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Mesmerized by Melodic Rhetoric

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“I’ve been through Y2K and I’ve been through 9/11. I have never seen people so afraid as what we are seeing right now,” said gun shop owner Scott Moss recently. With more guns per capita – easily 250 million privately owned ones – and certainly more people in prisons than any other democracy, the intriguing question in this still worsening economic calamity is: If Americans found the courage for political rebellion now, would it preempt massive criminal violence, social havoc and armed rebellion later?

What we see President Obama and Congress doing and debating seem inadequate to restore financial health and security to the vast majority of Americans before millions more lives are devastated. Billions of tax dollars have gone to banks, corporations and others but have not stopped the hemorrhage of our financial lifeblood. More than half a million jobs continue to be lost a month; 3.5 million in the past year. Millions are losing their homes, health insurance and ability to buy food. Those with jobs are afraid to spend money.

As Nobel Prize winning and eternally gloomy economist Paul Krugman said the other day after condemning what is going on in Washington, DC: “the economy is still in free fall” and we may be “falling into an economic abyss.” Harsh words for a harsh reality.

Recently, President Obama said: “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.” But what really matters is exactly what actions the government takes and whether they are what is needed. Besides, about the same time, his senior advisor David Axelrod said on television that “we have an economic catastrophe.” For most Americans, catastrophe seems more accurate.

Meanwhile, the elite Upper Class that stole the nation’s wealth in recent years with their greed and political clout, and destroyed the global economic system, are still sitting pretty in their McMansions, penthouses, private jets and yachts. They still enjoy their $50,000+ cars, still wine and dine in incredibly expensive restaurants, and still retain more wealth than ordinary people can imagine. Brioni men’s suits for $40,000+ are selling fast.

So what are ordinary Americans doing? Are there massive crowds of screaming, sign-carrying Americans in city streets from coast to coast? No. Or outside congressional buildings and the White House? No. Are there riots and looting by hoards of hungry and angry people who have lost a decent lifestyle? No. Do we see anything like the anti-Vietnam War protests? No. Do we see anything like the urban riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.? No. Do we see anything like the rebellion against the British that created our nation? No

What do we see? Millions of people getting notices that they have lots their jobs, getting eviction notices, applying for bankruptcy, trying to get unemployment benefits, standing on long lines to get a shot at few jobs, filling crowded hospital emergency rooms to get medical help, taking their children out of child care they no longer can afford, and buying fewer and cheaper foods or seeking free food.

Compared to rioting Europeans, Americans seem like docile, drugged out sheep herded towards the economic cliff, mesmerized by melodic rhetoric of political messiah Barack Obama.

No wonder our politicians look like dithering, confused idiots arguing among themselves as we continue falling into economic hell. We simply are not demanding enough of those we elected.

It’s as if most Americans are patiently waiting to be rescued by winning the lottery. Is it hope or stupidity?

Meantime, President Obama has successfully stimulated one business sector. Since November, gun and ammunition sales have soared, as have requests for concealed carry permits. “Our sales are up 15 to 20 percent since October,” says the owner of Shooter’s Service in Livonia, Michigan. “It’s not the 40 percent other stores are reporting, but it’s good business.” Oakland County in Michigan issued 130 percent more concealed carry weapon permits in January than a year earlier. Such permits are up as much as 90 percent in some Western North Carolina counties. According to the FBI, background checks for gun sales in January jumped 29 percent over January 2008; this followed a 24 percent rise in December and a 42 percent increase in November. In many places gun sales have dropped because of shortages.

What awaits us when hope becomes futile and all confidence in the government is lost? Gun owner Chad Roberts in Tennessee said this recently: “With the economy like it is more people are going to be desperate wanting to steal from you.” So, perhaps we will see a contagious, rapid descent into mass criminal violence. As suffering, gun-toting Americans resort to looting, theft, robbery, burglary, assaults and other economically driven violent acts to get what is needed to survive, and other gun owners shoot to defend what they have. The fabric of civilized society ripped apart. Brutal police and military actions result, and for many no police protection. Constitutional freedoms suspended in a national emergency. Government threatened by armed rebellion as gun-toting citizens put their Second Amendment rights to the ultimate use.

This nightmare scenario may happen because free people waited too long, remained too hopeful, put too much faith in elections. Armageddon is closer than most Americans realize. Beyond catastrophe lies mob rule, a doomsday post-democracy, disintegration, collapse, chaos. Americans sucked into the economic abyss where violence replaces politics.

Hope will be a distant memory.

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About Joel S. Hirschhorn

Formerly full professor Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, and senior official Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and National Governors Association. Author of four nonfiction books and hundreds of articles.
  • The Obnoxious American

    First, it’s pretty crappy to lay all of our problems at the feet of the rich. Prove it. See I thought the problem was all these borrowers taking out loans they couldn’t handle, and banks being too loose with credit (which is what Government asked them to do for PC reasons).

    As far as I can tell, none of our economic issues are a result of some Americans buying expensive cars or dining at expensive restaurants. I’d like to remind you that buying cars and dining out are exactly what helps the economy.

    It’s almost as if you wished Americans were rioting in the streets and having a revolution. Is that what you are positioning as the solution? I don’t get it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Joel,

    I fail to see the point of your article, and I mean it sincerely. What are you suggesting – civil unrest, riots, coming to arms, any of the above? Seriously now, what is your point?

  • pablo

    I like this article very much, particularly the part about how docile most american have become regarding their fate. I remember several years ago in the Ukraine I believe that there was a very hotly contested election, which many people believed to be fraudulent in nature, literally millions of people were in the street.

    Here in the land of the free, the sheople blindly go about their business, and trusting in their government to provide for free and honest elections, yes folks I am talking about voting machines. I think that there is a mass form of brainwashing afoot, using a combination of television, prescription drugs, particularly anti-depressants, and indoctrination.

    I do also see (not very much on this site however) more people waking up to the matrix sham around them than ever before in my life, with the possible exception of the late 60’s, and I do find that encouraging.

    Americans, you have been scammed, millions of you have lost a hundred thousand dollars or more, they are putting up a police state grid all around you, not to prevent terrorists, but to monitor YOU.

    The wolf is in the henhouse, guess who the hens are.

    The Federal Reserve, the World Bank, the Club of Rome, are beginning to tighten the noose folks, wake up and smell the boots. You can call me an alarmist if you like, but so was another paul with the last name of Revere.

    Can you imagine what it would be like, if you were to come to the realization that 9/11 was an inside job, and obama a wolf in sheeps clothing? Oh god forbid! Oh heaven help us. Psssst its true.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Baa-aah, baa-aah, bleat the sheep. ‘Are you asking for civil unrest?’, they shiver.

    Joel is asking why Americans are not rioting like the Greeks have. He wants to know where that “revolutionary spirit” has flown off to. He wants to know why they are not looking at the Declaration of Independence and seeing that when a government engages in a long train of abuses to one end, it is time to overthrow it. Must a foreigner explain to you the meaning of these documents? Have you fallen so low in your level of understanding?

    The United States of America has a failsafe built into its Declaration of Independence – the right of revolution. It’s not there as mere flowery language; it is the basis upon which a free nation is built – a unique guarantee of freedom. Or have you forgotten this also?

  • The Obnoxious American

    Pablo,

    I think it has much more to do with the reality of quality of life here. Even the poor have a pretty good life in comparison with poor from other countries. So if we are all losing our jobs, well there will be unemployment and welfare, and even if we are merely underpaid, there will be tax credits. So what is there to get so hot about.

    I think your comment on 9/11 reaches into the bizzare. Sorry but that’s a fringe view, unsubstantiated by anything, and frankly insulting to Americans. I may not agree with Obama, but he is no terrorist, just like Bush wasn’t a terrorist or equal to hitler.

    I will say one thing. I am one of those Americans buying up guns. I just placed an order for this fine AR-15 – and DPMS says that I will have to wait a full year to get it due to the Obama induced rush.

    This after just picking up a Saiga 308 (AK 47 variant). Those that read my articles know I already had guns, but with Pelosi, Reid and Obama’s rubber stamp, it’s only a matter of time before our rights to buy semi auto rifles in the color black is taken away. I’ll be grandfathered.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Boasting that you went through Y2K is a bit like saying that you survived a cold.

  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Glad to see Pablo and Ruvy seem to get the truth in contrast to most regulars on this site. I actually extended this article after submission and for those of you that care, the longer version with more of a solution aspect.

  • pablo

    Obnoxious

    Bush is not only a terrorist by his own definition of the word, but a war criminal as well. As regards to Hitler too bad you cant ask Bush’s late grandfather Prescott who was one of Hitler’s chief financial supporters about that.

  • The Obnoxious American

    oooh, he pulled out the Preston Bush reference. Now my whole world is turned upside down…. not.

    Fact is, Bush was way more of a friend to the Jewish people than so far at least Obama is turning out to be. Plenty of people supported Hitler before he started sending Jews to the showers. Are you saying that Preston Bush, and by extension any of the Bush family are secretly Nazi sympathizers? Prove it.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Ruvy,

    Excuse me for not running for my guns at the first sight of a liberal President. Yes, revolution is a right, but has it occurred to anyone that perhaps there isn’t a need?

    See, America is stronger than Obama, it’s stronger than the liberal wing of the Democratic party. I am confident that if Obama continues to make decisions that are not in America’s best interest, we will stop talking about him within 4 years. Democrats in Congress as soon as 2. And if America decides that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid vision for America is the one to follow, then perhaps I need to find another place to live.

    See one of the great things about Democracy, we can vote our views. And we don’t need to vote with a bullet.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    #7,

    You should have done it in the first place.

    As it stands, it’s like a foreplay without climax or a sentence without a punctuation point. Be a mensch and spit it out, unless you’re chicken shit!

  • Joel S. Hirschhorn

    Anyone who has witnessed President George W. Bush and now the President Obama and still believes in the American electoral system should have their head examined with the very best technology. Our two-party plutocracy has made a mockery of our electoral system. There is no real, meaningful and necessary political competition. There can be no rebellion within the current electoral system, just a delusional change from Dems to Repubs or vice versa, as if the ruling class does not control both parties.

  • pablo

    #9 Obnoxious American

    “Plenty of people supported Hitler before he started sending Jews to the showers. Are you saying that Preston Bush, and by extension any of the Bush family are secretly Nazi sympathizers? Prove it.”

    I will be happy to prove that for you with reference to; his name was Prescott not Preston by the way.
    Prescott Bush was also responsible for Tricky Dicks rise to power as well, and will also provide proof of that as well.

    Alas my time for show and tell has ended for the day, and I must now sleep. I will be back tomorrow Obnoxious with proof and references to your request.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Bloody hell, you people are so dramatic about everything.

    How long has Barack Obama been the president? A touch over two weeks? And all of this bitching about the “stimulus package” that actually features money to industries instead of a blank cheque to bank bosses and lending institutions is reasonable to the hypocritical Right? Really?

    Is this all some kind of joke?

    And Obnox, good luck finding another place to live. Like it or not, the civilized world actually progresses for the most part. Values like taking care of others and providing for the least of these is something most of the world hold dear, so you’re going to have to look far and wide for a country that still bows at the soulless altar of whatever hybrid economical and political system it is you want to serve your best interests. Maybe China in five years?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Prescott Bush was also responsible for Tricky Dicks rise to power as well, and will also provide proof of that as well.

    Prescott and the Bush Dynasty had a hell of a lot more to gain from Nixon’s fall than from his rise. Nixon was paranoid and antisocial. He hated the Bush’s beloved CIA and thought the spies were out to get him. Watergate was a setup designed to frame Tricky Dick and take him down to open the path for the Bush Dynasty and the use of unfettered spy activity and the like. It’s a long, complicated discussion that I’ll elaborate on in a future book review, but there’s a lot of truth to the notion that the Bush Dynasty has their fingers in many historically controversial pies.

    Mmmm, pies…

  • The Obnoxious American

    ” Values like taking care of others and providing for the least of these is something most of the world hold dear”

    Can you pass some of what you are smoking?

    I mean seriously, all of a sudden most of the world holds this dear? Let’s forget about the reality of socialism for a minute and just think about the substance of this. Most of the world is in China, the middle east. Do most of them hold taking care of others as something dear?

    Wake up.

    I do agree with your other points Jordan, but that one comment is nuts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “There can be no rebellion within the current electoral system, just a delusional change from Dems to Repubs or vice versa, as if the ruling class does not control both parties.”

    There you go again – saying it without really saying it.

    Are you always such an incomplete, a mid-sentence phenomenon? Spit it out or hold your peace.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Can you pass some of what you are smoking?

    Is this your Witty Line of the Day?

    Do most of them hold taking care of others as something dear?

    Yes. They do. Most Americans do, most Chinese people do, most Canadians do, etc.

    Do tell me what the “reality of socialism” is in your opinion, though. This should be “rich.”

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Is this your Witty Line of the Day?”

    I’ve been feeling lots of sympathy for Phelps lately.

    “Yes. They do. Most Americans do, most Chinese people do, most Canadians do, etc.”

    Way to not answer the question as posed. Newsflash, Americans plus Canadians does not equal most of the world.

    And I have a feeling my characterization of socialism would be just a tad bit less rich than your glorification of it. But one thing that won’t be rich with socialism? Either of us.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jordan.

    He bills himself as “obnoxious,” the implication being he feels he must live up to that name.
    I think it’s a lost cause. Why argue?

  • The Obnoxious American

    “he’s obnoxious, why argue” (paraphrased)

    We’ve now entered into the ad hominem portion of our program ladies and gentlemen. Rather than address the points, people are once again going to the fall back position of merely attacking me. Enjoy that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Not ad hominem, obnoxious. Simply using the very same terms by means of which you choose to describe yourself. And my suggestion to Jordan was not a personal attack on you, only my humble opinion that any further discussion is futile.
    But don’t worry. You’re not the only one. This whole site is full of people like that – from the Left and the Right. So you see, I’m quite liberal in bestowing my praises.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Fair enough Roger. Just as info, my moniker is explained in the blurb below the articles. It’s not so much to be obnoxious in discussion (I’d like to think I am pretty cordial and respectful, though many liberals might disagree) but rather I am trying to represent what the Euro snob elite refer to as the classical Obnoxious American.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, I hear you; and it’s a catchy one. But you know that all the flies are gonna stick to the ointment. Unless you couldn’t care less for the static.

  • Baronius

    Pardon me for going off on a tangent.

    What does it matter what Presqueisle Bush did in the 1940’s, or the 1960’s for that matter? Who cares if Osama bin Laden is part of the wealthy bin Laden family? There are a half dozen issues on which my dad and I don’t see eye to eye, and my brother and I don’t agree on anything. I’ve never understood the fixation that conspiracy theorists have on the bloodline of the Rockefellers or anyone else. Heck, I barely agree with myself from 20 years ago. The idea that generations share in a conspiracy flies in the face of human nature.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Way to not answer the question as posed. Newsflash, Americans plus Canadians does not equal most of the world.

    Chinese people, dude. I included Chinese people. Way to be selective. If you recall, you question was as follows:

    Most of the world is in China, the middle east. Do most of them hold taking care of others as something dear?”

    My answer was “yes.”

    How did that NOT answer your question “as posed,” champ?

    But one thing that won’t be rich with socialism? Either of us.

    I couldn’t give three shits about being rich. Next time you chastise someone for (allegedly) ducking one of your questions, it’s probably best to not duck those addressed specifically to you.

    So again: what is the reality of socialism in your opinion? Sum it up. I’m curious because it will assist in contextualizing the remainder of your argument.

    And Obox., you’re so addicted to the talking points and the classical archetypes (European liberal types, etc.) that it’s actually quite hilarious to read your posts. Thank you for the continued amusement. I’m almost convinced you’re supposed to be a Colbert-esque parody. Almost.

    Presqueisle Bush

    Who?

    The idea that generations share in a conspiracy flies in the face of human nature.

    Not at all. Families (generations) have secrets and many wealthy families want to hold on to generations of wealth, privilege, and power. The Bush Dynasty is no different, same with Clintons and countless others across human history. Preservation of a way of life and a system of power is human nature.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jordan,

    You’re turning out to be quite a rhetorician. I didn’t know you had it in you. Good for you.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I can bring it every now and then (when I’m not snorting cocaine off of the backs of hookers).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I am not going to go there.

  • Cindy D

    I am being asked why the hysterical laughter…

  • Clavos

    So again: what is the reality of socialism in your opinion?

    Little, if any, attraction for the ambitious?

    Or the rich?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Little, if any, attraction for the ambitious?

    Certainly true if you base your understanding of socialism on that of communism or the general pop understanding of the concept, yep. The reality of democratic socialism is significantly different and offers quite a bit of incentive for workers when practiced properly and honestly.

  • Clavos

    The reality of democratic socialism is significantly different and offers quite a bit of incentive for workers when practiced properly and honestly. (emphasis added)

    Really? Good luck with that.

    What about incentives for those who aren’t workers? (Not everyone is; in this country of 320,000,000 only 180,000,000 are workers, and some of them are bosses, even CEOs (gasp!), not “workers” in the socialistic sense, though I always considered my job as a senior manager “work.”

    Come to that, what is a “worker?”

    And, are there incentives to become rich? I know you said you don’t give a damn (or three shits — whatever that means) for riches, but a lot of people do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Jordan,

    You maybe getting deeper here than you might like to. They’ll try to rip you apart.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    wait, they have hookers in canada?!

    dang, another stereotype shot to hell.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That’s the oldest profession in the world. Why not?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    The gun sales situation is interesting. I believe it’s more of a fiendish little stew of viral marketing by lobbying groups, hate-radio hysteria and racism.

    NRA:”Liberals want to take your guns away!”

    Hate-Radio: ” Watch out! A Scary Black Liberal with a strange name is President! Be Afraid!”

    White-male prime demographic for both the NRA and Hate-Radio: “Dagnabbit, Earleen I need some more fire power. Things are fixin’ to get bad!”

    No surprise to me. America was founded upon racism and violence. It’s a congenital affliction.

    I would point to those claiming that its Obama’s rhetoric that would inspire violence this enlightening story ripped from the headlines:

    “An out-of-work truck driver smiled Monday as he pleaded guilty to killing two people and wounding six others at a Tennessee church last summer because he considered the liberal church “a den of un-American vipers.”

    “Yes, ma’am, I am guilty as charged,” Jim D. Adkisson, 58, told Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz before she sentenced him to life in prison without parole on two counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder…”

    Why did this middle-aged White guy to buy a shotgun, saw it off, go to his ex-wife’s church during a children’s production of “Annie”, and start slaughtering innocent people? What was he trying to accomplish? Though he didn’t say much at the trial where a mental health expert declared him fit to stand in, Adkisson’s suicide note left at the crime scene tells you in full detail:

    “Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them….

    “This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book. I’d like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn’t get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.”

    “I thought I’d do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me….Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.”

    Now, lest people think I’m piling on Bernie Goldberg, when police went to Adkisson’s home they found books by Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly & Michael Savage, too. But I’ve seen comments around the blogosphere get pretty darn close to Adkisson’s manifesto above.

    Obama’s “hope” rhetoric inspiring violence? Please. Maybe at your local skin-head concert or cross lighting.

    It’s the hate-porn disguised as talk radio broadcast to millions that should be the cause for most alarm. Like I said…it’s a fiendish little stew of viral marketing.

    –Cobra

  • Jordan Richardson

    Really? Good luck with that.

    Irrelevant. We’re talking about an idea, not its practicality. The practice of socialism is certainly much more complicated than the idea behind it.

    You’re acting like I’m sure democratic socialism is the best idea for today’s modern Western world when I’m certain it is not practical. This entire conversation is resulting from the notion that I asked Obnoxious American a question that I intend to lead elsewhere. It isn’t based on the idea that I want everyone to become socialist or that I think socialism can practically work.

    What about incentives for those who aren’t workers?

    What about them?

    Come to that, what is a “worker?”

    In what context? In my intended context, it is somebody who is employed under a so-called contract of service. Pretty simple.

    And, are there incentives to become rich?

    I would imagine that wealth would be the incentive to “become rich.”

    I know you said you don’t give a damn (or three shits — whatever that means) for riches, but a lot of people do.

    And?

  • Jordan Richardson

    wait, they have hookers in canada?!

    AND cocaine. :)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cobra, didn’t you post almost exactly that same spew of hate-filled drivel last time this topic came up? [personal attack deleted]
    Dave

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Jordan, snorting coke off the backs of hookers? They sure do it different in Canada, most places it is snorted off the front!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Joel –

    I remember very well when I bought into the fear-mongering – I read the survivalist mags, bought a gun, prepared for the worst…

    …and found how useless it all was.

    That was in the days of the Cold War – “The Russians Are Coming!” We knew WWIII was going to happen. We knew our country was going to get nuked. But it didn’t. Sanity prevailed…and I learned.

    A few years ago, a neo-con friend of mine stated very seriously that the War on Terror is worse than WWII. It’s not just that he doesn’t know much about history, but he was buying into the fear-mongering drivel spouted by so many neo-con pundits.

    But you know what? A wise poet once said, “This too will pass.” A wise Savior once said, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” And a wise president once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    You don’t need the guns to protect yourself against the government. You don’t need to organize a violent rebellion. Gandhi didn’t need one. Neither did King or Mandela. Neither did Jose Rizal.

    Neither did Jesus.

    Of course, all of the above except for Mandela were martyred…but it is better to give only one life than to take thousands.

    So please – take a chill pill and realize that, compared to all the grand sweep of history, we are right now living in the most peaceful time in all of human history.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Glenn,

    You really should read the longer version of this piece (he provides the link up the thread). It is more constructive than what one would be led to believe judging by what’s published on BC. I don’t understand why he did not publish the longer version.

    Roger

  • Baronius

    Jordan – Presque Isle is a town in Maine. I was being facetious about how the name of GW Bush’s ancestor was being misspelled, and ultimately how irrelevant he is to an understanding of GW Bush.

    A person may inherit wealth, and may “inherit” name recognition from his family, but he doesn’t necessarily share his elders’ ideology. Al Gore Sr. worked for an oil company and opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Does that tell us anything about Al Gore Jr.? Of course not. I’m sure that Caroline Kennedy had a better shot at the Senate than Caroline Brown, and a much better chance than Caroline Goebbels. All three have relatives who weren’t fans of the British-American alliance. It isn’t fair to punish any of them for it.

    Ancestry doesn’t shed any light on political convictions. Or are Patti and Ron Reagan conservatives? And for that matter, have Conrad Hilton’s descendents proven to be hard-working pillars of the community?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    #40
    When was the last time it came up? This plea and sentencing happened on Monday February 9, 2009.
    The post is an almost perfect companion piece to the blog thread’s original article.

    Jim Adkisson is the bitter fruit born from the seeds of hate planted by the rabid right.

    –Cobra

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’ve seen comments around the blogosphere get pretty darn close to Adkisson’s manifesto above.

    So have I, and most often they have the name “Bush” at the top of the list of people they want to see killed.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Are you really so blind that you believe that more on the left are like Adkisson than are on the right?

    I hear inflammatory rhetoric from both sides, of course, but how often did we see lefties claim that McCain/Palin were friends of terrorists?

    How often did we see accusations that McCain was Muslim/disrespected the flag/didn’t wear a flag pin/didn’t hold his hand over his heart during the national anthem?

    How many gun-carrying lefty extremists were stopped on the way to the Republican convention?

    How many straight people have been beaten or killed by gays because the victims weren’t gay?

    How many times did Bush actually visit with Democrats in the Capitol to seek their votes?

    How many Democrats did Bush appoint to his cabinet?

    How many times have liberal pundits called conservatives ‘godless’ or ‘traitors’?

    IN OTHER WORDS, you see a FEW offensive actions or words that liberals do, but it’s as if you never see the far greater degree of the same offensive actions or words committed by the conservative side.

    Once more, let the facts determine your belief, rather than letting your belief determine the facts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “let the facts determine your belief, rather than letting your belief determine the facts.”

    That’s where you’re wrong, Glenn, sorry to say. Facts never determine or make change in re-determination of a person’s beliefs. Human ability to hang on to their beliefs in the face of incontrovertible facts is beyond understanding.

    Only another belief can effectively replace the one a person is holding. That’s why appeal to facts always fails. It’s a doomed strategy, and I have never subscribed to it. And neither should you.

    You’ve got to fight these people with ideas, not with facts. Or better yet, try to uncover the metaphysical basis of their beliefs and show it to be ill-conceived and in need of rethinking. There is no other way.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    You’re completely right. That’s a problem I’ve had all my life, and it’s a mindset that is sometimes seen in those with Aspberger’s syndrome – the determination to put facts before all else. I don’t have that particular condition, but I think you’ll agree that even among ‘normal’ people there are those who are more objective than others when it comes to finding and sticking by the facts.

    That doesn’t make me better or right – it’s just a different mindset, and so many times I’ve pointed out the obvious facts to others only to find that ‘facts’ made no difference whatsoever to them if those facts did not mesh with their preconceived notions.

    But thank you for the advice, and I will try to learn from the constructive criticism – for I am always grateful for such. Perhaps I can more effectively incorporate ideas and invoke emotions in my posts. If I’m successful, I will have you to thank for it. If not, then I’ll continue leaving forehead-sized dents in that brick wall…and there’s this certain brick that has “Dave” chiseled in it in Arial font….

    whack! Whack! WHACK!!

    Owwww….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Just think, Glenn, and please – I am not preaching here. How successful have you been really, here or elsewhere, converting people as it were?

    I just think it’s awful waste of time and energy to argue on that level. Reason and logic have their right places, but when faced with more or less hidden or unexamined assumptions – in many cases psychological in makeup – they’re useless.
    You’ve got to undermine their entire belief system, show it to be either unsupportable or as one not worth having, in order to make any inroads into their “rational” thinking. I say it again and again – you have to win hearts before you can win minds.

    But you know that already. Good luck.

  • pablo

    48 Roger

    Excellent post my good man. I wholeheartedly agree. The other thing that occasionally changes someones mind, particularly when it is politics, is economics, as in brother can you spare a dime.

    Speaking of which (dimes and the lack thereof), I find it amazing that the conditioning by the MSM concerning the depression that we are currently in very effective, concerning the word recession.

    You will see the word recession used here by some of the regular writers on this site. It is a sign to me of how effective the social programming is that we are all subject to. The difference, however is that some of US are aware of it, while many of the rest, will just say your paranoid and go on watching a Brit Hume for instance.

    Folks, this is a depression, wake up and smell your fiat currency dwindling. Swindling and dwindling I tell ya.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, how many times were Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Ashcroft called evil? How many times were they called Hitler, Satan, Darth Vader, Sauron, traitors, criminals, murderers, un-American? You’re right that since the 1970’s more right-wing nuts have guns than left-wing nuts. But don’t claim the high ground.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo,

    You and I know that necessity is the mother of invention. Some of our notorious die-hards would quickly change their tune if something awful had happened to them. What we all need is a good, honest dose of suffering. That opens minds quicker than anything else.

    There’s always hope, and the present situation may well have a desirable effect. It’s a wakeup call, I daresay one which we badly needed. And so I’m always cautiously optimistic and keep my fingers crossed.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s all relative, Pablo.

    There’s a form of precipitation which here in Fresno is called a storm, which in England would be thought of as a light rain shower. It’s not a storm, of course: but we don’t get much rain here in the San Joaquin Valley and we just want to make our lives a bit more exciting!

    In the same way, what one person calls a recession another person will call a depression, and yet a third person will call an economic slowdown. All depends how you want to portray it. And also what measure(s) you’re using.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “All depends how you want to portray it.”

    But here we getting into motivation.

  • pablo

    Baronius RE your question. The thing is I can’t find it. I did see a question by Obnoxious about Prescott Bush that I answered in the other thread. Occasionally I will type a post in the wrong thread by mistake.

    You did say however in post 25
    “What does it matter what Presqueisle Bush did in the 1940’s, or the 1960’s for that matter? Who cares if Osama bin Laden is part of the wealthy bin Laden family? There are a half dozen issues on which my dad and I don’t see eye to eye, and my brother and I don’t agree on anything. I’ve never understood the fixation that conspiracy theorists have on the bloodline of the Rockefellers or anyone else. Heck, I barely agree with myself from 20 years ago. The idea that generations share in a conspiracy flies in the face of human nature.”

    I did not think that was a question towards me or a question at all actually. The question seems rhetorical. If it were a question however that was addressed by Jordan Richardson in post 66, quite satisfactorily. Those that think the ruling elite don’t pass down there power through succeeding generations are just plain naive, and wearing rose colored glasses.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But here we getting into motivation.

    Indeed. Fascinating, isn’t it?

    I mean if there were generally accepted definitions of the three terms (as there might be if such things as politics didn’t exist) we might have a clearer idea of where we stand and which direction we should set off in.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, Doc. The problem also is that none of these terms are static. Simply because times change, the old terms may no longer have the exact same validity, and to be applying them to brand-new circumstances is likely to result in a kind of mis-description. So the politics isn’t the only problem; or if it is a problem, I’d say it’s mainly to those who are deeply entrenched in the past. Which excludes both of us, of course, or at least I should hope so.

  • pablo

    Baronius 52

    “Glenn, how many times were Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Ashcroft called evil? How many times were they called Hitler, Satan, Darth Vader, Sauron, traitors, criminals, murderers, un-American?”

    Uhhh they are evil Baronius, that is fairly obvious to all of us that are sentient intelligent human beings. Bush for reasons too numerous to discuss. Cheney for being Cheney. Rumsfeld for spreading weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and giving them to Sadam. Also for his active participation in torture. Rice for the same thing. Also Rice for publicly saying on national television that we had no idea that terrorists would ever use airplanes as weapons. LIE

    Ashcroft for his draconian tenure as the defender of our constitution as attorney general.

    Get with the program Baronius, these guys are pure evil.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    It all depends on your definition of “evil.”

    My operative definition is: “arbitrary use of power.”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’d say it’s mainly to those who are deeply entrenched in the past. Which excludes both of us, of course, or at least I should hope so.

    I hope so too, Roger. But you’ll have to excuse me – I swear I just saw a carriage go past the window without a horse attached!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    There you go again, putting a cart before the horse. Shame on you.

  • Baronius

    Pablo, as I stated above, power does get passed down through the generations, although it’s rare that money, fame, or personal qualities extend past 2-3 generations. What I contend is that ideology doesn’t get passed down.

    This goes to the mechanisms by which power (a nebulous concept) is passed down. I think the Gore way is most common: name recognition, money, prestigous schooling. You imply something more Byzantine, as if alliances and personal debts continue across time.

    Let’s take the closest example America has to a dynasty, the Kennedys. They went from racial purity to the civil rights movement in one generation. One brother kind of invaded Cuba, another wants to end the embargo. The Shrivers are pro-life, while the rest of the clan is pro-choice. There’s no ideological consistency, even within the most famous liberal family in America.

    I’m not being facetious when I say that people don’t even necessarily agree with themselves. Look at how any politician develops, compromises, or sells out his beliefs over time.

    With all this in mind, I dispute your idea that ideology or policy are passed down through generations of any political family. Without that cornerstone, your Rothchild and Rockefeller stories fall apart.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But Baronius. Perhaps you’re addressing only exceptions.

  • Baronius

    Roger, if there are exceptions – any exceptions – then Pablo can’t simply assert last names as proof of, for example, a bin Laden / Bush conspiracy. The burden falls back on him to prove individual motives.

    But it’s not fair to assume that I chose the exceptions to the rule. There aren’t that many families that have a public track record across generations, which makes it difficult to test Pablo’s theory. There’s the Washington/Custis/Lee family, which represents the founding of the US and the attempted secession from it. The Adamses, I don’t know well enough. The two Roosevelts were very different. The Clintons are a couple, not a dynasty. I’ve already mentioned the differences between Gores and Reagans.

    All in all, a mixed bag.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I agree. It must come down to cases.

  • Baronius

    But then it comes down to nothing. If we can’t assume a positive or negative correlation across generations, then looking at families doesn’t give us any information. I’m not going to think less of GWB because of the actions of Prescott. For all I know, Al Gore Jr. supports the policies of Prescott more closely than GWB does.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, there is an underlying tendency, though (all things being equal of course), to preserve wealth – an imperative, if you like – which means subscribing (more or less) to self-same policies which were deemed as being most instrumental in acquiring it.

    I think that’s where exceptions (“idiosyncrasies” may be a better word) come into play. John Paul Getty III is a perfect example – old money, most liberal in outlook.

    There’s something to be said for liberal guilt – a recompense, shall we say, for past sins (to include past generations)?

    That’s also how I view, by the way, the practice of altruism or philanthropy in general. In a way, I think it’s contemptible.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    You mean ‘Darth Dick’? And his apprentice Darth Dubya? Dumb-Dumb-Dumb-dumb-DUmb-Dumb-dumb-DUmb-Dumb…DUMB-DUMB-DUMB-*DUMB*-DUmb-Dumb-dumb-DUmb-Dumb….

    But you should notice a few things – by and large we liberals reserved our judgments for individuals, whereas liberals as a whole were demonized beginning with Reagan.

    So yes, there IS a difference and we DO claim the high ground…

    …and while I’m at it, how many times did liberal-owned businesses refuse to serve someone who owned a car with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker?

    How many times did a dozen or more cars get their tires slashed…but ONLY the ones with a McCain/Palin bumper sticker?

    How many times did major media report AS FACT that a big white guy carved an M into a girl’s face to let her know whom she should support?

    And did the oh-so-left-wing major media spend even half the time on McCain’s ties with reverends Parsley and Hagee, never mind that their words were every bit as inflammatory as anything Wright ever said?

    Yes, we DO claim the high ground.

  • Baronius

    Liberals are nicer than conservatives

    Conservatives say mean things

    Liberals never say mean things

    Conservatives are $%^&@##s who deserve the ^&*%$ we liberals throw at them

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    That’s not much different from my wife when I give a simple observation and she blows it WAAAAAY out of proportion just to make me feel bad.

    But hey – I don’t take it personally. Sarcasm is pretty much the normal response that I get from conservatives who can’t otherwise prove me wrong with factual information.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    Does she ever throw at you the challenge, “For your information, let me ask you a question!” That seems to be the thrust of Comment #69.

    Dan(Miller)