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May 18, 2011


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Ted Rall had a similar post:


It's all about the message and the rhetoric -- to hell with debate, facts, the middle, and the opposition.

The former Speaker knows how to get attention with language deployed like cherry bombs in the otherwise ponderous discourse that describes reality to Americans. Unfortunately, he got on the wrong side of his own revolution, too clever by half to realize that Paul Ryan is the new heartthrob for movement conservatives. Newt Gingrich, the idea man of the GOP, almost immediately started walking back his comments on Ryan's "radical" plan. Today, he's telling people that Democrats are to blame if they truthfully cite his attack since he's already repudiated it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bXmrOt9LVm8

The Republican Party is a church where the doctrinaire occasionally look for heretics if only to find fellowship in exorcism. And who knew this better than Gingrich when in the early '90s he was advising Republicans to behave in precisely this way? He helpfully suggested that they spend time using words like "liberal" and "Democrat" the same way other people use the words "pedophile" and "serial murderer". This Gingrich war on language and meanning capszied the Vital Center in which politics played within the 40 yard lines. It opened the field for the hard right to advance its increasingly nutty agenda, and it made the left defensive and reactive. It was as bold a political move as there had been since Nixon left office. Gingrich unleashed Politics as Total War on the America public and the everything that followed was just an elaboration on that theme - liberals, typically, hating America.

Revolutions eat their young but at 67, the reptilian Gingrich is probably not that tasty. His previous overreach had been the Clinton impeachment that had the unintended consequence of highlighting his own situational ethics. Will Republicans ever learn that they're playing with fire when they personalize politics in this way? Let's ask John Ensign. Or, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Ken Mehlman, and Mark Sanford.

Today, the battle rages in cyberspace between righteous victims, i.e., white, middle-class males, and the Enemy, usually liberals who hate America (a nation founded by white people). These holy warriors, this Army of Gingrich, see everything, from a minor policy detail to an unflattering photograph, as contestable quarry for the soul of America. They are enjoined by the fire of certitude to know they are not only right, they have been selected by virtue of their heritage (aka, white skin) to prevail.

We have about 10 more years of this nonsense before demographics finally makes the Republican Party irrelevant. In the meantime, enjoy their vitriol. They're implacable, they're absolutely right, and when they're wrong, you can't hear the admission because their noise is so loud and persistent.

Do I have my rosy-colored glasses on again, or are the Republican king/queen-makers having a difficult time finding a CHOSEN ONE? Could it be that Obama, warts and all, is looking very tough to beat and discouraging the likes of Mitch Daniels from declaring? Perhaps we should continue this discussion after The Repture, as our audience composition may have changed!

Sorry to hear you are getting those comments on a blog for the Seattle Times. I guess it just goes to show there are idiots even in Ecotopia. (Though not nearly as many as I experienced in my 5 years in Scottsdale, AZ....)

Today, I was labelled as "evil pond scum" by a self-proclaimed "nuclear safety expert" on my friend's energy blog. I felt honored though, because he deemed me worthy of inclusion in his pantheon of demons alongside Yukinobu Okamura, the head of Japan's Active Fault and Earthquake Research Center, who several years ago warned TEPCO of the dangers of a tsunami at Fukushima.

If life gives you "pond scum", make biodiesel.


Seems vaguely relevant. Also ties into the Stalin/Hitler thread awhile back. Gotta love a music video with a (mechanical!) typewriter in it.

This one is also very nice, and perhaps relevant to the Internet Age -- or at least the Wi-Fi portion of it.

Sorry I don't have more to offer at this time. I have almost no Internet access these days.

Affectionately yours,

E. Pulsifer

"This one is..."

Whoops. Forgot the link:


I also like this one:


And, strangely enough, this one too:


Morecleanair, on cars, Chandler, and community we may clash but on politics it seems we find middle ground. The Republicans will not, it seems, find a candidate capable of competing with Obama. Their bark is worse than their bite; but it's annoying as hell...


You are not under the same pressure in Seattle. Relax.

phxSunsFan>> Chandler is the most cosmopolitan part of PHX. I've lived in SF Bay Area, OC and Seattle. I know it's hard to believe. West Chandler is diverse and tolerant.

Anyone good with Access spreadsheets? ;-) LeftCoastDood, I'd like to take you around some Tempe and Central Phoenix neighborhoods and test your theory.

What do you think would happen if I was to take my boyfriend and kiss/hold hands in Chandler as opposed to Melrose, Roosevelt, Willo, Evans-Churchill, etc? What different reactions would ensue?

I can assure you that it's not so cosmo in Chandler...

PSF: on cars, Chandler and community, we don't "clash" . . that's for Palestinians and Israelis. We disagree, which is what reasonable folks can do . . and still be agreeable. I do remain convinced that some of the lofty aims on this blog are leaning toward the utopian rather than the practical, but I'm more of a centrist which means that nobody invites me to their parties!

The white right tactics are employed at all levels. Any disagreement with far right ideology and the name calling begins. Anyone employed in local government in Maricopa County is required to exude the far right political ideology, remain mute or find a new job before being fired. The one sided ethos also exists in the private sector to a notable extent.

phxSunsFan >> Agreed. Walking together down Chandler Blvd. is one thing. PDA on the sidewalk while an while an uptight Bible literalist drives by could be trouble.

The neighborhood I'm currently in you'll see saris, conical hats and a lady with a huge lizard riding on her shoulders. It ain't Berkeley but its not Mesa either.

Seattle is No. 8 for recent college grad magnet. PHX nowhere:


LeftCoastDood, I'm not surprised by the diversity in Chandler, given Intel. I wonder, what's your walk score?


Mine is 97. In my old neighborhood in Midtown Phoenix, it was 71.

My walks score is 88...If you live near Orpheum Lofts/Alta Lofts area the walk score is 95.

I wonder why Valley Metro, and City of Phoenix (for DASH) doesn't share their data with walkscore.com? Not only does it hold down Central City, Tempe, etc scores but it would be beneficial to share this information with those considering areas when moving.

An enlightened realtor could incorporate "Walk Score" numbers into their sell sheets, assuming that we can 'splain what it means. A relative with a well-located rental place in Scottsdale will be very interested in all this. Not surprisingly, it is not part of the jargon. Yet!

LOL My walk score in Chandler is 35. Perhaps that is why we have 4 bikes for 5 people in the house. (I gotta get one for my awesome 72 year old Mom in Law.) I bike to Fresh & Easy, Teakwoods and Starbucks.

As a former rural WA boy I gotta have Starbucks in spite of Howard S, the Sonics killer. I've since adopted the Suns.

Within 150 yards of my house is a Starbucks, a great Japanese restaurant, a gourment take-out, a Mexican restaurant and sports bar, a Two Hippies pizza joint and the ghost of Mary Coyle. But my walkability score is only 68. The Melrose light rail stop is less than a half mile away. Within a mile is Chris-Town, an AJ's, Postino's, Windsor & Churn, St Francis', Hula's, Stinkweed's, all easily bikable.

Phoenix is not a city I'm particularly proud of but there are neighborhoods where it's surprisingly easy to walk to real-world retail. Still, I have neighbors who never walk or bike to anything. They also tend to be overweight. The car culture is deadly on several levels, not just to community but to one's health and safety.

I score a 94 in my Portland 'hood.

Cool link.

It's quite simple: conservatives resort to personal attacks so frequently because core parts of their current dogma do not withstand scrutiny on the merits. It all began with Reagan claiming that we could simultaneously cut taxes and increase military spending while keeping a balanced budget. Try to engage a conservative on the track record and economic rationality of supply-side economics. It's impossible. Similarly, since there wasn't a great response to questions about whether invading Iraq was a prudent response to 9/11, the response became "why do you hate the troops?"

Ad hominem attacks started as a technique for avoiding discussion of the merits. Now it has evolved into a meeans of expressing tribal solidarity. The Fox News crowd isn't interested in engaging on the substance. They're interested in aggressively affirming they belong to their tribe. In a strange way, those who do try to engage on the merits are more of a threat than those that simply belong to a liberal tribe. It's harder to dismiss someone as an effete liberal if he is armed with history, facts, figures, and knowledge of what conservatives themselves used to believe. You can have hours of happy fun explaining to anti-Obamacare conservatives that the individual mandate actually was proposed by the Heritage Foundation in the 1990s.

There are a lot of mean spirited people on this blog. My address showed a walking score of 31. When you factor in my inability to walk due to my back surgery, the score is around a 1. I really didn't need to know this. Walking is over-rated. Where can I go to find my sleep score???

AZReb:learned lessons from my Mom about how to make a house safer and more comfortable to those with mobility issues. Then my late wife followed suit (more's the pity) so we've become attuned to what could be called the "safety score" for our homes. Now, wide doorways, grab bars and the like become more important. Falls are a huge hazard for seniors and I've BECOME ONE!

That's why they allow cop to keep their service revolvers when they retire.

cal, you were packing at the club meetings?? All this time I thought you were just happy to see us.

morecleanair, now you're talking. My HOME SAFETY score is pretty high. I don't worry about falls, it's the landings that worry me.

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