Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Case for Israel Being Better Off Without The "Help" of The United States

Comedic perspectives can help people see an issue with fresh eyes as contradictions become more apparent and the laughter helps overcome natural bias to various degrees, something which is needed in the Israel-Palestine debate.


In Obama's speech at the UN he spent a great deal of time trying to explain why he believes Palestine should not negotiate through the UN in any manner, even though Israel was created through the UN as well.

Obama's speech had so little substance that he sounded like a broken record...

"Peace is hard, unlike winning the Nobel Peace Prize which is surprisingly easy"

Are discussions important? Yes. But to do that only through negotiations between a tiny super power (Israel is extremely strong and can take care of itself) and its occupied lands can't possibly be called an equal or fair negotiation table.

Fortunately, Obama's strange stance on the Israel-Palestine issue can be easily explained by tracing where the roots of the new rhetoric comes from and shinning a light on who these power sources are. Once done, you may agree with me that Israel is better off without any interference from the United States on foreign policy (in any sense whatsoever).

From BBC: Barack Obama has told the UN General Assembly the Palestinians deserve their own state, but that this would only be achieved through talks with Israel.

Obama is clearly following Republican/GOP rhetoric...

Rick Perry: "Palestinian statehood must be established only through direct negotiations between the Palestinian leadership and the nation of Israel."

To understand why it's bad for any country to get too involved with United States foreign policy can be explained by studying the Republican power structure which is controlling Obama. Rick Perry is himself a slave to that system. (i.e. read the last 3 links carefully).

Palestine finds that, as with any good co-op, joining the U.N. requires getting past that one hard-ass on the co-op board who always shoots people down.

Notes - 1. Each side doesn't acknowledge they other, 2. They have been fighting for, like, forever, 3. Obama/US wants Palestine to get a recommendation from "their mortal enemies" to get UN membership (in contrast to North Korea or Syria).


Palestinians and Jews working together, in the present and historically, is not something you hear allot about in the media;

Anna Baltzer and Mustafa Barghouti advocate a non-violent approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in this complete, unedited interview...

Exclusive - Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1
Part 2 of Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti interview:
'The US is too biased to one side and this isn't good for Israel'

A pro-Israel Lobby you don't hear about in the media...  

Interview: Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the pro-Israel lobby J Street, discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Palestine's application for full U.N. membership....

Israel came into being by a UN mandate so its only fair that the Palestinians do too.

Ben Ami is taking a mainstream approach as that's necessary for his political position (Israel on one side and a right-wing Obama administration on the other)

From the Washington Post:

Ben-Ami provides an arsenal of logistical and moral arguments stressing that not only is Israel’s occupation over another people a threat to the Zionist dream and American interests in the region, but that it also runs counter to rabbinic values — indeed, even to the very letter of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which promises equality to all, regardless of race, religion or gender. In short, he tells us that Israel is on the brink of becoming an “apartheid state” and losing its status as a moral beacon to the Jewish people and the safe and democratic haven its pioneers intended it to be.

Ben-Ami argues that by taking a radically conciliatory pro-peace position today instead of the stance represented by the conservative AIPAC, the American Jewish community would serve Israel’s interests far better — paradoxically, just as the radically militant policy pursued by his father, Yitshaq (whom Ben-Ami calls a “terrorist”), in Israel’s early days was exactly what was needed in order to ensure its creation: At the time, his father’s brand of Zionism ran counter to what was considered acceptable by the Jewish community.

Ben-Ami says that today’s Jewish voice in America should clearly call for an active American intervention in the Middle East that will bring about the end of occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state. How can this be done? He suggests that the American president, backed by the international community, must present a take-it-or-leave-it political package to the two sides. The basis already exists for this in various peace initiatives that call for making the pre-1967 armistice line a border between the two states and allowing for a one-to-one exchange of territory for reasons to do with security or demography. The resulting refugee problem could be addressed in any number of ways, including compensation, family reunification schemes and resettlement. Most of these plans also call for making Jerusalem a joint capital for the two states. President Clinton proposed a formula for sharing the city by having Arab neighborhoods come under Arab sovereignty, and Jewish neighborhoods under Jewish sovereignty.

US news media involvement in the flotilla incident can the UN called "excessive"...

Benjamin Netanyahu defends Israel's raid on a flotilla of activists bringing aid to the Gaza Strip...

The above is why Israel-Turkey relations are dead in the water and it makes the nagative image of the Israeilites amougnst the people of the region increase.
From CNN:

The Turks and many others have already contested the underlying logic of the Report, the central issue of which is the legitimacy of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Sir Geoffrey Palmer and his colleagues concluded that 1) although Gaza is not a state, Israel and Gaza are in an international conflict; as a result 2) the Israelis’ claim that they have a right to self-defense in this situation is entirely legitimate, and 3) the naval blockade is an acceptable means to achieve that end. In order to reach these conclusions, Palmer et al affirmed Israel’s position that the naval blockade is fundamentally separate policy from the land cordon the Israelis established around Gaza since 2007.

Not being a lawyer, I may not be on firm ground here, but it seems pretty clear that Palmer’s report is correct that, while the conflict between Israel and Gaza may not meet the legal criteria for “international conflict,” politically there is no question that we are looking at what is, for all intents and purposes, an international conflict. (A conclusion, which although not legal, should nevertheless be important for advocates of Palestinian statehood.)

At the same time, Palmer’s conclusion that the naval blockade is a separate policy seems to be a bit shaky. It is based on the fact that this blockade was not established until January 3, 2009 more than a year after the imposition of the land closure. Yet, there is something that is too cute by a half about this reasoning. It is important to remember that the naval blockade also occurred during the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead, which was intended to bring a halt to rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel. A laudable goal, but it also suggests that Palmer may be wrong in suggesting the “separateness” of the naval blockade. After all, that blockade was imposed as part of a military operation that was intended to do what the land closure was apparently failing to do. Under these circumstances, it seems that the naval blockade was an extension of or addition to an existing Israeli policy of preventing weapons, the raw materials for weapons along with a host of other goods that have nothing whatsoever to do with weapons, from being smuggled into Gaza.

The Palmer Report is thus not as clear-cut as either the Israelis who are declaring victory would suggest or the hopelessly politicized exercise that the Turks are claiming. The ironies here are almost too much to take, but what is done is done and the report, with whatever its faults, is a devastating blow to the Turkish narrative of the legal and political issues surrounding the incident (see pages 38-48, in particular). It has especially harsh words for the organizers of the flotilla and questions their intentions to actually deliver humanitarian aid. This is a political problem for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the reason why the Turks went on the offensive this week.

After all, wasn’t it a confident (righteous, even) Ankara that demanded a UN commission of inquiry in the belief that it would reinforce the Turkish narrative? Didn’t the Mavi Marmara incident and the events surrounding it help further Erdogan’s legend in the Arab world? Hasn’t Erdogan been minting political gold on the Palestinian issue? The answer to all of these questions is yes. The fact that the Palmer Report suggests that Israel may have screwed up the interception of the flotilla, used unnecessary force, and abused some of the passengers and crew is politically unsatisfying because the UN’s inquiry also states that the Israelis were within their legal rights to establish a naval blockade and enforce it.

Moments of Zen

1. Israel's present political situation suggests the people are ready for change, they just need a solution...

2. 253rd time Palestine and Israel sit down for peace talks and the firmest thing the US can do is extend negotiations?...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appoints an "ambassador of death," while Hillary Clinton gives Israel and Palestine a firm deadline for peace.

3. Its obvious that the US has no influence in the Israel-Palestinian process in this video, at least, not from the Democrats...
Joe Biden punishes Israel for its plans to build more settlements by showing up late to dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

End of - The Case for Israel Being Better Off Without The "Help" of The United States

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[Case Study] Who Is Rick Perry?

In attempting to understand who Rick Perry is and what he represents for the new Republican party (GOP), we first have to figure out who he is. Based on a compendium of articles one thing is for sure, I can't tell if he is really a conservative or a liberal. However, there is one thing I can tell with absolute certainty, he is not even remotely consistent.

Outline of GOP Candidate Rick Perry

1. Rick Perry's Inconsistencies..

Despite His Current Vehemence on Taxes, Perry Has a More Nuanced Record
To hear him tell it on the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Rick Perry has never met a tax increase he liked. But at home, over a political career that reaches back to the oil price shocks of the 1980s, Mr. Perry has embraced billions of dollars worth of them — including a $528 million tax increase approved in 1990, after he defected to the Republican Party.

Rick Perry's Gaffe Problem
A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee said, "Rick's ramblings from the past 48 hours in the Hawkeye State show a candidate that's trying to create his own reality." Even Fox News commentator Karl Rove, the former political strategist for President George W. Bush (a former Texas governor who named Perry as his lieutenant governor), said Perry seems unpresidential and needs to choose his words more carefully.

Rick Perry Flip-Flops On The 10th Amendment and States Rights With Abortion

The thing about conservatives and state’s rights is that they are for them except when they are against them. Take Texas Governor Rick Perry, for example. Gov. Perry is on record for believing that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. That way states would be free to pass their own laws concerning abortion without having that pesky federal law and constitutional protections to worry about.

It appears that Gov. Perry has had a change of heart. According to RH Reality Check, Perry now supports a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would grant personhood status and legal protections to unborn children. That’s right. The same Governor who openly flirted with secession now believes the federal government should dictate abortion law to the states. That’s an interesting evolution on the topic of federalism.

Rick Perry Flip Flops On Gay Marriage, Backs Federal Ban
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), one of the country's most prominent defenders of the 10th Amendment, is making an exception when it comes to gay marriage. After initially telling reporters that it's "fine with me" if states like New York legalize same-sex unions through their own legislature, Perry is pulling a 180 and calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment

Do as I say not as I do...
Stimulus-Hating Gov. Rick Perry Used Stimulus to Balance Texas Budget
Gov. Rick Perry used federal stimulus money to pay 97 percent of Texas's budget shortfall in fiscal 2010--which is funny, because Perry spent a lot of time talking about just how terrible the stimulus was. In fact, Texas was the state that relied most heavily on stimulus funds, CNN's Tami Luhby reports.

"Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act money, he railed against it," Luhby writes. "On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titled 'No Government Bailouts.'" It called on Americans to express their anger at irresponsible spending.

Thanks to the stimulus funds, Texas didn't have to dip into its $9.4 billion rainy day fund. Still, now that the stimulus is spent, Texas, like many other states, is facing severe cuts--$31 million must be carved from the budget.

Rick Perry is George Bush on Steroids!?!...

Rick Perry Announces His Candidacy

Perry Makes It Official: He's Running for President
Through three terms as governor, Perry has overseen significant job growth in his state while working to keep taxes low. He was an early backer of the tea party movement and enjoys the support of social conservatives because of his opposition to abortion and gay rights. He is also an evangelical Christian who organized a well-attended prayer rally in his state last week.

Perry is a prodigious fundraiser who has already begun laying the groundwork for a national finance network his supporters say would rival that of President Obama, who is expected to exceed his record-breaking $750 million haul from 2008.

But some Republicans worry that Perry's hard-core conservatism and Texas style may not play well in a 50-state contest, particularly coming so soon after former President George W. Bush's two White House terms. Bush had record low approval ratings when he left office in 2009.

2. Rick Perry leads a prayer group to help the economy and proves his Christian Evangelical credentials...

Rick Perry targets Bible belt to ignite Republican race for the White House
The battle for the "Bible belt", one of the most crucial constituencies in the Republican White House race, will begin in earnest in Waterloo, Iowaon Sunday, where Texas governor Rick Perry, who announced his candidature on Saturday, is to speak at a dinner in the Electric Park ballroom that will also be attended by congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Bachmann changed her diary to be there, setting up an early showdown between two Christian evangelicals either of whom could be Barack Obama's opponent in the presidential election next year. Bachmann received a big early advantage on Saturday night when she came top of the Republican straw poll in Ames, the biggest political festival in America this year. In the second biggest vote in the history of the straw poll, with almost 17,000 voting, Bachmann took 4,823. Perry, as he had not declared in time, was not on the ballot but still managed to win 718 write-ins. The victory provides Bachmann with a short-term advantage but it is unlikely to last long with the arrival of Perry. The real race begins now.

The importance of the evangelical vote is huge, representing an estimated 40% of Republicans who will vote in the Iowa caucus, which is scheduled for February. Iowa, as the first of the contests, matters – helping to propel candidates to the front of the race and seeing others heading for oblivion.

Bachmann has received the endorsement of more than 100 pastors and Christian leaders in the state in the past week alone. But Perry's entry upsets her calculations. He is both a politician and part-time preacher, the kind of southerner who appeals to the Christian right. "Perry's entry shifts the dynamic," said Steve King, a rightwing congressman from Iowa, who was speaking at the Iowa state fair, where a string of Republican candidates used soapboxes to address voters sitting on straw bales.

American Christianity: constantly reimagined, manipulated and exploited
The politicised church, which has submerged religion under politics but claims to be the only real keeper of the flame, feeds off attention from vote-hungry politicians. Their pastors become players on the national stage, even while subject to criticism from their orthodox brethren and secularists alike.

Rick Warren's "purpose-driven" theology, for example, is considered unbiblical by some Christian critics. Kenneth Copeland, whose Word of Faith doctrine is considered heretical by Christians from both conservative and liberal traditions, is nonetheless quietly courted by Republican presidents and presidential hopefuls. He believes Jesus wants him to fly on a $20 million private jet while he sponges money off his television viewers.

The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, who plans to run for president, hosted a prayer rally that featured believers in signs, wonders, prophecies and spiritual warfare inspired by Joel 2. These are the generals Perry hopes will lead an army of believers, who insist that America must repent for the "sins" of abortion and homosexuality, to propel him to greater heights of political power. The candidate to whom he presents the greatest challenge, Michele Bachmann, studied law not how most American attorneys learn it, but through a curriculum designed by Christian Reconstructionists, who aim to have America governed by "biblical law".

Christianity in the US is collapsing: Christianity will struggle to re-emerge from the mishmash of self-help groups it has become in America
The rhetoric and politics of evangelicals and self-help gurus are different but the essential message is the same: it is the doctrine of salvation by faith according to the canonical born-again scenario. You are seized by the conviction that your life is profoundly unsatisfactory in some global way that eludes further analysis: you are sinful, neurotic, stressed, addicted, co-dependent – insufficiently happy. You assemble a customised mix of the beliefs that "work" for you: your personal faith. Through it you achieve salvation, healing, and personal growth, the start of an endless spiritual journey to further self-improvement. You, and other Americans whose only hobbies are themselves, support legions of pastors, gurus, therapists and motivational speakers.

It is easy to see why most people are contemptuous of this amalgam of credulity, sentimentality and narcissism, which in its evangelical Christian form is tied up with myths about the age of the earth and origin of species, sexual taboos and a conservative political agenda. With this as the public face of religion it's not surprising that in the US, as in Europe, Christianity is collapsing.

That is a shame because if it collapses everything essential to it and worthwhile, which is now merely obscure, will become inaccessible. Christian theology, metaphysical doctrines about the existence and nature of God that I believe to be true, will become curiosities, like the teachings of second-string neo-Platonists. Service books will languish in archives, for study by antiquarians. The better churches will be preserved as museums; mediocre ones will be gutted and refurbished as restaurants, condos and office space.

Reports: Rick Perry's backers behind stories against Mormon faith
Two new stories suggest that while Rick Perry has said he doesn't believe Mormonism is a cult, as one of his backers characterized the LDS Church, Perry's campaign team might be cheerleading negative messages about the Mormon faith, and his backers might be behind them.

First, The Daily Beast's McKay Coppins wrote about a series of emails that appear to show "Perry's team may be quietly advancing the notion that Mitt Romney 's faith should disqualify him from the White House."

CNN's John King speaks with Rev. Jeffress about his comment that a vote for Romney "would give credibility to a cult"...

(CNN)Anita Perry stuck up for her husband Thursday, saying Texas Gov. Rick Perry was being "brutalized" by fellow conservatives for his Christian faith...

No one gets it worse from the base of the Republican party than evangelical Christians -- also known as the base of the Republican party.

The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'
What is often not fully absorbed by onlookers, though, is the underlying role that religious doctrine – or "pulpit power" - plays in the environmental debate in the US. On the one hand, you have the "Creation Care" movement which is prevalent in some quarters of the Christian Church. On the other, particularly among evangelicals, you often see a vitriolic reaction aimed towards environmentalism.

Just last month, a survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors found that 41% strongly disagreed with the statement: "I believe global warming is real and manmade." The survey also found that 52% of the pastors address the issue of the environment with their churches once a year or less, with evangelical pastors speaking less often on the environment than mainline pastors.

3. Rick Perry vs. Other Candidates...

Rick Perry demonstrates an incredible unlearning curve at his third debate, and the media notices.

Note: Perry says 'you don't have a heart' concerning empathy on a policy issue - This was taken personally by anchors/news-analysts/Frank Luntz (media mastermind) and turned into 'Rick Perry said ALL conservatives don't have a heart' rather than talk about whether the issue should be reconsidered (i.e. official 'conservative' policy is that this policy stays) - You can see this 'conservative' echo chamber functioning from about 40 seconds into the video across cnn, msnbc and fox...

More info...

...for Rick Perry, the Texas governor and the apparent frontrunner for the Republican nomination, immigration suddenly has become a serious liability.

He came under sustained attack from his rivals at last Thursday’s debate in Florida for signing a 2001 Texas law granting in-state tuition rates at state universities to illegal immigrant students.

One of the memorable lines of that debate and perhaps of the 2012 campaign will be Perry’s attempted rebuttal of his critics over the Texas law: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart.”

So why is his popularity down at the moment? Some poor debate performances coupled with a temporary backlash on immigration. With that out of the way he will be ready to come back...

Rick Perry Vs. Herman Cain

Herman Cain is a pizza guy who is singing about pizza on tape. He has no chance.

Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney

Rick Perry takes shots at Mitt Romney before the debate, but Romney doesn't take them lying down.

In the GOP debate that was Rick Perry v. Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney got rickrolled.

Why Rick Perry is headed to the White House

The far right and Christian fundamentalists have an inordinate amount of influence in the GOP primary process and, regardless of messages of inclusion, very few of them will vote for a Mormon.

"We think a them Mormons as bein' in kind of a cult," one of the Houston rally attendees told me. "I couldn't vote for one a them when we got a real Christian like Governor Perry runnin'."

Perry, of course, can't come right out and print bumper stickers that say, "Rick Perry -- 2012 -- Not a Mormon." But he doesn't have to. He's wearing his faith like a power tie while Romney stays quiet as a tabernacle mouse on the topic of religion. Romney has business experience and intellect that are not on Perry's resume' but he is from "Massatoositts," (Webster's Texas Edition, see also "Massachusetts"), and Texans love to kick their political boots into New Englanders' squishy parts. Perry is about to remind the tea partiers and fundamentalists that Romney created a state health care plan, (the horror, affordable health care for everyone), believes global warming is real, and has a troubling history for conservatives on the matters of abortion and gay marriage.

So much for Mitt.

Michele Bachmann, who is from Iowa, and is Perry in Prada, has the same appeal among Teavangelicals. Her husband's reparative gay therapy sessions, the Newsweek cover and a few speeches that were not reality based will, eventually, make even the GOP primary voters realize she is bound for the desert and not the Promised Land.

Bachman will run close to Perry in Iowa but will disappear into the snows of New Hampshire where religious fervor isn't exactly considered a positive attribute. In South Carolina, Perry's money, image and support will become overwhelming.

Romney and Bachmann are the only serious impediments to the Perry nomination. Ron Paul, who makes more sense than any crazy person to ever run for public office, has never been able to expand his cult to the mainstream.

Herman Cain is too brutally honest and lacking political experience, and Tim Pawlenty, what's-his-face-from-Minnesota, suffers from the heartbreak of ineffectuality.

Fueled only by speculation that he might announce, Perry became the putative front-runner (heard that word at a fancy Washington restaurant and thought it was cool). Because presidential politics tend to be more visceral than intellectual, Perry's coyote-killer good looks, $2,000 hand-tooled cowboy boots, supernova smile and Armani suits, combined with podium skills to embellish the mythology of Texas, all will create a product Americans will want to believe and buy.

After he wins the nomination, protocol will require Perry to have discussions with Bachmann about the vice presidential slot, but he will, eventually, turn to Sarah Palin. The general election will force the Texan back toward the middle and he will stop talking about faith and abortion and gay marriage; Perry will campaign on jobs and the economy.

I agree with the above analysis. That said, there is only one candidate who doesn't flip flop, Ron Paul, who is often ignored... even though all the Republican talking points come from him (in part only, for example; cutting spending but no withdrawal of troops and decreasing regulations but no corresponding increase in property rights). Add to the fact that the GOP is offering half an economic plan (at most) through Rick Perry (and even if Rick Perry flip flops all the way to Ron Paul's explanations, can you trust him?). Anyways, all of this, plus the fact that the media has ignored him...

... leads to only one conclusion. Ron Paul is the better candidate.



Rick Perry: 'quantitative easing akin to treason'

[Article 3 Section 3 - Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. ]

Based on the above definition and what going into the bond market means in economics, I can only assume that Rick Perry is acting crazy or telling the truth. If he is telling the truth then what he is saying is that Ben Barnake and The Federal Reserve in general have INTENTIONALLY being waging war against the people in favor of the rich...

Quantitative easing 'is good for the rich, bad for the poor'
"Real wages and salaries have fallen by £4bn. Profits are up by £11bn. The spoils of the recovery have been shared in the most unequal of ways."

Joshi adds that this also helps to explain why sales of high-end luxury goods have continued to soar, while many consumers have been forced to tighten their belts.

"High-income earners are more exposed to profits as owners of businesses or shareholders. Low-income earners are dependent on wages," he says."



Stephen Colbert and The Super Pac Scandal

Comic Colbert Using PAC to Encourage Iowa Vote, Sort Of...
More about Super Pacs and Rick Parry - "Out-of-state groups like Grow PAC and Jobs for Iowa PAC are flooding the Iowa airwaves, telling you to vote Rick Perry at the Ames Straw Poll. They think they can buy your vote with their unlimited super PAC money," says Colbert. "We want you to vote for Rick Perry too, but not their Rick Perry, our Rick Parry. On August 13th, write in Rick Parry. That's Parry with an A for America, with an A for Iowa."

Colbert says he purposely misspelled Perry's name because campaign finance laws prohibit Super PAC's from being affiliated with candidates.

The first ad has already aired in Des Moines and a second one is now available online. One Des Moines station has refused to air the ads because it was afraid they would confuse viewers.

Colbert, who portrays a conservative commentator on his show, "The Colbert Report," got approval from the Federal Election Commission in June to start his political action committee, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow."

The development of Super PAC's began after the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which allows groups unaffiliated with a candidate to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.

Colbert has been continuously mocking the decision ever since.

The Colbert Super Pac joins in the group of unlimited funds super pacs seeking friendly relations with Rick Parry and his "Billionaire Buddies".(Are the buddies paying for election strategies such as the Mitt Romney 'Mormonism' scandal?)

Rick pArry 1

Rick pArry 2

Rick pArry 3

Rick pArry 4


Added October 28th 2011

Mitt Romney has surveyed the Republican field and decided 23% is enough to beat any of those yahoos.

Note: Jon Stewart's reaction to Rick Perry putting his hand in his coat has to do with the image that is being created for him by the GOP (such as running with a gun and what Rick Perry considers to be like 'golf' - which is supposed to create an image of confidence in some large segments of American society)...

While Vladimir Putin bags tigers in Siberia, Barack Obama bags a pie on his Midwestern safari. ... and Rick Perry is compared to Yosemite Sam...

(Image from here.)

Such image creation is generally done by media master-minds like Frank Luntz.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Overview of "Socialism" by The Colbert Report (backed by news sources)

Notes: 1. Compares socialism and redistribution rhetoric to Santa giving gifts on Christmas, 2. Compares socialism to helping people, for example, Jesus to a socialist (he redistributed loaves of bread and fish), 3. Rhetoric accuses Obama of being a Marxist, 4. Republicans are creating fear about Obama calling him a communist/socialist and scaring people into thinking that they will lose all they own as it will get 'redistributed'.

Definition of SOCIALISM
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

1. Gifts as 'redistribution': Santa clause giving gifts to children is a type of 'redistribution of income', so is feeding children to keep them from starving...

For many, summer means vacation, sports, camping or just time off to relax, but not for millions of kids living in poverty in the United States. There are few camps or beach trips for them, and sometimes not even three meals a day. During the school year, public schools provide breakfast and lunch to millions of students in the United States. But when summer arrives, parents struggling to feed their children can no longer rely on those meals.

2. Republicans have classified any help to anyone as 'socialism'. However, That goes against the principles of Christianity and is more in-line with the fictional teachings of Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand's philosophy is of rational self interest and she states that the purpose of life is in pursuing your own happiness with NO regard for others well-being...

Notes: 1. She claims to be challenging the moral code of altruism, 2. Altriusm is immoral is it is placed above oneself (i.e. nothing should be above you), and 3. If a man or woman is weak they don't deserve love.

On the other hand...

Matthew 14:13-21

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

3. Rhetoric accuses Obama of being a Marxist
An explanation of Socialism and Marxism: 

Socialism—defined as a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production—was the tragic failure of the twentieth century. Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty. Yet the idea and the ideal of socialism linger on. Whether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs is unknown, but no one can accurately appraise its prospects who has not taken into account the dramatic story of its rise and fall.
The Birth of Socialist Planning
It is often thought that the idea of socialism derives from the work of Karl Marx. In fact, Marx wrote only a few pages about socialism, as either a moral or a practical blueprint for society. The true architect of a socialist order was Lenin, who first faced the practical difficulties of organizing an economic system without the driving incentives of profit seeking or the self-generating constraints of competition. Lenin began from the long-standing delusion that economic organization would become less complex once the profit drive and the market mechanism had been dispensed with—“as self-evident,” he wrote, as “the extraordinarily simple operations of watching, recording, and issuing receipts, within the reach of anybody who can read and write and knows the first four rules of arithmetic.”

In fact, economic life pursued under these first four rules rapidly became so disorganized that within four years of the 1917 revolution, Soviet production had fallen to 14 percent of its prerevolutionary level. By 1921 Lenin was forced to institute the New Economic Policy (NEP), a partial return to the market incentives of capitalism. This brief mixture of socialism and capitalism came to an end in 1927 after Stalin instituted the process of forced collectivization that was to mobilize Russian resources for its leap into industrial power.

It is obvious that the Democrats under Obama do not control all the means of production. And the big fuss over the 'redistribution of income' is a renaming done by the republicans... to win an election! (afterall, they are talking about a 2-3% tax increase which doesn't even remotely come under the banner of 'government controlling all means of production'). IN the process of creating propaganda to defeat Obama in the next elections the definition of Socialism has been destroyed.

4. Redistribution of Income (i.e. 2-3% increase in Tax rate)

So much fuss over a 2% tax increase! (Note: If someone says 'a 2-3% tax increase om the super rich is not fair', explain tax burden to them... this is obviously a case of renaming something for the purposes of marketing a political message irrespective of the reality behind what is being said... this is another form of lying or deception)

Was the word 'socialist' created to scare children? The Daily Show Correspondents explain...

Overview of the Republicans(GOP) by The Colbert Report (backed by news sources)

Notes/Summary: 1. Republican 'purity test' is basically 'anti-Obama', 2. Republicans believe unsubstantiated rumors, 3. No compromise on the debt ceiling, 4. Republicans have a record of re-naming things (called 're-frame' - see interview with Frank Luntz below).

1.A GOP purity test?

The "Resolution on Reagan's Unity Principle for Support of Candidates" outlines 10 conservative principles the group of signees wants potential candidates to abide by. The principles include support for:

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill
(2) Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) Workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check
(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat
(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

"President Ronald Reagan believed, as a result, that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent," the resolution states.

But if a candidate disagrees with three of the above, then the group wants the RNC to withhold financial assistance and an endorsement from that candidate.

Context to understand the effects of the GOP on actual politicians is reflected in the following interview:

This interview is with the ex-GOP president, notice how different he is...

Notice Michael Steel's use of the word 'establishment republicans' and that there was a change in republican party from the 1850s (from individuals to institutions)... i.e. the official (or rather unofficial) party direction is to help business over the individual which, over time, naturally came to be corporations. That's how the republican party became what it is today (also read True Republicanism)

2. Stephen Colbert, "Unsubstantiated rumors about people you don't support become majority beliefs"
Proof - Article Extract:

To get to the data, our April 20-23 USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 9% of all Americans say that Obama was “definitely” not born in the U.S. Another 15% say that Obama was “probably” not born in the U.S. That’s about a quarter of the U.S. adult population, 24% who have doubts about Obama's being "natural born," the constitutional requirement for a president.

That contrasts with 38% of Americans who say Obama was “definitely” born in the U.S. and another 18% who say he was “probably” born in the U.S. Another 20% said that they didn’t know enough to say or refused to answer.

Who were those 24% who suspect Obama was not born in the U.S.?

Beliefs about Obama's birthplace are certainly related to education . Although 13% of those with post-graduate educations say that Obama was probably or definitely not born in the U.S., that’s half the 28% of those with some college and 26% of those with only a high school education or less who believe Obama was not native born. 

Beliefs about Obama’s birth are strongly related to partisanship: 43% of Republicans say that Obama was not born in the U.S., including 15% who are definite in their beliefs and another 28% who say “probably.”

Of some concern to the White House and Obama’s 2012 re-election strategists is the fact that 20% of independents believe Obama was probably or definitely not born in the U.S. Nine percent of Democrats agree. 

Naturally enough, this partisanship connection means there is a connection between beliefs in Obama's place of birth and intent to vote for Obama. Seventy-five percent of registered voters who say Obama was born in U.S. would consider voting for him. Fifteen percent of those who say he was not born in the U.S. would consider voting for Obama, while 85% say they definitely would not.

3. On the debt ceiling = [Case Study] Political Nonsense of the Debt Ceiling "Debate"

4. Renaming things...

Tips on the following topics from above video:

1. Body language tips,
2. Handling audience tips,
3. Creating a more positive phrase for 'drilling for oil' became 'energy exploration'. (inaccuracy doesn't matter as long as there is a sliver of fact - KISS principle, i.e'. keep it simple stupid),
4. 'climate change' as opposed to 'global warming' ,
5. 'simple truth' (not a lie as it contains a sliver of fact!),
6. 'you decide' to lock in the last manipulative phrase (most of the viewers decisions are based on the views of who they trust... even the books they read ), 7. 'buzz words' - words that people focus on opposed to facts,
8. Use 'simple truth' only once in a discussion or article ?,
9. A criminal getting caught should apologize 3 times, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, forgive me'
10. Uses the sighing gesture in an interesting way... separating interview reality from fox news manipulations realities,
11. Frank Luntz is marketing a book, which is why he is exposing fox news/tea party secrets... we should get more fox news 'analysts' to write books! . [fox news interview is here - Learn from this book for political success.

Words like 'imagine' and 'real time' and other words/tactics used by Frank Luntz above, I first encountered when I started studying hypnosis about 13-14 years ago. Some further research links...

From Wikipedia "The Milton Model lists the key parts of speech and key patterns that are useful in directing another person's line of thinking by being "artfully vague", and in principle the model states that larger chunks (more general use of language) can lead to more rapport, while smaller chunks, (more specific language) is more limiting and has a greater chance of excluding concepts from a person's experience."

From my website "Hypnosis is one of the most misunderstood methods in the world. Hollywood movies have created an impression amongst most people that a hypnotist can control minds. That is simply not true." - [Note: controlling mind vs. manipulating minds using various social factors is a different phenomenon but studying hypnosis and NLP helps us understand them - about NLP].

Related blog posts about Republicans/GOP:

Establishment Republicans

Class Warfare

Union vs. Corporations

The Daily Show Correspondents explain the establishment republicans...


[Edit - Added October 19, 2011 ]

It must be tough for Republicans to love America so much but hate almost three-quarters of the people living in it. (08:54)

A partial list of people to 'hate' from above video:

List of people to hate - includes liberals, poor people, everyone who wants taxes on millionaires, labor unions, federal employees, global warming advocates, gays, poor people (people who have too little to pay income tax), progressives, etc. [ More explanations are in the post "Class Warfare"]
[End Edit]

[Case Study] Does Politics Shape the Perspectives of the Supreme Court Justices?

[Full video here]

This last part of the video covers a new case, involving the singer Cher, where swearing is not allowed, even as an accident. There are less and less room for mistakes and this may affect people's first amendment rights of free speech so decisions that create new laws have to be examined carefully.

Supreme Court ruling bans broadcast 'fleeting expletives' 

ASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a federal prohibition on the one-time use of expletives in a case arising partly from an expletive uttered by Cher at a Billboard Music Awards show in 2002.

The ruling, by a 5-4 vote and written by Justice Antonin Scalia, endorsed a Bush administration Federal Communications Commission policy against isolated outbursts of, as Scalia said from the bench, the "f-word" and "s-word."

The ruling does not resolve a lingering First Amendment challenge to the 2004 policy that is likely to be subject to further lower court proceedings.

Tuesday's decision reversed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that had said the FCC's decision to sanction "fleeting expletives" was arbitrary and capricious under federal law. That lower court had agreed with Fox Television Stations, which broadcast the Billboard awards, that such isolated utterances are not as potentially harmful to viewers as are other uses of sexual and excretory expressions long deemed "indecent" and banned by federal regulators.

Other broadcast networks had joined in the challenge, saying the policy was especially chilling for live awards shows and sporting events.

"Even isolated utterances can be made in … vulgar and shocking manner, and can constitute harmful first blows to children," Scalia wrote in the opinion that was signed by his fellow conservatives. The decision was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

So swearing, or expletives, even fleeting expletives, are not allowed. Suggesting that the court wants people to change their habits (as swearing in real life will occasionally intervene in TV/Radio/Live-events), yet at the same time graphic violence is allowed making it seem like Scalia and his allies are saying, 'you can show violence even in children's video games while...'

One judge grabbed another by the neck with all the judges present and they are still divided on what happened! No wonder they passed the 'eyewitness testimony can't be trusted', act.

"I used to think that your reality shapes your politics, it's clear now, your politics shapes reality"- Jon Stewart

Context: The political divide in the US covers the whole country including the courts!

Example 1: Claims of illegal attempt to gain 9/11 victims' numbers bring outrage from Democrats and caution from Republicans

Example 2: Courts are divided along party lines - "The 11th Circuit Court sided with 26 states -- mostly led by conservative governors and attorneys general -- who are asking for the law to be blocked in its entirety."

Note: The policy to ban one time expletives is supported by, "Family-friendly organizations such as Parents Television Council, Morality in Media, Inc., National Religious Broadcasters and Focus on the Family and Family Research Council have all come out in support of the FCC". The funding and information sources of these groups need to be outlined. It's possible that the experts with the most evidence have different views on how this should be handled?

[Case Study] Political Nonsense of the Debt Ceiling "Debate"

Normally there are different views in the media (except in echo chambers) but this is one thing that many different sources converged on as particularly nonsensical. This post lays out the information of what happened as an overview.

Washington Week: Interview

(full interview here)


"As soon as Republicans show some leg on raising taxes, it's over"

There is no political incentive to do a good job on the economy, everything is focused on defeating the opposite side.

Republicans won't raise taxes and Obama won't accept cuts on medicare without a tax increase

"The dirty secret about the cuts is that they don't occur till 2013, which means its after the next election"...

In other words, congress can rewrite a policy before a default as they have allot of time, so the primary political goal has become to attack Obama (and each other) and NOT to fix the economy...

At one point, McConnell said: "I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable." In an interview with CBS News, the president noted that McConnell has described his major political goal as making Obama a one-term president.

Here is the plan McConnel came up with...

1. "I would advocate that we pass legislation giving the president the authority to REQUEST of us an increase in the debt ceiling that would take us past the end of his term" - "that [legislation] would be subject to disapproval. That resolution of disapproval, if passed, would then go to the president, he could sign it or he could veto it." - McConnell - Theme: Passing legislation to 'disapprove it later.

2. "The reason default is no better idea today than when Newt Gengrich tried it in 1995, is it destroys your brand [i.e. America's credit rating] and would give the president the opportunity to blame Republicans for bad economy" - Defaulting was seriously tried by Newt in 1995.

3. "Look, he owns the economy. He's been in office almost 3 years now and we refuse to let him entice us into co-ownership of a bad economy" McConnel - The co-ownership is referring to the United states economy.

Important Republican Party Position: McConnel admits that making sure Obama is a one term President is his primary political goal. This means that the worse the economy is the better chances are that Obama will be a one term president.


Republicans devise a way to reject a debt cieling raise twice but getting the debt ceiling raised anyways (that way they can satisfy both constituntes, i.e. tea party and wall street)

[ Eric Cantor - only concession, "The fact they we are even talking about a debt ceiling increase..."]


Interview: How Republicans hope to put the blame on Obama by hoping people believe that not cutting taxes is the reason for the American economy getting destroyed...

Overview of the break-down of Congress:

Daily Show: When it comes to resolving the debt ceiling crisis, Congress is the equivalent of a skunk with its head in a jar of Skippy peanut butter.

On Gold:

Fear created by Debt Ceiling haggling in the US dropped the dollar and boosted the price of gold. As the BBC reports; "The price of gold has risen to a fresh all-time high of $1,594.16 an ounce, and the dollar has fallen, on concerns the US may default on its debts."

On raising the debt ceiling OR 'putting the debt ceiling in context of modern economics':

Above: George Bush increased the debt ceiling in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006. 2007 and twice in 2008 (The Democrats have used the same strategy, though ineffectually)

Rather than defaulting on debts it makes more sense to raise the ceiling and solve the budget problem. THEN, over time, the debt will decrease if that is how the budget is balanced. 

The speaker of the house voted for spending that led to the current debt...

[Note: Left out unfunded Bush wars + the huge reduction in taxes for the rich which is the single largest contributor towards the debt i.e. if you don't remove the causes of a problem the problem will persist.]

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN "I know you have all heard so much about the debt ceiling that you're probably exhausted. But I think it's important to point out a few facts because this matter has been so clouded by rhetoric.

Did you know that there is only one other country in the world that even has a debt ceiling? That's Denmark, a strange anomaly, and its debt ceiling is deliberately kept very high so that it will never need to be raised.

Why does no one else have a debt ceiling?

Because when a legislature votes to authorize spending at a certain level but authorizes tax revenues at a lower level, it is assumed that the government will have to borrow the difference.

The vote to have higher expenditures than tax revenues is - in effect - a vote to borrow money to cover the difference.

And in the United States, Congress - including Republicans - voted for a budget in which expenditures exceeded tax revenues.

The logical consequence of that budget - again, passed by Republicans and Democrats, is that the government has to make up the difference by borrowing.

To come at it now after the budget has been passed is like getting your Visa bill and calling up the company to say, "Actually we don't want to buy all that stuff we bought."

 From CNN

Anderson Cooper: They're saying they're not holding anybody hostage. They're saying, 'Look, this is what we said we would do to get elected. We've been elected. This is what people elected us to do.'

Fareed Zakaria: Well, unfortunately, as I say, I think they don't understand the workings of democracy. They have not been elected as dictators of the United States. They have been elected to one house in one branch of the American government. The only way you can translate your wishes into public policy in America is if you can convince your branch and the other one, the Senate and the White House, to go along with it.

If you can't, you've got to figure out amongst yourself what you can agree on. This is why it is fundamentally anti-democratic –"counterconstitutional" in the words of Charles Krauthammer - to be trying to do this. It's just an extraordinary act of hostage-taking on the part of the Tea Party. It is holding the country hostage.

And it has already damaged the good standing of the United States. It's very important to understand that Tea Party talks a lot about morality. In a capitalist framework, the obligation you owe in terms of repaying your debts is a moral obligation. When the Visa bill comes you can decide that stuff you bought is stuff that you don't want. You pay the bill.

Then you can have an interesting conversation about how to reform your spending. But you can't renege on your debts.

From The Economist:

The problem for Republicans, then, is that the debt ceiling is not the size of government. The latter is something you can toy with without the chance of sudden default. The former is not. Or, to use everyone's favourite analogy regarding the debt ceiling, there seems to be some disagreement over who the hostage is. Much of the public thinks the hostage is big government, and many place little value on its life. Republican leaders, though, know the hostage is actually America's credit-worthiness and economic stability. That should make things interesting if ever it comes time to pull the trigger."

Another article from The Economist:

The sticking-point is not on the spending side. It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.

And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look. Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.

Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans. Independent voters should take note.

From "The Guardian"

"But though the speaker sets the agenda, he quite clearly took his cues from a boisterous set of backseat drivers: his new Tea Party members."

From the Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations;

The U.S. debt deal announced tentatively in Washington on Sunday may have been the best that was politically possible; but it is still scarcely worthy of the name. Barring a last minute break-down in negotiations, it will save the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations to pensioners and others. But it does not address the long-term fiscal challenges facing the nation. It does not remove the policy uncertainty that is damaging the economy. And it does not undo the severe harm to America's reputation caused by the standoff.

Given that a debt ceiling has nothing to do with how a country organizes it's finances but with its reliability in the market place... here is an example of an echo chamber that was promoting the idea of a default (and may still be doing so)

On Taxes

To balance the budget you need to cut spending and raise revenue. Taxes is one of the main ways revenue is raised. [Learn more about economics here]

Daily Show: Unlike liberal elitist job evolutionists, Republicans believe in job creationism as part of their conservative tax cut religion.

Note: There are no negotiations for political reasons, history proves this! Reagan increased taxes in the 1980's during a recession and he is the one most Republican's turn to as their role model. Clear political nonsense.

Ronald Reagan actually increased taxes, putting the tax burden on the middle class and poor, which contributed to the increase in economic inequality in the US:

Ultimately, Reagan signed measures that increased federal taxes every year of his two-term presidency except the first and the last. These included a higher gasoline levy, a 1986 tax reform deal that included the largest corporate tax increase in American history, and a substantial raise in payroll taxes in 1983 as part of a deal to keep Social Security solvent. While wealthy Americans benefitted from Reagan's tax policies, blue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in.

Moment of Zen: Somehow the fact that Taxes are revenue is consistently ignored...

Note: George Bush says that the lack of revenue that is one of the reasons for the financial mess the country is in should be extended permanently (complete lack of awareness of economic realities - same no tax rise attitude as the Tea Party)

Related: Problems with Credit Rating Agencies