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Topics - Bison66

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1696
Could it be that Islamic militants have targeted a Dr. King Holiday parade?

Quote
SPOKANE, Wash. — A backpack found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. march in Spokane contained a bomb "capable of inflicting multiple casualties,"  the FBI said Tuesday, describing the case as "domestic terrorism."

The FBI said the Swiss Army-brand backpack was found about 9:25 a.m. PST on Monday on a bench at the northeast corner of North Washington Street and West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41139894/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts?GT1=43001

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1697
Politics / Repubs to Re-impose Taxation Without Representation for DC
« on: January 18, 2011, 10:25:39 AM »
This pretty much speaks for itself:

Quote
Tucked into the changes enacted by Speaker John Boehner is a rule depriving the district of its one bit of token voting power in Congress.

Washington’s 600,000 residents are allowed by law to elect only a watchful delegate. In 2007, the Democratic leadership allowed that delegate to cast some limited committee votes. Now even that has been killed by Republicans, leaving the delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and the city fathers questioning whether they are heading back to the “plantation mentality” days when Congressional committees routinely undermined home rule.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/opinion/18tue3.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha211

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1698
Politics / Blaming the "Enemy"?
« on: January 16, 2011, 12:00:27 PM »
While it seems reasonable to discuss whether the heated rhetoric in political debate MIGHT have contributed to a violent act, IMO it was wrong to strongly suggest that Palin or Beck, etc. was at fault in the recent AZ shooting without any evidence.

Anyone on the Left who did so was wrong to do so and Palin was correct - to the extent that it happened - to call it morally reprehensible.  Each side has and will find evidence to blame the other side - The Enemy - for such things, particularly re: who started this mess.  Was it Nixon's "Enemies List" or something some Liberal did?  Folks will probably never agree.

But for those on The Right, who are jumping to condemn those on the Left for drawing quick conclusions, I have a question.  Purely, of course, hypothetical and speculative:

If a person with mental problems shot a Right Wing talk show host or a Repub Congressman from Colorado (for the sake of this discussion, PRIOR to the AZ shooting - so that any lessons from it were not yet learned), wouldn't there be immediate suspicion that there was a political motivation and wouldn't there be all kinds of speculation about it?

I am curious what Conservatives, in particular, think would have happened under those circumstances.
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1699
Recent statements by Dick Armey* and some others minimizing the effects of political rhetoric on behavior really beg the question:

Does "Violent" Rhetoric Affect Thinking of Others?   (And could that thinking lead to behavior?)

This is from the conclusion of a fairly recent U of Mich study:
Quote
Using a controlled survey experiment with a nationally-representative sample, I tested
whether the most common and mild forms of violent political rhetoric increase public support for
political violence. The results are simultaneously reassuring and unsettling. On one hand, I
found that average levels of support for political violence are unchanged by violent rhetoric.
However, this seemingly-null result hides a polarizing effect based on individual differences in
the audience. In keeping with the literature on media violence effects, citizens with aggressive
personality traits expressed significantly greater support for political violence when exposed to
ads infused with violent metaphors. Consequently, citizens who are already predisposed to
express more support for political violence are pushed even higher in their support by mild
violent language. In contrast, citizens with low trait aggression express significantly lower levels of support for political violence after exposure to the same content. Young adults – the
demographic most likely to engage in all forms of aggression – showed significantly greater
responsiveness to the violently-worded ads.

Leaders Mobilizing Aggression in Mass Publics
This work suggests that political leaders regularly mobilize aggressive responses in
audiences. Given the important state goal of minimizing aggression in society, the role of
political leaders in stoking aggressive responses in citizens may be of some concern. There is a
dark irony in this hidden conflict of interests. But whatever positive effects leaders seek when
employing violent metaphors – whether support for themselves, for policies, or for political
mobilization – are offset by the implications of violent language for political violence support.
These mild rhetorical devices push some citizens to a level of hostility in which they openly wish physical harm on political leaders, contravening vital norms that enable democratic government to function. Yet it is difficult to imagine a workable solution for addressing this problem with constitutionally-protected speech, beyond self-restraint by leaders. The evidence here might be sufficient to make political leaders think twice before infusing violent language into speeches
and ads, particularly in situations when their audiences are already boiling over with hostility.
PDF doc at http://www.themonkeycage.org/Kalmoe%20-%20Political%20Violence.pdf

The denial/minimizing reminds me of rappers claiming not to know that the video images and lyrics they put out there have an impact on youngsters!

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*For Armey's comments, see:  http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/136861-armey-answer-on-shooters-motive-will-come-from-psychology-not-politics
IMO, while Armey is minimizing politics as a motive in the AZ shooting, he is - with his own words - actually acknowledging that his and others' rhetoric had gone too far.

1700
From Raleigh, NC.
Quote
But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national tea party conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to "say no to the social engineers!" it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation's most celebrated integration efforts.

And as the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits - logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

The situation unfolding here in some ways represents a first foray of tea party conservatives into the business of shaping a public school system, and it has made Wake County the center of a fierce debate over the principle first enshrined in the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: that diversity and quality education go hand in hand.

The new school board has won applause from parents who blame the old policy - which sought to avoid high-poverty, racially isolated schools - for an array of problems in the district and who say that promoting diversity is no longer a proper or necessary goal for public schools.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/11/AR2011011107063.html?referrer=emailarticle&sid=ST2011011202619

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1701
Politics / Conservative Revisionism Rears Its Ugly Head - Barbour
« on: January 09, 2011, 07:29:33 PM »
Eugene Robinson pulls the covers off of Haley Barbour's BS re how the South went Republican.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/06/AR2010090602959.html?referrer=emailarticle

Some highlights:
Quote
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who may seek the Republican nomination for president, is trying to sell the biggest load of revisionist nonsense about race, politics and the South that I've ever heard. Ever.

He has the gall to try to portray Southern Republicans as having been enlightened supporters of the civil rights movement all along. I can't decide whether this exercise in rewriting history should be described as cynical or sinister. Whichever it is, the record has to be set straight.
and
Quote
The governor's assertion that segregation was a relic of the past "by my time" is ludicrous. He was 16, certainly old enough to pay attention, during the Freedom Summer of 1964, when civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Miss. He was a young adult, on his way to becoming a lawyer, when the public schools were forced to integrate. I'll bet Barbour could remember those days if he tried a little harder.

Equally wrong -- and perhaps deliberately disingenuous -- is his made-up narrative of how the South turned Republican. Barbour's fairy tale doesn't remotely resemble what really happened.

I will be VERY interested to see if Conservatives on this board will defend Barbour's nonsense.

In the past they have been completely silent when any mention has been made of the Republican betrayal of their Black supporters in the South in the 1860-'70's.
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1702
Politics / Repub Governor Becomes A One Woman "Death Panel"
« on: January 07, 2011, 05:44:39 PM »
Reports say that two people have died due to Gov Breyer's policies.
Quote
"I really feel bad for the governor, for the legislators, those who had to make this decision," he said. "I certainly wouldn't want to be in their shoes and making the call that results in somebody else living or dying."
Arizona's Senate Minority Leader-elect David Schapira, a Democrat from Tempe, said he will seek emergency restoration of Medicaid coverage for certain kinds of transplants.
"I would like to alert people in the rest of the country that we have death panels right here in Arizona, and those who cut this funding and refuse to restore it are the death panels," Schapira said.
He was referring to Gov. Jan Brewer and her fellow Republicans who now hold a two-thirds majority in both legislative chambers. Schapira called Brewer "a one-person death panel."
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/07/arizona.transplants/index.html?section=cnn_latest
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1703
Quote
Let’s face it: the United States is like the former Yugoslavia – a collection of mutually antagonistic cultures united in name only. You’ve got your own version of the Taliban: right-wing Christian fundamentalists who actively loathe the idea of secular Constitutional government. You’ve got a vast intellectual underclass that has spent the last few decades soaking up Fox News and talk radio propaganda, eager to blame the collapse on Democrats, gays and immigrants. You’ve got a ruthless ownership class that will use all the means at its disposal to protect its wealth from the starving masses.

On top of all that you’ve got vast factory farms, sprawling suburbs and a truck-based shipping system, all of it entirely dependent on oil that is about to become completely unaffordable. And you’ve got guns. Lots of guns. In short: the United States is about to become a very unwholesome place to be.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25166.htm

You don't have to agree with everything this guy says to understand his most salient underlying points.

Primarily however this author exposes how silly and myopic Olds..t's comment was that if folks left the US and went to another country, they'd hurry back.

I am so pleased that World Nut Daily has finally seen the light!!!
Can Olds..t be far behind?  [YES!]
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1704
Politics / How ACORN "Saved" New Orleans
« on: January 04, 2011, 07:14:30 PM »
This is an excerpt from an article in Nation magazine (available only to subscribers):

Quote
To plan the city's recovery effort, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin asked some of the region's power brokers to form a blue ribbon task force to make recommendations. The task force, which excluded community groups, emerged with a plan to shrink the city's population, sacrificing the hardest-hit neighborhoods to protect upscale areas from future flooding. It called for restoring the city's tourist attractions but paid little attention to the plight of poor and working-class residents, many of them scattered in cities hours away. ACORN launched a plan to save these communities by organizing residents to speak out. After the Nagin administration announced that the city would demolish 50,000 homes in low-lying areas, ACORN plastered NO BULLDOZING signs all over the Lower Ninth Ward. At one point, ACORN activists chased off a backhoe crew preparing to demolish a home. ACORN also sued the city to stop the demolition, and in January 2006 it won a court settlement requiring that homeowners be given the opportunity to appeal before any action was taken.

Beginning in December 2005, ACORN crews and volunteers began working day and night to repair the homes of member families in the threatened areas. ACORN's crews tore down moldy drywall, ripped up flooring and carted ruined possessions to the curb; then they stored salvageable belongings and put blue tarping on roofs to prevent further water damage and deterioration. Relying mostly on volunteers and private funding, ACORN's cleanup/house-gutting program saved more than 1,500 homes.

ACORN sued to ensure that the city's displaced, largely black population would have access to out-of-state polling places for municipal elections in the spring of 2006. A federal judge rejected ACORN's demand for satellite voting stations outside New Orleans, so ACORN organizers (along with other groups like the Metropolitan Organization) registered more than 20,000 absentee voters.

Within three months after the storm, ACORN formed the ACORN Katrina Survivors Association (AKSA), the only national grassroots group that represented the evacuees. AKSA drafted a platform and sent delegations of members to Baton Rouge and Washington to demand bolder and quicker action. They held public protests and press conferences and engaged in regular negotiations with FEMA officials to ensure that the agency continued to provide assistance to displaced survivors. Mixing confrontation and collaboration, ACORN only sometimes proved effective against a slow-moving, seemingly uncaring bureaucracy.

Since the 2008 presidential election, ACORN has been the victim of a ferocious attack by the GOP, Fox News and Andrew Breitbart, including false accusations of "voter fraud" and the infamous doctored "pimp and prostitute" videos. This storm ACORN couldn't weather. Although the organization was subsequently exonerated of any wrongdoing, it dissolved itself as funders and Democratic allies abandoned the group

Author:  John Atlas, president of the New Jersey-based National Housing Institute—a nonprofit think tank, which publishes Shelterforce magazine—is the author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group.

I'll stand by for the name calling from the usual suspect since he will have no facts to counter this information.

As I have previously mentioned (probably on Meeting of the Minds), I had my own negative experiences with ACORN, but they did some good work.
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1705
Politics / Obama & S. Korea Call NOKO's Bluff
« on: December 20, 2010, 02:15:11 PM »
After threatening all kind of unimaginable retaliation if SOKO went ahead with live fire exercises just off disputed territory, NOKO backs down.

Excellent move for the US to support SOKO in going forward with the exercises.

O0

1706
Politics / Conservative Says: Obama Won the Tax Showdown
« on: December 12, 2010, 06:26:21 PM »
Charles Krauthammer:
Quote
Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way — mostly tax cuts — rather than the Democrats’ spending orgy of Stimulus I. That’s consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near–$1 trillion hole in the budget.

At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as one percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.

Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, tea-party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate-tax rate of 35 percent — it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1 — that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.

Whoa!!!

And:
Quote
Obama’s public exasperation with this infantile leftism is both perfectly understandable and politically adept. It is his way back to at least the appearance of centrist moderation. The only way he will get a second look from the independents who elected him in 2008 — and who abandoned the Democrats in 2010 — is by changing the prevailing (and correct) perception that he is a man of the Left.

Hence that news-conference attack on what the administration calls the “professional Left” for its combination of sanctimony and myopia. It was Obama’s Sister Souljah moment. It had a prickly, irritated sincerity — their ideological stupidity and inability to see the “long game” really do get under Obama’s skin — but a decidedly calculated quality, too. Where, after all, does the Left go? Stay home on Election Day 2012? Vote Republican?
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/254946/swindle-year-charles-krauthammer

Chess vs checkers!!

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1707
I am curious since they were so strongly in favor of reducing the deficit.

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1708
Survey of public's knowledge.
Unsurprisingly ignorant.

http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

Once you take the survey you can see results by age, education and gender.
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Here's Your Score: You correctly answered 11 out of the 12 possible questions, which means you did better on the quiz than 98% of the general public.

1709
Politics / An Excellent Series on US History in the NYTimes
« on: November 17, 2010, 12:02:05 PM »
On segregation in public accommodations "upsouth"  (New York City)

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/jim-crow-on-west-broadway/

Perhaps not the best of the series (my favorite, so far, is on Lincoln), but it is a little known aspect of history, which I, a native New Yorker, most certainly did NOT learn about in school during the time that segregation was the Law of the (South) Land.

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1710
If you ARE one of those who still believes the spin that the wealthy and their mouthpieces on The Right bamboozled you with that banks were forced to loan money to minorities for homes was the cause of the recent near total collapse of the financial system, then you have not availed yourself of the vast amount of information out there that shows otherwise.

Perhaps A MOVIE is the answer for you and here it is:
INSIDE JOB
Quote

So, basically what happened here is that these bums - these crooks in suits - these educated idiots - these morally depraved criminals - took everybody's money and gambled it every which way, knowing that no matter what happened, they'd get rich and everybody else would suffer. And so the economy caved, and they're still rich, and 30 million people worldwide have lost everything - their homes, their jobs, their place in the community, their vision of the future, their identity.

We know this already. We're all angry about it: Americans are good at getting angry. But there's such a thing as smart angry, and such a thing as stupid angry, and after seeing "Inside Job," audiences will be smart angry. They'll know specifically how bankers, traders and economists brought on the recession. They'll know who did it, and where to place the blame. They won't be barroom cynics or monkeys holding signs, but educated citizens.

"Inside Job" was directed by Charles Ferguson, who made the best and most clear-headed documentary about the Iraq war ("No End in Sight"). But this documentary on the financial crisis is an even more impressive work of journalism. To make it, he had to master a highly technical story before he could tell it to us in clear and concise terms. Indeed, he had to become such an expert that he could go head-to-head with bankers, economics professors and politicians and know exactly when they were attempting to confuse. He had to be able to challenge them when they were trying to lie.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/22/MVET1FUOQM.DTL#ixzz138z5yMSd

And some folks say that govt is the problem!!!
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