James's blog

Hood winked again

Da Carolina Journal is all over lobbying reform this week . . . opining about the differences between persuasion and influence-peddling . . . insisting that corporations have the same rights as citizens here in free-speech land.

Note to Hood: Corporations have NO rights except for those that we the people give them. You might want to check out your Cato Constitution just to be sure.

Out of frustration, I'm open to lobbying reform, as Johnnie seems to be. But I'm not very optimistic that the foxes are the best ones to write new rules for how to guard the hen house. Especially when one of the fox cheerleaders writes crap like this:

Andromeda strained

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I had a scary dream last night. The world was being taken over by Corrupt Republicans -- just like the Andromeda strain, a destructive indiscriminate virus, multiplying recklessly throughout the land.

First they destroy their host . . . the civilized world in which we live . . . on their happy way to destroying themselves in pursuit of the end times. It is an attempted smackdown of the grandest proportions.

The only antiviral vaccine I see is 'truth,' which is getting harder and harder to find. Hey GlaxoSmithKline . . . how about pouring some of those profits into R&D for a drug that will stop compulsive lying. And be sure to enter George Bush in your first round of human trials. On second thought, put him in with the rats. (Sorry, rats.)

Nine months . . . and counting

Nine months is not a very long time. Three quarters of a year. The length of an average human pregnancy. The amount of time between now and the general elections this fall.

In case you've been hiding in Bush's bubble, the future of our democracy hinges on these elections. If we do not elect a majority of Democrats in at least one house of Congress, we will have no power to stem the riptide of Republican corruption that is eroding our common ground. Without a majority in one house of Congress, we will not have subpoena power. And without subpoena power, the rightwing juggernaut will continue unabated.

Making the progressive case

Stand back. Little Johnny Hood (John Locke Foundation) is thinking again . . . which means some kind of cranial explosion or meltdown is imminent. And you definitely don't want to get slimed when it happens.

Today's musings start with a sweeping reconstruction of modern American history to assert that:

There was little progressive about Progressivism, not really much new in the New Deal (it was warmed-over European collectivism), and certainly nothing great about the Great Society.

Hood's predictability as a wingnut reactionary would be funny if it weren't so sad. Because when all is said and done, he continually reveals the rightwing agenda for what it is: an all out assault on the very notion of common good.

Old Reliable & Alito

Every morning I schlep to the curb to pick up the N&O and the New York Times.

The Times I read almost cover-to-cover.

With the N&O, I usually scan the front page for grammatical errors before I slip to the City/State section in hope of finding something of substance. Mostly I'm disappointed, though Under the Dome continues to have worthy tidbits from time to time.

In occasional moments of weakness, I'll also look at the N&O's editoral pages. If there's a Rick Martinez column, I close the paper. My life is tedious enough without having to endure his predictable nonsense.
re
For a fully insufficient reason, I read the N&O's editorial on ScAlito this weekend. Here's the part that took my breath away:

War on Stupidity

When things get slow in blogland, I often find my mind drifting from here to there and back again, settling on the meta-issues, thinking big thoughts (or so they seem). My thoughts lately have gotten stuck on the idea of stupidity, which I take to mean an amalgam of ignorance, bad judgment and self-defeating decisions.

My wife hates the word. Using it, she argues, implies a kind of intellectual elitism and arrogance that is off-putting. That is to say, stupid people don't like being considered stupid.

Point taken.

One real cost of stupidity is the largely free reign it gives to those who profit from exploiting others . . . others who may be less able, less informed, less comfortable with complexity, or just flat out more gullible.

Extremism

I've been around market research for 25 years and often think in terms of scales.

How often do you think in terms of scales?

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 means you never think in terms of scales and and 7 means you always do.

See what I mean.

Extremism

My scale of interest today is extremism . . . because I've been wondering lately whether I am one (an extremist) or not.

There's no doubt I'm an extremist to somebody.

This question got raised when I snarked at Targator about being so reasonable. And just to be clear, I adore reasonableness . . . and Targator is as good as reasonable gets.

Media-ocrity

As a J-school grad, I have a special interest and growing disdain for the so-called mainstream media. Under self-imposed pressures for higher profits, most media outlets have become parodies of real news organizations . . . especially local television news.

According to an N&O story today, nearly 20% of Triangle residents actually watch local tv news each week, and 42% of everyone watching television at ll pm are spending their time with the local news shows.

This is really sad.

I confess to watching local television news only once or twice a month, mostly to remind myself how pathetic and trivial local news has become. I can only hope people aren't really watching this trash for the real news, but rather to find out whether they'll need an umbrella the next morning.

John the Hood must be smokin' crack

I stop by the Carolina Urinal regularly to see what our local wingnuts are up to . . . and as usual, they're out of their frigging minds. This little paragraph was especially amusing:

So, if you haven’t attended a John Locke Foundation event lately, or at all, now is the time to seize the opportunity. Whatever your tastes and location, it’s likely you’ll find something to your liking – just check the online event calendar regularly for upcoming dates.

Whatever your tastes you'll find something to your liking? My tastes are for intellectual honesty, integrity, personal freedom, reverence for the common good.

Lying liars and the lies they lie about

Image hosted by Photobucket.com If you haven't read Al Franken's book about the tsunami of lies coming from the so called mainstream media, don't bother. It's certainly on point, but it's woefully outdated. Because in the brief period since its publication, the miasma of lies spread by wingers, media monopolies, the Republican congressional leadership and little King George has completely eclipsed anything examined and reported in Al's book.

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