Monday, July 27, 2009


In the 1950s there were people in the United States who believed the world was flat, despite the fact that belief had been proven wrong centuries previous. But they were not given time to vent their belief in the national media, because their belief was not only ignorant, it was wrong—factually untrue.

After the first Americans walked on the moon forty years ago, there were many in this country who believed the whole thing was a hoax. They weren't given a voice on news shows in the national media because not only was their belief ignorant, it was factually untrue.

In the 1970s there were those who believed the world was created as stated in the Old Testament and that evolution was a hoax. But they weren't given time in the national news media to air these beliefs because they were not only ignorant, they were factually untrue.

But then something happened in the 1980s and '90s and '00s. First Ronald Reagan got elected with the help of a Republican base of rightwingers that he had helped create, and functionaries like Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes helped perpetuate and grow.

Then under the Gingrich-led Republican Congress during Clinton's administration, catering to the rightwing of the Republican party wasn't just a strategy but a reality. The rightwing had become the Republican Party, at least in Congress, and any leverage could be used to oust centrists and moderates including questioning their religious beliefs. It became a badge of merit among many Republicans to scorn a lot of scientific fact as "relative" (of course they used the opposite claim against liberals in the area of morality). They deliberately misrepresented—leading to much misunderstanding of—the use of the word "Theory" in "The Theory of Evolution" to imply it hadn't yet been proven, though it had. Just as the "Theory of Gravity" was proven.

And of course under the last administration the capitulation to the rightwing nuts was completed, no matter how ignorant and factually untrue, any rightwing nutty idea had to be catered to for fear of attack from the right and being cutoff from access to the White House (as well as being fired by the mostly rightwing owned media).

Which brings us to the present, where despite the factual reality of Obama's birth in Hawaii, those who question this FACT are not only given time and presence in the national news media, but so is every crack pot laughable red herring raised by the rightwing nuts. As in: Obama's health plan is socialist! The same argument Ronald Reagan made in the 1950s as a spokesman for the then marginalized right. He claimed that the creation of Medicare would lead to not just "socialized medicine" but to the government telling you where you would work and live, etc.

None of that came true of course, but the same arguments are being used and this time given not just a fraction of air time, but supposed "equal time" (although what is meant by that now is every time a centrist or moderate makes a factual point a rightwing nut has to be given "equal time" but not a leftwing perspective.).

If all these rightwingers don't believe in the climate changes that are factually occurring (rising seas, thawing tundra, melting glaciers and ice caps, stronger storms, etc.) fine, let them talk among themselves, but don't give them media time to pretend their perspectives have any scientific validity. (The only scientific argument is over what it means and how much humans are contributing to it, and even there the general consensus is pretty consistent.)

If the rightwingers don't dig socialized medicine, or what they call that (any plan that has the government involved in any way), then if they're veterans, like me, they should refuse any use of veterans benefits or veterans hospitals etc. And if they're on Medicare, they should refuse that too. If they're in Congress, they should refuse the plan used by our "representatives" and instead be faced with the same kinds of choices most working citizens of this country are faced with when it comes to health care as now practiced (and let the right wingnuts not be given media time to claim our system is the "best in the world" since factually, judged by most healthcare or healthy citzenry statistic, we come in way behind most and often all other "industrialized" countries and even many "developing" countries).

[Here's a link to news that doesn't get mainstream media coverage, and here's another related to climate changes.]


JIm said...

Global Warming Cr**p

Global Warming- Right on Mike! Cut off debate because it interferes with the socialist government takeover of the energy in this country. The government must know better than markets and many thousands of accomplished and recognized scientists who disagree with the global warming scare of the left. I would list many sources that contradict Obama, Pelosi, Reid Gore climate nonsense, but it would run on for pages and have done it before. You keep reusing the liberal nonsense of stifling speech and debate but never counter the many sources and facts that go against the global warming bulls**t.
Here is a link that lists the latest description of record low temperatures in the US and in the ocean.

JIm said...

Birthers and the racist professor

Obama's "stupidity" remark is a gift. The birther movement and the racist professor raise questions of what Obama is attempting to hide and who he really is. It is all good if it further weakens him. The collapse of his polls suggest that Americans are beginning to see him for the radical socialist that he is. A weakened socialist president is less likely to get his socialist agenda through which is good for the country and for freedom. A discription of a Certificate of Live Birth and a long form birth Certificate and the distinction between the two is available below from the State of Hawaii.

"What is the difference between a certification of live birth and a birth certificate in the state of Hawaii?
In: Law and Legal Issues

A "Certification of Live Birth" is a short form birth certificate. The information included in the document may differ from state to state. A "Certification of Live Birth" from Hawaii will include the name and sex of the person, date of birth, hour of birth, island of birth, county of birth, mother's maiden name, mother's race, father's name, father's race, date accepted by registrar, a certificate number and seal. The seal may be different depending on the year it was printed.
A Birth Certificate, or "Certificate of Live Birth," is the long form birth certificate and contains more detailed information, including signatures of doctor(s), witnesses, vital statistics (length and weight), etc.
The Hawai'i State Department does not make clear whether the Certification is equal proof of birth of birth but according to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands:
"In order to process your application (to verify that you are a genuine native Hawaiian), DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL."
So, a long form Certificate (which requires less verification) is irrefutable and is never rejected when applying for jobs, passports, Hawaiian land, etc. and the Certification would require more extensive verification."

JIm said...

Socialized Health Care-Margaret Thatcher said it best about socialism. “Socialism always fails because eventually they always run out of other peoples’ money”.

Government run health care has a repeated history of failure through cost overruns, rationing and disincentives for more medical workers to enter the workforce. Romney care, the State of Hawaii, Canadian and UK are just some of the failed systems. The House Pelosi/Obama plan is based on these failed attempts.

It would be better to keep the plan that works fine for 80% of the population and tweak it by letting private insurance compete nationally across state lines, provide for portability and a food stamp type program for the truly poor, which amount to less than 27 million people according to the US Census. This is almost one half of the figure that Obama throws around. See census figures below as state on Newsmax today.

" Obama's '47 Million Uninsured' Claim Is False
President Barack Obama claimed during his Wednesday night press conference that there are 47 million Americans without health insurance.
A simple check with the U.S. Census Bureau would have told him otherwise.
Obama said: "This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance."
That assertion conflicts with data in the Census Bureau report "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007." The report was issued in August 2008 and contains the most up-to-date official data on the number of uninsured in the U.S.
The report discloses that there were 45.65 million people in the U.S. who did not have health insurance in 2007.
However, it also reveals that there were 9.73 million foreigners — foreign-born non-citizens who were in the country in 2007 — included in that number. So the number of uninsured Americans was actually 35.92 million.
And of those, "there were also 9.1 million people making more than $75,000 per year who did not choose to purchase health insurance," CNSNews stated in a report based on the Census Bureau data.
That brings the number of Americans who lack health insurance presumably for financial reasons down less than 27 million.
The Census Bureau report also shows that the number of people without insurance actually went down in 2007 compared to the previous year — from 47 million to 45.65 million — while the number with insurance rose from 249.8 million to 253.4 million.
The next Census Bureau report disclosing health insurance data, with 2008 numbers, is scheduled to be released in August, and could figure in the healthcare reform debate."

Unknown said...

Jim, can't you admit at the very least, that some day we will run out of oil? So, for only that reason alone we should start looking into alternatives shouldn't we?

JIm said...

That is certainly possible and looking at alternatives is a very reasonable approach. I object to the heavy hand of government forcing the US to change by walling of certain types of energy from development while favoring others. Ethanol is a prime example of government interference gone wild. For political reasons (both Republican and Democrat) enormous amounts of tax payer funds have gone to fund a fuel that pollutes, is expensive to produce, is inefficient compared to oil based gasoline and has led to the disruption of food markets resulting in starvation in third world countries.
We have enormous quantities of so called fossil fuel in the form of natural gas, coal and oil both on and off shore. Drilling techniques have become more environmentally friendly. Nuclear is one of the cleanest and has become very safe. I am a bow hunter and spend time in the wild. I appreciate a clean environment. We obviously need some government involvement to continue to clean things up. But we should be careful how we do it. In a time when the economy is in tough shape, we do not need another job killer that will raise the cost of doing business in this country and do little to clean the environment.

tpw said...

Dear M:

Great post. The idiocy of the right is fascinating to behold, if ultimately depressing. You're right to focus on the media---they bear so much responsibility for feeding the American people all this right-wing garbage. Giving credibility to nonsense. True conservatives realize that fact-denying, science-debunking religious fanaticism, which seems to be the driving force among the republican base, benefits neither them nor the country. It's all part of the evil system of corporate control. Keep Americans stupid, poor, badly informed, with failing schools and terrible healthcare, and they are much easier to control and manipulate than an educated, informed, healthy middle class.


Harryn Studios said...

right on t.p. + m.l.,
just a step in another direction - at what point did the news media get to be soothsayers and prognostication ...
flipped on cnn and today show with my coffee and the headlines were "is the recession over", "are we on the road to recovery", "was m.jackson's death a homocide" - to which lawyers and authorities on the various subjects either couldn't implicate themselves or commit to a decisive comment beyond opinion and speculation ...
also, interestingly enough - when bbc america airs, they always frame their programming by saying "the news america wants to hear" ...
in europe, its just news the way we used to get in the old days - well researched headlines with corroborated facts ...
it occurs to me with recent dialogues about the on-going civil rights offenses in america that there's a part of the civilized world that does treat us as though we can't handle the truth - as though we are ignorant, intolerant, and immature ...
the idea that we can't get our facts straight and our news right in a free society says something ...
and never mind about theories of evolution or gravity - ask the majority or americans where wyoming is or to name the three branches of government ...
an interesting sideline: heard someone say that if they were having a heart attack they'd want treatment in american hospitals but if they wanted to avoid one they'd live under france's preventive care program ...

JIm said...

These are interesting Times for Birthers and Obama. I wonder why he doesn't just release his long form birth certificate. Officials of the state of Hawaii say they have it on file and can release if Obama authorizes it. We would never have gotten to this point if the mainstream press had properly vetted him on his associations, school records, passport thesis etc. The mainstream media seemed more interested in defeating any Republican. The NYT went after McCain on a made up accusation of marital infidelity but they and others let Edwards skate when there were early rumors. Imagine if the Edwards rumors had been revealed before the Iowa primary. We would probably have a President Hillary. I don't know which would be worse.

Soldier's case against Obama to be class-action?
Army major challenged orders based on questions about president's eligibility

Posted: July 27, 2009
10:07 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A case brought by a military officer whose order to deploy to Afghanistan was revoked now has been refiled in a federal court in Florida, and it raises the specter of a class action claim among members of the military that their orders aren't valid because of Barack Obama's ineligibility to be president.

Harryn Studios said...

thirty + years ago a college prof told me that for every sane and reasonable person you come across, there'll be eight or nine idiots to deal with ...
just doesn't seem to be a shortage of misalligned out there today ...
sottomayer just got confirmed - the "nay" cowards didn't even show up - so if they don't show up for their nay votes - where the hell are they ...

JIm said...

Here is a little education for the “Global Warming Loonies”, from a professor from Down Under.

"Global warming is the new religion of First World urban elites"
Geologist Ian Plimer takes a contrary view, arguing that man-made climate change is a con trick perpetuated by environmentalists

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver SunJuly 28, 2009

Plimer is a geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University, and he may well be Australia's best-known and most notorious academic.
Plimer, you see, is an unremitting critic of "anthropogenic global warming" -- man-made climate change to you and me -- and the current environmental orthodoxy that if we change our polluting ways, global warming can be reversed.
Plimer presents the proposition that anthropogenic global warming is little more than a con trick on the public perpetrated by fundamentalist environmentalists and callously adopted by politicians and government officials who love nothing more than an issue that causes public anxiety.
While environmentalists for the most part draw their conclusions based on climate information gathered in the last few hundred years, geologists, Plimer says, have a time frame stretching back many thousands of millions of years.
The dynamic and changing character of the Earth's climate has always been known by geologists. These changes are cyclical and random, he says. They are not caused or significantly affected by human behaviour.
Polar ice, for example, has been present on the Earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time, Plimer writes. Plus, animal extinctions are an entirely normal part of the

AlamedaTom said...

Yo Lal! There is a new book out that is all over the point you are making in your post: "Idiot America" by Charles Pierce. Check it out.

~ Willy

Lally said...

Thanks man, I'll check it out.

JIm said...

A Global Warming Report from my Cabin at 10500 ft. near St. Mary's Glacier

As I left the cabin for Denver this morning the temperature was 38degrees. That would not be unusual in mid to late September but is not the norm for July. My neighbor expects an early and hard winter because of some of the wildlife behavior he has noticed. I understand it was snowing about five miles away, as the crow flies, at the Continetal Divide. Colorado seems to be having a summerless year.