Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Doubling Down on Stupidity

You may recall a few weeks ago I outlined exactly how the GOP lost the election. By alienating one voting block after another (except rich white guys, of course). I mentioned that perhaps they should consider not doing that if they want to win elections. But there are two words standing in their way: Tea Party. And they've decided that they forgot about a group: The disabled. I wish this was an Onion article but it's for real.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reason within the Party

Reason within the party. Let's hope these voices rise loud enough.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Quote of the day

"Change is a motherfucker when you run from it. And right now, the conservative movement in America is fleeing from dramatic change that is certain and immutable. A man of color is president for the second time, and this happened despite a struggling economic climate and a national spirit of general discontent. He has been returned to office over the specific objections of the mass of white men. He has instead been re-elected by women, by people of color, by homosexuals, by people of varying religions or no religion whatsoever. Behold the New Jerusalem. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a white man, of course. There’s nothing wrong with being anything. That’s the point.

This election marks a moment in which the racial and social hierarchy of America is upended forever. No longer will it mean more politically to be a white male than to be anything else. Evolve, or don’t. Swallow your resentments, or don’t. But the votes are going to be counted, more of them with each election. Arizona will soon be in play. And in a few cycles, even Texas. And those wishing to hold national office in these United States will find it increasingly useless to argue for normal, to attempt to play one minority against the next, to turn pluralities against the feared “other” of gays, or blacks, or immigrants, or, incredibly in this election cycle, our very wives and lovers and daughters, fellow citizens who demand to control their own bodies," - David Simon, channeling Edmund Burke.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How Closure Works

I've written before about epistemic closure.  Think of it like mad cow disease but instead of cow being fed cow, it's one belief system feeding on its own information and rejecting all outside information.  The way it works is, you have a belief, you get people to tell you what you want to hear and reject people who tell you things you don't want to hear.  Two things will likely happen:  People with new information will stop coming to you and you will stop inviting people with opposing views into your information circle.  If you want to see it in action, just watch the video clip attached to this article.

The result is increasing ignorance which feeds more ignorance to the point where you are very confident that you are right when you are, in fact, very wrong.

Where's My Gift?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The List of Ignorees

Andrew Sullivan nominates people for a variety of awards that are named after their poster children.  Each year, his voters vote on the winners.  And yes, he gets nominated also when he blows it.  He has an award called the Dick Morris award which is given for "stunningly wrong political, social, and cultural predictions."  Keep in mind, the people nominated are paid to do this for a living.  So they're either really bad at their jobs or they see their jobs as trying to lie to us to influence our opinion which means we're paying the price with bad information.

Check out the list here to see if any of your regular sources of information are in it.  Also check how often these names appear on Fox News.

Creators vs. Takers

"One thing that is disgusting about the current GOP and something you've not touched on much since the 47% tape faded away, is that a core tenant of the GOP is that they are the makers and everyone else (the Democrats) are the takers. Look at most any of the commentary from the right since the election night and this is pushed over and over again: America is lost because now the takers outnumber the makers. This premise is patently and outrageously false.

And this is their default worldview now. Certainly the welfare state is not anywhere near as small as most everyone wants it to be, but to presuppose a Democratic voter is nothing less than a leach on society is flat out disgusting. The GOP starts with contempt for their fellow citizen and go down from there. They make it a practice to insult everyone in the middle and lower classes then wonder why nobody wants to join their team.

They insult women for caring about their personal health and freedom and viability in the workforce and wonder why there is a gender gap. They assume a successful person of color is a result of affirmative action and wonder why they don't get credit for Condi Rice and Colin Powell. They refuse to accept that an effective safety net does not create mass poverty. Jesus had a lot to say about the poor in his day, yet I don't think there was much of a safety net back then. The right wing today will demonize anyone who needs help and they demonize anyone who wants to give help. How is that American? How does any of that solve our real issues?

The last two Democratic presidents were honest-to-goodness American Dream success stories. Men who came from broken homes and poverty only to transcend their status to become brilliant and powerful forces in America. They should be heroes to every little kid growing up in a tough neighborhood or boring suburb.

But not on the right. They degrade both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama while at the same time trumpeting the privileged soft-handed sons of power. How is that American? How is that patriotic? How does this appeal to those of us who believe in our public schools and our dart league at the our favorite tavern and our "dinner for eight" every Saturday night at our church? Just because a person decides to write code for a living or they have to wait tables or they are promoted into middle management in some shitty corporation instead of "taking chances" and "sticking their neck out" as entrepreneurs or "Job Creators" doesn't mean we are not good, loving Americans. And we vote Democratic now because we don't want to hate our neighbors for simply being normal people.

Not to say the Dems are the best ever - they are not - but at least they seem to want to reflect the diversity of experience that is uniquely American. From that broad base they have the mandate to solve America's issues as a cohesive force in it together. The Republicans are looking more and more like quasi-apartheid rulers insistent that their ideological and racial and gender purity is the only thing that will hold this country together. Frickin stupid." - Anonymous reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog