ALEC is writing middle-class-destroying legislation

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ALEC is holding its annual conference in Chicago, where corporate lobbyists and Conservative lawmakers will get together - have a few drinks - and create more corporate-friendly, middle-class-destroying legislation. At annual ALEC meetings, corporate lobbyists sit down with Conservative lawmakers to craft bills - and then those lawmakers go back to their home states to get those bills passed and signed into law. According to Bloomberg, ALEC gets nearly 200 bills passed every year in state legislatures around the country.
ALEC was founded by men like Paul Weyrich, who infamously once said that he didn't want everyone to be able to vote. True to form, ALEC's recent voter suppression ID laws are spreading from state to state like a bad cold. While ALEC is primarily known for voter suppression ID and Stand Your Ground Shoot-First laws, it's reach goes much farther. The Conservative organization is well known for promoting voucher programs that drain public schools of resources by using taxpayer dollars to subsidize private school profits. ALEC also uses its "model legislation" to push laws that to limit union rights and organized labor - primarily through so-called "right to work" laws.
ALEC also spends a lot of time and money on repealing minimum wage laws nationwide and fighting increases in the minimum wage. And as of late , ALEC has taken to defending the bottom-lines of Big Oil by creating "model legislation" that keeps us addicted to fossil fuels. According to the "ALEC Exposed" website, at least 77 bills have been introduced in 34 states so far this year that oppose renewable energy standards. promote fracking operations and support the Keystone XL pipeline. And ALEC is working right this minute to create more environment-destroying "model legislation" that will keep the oil industry and the Koch brothers rich.
-Thom

Comments

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago
#1

In addition to Campaign Finance Reform we have to reinstate and enforce laws banning any form of bribery. Corporate influences especially in the form of Lobbyists need to be outlawed. Capitalism is getting out of hand and is not going to survive if we don't regulate and control it.

akunard's picture
akunard 9 years 26 weeks ago
#2

Voter ID means -- one vote per person! Not the Chicago way "Vote early and often".

bmolloy124's picture
bmolloy124 9 years 26 weeks ago
#3

Thom, thanks for reminding readers of ALEC. I would like to mention a couple things. First, yesterday an editorial in the Washington Post defending ALEC (writer's name escapes me) against 'rants' of organizations like 'Media Matters' which the writer called (have to paraphrase --article not in front of me as I type this) 'loose affiliations of lib's gaining steam as result of the Internet...' Made ALEC into a nonprofit organization whose free speech rights were under attack by knee jerk type reactionaries who basically are against legislation if it favors profit making co's!

If reader were ignorant of ALEC, this Ed. Would make it seem ALEC was a bunch of average citizens sitting around in kitchens and living rooms ..kind of like t-party folks...just putting together thoughts and ideas bout how to maintain freedom 'values' in their personal lives and communities....

2nd thing I want to say is that perhaps you could write a bit reiterating how ALEC and their influence is made ever more worrisome after "Citizens United.' I have a blog (excuse the 'plug') at www.dearpundit.info which explains Cit's U. In some detail.

Thanx again for important info and great commentary.

LolitaPer 9 years 26 weeks ago
#4

Everyone has an opinion usually based on misinformation from self-serving and questionable resources. So much information but so little facts. Poll takers insist on taking data from people without ascertaining whether they can give an opinion based on exceptional knowledge of the subject matter. ALEC and other such organizations depend on this type of ignorance to promote their ideas. I'm going out on a limb and say that our Constitution, Bill of Rights, Emancipation Proclamation, Magna Carta, and other such documentation prevent this type of behavior. I guess I better knuckle down and find it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 26 weeks ago
#5

LolitaPer ~ My Boss--one of my most significant others; who, I have the utmost respect for--constantly reminds me of the undeniable fact concerning the digital age that output is only as good as input. That is, garbage in equals garbage out. Without ascertaining the credibility of the information inputted one cannot take seriously the credibility of the information outputted. Therefore, we must conclude that public opinion--based on garbage--is nothing more than garbage. No other conclusion is possible.

However, public opinion based on garbage, that might influence an election is most credible. I might suggest attempting to influence the garbage influence in information intake rather then public opinion. Given a well informed electorate the output will take care of itself.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 9 years 26 weeks ago
#6

ABOLISH CORPORATE PERSONHOOD...No not "reform"...Abolish...As in Overturn...Annul, etc. anything less will only allow the corporate thieves to slither back in.

The big question though...Is this realistic? For the past 30+ years corporations have been able to overthrow the voice of "We the People" under the guise of being acknowledges as a "Person" and money as a voice. How do We the "flesh and blood" People make an impact at that level?
I mean like you ,DANNIEMARC, wrote a few month back (not verbatum); The American Culture is one that can be bought and sold...In other words we are a culture based on Commercialism and Materialism, and the only thing that is sacred is money...Lots and lots of money.

How do we get the masses to stop "lusting for money" and "vying for power" to start valueing "Life"...To stop behaiving like "lemmings" and just "going along with the program" with a " life ain't fair" motto?
I mean face it, Life, in its natural being can be brutal, but it sure does seem like society and all its "artificial systems, and wacky beliefs, and sudo conveinences" make it much more unpleasent...Unless you have millions...I mean billions...I mean hundreds of billions...I mean...

Money...In a Capitalism-run-amuck system of "Greed is Good" and "win by any means necessary" ideology...Only a few reep the bennefits, through the suffering of others.
Money...The root of all that is evil.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 26 weeks ago
#7

DanneMarc: Here's a little tough love my friend, sorry it's off topic, but it's in answer to yesterdays reply.

Republicans block bill on student loan rates.

NLRB nominations blocked by GOP.

Republicans block Senate disaster aid bill.

Republicans block Democrat's jobs bill.

Republicans block bill to end tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs.

Republicans block pay equity bill for women.

Republicans block funding to close GITMO.

I could go on and on brother........

But I'd much rather go back to listening to youtubes by an Irish angel by the name of Imelda May!

Gary Reber's picture
Gary Reber 9 years 26 weeks ago
#8

The legislation that desperately needs writing would support the Capital Homestead Act at http://www.cesj.org/homestead/index.htm and http://www.cesj.org/homestead/summary-cha.htm

Gavriel's picture
Gavriel 9 years 26 weeks ago
#9

How about we do the poor mans version for the people of America. We could right laws and invite democrats and independents to a similar but poorer version of ALEC law making, at least when it comes to mechanics of the activities. Any opinions?

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 9 years 26 weeks ago
#10

Is it too late to educate the voters about the dangers posed by the oil billionaires influence on free elections? People should know better than voting against their own interests, but will do it anyway, blinded by hatred and bigotry. What can be done to win hearts and minds in this struggle to keep freedom free?

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 9 years 26 weeks ago
#11

Thanks for the links.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 26 weeks ago
#12

Every single one of us has been right more than twice about how wrong all along another single one of us has always been. Therefor, each and everyone of us has been proud to be called insane by another whilst on the top of their game.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 25 weeks ago
#13

ALEC is scary corporatism writ large. A similar process happens in the EU, i.e. drafting legislation becomes a simple matter of cutting and pasting from a document produced by a corporate cartel think tank.

"Expert advice" is the euphemism.

http://www.thebrusselsbusiness.eu/

http://www.globaljournalist.org/freepresswatch/2013/02/germany/german-jo...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#14

2950-10K ~ All good points. However, there was a brief interlude of time right after President Obama was elected with the Democrats controlled everything and the sky was the limit. What did they do? Absolutely nothing! What did they try to do? Absolutely nothing! They rolled over and played dead like scared puppies who weren't in their right place and were afraid they might get spanked with a rolled up newspaper. Don't you remember? I was so expecting them to spring into action for me and clean up the MESS Bush left. Instead they acted like they just made a mess. Their inaction spurred the voting frenzy that created the situation that you now describe. If I remember correctly they acted like they were afraid to have that much power! Now they can convieniently hide behind the "bad" guys--The Republicans. Now they can come up with anything they want and not have to worry about it having a snowball chance in hell of passing. Yet, even now, they lack the backbone to purpose anything substantial that the country really needs. Repealling the Patriot act and free trade, demanding Single-payer/Medicare for all, reinstitution of the Carter era tax rates, ending Corporate welfare, closing Gitmo, and investigating the Bush administration for war crimes. I could go on brother; but, those are the main issues that I voted Democratic for in the first place. Perhaps I set my standards to high, but I won't accept anything less. It's all a charade my friend and this Democratic party of yours is as culpable as the Republican. I respect your decision to remain faithful. Lord knows I did longer than I should have. We all must follow our hearts where ever it lead us. However, as far as I am concerned I chose to no longer associate myself with a party of scared puppy dogs who's only talent is to lie, misrepresent, and blow smoke up my @$$. Am I looking forward to helping them get back on top after already seeing what they can do there? Not really! I've seen enough already! Good luck, brother. I wish you are right and I am wrong.

I'll restate my little poem:

Roses are Red

Violets are Pink

If there are Democrats in Power

Then they sure must stink

Pink is just a shade of Red that has a streak of Yellow in it. Pink should be the new color of the Democratic Party!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#15

Right on, DAnneMarc! I definitely agree! We may as well have Republicans in office..the Dems are not much different.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Democrats in power,
Will screw you too!

Vote Green this time!!!

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 25 weeks ago
#16

The Republicans and Democrats follow the same corportist policies. DAnneMarc has just given a brilliant description of the kabuki theatre - when the Democrats had the power they did nothing; when they lose that influence they pretend they tried.

For example, one of Obama's best buddy's is one Jon Corzine, the bankster who stole 1.5 billion from customer accounts at MFGlobal.

http://dailybail.com/home/reason-1-that-jon-corzine-is-not-in-prison-cor...

Anyway, the argument is long over - the Democrats pursue the same corporatist policies as the Republicans.

"14. Both parties are largely backed by the same corporate contributors and interest groups. Congressional members also receive contributions from many of the same interest groups. Both parties are heavily lobbied by corporate America — to the tune of $3.3 billion in 2011 and $1.68 billion thus far in 2012."

http://ivn.us/2012/11/06/100-ways-republicans-are-just-like-democrats/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/11/10/919029/-REALITY-If-Democrats-ar...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#17
Quote MMmmNACHOS:How do we get the masses to stop "lusting for money" and "vying for power" to start valueing "Life"...To stop behaiving like "lemmings" and just "going along with the program" with a " life ain't fair" motto?

I mean face it, Life, in its natural being can be brutal, but it sure does seem like society and all its "artificial systems, and wacky beliefs, and sudo conveinences" make it much more unpleasent...Unless you have millions...I mean billions...I mean hundreds of billions...I mean...

Money...In a Capitalism-run-amuck system of "Greed is Good" and "win by any means necessary" ideology...Only a few reep the bennefits, through the suffering of others.
Money...The root of all that is evil.

MMmmNACHOS ~ A very profound question and observation my friend, indeed. I was just pondering that question myself when I woke up this morning. The only answer to this problem is for the masses to gain Spiritual fulfilment. No, I'm not talking about an extroverted membership to an organized Religion. I'm talking about coming to peace with that aspect of God that resides within people.

Palindromedary ~ For instance, would probably be the first person to refute such a notion. However, Palindromedary, himself, would also be the perfect example of how such fulfilment is possible. You see, Palindromedary is a devout athiest. Yet, undeniably, he is Spiritually fulfilled. How do you know? First he has time and energy to devout to this blog. Time that he could be spending in pursuit of money or material possessions. He prefers to devote his time and energy to participating here instead. Why? Because sharing of himself gives him pleasure the same way it does for you and I. The same could be said of all the participants on this blog. We may not have many material possessions but we have what we need? There may be other things we desire, but we don't need them. Why? Because we are Spiritually fulfilled--whether we call it that or not. The truth of the matter is that those who are Spiritually fulfilled are capable of being happy. Those who are not Spiritually fulfilled are constantly in need of more, are never happy, and can never be happy no matter how much they attain. Their lives become more hollow the more they attain; and, the greater their desire to attain more becomes. It is a dismal feedback cycle that goes nowhere. That is why when they are not Spiritually fulfilled the rich need so much, and the poor are always in debt.

People become Spiritually fulfilled not by worshipping a Religion but by practicing the teachings of that Religion. Living a clean and productive life is the only path to Spiritual fulfilment. Above all is self-esteem, and self-respect, and self-realization. The individual needs to prove to themselves that they are worthy of their own respect. This requires discipline, commitment, and above all action. Once someone learns to respect themselves they build self-esteem and realize that the God within themselves really exists. Then they are able to see the God in everyone else; and, above all, act accordingly.

It is ironic that the biggest stumbling block to this self-realization can be the easy acquisition of money. With our commercial culture inundating us with the constant message that money can buy happiness we often times ignore those opportunities in our life to cultivate our God within. It is a shame, because without self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization of that God we are doomed to a path of materialistic Spiritual suicide. This is why it is so important for those of us who have Spiritual fulfilment to recognize the pain and anguish that is being experienced amongst our overly wealthy brothers. We must be compassionate and act with tough love. The fact of the matter is that these sad people who seek to bleed all of us dry are Spiritually sick. The only cure for this condition is to remove the main impediment of their condition. We must take all their money away.

Everything! Money, property, assets all must be stripped from this group for their own good. They must be given the opportunity to waken their Spiritual fulfilment; and, the only way that is possible is for them to be given the opportunity to share in the lifestyle of the poorest of the poor. Living on the street, destitute, and dependent on the handouts of the less poor. It must be done! For their own good. Everyday, their crys of sadness echo through the news. It is our responsibility to reach out our hand and help them on their path to Spiritual fulfilment.

MMmmNACHOS ~ Once again, thanks for asking!

Palindromedary ~ How do you like that application of Religious theory? Is it what you expected?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#18

DAnneMarc:
Actually, for every time you used the word "God" it would have made just about as much sense to use the word "Zeus" or "Thor" or even "Teddy Bear". The word "God" is just an idea invented for the purpose of conjuring up images of some imaginary power constantly keeping tabs on the believer. It fosters paranoia. It is about as useful as threatening some little kids that they had better be good or Santa won't bring them any toys. Most of us grow out of the Santa Claus fiction. Many adults, however, don't always do so with the fiction that is called "God". I just cannot interpret any conversation that even uses the nonsensical religious words as being comprehensible. The words "God" and "spirituality" are nonsense. There are no "spirits" and there is no "God" no matter how you want to squeeze them in....they just don't fit into my reality. Religious people, and yes I consider anyone who even uses such terms... as being religious (superstitious), are always trying to squeeze (proselytize) their superstitious beliefs into our thinking, perhaps, that it will elicit a change of belief. It won't because we just won't be fooled like that.

The Arabic language is full of Arabic phrases including proselytizing phrases..like "Inshallah" (be it the will of Allah). The Christians also have forced a lot of religious phrases on us as well...like "God Bless You" or even just "Bless You" or "In God We Trust" on our money...etc.

Some people try to isolate themselves from organized religions thinking, perhaps, that they are not like the hypocrites that have a very bad record in history. That seems to be the natural progression of superstitious ideas down through history...and the reason why there have been so many cults and sects...which become, perhaps, with enough followers, organized religions. Many people have tried, and some succeeded once they managed to convince and sway others of their differences with the church, to create their own religions.

The definitions of spirituality vary a lot but seem to all have been initially derived from religious terminology... "spirits"... "ghosts"...("sacred": Connected with God -or the gods- or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration: "sacred rites". Religious rather than secular.)
Synonyms
holy - saintly - sacrosanct - saint - sanctified..

It really stems from the imposition of religious beliefs, through the common use of religious terms into secular language, so that the religious people are trying to sneak all that religious garbage into our mental processes. Very sneaky!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#19

Palindromedary ~ Wow! You spent so much time analysing the phrases and words I used that you never got around to answering the question I asked. Do you think we should relieve the criminal one percenters of their money for their own good?

I can only assume that you disagree. If so, then you are more Christ-like than anyone I know including myself. Bless your little heart! My hat is off to you. Thank you for being such an example to the rest of us on how to forgive and turn the other cheek.

In all, your response has proven everything that I said about you. You are truly at peace with your Spirit; regardless of whether or not you believe in it. Please don't think I want you to change a thing. You are perfect just the way you are.

Thanks again for the response!

Cheers!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#20

For the record, God is our higher conscious. The Super Ego if you will. It is our unconscious mind that only works in our dreams and not at the conscious level. The Spirit is our inner voice. The Ego if you will. Our voice of reason that we know by intuition, love, grief and regret. It works at the conscious level. It is the voice that inspires us to progress and punishes us when there is cause. The Spirit is the root of our self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization. These aspects of the mind are known to exist by psychologists; but, are not explained or fully understood. I prefer to give them religious labels because there exists no evidence that they are natural or supernatural parts of the human mind. I simply prefer to believe they are supernatural. My personal preference.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#21

Back to reality! Back to the topic! ALEC must go. We should consider a adding a provision to our future Campaign Finance Reform bill, or the Move to Amend bill that would ban any Private Political Action Committee from existing and using private funds and Lobbyist to write public policy. I have long believed that Lobbyist should be outlawed as well.

What ALEC is doing is simply legalized bribery. Bribery has to be illegal. This is ridiculous that We the People are putting up with the bribing of our Political Representatives and having public policy sold to the highest bidder. We the People need to be the sole factors in the influence of Political Policy. Our Representatives need to be freed from the need to raise campaign funds and be threatened with the death penalty if they ever get caught accepting any money or gift from any one or any group while in office that doesn't come from their pay check from We the People.

To me, the very idea that we allow this to go on in our country shows that we are a nation run by criminals, of the criminals, and for the criminals. We will never get our country back until we exorcise these Demons from our Government.

Just say NO, to ALEC!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#22

DAnneMarc:

...you are more "Teddy Bear"-like than anyone I know including myself. "Teddy Bear" your little "brain"! (note: a heart ONLY pumps blood...it doesn't think or dream or reason and has nothing to do with emotions...love or hate..it is the brain that does all of that...so why are people so misusing that idea all the time?)

You are truly at peace with your "Teddy Bear"; regardless of whether or not you believe in it.

But, we all believe in our little "Teddy Bears" don't we?

For the record, "Teddy Bear" is our higher conscious. The Super Ego if you will. It is our unconscious mind that only works in our dreams and not at the conscious level. The "Teddy Bear" is our inner voice. The "Teddy Bear" is the root of our self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization.

Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn't it?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#23

Palindromedary ~ Bless your little "Teddy Bear." I hope his name isn't "TED". However, I disagree. My explanation is accurate not ridiculous. Remember, this whole off topic bit began with a good question by MMmmNACHOS as to why so many people in this country are locked in the pursuit of materialistic crap and money. Let me break down my answer in terms you will listen too. People's lives are too easy today. They aren't happy with themselves like they were in an Agricultural economy where everyone relied heavily on everyone else. Today they are inundated with the commercial media that tells them spending money is the path to happiness. This imparts a psychological condition of the mind that could be seen as a psychosis of sorts. How do you cure this condition.

Look at you and I. We have risen above this condition through discipline and hard work. We have achieved lofty goals in our life that we are proud of. Therefore we have a very pleasing view of our own "looking glass" Self--as Charles Cooley called it--that gives us self-respect, self-esteem, and self-realization.

This is the core of the problem as well as the key to the solution. There are many people in society like us. Thom is one. Thom probably doesn't think twice about how much money he is going to get when he writes a book. He thinks about his contribution to society. That is what drives him. That is what is supposed to drive him. That is what is supposed to drive everyone. Someone like that is the model of the "cure" that the masses need in order to overcome the money psychosis that grips the country.

You yourself once condemned Organized Religion because you said it is a tool used by the wealthy to control the poor. Have you ever considered that it is a tool used by the poor as well in order to be happy about their lot in life. My point is that happiness is vital. The simple fact of the matter is that not all men can be rich. What's wrong with trying to help those who can't be rich at least be happy.

I like you think there is a better way to do this than organized Religion. Organized Religion is like getting happy from a drug--it wears off and you have to keep going back for more. However, if you personalize religion on the psychological level and encourage people to develop their Ego and cultivate a pleasant "looking glass" Self then you accomplish the same goal of a Religion while empowering people and freeing them from the servitude of dependance on an Religious Institution. In the long run you also drastically improve society and remedy the major problems in it.

You can call this theory the "Teddy Bear" theory if you will. After all, "Teddy Bears" are tools to help children feel more secure about themselves; so, why not? Cooley's looking glass self is the term best used to explain the goal of my theory in a Sociological sense. If the term "Spirit" bothers you that much, how about we stick with Cooley's definition of basically the same thing.

(If you are not familiar with Cooley's theory I will paraphrase it for you: 'We are not who we think we are, nor are we who others think we are; but, rather, we are who we think others think we are.')

I'm sorry my use of religious terms blinded you to the gist of my analysis. I hope this attempt you find easier to digest.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#24

Movie: The Big Bounce
quote: character Walter Crewes (played by Morgan Freeman): "God is just an imaginary friend for grownups!"
-----------------------------------
http://bobavakian.net/sound/avakian_god_doesnt_exist_1.mp3
---
http://bobavakian.net/sound/avakian_god_doesnt_exist_2.mp3
---
http://bobavakian.net/sound/avakian_god_doesnt_exist_3.mp3
-----------------------------------
http://bobavakian.net/sound/avakian_christianity_d1_t2.mp3
---
http://bobavakian.net/sound/avakian_christianity_d2_t1.mp3
-----------------------------------
http://bobavakian.net/more.html#god

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#25
Quote DAnneMarc: " Have you ever considered that it [religion] is a tool used by the poor as well in order to be happy about their lot in life. [

Are paranoid people, not really absolutely sure of their beliefs, really happy? Many believers have been initially introduced to religious beliefs by being forced to accept them. Often it was initially used to scare people into being good. Parents (already brainwashed by their parents) brainwash their children. And this vicious cycle perpetuates itself. Governments (who are controlled by the few wealthy and powerful people) find it is useful in keeping the masses dumb, unambitious, and ineffective in challenging their status...making the masses believe that they needn't go to any great lengths to fight for their slice of the pie here on Earth because they will get their just rewards in "Heaven". (The checks in the mail!)

Many believers had been, initially, forced into their religions by conquering religious countries. It is really amazing to me that people will knuckle under to a conquering country and adopt their belief system and then believe in that new system so whole-brainedly, even decades later when there was no longer any real threat to their lives, that they treat it as absolute truth. The conquest of the Aztecs by the Spanish in Mexico has led to a country that is predominantly Catholic. The "good" Christian Spanish butchered anyone who tried to revert back to their original superstitious beliefs. The Indians in the United States were beaten and/or butchered by "good" Christians who considered the Indians savages with ignorant superstitious beliefs. Father Junipero Serra considered the Indians in California to be children and frequently beat them (among other things, perhaps). "Serra's legacy included forced labor of converted Indians in order to support the missions, and creating an environment equivalent to a concentration camp."--wikipedia

So, how can anyone really be happy when they are all trying so hard to force their beliefs on everyone else in order to make their own lies feel more like truths? It didn't stop with the Spanish Inquisitions or conquests of Mexico and the US. Since people are trying so hard to believe in a lie they are always conflicted...always trying hard to ensnare others into their fantasy so that it helps to make their fantasies more real. The more the merrier, I guess.

When these superstitions start off, they become cults and sects then, with a greater following, they become religions...they become institutionalized...even to the point where countries will put "In God We Trust" on their currency....put "Under God" in their Pledge of Allegiance.

All of this predominant presence is a great proselytizing force to people, especially young people, to sucker them into making superstitious and nonsensical ideas prominent and predominant--deeply imbedding nonsense into their minds. Parents (who were previously brainwashed by their parents) start off brainwashing their children (usually there is always a strong paranoia-inducing element of "God sees everything that you are doing! So you'd better be good!"). The churches the children are made to go to preach the same (they always get a strong paranoia-inducing sermon from the preacher or priest or rabii), then the state sports it's religious mottos and symbols...all work to brainwash people to accept ridiculous nonsense as being truth. That leaves few people brave enough to challenge such nonsense. They mostly will all go along with the predominant paradigm...just what the foxes in the hen house want...unthinking, unchallenging, chickens who will be eaten all without so much as a squawk. Well, maybe one last death-rasp squawk! The foxes love dumb chickens...it makes it so much easier for them to get a meal. That kind of "happy"... I can do without!!! And then, are people really happy when they are starving or dying because the foxes have gamed the system? Even Emperor Constantine knew how to manipulate the people by using religion...so it is really nothing new.

I would guess that part of the reason why people accept the religions of their captors...like when the Aztecs were massacred and abused by the "good Christian" Spanish could be related to the Stockholm syndrome.

"Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness."--Wikipedia

There are also various cults who all exhibit similar tactics in brainwashing their new cult members. And those cults start off by someone who takes issue with some doctrine of the major religions. They distance themselves from those religions telling everyone that their ideas are better than those other religions. Perhaps, if they convince enough people they start their own cults...their own followings...like Jim Jones...perhaps. ;-o

Many of the tactics continue even after a cult becomes a major religion. Some cult members eventually fall away from the cults and never really fully dispel all of the nonsense they were subjected to when part of the cult.

One such person, and there are many, who was totally into Jesus, even as a young person, felt compelled to be evangelical and go around trying to convert others...he was very talented musically and even wrote many famous religious songs for children (that are played and sung even now--ironic!). He eventually used his brain and fell away from that trap...he became an atheist and now has an organization called Freedom From Religion Foundation aka FFRF. He, Dan Barker, along with his wife, Annie Lauri Gaylor, runs that organization and frequently fights and challenges the tyranny of religion...in an attempt to keep the state separate from religion. http://ffrf.org

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#26

Cooley's Looking Glass Self- "The term refers to people shaping their self-concepts based on their understanding of how others perceive them. Because people conform to how they think others think them to be..."--wikipedia

Yes, they do, don't they? If religion is so pervasive in our society then most people will be coerced into being religious just to "get along" to not be viewed by others as "not like them". It is the typical "herd mentality". And herds are easily led to slaughter by those few who control them. So why even retain the remnants of religion? Why persist in believing in the inventions of religion...ie: God...demons..Heave or Hell...etc? Why keep quoting an old book of nonsense, the bible, when it is the product of religion? It is the product of ancient people who wrote it, constantly changed it to fit their best interests, forgery, lies, omissions, changing interpretations because they are inconvenient, contradictions, sexism...even many Priests don't really believe in it. They may have at first but I'd bet there are more atheist Priests, preachers, and rabiis than people realize. Many priests keep on their delusional paths because they have spent so much time and effort in it and because they may believe that they are helping other people in their delusions myopically believing that it does them good. Others find an attraction to not only the power over people's minds but for other very unattractive reasons as well.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#27

Bob Avakian for President!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#28

Palindromedary ~ You claim Religion is a cult and closes peoples minds. However, you prove that atheism is the ultimate cult and completely closes peoples minds and tolerance to any other belief system. Ethnocentrism my friend. That is what you are demonstrating. Ethnocentrism lacks objectivity and is not morally or ethically neutral. Ethnocentrism is the enemy of pure sociology and the scientific method. Ethnocentrism closes the mind to the world around it. Ethnocentrism is the main guiding logic behind the Spanish Conquistadors, Catholic Missionaries and Christian Crusaders that you so passionately condemn.

Nevertheless, again you are missing my point let me restate as simply as possible. I do not advocate "Religion." I used religious terms to explain how we can free our country from wanton greed. The original theory comes from the Bible and whether you like it or not it is a sound scientific, sociological, psychological fact that what I am suggesting will resolve this problem. I can prove to you that both of the theories of Charles Darwin and Charles Cooley are originally purposed in the Bible's New Testament. I can prove that to you without any question. These people have taken credit for scripture and that fact is popularly unknown because of ignorant, closed-minded, ethnocentric members of atheistic scientific cults. Fine.

Here is the version you might understand.

People in this society are being mislead by our mass media and commercial culture into devaluing themselves. They are being brainwashed into accepting that only through material possessions can their lives have meaning. Organized Religions, like you already suggested, share the guilt for this dumbing down of the masses; but, they are not alone. The commercial media is primarily at fault as well. We as responsible leaders of society need to recognize this problem and try to fix it. You've stated lack of ambition, lack of education, lack of intelligence, ineffectiveness, and blind belief in nonsense as being behind this problem. Here we both agree. This is the main problem we need to address.

The way I see it, the only answer to the problem is through education, and reinforcing action on the individual level that will boost that persons self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization; and, therefore, increase the value of The Looking Glass Self. Only through a valued Looking Glass Self can an individual have ambition, pursue education, think intelligently, become effective, learn to reason, and resist believing in nonsense. There are many ways to do this. The first and foremost essential tool is to reinstate public funded education through the University level. The best way to show that We the People value the individual is to put our money where our mouth is and pay for their education. Having done that, the educational system needs to promote opportunities for students to increase their self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization. Allow me to give a couple of examples. Crafts and music courses must be emphasized. Giving children the tools to create things and make music instantly increase the value of their Looking Glass Self. Working with parents to do the same is also very helpful. Don't buy junior a bicycle for getting good grades; rather, enroll junior in a course where he builds his own bicycle. Not only does he earn the bike, but he creates it as well. His Looking Glass Self gets a huge boost, he gets rewarded, and the good grade is just a bonus.

These are but a few examples of how we can build self-esteem, self-respect, and self-realization. Since money invested in education always pays back many times over, this approach to fixing the ills of society has the other benefit of paying for itself with a profit on many levels. Also, as I'm sure you would approve, it is 100% Religion free.

Does that sound a little more palatable?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 25 weeks ago
#29

It only takes four ingredients..... Conservative lawmakers, ALEC, corporate lobbyists, and red states, shake well, and you get taxation without representation....at least for 99.9% of the population in those states. I wonder if that rings a bell with any tricorn wearing Teabaggers out there?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 25 weeks ago
#30

DAnneMarc: I never said the Democrats are the ultimate answer. The party however does represent an opportunity for infiltration by progressives.....the only nonviolent path in my opinion to Democratic Socialism. By the way, as I've said before I'm a Socialist leaning independent who votes Green Party when it makes sense.....in other words when I'm not throwing away my vote in a tight race between, as others have described, evil and more evil. With more evil there's not a snowballs chance in hell, short of violent revolution, we the people can get any representation.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#31

2950-10K ~ How true!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago
#32
Quote DAnneMarc: I do not advocate "Religion." I used religious terms to explain how we can free our country from wanton greed. The original theory comes from the Bible and whether you like it or not it is a sound scientific, sociological, psychological fact that what I am suggesting will resolve this problem.

It seems to me that you have done far more than merely use religious terms...you've often gone way overboard in quoting many passages of scripture a number of times. It seems to me that you are, on one hand, trying to suggest that you distance yourself from religion and then try to claim some familiarity with scientific thinking yet you have, in the past, also said, if I'm not mistaken, that you believe in demons as well as in God. Science does not rely on superstitious ideas. Some of your comments sound to me not unlike those of Scientific Creationists. There is no scientific proof for demons or a God and the burden of proof lies with those who claim they exist not with those who don't believe in them. Those just-pretend ideas are no more valid than any other mythical ideas that have been created in the people's imaginations down through history. They are no more valid than fire-gods, moon-gods, sun-gods, fairies, or any other supernatural beings that the imagination has conjured up.

I don't see how anyone can expect to use religious terms to "free our country from wanton greed" especially when religious terms have been used so skillfully, and so often, to effectively steal from so many people. Churches, especially the really big ones, do that quite well...oh sure, they have token charity programs to convince people that they are all good guys. But that is just a front, a facade, a shiny bauble to lure the little fishies to their traps.

Scoundrels are always using religious terms to screw people. They use religious terms because they know how effective it is against vulnerable people...ie: superstitious and religious people. Yes, "blessed are the meek" for they shall be royally ripped off of all their worldly goods so that the rich can buy yet another yacht or chateau. And they "shall inherit the earth" ...yeah, after the rich have turned it into a burned out cinder...who'd want it then? But the earth that most will "inherit" is a dark, dank pit 6 feet down after they die early deaths from lack of decent health care.

I agree with some of the points you made in your last few paragraphs. But, you seem to be saying that the reason why we are having so many problems now is because the masses need to be better educated, better trained, feel better about themselves and then everything will be better. But it doesn't address the fact that the wolves are already eating us for lunch. Very well educated and skillful Americans are already overly educated and skilled for the few lousy jobs that have been left since the wolves have sent our jobs overseas. The only way we will be able to reinforce our self-esteem is when we overthrow those bastards and relieve them of all their worldly goods..the goods they managed to relieve us of over the years. I really don't think that will happen through a corrupt democratic system.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
#33
Quote Palindromedary:But it doesn't address the fact that the wolves are already eating us for lunch. Very well educated and skillful Americans are already overly educated and skilled for the few lousy jobs that have been left since the wolves have sent our jobs overseas. The only way we will be able to reinforce our self-esteem is when we overthrow those bastards and relieve them of all their worldly goods..the goods they managed to relieve us of over the years. I really don't think that will happen through a corrupt democratic system.

Palindromedary ~ Actually you make a very good point! That thought hadn't occurred to me before; but, now that you mention it, that too could be a large part of this countries psychosis on many levels. Perhaps even the major underlying cause. Especially with men. Men like to feel like they are in control as a result of our cultural conditioning. When you place them in an environment such as in our country under this war machine they do tend to shrink from any manly task of doing something about it. That denial and cognitive dissonance alone can lead to a plethora of negative psychosis--everything from drug abuse to spousal abuse. Eating disorders, excessive greed and selfishness could almost be seen as side effects. As someone I respect whose name shall remain nameless once said, 'that to be subject to a tyrant turns good men into mean men.' That certainly makes much more sense now.

Thanks Palindromedary! I knew that between us we could answer MMmmNACHOS inquiry.

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