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Member since: Sun Apr 10, 2011, 10:27 AM
Number of posts: 162

Journal Archives

If it's 80 degrees in mid-October then global warming is true, right?

Is it just me? Sometimes I just feel that progressives, liberals, the left in general just really suck at memes, propaganda, or messaging. Take this October warm spell for example. Just two weeks before Halloween, and it’s hitting 80 degrees, in NY. It hit 100 degrees in Dodge City, KS today. Warm temperature records are breaking throughout the country. So where are all the snarky tweets, posts, comments from liberals about how “Global Warming must be true!”. Yet you can bet your bottom dollar that the first big snowfall we have this winter in January or February or earlier will bring out all the right wing trolls exclaiming how Global Warming is a hoax! Just look at all the snow and cold temperatures! Here we have a big opportunity, a gift, to promote the meme that this Global Warming thing, is well, a thing. Yet, there’s nothing. So, we wonder why so many people believe right wing myths. It’s partly because we fail to take advantage of opportunities like this. We need to do better at beating the right at their own game to spread the truth more effectively.

Modern Conservatism in a nutshell in the form of 36 tweets

Over at Grist (grist.org), David Roberts explains postmodern conservatism in 36 tweets. The most important to me are:

4. It’s like pointing to an apple and saying, "this is an orange." It takes practice to train your mind to be able to do it.
(easy to to do when you willingly want to escape or deny reality and wrap yourself in an echo chamber cocoon.)

5. You have to convince yourself, not so much that an apple is an orange, but that there is no such thing as what the object "really" is.
(once you escape to your alter reality that is not hard to do)

6. Or rather, that on the question of what the object is, there are *only* competing answers — no objective fact of the matter.
(conservatives excel at this)

7. As you get used to thinking this way, you get more bold, moving from highly contestable interpretations to flat matters of fact.

9. The key is just to brazen it out, to be unaffected by social disapprobation or scolding.

10. The right has realized that if you just brazen it out, there’s no authority that can "settle the argument." No ref to make the call.

11. In this way every dispute, even over matters of fact, becomes a contest of power — loudest, best funded, most persistent voices win.

These tweets capture clearly and succinctly current conservative thought. Especially among the ignorant rank & file and propagandist pundit and think tank class.

Read the rest: http://grist.org/politics/david-roberts-explains-postmodern-conservatism-in-36-tweets/

Call Me Unreasonable

This from over at Crooks and Liars:

Call me unreasonable.

I will happily wrap myself in the mantle of being an unreasonable person as long as Washington DC elites with six- and seven-figure portfolios dare to tell me that I need to be "reasonable," while

Lifting the FICA cap is off the table;
The idea of lowering the minimum age for SSI qualification is not even discussed;
Refusing to acknowledge that austerity does not work, ever;
Not admitting that Social Security itself does not impact the deficit;
Negotiating Medicare drug prices is not part of a cost-saving package;
Cutting corporate subsidies is a non-starter;
Our top marginal tax rate is the lowest it's been since the '30s; and
Beltway denizens who cheered off-the-book wars and tax cuts, insisting that deficits don't matter, are now screaming that the deficit is the *MOST* important thing this country, over jobs, poverty, income inequality, discrimination, gun safety, and the sad fact that they are relegating more than a few grandmothers to eating catfood.

Yup, if that is what's considered "reasonable" thinking about the problems this country faces, then damn it, call me unreasonable.

Here! Here! Call me unreasonable too! Sums it up nicely. Spread this around.


How We Can All Make Money Like the Billionaires - Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann has a good idea that I like:

When the Royal Dutch Shell Kulluk rig got stuck on the rocky shores of Alaska on New Year’s Eve, the people of that state paid close attention. Not just because they worried about the potential for another environmental disaster in their backyard, but because they pay close to attention to their state’s oil industry in general since they each make a lot of money off of it.

Alaska is unique in that it has something called the Alaska Permanent Fund. Believing that all residents of the state should profit off the resources that are naturally below their feet, Alaska takes the money that big oil corporations pay them in oil leases and royalties, invests that money, and then distributes the returns on those investments to each and every resident of the state.

It works out to between $1,000 and $2,000 dollars for every man, woman, and child in Alaska every single year. So if you’re a husband and wife with two kids, you could earn as much as $8,000 at the end of the year – and that’s not pocket change for a working family trying to make it by during the Great Republican Recession.

Thanks to this supplemental income to each resident of Alaska, the state enjoys the third highest median income in the nation, and is also the second most equal state in the nation.

It’s a system that works, and it’s been embraced by both Democrats and Republicans – even Sarah Palin.

So why not apply it to the rest of the country?

Read the rest at: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/thom-hartmann/47548/how-we-can-all-make-money-like-the-billionaires

Hey Mitt where's the tax returns?

Remember when there was a sort of a to do about Mittens not releasing his tax returns? What happened to that? That's no longer an issue? WTF? Meanwhile the teabaggers and their ilk go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the GDF birth certificate! Wouldn't it be a whole lot more legitimate to still be going on about Mitt's tax returns? How come I'm not hearing about that anymore? This is what pisses me off about Liberals.

Hey Mitt! Show us your tax returns!

Why the Republicans could win big this year

Why? Through cheating of course. Conservatives could never win in a free and fair election. They know that. So they will cheat. A lot. Here's how:

1. Voter ID Laws. These are being pursued by many states which are designed specifically to disenfranchise students, elderly, minorities, and the poor. See http://www.propublica.org/article/everything-youve-ever-wanted-to-know-about-voter-id-laws

2. Purging Voter Rolls. Theses activities being pursued by such states as Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania are using bad data and faulty pretexts to throw hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters off the voter rolls. See http://www.brennancenter.org/content/section/category/voter_purges_and_challenges and http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/08/02/629311/new-analysis-by-list-company-voter-purges/

3. Partisan Election Officials. Too many election officials in charge of the day to day running of the election are republican operatives and party supporters. Their actions include reducing early voting and reducing hours the polls are open. They are an obstruction to free and fair elections. See http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/08/elections_in_the_hands_of_the_partisan_and_incompe.php and http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/06/22/504616/partisan-republicans-aggressively-seeking-to-become-election-officials-in-florida/

4. Direct Voter Suppression. Right wing tea bagger groups like True the Vote will be sending poll watchers to minority and poor dominated precincts with the specific aim to intimidate and interfere with voting by minorities and the poor. Other actions that will occur, especially in swing states, that have been done in the past include illegal police road blocks on roads leading to polling places, too few voting machines in democratic districts, a preponderance of broken and malfunctioning voting machines located at democratic districts. See http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/25/1124196/-True-the-Vote-s-effort-to-steal-the-election

5. Electronic Voting Machines. Easily hacked and manipulated proprietary electronic voting machines are owned and maintained by companies with known support for republican candidates. These machines have been proven multiple times to be easily hacked and have provided unusual and unexpected results in many races. The companies have resisted investigation by claiming their machines are proprietary, which is a problem for fair and free elections. See http://www.salon.com/2011/09/27/votinghack/ and http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/empire/2012/may/09/reports-find-machine-errors-led-uncounted-votes-2010/ and http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

6. Unregulated and unlimited propaganda in campaigns through so called social welfare super pacs thanks to Citizens United.

This means even greater effort on our part to get out the vote and register new voters. Do not underestimate the other side. They are motivated, disciplined, and are cheating!

Pic of the moment: How The Republican Convention Contradicts The Entire Republican Convention

How can they even take themselves seriously?

Via Upworthy: [link:http://www.upworthy.com/how-the-republican-convention-contradicts-the-entire-republican-convention?c=upw1|

You're Not Entitled!

This long blog post is a good read. This excerpt is to whet your appetite:

You’re not entitled to not pay taxes just because you’re rich. You’re not entitled to go around whining about how you shouldn’t have to pay at the same rate as everybody else because you allegedly create jobs – except of course you’ve had those tax exemptions since the Bush Administration and you and your pals in the venture capital world have yet to create a single goddamned job. In fact, you’re not entitled to talk about how the American jobless rate is over eight percent when you’re the asshole who outsourced all the jobs to India and Mexico in the first place – just because it made for a momentary increase in the bottom line during your whole one year tenure as a serial CEO. You’re not entitled to live without the consequences just because you work on Wall Street. You’re not entitled to a golden parachute and twenty million dollar bonuses when everybody else in the company you turned into a smoking crater is out on the street and the stockholders are left with nothing but a pile of worthless paper. You’re not entitled to stick the rest of us with all the risk and none of the profit when you use our retirement funds to make bad investments. You’re not entitled to bankrupt businesses and liquidate jobs and squander bailout funds on parties and bonuses and then lecture the rest of us on the virtue of living within our means. You’re not entitled to sell bad investments and fraudulent mortgages and generally behave like a fat greedy pig at a trough and then have the nerve act like you’re some kind of a stodgy carefully conservative business genius. You’re not entitled to live outside the law just because you’ve got millions in the bank. You’re not entitled to make anonymous political contributions and buy elections and claim that you’re just engaging in “freedom of speech.” You’re not entitled to make billions, billions, in quarterly profits and then claim that you need more billions in government subsides to remain profitable – and, of course, create those jobs you keep promising us. And while we’re on that subject, you’re not entitled to demand government subsides and then donate money to political parties because you’re “opposed to socialism.”

Good stuff. Yes?

Read the whole thing here:

Chilean Economist Manfred Max-Neef on Barefoot Economics - Democracy Now!

One, the economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.

Two, development is about people and not about objects.

Three, growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

Four, no economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.

Five, the economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.


All Conservatism all the time (i.e. getting only one side of the story)

I am so sick of this election. I have been for a year now. Since the Republicans are having primaries to choose a candidate to oppose the President there has been nonstop coverage of all things Republican and conservative. Every failed conservative policy idea, every right wing lie, canard, and every crazy statement has been aired and uncritically discussed, analyzed and presented with an air credibility and respect that is demonstrably unwarranted. Every candidate, election staff member, booster, conservative pundit, and marble mouthed, ignorant, moronic hick is constantly given air time to spew their lies and falsehoods without any follow up or challenge. It is a non-stop deluge of conservatism with hardly any balance or critical analysis. Yes we occasionally hear about the Occupy Movement activities. But it is often just a brief report of what is going on with precious little else or serious discussion of their ideas or interviews of participants. Compare that to the deluge of coverage given to the debates. Unless you expressly look for it, the regular news consumer is hardly ever exposed to progressive ideas. When they are it is usually only briefly and critically. It’s no wonder conservatism has such a hold on this country.
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