of "collectivism", which the propagandists of the elite will never hesitate to implement.
Now we come to Election Day, where the voters have their choice of four (presumably) equally viable candidates, the Pros, Dems, Reps, and Regs. Bearing in mind the motivating factor behind the formation of the two new parties, it can be reasonably assumed that the financial/industrial elite now control the remaining vestiges of both the Democratic and Republican parties wholesale (as opposed to the populist facades they currently bear.) Unfortunately, the Regressives (nee Tea Partiers) are, as many of us are painfully aware, also herded and corralled by the same elitists, albeit through thinly-veiled backdoor channels like the American Enterprise Institute and other such sham operations. I highly doubt that the "Merikuh fer Merikins" set will have the wherewithall to marshall their own resources and exorcise these oligarchs from their leadership. The low-information and apathetic voters will remain easily swayed by whatever the corporate media convinces them, which of course will be that the Dems and Reps are the tried and true stalwarts of our democracy. Rest assured that the corporate agenda, dictated at the executive level, will have a great deal of incentive to discredit whichever side the labor is aligned with.
While my speculations are wildly oversimplistic and lack adequate metrics to make an informed prediction, I'll assume each candidate gets roughly 25% of the vote. The win margin, of course, could become as little as 0.25% of the electoral college. Whichever way the wind may blow, at the end of the day, the parties serving at the pleasure of the wealthy robber-barons now hold approximately 75% of the voting bloc.
The way to overcome this depressing inevitability, you may counter, is to pull together the masses. The populist majority versus the elitist minority. Return again to the beginning of this post, you find that this aspiration becomes a veritable Mobius strip of improbability. Why? Because those who truly pull the strings, the masters of the military-industrial-penal-financial complex and their minions who have made the establishment parties so revolting to idealists on both sides, have perfected the art of the wedge issue. They continue to pit us against each other, distracting us from their real agenda, the concentration of wealth and power and the suppression of the "peasant class". Until we all find within ourselves the capacity to transcend these biases (some justifiable, some manufactured), those in power will continue to remain so.
So, to those dissatisfied with the current state of establishment politics (like myself), do we branch off and form an initiative that is likely doomed to gain measurable traction, or do we pick the "lesser of evils" and do our best to uphold progressive principles in a party which includes imperfect politicians but also a platform of hope for a better future?
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Sun Jun 23, 2013, 04:28 PM (14 replies)
Though it's ripe for jokery, any thoughts as to what was actually happening after the debate when Ann had her arms wrapped around Mitt as he scrambled to keep up with the President's crowd-greeting?
Seriously, this is not normal human behavior. Were the Romneybots short circuiting? At one point during the debate, Mitt had a really awkward look on his face, and I thought he was seriously going to have a heart attack or stroke on live TV. As soon as i have time to sift through, I'm going to post that moment; it was disturbing and priceless at the same time.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Tue Oct 23, 2012, 09:30 AM (19 replies)
When Romney tried to qualify his pro-equality stances with his "binders full of women" anecdote, what I heard was: "I told my guys, 'I need to fill my EEO quota. I'm running for president some day, for pete's sake.'"
Anyone see that?
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:12 PM (10 replies)
Paul Ryan is a shoe-in for George "Goober" Lindsey of Andy Griffith Show fame.
Thanks to denverbill for pointing out the comparison; it is every bit as apropos in the scope of last night's debate.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Sat Oct 13, 2012, 01:34 AM (3 replies)
I didn't think so either.
Nice try, fellas, but save your energy for rigging votes on DWTS to keep Bristol Palin on. This is a forum for grown-ups.
P.S. Nice job last night, Joe!
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:06 PM (7 replies)
For anyone who could use a laugh after Wednesday, here's a funny little mashup I did of the debate (warning: contains Mitt Romney using foul language)
Please enjoy, and feel free to forward if you are not too offended by the crudity.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:28 PM (1 replies)
It seems that, with Mittens's every-eroding private-sector record, his original campaign platform of economy and job growth is evaporating by the second. His budgetary record and general job approval (34% in 2007, 48th out of 50) as Massachusetts governor gives him no more to stand on. A similar trend is occuring among would-be Republican Congressional usurpers; partisan hacks with dubious private-sector histories who just really want to take the Senate, but have no merit to campaign on.
I'm seeing more and more ads from Romney and other CON's with one unilateral message: "Forget what I stand for, do you want Obamacare or not?" Do you think that this is what Election 2012 is going to devolve into? A yea or nay vote on PPACA? My concern is that, if this is so, people who are fundamentally opposed to provisions such as the mandate, etc., will turn a blind eye to the litany of repercussions of a Romney presidency, some of which I think Biden eloquently touched on at his NAACP speech, some of which are beyond our worst nightmares.
We still have much work to do. I'm getting the feeling the CON-servatives are going to ultimately try to steamroll the nation on a single-issue platform like they have in every presidential victory since Eisenhower. The "party of no" knows no shame, and, are not above stooping to any level if they think it will squeak them through.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:10 PM (3 replies)
After hard-fought (and heavily-funded) efforts to push a pair of Tea Party initiatives on today's primary ballot, North Dakota proved that, despite being a historically red state, it's people can still surprise us all with demonstrations of common sense and the capability of resistance to right-wing media hype.
Measure 2 was an effort to abolish property tax altogether. While most agree that property taxes in ND could be reasonably lower, they are set at the local level, and are used to fund municipal services, school and park districts, among other functionalities. While the idea of their elimination may be a wet dream for those of the Taxed Enough Already philosophy, the reality remains that doing so shifts the burden of funding to the state level, and creates a projected annual deficit of $80 million to which no proposal to offset was addressed.
Scarier, though, was the much-ballyhooed Measure 3, known as the Religious Liberty Referendum. This joint effort by the North Dakota Family Alliance, the Catholic Conference, and the New John Birch Society (no joke) was a knee-jerk reactionary right-wing response to the contraception "debate". It would amend the state Constitution as follows:
"Government may not burden a personís or religious organizationís religious liberty. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities."
To any rational-minded person, the implications of the vague, broad language of this proposal should be concerning. It would effectively allow Constitutional sanction of domestic violence, terrorism of women's health facilities, child marriage, among other religion-approved atrocities. Spending on promoting this measure exceeded $700,000, over seven times the average ballot measure campaign budget for the state.
Gratefully, the people of ND displayed not only the horse sense, but the motivation to vote down both of these attempts by the right wing to flaunt it's perceived influence. I like to believe it is a sign that the Midwest hasn't completely fallen prey to the domino effect the GOP is expecting in the wake of Wisconsin.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Wed Jun 13, 2012, 02:14 AM (16 replies)
Common Features of Sociopathic Behavior
-Glibness and Superficial Charm
-Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
-Grandiose Sense of Self
-Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage...is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
-Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
-Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
Other Related Qualities: (based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare)
-Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
-Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
-Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
-Incapable of real human attachment to another
-Unable to feel remorse or guilt
-Extreme narcissism and grandiose
I took out the entries which could be, in all fairness, applied to any politician. According to experts in the field of psychology, when we notice these behavioral characteristics, the recommended response is to notify others, including the authorities.
Posted by Iceberg Louie | Mon May 14, 2012, 05:09 PM (11 replies)