Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are Rudy, Mitt and Fred living in your world?

Jim Hightower puts the current GOP Presidental candidates in persective with the work-a-day American with this video. Do the current candidates know how expensive it is to live in America?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Naomi Kline strikes at the root of the problem of Outsourcing Government over at Is our government an ATM for lucrative contracts or does it exists as an extension of "We the People" to serve the common good?

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.
If the entire project goes as badly as the 28-mile prototype, it could turn out to be one of the most expensive lemons in history, projected to cost $8 billion by 2011.Boeing, the company that landed the contract — the largest ever awarded by the Department of Homeland Security — announced this week that it will finally test the fence after months of delay due to computer problems. Heavy rains have confused its remote-controlled cameras and radar, and the sensors can’t tell the difference between moving people, grazing cows or rustling bushes.But this debacle points to more than faulty technology. It exposes the faulty logic of the Bush administration’s vision of a hollowed-out government run everywhere possible by private contractors.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Some of the ideas that come from the fringe of the far right are just so implausible that it is hard to take those ideas seriously" -- John Conyers

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.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Conservative Yap of Michele Malkin: All Bark and No Bite

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.
The Truth Behind Disaster Capitalism

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

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.

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Life Imitates Art?

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.