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      By Nadia Rubaii, Co-Director, Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, and Associate Professor of Public Administration, Binghamton University, State University of New York and Max Pensky, Co-Director, Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University of New York. Pro […]
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    • Trump Commits To Afghanistan
      Well, this directly violates a core promise and is stupid besides being a betrayal. But I see various pundits going on about how Presidential he is to “admit” he was wrong to want to leave and to decide to kill lots of people in an unwinnable war. Trump needs and wants approval, and killing foreigners […]
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McCain Speech: Live blog

John McCain has been waiting eight long years for this moment.  Which was more torture?  The Hanoi Hilton or watching the Bushies destroy his party’s brand?  We shall see…

John McCain in Town Hall Mode

John McCain in Town Hall Mode

Conflucians Say- Tonight at 10PM EST

I know you all will be glued to your TV’s, waiting for McCain to speak the magic words {{snort!}}  But if you’ve got a DVR, set it and join us at 10PM EST at Conflucians Say.  We’re now a part of NO WE WON’T/PUMA Radio along with Sheri T and Darragh Murphy.  (Gotta stick together)  On tonight’s show, we’ll recap Palin’s speech, talk about how close the delegate count *really* was and take your calls about any damn thing you want to talk about related to politics.

See you there!

Oo! Oo!  Almost forgot!  You can catch Our View with Patsy and Sugar tonight at 9PM EST (that’s NOW!) on NQR.  Highly recommended.

Update: Guys, check out what just arrived in my inbox.  Poor widdle Barack Obama is getting beaten up by a pitbull with lipstick.  Tsk-Tsk:

Riverdaughter (not my real name) —

Why would the Republicans spend a whole night of their convention attacking ordinary people?

With the nation watching, the Republicans mocked, dismissed, and actually laughed out loud at Americans who engage in community service and organizing. [editorial comment from Seriously:“Women are fair game, just don’t for the love of god, ridicule the community organizers! Anything but that!”]

Our convention was different. We gave the stage to everyday Americans who hunger for change and stepped up to make phone calls, knock on doors, and raise money in small amounts in their communities…

What you didn’t hear from the Republicans at their convention is a single new idea about how to make the healthcare system work, get our economy moving for the middle class, or improve education.

Just attacks — on me, and on you.

But what the McCain attack squad doesn’t understand is that people like you — who devote part of their busy lives to organizing and building their communities — have the power to change this country.

With your help, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Barack Obama

Yes, we *do* have the power to change this country.  And the first place we’re going to start is with holding the DNC accountable for the disgrace that was the Democratic National Convention.  But, Jeez, Louise, whining is SOOO unattractive in a presidential candidate.  She was mean to you?  Suck it up, Barack.  Snark is the least of your problems when you’re dealing with two wars, Russian invasions, tanking stock markets, hurricanes, and PUMAs.

Better toughen up.  The Republicans are just playing with their food right now.

Governor Palin’s Winning Narrative

My Preferred Snack Till November 5th

My Preferred Snack Till November 5th

Both Myiq2xu and I have focused on the power of narratives as they relate to this election season. We humans are all wired to appreciate a good story. In fact, storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment, and we all do it without thinking, don’t we? We organize the events in our lives into a beginning, middle and end, and then relate them to our circle of friends, family and other loved ones.

A narrative is like a story on steroids. It organizes a person, not events, into a prism through which all of their actions are seen. This year, the “narrative” candidate on the Democratic side was Barack Obama. When people wanted to know what he would do for us as President, he would tell his story. Historic candidacy. Post-racial. Post-partisan. Washington outsider. Against corruption. Uniter, not divider. Sounded great to a lot of people, who never noticed that the narrative did not fit the reality.

Obama’s narrative was powerful enough to get him the Democratic nomination. (Okay, that, and the DNC forced it to happen, but it was still a huge factor.) By itself, McCain’s narrative (did you know he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and is a straight-talking maverick?) might have trumped Obama’s. But the fact is, people are tired of do-nothing government. Thanks to eight years of destruction by Bush, the Republican brand is incredibly weak, yet the Democrats took over in January of 2007 and failed to do the only thing that would stop the war(s) in Iraq and end the gridlock on the economy and the environment: impeach Bush and Cheney. Obviously, Pelosi and Reid aren’t so wonderful either.

So now what? Where do we go from here? Maybe a young, fresh-faced outsider who promises to fight partisan gridlock and lobbying and special interests?

Well, if you want that narrative, why not go with Governor Sarah Palin?

Continue reading

The DNC’s never seen a bad guy/gal like this…well, except in 1972 and 1980

Conflucian commenter “NH” said the following which resonates with my PUMA consciousness:

I hope they blame us. That will give us power. With that power we can clean up the Dem party.

You said it, NH!  Then instantly, I thought of legendary movie anti-hero Tony Montana in Scarface who in this scene, defines this point even further (language NSFW):

Please oh PLEASE blame us for Obama’s catastrophic loss in November.  Get one of those “styrofoam Greek columns” and take a swing at Hillary Clinton supporters who are not falling line with the DNC, simply because we will not support a candidate who engaged in voter fraud and sexism to grab his candidacy.  Continue reading

A Violation of Consensus Reality

…You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad….The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

— Morpheus, The Matrix

Consensus reality consists of a commonly agreed-upon overall worldview that a society or a group within a society holds. Every society builds up a shared view of reality, and these views can differ greatly across cultures or over time. For example, at the time the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written, the cultural consensus was that enslaving human beings with dark skin was perfectly acceptable, because Africans were not fully human. Those who questioned the institution of slavery or argued that African Americans were equal to Caucasian Americans and should therefore have equal opportunities were seen as dangerous radicals who must be controlled and ostracized. Slowly the abolitionists managed to shift the consensus of American culture, and today a person who suggested that slavery is natural and should be legal would be ignored or ostracized.

Most people have a hard time seeing through this shared view of “reality” that surrounds us every day of our lives. This consensus worldview is shaped by those in society who hold the most power and have the most to lose if people start to be aware of events and ideas that conflict with the preferred world view of the ruling classes. In the modern information age, the media has become an extremely powerful tool for shaping the way we see what is happening around us. Control of the U.S. media is now in the hands of a few powerful corporations and serves as the most influential enforcer of our culture’s consensus reality. Continue reading

Thursday: Sit it out or mess with the DNC’s head?

I know what I choose.

Let me just say that to me, the path forward is clear: support true, progressive downticket Democrats.  You really can’t go wrong if you do that.  No matter who ends up in power, both the idiots in charge (Pelosi, Reid)) and the White House would have to deal with a more liberal, more partisan Congress.  If you think McCain/Palin are going to strip you of your right to choose, having more Linda Stenders in Congress would be a very good thing for you.  If you are onboard for universal heathcare, you will like Ed O’Reilly in the Senate.

Does it ultimately matter who is at the top of the ticket?  Well, I’m not going to go as far as Anglachel and tell you that the Republicans this year are evil incarnate.  No matter what you think of Republicans, this crop of them are not like the Bushies.  I don’t care what Anglachel says, McCain isn’t *that* bad.  Yes, we disagree on a lot of things and John McCain is not a moderate.  But he will bring some unexpected changes to the executive branch, of that I have no doubt.   That’s not an endorsement. But if we let it happen on purpose, we’re not all going to die, die, die!  I have no doubt that McCain can handle a crisis, calmly, cooly.

We knew that the Democrats screwed up again and Sarah Palin made us realize just how much material the Republicans have to work with.  The sarcasm and ridicule directed last night at our side was well deserved.  The progressive blogosphere 1.0 (PB 1.0) has lost all perspective.  Jeralyn Merrit at talkleft is spinning furiously to make Palin look bad.  Josh Marshall is Palin 24/7.  Kos is allowing the lunatics to run the asylum.  To them, there is nothing worse than a Republican.  (Or is that, nothing worse than a woman vying getting in the way of some man’s ambition?  Faux-feminism raises its ugly head)  PB1.0 is attempting to dehumanize these people just as the Republicans made an artform of dehumanizing them.  But who is the audience for these attacks?  Other Obamaphiles?  Such efforts would be wasted on them.  They’re already onboard.  So, one can only assume they are intended for us.  But we’ve been watching the generation of propaganda and oppo research from the other side for years now.  The reason we held out for Hillary for so long is because we are rather impervious to perception managment and manipulation.  What makes PB 1.0 think we’re going to suddenly check our brains at the door and fall for this stuff now?

I know!  How about treating us like sentient beings instead of brainless harpies with vaginas.  What a novel concept.  That way, PB 1.0 could stop writing ridiculous diatribes about Palin that only serve to discredit themselves in our eyes.  Instead, they could start writing the post-election circular firing squad diaries they’re all famous for whenever the Democrats lose.  No time like the present.

McCain gives his speech tonight and throughout this convention, we have seen a slow build up to winning us over.  The memes are clear: Palin is a “breath of fresh air”; McCain is a maverick who goes his own way.  We have a glimpse of how they are going to pull us to them in Fred Thompson’s speech.  He praised John McCain for his rebelliousness, independence.  He’s a regular James Dean.  That was aimed at US, guys.  Republicans in general don’t like rebels.  That’s why we call them conservatives and why McCain had such a devil of a time winning them over.  The only reason they’re pushing the rebellion theme is to snag us away from the Dems.

Expect to hear more mockery tonight, maybe even from McCain himself, though he will probably take more of a high road than Palin did.  Will the issue of the delegate count come up?  How Hillary was screwed by her own party?  Hypocrisy from the hypocrits?  Be on your guard because it will look very convincing and Republicans are masters at playing on your emotions.  But like I said, the Democrats have given them plenty of material to work with.

Don’t make up your mind yet.  There’s a lot of sucking up both parties have to do between now and November 4.  You’ve got a lot of power.  Put it to good use, give the Democrats fits.  Work for Ed O’Reilly and put Kerry out of our misery.  It’s a great short term goal that will have the DNC scared silly.  Bwahahahahahahahhhhhh!