jEFFSTANA on November 11th, 2014

Power Purchase

Your Morning Dooley
By Charles P. Pierce

“D’ye suppose Dorgan, th’ millyonaire, wud consint to it? Whin he entered th’ race iv life he was properly handicapped with a soul to offset his avarice an’ his ability, so that some iv th’ rest iv us wud have a kind iv a show again him. But as soon as he thinks no wan can see him he begins to get rid iv his weight an’ comes rompin’ home miles ahead. But th’ judges say: ‘Hold on, there; yell have to weigh out,’ an’ a little later a notice is posted up that Dorgan is disqualified f’r ridin’ undherweight in th’ matther iv soul.”
— Finley Peter Dunne, 1899.

It dawns uneasily, how readily American consumers augment their shopping cart, isolated from the awareness of the less fortunate. Drive-through transactions buy prescriptions, food, and other goods. Currency for goods or services offers a first level trade abstraction that acquires near perfection when mechanical devices assist to complete the deal. ATMs, teller-less banking, self-serve gas stations, self-checkout groceries, and other self-hyphenated means for obtainment, support interruption-free and private procurement.

Does shopping approach nirvana by way of Internet commerce? Could this be why taxation is excluded for most online purchases? Has web-based commerce, found a strong parallel with religious experience? Does socio-economic class segregation spawn suburban mega-church pastors who preach the gospel of affluence using technological props as audio/visual infotainment?

The modern Republican Party becomes an extended kiosk for the excesses of Capitalism. All that glitters attracts the masses, yet offers the antithesis of social conscience. The “me” generation dreams a role of rugged individual as portrayed in commercials, but the altruist takes note of the sociopathy in this advertised state of mind. Consumers unconsciously drive an economic engine contributing to destruction of the planet and in the U.S. the general public purchases seats in the grandstand, cheering and not realizing the damage done.

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jEFFSTANA on October 8th, 2014

Don't laugh at me

Here’s one more example of the flying monkey effect originating within conservative blogs.

Canadian Police Reject Own Anti-Terror Handbook for Being ‘Adversarial’

Search the Internet with the above query, and discover loads of right-wing sites lighting up, one after another, with duplicate “news” articles detailing how Canadians might consider a soft-pedal toward Muslim Jihadists. However, try searching legitimate news channels from Canada, CBC for example, and you will find plenty of sensational crap, but no hits on the above shocking revelation.

No real surprise, since comic book lover, Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon is the inventor of this fiction. Adam gives this mash, one day or so to ferment, then follows with:

US Department of State… not so much.

Why not? What these adolescent jesters have discovered, it takes little proof to seed an avalanche of fear-mongering, especially inside a fertile wheel-house of hate. The Internet is wondrous as well as vile, and people are easily duped by pretty pictures.

In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted: a handbook was released by a Winnipeg Mosque with contributions by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), entitled: “United Against Terrorism“.

There is a section for intelligence and law enforcement officials, starting off with a warning not to equate being religious with being a radical. RCMP spokesman Greg Cox wrote CBC News, saying “the RCMP takes responsibility for its section of the booklet only.” “We have not agreed to avoid using terms such as ‘Islamist terrorism,‘ ‘Islamic extremism‘ and ‘jihad‘.

The handbook will be available online and 100 copies were printed for distribution.

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jEFFSTANA on September 30th, 2014

Angerhead

Twilight of Authority Redux – Ed Kilgore | Washington Monthly | September 26, 2014

“I’ve been wanting to say something about the bizarre vision of American liberalism displayed at a recent Heritage Foundation event, as described by Suzi Khimm for MSNBC. It apparently centered on the hypothesis that liberals are engaged in a Faustian bargain with government whereby in exchange for total sexual freedom The State is given total power over every other aspect of life.”

There is some truth to the notion of a Faustian bargain both for liberals and for conservatives. It is better framed as a negative for each side.

Simply stated, liberals wish to regulate social violence. Be it the proliferation of firearms, the recognition and public chastisement of bullying, or the railing against the militarization of law enforcement departments; liberals hold that there is too much unrestrained anger and violence in the world.

On the other hand, conservatives wish to monitor and suppress sexual appetites. Human nature, unfettered, will destroy polite society, be it the recognition of same sex marriage, easy access to birth control or the unregulated availability of abortion. So say the conservatives.

Broad brushed generalities, as useful rules of thumb.

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jEFFSTANA on August 2nd, 2014

Puritans

Senator John McCain Embraces Congressman Trent Franks’ Anti-West Valley Casino Bill

Who’s backing McCain to oppose the Glendale Casino? Sen. McCain forsakes logic while maintaining his opposition to the building of a casino near Glendale, AZ.

As local sentiment and legal opinion evolved over the course of five plus years; as grassroots support for the casino slowly overcame targeted advertisement by special interests in opposition to the planned casino/resort – all on dubious and falsely manufactured grounds – McCain and other big hitting politicos have continued their stance against casino construction in Glendale, even as their arguments have been shot down, one by one in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

Since the game cannot be won through existing legal channels, casino opponents seek to change the rules in their efforts to block the creation of a casino/resort in the west valley. Clearly, special interests have doubled-down and purchased the support of the likes of McCain, even as they recognize defeat at the local level.

To purchase the influence of a Senator, demonstrates the financial strength of the anti-casino crowd. Players include east valley casino holding tribes and blue-nosed moralists with nativist tendencies – the deep-pocketed constituents of Congressman Franks, the originator of “the keep the promise act” (U.S. House Bill 1410), which seeks to rewrite history and postpone west valley casino construction for many years – legislation which won approval in the Republican controlled House and now languishes in the Democratic held Senate.

It’s still a gamble how all this will end.

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jEFFSTANA on April 8th, 2014

Ignore

A friend with conservative inclinations forwarded a story concerning Patrick Moore, identified in the brief as a co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace, who spoke out against man-made global warming before the US Senate. The Congressional findings were published February 25, 2014. Mr. Moore died in 2012, making cross-examination of this known radical, ultra-right winger a mute point. Moore once famously said, “I may be accused of being a dinosaur, but I would remind you that dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a very long time.” Perhaps Fox News may next question the extinction of dinosaurs, since they failed to mention the passing of Mr. Moore.

The ploy of conservative Fox News could not be more transparent. Quoting from a dead curmudgeon attempts to sway opinion based on progressive association about subjects of which Moore had no particular expertise, is a non sequitur. Others opposed to notions of global warming, should not confuse science with politics, for this is a game played by purely anecdotal means, without evidential support.

When social advocates use science as an aid in shaping human behavior, the procedure becomes muddy from all the back-dealing and underhandedness required to pass political legislation. Such action does not take away from the work of science, nor can opinion alter the facts. Politics is the ugly step-sister made up to be the prom queen, doing all the heavy lifting to influence human judgment.

Examine the historical process which campaigned successfully to stigmatize tobacco. Cigarette companies offered similar counter-arguments, lack of proof, large costs to the economy, etc. in a fight against what today is commonly acknowledged to be unhealthy behavior, and that which we as a society discourage through enforced sanctions and limited product accessibility.

Science made the unquestionable connection between tobacco and disease and life expectancy, but the social/political arena had the tough job of selling the cure to the public at large. This is not a black or white issue. Personal freedom becomes restricted through prohibitive legislation. Is this justified by a nod to the common good? Opinions vary. But the science is correct. How this evidence is applied; there is the rub.

Knocking science in the twenty-first century is a losing battle. Superstition or denial, both are mind-killers, unworthy of discussion. Let us argue application instead, cost vs gain for the individual and society in general.

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