Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Outsourcing Government by Naomi Kline
‘We didn’t want to get stuck with a lemon.” That’s what Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said to a House committee last month. He was referring to the “virtual fence” planned for the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.
Click HERE to continue
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Michael Medvet is a perfect example of an RWA (Right Wing Authoritarian) personality. The former movie critic turned conservative radio personality is exploring the benefits of slavery, yes, that's right, slavery. He’s taken this charge as a measure of contrast against the "America Hating Liberals" who, “deny our role as history’s most powerful and pre-eminent force for freedom, goodness and human dignity invariably focus on America’s bloody past as a slave-holding nation”
Michael’s article exhibits the traits of an RWA (submission to authority, conventionality, and righteous aggression) with the accuracy of a slave ships cargo rouster. It’s astounding to many how a seemingly intelegent man can write such nonsence, but here it is, as bright as the burning midday sun.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The recent Michele Malkin attack on an innocent Twelve year old boy and his family has spawned quite a bit of criticism of the right wing noise machine. Rightly so, but what is her motivation, really? Why would a well educated woman of seemingly high intelligence, and a loving mother, attack a 12 year old boy and his family instead of debating the issue on the merits of reason?
It’s her personality stupid! She simply can't help herself.
This sort of personal attack, the ad homonym abusive technique, typifies the personality profile of the RWA, the Right Wing Authoritarian.
Michele Malkin, like many others in the public spectrum, depicts the traits of an extreme Right Wing Authoritarian personality. It is a personality type which is explained by the research Dr. Robert Altemeyer. His research illustrates that a RWA (right-wing authoritarian) personality can be measured by using a scale, appropriately named the RWA Scale. The RWA Scale states that the authoritarian syndrome consists of three factors: submission to authority, conventionality, and righteous aggression. Michele Malkin has illustrated an Authoritarian Personality and she would likely, in my opinion, score very high on the RWA scale.
We can learn a lot about this personality type from John Dean’s Book, “Conservatives without Conscience”. Here’s an example, from the book, of an RWA (Right Wing Authoritarian):
“The "RWA" trait is measured by an attitude scale aptly named the RWA scale. The first item on the scale goes, "Our country desperately needs a mighty leader who will do what has to be done to destroy the radical new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us." Persons who strongly agree with this are showing a lot of authoritarian submission ("Our country desperately needs a mighty leader"), authoritarian aggression ("who will do what has to be done to destroy"), and conventionalism ("the radical new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us").
I doubt that Michele Malkin has been screened on the RWA scale, but I’m willing to speculate that she, and many others who bark for the extreme right wing, would agree on the first item in the scale with the concurrence of a church choir, can I get an amen?
The hope though is that people can change their personalities, however unlikely that may seem at times.
So when we hear a Michele Malkin, or an Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh bark for conformity to their perscective with the ferocity of an abused junk-yard dog we should know that it’s their personality, not the issues that motivate them. Their aggression is dominated by their need to submit to authority, conventionality and righteous aggression. They simply can’t help themselves. Knowing these tendencies will help progressives in dealing with the lunitic fringe of the far right wing.
For those of you who are interested in knowing what is behind the Milton Freedman economic model, “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Kline is a must read book.
In “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” she explodes the myth of "free market" democracy and shows how neoliberalism in American Government dominates the world with America its lead exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere. Wars are waged, social services cut, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or bludgeoned to object. Klein describes a worldwide process of social and economic engineering she calls "disaster capitalism" with torture along for the ride to reinforce the message - no "New World Order" alternatives are tolerated.
"Free market" triumphalism is everywhere - from Canada to Brazil, China to Bulgaria, Russia to South Africa, Vietnam to Iraq. In all cases, the results are the same. People are sacrificed for profits and Margaret Thatcher's dictum applies - "there is no alternative."
"The Shock Doctrine" is a powerful tour de force, four years of on-the-ground research in the making and well worth the wait. In an age of corporatism partnered with corrupted political elites, it's must reading by an author now firmly established as a major intellectual figure on the left and champion of social justice. Naomi Klein is all that and more. Even for those familiar with her topics, the book is stunning, revealing, unforgettable and essential to know. This review will cover a healthy sample of what's in store for readers in the full exquisitely written text. It's in seven parts with a concluding section. Each will be discussed below starting with a brief introduction – from Znet.org
Naomi Klein is an award-winning Canadian journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and activist. She writes a regular column for The Nation magazine and London Guardian that's syndicated internationally by the New York Times Syndicate that gives people worldwide access to her work but not its own readers at home.
Click Here for More
Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man
HAZELWOOD, MO—Twenty-six years after Ronald Reagan first set his controversial fiscal policies into motion, the deceased president's massive tax cuts for the ultrarich at last trickled all the way down to deliver their bounty, in the form of a $10 bonus, to Hazelwood, MO car-wash attendant Frank Kellener.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
I have to take a break from updating this blog for some time. I’m going to be very busy with continuing education and unfortunately this means that my writing time will be impaired for a while.
I’ll get back to updating as soon as possible. In the meantime I’ll visit and comment on other blogs as often as I can.
Thanks for your patients and I’ll see you in the blogisphere.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC—In an address broadcast on late-night television Tuesday, President Bush announced that the federal government will liquidate its holdings in a going-out-of-business sale scheduled to begin Friday.
After 200-plus years of service, the U.S. government is closing its doors.
"The U.S. government, America's place for law and order since 1776, has lost its lease, and everything must go, go, go," Bush said. "But our loss is your gain, and make no mistake: You, the people, would be crazy to miss out on these amazing closeout bargains."
The Washington-based government, which hasn't shown a profit in five years and carries the highest debt in its history, was ultimately driven out of business by costly overhead and cheap foreign competitors. As a result, Bush said, everything—from flag stands and Capitol cafeteria flatware to legislation dating from the early days of the republic—will be marked down 30 to 90 percent.
"Get yourself a piece of history, or just stock up on your favorite items—whatever it is, chances are we've got it," said Bush, wearing a 10-gallon hat and standing before a chroma-key background of the National Mall as a list of federal items and their discounted prices scrolled down the screen. "But act fast, because deals like these will not last."
The White House Press Secretary told reporters Tuesday that the millions of "useful and collectible" items on sale will appeal to collectors and office-supply bargain hunters alike.
"Gently used Capitol police vehicles, $899.99," McClellan said. "The American-flag lapel pin, seen on America's hottest legislators—get yours for an incredible $1.99. A beautiful Lincoln Bedroom suite, just $399.00. Multiline desk phones, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Economic Opportunity Act Of 1964—buy one, get one free. And warehouses full of irregular and discontinued U.S. currency, up to an amazing 40 percent off!"
"See this 'The White House—Washington' doodad hanging behind me?" added McClellan, gesturing at the familiar oval symbol that has graced the White House press-briefing room for nearly two decades. "Only $39.99. And if you want the Pentagon symbol, just $70 for the pair, and we'll throw in the blue drapes for free."
Shoppers at a Minneapolis-area Best Buy watch a commercial for the U.S. liquidation sale.
Portions of the nuclear and conventional weapons stockpile will also be for sale to the public. According to McClellan, the weapons are of "much better quality than those of our former Soviet-bloc competitors."
The 50 states will be sold at auction, the date to be announced.
Beltway observers are expressing surprise at the massive liquidation, recalling that Washington hasn't seen a sales event like this one since President Jimmy Carter's "Metric System Blowout" of 1979. Many have faulted Bush for maintaining a line of inventory that holds little use for most Americans.
"The U.S. government has been on shaky ground for some time, but I think all the fast-depreciating goods President Bush bought to keep it responsive and relevant in the 21st century really sealed its fate," Business Week reporter David Broder said. "I don't see Canada, Japan, or Germany investing in thousands of airport X-ray screening machines. [Bush] will be lucky if he recoups even a tenth of what he paid for them."
While many younger Americans said they consider the U.S. government passé, older residents were wistful about the demise of the longtime institution.
"I just don't know what I'll do when the U.S. shuts down," said Vermont resident and loyal U.S. consumer David Wilson. "Who's going to deliver the mail or put out my house if it catches fire? I guess we'll have to switch to Verizon or something."
Some remain skeptical about the government's claims of insolvency, saying that it's just a ploy to generate fast cash. "I distinctly recall a going-out-of-business sale during the Reagan Administration," New Mexico resident Jim Vernon said. "And even if they do close up, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts they open up again some place like Guatemala or the Dominican Republic under a new name."
While no date has been set for Washington's final day of governance, Bush assured the public that the sale is "definitely it, folks."
"When it's gone, it's gone," Bush said.
There is a lot of discussion lately about the failure of Social Democracy. As the Conservatives continue in their rise to power, we will certainly see more on this topic.
It's true that the supporters of laisse-fair capitalism are quick to point out that the failures of social programs, yet they never point out the obvious successes.
Here is a story of an obvious success.
Our European neighbors in Scandanavia have a great deal to show the world on the topic of egalitarianism.
United Nations: Nordic Countries Best Place to Live in the WorldThe Nordic countries have the best standard of living in the world, as per the Human Development Report published by the United Nations
Best Standard of Living in the WorldThe Nordic countries are overall the best countries to live in the world, according to the Human Development Report which is published annually by the United Nations. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland figure among the top countries on the UN index because of their high levels of education, democracy, income and public health.
The Human Development Report (HDR) is an annual independent study commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme and published into more than a dozen languages. The HDR measures the wealth of nations by the standard of living of their population and considers several indexes related to life expectancy, education, economy and environment.Economists, philosophers and political leaders have long emphasised human wellbeing as the sole purpose of economic development. A successful community is not that which has one wealthy member and nine living in poverty, but that one where all members of the community have succeeded in achieving a high standard of living.
The HDR measures whether the national income of a nation is creating an environment for its people to enjoy a life with good health services, political freedoms, security against crime, greater access to education and a satisfying leisure time.Norway tops the index for third consecutive year
The Nordic countries have always performed very well in the United Nations' HDR, all figuring within the top 15 countries on the index. Among the Scandinavians, Norway has become the best performing Nordic country in the report after ranking number one in 2001, 2002 and 2003, heading the Development index for the third consecutive year.
In Norway, 99 percent of the population can read and write, there are 413 doctors per 100,000 citizens, the average life expectancy is 78.4 years, and the Norwegians are even wealthier than ever before. The famous Nordic social welfare state remains efficient and provides the Norwegians with a first class health, education and benefits system, which is financed through their taxes.Norway has also topped the lists for being among the most generous countries in the world in terms of foreign aid donations on a per capita basis, and for their green environmentally friendly policies.However the Norwegian society is the most developed in the world, the average Norwegian is still known to complain nonetheless.
The current discussion topics in Norway range among the waiting lists for medical care, the shortage of nursing homes and the cuts in police and school budgets.Quality of Life, Income, Education and Life ExpectancyIf we would only focus on per capita income statistics, we would perhaps be surprised to hear that the inhabitants of the small central European nation of Luxembourg are the wealthiest in the world, with an average salary of $53,780. The average salary in Norway is $45,000 but the Nordic countries are above all known for being an egalitarian society; of the seventeen richest countries in the world, Sweden ranks first as having the fewest people living in poverty and the fewest illiterate people, while other rich countries such us the United States have the the most, showing that stark inequality persists even in middle or high-income countries.
Education is one of the pillars of the Nordic society. Illiteracy is practically non existent from Iceland to Finland, and the free national education systems breed some of the most skilled workforce in the world. Moreover, when it comes to equality between women and men, all the five Nordic countries top the index and score again the highest; Iceland takes the lead in terms of emancipation, followed by Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland on the fifth position.You may now be convinced that people in the Nordic countries live well, but they also live long. The HDR averages life expectancy on the Nordic countries between the 77.7 years of Finland and the 78.9 of Norway. Japan has the longest life expectancy with the average Japanese living up to of 81.3 years.