Saturday, December 18, 2010

Surely the Founding Fathers would want to see this civic ideal come to pass.

An informed citizenry would be the best counter-influence against lies, videos, and outright demagoguery. An informed citizenry will be one of those civically-intended checks and balances ...

Right?

Not if there is a failure to take into account a need for citizens to learn critical thinking. If that doesn't happen ... this is the sad failure we all have to live with .... dimwits who don't know they are dimwits living among us.


Fox News viewers are much more likely than others to believe false information about American politics, a new study concludes.
The study, conducted by the University of Maryland, judged how likely consumers of various news outlets and publications were to believe misinformation about a wide range of political issues. Overall, 90% of respondents said they felt they had heard false information being given to them during the 2010 election campaign. However, while consumers of just about every news outlet believed some information that was false, the study found that Fox News viewers, regardless of political information, were "significantly more likely" to believe that:
  • --Most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely)
  • --Most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points)
  • --The economy is getting worse (26 points)--Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points)
  • --The stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points)
  • --Their own income taxes have gone up (14 points)
  • --The auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points)
  • --When TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points)
  • --And that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points)
In addition, the study said, increased viewership of Fox News led to increased belief in these false stories.

 Of course the obvious conclusion may be even scarier

... the unfortunate intersection of a dimwit with unlimited funds with which to self-entertain forms a group of broadcast dimwits who are in truth no more critically thoughtful than their gullible broadcast targets.

The blind leading the blind with all of them forcefully trying to insist there are no skid marks in their underwear.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rather be part of the global bully club than admit that we could and should do much better?

Well ... are you a blow hard patriot who thinks what's good for America better by-god be good enough for the rest of the world? Are you offended by folks like wikileaks who reveal our darkest side to public view?

... Or are you a patriot of courage, willing to learn about the hard stuff and publicly oppose it so that an end to national shame might come closer?


Tea-Patriot question: Cut taxes where and how much?

Seattle Times: Did voters favor 'cheap soda' over health care for poor?

Washington voters in November rejected new taxes, including one on candy and carbonated beverages.

The title of this article asks an acutely moral question with implications across the greater societal spectrum in America where civic sounding fluff against taxes comes hard against society's ability to care for it's most vulnerable members.

In the Darwinian Survival-of-the-Capitalistic-Fittest cartoon world beloved of those who profess that shallowest sort of conservative thoughts a gigantic moral question arises.

Does free market priority (of which there is nothing sacred, holy or indisputably the best economic form)  supersede  the priority of the highest good of all concerned?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why do so many equate Christian attitudes to moral hypocrisy? Well ... sometimes it's better to resist the urge to speak.

Writing about the beliefs of Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away this week and who did not believe in the Christian version of salvation and the hereafter, Donald Douglas and his religious/political observance again demonstrates why Christians are equated with moral hypocrisy.

Clearly Elizabeth Edwards wants to put her faith in something, be it hope or strength or anything. But not God.
I wonder if it's just bitterness, that's she's been forsaken by more than just her estranged husband --- that's she's been forsaken by Him.
And imagine if she'd have become First Lady. Americans generally expect outward expressions of faith in our presidents, Christian faith especially, and thus in our First Ladies as well.
... Being anti-religion is cool, so Edwards' non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists. Still, at her death bed and giving what most folks are calling a final goodbye, Elizabeth Edwards couldn't find it somewhere down deep to ask for His blessings as she prepares for the hereafter? I guess that nihilism I've been discussing reaches up higher into the hard-left precincts than I thought.

Douglas refers to Elizabeth Edwards' Facebook goodbye.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

... they can see how pathetic a society we are ... and it amuses the rest of the world

You will not find a more accurate dependency- intervention essay this year ... blunt, crude, brutally honest and should be required reading for everyone who still lives in the "it's not too late crowd."

The rest of the crowds in mamby-pamby land and the arena of pretend patriots wouldn't understand it.

If you are insulted by the import of this essay and its title, bite your proud lip, gird up your loins and find the courage to read, ponder and start asking questions.

If you are content to have someone already giving you answers to questions you have not really asked and ignoring the ones you might ask, you just might be the dumb subject yourself. You wouldn't DARE read Joe Bageant all the way to the end now ... would you?


AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?
Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

By Joe Bageant


Excerpts:
... digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

... Doubting readers may consider America's health institutions, the insurance corporations, hospital chains, physicians' lobbies. Between them they have established a perfectly legal right to clip you and me for thousands of dollars at their own discretion. That we so rabidly defend their right to gouge us, given all the information available in the digital age, mystifies the world.
... Purposeful ignorance allows us to enjoy cheaper commodities produced through slave labor, both foreign, and increasingly, domestic, and yet "thank god for his bounty" in the nation's churches without a trace of guilt or irony.
... Americans fail to grasp this because the most important fact (that a helluva lot of folks can't afford to bid, and therefore get to die early) never gets equal play with capitalist political propaganda, to wit, that if we give free medical attention to low income cleft palate babies, a wave of Leninism will seize the nation. That is cultural ignorance. We breathe the stuff every day of our lives.
But when Americans too poor to buy health care nevertheless vote to retain the corporate auction process, that is cultural stupidity.
... Cultural ignorance dictates that the best way to stop foreign terrorists flying into the country is by humiliating American citizens flying out of the country. Go ahead, grope me, X-ray my dick and for god sake don't let anyone bring a large bottle of shampoo on board. In an obedient, authority worshipping police state, physical insult and surveillance are proof of safety. 
It's profitable too, and not just for scanner manufacturers. The brouhaha over body scanners and crotch groping provide media with titillating fuel for ratings, thereby driving up TV advertising rates, which is passed on in the price of products we buy.
So we pay to be insulted, have the hell scared out of us, and to unknowingly have our behavior shaped. Under American style capitalism, this mobius strip of cultural ignorance is called a win-win situation for everybody. 
This also conveniently distracts us from the everyday human insult we practice on one another, as a result of state manufactured cultural misinformation -- fear.
... Societies declining into obsolescence understandably resist looking forward, and hang onto their past mythologies. Consequently, both liberals and conservatives in America feed on myths of political action which died in Vietnam. The results are ludicrous.
Tea Partiers attempt to emulate the 1960s protest gatherings by staging rallies sponsored by the richest beneficiaries of the status quo. For the average TP participant, the goal, near as I can tell, is to "start a new American Revolution," by wearing foodstuffs, screaming, threatening, and voting for nitwits. Media pundits proclaim the Tea Party "a historic populist movement."
... Progressives also fancy a revolution, one in which they participate through the Internet petitions, and media events such as the risk free Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity, where no one risked even missing an episode of Tremaine. Seeing people like themselves on television was proof fighting the good fight.
The Stewart rally was nonetheless culturally historic; we will never see a larger public display of post modern irony congratulating itself. 


To my kids and grandkids: It's YOUR future not mine. People of my generation in charge have done nothing to disprove the dumbness. Besides, why would you take serious the opinions of past-their-prime oldisters while you are convinced that you are just now moving into yours?

It's time you stopped fiddling around in the on-deck circle while aging never-were-stars keep swinging in vain for the fences with your lives and treasures.

If it's not already too late, turn your cute little cap around, drop your cell phone, turn off your HD, forget about who can dance, who can survive and whose birth certificate is in the Smithsonian.

Come on!

Step up to the plate and take charge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meddling: Arrogant ignorance swabbed with naivete defines human fondness for prejudice

Reference the legal jousting around whether or not the right to marry is the property of nosy and meddling churches.

A speaker hired by a church tells a judge the intentions and reasons behind what God does, When God does it … and why.

 

The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children.

Society has no particular interest in a platonic relationship between a man and a woman no matter how close, no matter how committed it may be, or emotional relationships between other people as well.

But, when a relationship between a man and woman becomes a sexual one society immediately has a vital interest in that for two reasons - one, society needs the creation of new life for the next generation.

But secondly, [society’s vital] interests are actually threatened by the possibility that unintentional and unwanted pregnancy will mean that the child is born out of wedlock and raised by, in all likelihood, its mother alone and that directly implicates society’s vital interests. – Charles Cooper, a mere lawyer pretending his is the opinion of the Law-Giver, arguing in support of Proposition 8

I agree with the judge who responded that the legal scribe’s presumptive logic about the mind of God better applies as a reason to prohibit divorce.

 

Sorry … but the notion that God loses sleep in his own bedroom because of what happens in another bedroom … and that God awakens and stirs up dull and delirious biblicists and tells them to go meddle has long ago crossed over into the venue of ridiculous.

 

I support the right of anyone to marry anyone else … nothing more, nothing less … we have no business meddling.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The most beloved conservative commentator in Republicanistan still thinks his adoring listeners are stupid.

From the hallowed 11/24/10 broadcast from Premier Radio Network's The Rush Limbaugh Show:



   How many native americans were killed by the arrival of the white man through disease and war?
   ... how many people have died since the wm arrived due to lung cancer, thanks to the Indian custom of    smoking? 
  Who are the real killers here?
Where are our reparations?
PZ Meyer gave the best response ... one I challenge any adorer of Limbaugh to refute point by point or logic of argument ... that is of course if Limbaugh is wrong about how dumb his listeners are.


The white man nearly exterminated all of the native peoples of this continent by infection and execution and confinement.
Conversely, the European invaders have thrived, have suffered no general deprivation of life or liberty at the hands of the native population (although there were transient local flareups of violence that did cause suffering in white populations, but which were always followed by imposing greater torment on the natives).
White peoples: massive net gain. Native peoples: massive net loss. Fat privileged jerks like Rush Limbaugh do not get to play the persecution card.
And don't even get me started on the smoking comment.
Watching your children die of smallpox, seeing your friends gunned down by cavalry, having your land stripped from under you, watching your way of life eradicated, and seeing your descendants condemned to a life of poverty does not quite stack up against lighting a stogie and sipping brandy with your over-privileged pale-skinned buddies.
And who, I ask, is profiting from tobacco? I don't think it's the native Americans.

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