Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information

 First Published on :

 

There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood.

February 12, 2012  |  
 
 
 Self-deprecating, too liberal for their own good, today’s progressives stand back and watch, hands over their mouths, as the social vivisectionists of the right slice up a living society to see if its component parts can survive in isolation. Tied up in knots of reticence and self-doubt, they will not shout stop. Doing so requires an act of interruption, of presumption, for which they no longer possess a vocabulary.

Perhaps it is in the same spirit of liberal constipation that, with the exception of Charlie Brooker, we have been too polite to mention the Canadian study published last month in the journal Psychological Science, which revealed that people with conservative beliefs are likely to be of low intelligence. Paradoxically it was the Daily Mail that brought it to the attention of British readers last week. It feels crude, illiberal to point out that the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own. But this, the study suggests, is not unfounded generalisation but empirical fact.

It is by no means the first such paper. There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood. Open-mindedness, flexibility, trust in other people: all these require certain cognitive abilities. Understanding and accepting others – particularly “different” others – requires an enhanced capacity for abstract thinking.

But, drawing on a sample size of several thousand, correcting for both education and socioeconomic status, the new study looks embarrassingly robust. Importantly, it shows that prejudice tends not to arise directly from low intelligence but from the conservative ideologies to which people of low intelligence are drawn. Conservative ideology is the “critical pathway” from low intelligence to racism. Those with low cognitive abilities are attracted to “rightwing ideologies that promote coherence and order” and “emphasise the maintenance of the status quo”. Even for someone not yet renowned for liberal reticence, this feels hard to write.

This is not to suggest that all conservatives are stupid. There are some very clever people in government, advising politicians, running thinktanks and writing for newspapers, who have acquired power and influence by promoting rightwing ideologies.

But what we now see among their parties – however intelligent their guiding spirits may be – is the abandonment of any pretence of high-minded conservatism. On both sides of the Atlantic, conservative strategists have discovered that there is no pool so shallow that several million people won’t drown in it. Whether they are promoting the idea that Barack Obama was not born in the US, that man-made climate change is an eco-fascist-communist-anarchist conspiracy, or that the deficit results from the greed of the poor, they now appeal to the basest, stupidest impulses, and find that it does them no harm in the polls.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to what two former Republican ideologues, David Frum and Mike Lofgren, have been saying. Frum warns that “conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics“. The result is a “shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology” which has “ominous real-world consequences for American society”.

Lofgren complains that “the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital centre today“. The Republican party, with its “prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science” is appealing to what he calls the “low-information voter”, or the “misinformation voter”. While most office holders probably don’t believe the “reactionary and paranoid claptrap” they peddle, “they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base”.

The madness hasn’t gone as far in the UK, but the effects of the Conservative appeal to stupidity are making themselves felt. This week the Guardian reported that recipients of disability benefits, scapegoated by the government as scroungers, blamed for the deficit, now find themselves subject to a new level of hostility and threats from other people.

These are the perfect conditions for a billionaires’ feeding frenzy. Any party elected by misinformed, suggestible voters becomes a vehicle for undisclosed interests. A tax break for the 1% is dressed up as freedom for the 99%. The regulation that prevents big banks and corporations exploiting us becomes an assault on the working man and woman. Those of us who discuss man-made climate change are cast as elitists by people who happily embrace the claims of Lord MoncktonLord Lawson or thinktanks funded by ExxonMobil or the Koch brothers: now the authentic voices of the working class.

But when I survey this wreckage I wonder who the real idiots are. Confronted with mass discontent, the once-progressive major parties, as Thomas Frank laments in his latest book Pity the Billionaire, triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate, muzzled by what he calls “terminal niceness”. They fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or to make an uncluttered case for social justice, redistribution and regulation. The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism.

Yes, conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information. But the liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid. It’s turkeys all the way down.

George Monbiot is the author Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Read more of his writings at Monbiot.com.

 
54diggsdigg
 
 
 

Urban Legends Website Routs Conspiracy Theorists

Analysis:We are asked to believe that Barack Obama, who for over 20 years has professed to be a devout Christian and spoken publicly of his “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” is in fact secretly a Muslim who has lied all along about his true religious affiliation. 

No proof of any kind is offered by those who make these claims — no sightings of Obama attending a mosque, no pictures of him reading the Koran, praying to Mecca, or observing Islamic holidays with his family. The entire case, such as it is, rests on a confused and error-ridden recitation of Obama’s upbringing and purported childhood influences. It also rests on — that is to say, exploits — a deep fear and mistrust of the Muslim faith.

At no time has Barack Obama publicly evinced a belief in, or commitment to, any other religion than Christianity.

    • CLAIM: Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was a “radical Muslim who migrated from Kenya to Jakarta, Indonesia.”

      STATUS: FALSE. Though Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was raised a Muslim, he had lost his faith and become a “confirmed atheist” by the time he attended college, according to his son. Obama’s parents separated when Barack was two, his father moving not to Jakarta, but to the United States, where he attended Harvard. Eventually he returned to Kenya.

  • CLAIM: Obama’s mother went on to marry another Muslim named Lolo Soetoro who “educated his stepson as a good Muslim by enrolling him in one of Jakarta’s Wahabbi [sic] schools.”

    STATUS: PARTLY TRUE. When Obama’s mother remarried, it was indeed to an Indonesian man named Lolo Soetoro, whom his stepson later described as a “non-practicing” Muslim. But it was his “secular” mother who directly supervised his education, Obama has written, sending him to both Catholic and Muslim primary schools after the family moved to Jakarta.

    There’s nothing on record to indicate Obama attended a madrassa (Muslim religious school) run by Wahhabists, and in any case it’s unlikely his mother would have chosen to expose him to such an extreme form of Islam given her stated abhorrence of religious closed-mindedness and her stated goal of giving her son a well-rounded education, including in matters of faith.

    (Update: CNN tracked down the Indonesian school in question, the Basuki School in Jakarta, which a deputy headmaster describes as a “public school” with no particular religious agenda. “In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don’t give preferential treatment,” the headmaster told CNN. A former classmate of Obama’s describes the school as “general,” with students of many religious backgrounds attending. Obama entered the school at the age of 8 and attended for two years.)

 CLAIM: “Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim while admitting that he was once a Muslim.”

STATUS: FALSE. Once a Muslim? When? Unless I missed it while skimming his two books and a great many news interviews, Obama has never mentioned, let alone “admitted,” being a Muslim at any point in his life. Yes, he lived in a Muslim country during part of his childhood, but there’s no evidence he was literally raised in the Muslim faith, nor has he ever been, so far as any public evidence shows, a practitioner of Islam.

 CLAIM: When Obama was sworn into office he used the Koran (Qur’an) instead of the Bible.

STATUS: FALSE. According to news accounts Barack Obama placed his hand on his personal Bible during his Senate swearing-in ceremony, which was conducted by Vice-President Dick Cheney. Those making this allegation have apparently confused Obama with Congressman Keith Ellison, who actually is a Muslim and was sworn in on January 4, 2007 using a copy of the Koran.

Here is another story which resurfaced recently on Facebook:

Obama Faces More Questions on Citizenship
April 1, 2009AP – WASHINGTON D.C. – In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama’s qualifications for the presidency, the group “Americans for Freedom of Information” has released copies of President Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental College.

Released today, the transcript indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate at the school. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship. This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama’s detractors have been seeking.

The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama’s legitimacy and qualification to serve as president. When reached for comment in London, where he has been in meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama smiled but refused comment on the issue. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scoffed at the report stating that this was obviously another attempt by a right-wing conservative group to discredit the president and undermine the administration’s efforts to move the country in a new direction.

Britain’s Daily Mail has also carried the story in a front-page article titled, “Obama Eligibility Questioned”, leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama’s first official visit to the U.K.

In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama’s legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey. This lawsuit claims Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. Donofrio’s case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama’s citizenship or qualification to serve as president.

Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama’s campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter.

Analysis: Hoax. The original April 1, 2009 posting date suggests it may have been intended as an April Fools prank, but given that the text does little else but parrot actual tenets of the so-called “Birther” movement (those who claim Barack Obama is ineligible for the presidency due to a forged or invalid birth certificate, etc.), it barely qualifies as satire.

    • Is it really an AP news story?

      No. The Associated Press (“AP”) never published such a story. It didn’t run in any real newspaper, nor on any real wire service. It can, however, be found posted and reposted on hundreds of anti-Obama blogs and websites.

  • Is it true that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on Obama’s citizenship and eligibility?

    No. The Supreme Court has refused to hear the Donofrio case, not to mention every other Obama citizenship case submitted to date.

 

  • Did a group called “Americans for Freedom of Information” release Obama’s Occidental College transcripts?

    No. The organization doesn’t exist — or didn’t at the time the above message first began circulating, at any rate. A similarly-named website went up after the fact, but there is no evident connection between that website and the fake news story.

 

  • Has anyone released Obama’s Occidental College transcripts?

    No, the transcripts haven’t been released (federal privacy laws forbid it), nor has any court of law “ordered” them released. (Source: Occidental College)

 

  • Did Obama attend Occidental under the name “Barry Soetoro”?

    No. Soetoro was the surname of his stepfather, but there’s no evidence Barack Obama used it when he attended college. Fellow alumni quoted in the press remember him as “Barry Obama.” According to an Occidental spokesperson quoted on FactCheck.org, the college has no records showing Obama used his stepfather’s last name.

 

  • Did Obama attend Occidental under a Fulbright Scholarship for Foreign Students?

    No. According to various news sources Obama did attend on a scholarship, but it wasn’t a Fulbright scholarship, let alone a Fulbright scholarship for foreign students. The Fulbright Foreign Student Program accepts Master’s Degree and Ph.D. candidates only. Obama, an undergraduate, was neither. He couldn’t have been awarded a Fulbright scholarship for foreign students even if he had been born outside the U.S. (Source: Fulbright Program)

 

  • Did the Daily Mail discuss these “revelations” in a news story entitled “Obama Eligibility Questioned”?

    No. No such story turns up in a search of the London newspaper’s archive.

 

  • Did Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation release research showing Obama has spent $950,000 or more “to block disclosure of his personal records”?

    I’ve found no record of any such “research” being published. The U,S. Justice Foundation does exist and its executive director is indeed a man named Gary Kreep, but he’s on record saying the above claim is a hoax.

    The fact of the matter is that specific expenditures pertaining to litigation on Obama’s Constitutional legitimacy aren’t a matter of public record. What are a matter of public record — and what have have been continually misrepresented as moneys spent fighting citizenship lawsuits — are the total year-to-year legal expenditures of Obama’s campaign finance committee. Anyone who purports to know exactly what portion of those funds were spent responding to citizenship challenges is merely speculating.

    Moreover, it’s disingenuous to characterize Obama’s legal expenditures on these cases as funds dispensed “to block disclosure of his personal records.” While various personal documents have been requested in the filings, securing their release wasn’t the point of the litigation, which aimed to have Obama’s candidacy ruled unconstitutional on a variety of different grounds.

    Lastly, it isn’t as if a presidential candidate whose legitimacy is challenged in court has the option not to mount a legal defense — just ask John McCain.

 

 

“I was in love with the idea of Obama.”


Urgent! The White House announced that in a big speech tomorrow, President Obama will do what no Republican President has been able to do: Put Medicare and Medicaid on the table for potential cuts.

Many former Obama volunteers, donors, and voters are deeply disappointed. A Democratic Congressman said on MSNBC last night that Obama needs to “act like a Democrat.”

Will you sign this urgent pledge, which we’ll deliver to the Obama campaign?

“President Obama: If you cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits for me, my parents, my grandparents, or families like mine, don’t ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I’m going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates — not Democrats who help Republicans make harmful cuts.” Click here to sign.

Below are some amazing notes from Obama volunteers who worked passionately for the President in 2008.

Many people still want to believe in President Obama. But the White House needs to understand that their actions now will have real consequences for 2012. The level of grassroots enthusiasm will be determined by whether the President fights for bold progressive change — and takes cuts that hurt grandparents, the disabled, and kids firmly off the table.

The White House will absolutely be watching the progress of this petition. And we’ll deliver the pledge signatures to the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago.

Please sign today — then, pass it to others who worked to elect President Obama in 2008.

 


NOTES FROM ACROSS THE NATION:

Susan Carpenter, Obama volunteer from Ohio:

“Like many volunteers on his campaign, I was in love with the idea of Obama. I haven’t given up on him quite yet, but I’m mustering the energy to work on the resistance. He needs to know who we are.”

John Rotolo, Obama volunteer from Florida:

“I’m almost too heartsick to comment…I’m at a loss.”

Barbara Louise Jean, Obama volunteer from Nevada:

“It’s ludicrous to cut Medicare for seniors when Wall Street created this mess without being held accountable. At 69, I’ll be in financial trouble if Medicare benefits are lowered.”

Joelle Barnes, Obama volunteer from Pennsylvania:

“This is like a knife through my heart! This is a Republican thing!”

Suzanne Fair, Obama volunteer from Maryland:

“I know he has to compromise sometimes, but it seems that he is caving to the Republicans far too often. We elected him for real change and I would like to see him stand strong against the corporate rich.”

Margaret Copi, Obama donor from California:

“I contributed more to Obama’s campaign than I have to anything else in my life, but no more dollars from me and definitely not a moment of volunteer time, unless he makes huge shifts and starts to fight for the peoples’ interest.”

Frankie Perdue, Obama volunteer from Colorado:

“I do not think that Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security should be on the negotiating table at all. Have the corporations pay their fair share of taxes.”

Deborah Finn, Obama volunteer from North Carolina:

“This is wrong! We did not elect Obama to have him make cuts in valuable, important programs. He needs to stand up to the Republicans. And he needs to speak to the American people about why it is morally wrong to cut the programs.”

Michaele Bonenberger, Obama volunteer from South Dakota:

“This does not sound at all like the Barak Obama that I worked so hard to get elected in 2008.”

Dotty Hopkins, Obama volunteer from California:

“It makes it hard to gin up enthusiasm for 2012. More like hold your nose and vote again! As a former Obama volunteer, I’m already worrying about my lack of desire to do any campaigning and I’m on our County Central Committee for heaven’s sake.”

The White House needs to hear your voice — sign our pledge today. Then pass it on to others.



America: You Keep Using That Word… … I don’t think it means what you think it means.

So, I’m driving into Anchorage this morning. Along with the usual herd of jackasses who, despite living in Alaska still don’t seem to know how to drive in snow, one vehicle in particular caught my eye.

It was one of those enormous black pickup trucks, with the huge knobby tires and smoked glass windows and chrome roll bar complete with half a dozen giant chrome halogen lights and a ten foot high antenna whipping about in the slipstream  and pipe organ-like exhaust pipes jutting up from behind the cab belching thick plumes of white diesel smoke like the twin contrails of a fighter jet on full afterburner.
The great steel beast wasn’t, in and of itself, unusual for the Glenn Highway at 6AM – or even unusual for Alaska in general, where giant manly trucks full of patriotic manly Viagra-fueled studs are quite common.

What caught my eye were the bumper stickers:
Proud American emblazoned across a red, white, and true blue Captain America shield;
In God I trust, In big government I fear. We must protect the country we love!;
and my perennial favorite: I love my country, it’s the damned government I hate.

Now, to be perfectly honest, those bumper sticker slogans aren’t particularly unusual on the Glenn Highway at 6AM either – and normally, they wouldn’t be enough to rise above my “What the hell?” threshold.
Not by themselves.
No, what caught my eye was the giant Confederate flag treatment in the back window.
Wait, what?
Proud American.
Confederate Flag.
Proud American.


Confederate Flag.

And suddenly I’m the Old Spice guy: Liberals, look at your little sissy Prius. Look at it. Loser. Now look at this awesome RAM truck. Look at it! It gets five miles a gallon. Look at the patriotic slogans! They’re American. Now look at the Confederate Flag! The Confederacy. It’s American. Now look back to the bumper. Back to the Flag! The bumper!  Now I’m a Confederate! Look again, I’m an American! A Rebel! America, hell ya! I’m on a horse…

Proud American. Confederate flag.

I wanted to pull up next him and roll down the window and ask, So, Just to make sure I’m clear on this, you’re a proud patriotic American who loves the United States which is why you display the battle symbol of a long defunct political/military organization that directly and without equivocation attempted to destroy that self same country. Is that correct?

No, strike that. That’s wrong.

That’s really not what I wanted to ask him.

What I really wanted to ask is this: Proud American? Really? What is it exactly that you’re proud of?  You say you love your country? You say you love the United States? Really? Which part? What is it that you love about it? Specifically, what exactly do you love about America?

Because, see, so far as I can tell, people like you seem to hate just about everything that makes the United States what it is.

You hate the President, you call him a Nazi and a socialist and communist and an enemy of America.  You’re embarrassed by him.  You hate his big jug ears and his oh so white smile and his funny alien name.  You hate his politics and his elitist education and his religion and his agenda and the way he speaks. You hate his wife and you hate his kids.  Now, to be fair, you hated the last president too and in fact you’ve got a beef with damned near every president except for Good Ole George Washington and maybe Ronald Reagan. You couldn’t stand Carter or that pig, Clinton, Nixon was a crook, Johnson got us into Vietnam and the best thing that Kennedy ever did was to take a ride in that convertible – too bad he didn’t invite little brother Ted along.  You hate the president all the way back to FDR.  Hell, you even hateTeddy Roosevelt because he was nothing but a goddamned anti-American Progressive – you know that’s true because Glenn Beck told you so (and don’t you hate it when people accuse you of getting your ideas from him? Like you can’t decide who to hate all by yourself).

You hate Congress. You hate the idea of a republic, of representative democracy, where Senators and Representative don’t do only what you want.  It’s we the people goddamnit. They’re all crooks. They’re allliars. They’re all corrupt greedy bastards.  They’re all ineffective. You hate them all.  They should all be thrown out – well, all of them except for your guy that is. What’s that? Oh you hate your guy too? Yeah, that figures.

You hate the courts, especially the Supreme Court.  Oh how you hate that they won’t let you make your hate the law of the land.  You hate the whole damned liberal American legal system. You hate the lawyers, you’d like to line them all up and shoot them first.  You hate that criminals get a legal defense, you hate that people can’t seem to see that they’re guilty, just drop them into a hole and throw away the key.  You hate those groups that keep using DNA to vacate death row convictions, the scumbags are guilty of something otherwise they wouldn’t be scumbags would they – but now they get to go free and collect a big fat settlement and, man, don’t you just hate that?  Of course, you hate paying for prison too, and as long as we’re on the subject you hate that prisons are big country clubs nowadays, what the hell are those scumbags complaining about? You hate those damned judges, they’re all liberal activists, everybody knows it.  You hate the fact that we can’t just string people up in the town square any more, those were the good old days you bet.  You’d like to see more military tribunals, that’s the ticket. Not like that’s going to happen, and boy don’t you just hate that too?

In fact, you hate the whole goddamned Federal government. You really hate the “united” part of the United States. You say you love the Constitution, and you do – the 2nd Amendment part anyway – but youreally hate the parts that let other people say what they like and worship religions different than yours and give the Federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce and award citizenship to brown skinned babies and give people you don’t like the same rights as you and make the government a secular organization instead of a Christian one – yeah, you really hate that part.  You hate federal regulations and federal law and federal taxes.  You hate the Fed and the fact that our money isn’t based on the gold standard.  You hate that the government won’t let you sell defective products and contaminated food and unsafe toys coated in lead paint or snake oil that purports to cure cancer – that’s just bad for business.  You hate the idea of anybody other than you getting affordable healthcare or retirement or a home loan.  You hate Social Security, even though you yourself never bothered to save not one single penny towards your own retirement.  You think the military is “broken” and you hate those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you hate the idea of ending them even more because then the terrorists will “win” – and you hate that we haven’t yet declared war on Iran and North Korea and maybe even Libya because you hate those bastards too. In fact, you hate the idea of peace all together, goddamned sissy liberals, real Americans love the smell of napalm in the morning you betcha.
You hate the American political system. You hate political parties. You hate those filthy liberals, oh you hate them so much, that’s a given. But you hate the Republicans too, you hate Progressives and Centrists and Moderates and there’s nobody you hate more than those traitor RINOs.

You hate your neighbors, you do, you hate them. You hate the niggers and the spics and the chinks and the gooks and spooks and hajis.  And, man, there’s nothing you hate more than when they call you a racist and a bigot. You hate all those minorities with their whining about equal rights and political correctness and affirmative action. You hate that they get a free ride.  You hate how they can’t take a joke. You hate the greedy Jews. You hate the terrorist Muslims. You hate the child-molesting Catholics. And you just goddamned hate those atheists.  You hate anybody who wasn’t born again. You hate that guy with the long beard and the red turban who runs that store you hate downtown.  You hate those people who can’t speak English without an accent.  You hate having to dial 1 for English, my God how you hate that. You hate the fags in their little Speedos, demanding the right to wed just so they can mock your third marriage.  You hate immigrants, and not just the illegal ones either. You hate the idea that those dirty, diseased sons of bitches come here to this country and take all the good jobs.  You hate that your daughter is dating one of them. You hate that one of their kids can become president when there are plenty of good God fearin’ naturally born white men around – speaking of which, you really hate how white men have become the most persecuted minority in America, it’s shameful is what it is.  You hate the poor, the lazy bastards should just lift themselves up, stop being poor. You hate the rich, the ones born with a golden spoon full of coke in their noses and the ones who robbed their way to the top.  You hate feminists, those damned dyke bitches, and you hate that they think they should own their own reproductive organs.  You hate city people, the ones from New York and Los Angeles who think they’re better then you.  You hate those ignorant country bumpkins too, those pig shit covered farmers and their subsidies always sponging off your tax dollars.  You hate those college boys, those elitist snobs with their law degrees and science majors.  You hate people from the East Coast with their old money and blue blood, you hate them almost as much as you hate the fruits, nuts, and flakes from the West Coast, and by God, how you hate those crooked bastards from Chicago. You hate single mothers and women who breastfeed in public.  You hate fat people, those glutinous slobs taking up more than their fair share of the space.  Of course, youreally hate it when that America hating Michelle Obama suggests that your kids eat right and maybe get some exercise so they don’t end up overweight, how dare she, how dare she, if you want to be fat, by God, you’ll be fat and no hate-filled bitch is going to tell you what to do. You hate kids with long hair and tattoos.  You hate old people, the Greatest Generation of assholes, always complaining about how much better things used to be, why can’t they just die already and quit sucking on the Medicare tit? Speaking of Medicare, you hate that too, even though you yourself can’t afford health insurance for you family – besides, the emergency room is free. Right?

You hate the environment. You hate the flora and fauna and the terrain of the great American landscape.  You hate the polar bears and the snail darter and that stupid spotted owl.  You hate saving the Redwoods for generations to come. You hate those national parks and the bureau of land management. You hate clean air and water that’s safe to swim in. You hate that you can’t just shoot every deer and dip-net every salmon.  You hate catalytic converters and lead free gasoline.  You hate the fact that the fascist EPA won’t let you dump toxic waste into Love Canal or strip mine Utah. You hate carbon and separating your paper from your plastics. You hate blowout preventers and containment booms and hearing about the Exxon Valdez – honestly, hasn’t Exxon suffered enough?  Drill baby drill that’s what you’re talking about.  You hate the word “Green” and you hope Al Gore burns in hell for all eternity because you hate that commie fucker more than anybody else – well, except for maybe Obama, but that just goes without saying.

You hate public education.  You hate the Department of Education, you didn’t used to, but you sure do now.  You hate it because it’s not in the Constitution – the Constitution which you hated having to learn about in school, in that government class you so hated. You hate the school board and school administrators and the school principal. You hate schools, you hate having to pay taxes for a new roof so the kids don’t get rained on and you hate having to buy classroom equipment and you hate those afterschool programs – well, except for football, that’s OK.  And, by God, you hate the damned teachers, you hate those lazy, greedy, selfish bastards.  You hate that the arrogant pricks laugh at your poorly spelled TEA Party posters and you blame them for your ignorance. You hate that you have to pay them a living wage, you hate the idea that the modern world means that teachers have to be highly educated professionals instead of some chalk scented school marm who was good enough for your great grandfather. You grandfather didn’t need to learn about computers or technology or world events or funny looking people in countries that don’t matter, and you hate it when people tell you that your kids aren’t living in that world anymore.  You hate that your kids might have to learn about actual science, oh how you hate that they might hear about evolution or global climate change or plate tectonics or that people didn’t, in fact, live with dinosaurs and that the world is actually a lot older than 5000 years despite what you learned in Church last week.  You hate the liberal colleges with their long haired professors and their weird ideas – and you sure as hell hate how higher education tends to make people more liberal, not less.

You hate the media.  You hate CNN and MSNBC and ABC and the Washington Post.  You harbor a special hatred for Arianna Huffington, a hatred that flares as brightly as a burning deep water drilling rig.  You hate Hollywood, you hate how it’s controlled by the Jews or maybe the Bilderbergs and their New World Order or perhaps it’s really secretly controlled by the Illuminati or the Muslim Brotherhood. Whoever is in charge out there, you hate how every movie seems to have gay people in it, or blacks, or an Arab.
You hate American capitalism – oh, you love Capitalism with a capital C, but you hate what those greedy conniving Wall Street fat cats have done to it.  God, how you hate those sons of bitches, the ones like Bill Gates who built his business from the ground up and became for a time the richest man in the world, and then – and this is the part you really hate – he started giving his money away.  Of course, it’s all a lie, he’s just giving it away for the tax break and how you hate that too, don’t you? And you hate those pricks in management, those prissy white collar MBA’s who have never done an honest day’s labor in their privileged lives.  Ah, but as much as you hate the executives and the management, that’s nothingcompared to how much you hate labor. You hate unions. You hate that middle class Americans enjoy a living wage in safe working environments at a reasonable number of working hours per week.  You hate that they’ve thrown in together, bargaining collectively so that they might have a bit of leverage against those fat cats and greedy corporations you also hate.  You call them socialists and communists and you hate it when somebody points out that in far left socialist and communist countries workers have no rightswhatsoever (and didn’t in America either, until the unions came along). God how you hate being confused with facts by liberal Nazi Commies who dare to question your cognitively dissociative reasoning.

In point of fact, other than the flag (the American one, not the Confederate one – though that works too, I guess), there doesn’t seem to be much about America you do like.

So, when you say you love America, what is it exactly that you love?

When you say you’re a proud American, what is it that you’re proud of?

Because, I’ve got to tell you, I’m just not seeing it.

 

http://www.stonekettle.com/2011/03/america-you-keeping-using-that-word.html


Part 2 – America: Explained: Follow up article and amplifying thoughts about this post.

Part 3 – America: Land That I Love: Follow up article and why I love this country.

Update: This post has gone viral.  Thanks to all of you who linked, Facebooked, tweeted, and stumbled it – and if you haven’t, well why the hell haven’t you?

 

If you liked this post: you might like this one too:  Liberalism, Conservatism, and Insanity.  One of these days I’m going to have to put all these bumper sticker inspired posts into a book.

 

President Obama: Born in the U.S.A.

It seems crazy that people, some people, anyway, still cling to the belief or possibly the hope, that President Obama is not a citizen born in the U.S.

A poll of Republicans recently indicated that 40% of them were “unsure” about whether or not the president was born in Hawaii.

Here are the facts, reprinted for our reader’s knowledge and to put the issue to rest, so that we can go on to the more important question of how we are going to unite the majority of Americans in their own self interest when the de facto rulers of the country prefer to see us divided. Michael

More photos and documentation on:  http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

The truth about Obama’s birth certificate.
Summary
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document’s authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is “fake.”

We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as “supporting documents” to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu.
Analysis
Update Nov. 1: The Associated Press quoted Chiyome Fukino as saying that both she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.

Fukino also was quoted by several other news organizations. The Honolulu Advertiser quoted Fukino as saying the agency had been bombarded by requests, and that the registrar of statistics had even been called in at home in the middle of the night.
Honolulu Advertiser, Nov. 1 2008: “This has gotten ridiculous,” state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said yesterday. “There are plenty of other, important things to focus on, like the economy, taxes, energy.” . . . Will this be enough to quiet the doubters? “I hope so,” Fukino said. “We need to get some work done.”
Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

Since we first wrote about Obama’s birth certificate on June 16, speculation on his citizenship has continued apace. Some claim that Obama posted a fake birth certificate to his Web page. That charge leaped from the blogosphere to the mainstream media earlier this week when Jerome Corsi, author of a book attacking Obama, repeated the claim in an Aug. 15 interview with Steve Doocy on Fox News.
Corsi: Well, what would be really helpful is if Senator Obama would release primary documents like his birth certificate. The campaign has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website. How is anybody supposed to really piece together his life?

Doocy: What do you mean they have a “false birth certificate” on their Web site?

Corsi: The original birth certificate of Obama has never been released, and the campaign refuses to release it.

Doocy: Well, couldn’t it just be a State of Hawaii-produced duplicate?

Corsi: No, it’s a — there’s been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it’s been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It’s a fake document that’s on the Web site right now, and the original birth certificate the campaign refuses to produce.

Corsi isn’t the only skeptic claiming that the document is a forgery. Among the most frequent objections we saw on forums, blogs and e-mails are:
The birth certificate doesn’t have a raised seal.
It isn’t signed.
No creases from folding are evident in the scanned version.
In the zoomed-in view, there’s a strange halo around the letters.
The certificate number is blacked out.
The date bleeding through from the back seems to say “2007,” but the document wasn’t released until 2008.
The document is a “certification of birth,” not a “certificate of birth.”
Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it’s stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.

The Obama birth certificate, held by FactCheck writer Joe Miller

Alvin T. Onaka’s signature stamp

The raised seal

Blowup of text

You can click on the photos to get full-size versions, which haven’t been edited in any way, except that some have been rotated 90 degrees for viewing purposes.

The certificate has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: “your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records.” The names, date and place of birth, and filing date are all evident on the scanned version, and you can see the seal above.

The document is a “certification of birth,” also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents’ hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health’s birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.

The scan released by the campaign shows halos around the black text, making it look (to some) as though the text might have been pasted on top of an image of security paper. But the document itself has no such halos, nor do the close-up photos we took of it. We conclude that the halo seen in the image produced by the campaign is a digital artifact from the scanning process.

We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and “all the records we could get our hands on” according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn’t release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama’s citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: “[We] couldn’t get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we’ve found out it’s pretty irrelevant for the outside world.” The document we looked at did have a certificate number; it is 151 1961 – 010641.

Blowup of certificate number
Some of the conspiracy theories that have circulated about Obama are quite imaginative. One conservative blogger suggested that the campaign might have obtained a valid Hawaii birth certificate, soaked it in solvent, then reprinted it with Obama’s information. Of course, this anonymous blogger didn’t have access to the actual document and presents this as just one possible “scenario” without any evidence that such a thing actually happened or is even feasible.

We also note that so far none of those questioning the authenticity of the document have produced a shred of evidence that the information on it is incorrect. Instead, some speculate that somehow, maybe, he was born in another country and doesn’t meet the Constitution’s requirement that the president be a “natural-born citizen.”

We think our colleagues at PolitiFact.com, who also dug into some of these loopy theories put it pretty well: “It is possible that Obama conspired his way to the precipice of the world’s biggest job, involving a vast network of people and government agencies over decades of lies. Anything’s possible. But step back and look at the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and your sense of what’s reasonable has to take over.”

In fact, the conspiracy would need to be even deeper than our colleagues realized. In late July, a researcher looking to dig up dirt on Obama instead found a birth announcement that had been published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961:

Obama’s birth announcement

The announcement was posted by a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger who grudgingly concluded that Obama “likely” was born Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu.

Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.

Update, August 26: We received responses to some of our questions from the Hawaii Department of Health. They couldn’t tell us anything about their security paper, but they did answer another frequently-raised question: why is Obama’s father’s race listed as “African”? Kurt Tsue at the DOH told us that father’s race and mother’s race are supplied by the parents, and that “we accept what the parents self identify themselves to be.” We consider it reasonable to believe that Barack Obama, Sr., would have thought of and reported himself as “African.” It’s certainly not the slam dunk some readers have made it out to be.

When we asked about the security borders, which look different from some other examples of Hawaii certifications of live birth, Kurt said “The borders are generated each time a certified copy is printed. A citation located on the bottom left hand corner of the certificate indicates which date the form was revised.” He also confirmed that the information in the short form birth certificate is sufficient to prove citizenship for “all reasonable purposes.”

–by Jess Henig, with Joe Miller
Sources
United States Department of State. “Application for a U.S. Passport.” Accessed 20 Aug. 2008.

State of Hawaii Department of Health. “Request for Certified Copy of Birth Record.” Accessed 20 Aug. 2008.

Hollyfield, Amy. “Obama’s Birth Certificate: Final Chapter.” Politifact.com. 27 Jun. 2008.

The Associated Press. “State declares Obama birth certificate genuine” 31 Oct 2008.

Nakaso, Dan. “Obama’s certificate of birth OK, state says; Health director issues voucher in response to ‘ridiculous’ barrage” Honolulu Advertiser 1 Nov 2008.

Copyright © 2003 – 2010, Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania
FactCheck.org’s staff, not the Annenberg Center, is responsible for this.

Click on Photo to enlarge

Republican Stooges for Big Business Spanked

Health care passed, not news of course, but a positive event, at least in terms of defeating the Republicans

God help us if the Republicans ever return to power.
Oxycontin addict Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Loony Tunes Glenn Beck are pretty fair examples of what the GOP has devolved into.

I am stunned whenever I watch CSPAN Washington Journal and hear how little most people know about the world around them.
Most people in our country are pretty easily manipulated because of this.
Even so, it is outrageous to see the symbols of hate represented by, let’s be frank, dirt-bags like John Boehner, spewing hate on the airwaves, and being paid to do it.

Well, a victory for Obama, who is beginning to sound like a successful politician.
Lots of issues out there, abortion rights, jobs and homelessness.

The ball’s in your court, Mr. President.

Right and Wrong and Humanity

Government has a role as being the facilitator of our better natures.
Most of us would agree that the luck of being born into a wealthy family does not make one a better person than someone who has the misfortune to be born in Haiti.
I don’t know if you would agree with this, but studying  IRS data and reporting has demonstrated that large numbers of Americans were born “super rich”, and have never known a single solitary want in their lives, at least, materially.
They and those with whom they associate run the country, and sometimes they do a very poor job of it.
What is required is a major shift.
The evil that is propagated by such individuals as Rush Limbaugh, has to be exposed for what it is.
If you study history and have a rudimentary knowledge of logic and reason and philosophy and metaphysics it is obvious that the world and civilization and technology are evolving.
Surely all the blood and sweat and history of a thousand years is not going to reach its epitome by being a world that is safe for those who inherit money, and cruel and brutish for everyone, or the majority of everyone, else.
No, the definite trend in social evolution, or cultural evolution, or civilization’s evolution, is altruism, and equality, for all.
To many, change is a scary thing, even the “enemy”.
Remember how many on the right railed against the word “change” in the Obama campaign?
Some are upset that Obama has acknowledged the harm America has sometimes caused around the world, but how to you get beyond the wrongs you have done if you won’t even acknowledge them?
Countries make mistakes, and sometimes they are not mistakes, they are deliberate.
Hitler did not mistakenly murder millions.
Hitler was able to convince millions of Germans that the most ridiculous policies were the answer to Germany’s, and Europe’s serious problems.
Some people hate Obama.
Most people can see that Obama is a decent man, in a tough situation, in a world filled with crisis.
The people on the right need to educate themselves out of the layers of disinformation spread by the professional conservatives, the Limbaughs and the Hanittys and that group, that earn a fortune building an edifice of hate and self agrandizement.
I am speaking to the people who work and care about their neighbors and their families and the world we share.
We are not going to return to the fifties in America.
And we are not going to return to the 7th century, as desired by the conservatives in Islam.
We are going to move forward, the only question is the nature and strength of the opposition to human progress, and the form of progress, not whether there will be human progress.