Monday, August 24, 2009

If we want to protect the status quo, we need to reform it

Status-Quo Anxiety - The New Yorker

The paranoid style in American politics is now a fashion craze

America the Delusional - LA Times

The Guns of August - The New York Times

Leave The Guns At Home - Washington Post

Rage the Left Should Use - Washington Post

Have you noticed? Nearly everything the nutty nuts believe is the opposite of the truth. The people and institutions they think are their friends are precisely the ones who are screwing them; the people they think are screwing them are the ones who are trying to stop the abuse. How is it possible for one's understanding of basic reality to become so twisted? Ignorance and lack of education is obviously a big part of the problem (look at the low levels of educational attainment in the places where these folks largely cluster), as are false ideas implanted over the years by pro-status-quo, patsy-producing propaganda. For maximum effect, many of these self-serving lies and distortions have been carefully tailored to play to listeners' prejudices, and to dovetail with their sentimental conflation of God with country and "free" enterprise with freedom (never mind that one man's freedom in the marketplace may be another's injury).

But the people aren't entirely to blame. After all, garbage in, garbage out: 'Truth' vs. 'Facts' From America's Media - LA Times

It also doesn't help that the good guys refuse to name names: Anti-Obama Rants Take on New Ferocity - LA Times

Monday, August 10, 2009

Again, it's how these people think

Anti-Health Care Reform Protester Encourages Physical Violence, Use Of Firearms - Talking Points Memo

Widening Gyre - Talking Points Memo

BTW -- where's the faux outrage now, Faux News?

Ignorance: the surest route to gullibility

Healthcare Debate Framed by Fear-Mongering Ads - LA Times

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Really -- anyone so logic- and reality-impaired as to believe these ludicrous claims shouldn't be permitted to operate complex machinery (a rake, for example), much less be allowed to emit opinions in a public venue wherein the brains of intelligent participants would likely be damaged.

(To clarify: yes, I do believe in freedom of speech. Very much so. If you have objections to the actual bill, you are -- and ought to be -- free to air them. But if you want to spout talking points that are so transparently fictitious they would prompt eye rolling in toddlers, if you are so intellectually lazy that you can't be bothered to do a 10-second Google search and gather some actual facts, then shut the hell up. You have a right to your "opinion," but until you know what you're talking about, you're just wasting everyone's time in sharing it. All opinions are not created equal.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In a maze of moneyed interests, who to root for?

Is Obama Punking Us? - The New York Times

From tinfoil-hatted partisans to political terrorists

Republicans Propagating Falsehoods in Attacks on Health-Care Reform - Washington Post

Pearlstein puts it well: "Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society -- whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off."

It is, in other words, a test of whether this nation still possesses a shred of the civic virtue that once animated it, or whether it has surrendered those collective impulses toward generosity and decency, of which we Americans were once so proud, in exchange for another trip to the mall. It is precisely this formerly shared sense of decency that conservatives so virulently oppose, insofar at it conflicts with their own insatiable sense of material entitlement. And they don't give a damn how many get hurt as they hoard.

If that sounds tinfoil-hatted in its own right, just try to imagine the cold-blooded calculus that lies behind some of these horror stories.

Finally, the me-firsters' ugliest traits are there for all to behold

The Me-First, Screw-Everyone-Else Crowd - Salon

In Sickness and in Wealth - Slate. How America's rising income inequality figures in to the debate over health care.