Rand Paul is NOT just another right-winged radical

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Desperate is the Democratic Party establishment to paint Rand Paul as just another right-winged radical.  I just read probably the worst article I’ve ever read in “The Nation”, a liberal magazine I generally respect.  Unlike the more independent, free-thinking, left of center writing I normally expect from them, this particular article by Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss could have been written by Rachel Madcow herself.  Most of it was about the Tea Party in general, but a brief but all too important mention of Rand Paul really raised a red flag for me.  It certainly plays into the hands of the leftist establishment and their fear of a Rand Paul’s likely 2016 Presidential bid.  Following bitter disappointment by civil libertarians in Obama, the Tea Party movement emerged in 2010.  Rand Paul rode that wave of libertarian flavored rightism into the Senate. Unfortunately, more unscrupulous neocons also jumped on the bandwagon, such as Marco Rubio and Joe Miller, along with some kooks such as “not a witch” Christine O’Donnell and the red-bater Allen West.  Though the Tea Party won many victories in 2010, these neocon/kooky hijackers of the movement have dragged the name “Tea Party” through the mud, and much of that mud has splattered on the more principled candidates, including Rand Paul.

However, 2010 taught us all something, something that has rattled the establishments of both dominant parties.  They learned it when Obama won in 2008 on a largely anti-war, anti-Wall Street, and pro-civil liberty platform; and they learned it again in 2010.  The Tea Party, the true Tea Party, shared many of these same values as Obama’s 2008 platform – they were the other side of the same coin.  The lesson learned in 2008 and 2010 alike is that the American people are sick of endless wars, endless debt, Wall Street bailouts, corporate welfare, and intrusive government.  Due to Obama’s party affiliation he’s gotten a free pass from the liberal grassroots.  As Obama continues the wars according to Bush’s timeline, the anti-war protestors are nowhere to be found.  As Obama tramples our civil liberties, the left is deafeningly silent, if not actually favorable to the very same kinds of policies for which they ridiculed Bush.  Now, considering all that, Rand Paul has a real shot at the White House.  The mainstream left, if they want the next President to have a (D) next to his/her name, must stop Rand by any means necessary – preferably for them in the GOP Primaries.  It occurred to me long ago that they would do this by clumping him in with the Tea Party label, and painting him as just far, far right…right of Dick Cheney.  I was very disappointed to see the aforementioned article in “The Nation” pushing this establishment agenda.  They even clumped him in the same category with the neocon Rubio.  Rubio’s true colors are best explained by Jack Hunter (*here and here).

Now I will explain why Rand is not just another right-winged lunatic.  Rand has on occasion used the faulty label “socialism” against political opponents I admit, but unlike mainstream Republicans, he does so more even-handedly, such as by referring to corporate bailouts as “socialism for the rich”.  Rand’s cautious, almost non-interventionist foreign policy actually puts him, on this issue, far left of Hilary Clinton, and a little left of Obama.  Rand Paul opposed sanctions on Iran, and opposed the invasion of Libya, the possible invasion of Syria, and has consistently opposed the War in Iraq.  On Iraq, at times the only way you could tell him apart from Michael Moore is that Rand Paul’s arguments were actually feasible.  If the Dreyfuss’s were as principled as most “The Nation” writers, they’d at least acknowledge some common ground with Rand on this, and further acknowledge that the less radical, more establishment Republicans who they seem to think are more palatable – well they are clearly less palatable on foreign policy, as well as civil liberties.  Many of “The Nation’s” articles have stood up for our civil liberties very consistently often at odds with the Democratic Party establishment, as can be seen in my links below, and (here).  Rand Paul is only 1 of 8 (out of the total 100) who was principled enough to vote “Nay” on the NDAA of 2012, which gives the President the power, through the Dep. Of Justice, to arrest and indefinitely detain “terrorists” without trial.  But who gets to decide who is a terrorist?  Well, it would consequently fall on the President, since he is the Chief Executive of the law.  This kind of raw, dictatorial power is absolutely appalling, and it is even more appalling that an otherwise party-divided, obstructionist, “do-nothing” congress would act so decisively to erode our civil liberties.  What did the Dreyfuss’s have to say about it? ….(hear the cricket sounds?).

For the left and the right to stop Rand, they must paint him as a “radical right winged tea-bagger”, and despite the homophobic slur in that label, I expect no less from the establishment left.  I just hope that “The Nation”, despite this one awful article, will continue to rise above the pettiness, and give Rand credit where it’s due.  I don’t expect them to refrain from criticizing him where they clearly disagree with him, of course.  But I hope they won’t continue this kind of cherry-picking and lies by omission.

Original article by “The Nation”:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/179959/tea-party-loses-big-business-wins

Several examples of The Nation’s better work:

I love this article!  It exposes the hostility of growing elements on the left towards more genuine liberal principles:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/179160/cancelcolbert-and-return-anti-liberal-left

This “The Nation” article gives Rand SOME credit on the issue of voter fraud:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/179794/debate-over-voting-rights-shifting-dramatically-just-ask-rand-paul

“The Nation”, John Nichols here gives Rand credit for his position on military spending:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/159989/rand-pauls-right-about-military-budget-going-have-be-cut

A warning against the NDAA of 2012 weeks before it was signed:

http://www.thenation.com/article/165149/dangerous-defense-bill-heading-toward-obamas-desk

Jack Hunter’s:

*For the record, I do not agree with Hunter’s use of the “liberal” label here, but his points are otherwise spot on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUQdD2_w23g

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Preventing the Next Elliot Rodger Massacre

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First let me caution all readers that I need to reach people where they are, and I will do so however necessary.  I am truly sorry for this tragedy that took place, and in my efforts to stop future such tragedies, I do not want this to be confused for me being unsympathetic to the victims, or in any way “victim blaming”.

I am not at all surprised that certain bottom feeding female misandrists (who think themselves “feminists”) have taken this tragedy as an opportunity to attack their political rivals, ranging from MRAs to guns rights advocates.  Michelle Malkin did an excellent job of putting perspective on what actually happened and showing that this had little to do with misogyny or guns rights, and more to do with a young loner going mad.  I see no need to repeat what she explained, so I’ll put a link below.  Instead, I would like to talk about how this sort of thing can be prevented in future.  I know that I run the risk of being accused of “victim blaming”, or perhaps even of sympathizing with the killer, but that won’t dissuade me.  I will first offer advice to young men who find themselves in a situation similar to his.  In so doing, I am trying to stop the kind of irrational thought patterns than can lead to these tragedies.  Second, I’d like to advise anyone who knows someone who could be in the same situation as Elliot Rodgers, and thus could potentially make a difference for the better.

  1.  Are you a young man, alone, rejected?  Have you tried being a “gentleman” and have found that young women have no interest in that?  Then read on.

I’ve been there myself.  I was a loner in my early to mid-twenties by choice.  My head was in the clouds, and I planned to go overseas where the grass would be greener.  Then I would break out, socially.  Well, it wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be, and I too myself disgusted by the reality that young women often are attracted to the wrong types of men.  Before you start hating women though, understand this.  They aren’t ALL like that.  Most are.  But then, most men are.  The truth is that most people think with what’s between their legs, rather than what’s between their ears.  The only real difference is that men are often proud of that, whereas women try to hide it for fear of being labelled “sluts”.

If this reality has angered you to the point that you are about to snap, consider this.  None of them are worth throwing your life away!  Are you really going to let some stupid ditsy girl who goes out with some obnoxious jerk because he excites her lady parts, drive you to ruin your own life?!  She will be hurt several times by the wrong kind of guy, and later regret her bad decisions.  But if you do what Elliot Rodgers did, you’ll make your life just as worthless as they already think you are.  Instead, remember the old saying “the best revenge is living well”.  How do you live well when you feel so hopeless?

Here’s a good start.  Confucius once said, “Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”  In my darkest hour, I could not forget injuries, but fortunately, I also remembered those who were kind to me.  Whenever I felt frustrated, I would drown such bitter thoughts instead with thoughts on how I could appreciate those who deserved it.  I would show all the more gratitude to my few friends.  If you have nobody at all, then consider those less fortunate.  I know, it’s the furthest thing from your mind right now.  But you need to do kindness now more than ever, if not for others, than for yourself.  Maybe volunteer at a homeless shelter.  Hopefully you’ll meet people who will really put things in perspective for you.  If nothing else, someone will finally appreciate you.  Then it’s time to branch out.  You might find another article of mine helpful, “Friendship vs. Friendzone” (link also below).

  1. Do you know someone who seems sad, withdrawn, and in need of a friend?  Do you want to reach out, but don’t know how? 

I was fortunate to have a few very kind people when I was in need, and those people I will never forget.  You may go to college with, or work with, someone who seems rather sad and alone.  Maybe the person is a nerd.  Maybe the person is the dark, brooding type.  If the person is nice, but very shy, they might need you, and you might be able to make a difference.  Start by just being friendly.  Just say “hi” to them and smile a little.  Little by little, make some conversation.  If you are warm and open to them, sooner or later, they will come to you when they need it the most.  For now, just make them feel comfortable.  When they come to you, remember that they may not feel comfortable opening up to a lot of people.  They may want to speak to you alone.  Don’t be alarmed, that’s just part of them being shy.  Just be there and listen.  Mostly listen.  Give advice where you can.  Don’t let anyone tell you that this person is “weird” or “creepy”.  You could be the one to change this person’s life for the better.  In return, you’ll make a loyal friend for life, and you never know when you might be the one in need.

Now that I’m through with the advice, I just want to add this final disclaimer.  On #1, I was in no way judging the victims of the tragedy.  I have never met the two women and four men who were slain, or the many injured, and I have no idea if they were anything like Elliot Rodgers described.  I only know how he perceived them to be, and if you are trying to talk down a mad man, you have to get into his head.  I just hope that someone will read this, and think twice about making a terrible mistake.  When one tragedy happens, there seems to be a pattern of copy cats (like the school shootings).  I sincerely hope a pattern does not develop here.

Links:

This article gives the facts, straightforward

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/deranged-santa-barbara-california-killer-tied-premeditated-youtube-video-reports-article-1.1804354

Michelle Malkin putting this in perspective.  Her site “twitchy” can be a little confusing at first.  She show twitter conversations and puts paragraphs in between to build context.  If you aren’t familiar with twitter, it might look like a digital mess at first, but read through the tweets.

http://twitchy.com/2014/05/25/three-myths-about-right-wing-lunatic-virgin-elliot-rodger-that-the-left-wants-you-to-believe/

Elliot Rodger’s final video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQUW3Km01BM&bpctr=1401053577

My “Friendship vs. Friendzone”

https://politicallywag.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/friendship-vs-the-friend-zone/

Rand Paul Supporters can learn from Obama’s Mistakes

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Let me start with my confession.  In 2008, I was…an Obama supporter!  (Gasp)  Yes, it is true.  I remember the feeling of hopelessness during the Bush era.  I remember watching with horror as our civil liberties were eroded, unaffordable wars were launched, the national debt soared, and our jobs went to China…the very people who loaned us money to fight the pointless war in Iraq.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m no “liberal” by far.  But by the end of the Bush era, the libs weren’t sounding so bad.

We can debate Obama’s intentions all we like, but it no longer matters.  He is in his second term, and will soon be finished.  Obama and his supporters were certainly wide-eyed when he was inaugurated.  I’ll never forget that day, with a -$16 checking account balance, a short term job I was about to lose, and a broken down old car, hearing Obama say “Change has come to America”.  I truly believed it then, and even today, I truly believe that Obama meant it at the time.  Many of you reading this despise Obama, and that’s OK.  Just keep reading.  I’m not writing this to defend Obama at all, but to help us learn from his mistakes. To prove my point, I’m about to explain what really happened with health care reform, but this is only one of many examples I could use.

In 2008, Obama criticized Hilary Clinton’s plan for a health care mandate, and instead proposed a public option.  Obama didn’t want to make us buy health insurance, he wanted to give us a choice.  But the health insurance lobby preferred the mandate.  Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, both receiving heavy contributions from the health insurance industry, joined the Republican led filibuster.  Unlike the Republicans, however, Lieberman and Nelson were willing to support health care reform, provided that A. we would be forced to buy private health insurance, and B. there would be no public option.  Obama ran against this very plan, and threatened to veto it.  However, Bill Clinton got to him.  Clinton told Obama that if he didn’t pass this, the Democrats would take a beating in 2010, and he’d really be in no position to pass anything anymore.  He’d have to do whatever the Republicans wanted…or do nothing at all.  But if you just pass this one bill, and defend it, you’ll still be able to do other good things.  Be reasonable Obama!  Be reasonable.

And so he was.  When Obama signed that bill, he was signing away his soul.  I was in denial about it until Obama signed the NDAA of 2012, allowing for the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists without a trial.  To my fellow Rand Paul supporters, I think we all agree that Rand has every intention of making a difference for the better.  But we must learn from Obama’s mistakes.  If Rand can pull this off, if he is inaugurated in January 2017, and if he does not check his soul at the door, they will come after him.  Who are they?!  The establishments of both parties.  If we keep the same old Republicans and the same old Democrats in Congress, all of our efforts to elect Rand Paul will be pointless.  The military budget will continue to cripple our economy, “Obamacare” will continue, something even worse than the NDAA of 2012 will be passed, and forget about auditing the FED.  If Rand Paul is elected President, he will need a Congress he can work with.  I’m not saying vote out every single incumbent…just every single tool (in other words, most of them.)  Forget about “left” or “right”, and forget about party affiliation.  Better to have a Bernie Sanders with a soul, than the guy with the “R” next to his name, touting his loyalty to the Republican Party, and serving the interest of every last campaign contributor while showing up on FOX 8 days a week to bask in their praise.  Sanders is no libertarian, no conservative, and certainly no Republican.  He will likely oppose many of Rand’s policies, such as entitlement reform.  However, Sanders is no party stooge.  He has his own principles, including a genuine desire to audit the FED and rein in military spending.  In other words, Sanders won’t filibuster anything and everything Rand Paul attempts.  He will work with Rand at least on matters where they agree.

If you care about this country, and indeed Rand Paul’s very soul, consider this.  Rand can work with Bernie (I).  Rand can work with Mike Lee (R).  He can work with Joe Manchin (D) John Barrow (D), Justin Amash (R), Pat Toomy (R), and I could go on.  Rand cannot work with the neocon establishment, however.  He cannot work with McCain, Graham, Rubio (yes, he’s one of them), Corker, McConnell, etc. I think it goes without saying that he also cannot work with Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, or Harry Reid. If there are even 41 of them left in 2016 in the Senate, they will break Rand just like they broke Obama.  The Rand Paul you see in 2020 might not be the same person anymore, much like Winston leaving the Ministry of Love in Orwell’s “1984”.  Room 101 awaits.  One man cannot bring down Big Brother, but enough of us banned together, with many different backgrounds and many different ideologies – we can do this!  Down with Big Brother!

Friendship vs. the “Friend-zone”

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When a girl says to a guy who is interested in her, “I want to be ‘just friends’”, this is often not what she actually means.  Women have a hard time being direct.  Perhaps they are well intended, in that they are trying to make an awkward situation less awkward, but men rarely get that…especially the kind of men who are “just friends”.  In reality, when she tells you that you are in the friend-zone, it actually means “stop bothering me”.

I was a late bloomer, to say the least.  Being the academic type that I am, when I finally decided to bloom, I approached it as though I were conducting a social study on the opposite sex.  Women, therefore, were the phenomenon.  When I was told “just friends”, to me, that was an opportunity for further study.  How I felt (heartbroken) was irrelevant.  Well, that was when I learned what “just friends” really means.  That just made me more curious about this phenomenon that is the male/female friendship, purely platonic.

Fortunately, when I began this study on friendships with the opposite sex, I was in London surrounded by people from all over the world.  I must say, European women are remarkably sophisticated on these things.  I found them relatively easy to befriend.  I gather, however, that they are not so easy when it comes to that “one thing” that guys usually want.  That was fine by me, since my study focus had shifted to friendship.  I actually made quite a few lady friends, who really were friends, and I enjoyed it.  It was great to be able to sit comfortably with a member of the opposite sex and just talk.  It was even better when some guy was into her, and she would cling to me as a way of turning him down (I’m wicked, I know).  I miss that!  I’m back in America now.  Is this sort of thing possible with American women?  Well, yes, I do see such friendships.  I haven’t figured out how it works yet, however.  But I do know genuine friendship when I see it.

Now I would like to distinguish the genuine friendship from the “friend-zone”.  We men have our flaws, but women have their’s also.  Women, even the most attractive, have an insecure nature and often need validation.  Women find different ways to satisfy that validation.  For some, they do so by finding “floaters”, that is, guys they will keep in the “friend-zone”.  Some of them love having guys around them who are attracted to them, but will never get what they want.  It gives them an endless supply of validation.  This is a very one-sided relationship, bordering on emotionally abusive, and is certainly not friendship.  Both parties are selfish in their own ways.  The guy hangs around pretending to be a “friend”, but wants her physically instead.  (Yes, I know that he often thinks he’s “in love”)  She keeps him around, knowing that the situation is torment for him, because it makes her feel a little better about herself.  This is the dreaded “friend-zone”, and one way or the other, it needs to be ended.

First, here is my advice for the one who is “in love” but in the “friend-zone”.  (I’m writing from a guy’s perspective, but this could also be a girl.)  If you haven’t already, you need to confront her about how you feel.  I don’t know how it will turn out, but anything is better than this.  If she is interested in you as more than a friend, great!  If not, however, you need to know now.  If she is unaware of how you feel, but she cares about you as a friend, than she doesn’t want to keep hurting you.  If, however, she has you “friend-zoned”, then you need to cut off her supply of validation.  In this case, you may think you love her, but you actually love who you think she is.  If she was truly worth loving, she wouldn’t knowingly hurt you this way.  Confront her, find out where you stand, and if you are indeed friend-zoned, here’s what happens next.  First, it’s heartbreak.  Self-loathing might accompany this.  It’s natural for a little bit, maybe a few weeks depending on the severity.  But anger must follow.  You must realize there’s nothing wrong with you, but with her (Could be him if it’s the other way around).  Be angry, it’s healthy.  You may say some harsh words, but get it out of your system, and then move on.

Lastly, here is my advice if you find yourself on the receiving end of this desire.  First, if you are knowingly friend-zoning someone, cut it out!  It’s cruel.  You are not being kind to this person by “sparing their feelings”.  More than likely, however, you have just started to realize that this friend you care about has more romantic feelings for you, and you don’t feel the same way.  You need to confront this person.  I don’t know how it will affect the friendship, but I can tell you that the longer you wait, the more you will hurt your friend.  Confront them and get it over with.  If it ends the friendship, it was ending anyway.  But you may be able to salvage the friendship.  If the person is severely heart broken, but you both still want to keep the friendship, I’d recommend some time apart to heal and for the heartbroken party to find some perspective.  You can say things like, “there’s someone out there for you”.  It won’t help much, but it certainly won’t hurt.  They have to realize this for themselves.  You can’t end their pain, but you can at least stop dragging it out.  It’s really the kindest thing you can do, though it may not feel like it at the time.  For girls, especially, don’t drop subtle hints.  He won’t get it.  The best way with guys is to be straight forward.  It’s like pulling a piece of duct tape off of a hairy chest, or maybe waxing your legs.  Do it in one quick pull, RIGHT OFF!

Friendship is a wonderful thing, but the “friend-zone” is just plain cruel.  If you care about your friends, don’t let them end up in the “friend-zone”.  If you care about yourself, don’t allow yourself to stay in the “friend-zone” for very long.

Interesting and relevant links:

Ray William Johnson’s “Friend zone”.  Not normally a fan, but this is his best work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSwsJtSfyXU

This guy’s spot on…and hilarious!  I don’t recommend his other vids though…it’s just more angry atheist BS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1SOx2ePySY

She’s very clever, and it’s hard to see through her layers of sarcasm sometimes.  She seems to be blaming the guy who is in the “friend-zone” however, for playing “friend” because he fears rejection.  There’s some truth to that.  With that said, don’t send him signals.  Like I said above, just be very direct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tNTckSW7zI

If you’re in that anger stage, following rejection, singing this song will help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzF79xzEfsg

I wish everyone some genuine, quality friends, and eventually that special someone.  Trust me, you gotta learn to crawl before you learn to walk.  So learn to love yourself, and find a few good friends first.  That special someone will come along later, when you’re comfortable with who you are, and probably aren’t even looking.

Top 5 Most Incompetent Republican attacks on “Obamacare”

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It’s sad when I, a Democrat (sort of) have to show Republicans how to fight their own battles.  From the very beginning of this debate over healthcare reform, I’ve been disgusted at the cheap and counterproductive attacks by mainstream Republicans on “Obamacare”.  Not because I support “Obamacare”.  I’m actually very much opposed to this, and would love for the Republicans to have formed a competent opposition.  But they failed miserably, and continue to do so.  I would therefore like to make a list of the top 5 most incompetent and counter-productive lines of attack by Republicans on “Obamacare”.

5.         Warning that this will create a new “entitlement” and a new dependent class.  I’ll admit this is not totally absurd.  However, like it or not, Americans love their entitlements, yes, even the “tea party” crowd.  Most Americans are not going to be persuaded to oppose a bill that they believe will help them to better afford healthcare.  With that said, this is NOT an entitlement, and if anything, the Republicans’ misrepresentation of this bill actually shifted public opinion in favor of it.

4.         Recent efforts to claim that it’s failing (not enough enrollment)  This completely contradicts #5 above!  You can’t have it both ways.  If you’re going to complain that this will create a large underclass of dependent health subsidy recipients, don’t also complain that not enough people are taking part in this!  There can’t be too many people, and not enough people, all at the same time!

3.         The poor health insurance companies What were they thinking?!  I don’t hear this one so much lately, but when this was still working its way through Congress, Republicans whined of how the poor insurance companies were being demonized and how they would not be able to meet the demands of “Obamacare”.

2.         Personal Fear Tactics  Whether the death panels, or Uncle Sam with a stethoscope, these claims really just made Republicans look foolish.  Furthermore, that had nothing to do with what this bill was really about – health insurance.  Even though we call it “healthcare reform”, it really has little direct effect on the actual doctors and hospitals in providing care.  It does strongly affect how they are paid, however.

1.         The Red Card!  Did it ever occur to these blistering idiots that denouncing Obamacare as “socialism”, or “government take-over of healthcare” would only make it more popular?  Don’t they realize that the potential opposition from the left, mainly progressives and even genuine socialists, are more likely to support this if they think it IS socialism?  It had the effect of reverse psychology.  By calling it “socialism”, they ensured that every Democrat who may have opposed it would rally behind it.

I could also add that Republicans took their time offering any kind of alternative, but instead, I’m going to offer the Republicans an alternative in their PR strategy.  Listen up you GOP-heads.  Here’s how it’s done.

Obamacare is the worst possible way to reform health care in this country.  It forces ordinary Americans to buy insurance from a private, for-profit company, and makes little to no effort to ensure that these private companies will actually provide health insurance that is affordable.  If health insurance is expensive now, imagine how much more expensive it will be when these greedy health insurance companies know that Americans must buy it, or else!  The last thing we should do is further empower the health insurance industry.  When Obama tells you that he’s putting you, the patient, in the driver seat, he’s telling a bold face lie.  You’re not in the driver seat.  Your elected government is not in the driver’s seat.  Nor is your doctor, or the nurses, or even the CEO’s of the hospitals.  No!  A greedy CEO of a health insurance company is in the driver seat, and the only way to kick him out is to pay more taxes!

There, you FOX news addicted, red bating, incompetent “party of no”.  That’s how it’s done.  And if you had taken that line, I guarantee, a good chunk of the Democratic Progressive Caucus would have joined you in opposition.  I know they’re strange bed-fellows, but hey, it would have worked.  But thanks to your tired Cold War leftovers, we’re stuck with “Obamacare” now.

P.S. and one more thing, stop calling everything you are against “socialism”.

Crossfire – Tonight’s “Outrage”

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Let’s start with Gingrich.  While I don’t care for his words “Liberal Fascism”, his main points are solid.  1.  There is a growing authoritarian leftism in this country that can certainly be seen on college campuses.  2.  Shame on the media for not holding these college campuses to the same standards as they do rightist groups.  3.  The problem is less the students and more the faculty (though I think this was Santorum’s point.)  I want to add to that last one.  As a young college adjunct, I see this too.  The older, established college professors are usually decisively leftist in their political slant and are not as open-minded as they likely were in their youth.  Lastly, before I move onto Van Jones, I want to explain why I disagree with Gingrich’s choice of words “Liberal Fascism”.  Fascism is a strong word, maybe not totally off here.  Liberalism, however, has nothing to do with this.  (I will post a link to an excellent article from a liberal magazine called “The Nation” that should clarify this).  But essentially, liberals are supposed to be open-minded and tolerant, and we certainly don’t see that from the mainstream left in America today.

Now, Van Jones.  First, I agree the right is becoming increasingly ludicrous in America today.  The recent votes in Wisconsin, well, I half agree with Wisconsin.  Do states have the right to secede from the union?  Certainly not.  In the US Constitution, Article 1 Sec. 10, it is stated that “No state shall enter any treaty, alliance, or confederation”.  However, on nullification, Van Jones quickly dismissed this claim and gave a rather weak and factually incorrect explanation.  He argued that the last time states threatened nullification, it was over segregation.  Way to play the race card and poison the well!  Aside from that fallacy, it’s simply wrong.  States use nullification now, and not over segregation.  Any state that legalizes marijuana is nullifying the federal laws against it.  Before a recent Supreme Court ruling, states that allowed same-sex marriage were nullifying DOMA.  Nullification is certainly debatable, but Van Jones dismisses it as though only a few kooks in a fortified trailer with assault rifles would say such a thing.  No, this is a serious debate for constitutional scholars!  Still, I like Van Jones all in all.  He’s “on the left” but often thinks outside the box.

Well, that’s just my two-cents on Crossfire.  If I find a vid of this episode, or this clip, I’ll add it here.

 

This is that “The Nation” article I mentioned above, using the example of Colbert to explain the difference between liberalism and this growing authoritarian leftism:

http://www.thenation.com/blog/179160/cancelcolbert-and-return-anti-liberal-left

 

Re: Screw “Fair and Balanced”? I don’t think so!

“How can we expect unbiased journalism when just deciding which news is worth covering is inherently biased?” – See more at: http://rare.us/story/screw-fair-and-balanced-give-me-biased-news-any-day/#sthash.q5zvKfBz.dpuf

I just read an article from Rare that made some solid points about biases in journalism, but drew a hasty conclusion I’d like to refute.  Bonnie Kristian (the author) is correct that even if journalists give “just the facts”, that doesn’t stop them from cherry-picking the facts.  Furthermore, even when they are trying to be objective, they are human.  They can try to be balanced, try to put things in context, and try to listen to all sides; but they will have a slant inevitably.  (As a college professor of political science, I can relate.)  So essentially, I agree completely with this article’s criticisms of objective journalism (AKA “Fair and Balanced”).

However, due to the inherent imperfection of objective journalism, the author Bonnie Kristian draws the conclusion that we should stop even trying.  I think the title says it all.  So essentially, because this isn’t perfect, we should tear it down.  My car recently had a dead battery.  I didn’t take it to the scrap yard.  I just replaced the battery.

For objective journalism, as with objective teaching, there’s a clear difference between journalists who try their best to be objective, and those who aren’t even trying.  Anderson Cooper has no problem calling out Republicans, Democrats, and whoever else when he catches them either lying or spinning half-truths  (Example posted below.)  Anderson Cooper is a human being, and certainly has issues that matter to him.  However, he’s perfectly capable of being objective.  Is he perfectly, 100% objective, 100% of the time?  Doubtful.  But if he’s objective 99% of the time, should he lose all credibility over that 1%?  There’s a big difference between that, and say, Sean Hannity, who is very clever at presenting factoids in ways that are purposefully misleading.  I’ve heard Sean Hannity claim that nearly half of Americans are paying “no taxes at all”, and then in the same segment, criticize the “tax” on cell phones.  The half he’s referring to are those Americans who don’t make enough money to fit into even the lowest tax bracket, so they aren’t paying INCOME TAXES.  They are, however, paying plenty of other taxes, including the tax on cell phones.  Does that stop halftruth Hannity?  Of course not.

I should hope that this Rare author Bonnie Kristian would not be so absurd as to claim that Hannity is on the same level as Cooper.  But if I follow his logic, I would draw that absurd conclusion.  None of them can be entirely objective, so I guess we should just let them all be openly biased?  No, I don’t give up on something just because it isn’t perfect.  Having an ongoing series of “infowars” between manipulative, shameless pundits is not going to help us draw better conclusions.  Kristian does make a compelling argument that journalists should be watchdogs who catch wrong doing and “shame the devil”.  Agreed.  But Kristian is implying that this is somehow in contrast to objective journalism.  Objective does not mean necessarily taking the middle of the road position every time.  I’m a centrist, and even I get that.

Objectivity is an imperfect, ongoing process when we’re searching for the truth.  We should always listen to reasonable, even if radical positions from different sides.  But those partisan pundits who aren’t even trying to be fair?  Don’t even listen to them.  Some might think that if they listen to “both sides”, they will get a better, more balanced perspective.  You aren’t getting any smarter by listening to both sides of stupid.

 

Anderson Cooper calling out Moveon.org for half-truth regarding “war on women”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFRNXBADEl0

Cooper calling out Debbie Wasserman Shultz for misrepresenting Romney’s position on abortion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k-KuYJraEg