Sunday, June 30, 2013

Limbaugh: Great Propagandist Or Greatest Propagandist?


Yesterday, we posted a link on our Facebook site, "Another Major Advertiser Dumps Rush Limbaugh – Boycotters Rejoice," from Liberals Unite at Samuel-warde.com, where they noted that "...Over 2600 national and local companies have succumbed to the Rush Limbaugh boycotts and petitions. Thousands of everyday people, as well as activists, have jumped on board to protest and put an end to Limbaugh’s blatant racism, sexism and gay-hating bigotry which he spins three hours a day, five days a week.  This time, the bailing company is SodaStream..."


We have yet to devote much space to Limbaugh except to note periodically his historic significance as one of the best propagandists in the business since Joseph Goebbels.  This omission should be corrected, and we begin by reprinting a short introduction, from Kellysite.net "Who Is 'Successful' Rush Limbaugh?":

"WHO IS "SUCCESSFUL" RUSH LIMBAUGH?




"According to Fortune Magazine, 'So far as the response of his audience is concerned, (he) is just about the biggest thing that ever happened to radio.' At one point, he had a stenographic staff of 145 to handle the tremendous volume of mail he was receiving.

"Rush Limbaugh? Nope. Father Charles Edward Coughlin, the "radio priest" of the 1930s.

"The similarities between Coughlin and Limbaugh are striking. In the 30s, Coughlin appealed to large numbers of the American public who wanted simple solutions for the complex economic problems of the depression. Radio listeners were eager to listen to anyone who would offer scapegoats to blame—as long as the scapegoats were 'them' and not 'us.'

"Coughlin's villains were government bureaucrats and 'big shots,' Jewish bankers and congressmen from New York City, the eastern elite and the New Deal Democrats—especially those with Jewish-sounding names. Although he charged others with being Fascists, he eventually defended the Nazis in their effort to 'block the Jewish-Communist plan for subjugating Germany.'

"Rush Limbaugh: Today's Father Coughlin




"For Limbaugh, today's villains are the homeless, the NAACP and various black leaders, the news media, welfare mothers, Democrats, liberals, 'Maarriooo,' American Indians, various indigenous peoples of the world —and anyone else who exposes, or represents, genuine weaknesses in our political system. While charging others with being 'feminazis,' 'enviromaniacs,' or fascists, he appeals to the prejudices of all those who never quite bought the idea that we need to address the historic injustices and costly problems of our country.

"Whether you agree or disagree with Limbaugh's views, you owe it to yourself to understand the reasons for his success. A good place to begin is to read Demagogues of the Depression by David Bennett, or The Fine Art of Propaganda by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. Both are based on the life of Coughlin and his demagogic techniques, such as: 'Band Wagon,' 'Name Calling,' 'Glittering Generality,' 'Transfer,' 'Testimonial,' 'Plain Folks,' and 'Card Stacking.'

Coughlin, addressing large Clevelan crowd.

"As did Coughlin, Limbaugh uses all of them, but the most effective is undoubtedly the 'Band Wagon.' By screening callers, he gives the impression that there is a huge silent majority of right-thinking Americans out there who support the radical views he stands for. The rare 'liberal' he lets get through the switchboard is either a 16 year old student who wants high schools to hand out free condoms, or a person with a severe case of mike fright.

"Right now, many politicians welcome invitations to speak on Limbaugh's program and to associate with him at public gatherings. Apparently they don't realize that, when they link themselves with the mentality and viewpoints of a Rush Limbaugh, they say more about their own values than all the public pronouncements of their spin doctors.

"Republican Values: 1990s versus 1940s

"In 1940, Father Charles Coughlin endorsed Republican candidate Wendell Willkie for U.S. president. To his credit, when Willkie heard of the endorsement, he said: 'I am not only not interested in his support, I don't want it.' (Reported in THE GREAT DEPRESSION, by T.H. Watkins.)

"Note that Fr. Coughlin is now on every historian's list as one of the most famous American demagogues of the depression.

"Contrast Willkie with recent Republicans. Just prior to the 1992 Republican convention, Limbaugh announced that he had just had a 45-minute conversation with Bob Dole, and he described in detail some of the things they had talked about. More recently, he interviewed both Dole and Kemp on his radio program.

"The Charlotte Observer (6/23/96) reported Sen. Patrick Ballantine's (R-New Hanover) reaction to a stalemate in the NC legislature: 'What we're going to do is put them (Republican ads) on Rush so we can get to our Republican base. That'll spread the word like wildfire.' And in 1995, U.S. House Republicans even made Limbaugh an honorary member.

"How times have changed. Whereas Republican Willkie publicly denounced the leading demagogue of the '30s, today's Republicans not only welcome the support of the leading demagogue of the '90s, they actively curry his favor. Thus they endorse his values (such as the glorification of greed), his lack of ethical standards in communicating (i.e., half truths and innuendoes), and his lack of commitment to objective problem solving (such as distracting the public from the real causes of income disparity between the top 20% of Americans and everyone else).



"Recent political changes in our country suggest that most people want leaders who will actually address and solve our country's problems—not make them worse by blaming, dividing, and scapegoating.

"And if we all spread the word about what's really happening in our country, we can regain our traditional, true, family values."

And from the Daily Kos, we get this amusing biographical sketch in their piece by "BenGoshi," "Limbaugh defends a pedophile. Reminds us of his own proclivities."

"I'm not saying Rush Limbaugh's a pedophile, that he's a fat old sweaty man who likes to have sex with children. But since he's the de facto head of the Republican Party, I think asking whether his personal conduct squares with his Party's 24/7 proclamations of standing at the top of the Moral High Ground is legitimate. Besides, his and like-minded persons' track-record, one cannot be blamed for wondering...

"Three things worth noting and considering:

"1. We all know that a great number of Über Conservatives maintain sexual impulses that range from the merely unusual, to howlingly weird, to the tragic & creepy. Why should Limbaugh be any different? Well? I mean just being a blowhard can't be the only reason he's gone through 3 wives, can it?

"2. Sadly, the Dominican Republic has been a destination country for sex tourism. This is a matter of record. We know of at least one trip to the DR taken by Limbaugh wherein he packed Viagra, a drug used to make a man's otherwise flaccid penis hard in order to have sex. That trip occurred in June 2006, about a year and a half after Limbaugh's third divorce (note that attorneys had that court file Sealed. Why was that, Rush?). About 7 1/2 years ago a Harvard University report cited a study in which the DR as one of the Latin American/Caribbean nations where children were sexually exploited in and by the sex tourism trade:
'"Casa Alianza, a non-profit advocacy group for street children in Mexico and Central America, estimates that some 5,000 street children in Honduras are involved in sex tourism. Similar problems exist in Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. . . .'
"Limbaugh took his Viagra to the Dominican Republic about 3 1/2 years after this report came out. From the abstract of a United Nations study:
"'Included in the preliminary findings is a case study from yet another region, Latin America and the Caribbean. This case is included as an illustration of a coordinated effort to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children for the purposes of sex tourism in the Dominican Republic. . . .'
This is not a problem that's run its course in the DR. From a March 2010 article:
"'The study, by law professor Benjamin Perrin from the University of British Columbia, found that the offenders – mostly men – usually travel from a rich country to a developing region such as Latin America, an area which is growing in popularity and replacing southern Asia as the main destination for sex offenders due to its low cost and close proximity. . .' 
"'In 2008, nearly 11,700 [global hotel giant] Accor employees were trained worldwide to recognize a typical high-risk situation. These training programs were conducted in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Singapore), Africa (Ivory Coast, Benin, Senegal, and Cameroon), Europe (Austria and Switzerland) and in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic).'
"3. While all of this may be circumstantial, it certainly makes Limbaugh's actions consistent with American/conservative sex tourists (see end of the article), even those who exploit children. What caused me to write this Diary, though, was Limbaugh's remarks yesterday, April 19, wherein he blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on, and railed against, Bill Clinton and Janet Reno for the raid on the Branch Dividian compound in 1993 without ever mentioning that it's freak leader, David Koresh, was, according to multiple accounts, a proud, unabashed child molester/rapist.

.

"So, then, Limbaugh's a hard core, holier-than-thou conservative, just like the politicians and preachers who have practiced all sorts of wrongful and/or otherwise sordid sex acts. He travels to the Dominican Republic -- without question a sex tourist destination -- with Viagra. He's an apologist for child molester and cult leader David Koresh. Does this mean Limbaugh sexually exploits anyone, especially children? No. Is it consistent with a deviant who does? It seems that way to me. I don't know for sure, though. Wish Limbaugh would stop avoiding the subject, though."

The comments after the original post are fascinating as ditto-monkey Conservative Sheeplets attempt to diffuse the explosion of the circumstantial evidence surrounding Limbaugh's sexuality.

We'll follow up in successive days on the study of the populist-propaganda that has made an underserving human being so wealthy, starting with the science of propaganda itself.



Who knows, someone reading this can learn how to help convince Sheeplets as well as the uninformed voters how necessary for democracy it is to criminalize Conservatism before it's too late.



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"...no other animal is so stupid as a human fool." Herbert J. Muller,

*Freedom In The Ancient World.*


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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Class Warfare And Man-Made Climate Change: Miami Is Doomed


"Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It’s Not A Question Of If -- It’s A Question Of WhenClimate change is for real -- and Miami has front row seats. Scientist's explanation is highly shocking," a story by  Joe Romm at Alternet.org, is a departure from our usual topics of education and entertainment.

Climate change has been denied by Conservatives, and their denials in the face of scientific fact hide their true fear: that climate change has been proven to be man-made, and that it's an issue of Class Warfare since the change has come about by the unregulated industrial and commercial arenas...arenas owned and ruled by the 2 percent.

The reason?  The 2 percent are horrified that they will  be found guilty of pushing the country - and the World - towards a premature extinction caused by the continual release of byproducts of unrestrained capitalism since the Industrial Revolution.

And their only reaction to the truth is Class Warfare.


On to the piece:

"Jeff Goodell has a must-read piece in Rolling Stone, “Goodbye, Miami: By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin.



"Goodell has talked to many of the leading experts on Miami including Harold Wanless, chair of University of Miami’s geological sciences, department, source of the headline quote. The reason climate change dooms Miami is a combination of sea level rise, the inevitability of ever more severe storms and storm surges — and its fateful, fatal geology and topology, which puts 'more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea-level rise':
"South Florida has two big problems. The first is its remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level. Its highest natural elevation, a limestone ridge that runs from Palm Beach to just south of the city, averages a scant 12 feet. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won’t just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades.
"Even worse, South Florida sits above a vast and porous limestone plateau. 'Imagine Swiss cheese, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the rock under southern Florida looks like,' says Glenn Landers, a senior engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This means water moves around easily – it seeps into yards at high tide, bubbles up on golf courses, flows through underground caverns, corrodes building foundations from below. 'Conventional sea walls and barriers are not effective here,' says Robert Daoust, an ecologist at ARCADIS, a Dutch firm that specializes in engineering solutions to rising seas.
"The latest research 'suggests that sea level could rise more than six feet by the end of the century,' as Goodell notes, and 'Wanless believes that it could continue rising a foot each decade after that.'



(From Goodell's Rolling Stone article: "Sea-level rise is not a hypothetical disaster. It is a physical fact of life on a warming planet, the basic dynamics of which even a child can understand: Heat melts ice. Since the 1920s, the global average sea level has risen about nine inches, mostly from the thermal expansion of the ocean water. But thanks to our 200-year-long fossil-fuel binge, the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are starting to melt rapidly now, causing the rate of sea-level rise to grow exponentially. The latest research, including an assessment by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suggests that sea level could rise more than six feet by the end of the century. James Hansen, the godfather of global-warming science, has argued that it could increase as high as 16 feet by then – and Wanless believes that it could continue rising a foot each decade after that. "With six feet of sea-level rise, South Florida is toast," says Tom Gustafson, a former Florida speaker of the House and a climate-change-policy advocate. Even if we cut carbon pollution overnight, it won't save us. Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system.)


"Prudence dictates we plan for the plausible worst case. Coastal studies experts told the NY Times back in 2010, 'For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure.'

"Unfortunately, sea level rise is already 60% faster than projected. Goodell reports:
“'With six feet of sea-level rise, South Florida is toast,' says Tom Gustafson, a former Florida speaker of the House and a climate-change-policy advocate. Even if we cut carbon pollution overnight, it won’t save us. Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system.
"Certainly without sharp cuts in CO2 starting ASAP, Jason Box is correct (see “Manmade Carbon Pollution Has Already Put Us On Track For 69 Feet Of Sea Level Rise”).

"So we need a combination of aggressive mitigation combined with massive spending to develop completely new adaptation solutions for Miami to have any serious chance of surviving this century intact.



"Sadly, Florida is one of the last places in the country where such action and planning can be expected:
"Those solutions are not likely to be forthcoming from the political realm. The statehouse in Tallahassee is a monument to climate-change denial. 'You can’t even say the words "climate change" on the House floor without being run out of the building,' says Gustafson. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, positioning himself for a run at the presidency in 2016, is another denier, still trotting out the tired old argument that 'no matter how many job-killing­ laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather.' Gov. Rick Scott, a Tea Party Republican, says he’s 'not convinced' that global warming is caused by human beings. Since taking office in 2011, Scott has targeted environmental protections of every sort and slashed the budget of the South Florida Water Management District, the agency in charge of managing water supply in the region, as well as restoration of the Everglades. 'There is no serious thinking, no serious planning, about any of this going on at the state level,' says Chuck Watson, a disaster-­impact analyst with longtime experience in Florida. 'The view is, "Well, if it gets real bad, the federal government will bail us out." It is beyond denial; it is flat-out delusional.'
"Goodell’s whole article is worth reading, not just for the sober view of what South Florida faces but also for the beautiful writing:
"When it rains in Miami, it’s spooky. Blue sky vanishes and suddenly water is everywhere, pooling in streets, flooding parking lots, turning intersections into submarine crossings. Even for a nonbeliever like me, it feels biblical, as if God were punishing the good citizens of Miami Beach for spending too much time on the dance floor. At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors. A man waded out to help her, water up to his knees. This flooding has gotten worse with each passing year, happening not only after torrential rainstorms but during high tides, too, when rising sea water backs up through the city’s antiquated drainage system. Wanless, 71, who drives an SUV that is littered with research equipment, notebooks and mud, shook his head with pity.'This is what global warming looks like,' he explained. 'If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.'”
Climate Change is only one of the reasons that Conservative leaders, propagandists, and political strategists must keep the Sheeplets ignorant, why they want to abolish Critical Thinking from our schools, and why the word "science" has been an anathema to Conservatives and Christians since Copernicus and Galileo up to the present.  This is why  “You can’t even say the words ‘climate change’ on the House floor without being run out of the building.”

This is why greed trumps truth.



The War Against Science is a War Against Truth as well as a War Against The People, and until Conservatism is criminalized, the Wars will continue - especially the Class War.




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"From reading too much, and sleeping too little, his brain dried up on him and he
lost his judgment."

Miguel de Cervantes


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Friday, June 28, 2013

All You Need To Know About The Supreme Court Five's War On Democracy


The website, Consortium.com is one of the best investigative site in the business, offering such tidbits like their "New October Surprise Series" and other great pieces, and Robert Parry's article, "Supreme Court’s War on Democracy," is no exception to their fine brand of journalism.

"Exclusive: The U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority is a serial killer of American democracy – first Bush v. Gore, then Citizens United, now gutting the Voting Rights Act – but another part of this crime story is the Right’s grotesque last stand for white supremacy, writes Robert Parry.

"Whatever legalistic wording or tortured logic is applied, the ugly truth is that the narrow right-wing majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is at war with American democracy. Or, put a bit differently, these justices don’t believe that a democratic judgment relying on black and brown people should be respected.

"The five Republicans on the Court know full well that by striking down the preclearance requirement before electoral changes can be made in states and districts with a documented history of racial discrimination, they are inviting a wave of legal impediments to minority voting. The same five justices also knew that in 2010 their Citizens United ruling would open the floodgates for mostly right-wing billionaires to inundate political campaigns with misleading propaganda.

"And, the stage for this sustained judicial assault on democracy was set when the predecessor to the Roberts Court, the Rehnquist Court, intervened to stop the counting of votes in Florida and to effectively anoint Republican George W. Bush the President, though he lost the national popular vote and would have lost the swing state of Florida to Democrat Al Gore if all ballots legal under state law were counted. [See Neck Deep for details.]

"The Bush v. Gore case was the first clear indicator that the modern Republican Right was determined to use the Supreme Court as a weapon to negate democracy and assure continued GOP control of the U.S. government. The Right was determined to assert and maintain its power by almost any means possible.

There are still four of them left in office.


"Though Bush’s presidency turned out to be a disaster for the United States and the world, it was a godsend to the Court’s right-wing majority. Bush was able to replace two Republican justices who participated in appointing him – William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor – with right-wingers, John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

"Those two Bush appointments moved the Court even further to the Right and gave the Republicans hope that even amid the nation’s demographic changes, which were reflected in the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the nation’s first African-American president, there was still a way for right-wing and white power to be sustained.

"The Citizens United case of 2010 was the next blow, delivered by the Roberts Court, making possible unlimited spending from “dark pools” of cash to propagandize the American electorate. That surge of right-wing money – combined with progressive disappointment with the first two years of Obama’s presidency – helped elect rabidly right-wing Republican majorities in the House and in state capitals around the country.

"Given that 2010 was a census year, Republicans were empowered to gerrymander congressional seats to concentrate liberal voters in a few isolated districts and arrange for solid conservative majorities in most others. (The redistricting effectively guaranteed a continued Republican majority in the House even though Democratic candidates received about one million more votes nationwide in 2012.)

"Voter Suppression

"The outcome of Election 2010 also enabled Republican-controlled statehouses to begin a coordinated strategy to suppress the votes of blacks, Hispanics, the poor and the young – seen as predominantly Democratic voters – by requiring photo IDs, tightening eligibility and reducing voting hours.



"That plan, however, ran afoul of the Voting Rights Act, especially in Old Confederacy states like Texas which were covered by the preclearance requirement of the law. Using the Act, the Justice Department was able to beat back most of the attempts to infringe on suffrage – and minorities provided key votes to reelect President Obama in 2012.

"So, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (which had been reauthorized overwhelmingly by Congress in 2006) became the next target of the Roberts Court. In a historic ruling on Tuesday, the five right-wing justices – Roberts, Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas – gutted the law by ripping out the preclearance procedure.

"The five justices barely bothered with any logical or constitutional argument. Their central point was to publish charts that showed that black voting in areas under special protection of the Voting Rights Act was generally equal to or even higher than the percentages of white voters.

"But all that did was show that the law was working, not that those areas would not again resort to trickery once preclearance was removed. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in a dissent, there was no justification for the Court to overrule the judgment of Congress, reaffirmed only seven years ago.



"'Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet,' Ginsburg wrote.

"There also is no doubt that the Constitution grants Congress the explicit power to enact legislation to protect the voting rights of people of color. The Fifteenth Amendment states that 'The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.' It adds: 'The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.'

"The amendment was ratified in 1870 during Reconstruction, meaning that many whites from Southern states and other racist jurisdictions never accepted its legitimacy. Once Reconstruction ended in 1877, the whites of the Old Confederacy reasserted political control and deployed a wide array of tactics to deter many blacks from voting.

"It was not until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s that the federal government reasserted its determination to guarantee justice for African-Americans, including the right to vote through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Because the national Democratic Party took the lead in pushing these changes, many Southern whites switched their allegiance to the Republican Party.

"This white backlash gave impetus to the elections of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, all of whom appealed to white voters with coded racially tinged language. The Republican strategy also included putting like-minded justices on the Supreme Court with an eye toward rolling back the civil rights gains of the 1960s.



"To make its appeals to racism less offensive, the Right also began cloaking itself in the nation’s founding mythology, dressing up renewed appeals for “states’ rights” in a fabricated historical narrative that the key Framers of the Constitution – the likes of George Washington and James Madison – despised the idea of a strong central government when nearly the opposite was true. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Right’s Dubious Claim to Madison.”]

"Rebranding the Racists

"What the Right actually was doing with its bogus history was enabling today’s neo-Confederates to rebrand themselves, from the overt appeals to racism symbolized by the Stars and Bars by substituting the Revolutionary War banner of a coiled snake and 'Don’t Tread on Me' motto. Yet, despite the more popular imagery of 1776 over 1860, the philosophy remained the same.

"This cosmetic transformation of the Right – from its crude allusions to the Old Confederacy to its more palatable references to the Revolutionary War – surfaced most clearly after the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The Right recognized that the demographic shifts that made his election possible were also dooming the future of white supremacy.

"So, the Tea Party – invoking the Right’s carefully constructed founding myth – rallied to 'take our country back,' aided immensely by massive funding from the Koch Brothers and other right-wing billionaires.

"The Right’s current message remains wrapped in the word 'liberty' – much as that word was used by some of American slaveholders in the nation’s early years and by the Confederates during the Civil War. But the Right’s message is really all about the 'liberty' of white Americans to reign over — and rein in — non-white Americans.

"It is not even clear that many right-wing white Americans believe that blacks and other non-whites deserve citizenship, a position that many in the Tea Party appear to share with their forebears – some of the slaveholding Founders, the 'nullificationists' of the pre-Civil War South, the Confederates, and the Ku Klux Klan.

"That sentiment remained at the heart of the Jim Crow laws during Southern segregation denying citizenship rights to blacks despite the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments; it can be seen in the Right’s longstanding refusal to grant congressional voting rights to District of Columbia residents, many of whom are black and who face 'taxation without representation'; it is reflected in the Right’s obsession with the conspiracy theory about Obama being born in Kenya; and it fires up Republican opposition to immigration reform since it would permit some 11 million undocumented immigrants — mostly Hispanic — to eventually gain citizenship.



"It is this fear of real democracy – with its genuine promise of one person, one vote – that has now motivated the Supreme Court’s right-wing majority to give America’s neo-Confederates one more shot at reversing the nation’s acceptance of racial equality at the ballot box.

"If the civil rights era starting in the 1960s was a kind of Second Reconstruction – forcing fairness and decency down the throats of resentful Southern whites – then what Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito have done could be viewed as the start of a Second Jim Crow era.

"After the Voting Rights Act was gutted on Tuesday, some officials from the Old Confederacy immediately rubbed their hands with glee, anticipating how they could minimize the number of black and brown voters in future elections and maximize the number of white Republican members of Congress.

“'With today’s decision,' said Greg Abbott, the attorney general of Texas, 'the state’s voter ID law will take effect immediately. Redistricting maps passed by the Legislature may also take effect without approval from the federal government.'



"Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here."

The Constitution isn't precise about impeaching such criminal elements on the Supreme Court like we see under the Rehnquist-Roberts regime other than to say it's possible if they are guilty of "bad behavior."  And the impeachment of the SCOTUS Five isn't going to happen without a motivated Democratic majority in Congress, but the prestige of the Court has taken a fall that all the pandering efforts by Roberts won't erase.

Without a non-Conservative Supreme Court majority our democratic safeguards will continue to crumble in the direction of a new American Age of Feudalism, which will be just fine with the Fascistic Five.  They must  be one of the first targets for punishment after Conservatism is criminalized, with the Conservative officeholders past and present to be arrested right after them.

There are years of misery, death, and destruction caused by the rightwing leaders that must be avenged, and laws and regulations erased before democracy can even begin to tread water once again.

Criminalize Conservatism NOW.




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"How well he's read, to reason against reading!"

William Shakespeare


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Conservative Stupidity And Science, Revisited.


In a return to our popular series, "Conservatives Are Stupid," an article, "Do Racism, Conservatism, and Low I.Q. Go Hand in Hand?," subtitled, "Lower cognitive abilities predict greater prejudice through right-wing ideology"gand  published by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D. in Millennial Media and reprinted in Psychology Today, gives us more scientific input into the sad fact that Conservatives are, well...quite stupid compared to the rest of us:



"This morning as I logged onto Facebook, I came upon this image. Having followed the Boston marathon and MIT shooting coverage initially, I lost some interest when it came down to the 'hunt.' As much as justice matters to me, so does tact and class, and the sensationalism of manhunts always leaves me uncomfortable. I also knew it would be a matter of time before the political rhetoric would change from the victims and wounded to the demographic factors of the suspects—namely race and religion. And alas, it has.

"However, what struck me most about this image posted above was the Facebook page it came from, 'Too Informed to Vote Republican.' I wondered about this, recalling an old journal article I’d come across when studying anti-Islamic attitudes post 9/11. The paper referenced a correlation between conservatism and low intelligence. Uncertain of its origin, I located a thought-provoking article published in one of psychology’s top journals, Psychological Science, which in essence confirms this.




"Hodson and Busseri (2012) found in a correlational study that lower intelligence in childhood is predictive of greater racism in adulthood, with this effect being mediated (partially explained) through conservative ideology. They also found poor abstract reasoning skills were related to homophobic attitudes which was mediated through authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact.
"...it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies."
"What this study and those before it suggest is not necessarily that all liberals are geniuses and all conservatives are ignorant. Rather, it makes conclusions based off of averages of groups. The idea is that for those who lack a cognitive ability to grasp complexities of our world, strict-right wing ideologies may be more appealing. Dr. Brian Nosek explained it for the Huffington Post as follows, 'ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simple solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.' For an excellent continuation of this discussion and past studies, please see this article from LiveScience.



"Further, studies have indicated an automatic association between aggression, America, and the news. A study conducted by researchers at Cornell and The Hebrew University (Ferguson & Hassin, 2007) indicated, 'American news watchers who were subtly or nonconsciously primed with American cues exhibited greater accessibility of aggression and war constructs in memory, judged an ambiguously aggressive person in a more aggressive and negative manner, and acted in a relatively more aggressive manner toward an experimenter following a mild provocation, compared with news watchers who were not primed' (p. 1642). American 'cues' refers to factors such as images of the American flag or words such as 'patriot.' Interestingly, this study showed this effect to be independent of political affiliation, but suggested a disturbing notion that America is implicitly associated with aggression for news watchers.

"Taken together, what do these studies suggest? Excessive exposure to news coverage could be toxic as is avoidance of open-minded attitudes and ideals. Perhaps turn off the television and pick up a book? Ideally one that exposes you to differing worldviews.



"*Please note comments that are offensive, defamatory, discriminatory, racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise inappropriate will be automatically removed by the author’s discretion.

"References

"Furguson, M.J. & Hassin, R.R. (2007). On the automatic association between American and aggression for news watchers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 1632-1647.

"Hodson, G. & Busseri, M.A. (2012). Bright minds and dark attitudes: Lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice through right-wing ideology and low intergroup contact. Psychological Science, 23, 187-195."


Stupidity hurts, and for the People, Conservative stupidity hurts the most.  As cheerleaders in the Class Warfare that the Conservatives have been carrying on for hundreds of years, the Conservative Sheeplets have endorsed every act that their leaders have thought of, no matter how stupid.

And how stupid can people be?  The main answer is here, at "THE BASIC LAWS OF HUMAN STUPIDITY," by Carlo M. Cipolla --> (http://www.ecotopia.com/webpress/stupidity/), and over 60 articles from our series on proving that Conservative Stupidity is a scientific fact can be read at your leisure here --> (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid).





A sad state of affairs for all of us as the Sheeplets that continue on their blind obedience to their leadership.  If "Excessive exposure to news coverage could be toxic as is avoidance of open-minded attitudes and ideals," when Conservatism is criminalized, part of the rehabilitation of the Conservative Sheeplets will be the initial elimination of all news shows and panel discussions regarding current events.

Like an alcoholic attempting to quit drinking, only after they are cognizant of their stupidity will the Sheeplets be ready for some classes in critical Thinking, and hopefully new scientific discoveries will help remove some of the stupidity to enable the Sheeplets to exit the Re-eduation Camps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeducation_campand re-enter a civilized and democratic society.




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“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to
have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how
much he had learned in seven years.”

Mark Twain

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The SCOTUS Kills The Voting Rights Act: Right-Wing Judicial Activism At Its Worst!


Yesterday, the Supreme Court gave a hand to all Conservative politicians assaulting our voting rights.  Even though it gutted DOMA today (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-doma-decision_n_3454811.html), It just gutted the Voting Rights Act (1.), making it a lot harder to block radical right-wing governors and state legislatures from discriminating against millions of voters.


As Moveon.org noted in an email to its members, "This is devastating: The Supreme Court, following the most circular logic you've ever read, has struck down an essential part of the Voting Rights Act.  Some advocates are saying the Voting Rights Act has been gutted entirely. (2.)

"In short, the Voting Rights Act allows the federal government to stop discriminatory voting laws from being enacted by the states. And it's been working. Just last year, new laws were struck down in Texas, South Carolina and Florida—arguably three of the most important states for upcoming elections. (3.) Two of those defeated laws were deemed flat-out racist. (4.)

"Today's ruling clears the way for states with conservative legislatures to implement whatever voting laws they want. And it gives power to Congress to determine what, if any, states should now be covered by the VRA.

"This was right-wing judicial activism at its worst...



"The Supreme Court is opening the floodgates to a wave of conservative organizing to pass discriminatory laws state by state.lland voter suppression is one of them.

"...here's a preview of what we'll do:
"Push Congress to pass a fix. The Voting Rights Act was renewed with overwhelming majorities as recently as 2006. And the Supreme Court explicitly left the door open to Congress taking action to put the heart back in the Act. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just promised to take action.5 
"Push for a constitutional amendment: Our friends at ColorOfChange are leading the charge for a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to vote in the Constitution. If we have the resources, we'll make sure that MoveOn members around the country are plugged in as the amendment fight builds steam. 
"Proactive state-level legislation: We should be expanding the right to vote—not restricting it. States like Minnesota and Colorado are among those leading the nation on voting rights' expansion, with initiatives like online voter registration, same-day voter registration, and other initiatives."
1. "Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act," The New York Times,July 25, 2013
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=291071&id=70112-10041638-kA9zqpx&t=5

2. "Supreme Court Guts Voting Rights Act," Colorlines, June 25, 2013
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=291078&id=70112-10041638-kA9zqpx&t=6

3. "South Carolina voter ID law struck down," CBS News, December, 23, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=291073&id=70112-10041638-kA9zqpx&t=7

4. "Justice Department bars Texas voter ID law," The Washington Post, March 12, 2012
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=291072&id=70112-10041638-kA9zqpx&t=8

5. "Harry Reid: Senate 'will act' on Voting Rights Act," Politico, June 25, 2013
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=291086&id=70112-10041638-kA9zqpx&t=9



For whatever reason, Conservatives know the changing racial demographics in America pose a danger to their front group - the GOP - equivalent to man-made climate change and uncontrolled overpopulation on the rest of the world.


Notwithstanding the new-found power of the former inmates in the GOP asylum, the "Tea Partiers" in the Republican Party, the GOP-appointed shysters on the Supreme Court have gone a step further to prolong - or squelch - the death of the GOP at the polls.

The difference between the Conservative power structure of the past and today has been one of candor, "candor" representing avowal of every idea that Americans should hate as opposed to lying about their ideals - something conservatives hadn't done since john Adams losing his reelection run against Jefferson...until the rhetorical Truth Train of the Romney campaign fizzled when the 47 percent did as Romney predicted.

He was wrong in one important respect: he should have lied like Conservative winners had always lied. Some campaign consultant will finally remember his Machiavelli and advise the GOP to get back to basics and lie -- non-white voters tend to be skeptical of candidates in a participatory democracy who believe the upper classes must rule.

In a departure from our usual format, we are listing the stories and opeds that appeared over the 'net soon after the decision was announced, letting you see the complete scenario:

"Supreme Court guts key part of landmark Voting Rights Act," http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/25/us-usa-court-voting-idUSBRE95O0TU20130625

"Supreme Court Shreds Key Provision of the Voting Rights Act," http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/supreme-court-shreds-key-provision-of-the-voting-rights-act-20130625




"Justice Alito mocks female justices on the bench, Alito rolled his eyes and shook his head at Justice Ginsburg on Monday -- it wasn't the first time he's acted out," http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/justice_alito_mocks_female_justices_while_on_the_bench/

"Justice Samuel Alito’s middle-school antics," http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-justice-samuel-alitos-middle-school-antics/2013/06/24/534888f8-dd0d-11e2-9218-bc2ac7cd44e2_story.html

"Bernie Sanders Blasts The Supreme Court For Taking Us Back to Jim Crow Era Voting," http://www.politicususa.com/2013/06/25/bernie-sanders-blasts-supreme-court-jim-crow-era-voting.html

"Two Hours After The Supreme Court Gutted The Voting Rights Act, Texas AG Suppresses Minority Voters," http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/25/2212281/two-hours-after-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act-texas-ag-suppresses-minority-voters/

"Ku Klux Kourt Kills King's Dream Law, Replaces Voting Rights Act With Katherine Harris Acts," http://truth-out.org/news/item/17204-ku-klux-kourt-kills-kings-dream-law-replaces-voting-rights-act-with-katherine-harris-acts


"What the Supreme Court Doesn’t Understand About the Voting Rights Act," http://www.thenation.com/blog/174973/what-supreme-court-doesnt-understand-about-voting-rights-act#

"Justice Ginsburg Slams Supreme Court’s ‘Hubris’ In Fiery Dissent On Voting Rights Act," http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/06/ruth-bader-ginsburg-voting-rights-act-dissent.php

"Constitutional Accountability Center Condemns SCOTUS Voting Rights Act Ruling," http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/constitutional-accountability-center-condemns-scotus-voting-rights-act

We're sorry, but you're just the wrong color.


After flexing their muscles in 2000 with the judicial coup de etat known as Bush v. Gore to the Citizens United Decision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission), allowing their candidates and initiatives and referenda to be financed secretly - just like the Cosa Nostra did in the last century, and with the "personhood" of corporations allowed by a previous Conservative Bench - to today's decision killing the heart of the Voting Rights Act.


Before the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, it was improbable that any African Americans voted, and unless the Senate Judiciary acts promptly, with the dubious compliance of the Conservative House.

"Supreme Court can’t stop demographics," http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/06/25/supreme-court-cant-stop-demographics/?hpid=z2

The SCOTUS has slapped us in the face with this decision - an act that thrilled racist Southerners, and embarrassed non-racist Southerners - and we must fight back against fascist judges.

They restarted their War against Women last year and restarted the War Against non-Whites this year on June 25th.

Monies must be raised again, and in higher amounts. Polls have to be monitored, and lawyers readied to challenge the new voter i.d. laws readied for the next elections that have surfaced on the same day as the decision, made at 10:00am in anticipation that the Court was fixed.

The following is a prediction from someone who dislikes predicting events in such a complex field - politics:

The Conservatives will enhance and increase their efforts exponentially their expertise at vote fixing, vote theft, voter intimidation, voter and voter registration suppression, and any other method at their disposal to Fix The Vote including packing the courts with their shyster hacks.



Congress won't fix it and the White House can't.

Impeachment is a no-go (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment) and the only strategy is to step up the fight every two years. Only when the Congress is recaptured by the people, with the Quislings and Blue Dogs also assigned to the dustbin of history.

When the 2 percent is without protection of their paid office holders, when judges are outed for their Conservative rulings, and when school boards and regulatory agencies are purged of Conservatives and their Sheeplets and fellow travelers, the greediest of the rich among us will still continue their relentless pursuit of power and wealth and the subjection of the 98 percent.

Unless Conservatism is criminalized.



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"In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply
can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death."

Anne Frank


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Good Germans And Cheney The Traitor

Truthdig.com, named ‘Best News Website’ by the Los Angeles Press Club for the third time in four years (http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/truthdig_named_best_website_by_la_press_club_20130624/?ln), has two articles of great import:  "The Good Germans in Government" by Robert Scheer and "So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?" by Juan Cole.

The Snowden story hasn't come anywhere near completion, so we have yet to analyze the affair, and won't  until the story gets clearer.  But several things are already clear:  The reemergence of Diane Feinstein as the on-again, off-again DINO, and the reminder for us as to remember Cheney in his true colors as a traitor who will do anything to get his way -- even if it means he is the first and only sitting Vice President to turn traitor.

First, from the Scheer article:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks to the media. AP/Jacquelyn Martin.
"What a disgrace. The U.S. government, cheered on by much of the media, launches an international manhunt to capture a young American whose crime is that he dared challenge the excess of state power. Read the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and tell me that Edward Snowden is not a hero in the mold of those who founded this republic. Check out the Nuremberg war crime trials and ponder our current contempt for the importance of individual conscience as a civic obligation.

"Yes, Snowden has admitted that he violated the terms of his employment at Booz Allen Hamilton, which has the power to grant security clearances as well as profiting mightily from spying on the American taxpayers who pay to be spied on without ever being told that is where their tax dollars are going. Snowden violated the law in the same way that Daniel Ellsberg did when, as a RAND Corporation employee, he leaked the damning Pentagon Papers study of the Vietnam War that the taxpayers had paid for but were not allowed to read.

"In both instances, violating a government order was mandated by the principle that the United States trumpeted before the world in the Nuremberg war crime trials of German officers and officials. As Principle IV of what came to be known as the Nuremberg Code states: 'The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.'

"That is a heavy obligation, and the question we should be asking is not why do folks like Ellsberg, Snowden and Bradley Manning do the right thing, but rather why aren’t we bringing charges against the many others with access to such damning data of government malfeasance who remain silent?

"Is there an international manhunt being organized to bring to justice Dick Cheney, the then-vice president who seized upon the pain and fear of 9/11 to make lying to the public the bedrock of American foreign policy? This traitor to the central integrity of a representative democracy dares condemn Snowden as a 'traitor' and suggest that he is a spy for China because he took temporary refuge in Hong Kong.

"The Chinese government, which incidentally does much to finance our massive military budget, was embarrassed by the example of Snowden and was quick to send him on his way. Not so ordinary folk in Hong Kong, who clearly demonstrated their support of the man as an exponent of individual conscience.

"So too did Albert Ho, who volunteered his considerable legal skills in support of Snowden, risking the ire of Hong Kong officials. Ho, whom The New York Times describes as 'a longtime campaigner for full democracy [in Hong Kong], to the irritation of government leaders of the territory,' is an example of the true democrats around the world who support Snowden, contradicting Cheney’s smear.

"But U.S. Democrats have also been quick to join the shoot-the-messenger craze, ignoring the immense significance of Snowden’s revelations. Take Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Fool me once and shame on her, fool me dozens of times, as Feinstein has, and I feel like a blithering idiot having voted for her. After years of covering up for the intelligence bureaucracy, Feinstein is now chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and clearly for some time has been in a position to know the inconvenient truths that Snowden and others before him have revealed.



"Did she know that the NSA had granted Booz Allen Hamilton such extensive access to our telephone and Internet records? Did she grasp that the revolving door between Booz Allen and the NSA meant that this was a double-dealing process involving high officials swapping out between the government and the war profiteers? Did she know that the security system administered by Booz Allen was so lax that young Snowden was given vast access to what she now feels was very sensitive data? Or that private companies like Booz Allen were able to hand out 'top security' clearances to their employees, and that there now are 1.4 million Americans with that status?

"As with her past cover-ups of government lying going back to the phony weapons of mass destruction claims made to justify the Iraq War, Feinstein, like so many in the government, specializes in plausible deniability. She smugly assumes the stance of the all-knowing expert on claimed intelligence success while pretending to be shocked at the egregious failures. She claims not to have known of the extent of the invasion of our privacy and at the same time says she is assured that the information gained 'has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks. ...' If so, why did she not come clean with the American public and say this is what we are doing to you and why?

The Good Feinstein

"Instead, Feinstein failed horribly in the central obligation of a public servant to inform the public and now serves as prosecutor, judge and jury in convicting Snowden hours after his name was in the news: 'He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason,' she said.

"Treason is a word that dictators love to hurl at dissidents, and when both Cheney and Feinstein bring it back into favor, you know that courageous whistle-blowers like Snowden are not the enemy."

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book, “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”



Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more atwww.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

Pretty distasteful and not the only time that Feinstein has taken the wrong side as a DINO, Democrat In Name Only...but if this story leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the article by Juan Cole is sure to bring the gorge up:

"So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?" is another piece reminding us that if Bush 43 can't be hauled up before the World Court and our politicians don't have the stomach for prosecuting the giggling one, that there is another traitor within the ranks of the Conservative leadership:



"This piece first appeared on Juan Cole’s website,Informed Comment.

"The US government charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property and espionage on Friday.

"Snowden hasn’t to our knowledge committed treason in any ordinary sense of the term. He hasn’t handed over government secrets to a foreign government.

"His leaks are being considered a form of domestic spying. He is the 7th leaker to be so charged by the Obama administration. All previous presidents together only used the charge 3 times.

"Charging leakers with espionage is outrageous, but it is par for the course with the Obama administration.
"The same theory under which Edward Snowden is guilty of espionage could easily be applied to former vice president Dick Cheney.

"Cheney led an effort in 2003 to discredit former acting ambassador in Iraq, Joseph Wilson IV, who had written an op ed for the New York Times detailing his own mission to discover if Iraq was getting uranium from Niger. (The answer? No.)



"Cheney appears to have been very upset with Wilson, and to have wished to punish him by having staffers contact journalists and inform them that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was secretly a CIA operative. While Cheney wasn’t the one whose phone call revealed this information, he set in train the events whereby it became well known. (Because Cheney’s staff had Plame’s information sitting around in plain sight, Armitage discovered it and then was responsible for the leak, but he only scooped Libby and Rove, who had been trying to get someone in the press to run with the Plame story.

"What Cheney did in ordering his aides Scooter Libby and Karl Rove to release the information about Plame’s identity was no different from Snowden’s decision to contact the press.



"And yet, Cheney mysteriously has not been charged with Espionage. Hmmm…."

The astonishing thing about the whole Cheny-Bush Administration is the forgiving nature of the American people as Dubya has just emerged from a Gallup poll with a 49 percent favorability rating...or is it the naivete of the American public?  In either case, both men will escape prosecution for their crimes unless they inadvertently visit a democratic country where they take such things more seriously than Americans do.

We have a long way to go before the public wakes up to the criminality of all of the Conservative leaders and their propagandists and fellow travelers, a long way to go until we finally rid ourselves of the spectre called "Conservatism."




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"Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely."

P. J. O'Rourke


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