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    • And They Made A Desert: 80 to 90% Drop In Nutrients In Food
      Stumbled across this lovely chart the other day. The core fact most people, including the folks in the “best every world” Panglossian movement (like Pinker) don’t seem to understand, is that even if they were right (questionable), the prosperity we have is based on burning down our house. “Sure is hot! Hottest it’s every been!” […]
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Friday Late Night: Howard Dean and his Ludicrous Lies

howard_the_clown1

[Image courtesy of the one and only SM from Tampa.]

Howard Dean was on the NPR program “Talk of the Nation” on Thursday afternoon. What he had to say was both fascinating and revealing. I hope you will all listen to the entire interview. It is only about 16 minutes long. Here are the parts I found most striking.

Question: How much credit do you claim for what happened [Obama’s win]?

Dean: Well, we claim some. It helps to have an extraordinary candidate….Well whoever is alive now is going to be able to say that 2008 was the most important election of their lifetime no matter how many elections they go through.

Wait a minute. So no matter how many elections a person lives through, from now on this will always be the most important election? Even if a woman is elected President? Based on the treatment that both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin experienced this year when they ran for President and Vice President respectively, I’d have to say that a woman would clearly have a much harder time getting elected President than any man, regardless of ethnicity or skin color. I’d say if a woman overcame what happened this year and became President sometime in the next 40 years, that would be pretty darn historic and unforgettable. Let’s go further: what if the woman who finally managed to break the glass ceiling were Latino, Asian, or African American? Wouldn’t that be pretty important? What if a gay person were to be elected President someday? That would be pretty amazing and unlikely, wouldn’t it? I think Howard Dean needs a bigger imagination. Continue reading

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Sexism and Misogyny During this Election? — You Betcha!

sexism-picture

Calling all Conflucians!  I thought it would be interesting to see if we could collectively weave a tragic quilt exposing the unfortunate sexism and misogyny experienced during this election.  By gathering of all of the outrageous acts of sexism and misogyny that have occurred this election cycle in a single mass collection it will help to point out, in a very public way, the pattern that WE know existed yet so many continue to deny.  Let us create a collage of disgrace, exposing those who attacked competent and committed candidates simply because of their gender.  We must fight from this day forward to ensure that this never happens again.  The only way to do this is to raise awareness and create a cultural mindset that abhors both sexism AND racism, and of course homophobia.  So, run to “The Google,” review your bookmarks, and check your files for video clips, photos, articles and blog posts demonstrating the egregious behavior towards women that occurred as part of the 2008 election.  Let’s expose the wretched truth that has been swept under the rug and hidden from the public eye.  Then maybe we can begin the process of opening eyes and changing attitudes.

I shall begin with the one that I despise the most…aptly titled,

“Likeable”

And who can forget this horrendous display of misogyny.  The “artist” Chad Michael Morrisette reveals the unacceptable mindset that pervades our culture when he says “The image of a hanged black MAN is a LOT more intense than the image of a hanged white WOMAN.”  Note, it’s not about race – it’s about GENDER.

And worst of all… the most offensive, sexist, T-shirt.  Worn by Obama supporters of course.

[WARNING: OFFENSIVE TO EVEN THE COLDEST HEARTS]

http://www.whiterabbitcult.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/product_sarah_palin.jpg

And if there is anyone out there who still denies that there was an avalanche of sexist, misogynist garbage heaped upon the courageous Senator Clinton…this video should end that debate once and for all:

Start posting your comments and links below…

Leedurshipp: Ur Doing It Rong

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

I tell you, it’s a good thing nothing important is going on in America right now, because otherwise, this news would bother me just a tad.

CHICAGO (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama said on Thursday he would resign his U.S. Senate seat effective Sunday, which means he will not participate in next week’s post-election session that could address the ailing economy and struggling auto industry.

(snip)

Obama, who will be sworn in as president on January 20, said he would step down from his Senate seat to focus on the transition to the White House.

This would explain Team Obama’s coyness when reporters repeatedly asked whether more economic legislation would be passed by the Congress before the inauguration. For example, during the press conference which caused me to dub him “President-Elect Treebeard,” this exchange occurred:

Q Sir, there’s been some suggestion from House Democrats that the stimulus package may be in trouble, that it’s going to be a hard time getting it out of a lame-duck session.

Are you still confident that you would be able to get something done before you actually take office?

PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: I want to see a stimulus package sooner rather than later. If it does not get done in the lame-duck session, it will be the first thing I get done as president of the United States.

Obviously, the President-Elect never planned on using his power as the new head of the Democratic Party in the Senate during this incredibly crucial time.  Economy, ecshmonomy! Obama’s going to be busy picking his new Cabinet and staffing all the departments that Bush filled with underqualified graduates of Liberty University. While this is, admittedly, a big job, one would think that with 450 people working on it. Obama could afford to spend a few days helping push his economic vision through Congress.

Continue reading

Better Never Than Late

Just say NO! to Kool-aid

Just say NO! to Kool-aid

Most Conflucians are refugees from other blogs.  Whether we were chased out or thrown out, we didn’t start our blogging experience in the House Riverdaughter Built.  In my Evil Clowns Open Thread I asked people what favorite blogs they had to stop visiting this year, and the responses show that while we are a diverse bunch we have travelled a lot of the same ground because almost all of us started out in the lefty blogosphere.  The first blogs I ever visited were recommended by Molly Ivins in one of her columns.

In looking over the names of the sites that were our original homes in Left Blogistan I noticed that they fall into three basic groups:

1.  Blogs that openly supported Obama (or were HillaryHaters) early in the process (before John Edwards dropped out in January 2008)

2.  Blogs that were (or pretended to be) neutral until Obama “won” the nomination

3.  Blogs that supported Hillary (or permitted pro-Hillary and/or anti-Obama comments) until Obama was chosen as the nominee by the DNC-Pelosi-Reid cabal and then became rabidly fanatic supporters of The Lightbringer

Cheetoville and Balloon Juice are examples of of the first group.  Long before the (not-so) Great Orange Satan joined the Kool-aid Kingdom it was a sewer of Clinton Derangement Syndrome, and John Cole’s journey from Freeper, West Virgina to Obamanation always included a Sullivanesque case of CDS. (Disclosure:  I am a former BJuicer) 

The second group includes sites like Crooks & Liars and Hullaballoo.  But their neutrality was often  nothing more than a reluctance to make a public endorsement of Obama. (Despite it’s alleged “neutrality” C&L revealed it’s true colors when it went postal over the ABC debate (where they dared to question Obama about Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers) and then completely ignored the media’s JFK fauxrage.)  

Taylor Marsh and TalkLeft are prime examples of the third group.  Both Taylor and Jeralyn at TL promised to support whoever won the Democratic nomination, but many of us were shocked at they way they dove headlong into the Kool-aid vat and emerged with fully metastisized cases of Palin Derangement Syndrome.

PUMA is the coalition of blogs that remained steadfast in opposition to Barack Obama even after he stole the nomination.  There were a few odd-ball blogs and bloggers that didn’t join PUMA but never drank the Kool-aid either.  By “odd-ball” I don’t mean to imply anything negative, I just mean that they don’t fit in any other category.

Continue reading

Friday: The Way Forward- Imitation

Question: Who is this man and what does he have to do with us?  Answer:  nothing and everything.

His name is Ralph Reed and he is the director of the Christian Coalition, one of the most powerful voting blocs in the country.  You want to know why stem cell research has been set back by eight long years?  Reed.  Faith based initiatives?  Reed.  Delay of approval of Plan B?  Reed, Reed, Reed. Oh, sure, there were some dirty, rotten, underhanded conning of Indian tribes in there that sort of tarnished his halo.  But there is no question that the Christian Coalition has been one of the most effective advocacy groups in the nation since it was founded by Pat Robertson in 1988.  Robertson’s 700 Club makes a killing by convincing fundagelical Christians to send in mucho dinero in order to keep the blastocyst sacred, Darwin unmentionable in science class and Republicans in office for what seems like forever.

Now, I’m not saying that we want to become double high authoritarians running a billion dollar industry that feeds off of fear of the end of the world as we know it.  But to paraphrase Ross Perot, if you can’t beat your competitors, copy them.  There is a successful model in the Christian Coalition that we should look at carefully to determine what kind of organization we need to be if we want to promote more moderate to left of center Democratic values that will benefit working people of all educational backgrounds.

Democracy For America (gag!) also has some online organizing tools and traveling training camps for activists.  It’s probably working with a lot less cash than the Christian Coalition but it can be just as effective in organizing events.

Now, what do these groups have that we haven’t got?  Not a whole lot, really.  We’ve got people, LOTS of them actually.  One of the latest polls of voters on election day suggests that Hillary Clinton would have beaten John McCain by a much bigger margin than Obama did.  So, there are a lot of potential voters out there of a Clinton/FDR Democratic persuasion who are interested in the same things we are: equality, social justice, fiscal responsibility, sustainability, privacy, peace through diplomacy and reward for *work*, not free market capitalism on speed. So, how do we turn this gourp of people into an effective voting bloc?  Infrastructure.

The Christian Coalition and DFA infrastructures have some of these elements:

  • An administrative branch to develop and maintain infrastructure
  • A lobbying branch to address issues with legislators
  • A PR branch to develop media, press releases, talking points
  • A fundraising branch to, well, raise money
  • A technology branch that harnesses the power of the internet to develop databases and link people
  • A community branch that creates groups from like minded people and then motivates them to action through communication and event planning.
  • A common purpose.

None of this is outside our abilities to construct.  But we have to have a willingness to do it in a concerted way.  Four dozen PUMA groups having their own conferences is a waste of time and energy.  Joining together under one umbrella group that includes groups outside of PUMA makes us a more powerful force.  We could also liaison with organizations who wish to remain independent such as The New Agenda so we don’t duplicate efforts.  An umbrella group does not mean that there will be a top down organization.  Rather, like the Jesus Movement of the 1st and 2nd centuries, cells of people in many thousands of locations could develop based on their own georgraphic or socio-economic conditions but be united in the goals in common.  We are already seeing this in the number of PUMA groups springing up and the nature of those groups are quite diverse.

The element that I see that is missing from the Christian Coalition and DFA is the commitment to community service.  So, one might imagine that our organization would have a Rotary Club branch or something along the lines of a Greek fraternity/sorority, minus the hazing.

So, what is the way forward?  Well, if there is enough interest, there needs to be a conference of sorts to pull all of these elements together and determine the legal entity that we need to be.  Online conferencing is completely doable these days.  There’s no need for everyone to meet in a big room.  It can be done through Scype or Second Life.  The question is, are we ready for this step?

It’s up to you.

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