Thursday, September 30, 2010

"...the Mad Dr. Palinstein's Creation Goes Missing"

PHOTO: oliver willis
Andy Ostroy writes today at Huffington Post about the presence in Delaware, or lack thereof, of Christine O'Donnell since the primary elections have been held. [emphasis added]
"She's scarcer than an Osama bin Laden video. Harder to find than Waldo. The burning question in Delaware these days is, "Where's Christine?" As the NY Times reported Thursday, the state's cracked-Tea-Pot Senate candidate, Christine O'Donnell, is apparently in hiding. And why not? She's terrified of opening her mouth in public. I guess those grass roots have rotted."

"Since beating her Republican rival Mike Castle in the recent primary by just 3500 votes, O'Donnell has had virtually zero presence in the state. No events planned. No campaign office. And most of her funds have come from out-of-state donors. If you're a Delawarean and you'd like to ask her about the issues and her positions, good luck."

"A tax cheatin', tuition welchin', home foreclosin', education lyin', non-masturbatin', evolution-refutin', "mice- with-fully-functioning- human-brains" stem-cell-hatin' Tea Bagger, O'Donnell's a candidate in the clone-mode of her creator and mentor, the mad Dr. Palinstein. They're both cute, perky, full of Fox News-worthy snarky soundbites and not a lick of substance between them. O'Donnell's main strategy? Hope voters are just plain stupid and will vote for her in an unprecedented knowledge vacuum. Same goes for Kentucky's Rand Paul, Nevada's Sharron Angle and Alaska's Joe Miller, her fellow Tea Bag, gag-ordered, all-stars."

"With all their big talk of "taking back America" with a bold new plan, they sure as hell are utterly terrified to go before voters and the press to articulate what it is any of them truly stand for."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Sharon Angle is Evil

Sharon Angle is evil. Sarah Palin is an idiot, but Angle is evil. How else can one explain the following? [emphasis added]
“We know that if we could have that affordability across state lines, you’re not, you’re not afraid of competition I know you’re not, you would in fact invite it. I have friends in other states that say “you know I’d like to come to Nevada, but you have problems there in Nevada. And one of the problems is unfunded, well they are unfunded, but these mandates on insurance companies to provide coverage for things that people don’t even really need! And what we need to do is get rid of those mandates, let you provide a comprehensive coverage that takes care of what people need and allows them to buy them the things that they have to have, not things that are mandated by the government. A similar policy, as the things that people write for car insurance, and life insurance, you know you write something that fits the need of a person rather than fitting what the government has done for some politically correct special interest and that’s how we got those mandates.”
Can you say bullshit? What is comprehensive coverage if not mandating the insurance companies to provide a basic level of care? Why isn't she upset about having to buy auto insurance or fire insurance for her home? Maybe because they aren't underwriting her campaign?

Routine breast exams (never mind mammograms!). Colorectal exams. Prostate exams. Pap smears for early detection of ovarian and cervical cancer. Well-child visits. The "new" requirement that women be allowed 48-hours in hospital after a mastectomy rather than just 24 (used to be 1-week).

These are all medical services that we have come to associate with routine medical care. Care not just associated with the new health care reform, but care we receive if we are fortunate enough to have health insurance. Not every state has the same requirements, but most states have some minimal level of service that insurance companies are required to provide to its customers.

It makes sense, as if you catch cancer before it takes hold, you can stop it faster and easier (and supposedly cheaper) which should be as advantageous to the insurance companies as to the patient.

But no. Now we learn that these are not procedures and services contained in basic health care because they make sense, or because they are "basic." No. We receive these services because some special interest, somewhere, has paid the government to include that category in mandated insurance coverage. People like Sharon Angle love to talk in sound bytes like unfunded mandates and special interests, and sneer and use air quotes. Ever since John McCain went overboard with the use of air quotes during his debates with then Senator Obama, those on the right seem to believe that using them is an automatic dig at Democrats. And autism? Where is her buddy Palin on this one? After all, Palin's sister has a child with autism.Of course she'll speak out for children with disabilities and correct Angle. Right? Right? Right.

Angle (and now O'Donnell) take their cues from Palin and somehow believe that running for office (or a title, as Palin says - never far away from her beauty queen days) means proving the other person is unfit rather than trying to show how they would do better. When unable to prove anything negative about their opponent, they resort to personal smears (gay? gay? I never said he was gay. I would never say he was gay. who said he was gay? gay? not me) and lies (death panels anyone?) including misrepresenting legislation that their opponent is associated with. Journalists are little better as they say that their job is to present both sides, not to verify the truthfulness of what they report (Gregory). Statements by others they support that do not fit their worldview are ignored (remember the false concensus effect that I have discussed previously here and here) or re-written to say what they want it to say.

In the Pledge to America and the Republican rants against health care reform, in the conversations I have had or heard about the evils of socialized medicine, people against health care reform are against some generalized concept they have been taught to fear, but when asked item by item, point by point, one finds that they are actually in favor of the benefits to be gained by the new legislation. What is mind-boggling, is that you can ask many of these people if they are in favor of no pre-existing conditions conclusions, coverage for children until age 26, and some of the other individual features of health care reform, but tell them that they have just agreed to all of the component parts of the concept they are fighting against, they continue to say they are against it.

What is completely bizarre, is that Sharon Angle and Harry Reid are in a dead heat. Granted, Reid was way behind at one time, but once we started learning about what a whack job Sharon Angle really is, he started moving up in the polls - to dead even.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Liz Cheney Is At It Again, Playing With Quotes. UPDATED

Here we go again. Our resident expert on all things national security, Liz Cheney, has weighed in (soon to be followed, I'm sure, by Palin, O'Donnell, et al), on President Obama's comments made during several meetings at the White House to discuss the operation of the war in Afghanistan as reported in Bob Woodward's latest book "Obama's Wars" which will be released on Monday. Writing in The Washington Post, Steve Luxenburg reviews the book, written he says, "... through detailed accounts of two dozen closed-door secret strategy sessions and nearly 40 private conversations between Obama and Cabinet officers, key aides and intelligence officials." Woodward writes, apparently from a "..meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review..."
At one of these meetings, the President is quoted as saying that:
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."
Liz responded immediately with the following: [emphasis added]
"Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack. We expect him to use every tool at his disposal to find, defeat, capture and kill terrorists. We expect him to deter attacks by making clear to our adversaries that an attack on the United States will carry devastating consequences. Instead, President Obama is reported to have said, ‘We can absorb a terrorist attack.’ This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation."
Several points here. First is context. Republicans love to take words out of context and tell us only part of the story. Certainly the President said that we can absorb a terrorist attack. He also went on to say that 1) we'll do everything to prevent it and 2) even after the biggest attack ever (9/11), we absorbed it and 3) we are stronger for it. Republicans like to campaign through fear and appealing to emotion. When we make decisions based on emotions - whether good or bad, they are usually not good ones.

I would also like to add that 9/11 happened because of the Bush/Cheney administration, we gave up the chance to capture Osama Bin Laden because Bush/Cheney diverted assets from Afghanistan to a totally unnecessary war in Iraq, and because of torture programs created by Liz's father, terrorist groups have their number one recruiting tool. Just saying.

I would think that patriotic Americans would be proud that although we do everything we can to avert another attack, should one happen, we are strong enough to absorb the damage and carry on without destroying ourselves as a nation.

What we have in Liz Cheney is a woman who wants to be a figurehead in the Republican Party, who wants to run for office, and who wants to appear on all the talks. What we actually have is someone who is last choice for the talks because she hasn't learned good manners yet (has anyone ever heard her let someone else complete a sentence? Didn't think so.) Women like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and now Christine O'Donnell are the darlings of the party so get all the current attention.

While Liz is misguided and misled by her father, she is not truly a crazy wing-nut in the mold of the teabags. Does this make her less dangerous? No. More. She has a following and is developing a voice. Eventually, the party will realize that who they call teabags are just the extremist fringe that has always been with them and will actually bring them down. When that happens, they'll need the Liz's - those Republican women who are extreme in their own right, but not able to cater to the whackos in the way that Palin and O'Donnell do.

What a piece of work. Once again I would just like to say, Liz, go home.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

UPDATE: Great post at Truthdig on this topic. Ruth Marcus John Bolton's outrageous response to the President's comments:
"I think that may be the most outrageous thing that’s been reported about this book,” former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News. “How can an American president say that as if he’s a detached observer and doesn’t care about Americans dying. I think people have been worried about his qualifications to be commander in chief for a long time, and that ought to prove it.”
And reported that Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute said of the quote:
“...a shocking insight into Obama’s thinking when it comes to the terrorist threat” and “... stunningly complacent words from the man responsible for stopping such a terrorist attack. ... He is effectively saying: An attack is inevitable, we’ll do our best to prevent it, but if we get hit again—even on the scale of 9/11—it’s really no big deal.”
As noted by Marcus:
"If Obama is, as Thiessen asserts, “stunningly complacent” about the prospect of an attack, what does that make Dick Cheney, who said the question about another terrorist attack was “not a matter of if, but when”?"

"Or consider this “stunningly complacent” government official: “There will be another terrorist attack. We will not be able to stop it. It’s something we all live with.” That was FBI Director Robert Mueller—in 2002."

She then goes on to add:
"Woodward’s latest book, which details Obama’s desire to extricate American forces from Afghanistan as quickly as possible, may end up showing the president in an unflattering light—unflattering, at least, to those who believe that national security may require more time and resources than the president appears prepared to give."
A veritable tempest in a teapot indeed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bachmann's Ignorance is Showing, Again. Infantilism is a Paraphilia. If O'Donnell Supporters Are Just Like Her, They All Lie & Cheat?

Below, are two videos and comments about two ignorant, and idiotic Republican women, Michelle Bachmann and Christine O'Donnell. The first, is of Bachmann speaking at the Values Voters Summit in which she once again displays her breathtaking ignorance. The second, is a clip from Anderson Cooper's CNN show where Christine O'Donnell is discussed. Less about ignorance, O'Donnell's behavior appears to be more about basic bad behavior - perhaps arising out of ignorance - most likely deliberate, especially after 5 years of senatorial campaigning when she should have learned the rules by now.

Included on the CNN clip, is a comment by a supporter of O'Donnell who says, "...she's just like me."

I have heard comments like this over and over again. Pundits and commentators, columnists and reporters have commented on why and how the likes of Sarah Palin and now Christine O'Donnell are able to garner so much support when they are demonstrably liars, ignorant, and not very Christian. The overwhelming answer is, that they resonate with their supporters as being "just like me."

My question then, is are right-wingers, teabags, and others proud to claim common cause with people who see the law as fungible? Who value people as much as they do the little puppy who has outgrown his cuteness (disposable)? When evidence is presented that those most damaged by the policies of the Republican Party are the blue-collar, middle-Americans, the high-school educated, family values voters, why do they refuse to listen? Why do they continue to see people making multi-millions of dollars as "one of them?"

I know the answers, but I wonder why our media refuses to ask those questions, discuss them on the Sunday talks, or remind these women that no, the 1st Amendment is not there to protect them from the media, but rather to protect the media from them and call them out on their refusal to participate in "the public's right to know."

"That kind of thinking to me, is infantilism."
--Michelle Bachmann

Michelle Bachmann is upset that President Obama has spoken about negative rights and the fact that we have them. Speaking at the Values Voters Summit, this particular rant includes her view that negative rights is analogous to infantilism, something she believes the President suffers from. ummm.

Okay. Putting on my counselors hat now. Infantilism is a mental health issue that falls within the paraphilias. So, what is a paraphilia you say? They are the group of mental health disorders that include sexual fantasies and behaviors that are atypical and extreme, and that cause distress or serious problems for the individual with the paraphilia. Because there are so many (some lists include over 400), the DSM-IV-TR provides diagnoses for 8 with very specific criteria, and of course, it's NOS (not otherwise specified) classification.

Paraphilias are a subject of much debate and controversy (homosexuality used to be classified as a paraphilia) and is now, within the professional community, considered to be sexual urges involving non-human objects (not designed for sexual gratification), children or other non-consenting persons, or involving pain and/or humiliation to ones self or others.

So, now that we have demonstrated Representative Bachmann's ignorance of yet another topic she has decided to weigh in on (what is it with these Republican women?), let's address the topic of negative and positive rights.

Negative rights are those that are granted without specific action being needed on the part of anyone (i.e., government in this case). For example, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, civil rights, etc. These are rights that are granted to us by right of citizenship and no action is necessary for us to receive them, only if for some reason, they are taken away.

Positive rights are those that require specific action on the part of someone else. For example, police protection, education, the national defense, and such things as free counsel, social security, and medicare which our society has determined are rights granted to its citizens. That is, things that are given to us, action has to be taken for us to receive them.


Continuing with today's theme of idiotic Republican women, Christine O'Donnell is now being investigated for campaign violations arising out of the senatorial campaign prior to this current one. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint which has evidently had enough validity to result in a formal FEC investigation. This video speaks for itself in itemizing the problems in her campaign practices.

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Help Get the Dream Act Passed

Please help support the Dream Act and go here for a list of Senators who need some prodding to do the right thing and how to contact them as well as a sample script.

For those who don't know what this act is all about, it offers students an opportunity to achieve citizenship by serving in the military. As posted on the website Dream Act Info:
"The purpose of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act, also called the DREAM Act, is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship which they otherwise would not have without this legislation. Supporters of the DREAM Act believe it is vital not only to the people who would benefit from it, but also the United States as a whole. It would give an opportunity to undocumented immigrant students who have been living in the U.S. since they were young, a chance to contribute back to the country that has given so much to them and a chance to utilize their hard earned education and talents."
Foreign nationals already serve in our military. This bill gives them recognition that we value their service and will reward their sacrifice - something this country has not done well for those already citizens, much less anyone else.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Billo Needs Educating on Definition of Racism

Good article today at Crooks and Liars regarding racism - what it is and what it isn't. As a sociologist, it's a subject I have studied in depth and watched in the media with great frustration. My favorite quote from this post is Hilary Shelton of the NAACP responding to Bill O'Reilly's attempt at a gotcha. O'Reilly had said, referring to Reverend Wright in a discussion of racism, claiming:
"...that Wright was a racist -- based on his belief that the federal government had created the HIV virus as a way to harm black men. This, BillO claimed, was "hate speech."
Shelton then responded by saying:
"Bill, I think you should look up the definition of the word "racist." It might help you understand what is racism and what is not."
As pointed out in the article, the conservative perspective of racism is that it is "the outright hatred of people of other races" which allows them to attack any and all for whatever they choose to see as "racist" behavior.

What happens, is that a member of a marginalized group such as women, persons of color, immigrants, the elderly, the poor, and others with limited voice in our society, are accused of racism or "reverse" racism when they attempt to stand up for themselves.

From a sociological perspective, racism is institutional and is not based on a particular situation or individual (although it can be demonstrated by such), but is a belief that the inherent characteristics that place an individual within their group make them less than the dominant culture. These characteristics are features that are inherent, or present from birth and something that cannot be changed. Poverty is probably the only characteristic that can be altered, but the fact of it cannot. An individual may move out of poverty, but their membership in that group at some point in their life - usually childhood - is a fact and the need to overcome the lack of social capital has had a profound effect on his or her life.

For others, color and gender, sexual orientation, and country of origin are inherent. In the dominant culture, hundreds of years of white, male supremacy cannot be overcome by a few years of legislated equality no matter how much we would like it so. It is a fact as well, that in many countries of color that the "advanced" countries of the world and their colonialism of the third world has spread this attitude of white paternalism to the point that even in those countries, skin color is a significant factor in an individuals' success in life.

A close friend several years ago shared her experience growing up in rural Mexico and how those with lighter skin fared compared to those with darker skin - a conversation later confirmed by those from other countries. Just spend a little time watching Univision or another Spanish language station - most of the news anchors or TV stars have blond hair and light skin.

While today it is those from the Middle East who are feared and hated, and those from Mexico who are attacked for the illegality of their presence here, earlier in the 20th century it was those from southern Europe who were considered "less than" and restricted in their access to this country. Prior to that, it was the Irish and the Germans, and not so many years ago that a Presidential candidate was attacked for his Catholicism.

There is always a group that is feared and hated and considered to be the interloper here. We bring them in for our own needs, then blame them for all our own ills when they decide to stay. We brought the Chinese to build the railroads, the Mexicans to work the fields, and somehow thought that "Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free..." only applied to white, northern Europeans and then wanted to send them home when we were done with them.

Now, we use Iraqi and Afghani citizens to help our troops as translators, guides, and service workers. We know that just being seen talking to Americans by the wrong person can label them collaborators and put their lives and those of their families at risk to the point that the American government has instituted a plan to allow Iraqi and Afghan civilians who have aided our troops to relocate to the U.S. We bring them here (in numbers far fewer than we should, by the way) as thanks for risking their lives on our behalf, and deny them safety and the right to practice their religion not because of who they are, but what they are.

"O'Reilly, it seems, wants to define racism as "inflammatory remarks based on cockamamie conspiracy theories." Another example of the right-wing extremists creating their own reality to sell to the ignorant.

That, is racism.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sarah Palin's Backhanded Facebook Post to Pastor Jones. Stand Down but Not Really.

This image doesn't have much to do with the topic, but I couldn't resist.

 Image: Chris Tilling

Much as I hate to give this woman this much attention, I find it increasingly necessary to respond to her actions. Regardless of the headline of the day and what it may or may not have to do with her, Sarah Palin has to weigh in with her wealth of experience and wisdom. For once, I appreciate her suggesting that the Florida church halt their proposed burning of the Quran on 9/11, but much as I appreciate it, I find her rationale offensive and don't believe that she really means it. She refused to comment until she saw other Republicans suggest Pastor Jones cancel his plans, then decided to go all elder stateswoman. Pure political posturing. Her lack of understanding of the Middle East, its history, our history relative to it, and even our own Constitutional process is mind-boggling. If she had made her comment and left it at that, we would all be better off, but no, she has to keep talking and add fuel to the fire.

What Sarah and many others on the right do not understand, is that many (most?) in the Middle East do not understand American style democracy and freedom of speech. Most do not have a high level of education and what they do have, is received via clerics and weighted heavily towards a religious point of view (another point in favor of separation of church and state). This being the case, many in the Middle East do not understand that because of our freedom of speech, we are allowed to do all kinds of things that are offensive such as burn flags and burn books. Our leaders do not get to do anything about it. Unfortunately, the Arab world in large part believes that President Obama could do something about this proposed book burning if he wanted to and the fact that he does not means that he does not want to. The fact that they find the burning of the Quran - even the discussion of such - extremely offensive and, they believe, tacitly endorsed by the President, does more to undo the work of our forces than anything else that has happened in the entire duration of the war.

Now that combat operations in Iraq are over, the remaining troops are there to help support the government of Iraq and win the hearts and minds of the people. We are in Afghanistan to do the same. Somehow, Osama bin Laden, the true responsible party for 9/11, is rarely talked about.

Have we all forgotten that the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are Muslim? We love them while they are in their own country and are willing to spend billions of dollars and the lives of our young men and women protecting them, but unwilling to allow them to worship should they move to this one? I would bet that neither Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, or any of the others claiming that Islam is a religion of hate have actually read the Quran (and I wonder if they have actually read the Bible - the Bible itself is hard, they've probably depended on all the devotionals and readings provided by their pastors and churches to tell them what it says - it's the only explanation I can think of to explain the hatred coming out of a religion that says to love thy neighbor as thyself).

You'll note if you read any of the comments made by Palin's followers that they are as ignorant of Christianity as they are of Islam. They all speak with such authority of the Muslim religion not understanding that it is called Islam, and claim to speak for God (did you know so many people knew his thoughts?) yet spew speech that is so filled with hate and vitriol that I feel slimy after reading it. Definitely makes me ashamed to admit to being a Christian, although I doubt I would pass any of their "tests" since I haven't seen the inside of a church in too many years to count.

This latest Facebook post put up on behalf of Sarah Palin is excellent as an example of her inability to comprehend her own ignorance. Typical of her speech patterns, each sentence and paragraph negates the one before and demonstrates an inability to practice simple proof-reading or basic essay-writing skills. As I used to teach my students, writing a paper or an essay begins very simply; you say what you're going to say, say it, then say what you said. Within that frame, you then construct your argument, making sure that everything links to what went before and is summarized at the end. If not, take it out. Loaded speech and emotional terms distract from the message and tell the reader that you probably don't have evidence to support your argument if you have to depend on fallacies to make your point. Back to Sarah's Facebook "Updated" Facebook post asking Pastor Jones to stand down posted today which I refuse to link to. Go find it yourself if you want, I've copied the text below. I've bolded my response:
Update:Book burning is bad. But the Muslim cleric who is running for parliament in Afghanistan is calling for the murder of American children in response to scorched Korans, which is worse. Where is the media's focus?
Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero. [False equivalency. One has nothing to do with the other except for the fact that those wanting to build a community center 4-blocks from Ground Zero are Muslim and the Quran is their holy book. I have not heard them call for the deaths of anyone, children or otherwise.]
I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. [Pot, kettle?] Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.
Again, the foundations of our country are very specifically not Christian, in fact, the founders were not Christians and discussed that fact and decided and debated and put in the part about separation of church and state on purpose - look up the definition of deism. There is a strong thread of Christianity throughout American history pre- and post-revolution, but it is because of the religions forced on many of the colonists and the demands made by colonial leaders that their be a state religion that the writers of the Constition decided on such a strong separation between church and state - go read your history]
[freedom and equality? I was raised a Christian and have to tell you, there is no gender equality in early Christianity, and mercy? Not until the New Testament and still, look at Revelations...]
Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don’t need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. [So why do you do it?] In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn’t that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about?
[Do you know what the Gold Rule actually is? Why would you say that's what the mosque debate is about? Let's see, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Ummm. Let them build their community center so that if I purchase abandoned property 4-blocks away I can build mine without people like you interfering in my business for cheap political gain?]
- Sarah Palin
[And the first comments at the time that I was at her page]
Nancy Harp: "Yeah... we just tolerate, right? Use gloves to touch their precious book that tells them to kill, kill; kill ... all that are not Muslim!! [sic]

Ila Waldstein: I like Sharon Tucker's idea..let all send parts or something made of pig's..they will go away then...can we get this thing going ?" [sic] [actually, this is sick]
Tim D. Rabara: "how can it get any worse than 9 11. these animals are trying to kill us everyday! It's okay for them to burn our flag and our bible in their own country but we can't do that here after what they've done to us and are still trying to do it e every day.they'll get over it.they're going to continue doing it no matter what we do.bin laden gets all his dummies to die for his cause and what's he doing? Running and hiding like the little coward that he is. he can't run forever.the muslim cleric needs to be locked up for life .shot by american firing squad would be nice! people or person need to remember where they're at and where they come from, America not afghanistan. thank you . i'm done for now." [sic]
Pamelia Doss: "it will do absolutely no good to be afraid of the muslems. the koran teaches them to wipe out the little satan which is Isreal and the big satan which is America. This is there plan and it does not matter what 1 person in America does. I am indeed a Christian. I have Moslem friends. They burn our flag and it is ok. Our Moslem president will never stand up for America. one time I read a book and in the last chapter it said 'IF they could get a moslem in the white house, America would fall from within'. I NEVER FORGOT THOSE WORDS! Wake up America, look for a crises to happen before the Nov elections. Stop, Look, and Listen. Pray and turn back to God" [sic]
Jan ODell: Good article. I hope the Pastor listens and hears. Praying for a nice rain storm from 7pm-9pm Sept 11 in Gainesville, FL would be a good start. Let God rain the book burning out." [sic]
Michelle Mcdonald: "Musslim Religion Koran/Qoran teaches kill all unbelievers of Islamic Alah. Murder is still illegal. This religion should not have a right to be worshipped ? Freedom of Religion or Freedom to MURDER ???
Opposite/AntiChrist of... Jesus harmed no one. He made himself the sacrifice for our sin and now seated at... the right hand of God in glory." [sic]
The above posts are indicative of the over 2,000 that were received for this post alone. There were a few that disagreed, but the disagreement was mild - the posters having obviously learned how not to be immediately deleted - and slammed by others such as those above. They say that all Muslims want to do is "kill, kill, kill," yet all they can say about them is to "kill, kill, kill." How Christian of them.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Palin Manipulates Self-Esteem of Audience Per Vanity Fair Article

A lot has been written about the new Vanity Fair piece up about Sarah Palin, so I won't go into it in depth, but one point was made towards the end of the article that I think was overlooked in much of the analysis that I have seen.

Much of the criticism has focused on the reporting of Palin's behavior and treatment towards others, particularly her family. I believe it comes as no surprise to those of us on the blogs who follow her that her children are (to her), little more than props, and everyone else is simply a tool. Tools are to be used as needed and discarded when their usefulness ends.

Palin supporters responded to the piece with anger, claiming that it was just more of the same, however, the additional information about her demands for more clothing ($3,000 worth of underwear paid for by the RNC? really?) and her treatment of service workers is so in line with everything else we have learned, that it is easy to believe and just adds to the base of information we have about her without doing anything to change opinion, pro or con. It is just confirmation of an existing belief that either 1) the left is out to get her, or 2) she is an evil, corrupt woman (my personal favorite).

But, what struck me, was this: [emphasis added]
"...she is also planting the idea with audiences that they might not be good enough, by telling them she thinks they’re plenty good, no matter what anybody else may say. (“They talk down to us… They think that if we were just smart enough … ”) To some, the message sounds like an affirmation. But is it really? Or does it seed self-doubt and rancor among her partisans, and encourage them to see everyone else as malign?

Absolutely correct. Reverse psychology at its most basic and so unexpected in this setting that no one would believe its use. Palin may be lacking in intelligence, but she is canny and manipulative, and has a highly developed ability to give people what they want - a characteristic of certain personality disorders. By injecting negativity into the conversation, she ensures that she adjusts the perspective of her followers so that they see themselves and others in that negative light and have to work to see anything in a positive light.

Palin has reportedly quite an anger management problem, with this author saying that she frequently throws things and can go off on others with minimal provocation. This behavior, coupled with her pathological lies, raises a lot of red flags. The ability to chip away at the self-esteem of her audience without their awareness is particularly troubling and I am pleased to see at least one member of the major media able to recognize her actions as such and to educate his readers.

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