Category Archives: sarah palin

Are American Christian Conservative Bible-Toting Gun-Slinging Jihadists Any Different Than The Muslim Kind? Hobby Lobby Reaction Puts It To The Test

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Holly Fisher is a right-wing online agitator who posted a Twitter photo on the left above last week as an in-your-face image in support of the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision.

Her pose was soon compared to the image at right of Reem Riyashi, a mother of two from Gaza who killed four people and herself with a suicide bomb in 2004.

As was so correctly posited by online news editor Ben Mathis-Lilley… Holly Fisher isn’t a suicide bomber, but even so, after an American holiday in which we use huge explosions to celebrate a country that has and still does regularly kill people abroad with drones, missiles, and bombs, perhaps even the non-extremist patriots among us might see the aesthetic overlap between the two images above and engage in some self-reflection about the potential consequences of aggressive conservative nationalist pride.

I know, I know. It’s only a photo of an enthusiastic youngster (uh, “Millennial”). She is a cliché come to life: gun, bible, and flag. All that’s missing is the apple pie.

But each “cute” and thoughtlessly acceptable step forward in extremism is another step toward the dangerous extremism.

Someday, someone will cross the line and stand draped in the flag and embrace the bible to righteously justify using the rifle on innocent citizen lives who just happen to disagree, or live a life just a bit differently, or look just a little less white christian, or maybe just were some minimum wage workers riding public transit to work one tragic day.

We already have had Tea Partiers wanting the US to default on its debt obligations. We already have had Tea Partiers gather in protest groups fully armed with exposed automatic weaponry just outside Washington DC. We see American Conservatives wanting to impose a Christian version of Sharia Law on US Citizens.

How long until our radicals become activated like “their” radicals? I hope, never.

Chills…

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When Does The Revolution Start? — Tea Party Terrorists & Dysfunctional Brats

When does the revolution* start? So over anti-democracy anarchists.

We had an election. You lost by 5 million votes. You are behaving like dysfunctional brats.

“You don’t get to hold the entire economy, the entire country, hostage, because you don’t like the outcome of the election,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren correctly said about Tea Party Congresspersons — henceforth known as Congressional Terrorists.

The Affordable Care Act was passed by both houses of Congress, signed into law by President Obama, was given the American People’s’ endorsement by President Obama’s resounding electoral victory and seat pick ups in the House and Senate in 2012, and was upheld by the US Supreme Court.

Every branch of the government has spoken, as have American voters.

Despite this, a dangerous and menacing wing of the Republican Party serves as puppet master over a weak and ineffective Speaker John Boehner, bringing the US Government to a grinding halt. As a result, 800,000 federal employees are placed on furlough and one million are asked to work for no pay.

This is the price the Tea Party (American Taliban) believes is acceptable for the country to pay to appease their fundamentalist beliefs that destruction is progress and that democracy only counts when it’s their opinions and options considered.

We no longer deserve democracy if citizens don’t metaphorically* storm congress and remove all Tea Party members’ power and effectively make those seats vacant. US citizens should take control now and reinforce their electoral voices by raising their voices, since elections are clearly not respected and clearly have no weight of their own. Rather than voting and expecting our representatives to civilly and respectfully do our — The People’s — business, is this our only hope of expelling the Congressional Terrorists?

No concern is in the thoughts of these congressional terrorists about the lives they are illegitimately harming. That said, worse on a larger point is that this behavior of Tea Party Terrorists is paralyzing democracy.

You know what, difference of opinion is great, so are strong and vocal opinion (that captures me), but what is wrong is when you halt the course of the nation’s business and say it’s the will of the American People. For God sake, we just had a multi-billion dollar national election. If The American People hated the American Care Act as much as the subversives hate it and Obama, then they would have spoken their voices at the election polls. What happened, instead?

Obama won a second term with a massive electoral margin. Democrats picked up more seats in the Senate. And Democrats picked up more seats in the House (this after a hugely gerrymandered redistricting around the nation based upon the latest census and favors Republicans). The American People spoke alright, and they endorsed the President and gave Dems more seats in government.

To act as they do now, radical conservatives want to nullify a ten month old national election.

The Tea Party Terrorists and the Republican Party are anti-democracy.

This point of contention has nothing to do with opinions or whether the ACA is good or bad.

It’s about supporting or subverting democracy and respecting civil order.

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Faustian urGe Manifesto

Ensuring That Serving “Capital” Interests Must Also Serve To Broadly Improve The Lives Of “We The People”

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CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST often bemoans ethical failures while he also attempts to mitigate, in some minuscule way, the social damages he and too many other citizens suffer from “Traditional” American Values (social and business). Inappropriate personal agendas and indifference toward obligation and ethics are significant annoyances that he addresses by trying to learn more — what wags the world and why.

Given the circus of extremes on display in society and within the political realm since President Obama’s re-election, CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST is currently working through the conundrum of how so many intelligent, educated people manage to place their feet in their mouths while their heads are so firmly up their arses.

He’s frustrated, and believes the nation is threatened, by libertarianism — knowing the objectivist/libertarian belief system is inappropriate to a fruitful, functional society. Libertarians disregard a profound reality: We are responsible for the decisions we make, yes, but we’re not responsible for the options we’re given. Thus, CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST believes that we should create that “society we would want if we didn’t know in advance who we’d be.”

He sees that another libertarian delusion is establishment of the fanciful “self-made” individual. The laughable concept discounts external influence or inspiration and exhibits a blatant disregard for the interconnectedness that is the human condition.

He remains convinced that we humans do not have to destroy each other to survive (as in two wars extinguishing 100,000+ lives as revenge for the prior killing of 3000) but that we choose to do so… not the nonsense propounded that genetics or patriotism demands it. CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST knows we have the ability to reason and that too many simply choose the easier way of reactive non-thought.

Though imbued with a simmering cauldron of rage just below his deceptively pleasant (and not altogether unpleasant looking) exterior, he’s always willing to self-examine and learn — yearning for family, friends, community members to take the same ride.

The hope… the desire… the craving… for forward movement and betterment on cultural, political, and individual levels are woven into his personal fabric, with key objectives toward equality/equitability*, liberty, fraternity, justice-for-all, empathy, self-awareness, growth, momentum, compassion, and humor.

(*EQUALITY of advancement opportunity and treatment under the law and social memes — EQUITABILITY of rewards and outcomes [economic and social])

On EQUALITY:

It appears that a large number of citizens seeking minimalist government from the Right are for strong government, though, when it favors their perceived social interests, such as interfering with the reproductive rights of women, the marriage rights of non-heterosexuals, and the civil rights of non-whites.

CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST relishes challenging the authority of political, religious, and societal priests, as he liberally supports marriage for everyone, equal rights for everyone, less poison for the environment, progressive taxation, removal of corporate personhood, financial regulation enforcement up to and including criminal incarceration, the elimination of all “consensual crimes,” and many other positions that lead conservatives to squirm uncomfortably in their seats.

On EQUITABILITY:

The Right will argue that allowing the free market to function will fix our problems. But, the free market doesn’t guarantee social outcomes, merely economic ones. Yes, it may provide more efficiency on the whole and grow the economy faster as a whole, but by itself doesn’t guarantee how wealth is distributed. The Right cannot be indifferent to the consequences of a middle-class life undermined, nor can it be indifferent to half the population’s inability to buy the products and services that businesses sell.

The Left would argue that the solution is for laws to transfer wealth from the rich to the middle class. But, while that would increase consumption, depending on the scope, it could threaten the amount of capital available to investment by the transfer itself and by eliminating incentives to invest. The Left cannot be indifferent to the fact that one can’t invest what they don’t have, and that no one will accept the risk of investment if the payoff is transferred completely away.

CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST understands the take away to be that “reasonableness” must prevail as to the extent, but transfers of some wealth should ensue as a part of the solution. So, let’s avoid extreme redistribution and focus on finding the correct amount that ameliorates the problems at hand (which will improve sales and garner more aggregate profit for firms, shareholders, and stakeholders… alike) while retaining enough incentives to invest and risk take.

As a Social-Capitalist/Social-Democrat**, CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST favors smart government — a government as big or as small as needed to achieve progressive social and capital ends, ensuring that serving “capital” interests must also serve to improve the lives of “We the people” broadly (hence, “Social”).

“Our” government’s job is best done when it benefits all of the people, and not just capital interests — as he interpretes the right favors.

(**Social Democracy is exhibited as an economic precept of Social Capitalism. The contemporary social democratic movement seeks to reform capitalism to align it with the ethical ideals of social justice while maintaining the efficient and wealth-building capitalist mode of production, as opposed to creating an alternative socialist economic system. Practical modern social democratic policies include the promotion of the commonweal, and the creation of economic democracy as a means to secure stakeholders’ rights.)

“This vast number of worlds, the enormous scale of the universe, in my view, has been taken into account, even superficially, in virtually no religion, and especially no Western religions.” – Carl Sagan

Taking exception with the very concept of “American Exceptionalism,” CORONARE MODESTUS FAUST feels compelled to explore these issues in rambling-though-coherent thoughts and an adventurous assortment of arbitrary amusements.

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Liberalism is “Life.”

It is an unrelenting pursuit of freedom from physical dangers that can kill or disable us.

  • The Liberal believes it is a nation’s job to protect its citizens from physical harm, whether from external sources, such as hostile nations, or internal ones, like crime, disease, or hunger. Without the solid ground of physical wellbeing, our nation and its citizens cannot enjoy the benefits of being free.
  • Liberals believe in a strong military, well suited to defend the nation.
  • Liberals believe in good laws, hard-working police, and a just legal system to protect its citizens from crime.
  • Liberals believe in affordable health care for everyone, to keep our people strong.
  • And Liberals believe in the availability of food and shelter for its needy, not as a hand out but as a reasonable step in moving all Americans toward self-reliance and the freedom that comes with it.

Liberalism is “Liberty.”

It is the freedom to do as your conscience dictates without impeding another’s rights. Liberalism established a nation where personal belief and self-determination are protected, not persecuted; where hard work is rewarded, not demanded; and where each person is bestowed with the ability to better his or her life because of citizenship, not class.

  • Liberals believe in freedom of speech to protect us from political oppression.
  • Liberals believe in sound regulations to protect us from economic oppression.
  • Liberals believe in just laws to protect us from social oppression.
  • And Liberals believe in quality education to protect us from the oppression of ignorance.

Liberalism is “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

It is the freedom to create an environment where the individual can excel. What is freedom if it cannot be used to better our lives? A truly free society must be one where its members can rise above their limitations and expand their futures — it is “The American Dream,” and it’s alive and well in the heart of the Liberal.

  • Liberals believe in equal opportunities for all to rise above our means.
  • Liberals believe in equal opportunities to rise above our education levels.
  • Liberals believe in equal opportunities to rise above our social status.
  • And Liberals believe each and every family should have an equal opportunity to make this world better for their children.

Based on these tenets, Liberalism is not the monster it’s made out to be by the opposition.

  • It is pro individual and pro family.
  • It is pro community and pro country.
  • Liberalism is, by its very definition, the heart and soul of what it means to be an American.
  • It stands against tyranny of any kind, whether international or domestic.
  • It works to remove abuse and fight crime.
  • And it strives to eliminate the idea of a wasted life by not wasting resources and opportunities.

Post-Election Republicanism… “I Don’t Recognize My Country Anymore”

The post-election rant of some of my conservative, Republican family, friends, and associates continues.

They just simply do not comprehend how they could have mis-read the election outcome and absolutely can’t fathom that so many Americans see the world differently than they… as “everyone [they] knew felt exactly the way [they] felt about Obama and our fast decent into ‘socialism.'”

Perhaps they should develop friendships and interaction outside of their gated suburban communities, isolated corporate halls, and self-selecting church sanctuaries.

To listen to our congresspersons speak from “the other side of the aisle,” it’s clear they haven’t stuck their heads outside the window either.

To be fair, my closest personal conservative, Republican friends [meaning that they are a different sort, as they live in the urban residential heart of a major city within a highrise community of shared living], have issued forth no rants… just casual and respectful thoughts of, “Well, my guy didn’t win, but that’s democracy in action and how it goes.”

One business associate said he started an online conversation that has run into the hundreds of responses agreeing with him… His piece is titled, ” I Don’t Recognize My Country Anymore.” Oy Vey! It’s NOT YOUR country; it’s OUR country. This is exactly what YOU don’t understand.

In post-election commentary, too, Republican leaders have made no mention of the changing electorate, the expanded voter base despite the obstacles deliberately placed in the way, and the need to repair relations with different ethnic voters.

I think this cartoon sums up things well…


Study Shows Fox News Viewers Less Informed on Major Stories

No news is better than Fox News when it comes to information, according to a university study.

(Well, we intellectual elites have known this truth for quite some time. We get into arguments with our ill-informed Fox News-loving family and friends all the time.)

According to a study by Fairleigh Dickinson University, if you watch Fox News you are significantly less likely to know the correct answer to current events questions than if you mostly avoid news shows and newspapers all together.

After controlling for factors such as partisanship, education, and other demographic factors, the pollsters found that Fox New viewers were 18 points less likely to accurately know the answer to a current event issue than their non-active news consuming counterparts. This applies to very general news such as, for example, the status of the Egyptian revolution or whether the Syrian uprising has yet to succeed.

“Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor who took part in the analysis of the PublicMind data. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

The poll surveyed 612 adults, asking them where they got their news from in the previous week and then a handful of questions about current events. Respondents were given 12 possible news options: NPR, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a Sunday morning political news show, a national newspaper like the New York Times or USA Today, a political blog or news website, a national news broadcast, CNN, MSNBC, a talk radio show, a local newspaper, a local television news broadcast and Fox News.

For comparison, other media sources appeared to boost respondents’ knowledge. From the PublicMind report:

[P]eople who report reading a national newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today are 12-points more likely to know that Egyptians have overthrown their government than those who have not looked at any news source. And those who listen to the non-profit NPR radio network are 11-points more likely to know the outcome of the revolt against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. However, the best informed respondents are those that watched Sunday morning news programs: leading to a 16- point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Egypt and an 8-point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Syria.

One more interesting conclusion from the report (conducted Oct. 17 through Oct. 23 before Newt Gingrich’s recent rise):

Only 55% of those polled were able to name correctly either Mitt Romney or Herman Cain as the Republican candidates most recently leading in the polls, with 37% saying that Romney is ahead, and 18% saying that Cain is. Watching Fox News didn’t help or hurt respondents on this question. MSNBC, however, helped: Watching MSNBC was associated with a 10-point increase in identifying Romney as the leader, and a 5-point drop in the likelihood of identifying Cain compared to those who got no exposure to news at all.

“Given the amount of time and effort the media spent covering these candidates, the fact that only about half of the public can name one of the front-runners is embarrassing,” Cassino said. “The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn’t do better in informing viewers is very surprising.”

Fox News, however, wasn’t the only cable news network to confuse some of its viewers. Watching MSNBC, for instance, was associated with a 10-point increase in the likelihood of misidentifying the Occupy Wall Street protesters as predominantly Republican. Argh!

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* Truth told, I don’t think this study is statistically significant or broad enough in scope to fully make the claims stated, but, hey, it’s just fun to pick on Faux News lovers : )


Sitting Out The 3rd Economic Revolution To Sit At A Tea Party

The Third Economic Revolution: Is It Boom or Bust for America?

Seems like Congress may be chock-full of able self-described historians, but they fail miserably as futurists and leaders of change.

InsaniTea Party

Sadly, we continue to witness a series of American leaders failing to choose to change and perhaps make progressive history, preferring to remain with the status quo and threatening to turn America’s once-and-future competitiveness into history while attending Mad Hatter Tea Parties.

Our country, joined by the rest of the world, is living through the most profound, the most significant, and the most transformative economic revolution in the history of the world.

But, where • the first economic revolution — the agricultural revolution — took 3,000 years, and • the second — industrial revolution — took 300 years, • this third economic revolution will take only 30 years.

And if we’re not quicker, it will be over before we knew it began.

As President Obama reminded in his 2011 State of the Union address,

“In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work, and do business.”

America cannot confront the challenges we’re facing with constituency groups operating in separate silos or like-minded individuals failing to combine their voices. Our country’s failure to break loose from conventional wisdom (which some embrace as “common sense”) and embrace the future serve as the biggest threat to America’s future.

The President spoke out about a 2011 “Sputnik moment.” In 1957, Americans were shocked to discover that the Soviet Union had successfully launched the world’s first satellite into space… and… this country responded to the news with a patriotic effort to join the Soviets in space by launching Explorer I and creating NASA.

It should have actually been that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing served as the other “Sputnik moment” for Americans, when they saw the striking evidence of China’s economic might. Americans had the chance to respond to China’s reality with a plan as quickly and effectively as we did to Sputnik. It would have been the signature test for our generation and a history making moment for the children’s future.

Beijing: Power center of an economic and social dynamic whose middle-class already exceeds the entire population of the United States

We missed that “Aha” moment…

Now, two years after the Beijing Olympics and • in an increasingly global economy, • with workers having endured both a jobless decade and • three decades of virtually no wage growth, • capped off by an economic collapse… America still has no plan to keep the American Dream alive or compete globally in the face of this third economic revolution.

Our Sputnik moment lacks the energy and political cohesion for lift off while China keeps rolling along.

New Congressmen and Tea Partiers pay homage to the free market as their economic cure-all, despite clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

  • Our employer based health care and pensions systems, by putting the cost of benefits on the price of our products, is a drag on American competitiveness, but politicians seem more comfortable designating “Obamacare” as the real root of all evil, while the “Supreme” Court seems stacked against its survival.
  • Our competitors’ VAT taxes allow them to tax our exports while we let their imports into our country tax-free.
  • While China promotes unions to raise wages, many US elected officials and leaders in our business community want them to disappear.
  • Our health care system costs 3 to 7% more of GDP than our competitors, but we continue to brag that it is the best in the world when, in fact, it delivers the worst health outcomes.
  • And now the middle class jobs in legal, pharmaceutical research, and medical care, to name a few, are being shipped overseas in a trading system were America obeys the rules and others flout them.
  • White collar parents who played by the rules and made sure their children had a college degree are asking this century the same question that was dismissively cast aside when raised by blue collar parents’ last century — where are my kids going to find a job?

President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, coupled with his 2008 campaign message, his 2009 New Foundation speech at Georgetown University, and recognition that this is not our father’s or grandfather’s economy establish his futurist credentials.

Yet, most of the political class in Washington mistakenly believe we can drive into the future looking in the rearview mirror of a Ford Pinto — with a Bible in our lap and a gun at our side.

Today, Americans are embroiled in a very different revolution than the one our forefathers engaged while fighting for liberty in 1776. Still, the truth is that this revolution, the third economic one, is the defining contemporary moment for our nation’s greatness.

Team USA needs a 21st century future oriented plan to make this a truly a country that works for everyone and where the dreams of the children still can come true.

Our future is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.

And it is time to decide!

Empty your Tea Cup and cast an eye to the reality future!


Tea Party’s Over

At least it looks like Europe survives : )