Crashing the Tea Party

Crashing the Tea Party, Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics by Paul Street and Anthony DiMaggio. After reading this slender volume published in 2011, there is no doubt in my mind that the TEA Party is an Astroturf organization, with FOX News, the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. The case is overwhelming.

“The real Tea Party phenomenon discovered here is relatively well off  and Middle American (not particularly disadvantaged), very predominantly white, significantly racist, militaristic, narcissistically selfish, vicious in its hostility to the poor, deeply undemocratic, profoundly ignorant and deluded, heavily paranoid, wooden-headed, and overly reliant on propagandistic right-wing news and commentary for basic political information”

Very harsh, but true in my experience.

“A Protection Racket”: The Corrupt Bargain Between Politicians And The NFL

Originally posted on mykeystrokes.com:

For a number of years, I have been uneasy about the symbiotic and corrupt relationship between lawmakers and professional sports leagues, especially football. Many years ago, I got a call from a reporter with Sports Illustrated. I returned the call, mostly out of curiosity about why a sports reporter was calling a politics/Congress person. It turned out there was a legitimate reason. The SI reporter had noticed that Senator John Warner of Virginia served on the board of directors of the Washington Redskins; he wondered whether that was allowed under the ethics rules of the Senate—and if so, why?

Of course, as a general matter, members of Congress could not serve on corporate boards. But somehow, the sports team was viewed differently. It should not have been. The Redskins, then owned by Jack Kent Cooke, was a very large for-profit company, with clear and important interests in front of…

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Tomahawk cruise missiles

The US Navy has approximately 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles in inventory and estimates that will be sufficient until a replacement is ready. Since the Tomahawk will be used extensively against ISIS and other targets, I doubt that the replacement will be ready before current stocks are depleted. Each Tomahawk is estimated to cost US taxpayers $1.4 million dollars. I predict that the replacement missile will be even more expensive. As the news reports on missile numbers used to attack ISIS, keep a running total in your mind of the cost. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend that money caring for people here in the US rather killing both terrorists and the innocent in the Middle East?

Tono-Bungay

Tono-Bungay by H. G. Wells was published in 1908 and is social criticism of Great Britain of the day. Considered by some to be his best work, Wells is better known for his books of science fiction, The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, etc. which he himself considered to be minor works. Tono-Bungay was a fictional patent medicine that grew into a giant Ponzi scheme before Charles Ponzi popularized the term. Wells describes how it grew and then went smash. He describes the effects on the principals, but omits the effects on the investors. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and I recommend it highly.

Please see Ponzi | No One Would Listen

War on women, women on war

Here’s how to respond to the war on women, deny the men SEX. If women will unite in denying sex to their husbands or significant others when the husbands or significant others support measures that deny women their rights, then women will begin to win the war on women. In Lysistrata by Aristophanes, the women of Athens and Sparta united to deny sex to their husbands until they agreed to halt the war between their two cities. The same tactic could be used today by the wives and significant others of politicians and pundits advocating increased war in the Middle East.