The GOP is SO MUCH better at Politics!

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Gotta give the GOP credit . . . they are SO much better at politics than the Dems.

All weekend long we heard GOPer after GOPer on the talkshow circuit saying: "The tax cuts should be made permanent, but, AS A COMPROMISE, we would be willing to accept extending them for 2 or 3 years."

The President, and the Congressional Dems should be all over the media saying "The GOP has it all backwards. The budget-busting "Bush tax cuts" should be allowed to expire completely, but, AS A COMPROMISE, we would be willing to extend them for 98% of Americans. We just can't afford to keep giving tax breaks to the top 2%, who don't need them, anyway?"

WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY?!

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Steve.I.Am
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The corporations own the media. That's a simple enough thing to figure out. The Republicans generally favor policies for the corporations and the people the corporations make wealthy. Corporations own the media, they control the speech through the simple basics of a market driven economy, which involves corporations feeding media corporations with expensive advertising propaganda which is necessary for the managers of the networks to run their media businesses.

Statistics is an important feature, it's the sophisticated process of producing "facts" about the opinions of "non man" to determine whether a program is providing the advertiser with a market interested in that advertiser's products or services so they can determine if they want to continue advertising on that program.

If advertisers don't like what someone says, bye, bye to that someone. Pretty soon people are sensoring themselves so they can be heard. The result is a very narrow and carefully controlled range of information and criticism for the public to consider. Combine that with distractions and spectacle instead of a media geared to improving literacy and you can easily think that it's something related to Republican's abilities at politics. But that wouldn't be entirely true, even if you will get arguments telling you it's factual: and "here's the proof."

That doesn't make Republicans "better" at politics, it simply demonstrates who (or what, I'd say it's more like private tyrannies known as corporations, but now the Supreme Court treats them as having the rights of people so maybe they qualify as a "who") has the power in this country and who can do the best job using propaganda, rather than allowing an informed and openly critical Fourth Estate to act as it was expected to with the Constitutional right to free speech.

When it comes to persuading people not to think about how these issues will affect their existence, what is likely to be more effective, an open discussion of a full range of issues, or narrowly defined propaganda?

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Of course corporations own the media. What alternative is there?

The premise of that post seems to be that all media is tainted because all media is corporate owned, sprinkled with a notion that all corporations are rightwing. I think Immelt would be shocked to discover he suddenly earned a conservative label. Or is it safe to go out on a limb and assume all left leaning corporations are pure and wholesome; therefore exempt from suspicion?

Paleo-con
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

You asked for it: Now if you'll just read it.

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html

This from Steve Kangas, found dead with a bullet in his head in Richard Mellon Scaife's building.

The Media

Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.

The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)

MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:

  • Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
  • William Paley (President, CBS)
  • Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
  • Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
  • Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
  • Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
  • Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • James Copley (Copley News Services)
  • Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
  • C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
  • Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Associated Press
  • United Press International
  • Reuters
  • Hearst Newspapers
  • Scripps-Howard magazine
  • Newsweek
  • Mutual Broadcasting System
  • Miami Herald
  • Old Saturday Evening Post Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.
  • New York Herald-Tribune

After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:

    We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.

This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.

Ben Bradlee was the Post’s managing editor during most of the Cold War. He worked in the U.S. Paris embassy from 1951 to 1953, where he followed orders by the CIA station chief to place propaganda in the European press. (9) Most Americans incorrectly believe that Bradlee personifies the liberal slant of the Post, given his role in publishing the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate investigations. But neither of these two incidents are what they seem. The Post merely published the Pentagon Papers after The New York Times already had, because it wanted to appear competitive. As for Watergate, we’ll examine the CIA’s reasons for wanting to bring down Nixon in a moment. Someone once asked Bradlee: "Does it irk you when The Washington Post is made out to be a bastion of slanted liberal thinkers instead of champion journalists just because of Watergate?" Bradlee responded: "Damn right it does!" (10)

It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most important examples of the CIA/media alliance. Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two major outlets of CIA propaganda.

The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.

For those who believe in "separation of press and state," the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, "debate" about the issue rages in the media. Here is but one example:

In 1996, The San Jose Mercury News published an investigative report suggesting that the CIA had sold crack in Los Angeles to fund the Contra war in Central America. A month later, three of the CIA’s most important media allies — The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times — immediately leveled their guns at the Mercury report and blasted away in an attempt to discredit it. Who wrote the Post article? Walter Pincus, longtime CIA journalist. The dangers here are obvious.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

That had me going for a minute. It actually looked plausible at first. But calling the self proclaimed left of center Washington Post a right wing daily shot all credibility in the head. I am still not sure what the point of the CIA post is. Is the article trying to counter ren's assertion that media advocates corporate messages by showing that the media corporations are actually controlled by government agencies? (In particular the CIA)

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Sigh.

The left and right is a ruse. Try to think about that for awhile. The two sides are: corporate/special interest control of our govt. vs We the people control of our govt.

If the Washington Post is an example of left wing, then why haven't they ever mentioned Enron's power plant in Dabhol, India or the now existent pipelines in Afghanistan that need constant guarding?

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote Paleo-con:

Of course corporations own the media. What alternative is there?

The premise of that post seems to be that all media is tainted because all media is corporate owned, sprinkled with a notion that all corporations are rightwing. I think Immelt would be shocked to discover he suddenly earned a conservative label. Or is it safe to go out on a limb and assume all left leaning corporations are pure and wholesome; therefore exempt from suspicion?

Immelt is a CEO who makes decisions based on profit. It doesn't matter what label you put on him. If he doesn't do that successfully he loses his job.

What alternative is there? Not many. Public supported through donations is one option. Pacifica is one of the few that survives that way. That's the game, set up a market driven media system and then we get people asking, what alternative is there?

Obviously you are easily confused by labels, such as "conservative" and "left," and how you seem to imagine those labels effect business. What "that post" described was how a market driven system controls the limits of criticism in a society.

All media is not corporate owned. Main stream media is corporate owned. Main Stream Media is what most people get in their homes for the most part.

The MSM is an advertising arm of the corporations. The corporations influence what programs stay on the air through advertising. Media corporate executives make decisions relating to advertising dollars coming in. That's their source of profit. For the Hollywood arm, it's the popularity and price paid to view a movie. I was a marketing consultant for corporations in the eighties. Please don't try to bullshit me with your trivial labels you use to confuse yourself about how all this works.

Privately owned small press in local communities are now mostly consumed across the nation. That process began in the early Twentieth Century. The Gannet corporation owns much of it now. Privately owned small press were one of the few places people could speak their mind without being influenced by corporate advertising. Once upon a time there was a diversity of opinion in this nation. Most people have never been exposed to that, so they don't know.

There are many examples of how a corporation influences free speech in conservative's notion of the so-called liberal press.

How is the media tainted? It's so obvious my jaw drops at the naivete of anyone who would ask. It's tainted by the lunatic notion that free exchange of ideas can be determined by a marketing process that includes selling advertising slots on programs, and then once people's livelihoods are at stake, that advertising has no influence on the marketability of an idea. It's tainted by the notion that the people who run media for profit will be completely open minded and that the people who are sitting in their homes being entertained by this spectacle are making a full range of choices about what they want from a range of programs being decided for them in the bowels of some corporation.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote Paleo-con:

Of course corporations own the media. What alternative is there?

The premise of that post seems to be that all media is tainted because all media is corporate owned, sprinkled with a notion that all corporations are rightwing. I think Immelt would be shocked to discover he suddenly earned a conservative label. Or is it safe to go out on a limb and assume all left leaning corporations are pure and wholesome; therefore exempt from suspicion?

The premise of your post seems to be that "right wing" and "conservative" are synonymous. You, of course, are not alone in promulgating that narrative.

The mainstream media mirrors government/the corporatocracy. As in government, there are neocons and neolibs in the MSM. The differences are virtually negligible but they're made into something substantial, which serves as a great distraction.

The alternative? Publicly-owned media.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am
Quote .ren:

Immelt is a CEO who makes decisions based on profit. It doesn't matter what label you put on him. If he doesn't do that successfully he loses his job.

Immelt is a politically active millionare that both holds a position in Obama's administration and accepts government bailouts for his troubled companies. I can understand why this would make an ordinarily wordy person dodge the point with a three sentence punt.

Quote .ren:

The MSM is an advertising arm of the corporations. The corporations influence what programs stay on the air through advertising. Media corporate executives make decisions relating to advertising dollars coming in. That's their source of profit. For the Hollywood arm, it's the popularity and price paid to view a movie. I was a marketing consultant for corporations in the eighties. Please don't try to bullshit me with your trivial labels you use to confuse yourself about how all this works.

Wow! Right away with the gutter talk and personal attacks. That was not expected from you. I am not sure what nerve I hit, but I am open to having it explained to me.

Let's try this label for how all this works: profit. The notion that corporate messages drive media is weak at best. People have the power to change the channel. Corporations base their advertising decisions on ratings, not ideological content. Non-public service advertisement has only one goal; to get customers and make money. Money is king in a corporation; they could care less what the content is if it makes a dime. Look at all the trash available on the airwaves.

If a media outlet does not have the appropriate ratings, then the advertising corporation takes their toys and plays elsewhere. The media outlet gets their rating from providing content people want to listen to; remember, they have the ability to change the channel. It is because of the people's ability to change the channel that the people drive the content. The people pick the channel because they like what they hear, the advertiser’s pick the media outlet because they like that people are listening to that outlet. The advertising corporation is clearly at the end of the pecking order.

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote paleocon:

Wow! Right away with the gutter talk and personal attacks. That was not expected from you. I am not sure what nerve I hit, but I am open to having it explained to me.

sigh.

Quote paleocon:

Let's try this label for how all this works: profit. The notion that corporate messages drive media is weak at best. People have the power to change the channel. Corporations base their advertising decisions on ratings, not ideological content. Non-public service advertisement has only one goal; to get customers and make money. Money is king in a corporation; they could care less what the content is if it makes a dime. Look at all the trash available on the airwaves.

Obviously, I'm the one that hit a nerve.

Profit's not a label.

Liberal and conservative are labels, you use them prolifically and confuse them for meaningful discussion. You apparently can't cross over from your politically based way of thinkikng to a discussion of how the marketplace and the MSM works in a very reasonable and matter of fact manner to control the range of ideas.

The other channels have what on them? And why?

Quote paleocon:

If a media outlet does not have the appropriate ratings, then the advertising corporation takes their toys and plays elsewhere.

I must have confused you somehow, that's essentially what I wrote. But I also explained how that works inside the corporatate production houses to produce program content. When you understand how that works you'll begin to understand why I can't just go to a television channel and have someone explain Peak Oil and why this whole thing is headed for a serious crash, along with some discussions of what to do about it. Many things will not show up on your television, no matter how many channels you flip. Not ever.

Quote paleocon:

The media outlet gets their rating from providing content people want to listen to; remember, they have the ability to change the channel. It is because of the people's ability to change the channel that the people drive the content. The people pick the channel because they like what they hear, the advertiser’s pick the media outlet because they like that people are listening to that outlet. The advertising corporation is clearly at the end of the pecking order.

And ratings are statistical measure of what Dwight Macdonald pithily called "non man." I've written questions that get the answers they use to make up statistics. Nobody cares what individuduals actually think when thy get that information. If they did they would ask essay questions instead of narrowly focused rhetorical multiple choices that herd people to the answers they want. They only care about managing the thundering herd, not individuals.

What's sad is I don't doubt you believe that is an expression of some sort of wonderful freedom to consume. And that, in essence, is your idea of freedom.

For my part, I threw a baseball bat through my television after I got back from Vietnam and I haven't been consuming any of its commodified bull shit since then. But I've written some of it for the thundering herd and I know how the system works. Try reading something besides Ayn Rand. I recommend Techonological Society, by Jacques Ellul, and then follow up with his: Sociological Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. You might get a clue of how the system works. Right now we have nothing to discuss. Everything you said is bull shit to me. So you got all huffy and did what I told you not to do. You tried to bull shit me.

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.ren
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If a media outlet does not have the appropriate ratings, then the advertising corporation takes their toys and plays elsewhere.

The problem with our society resides with the people. The reason corporations have the power that they do, such as in the Supreme Court, is not due to propaganda as I see it but with the ideologies that drive the American people to support corporatist politicians as they fit in nicely with the myths accepted by the electorate. It's our culture. We're comsumerist and believe the "self-made man", "one man, one vote", "trickle down economic", "property rights", etc, myths. And the GOP is those myths, so they get support. All one need do is to look at the unfounded paranoia surrounding communism displayed by Americans to see why the GOP is able to control the discussion, to the benefit of business interests. It's us.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote jeffbiss:
If a media outlet does not have the appropriate ratings, then the advertising corporation takes their toys and plays elsewhere.

The problem with our society resides with the people. The reason corporations have the power that they do, such as in the Supreme Court, is not due to propaganda as I see it but with the ideologies that drive the American people to support corporatist politicians as they fit in nicely with the myths accepted by the electorate. It's our culture. We're comsumerist and believe the "self-made man", "one man, one vote", "trickle down economic", "property rights", etc, myths. And the GOP is those myths, so they get support. All one need do is to look at the unfounded paranoia surrounding communism displayed by Americans to see why the GOP is able to control the discussion, to the benefit of business interests. It's us.

True, jeff, but there's an incipient tautology about it when looked at that way, just as there is with paleocon's cut and dried explanations of ratings and advertising and such. If you want to begin trying to find an explanation for why that's "us" you have to try something else besides a simple description. You have to begin to formulate theories. I think your explanation about the underlying ideology Calvanism embedded in the national consciousness would be an example of going in that direction, because it points to underlying social constructs that form ideas. But it's going to scare the shit out of people who think in terms of tautologies and facts. I think a further explanation of how we take what is here -- that is, what we are born into and what we "discover" is the world as we grow up, then it becomes the world we take for granted -- and make up ideas about it that can help make some kind of sense to each of us, is also needed, though. I've found things that help me get outside our society and look at it from different perspectives, but I don't know if they'll help anyone else.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote .ren:

For my part, I threw a baseball bat through my television after I got back from Vietnam and I haven't been consuming any of its commodified bull shit since then. But I've written some of it for the thundering herd and I know how the system works. Try reading something besides Ayn Rand. I recommend Techonological Society, by Jacques Ellul, and then follow up with his: Sociological Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. You might get a clue of how the system works. Right now we have nothing to discuss. Everything you said is bull shit to me. So you got all huffy and did what I told you not to do. You tried to bull shit me.

Sigh... I see why you like to project confusion now. There is another thread about how people will stick to their belief system despite reality or the presentation of facts. It really makes for a good read; just don't take it too personal as it affects a lot of people. If you consider reality to be bull poop when it doesn't conform to the box you are trying to frame, then we find agreement that we have nothing to discuss.

I do owe an apology. As nothing in here is capable of making me huffy, I offer my apologies for coming across that way. I will reread my post and make future adjustments. Also I apologize for not respecting your anger issues and not doing what you told me to do. I do sincerely hope you find peace.

Paleo-con
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

As former staff reporter with a national daily chain, I have some experience here to offer up. Pale is correct that anyone can turn off their TV or change the channel. But that ignores the fact that it is our responsibilty to inform ourselves. TV dominates other mediums in the ability to deliver NEWS, or new issues because this medium can appeal to all three of Thom's Cracking the Code communication emotions: seeing, hearing and feeling the message. So TV is a complete delivery system and that's what attracts people to it.

Median outlets are businesses and are concerned primarily with turning a profit or they wouldn't exist for long. They don't have a mandate to cover all issues fairly. It's easier for them to say they do as just another means to advertise their product.

All things are connected. As our educaton and literacy rates drop, as people become less informed and more inflamed, media promulgates this in several ways. They target the mean intelligence of the populace and they determine this by conducting focus groups. These focuse groups are ostensibly selected from a cross section of society. If this cross section is uninformed and prone toward gratuitous entertainment, then it is unlikely that they will respond well to intelligence-based, informative news. The advent of USA Today, with small articles, and many big pictures brought shudders throughout news rooms at the time of its inception.

Dumbing down becomes a downward spiral. The media favors style over substance, the public follows, and gets dumber, the media selects these types for their focus groups. What do you know, the focus groups choose less substance and more style.

My wife and I have been noticing that more and more news anchors and reporters are attractive women between 25 and 45. CNN is the worst for this. I'm guessing this trend is the result of focus group input. I'm not saying pretty women can't be good news reporters, but from the looks of things, only pretty women can be reporters. In any case, MSM reporters are not discussing critical issues that if discussed honestly could radically change the public's perception about all interconnected things, politics, wars, criminal activity, environmental issues and much more.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote paleocon:

Sigh... I see why you like to project confusion now. There is another thread about how people will stick to their belief system despite reality or the presentation of facts. It really makes for a good read; just don't take it too personal as it affects a lot of people. If you consider reality to be bull poop when it doesn't conform to the box you are trying to frame, then we find agreement that we have nothing to discuss.

I do owe an apology. As nothing in here is capable of making me huffy, I offer my apologies for coming across that way. I will reread my post and make future adjustments. Also I apologize for not respecting your anger issues and not doing what you told me to do. I do sincerely hope you find peace.

Everything you wrote in your above response was a tautological description already embedded in what I said. In other words, I took steps to get outside the self referencing market ideology, and you answered with the very tautological ideology I was trying to explain.

Thinking of yourself as above anger and reading anger into others is what kind of cognitive operation, would you say? I'll tell you what I can see when people do that. I see projection. In this case I notice that you reacted to what I said, especially about my direct experience with marketing and corporations, and then you brought up the issue of anger. It was in your mind, and you projected it on me. There's something for you to chew on.

You do not have to apologize to me about your feelings. Feelings don't bother me. I consider them a valuable part of our humanity. I'm interested in discussing whatever the topic might be and I don't get confused easily by feelings, but I allow them in myself and others. In this case, the topic I'm after is why I don't consider Republicans better at politics. I take issue with the lead post and assert that to say they are better is a logical fallacy, a strawman. The answers you gave to my explanations are tautologies that support a logical fallacy, but they don't really address the deeper theoretical explanations for how the thundering herd is managed and directed through corporate decision making processes. Thus I'd suggest that the real reasons lie elsewhere and they aren't easy to ferret out. The system is designed to exclude outside the box thinking. And our interchange is a kind of epiphenomenon of that problem.

Do you know of the differences between "fact" and "truth"? Have you ever tried to explore those issues? Do you know why answering true and false, or multiple choice questions on a survey form are about gathering "facts" for statistical measuring to feed the needs of a kind of machinery we call the marketplace, while asking for an essay answer to a question is much more about truth? Do you understand how facts can ignore the truth values each individual brings to the world? Do you know how to get outside the traps of your own "fact" based thinking? So far all I see is you talking in tautologies. Do you understand what's wrong with using a tautology as an explanation? I'll give you a clue, as an explanation it goes no where. It's self referencing. It's like an exercise wheel in a gerbil cage, it just goes round and round.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
I think a further explanation of how we take what is here -- that is, what we are born into and what we "discover" is the world as we grow up, then it becomes the world we take for granted -- and make up ideas about it that can help make some kind of sense to each of us, is also needed, though. I've found things that help me get outside our society and look at it from different perspectives, but I don't know if they'll help anyone else.

From my perspective, as someone who is not an anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, this issue, why the GOP can manipulate the American people so well, is due to our culture, which I see essentially as Calvinist. In my mind it's that simple. We "discover" through socialization, which is not questioned by the vast majority of people, not just here but in all cultures. I don't see the need to look at us from the perspective of another culture or society but only to look objectively at our behavior and language. Essentially, we operate from dogma, which implies that the GOP is not manipulating the American people but merely fulfilling the role of god's elect, in Calvinist terms, or Heratio Algier, in Ayn Rand's secular terms. They are better at politics simply because they participate in the myth better than Democrats, as they accept the myth without question, as true believers do, while the Democrats act as Doubting Thomases. Americans reward true believers.

All one need do is look at the acceptance of false rhetoric, such as the false argument that the rich create jobs so we need to reduce their tax rate to create jobs, to see the faith that operates in conservatism. All the GOP does is operate within the myth and they win. America is myth, and until Americans accept rational objective thought, the Republicans, and other conservative political groups, will win. Maybe the tumult within conservatism itself will force change as they try desperately to make conservatism work as it fails in the real world. But that hope is unfounded I fear.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote jeffbiss:We "discover" through socialization, which is not questioned by the vast majority of people, not just here but in all cultures. I don't see the need to look at us from the perspective of another culture or society but only to look objectively at our behavior and language.

I think that's a key observation about what's going, and I agree, one does not need to be in another culture or society to see from a different perspective. Looking "objectively" itself needs some work to reach an understanding. I see "looking" from different perspectives as a process, and it's one that can be learned, but not just intellectually. There's a process called a rite of passage, identified in the early Twentieth Century by Arnold Van Gennep as a human universal occuring across cultures. He broke it down into phases where the individual is stripped of what he or she identifies as the self, symbolically turned into a kind of nobody (in boot camp they did this by taking our civilian clothes, cutting our hair, and making us all "uniform"). There's then an entry into a phase where the individual is symbolically an outsider.

The next stage in many rites of passage transforms individuals to new social statuses through liminal states. Communities often consider initiates exceptionally vulnerable and/or dangerous at this time because they have become socially ambiguous. Anthropologist Victor Turner wrote:

Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremony. As such, their ambiguous and intermediate attributes are expressed by a rich variety of symbols in many societies that ritualize social and cultural transitions. Thus, liminality is frequently likened to death, to being in the womb, to invisibility, to darkness, to bisexuality, to the wilderness, and to an eclipse of the sun or moon.

Then there's a return to society, and it's a return to a "new" role within the community, a new social definition of self. In that entire process is an opportunity to see society from a kind of objective, outside the norm position. Learning the process and applying it to one's own life is how I would begin to approach this issue of individual "objectivity of perspective." Once you've entered the process and passed through it you have both physically experienced the movement through different perspectives and synergistically had the opportunity to reflect on it through the process.

The question then might be, can one apply that to anything in one's life, and thereby engage the process of going outside into the liminal, betwixt and between, to examine things one takes for granted?

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Quote Choco:

My wife and I have been noticing that more and more news anchors and reporters are attractive women between 25 and 45. CNN is the worst for this. I'm guessing this trend is the result of focus group input. I'm not saying pretty women can't be good news reporters, but from the looks of things, only pretty women can be reporters. In any case, MSM reporters are not discussing critical issues that if discussed honestly could radically change the public's perception about all interconnected things, politics, wars, criminal activity, environmental issues and much more.

I don't know if CNN is the worst. Tune into Fox News, and you will discover that the women have to be both pretty and blonde. This afternoon, right in the middle of a newscast, they broke away to "Breaking News" and showed a pickup truck being chased down some street for five straight minutes. Therefore, I find myself in complete agreement about the MSM needing to discuss critical issues for a change.

Paleo-con
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Then there's a return to society, and it's a return to a "new" role within the community, a new social definition of self. In that entire process is an opportunity to see society from a kind of objective, outside the norm position. Learning the process and applying it to one's own life is how I would begin to approach this issue of individual "objectivity of perspective." Once you've entered the process and passed through it you have both physically experienced the movement through different perspectives and synergistically had the opportunity to reflect on it through the process.

The question then might be, can one apply that to anything in one's life, and thereby engage the process of going outside into the liminal, betwixt and between, to examine things one takes for granted?

The problem I see with this is that the person performs a rite of passage that itself conforms with the culture. The role may change, such as from child to adult, but then the new role has authorities, obligations, rights, as prescribed by culture. So, while the rite changes the person's perspective, I see it as only from within the culture. Therefore, I still see the need for a person to sit down and evaluate everything that they consider normal and the rationale used to operate. To a limited extent this can be seen in Greenspan's questioning of his fundamental beliefs in "free markets" with this financial crisis and concluding that the free market does not correct itself and requires some sort of regulation to prohibit certain behaviors for the market to operate better. While he was able to do that, most conservatives, especially Republicans and Tea Baggers, appear incapable of such evaluation. so, while Greenspan is still a conservative, he is honest enough to at least accept a certain amount of reality in his world view. Most aren't.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Randi is right in saying that the news has been cancelled. I think Nightline was the precursor of FAUX with America Held Hostage giving Reagan more than a little help beating Carter, so having Ted the K beat the drums of grief for his lost profession is a bit ironic. But I do remember the great ones, including Murrow and his spotty employment record.

Speaking truth to anyone has gone out of style, much less speaking truth to power. Demythologizing FAUX has been the major mission for MSNBC, and Democracy Now is a voice crying in a media wilderness.

The blame for the loss of journalism has nothing to do with Keith. Rachel does a very good job on journalistic research, but she is still the host of an opinion or editorial show. It is infotainment as opposed to disinfotainment.

What sucks the life out of journalism today is the vapid "lame stream." On this, Sarah is right. We get the standard American power consensus myth explained in wonky wonderment but without any basic critique of its frame or the assumptions behind it. That is the Network News with the smiling anchor and the newsmodels with varied skills in reading. Very reassuring to feel informed about the world, I guess. All I learn is what power is saying to me, and while that is hermeneutically useful, it ain't the news.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote jeffbiss:

The problem I see with this is that the person performs a rite of passage that itself conforms with the culture.

Why is that a problem for you? I see it as an individual choice, an individual issue, and therefore something beyond my control as an equal living with others, not as a dictator trying to control others. If it's beyond my control then it's only a problem if I want to control it.

I was merely describing the structure of a process for getting our minds outside the unquestioned ruts we run in so we can see from different perspectives. And once one becomes aware of it, then what? Perhaps then you can see why I completed my thought with:

Quote ren:

The question then might be, can one apply that to anything in one's life, and thereby engage the process of going outside into the liminal, betwixt and between, to examine things one takes for granted?

For me it was something like this: I returned from the military, after being in the Vietnam theater, a kind of spear carrier for Empire, to a place I no longer recognized. I was changed. I could never return to the person I was before all that. I was, what this rite of passage provides me as an explanation, still betwixt and between. In essence I was an outsider. In a sense I've never rejoined. But it became a conscious choice for me, not a pathology, although many who don't question what I question see otherwise about me sometimes.

So all I can do as an individual is point something out. From that point on, it's out of my hands.

Greenspan may or may not be an example of someone who went into the liminality, betwixt and between his set economic theories and beliefs, and returned with a new way of seeing. The story makes it sound like that, but only Greenspan himself truly can know.

One of the things Kuhn points out in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions is just this problem of scientists being hung up with the community's set of received beliefs, and thereby having difficulties shifting their minds into a new paradigm. Despite the revolution in cognitive science Chomsky triggered in theories that came out of his transformational grammar hypothesis, it's taken Chomsky all his professional life to accept the very notion that language may not have just appeared as a kind of mutant anomaly in humans, but is the result of an explainable evolution of different cognitive systems. Like Einstein with Quantum Theory ("I don't believe God plays dice with the Universe"), Chomsky still doubts language followed the evolutionary process, but he's a little more willing to discuss it in the past few years.

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.ren
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Why is that a problem for you?

Because if you're looking for an outside, objective perspecitive then performing a rite that is part of the culture, with all the attendent beliefs, then the person is not an outsider.

For me it was something like this: I returned from the military, after being in the Vietnam theater, a kind of spear carrier for Empire, to a place I no longer recognized. I was changed. I could never return to the person I was before all that. I was, what this rite of passage provides me as an explanation, still betwixt and between. In essence I was an outsider. In a sense I've never rejoined. But it became a conscious choice for me, not a pathology, although many who don't question what I question see otherwise about me sometimes.

I think I see what you're referring to. Your experience was different than a cultural rite such as a Bar Mitzva or quinceanera. If by "rite of passage" you mean your type of experience versus a cultural rite, then I see your point, as you were exposed to an experience very different from the story fed to you by our culture, that America is good and must help others to be good.

Chomsky still doubts language followed the evolutionary process, but he's a little more willing to discuss it in the past few years.

I accept that it did. Nonhuman animals share much of what we find in ourselves just to varying degrees, what with their lack of certain attributes and all. They have the grain of sand that developed into the pearl in our case.

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jeffbiss
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Quote jeffbiss:I think I see what you're referring to. Your experience was different than a cultural rite such as a Bar Mitzva or quinceanera. If by "rite of passage" you mean your type of experience versus a cultural rite, then I see your point, as you were exposed to an experience very different from the story fed to you by our culture, that America is good and must help others to be good.

Yes, I'm referring to "rite of passage" as a cognitive structural process that takes place cross culturally, a human "universal," so to speak, like languge and the transformational grammar processes that linguists have identified humans are able to do with nearly all languages. Each culture applies these cognitive structural processes specifically and within the context of their culture. But the form itself can be abstracted from that context, which Van Gennep first is known to have done, and then anthropologists began to make associations that it has an identifiable form that we all seem to share. The links I provided explained that to some extent.

What I'm suggesting is that if we recognize this form and that we can choose to move into it individually, we can, on our own initiative, create a way to step outside our own cultural mileau. People who do art, for instance, often discover this process and apply it to what they do as art.

Quote jeffbiss: I accept that it did. Nonhuman animals share much of what we find in ourselves just to varying degrees, what with their lack of certain attributes and all. They have the grain of sand that developed into the pearl in our case.

Up until the early nineties, with people like Pinker and Bloom taking some of the first steps to "defy" the Chomskyan/Gould perspective, the whole field was not generally accepting of radical perspectives about natural selection and language. What that means is, the more extensively read and peer reviewed journals, like Behavioral and Brain Sciences, were "weeding out" the more controversial hypotheses about language evolution from their publications. Researchers like Jim Hurford, for instance. Pinker and Bloom put Natural Language and Natural Selection up for peer review and that was probably the big breakthrough. They got it placed in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and that was a big breakthrough moment. Jim Hurford, for instance, is known to have written a comment, "Free at last!" Now many new and interesting aspects of the problem are being explored by a broad group within the field, with new questions raised about old as well as entirely new phenomenon, pretty much on paar as the peer review/science process goes.

To some extent this "locked into an ideology phenomenon" (a paradigm, as Kuhn called it) also applies to my critique of the market driven MSM. And because of the structure of the market, and the ideology of market forces, people in the media itself, the corporations and their managers are making decisions that pretty much exclude options for radical thought and ways of breaking the narrow confines of thought allowed.

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.ren
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.ren

Side issue, not meaning to side track the discussion. Been meaning to ask you. First, did you get your Guzzi running, if so did you go on some nice rides.

Second, how do you make links into words instead of just copying and pasting full urls or web addresses. I guess these are the same things?

Ok, back to the discussion.

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Choco
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Second, how do you make links into words instead of just copying and pasting full urls or web addresses. I guess these are the same things?

You have to do this in the rich text disabled window and use the correct html code. Here's a good tutorial about using html code to provide html links. This information is also provided by Thom's web master by clicking More information about formatting options below the comment window.

But you must remember to do this after you click the "Enable rich-text" control immediately below this window otherwise you'll just get a bunch of html escape characters in pace of the valid html symbols, which won't work and will be a bit confusing.

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jeffbiss
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It's just the same old Bilderberger see-saw.

Democrat NWO shill then a Republican NWO shill.

And it'll stay that way until Americans get tired of it.

But now they are too busy with sports and American Idiol.

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Rebelitarian
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Nov. 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Rebelitarian,

I'm aware that there's a New World Order conspiracy, but I have to plead ignorance as to what the conspiracy says. Do tell.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am
Quote Choco:

.ren

Side issue, not meaning to side track the discussion. Been meaning to ask you. First, did you get your Guzzi running, if so did you go on some nice rides.

Second, how do you make links into words instead of just copying and pasting full urls or web addresses. I guess these are the same things?

Ok, back to the discussion.

No, the Guzzi is still under its protective cover. I've been trying to make my house more habitable this year, no time for mechanical projects. Maybe this winter.

Jeff describes a method that works for most things, including embedding urls in text. But limited as the options are with this software, the webmaster did provide an easy hyperlink option (the grayed out chain link looking icon next to the smiley), along with Bold, Italics and Underline. You'll find those icons at the top of these comment boxes, generally. Some days they aren't there for me.

The trick is to left click and highlight the text, just as if you are going to copy and paste. When you do that, you'll notice the hyperllink icon becomes dark indicating it is now active. If you click on it, a window opens up and you can paste the url into the appropriate line, the one that reads: "link url." Ignore "target" "title" and "class" and click "insert" in the lower left corner.

With Bold, Italics and Underline you simply highlight the text and click on the icon.

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.ren
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My wife and I have been noticing that more and more news anchors and reporters are attractive women between 25 and 45. CNN is the worst for this. I'm guessing this trend is the result of focus group input. I'm not saying pretty women can't be good news reporters, but from the looks of things, only pretty women can be reporters. In any case, MSM reporters are not discussing critical issues that if discussed honestly could radically change the public's perception about all interconnected things, politics, wars, criminal activity, environmental issues and much more.

I couldn't agree more. I remember when news shows were boring and informative. Now they are just circuses with clowns aplenty. It's info-tainment now, not true news. The stories are chosen according to their value as a hook, cast out during the prime time commercial breaks, designed to drag the public into their news rooms where they can be misled and frightened.

That's not to say that Walter Kronkite didn't have a certain Amero-centric lense. It's just that todays news reporters have seemingly abandoned even the appearance of objectivity and the dignity of telling the truth.

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D_NATURED
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And it'll stay that way until Americans get tired of it.

The only thing they get tired of is loosing ground to others, such as brown people. What you saw in the last election was White anger. These people are too stupid to understand that the "bail out" they opposed is a direct result of the "small government" they want. Americans are stupid. They can't even see the dots that need to be connected. If they could then they certainly wouldn't have elected the same people, conservatives, that created the recession, but they did. They wouldn't have elected Reagan when faced with the choice between responsibility, Carter and conservation, and party time, Reagan and American exceptionalism. But they did.

There's no conspiracy that can stand up to an intelligent electorate, but the American people are stupid and greedy enough to allow the GOP to govern and the GOP reflects the American people.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Thanks Jeffbliss and Ren. I'll try those suggestions.

Get your Guzzi running Ren. I've got some brew pubs to show you. I'm always looking for an excuse to ride, and you've got oysters down your way. That's two reasons and counting.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Come on down to Corvallis for some fine brews and more good food and wine. Block 15 here has some excellent stuff on tap.

My simple take on the public is that nobody likes rehab, there were a lot of angry addicts protesting that we did not need to go, and Obama was only offering a dry drunk approach to getting off the pipe. While the sober members of the family are frustrated about the problem of addiction, we can only change if we want to. As Hedges reveals, the "change we want" is to make the illusion real. The change we need is to get out of the illusion. When we want to go there, we will. Until then, here comes the crack pipe again.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Both parties maintain an oligarchy and squeeze out any real political competitiveness.

I would love to see DEMS and REPUBS engage in a debate with a CP (Constitution-Party) candidate.

They are more fearful of competition than the Communists ever were, politically speaking.

www.constitutionparty.org

www.believeinamerica.com

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Rebelitarian
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Quote DRC:

Come on down to Corvallis for some fine brews and more good food and wine. Block 15 here has some excellent stuff on tap.

Eugene has Track Town, Rouge. Corvallis must have a McMenamins and more? Hear that Ren, get your bike running, next spring I'll swing by your place and we'll head down to see if DRC knows what good beer is. Do either of you play disc golf, you both live in disc golf mecca, you know.

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Choco
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I'll try to find some time to work on it.

I've never heard of disc golf.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

It's not that they are better at politics, but simply that they have more money. Money which is vital for propaganda and bribing influential people. However, the truth always wins in the end so this game isn't over with yet.

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Mr_Dean
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However, the truth always wins in the end so this game isn't over with yet.

I just don't see it. As I've said many times before, there is a religious need for the accepted ideology to win, otherwise the American people would've forced congress to regulate and constrain Wall Street for example, but they didn't. They voted for people who want "small government", which means little to no regulation because the markets will control themselves, which they don't. So there's a huge disconnect between truth, markets do not police themselves, and what the American people chose, to allow the markets to police themselves.

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jeffbiss
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Quote jeffbiss:
However, the truth always wins in the end so this game isn't over with yet.

I just don't see it. As I've said many times before, there is a religious need for the accepted ideology to win, otherwise the American people would've forced congress to regulate and constrain Wall Street for example, but they didn't. They voted for people who want "small government", which means little to no regulation because the markets will control themselves, which they don't. So there's a huge disconnect between truth, markets do not police themselves, and what the American people chose, to allow the markets to police themselves.

When I say "the truth always wins in the end" I'm not referring to the short term. It could be years even decades before the truth wins. The approaching catastrophic economic collapse that is 100% certain will be a major awakening for Americans.

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Mr_Dean
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:58 am

Well if Ron Paul doesn't get elected to disband the FED in 2012 then Americans will have no-one to blame but themselves for going into neo-feudalism.

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Rebelitarian
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Nov. 15, 2010 1:40 pm

The truth is that reality gets the last laugh. "Truth" is often left in a ditch even when reality has slapped down the upstarts. Getting the story of truth is what historians work on, and the first version rarely gets much of it right.

You are correct to regard the spell cast on Americans and the trance many are in as "religious." It is not so much that it is "christian" as that it is an ideological substitute for a reality narrative. America was culturally WASP for most of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. When it became "Protestant, Catholic and Jew," it was an awakening to cultural change and an American brand evolving.

The idea of American values and social establishments as "exceptional" had a long history. It came from the embrace of the Providential mission by the patriotic faithful and the attempt to explain America's amazing rise to power in the 19th Century. Eugenics, Social Darwinism and Free Will were riding high in the intellectual world too.

Civil Religion was studied in the latter half of the 20th Century to see both its positive and negative factors. Separation of Church and State, for example, can either be a practical way to organize a society or a badge of moral progress. Believing in America as "the greatest country in the world" and even in "the history" of the world is pure religious dogmatic assertion. But just look at all the wealth and power, or just look at all the guns and bombs and boy are we the Big Dog!

The religious vision of the Social Gospel was of a good society. It was about liberty and justice for all rather than a Christian brand; and even when it was presented as an example for Christian evangelism, the point was made incarnate rather than dogmatic. The "Christian city" was not run by a church. To say that religious vision and national vision were merged in the Mainline is to get it. Unhooking that merger today is causing a lot of distress for Mainline members.

The evangelical alternative was built out of the combined individuals of conscience and moral integrity. It favored charity over welfare, keeping it private and voluntary rather than built into the budget and run by civil servants. Part of this came from the belief that salvation was individual and personal, another perversion of tradition we can attribute to free will individualism. For Paul, salvation was about becoming part of the community of reconciliation and healing. He did not talk about a personal Lord and Savior.

Disc golf is played with frisbees, and my thumbs don't like that toy.

Block 15 has strong ties to Ninkasi and Oakdale of Eugene, has a nice little happy hour special on twin Porkies, nicely smoked pulled pork sandwiches, for 3 bucks for two and a tap to die for.

There are a number of other fine taps but not with a brewery attached. MacMenimans is not among the best for either beer or food. This weekend and Thanksgiving means the local wineries are open, and Lumos has their new barn ready. Broadley is doing barrel tasting, and I have a friend from the Bay Area arriving on the Coastal Starlight around two in Albany.

Lots of local wineries are pouring together at places like the Vault in Philomath and at Harris Bridge down the gravel road. Spindrift has the reclusive 720 emerging from its secret location, somewhere in the Willamette Valley.

Seriously, if anyone wants to come on down, we have room and it would be fun to kick around some of the stuff in person. My son-in-law ride, but they are parenting full-time with our first grandchild. Louie is getting lots of love. But we have a parking strip too.

Let us know so we can turn on the Pink Flamingo.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Well if Ron Paul doesn't get elected to disband the FED in 2012 then Americans will have no-one to blame but themselves for going into neo-feudalism.

What's with this "Fed" thing? The Fed isn't the problem. The problem is that business interests control our government and we are already in feudalism under control of business interests. Congress already has the power to rein in the Fed but why would it when the Fed is implementing monetary policies that are intended to benefit business interests? Instead of whining about the Fed start looking at how business interests operate within our society and political system. Concentrating on a symptom ignores the disease.

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jeffbiss
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

"The GOP is so much better at Politics!"

Well, not having a conscience and having a plethora of psycho/sociopaths in political/corporate leadership positions does present certain advantages...

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norske
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Currently Chatting

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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