Friday, February 25, 2005

Danny Schechter, "Weapons of Mass Deception" Filmmaker, Declares War on the War Propaganda Machine

Ritual & Sexual Torture in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib
Bad Blood

Your unconscious is making your everyday decisions

SUV Safety, see what you think.


Kevin Drum's response to Bainbridge, whose blog offers very few posts that have intellectual or philosophical merit.

Upon review, I realised that Bainbridge was responding to debate a Hugh Hewitt post, and I gotta give him some credit for that!

VIDEO: CNN reported no plane hit Pentagon

February 25, 2005 OP-ED COLUMNIST Kansas on My Mind By PAUL KRUGMAN

Call it "What's the Matter With Kansas - The Cartoon Version." The slime campaign has begun against AARP, which opposes Social Security privatization. There's no hard evidence that the people involved - some of them also responsible for the "Swift Boat" election smear - are taking orders from the White House. So you're free to believe that this is an independent venture. You're also free to believe in the tooth fairy. Their first foray - an ad accusing the seniors' organization of being against the troops and for gay marriage - was notably inept. But they'll be back, and it's important to understand what they're up to. The answer lies in "What's the Matter With Kansas?," Thomas Frank's meditation on how right-wingers, whose economic policies harm working Americans, nonetheless get so many of those working Americans to vote for them. People like myself - members of what one scornful Bush aide called the "reality-based community" - tend to attribute the right's electoral victories to its success at spreading policy disinformation. And the campaign against Social Security certainly involves a lot of disinformation, both about how the current system works and about the consequences of privatization. But if that were all there is to it, Social Security should be safe, because this particular disinformation campaign isn't going at all well. In fact, there's a sense of wonderment among defenders of Social Security about the other side's lack of preparation. The Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have spent decades campaigning for privatization. Yet they weren't ready to answer even the most obvious questions about how it would work - like how benefits could be maintained for older Americans without a dangerous increase in debt. Privatizers are even having a hard time pretending that they want to strengthen Social Security, not dismantle it. At one of Senator Rick Santorum's recent town-hall meetings promoting privatization, college Republicans began chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, Social Security's got to go." But before the anti-privatization forces assume that winning the rational arguments is enough, they need to read Mr. Frank. The message of Mr. Frank's book is that the right has been able to win elections, despite the fact that its economic policies hurt workers, by portraying itself as the defender of mainstream values against a malevolent cultural elite. The right "mobilizes voters with explosive social issues, summoning public outrage ... which it then marries to pro-business economic policies. Cultural anger is marshaled to achieve economic ends." In Mr. Frank's view, this is a confidence trick: politicians like Mr. Santorum trumpet their defense of traditional values, but their true loyalty is to elitist economic policies. "Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. ... Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization." But it keeps working. And this week we saw Mr. Frank's thesis acted out so crudely that it was as if someone had deliberately staged it. The right wants to dismantle Social Security, a successful program that is a pillar of stability for working Americans. AARP stands in the way. So without a moment's hesitation, the usual suspects declared that this organization of staid seniors is actually an anti-soldier, pro-gay-marriage leftist front. It's tempting to dismiss this as an exceptional case in which right-wingers, unable to come up with a real cultural grievance to exploit, fabricated one out of thin air. But such fabrications are the rule, not the exception. For example, for much of December viewers of Fox News were treated to a series of ominous warnings about "Christmas under siege" - the plot by secular humanists to take Christ out of America's favorite holiday. The evidence for such a plot consisted largely of occasions when someone in an official capacity said, "Happy holidays," instead of, "Merry Christmas." So it doesn't matter that Social Security is a pro-family program that was created by and for America's greatest generation - and that it is especially crucial in poor but conservative states like Alabama and Arkansas, where it's the only thing keeping a majority of seniors above the poverty line. Right-wingers will still find ways to claim that anyone who opposes privatization supports terrorists and hates family values. Their first attack may have missed the mark, but it's the shape of smears to come. E-mail: Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company | Home | Privacy Policy | Search | Corrections | RSS | Help | Back to Top

Thompson shot self while talking with wife [on the phone]

The global warming scam

Off Duty U.S. Customs Officer shoots unarmed 19-year old Arab-American

Pic from Flickr - just for fun.

Video: Segment from 911 in plane sight.. Very interesting..

For Those Who Don't Believe Explosives Were Used in the WTC Collapses:


Violence and heartache continue to explode in Haiti as the anniversary of the kidnapping of President Jean Bertrand Aristide

A 23-year-old U-S citizen who was accused of plotting an assassination with al-Qaida was indicted on Tuesday.
Today the parents of Ahmed Abu Alid said they want to sue the Bush administration, accusing it of being behind their son's detention and alleged torture in a Saudi prison.

Smoking by husbands is associated with an increased occurrence of stroke among their non-smoking wives, according to a new study

Covert Ops in Your Neighborhood

Pic from Yahoo: Just for Fun

It’s amazing to think that you live in a world where Maureen Dowd actually has to explain the thing she explains in this morning’s column

chatterbox Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.

The Wal-Mart Manifesto
The retail giant's CEO says his company pays workers handsomely. He doesn't want you to believe him.