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Archive for August, 2007

MSNBC’s Alison Stewart: “A lot of it is about image…you know, put super- enthusiastic VIPs right in the media’s eye line, avoid physical contact with the protesters so that doesn’t end up on video anywhere, outshout dissenters… frankly, it’s a pretty wise strategy.”

Rachel Maddow: “Even dictators can tell you that it’s wise to have your goons not seen physically bumrushing your law abiding citizens, particularly when they’re protesting against a president who’s giving a speech about freedom of expression and freedom of speech.”

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Today I accidentally got roped into a debate with an ignorant pseudo-patriot.  (more…)

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if-you-see-something.jpgI love the United States. As an 80’s and 90’s kid growing up in America I was blessed with a number of luxuries, including perhaps the best education system of any country in the world. My American education taught me how to respond sensibly to most real-life situations. Thankfully, we Americans are well-equipped to deal with the conflict at hand. We are not easily brainwashed into doing stupid things.

Clearly, the 9/11 pilots did not have this ability. They didn’t understand American freedom. They didn’t know us, or what good people we tend to be. Nor did they bother to understand what America stands for.

Instead, they trusted their terrorist leaders, and decided to sacrifice their lives based on the prevailing ideologies of their particular religious, political, and social circles.

Can I, as a citizen in the greatest nation in the world, learn anything from “militant Islam”? (more…)

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“What went wrong?” is the question we pretend to ask. But what most of us really mean is: “Whose fault is it?”

Who can we blame?

It’s important to have a scapegoat, preferably a human being or a group of them. Assigning fault is not only a soothing process; it’s one helluva way to make a political point. Got some enemies you don’t like? Wait for something horrific to happen, then hop on your “political hobby horse” and find a way to pin it on them. (more…)

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Let’s be clear about something: putting a flag on your pickup truck is LITERALLY the LEAST you can do to show that you “support our troops.”

The most effective use of propaganda during American wars is to slander those who oppose the war by calling them “unpatriotic.” For the first few years of the U.S. military adventure in Iraq, most Americans were afraid to express any sentiment other than blind support for the war efforts, as opposing the war in those early days was assumed to mean one did not “support our troops.” (more…)

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Before last night I’d never given a second thought to Senator Chris Dodd. Boring and flavorless, the white-haired presidential hopeful had been a non-factor in every debate I’ve watched, a hackysack for the other Democratic candidates to kick around.  He was a nonentity, the dull guy from Connecticut whose name I could never remember because even that was unspectacular.

Nothing about Dodd distinguished him from the pack. There was no authentic aura accompanying him at the podium, or brazenly innovative ideas hiding up his sleeve. His only redeeming trait, actually, was his ability to make other candidates to look good.  Maybe that was his function all along, to be the beige background that illuminated the top-tier candidates, so that Hillary would seem candid and Obama spontaneous.

When I heard that Dodd was slated to appear on the O’Reilly Factor, my first thought was to feel sorry for him.  The show’s domineering pundit, Bill O’Reilly, who had mastered the art of intimidation interrupting.  I figured O’Reilly would bully Dodd for the entire segment, reducing his guest to a bystander and then gloating about it afterward to his pseudo-celeb sidekick Dennis Miller. (more…)

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Today speech writers put the finishing touches on the sermon Bush will give tomorrow in Minneapolis. The President plans to spend this evening memorizing the speech, asking Karl Rove what the big words mean, and hoping his Texas Rangers without Gagne and Texeira won’t be as hopeless as his presidency without Colin Powell and Richard Clarke. (more…)

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