'Well Said!' Quote of the Day
— William Thorsell
Though answers are elusive the Investigations continue...
The right wing had a different take on the possibility of an election postponement. Neo-fascist babble mongers like Rush Limbaugh said, “No!” to a postponement of the election. They argued that if a terrorist alert or attack were to occur, the election should go on and only those votes cast should be counted. Bingo! The plan for a second Bush administration became clear as day. And that plan's target is California, with its whopping 54 electoral votes, and possibly Washington State’s 11 electoral votes, at stake.
Here’s the scenario we must be all be prepared for:
If the pre-election internal tracking polls and public opinion polls show the Kerry-Edwards ticket leading in key battleground states, the Bush team will begin to implement their plan to announce an imminent terrorist alert for the West Coast for November 2 sometime during the mid afternoon Pacific Standard Time. At 2:00 PST, the polls in Kentucky and Indiana will be one hour from closing (5:00 PM EST – the polls close in Indiana and Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST). Exit polls in both states will be known to the Bush people by that time and if Kentucky (not likely Indiana) looks too close to call or leaning to Kerry-Edwards, the California plan will be implemented. A Bush problem in Kentucky at 6:00 PM EST would mean that problems could be expected in neighboring states and that plans to declare a state of emergency in California would begin in earnest at 3:00 PM PST.
The U.S. Northern Command, which has military jurisdiction over the United States, will, along with the Department of Homeland Security and Schwarzenegger’s police and homeland security officials in Sacramento, declare an “imminent” terrorist threat – a RED ALERT -- affecting California’s major urban areas.
With an hour to go before polls close on the West Coast and the region enmeshed in a major terrorist alert with cops and National Guardsmen now adding to the mix and possibly closing roads and delaying traffic to the polling places, Bush’s team in Washington and Sacramento would be poised to deliver the death blow to Kerry-Edwards.
That is what all this talk about a terrorist attack on Election Day is about. It is to prime the population and allow Bush surrogates at Fox News, CNN, and MS-NBC to begin their perception management campaign that an attack will occur around the election. But there will be no postponement of the election or cancellation – this is simply another plan to manipulate the public through the use of phony threats and fear tactics. The problem is that it just might work for Bush and his cabal of “the ends justify the means” manipulators.
The NYT and the Threat to Cancel the November Election
Bush Administration Takes Steps to Cancel US Election
Media Suppresses News of Bush's Moves to Cancel US Elections
Washington Post Calls Bush Moves to Postpone US elections "Appropriate"
Washington Weighs Terror's impact on Presidential Vote
A lot of liberals believe that the facts will set you free. It's in our inheritance from the enlightenment. Where, in the enlightenment that everybody is a rational person, all you have to do is just tell them the facts, they'll reason to the right conclusion. It's false.
And the Republicans have learned that it's false. They've set up a frame, they set up a narrative, and they set it up in terms of their values. And they get it as part of normal, everyday language and normal everyday thought.
Once they've done that, the facts are irrelevant unless the Democrats can learn to re-frame the issues from their point of view, and then make the facts fit other frames.
Luntz [Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and opinion researcher] puts out a little workbook every year or so. And last year in his section on the environment, he said something very interesting.
He said that on global warming, the Democrats have the science on their side, but we can win with language. What we need to do is use words environmentalists like, like "healthy," "clean," and "safe."
Now what that does is each word like that evokes a frame. But what they do is they evoke frames that are the opposite of what they know they mean. These are sort of Orwellian frames. These are ways to manipulate the public.
So whenever you hear an Orwellian term like "Clear Skies Act" or "Compassionate Conservative," means they know they're weak on something. And what you have to do is rename it. Rename it to fit the truth.
It is the Dirty Air Act. It is the Forest Destruction Act.
When will the Department of Homeland Security issue its first "Severe" [ie, red level] Threat Advisory?
I will not at this point correspond with any american institution. Some of us have lived through 1939.
What we are watching today, I believe, is a culmination of 10-15 years of mounting barbarism of the American culture the world over, crowned by the achievements of science and technology as a major weapon of mass destruction. We are witnessing man hunt and wanton killing of the type and scale not seen since the raids on American Indian populations, by a superior technological power of inferior culture and values. We see no corrective force to restore the insanity, the self-righteousness and the lack of respect for human life (civilian and military) of another race.
In desperation I cannot but turn my attention to other tragic periods in which major societies, some with claims to fundamental contributions to culture and science, have deviated so far as to be relegated to ostracism and quarantine. At this point I think American society should be considered in this category. I have no illusions of power, as to the scope and prospect of my attitude.
But, the minor role of my act and statement is a simple way of affirming that in the face of a growing enormity which I consider intolerable, I will exercise my own tiny act of disobedience to be able to look straight into the eyes of my grandchildren and my students and say that I did know.
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
Students for an Orwellian Society (SOS) is a nationwide student group. Although SOS has always been a nationwide student group, there is evidence to suggest that it first appeared at Columbia University. The mission of SOS is to promote the vision of a society based upon the principles of Ingsoc, first articulated by George Orwell in his prophetic novel, 1984.
As to be expected, SOS has been quite successful. Since the events of 11 September, we have been able to convince a number of figures in national and local politics to help forward our aims. How could they do otherwise?
A similar clampdown is taking place all over the world. The US Patriot Act, passed by Congress before any representative had read it, allows the state to treat dissenting citizens as if they were members of Al Qaida. For the past three years, the European Union has been seeking to reclassify the protesters who travel to European gatherings as terrorists. This is the contract the powerful have struck with each other: to agree to a single set of neoliberal policies, and to criminalise all those who seek to challenge them.
We are often told that the passage of laws like this is dangerous because one day it might facilitate the seizure of power by an undemocratic government. But that is to miss the point. Their passage IS the seizure of power. Protest is inseparable from democracy: every time it is restricted, the state becomes less democratic. Democracies like ours will come to an end not with the stamping of boots and the hoisting of flags, but through the slow accretion of a thousand dusty codicils.
Tutor, of all the circular firing squad tactics that the left falls into, the way you sometimes heap contempt upon fledgling attempts to change things from the bottom up strikes me as among the most annoying. There is certainly a place for excellence and heirarchy, but mostly that operates at the local level. The challenge that the left faces is that what we are having to embrace a more scalable approach than has ever been accomplished. The reason heirarchy and socially constructed versions of excellence work so well for the right is that they don't give a damn about excluding losers who are of no use to them (or even more, manipulating losers who are useful). If you are talking about a single organization, I'm all for hierarchy and excellence, but we are dealing with the realities of a winner-take-all market whenever we approach a global or even national scale. There are a lot of first rate intellectuals from second rate universities who aren't in that conversation, but they can participate in conversations in blogosphere. Who cares about whether those conversations are noticed by very many people? They matter to those who are having them, especially if, like you and I both, they live in a Red State and might not be having that kind of conversation otherwise. And the thing is that that is precisely what is most revolutionary about blogs. If the sea change that that is were more visible, it wouldn't be nearly as robust. I have always assumed that the main reason people link to each other was because they expected that the favor would be returned. That can get a little out of hand, but it is amazing some of the bloggers I have been able to find precisely because of the utterly nonhierarchical, six-degrees-seperation nature of this environment.
Thanks, John, I more agree than not. All versions of excellence are socially constructed, but so are all versions of mediocrity and mass culture. Both good and bad taste are socially constructed. Both indignation and complacency. Both effrontery and modesty. What isn't socially constructed? Even genes. I do agree about lateral connections, inclusiveness, and not being overly judgemental. I agree that the great pulsating blogsphere has helped many of us, certainly it has helped me, find an audience, make new friends, and hook up for good causes. I also think we need civilized ways to introduce criticism not of right by left or left by right, but of ourselves and our friends. To assume that the masses, or our peers, are capable only of stupidity and so feed it to them is patronizing. That tone that rankles you so, is a goad. A teacher's tool. When the blood rushes to your brain it irrigates it and stimulates fresh thought. Note that this elitist discourse comes from a broken man, a self-educated prostitute, a bondage dom to the rich, who lives in a dumpster. That persona is not coincidental, nor adventitious. How does one make a plea for excellence except from behind a madman's mask, while disguising it as pornography, the most accessible of genres? The successful could care less about excellence, they want profit. They read bromides and best sellers. The left wants body warmth, mutual love, and little ineffective identity cliques. The views presented here are consistant, at least as paradox, but poorly represented in public discourse. Cruel, moralistic, difficult and egalitarian. Neither the right's tough Daddy nor the left's weepy Nanny. Not your politically correct discourse and not your right wing hooha. It really is patterned on an old synthesis, that of the Augustans, both elitist (classicist, in praise of excellence) and the harbinger of the American Revolution. How much do you want me to back off - in your case? How much? Zero, I imagine. We should drive each other to our respective limits, or else sit like cows chewing our cud. Those are my half-finished views. Mr. Minim would be more mild. I appreciate your taking the time to comment and I hope you will set me straight. Excellence is a sharp tool and cuts both ways. I have probably injured myself in this post, and will soon feel faint from loss of blood. Thanks.