Apr 13 2013

Lawrence Lessig on US election corruption

Kal @ 20:53

Bipartisan equal opportunity corruption.

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

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Category: Politics | misinformation | Morals | Climate Change

May 3 2012

Waco is Wacky

Kal @ 16:47

From Booman Tribune today.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled "We believe in God!" and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they'd always suspected.

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Category: Politics | Morals

Aug 14 2010

Chimpanzee Politics – Might Makes Right

Kal @ 10:56

In response to a wingnut rant email, mostly about how terrible it would be to let the Bush tax cuts expire, I responded with a comment that any discussion of taxes should include what the tax money is being spent on.

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Category: Morals | Politics | wingnuttery

Feb 11 2010

U.S – Third World Empire Police State?

Kal @ 12:27

John MIchael Greer lays out a persuasive case that the U.S. is really a third world country, but that our standard of living is so high because we are a military empire.

The US has the world’s most expensive military because, just now, it has the world’s largest empire. Now of course it’s not polite to talk about that in precisely those terms, but let’s be frank – the US does not keep its troops garrisoned in more than a hundred countries around the world for the sake of their health, you know. That empire functions, as empires always do, as a way of tilting the economic relationships between nations in a way that pumps wealth out of the rest of the world and into the coffers of the imperial nation. It may never have occurred to you to wonder why it is that the 5% of the world’s population who live in the US get to use around a third of the world’s production of natural resources and industrial products – certainly it never seems to occur to most Americans to wonder about that – but the economics of empire are the reason.

This is from his article Becoming a Third World Country. 

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Category: Morals | Politics

Jan 12 2010

Google Gets It - A new approach to China

Kal @ 20:31

From the Official Google Blog

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

The decision to review our business operations in China has been incredibly hard, and we know that it will have potentially far-reaching consequences. We want to make clear that this move was driven by our executives in the United States, without the knowledge or involvement of our employees in China who have worked incredibly hard to make Google.cn the success it is today. We are committed to working responsibly to resolve the very difficult issues raised.

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Category: Morals | Politics

Nov 7 2009

stupak

Kal @ 22:08

New definitition for an existing word.

stupak (STU-pak)  n.

1. The sepsis commonly experienced after unsafe back alley abortions.

Example: She died from acute stupak.

2. A six-pack of stupid.

Example: It takes a six pack of stupid to propose an amendment that would send us back to the "good old days" when women died from sepsis as a result of having to go to back alley abortionists.

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Category: Morals | Politics | wingnuttery

Oct 22 2009

T-Shirt as Billboard

Kal @ 16:27

All of these shirt images came in the same e-mail. They are not the most obnoxious images that have been sent my way.

PatriotismEqualsSocialism-300

I suppose the idea of this first one is that patriotism and socialism are somehow opposites. But it can just as easily be read as one equals the other; that is, patriotism and socialism are two sides of the same coin.  Of course, neither of these is correct by itself; there can be good or bad socialism and good or bad patriotism, and points between for each.

Vote Democrat-300

Good idea. We need all the votes we can get. Bring your own reasons.

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Category: Morals | wingnuttery

Oct 20 2009

Oh how they love to make up stuff about the Obamas

Kal @ 23:10

Greg took a couple of days off and even looked up the story on FactCheck where it is thoroughly debunked, but I guess he just could not resist, he forwarded it on anyway. It has been obvious for some time that wingnuts do not care about the truth, only the chance to point a finger and snigger to one another.

Fw: The First Lady solves Unemployment problem in US

The new Camelot...........lololol

Something I'm sure you'd love to forward on.  Though it is incorrect, as to the staff for prior First Lady's.

http://m.factcheck.org/2009/08/michelle-obamas-staff/

Greg


Seriously! First Lady's 22 Assistants.
First Ladies do  have assistants.  A history sampling with background story.  
Laura Bush = one  
Hillary Clinton =  three
Jackie Kennedy =  one
Michelle Obama =  twenty-two

This was followed by detailing these civil servants and their salaries, which I am not going to include because the factcheck link has it all. You can look it up if you care. But I will include the FactCheck answer:

Michelle Obama’s Staff

Q: Does First Lady Michelle Obama have an "unprecedented" number of staffers?

A: A spokeswoman for the first lady says that Michelle Obama currently has a staff of 24. That may indeed be the largest of any first lady, but Hillary Clinton, with 19 staffers, and Laura Bush with at least 18 and perhaps more, weren’t far behind.

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Category: wingnuttery | Politics | Morals | misinformation | hoax

Oct 18 2009

Dehumanize to facilitate aggression

Kal @ 13:09

From Wikipedia – Dehumanization

Dehumanization is the process by which members of a group of people assert the "inferiority" of another group through subtle or overt acts or statements. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization (such as a state) or may be the composite of individual sentiments and actions, as with some types of de facto racism.

Dehumanization is clearly alive and well in the wingnut e-mails, usually disguised as “humor”. A couple of days ago there were two from the same source.

Sort of Racist I guess.  Oh well.  Whatever!!!!!!

OUR FIRST COUPLE

Party time at the White House!

PARTYING AT THE WHITE HOUSE....Need I say more????

fake party at white house

I responded with “The point?”

No point.  Just a little humor.  Oh sorry I forgot.  Anything goes as long as it is directed at White Republican Politicians but God forbid if there is any humor whether well founded or not directed toward Liberal-Black-Muslim Politicians!!!!!   

Maybe the wingnuts circulated dehumanizing stuff about George Bush as well? I wonder why they never sent it to me?

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Category: wingnuttery | Politics | Morals

Oct 11 2009

If they are not running things, then it is not America

Kal @ 14:28

Paul Rosenberg wrote another thoughtful piece: Three Perspectives on The (D)evolution of Rightwing Lies [emphasis in what follows is mine]

On Tuesday, I posted a Quick Hit about conservatives' newfound discovery that Bible is full of liberal bias, and therefore must be rewritten more along the lines of Atlas Shrugged.  Maybe I'm just imagining things, but I think I see a pattern here, a definite progression of the crazies. Just before that, you'll recall, there was the widespread outbreak of glee that America had lost the bid for the 2016 Olympics.  And since I began working on this diary mid-week, Obama won the Nobel Prize, leading to another round of conservative frenzy.  So, knee-jerk patriotism and Biblical literalism are suddenly out on the right.  That's got to be big news.

In short, the disconnect is particularly strikingly.  That is, until you take a step back, and see the underlying consistency: to the conservative America-haters: in their minds, they alone are America.  If they're not running things, then it's not America.  It's just that simple. Which is why it's fine to talk about secession as soon as they lose an election, and to make a hero out of a racist backbencher who disrespects the President during a joint session of Congress by screaming out a lie, accusing the President of being a liar.  If you are the real America and everyone else is not, well, then, you can do pretty much whatever you want--and do it all in the name of America.  You can destroy America--just like the South tried to do during the War of Southern Aggression--and if you can do that, then you damn sure can cheer your heart out when America loses in some international competition, even one that brings a lot of jobs with it during a recession.

The same logic applies in rewriting the Bible.  If you're the only real Christians then the Bible says what you say it says, period.  "Who are you going to believe--me or your lying eyes?" becomes, "Who are you going to believe--me or your lying eyes when you read the Bible?"  They've been telling us to ignore the Gospels and think only of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Revelations for decades on end now.  As with their America-bashing, this is merely the next logical step.

He goes on to talk about the ‘big lie’, and why it is so effective.

… What's more, I don't think it's quite the whole story to say that "the public will view spinned parsings as admissions of guilt, yet accept enraged refutations as ineluctably true."  While this certainly may be the result, I would argue that many people in the public are quite aware of what's going on, whether they'll say so openly or not.  There is a dimension of psychological collusion involved that's very important.  Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their sort lie outrageously to their audiences, and many who listen raptly know at some level that they're being lied to-indeed, that is why they listen, to hear the lies they want others to validate for them.

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Category: wingnuttery | Politics | Morals