Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Use your browser to search for “The Stupid Party” and you will get over 90,000 results. The vast majority of the hits link the phrase “The Stupid Party” to the Republican Party in America.
Many Americans don’t understand why this is the case. A traditional political party in America considered “stupid?"
To bring clarification, we must understand the concept of a “Political-Religious Movement.” These are organizations that begin either as religious or political entities, but evolve into something more. A political party acquires a religious fervor, or a religion acquires territory and authority over the people within that territory.
Either way, the resulting structure takes on increased power over what it would have were it simply a political or religious organization. Examples that come to mind are the Irish Republican Army and the Palestine Liberation Organization. They are identified by two central tenets of a Political-Religious Movement: They possess a unifying dedication to a particular ideal, and they manifest a consuming hatred toward a particular identity group. The Irish Republican Army had the ideal of an independent Ireland and a hatred for British people. The Palestine Liberation Organization has an ideal of restoring the Palestinian homeland and a hatred for Jewish people.
Political-Religious Movements appear with startling frequency in cultures around the world. They range from the trivial to the genocidal. (Yes, genocidal!)
At the trivial end of the spectrum is the “Soup Nazi.” Jerry Seinfeld created the character, and he brings entertainment value to the early stages of Political-Religious Movements. Most of us know a person who has a position within a group that uses his or her position to acquire extraordinary power. It might be the person in charge of a Girl Scout Cookie program or someone at a local PTA. These people enhance power by bringing a religious quality to their efforts. The program takes on a set of heightened ideals and the members of the opposing team or outside group become demonized. The central tenets of a Political-Religious Movement are there.
At the other end of the spectrum is a world leader who acquires influence over millions of people. National Socialism in Germany during the 1930s began as a political party but evolved into a Political-Religious Movement with devastating consequences. The ideal of a perfect human race was matched with a hatred for the Jewish people, and millions of Jews in Europe were put to death.
Political-Religious Movements dominate world cultures. We see them in the governments of Syria and North Korea. We see them in the drug cartels of Mexico. They are the driving force for street gangs in our major cities. They appear in cults of one form or another.
But with Political-Religious Movements so common, why aren’t they recognized and studied? Why do we not see the terminology in our popular lexicon?
One reason is that increased understanding removes the mystique from the underlying organizations.
ISIS is one organization that benefits from this mystique. Imagine that we come to understand ISIS as a Political-Religious Movement. Suddenly the media attention associated with the “disenfranchisement” of Muslims becomes inappropriate. People no longer view ISIS as a type of religion. It certainly started as a religious organization, but when it achieved power and authority with the acquisition of territory and property in the Middle East, it evolved into a Political-Religious Movement. It maintains the Koran as its source of idealism, but its hatred of “nonbelievers” secures its status as a Political-Religious Movement.
While National Socialism started as a political party, ISIS began as a religion. They each started at opposite ends of the spectrum, but are now emblematic of Political-Religious Movements. If we simply classify them as such, they take their place alongside the Pathet Lao, the Khmer Rouge, and the multitude of Political-Religious Movements throughout history.
Political-Religious Movements focus our attention on one other significant issue. They abundantly display the attractor that is associated with Political-Religious Movements. That attraction comes from The Hate. We are drawn to it.
This is the most interesting factor of all. The common idea is to associate those drawn to Political-Religious Movements as being from a minority, being disadvantaged, having a difficult childhood or having nowhere else to go. That is absolutely incorrect.
It is simple human nature. Human beings are drawn to The Hate.
It is a common feeling. We like to know that a particular identity group can be singled out for hate. Maybe it’s “The One Percent” or (as with those associated with Black Lives Matter) people in law enforcement. Maybe it’s the hierarchy of the Catholic Church!
If we are taught to hate a particular identity group, it makes us feel good. It is “Othering.” We are not a part of that other group. We are a part of the accepted group. We like that.
And that is why it is important to understand Political-Religious Movements: They exploit human nature. They increase their power and authority by appealing to our human instincts.
I believe the human attraction to The Hate is linked to a Left-Brain / Right-Brain analysis. If your Left Brain is dominant, you tend to be more accepting, more amenable to ideas that are repeatedly taught to you. Right-Brain people tend to be more inquisitive and will look for outside validation rather than automatic acceptance.
How does all of this relate to the title of this post?
Here in America, we have our Democratic Party becoming more than a political party. It is working to fashion a sense of idealism around the notion that it is the political party that wants to bring an end to human suffering. The call to “End Suffering” takes on a religious quality – similar to a desire to perfect the human race. It becomes the touchstone of a new Political-Religious Movement: Our Democratic Party in America.
But idealism is not enough. The Democratic Party fosters a hatred for Republicans. You know the characteristic refrain: Republicans are racist, homophobic bigots. Republicans want to destroy the environment, harm our children, turn the economy into a catastrophe, shred the Constitution, etc.
The idea of being dedicated to end suffering, along with a visceral hatred for Republicans, has allowed the Democratic Party to evolve into a Political-Religious Movement in a very short period of time.
What does the Republican Party do about this?
Those crickets you hear chirping are the reason the Republican Party is characterized as “The Stupid Party.”
Friday, March 27, 2015
Mr. Schultz shows us how Starbucks confronts misogyny. This from an article in The Washington Times by Tammy Bruce:
A person attempting to be a Starbucks customer was waylaid by the 6th century. Thinking she would get her java at the Riyadh Starbucks, instead she received some tall extra-fat Sharia and encountered a sign which she promptly tweeted. Outside the coffee shop was a notice that read in English and Arabic, “Please no entry for ladies only send your driver to order thank you.”
Social media exploded when “ManarM” tweeted, “#Starbucks store in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I’m a WOMAN; asked me 2 send a man instead.”
Confirming the situation, Starbuck’s issued a statement to CNN that was not filled with disgust and outrage, but instead, excuses. It cited “local customs” and “local law” as it explained that the only reason women were temporarily banned from that Starbucks was because they needed to build a gender wall inside the store.
Race After Obama
Redefining the issue to make solutions possible.Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz took it in the neck from all sides for asking his baristas to chat up half-awake customers about race in America. Mr. Schultz, however, is merely one voice in the conversation on race, which since the Ferguson shooting and Selma’s 50th anniversary has settled on American politics like winter in the East, harsh and unending.While much of it is predictable or discouraging, others are trying something really new—a positive point of view. We start with the discouraging words.The nomination of Loretta Lynch, the black federal prosecutor from the Brooklyn district, has elicited comments about her delayed confirmation vote in the Senate.Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said, “Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar.”North Carolina’s Rep. G.K. Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus: “I think race certainly can be considered a major factor in the delay.”These two members of Congress are saying some Senate Republicans, five decades after a bipartisan vote passed the Civil Rights Act, are opposed to Loretta Lynch because she is black.When the president of the United States was asked if race was playing a role in the delayed nomination, Mr. Obama replied, “I don’t know about that.”Eric Holder said, “My guess is that there is probably not a huge racial component to this.” He added that “this is really just D.C. politics.”A fair parsing of these comments by the president and attorney general also suggests the possibility of racism among Senate Republicans.Mr. Obama could have said, “No. I do not believe race is an issue in the Lynch nomination.” Instead he said, “I don’t know about that.”Mr. Holder could have said it was all about Washington politics. Instead he said the racial component “probably” isn’t “huge.”Others, whose work doesn’t require them to look at all of American life through the keyhole of politics, have different ideas.Appearing on “The Daily Show” a few weeks ago, the hip-hop singer and actor Common discussed race relations with Jon Stewart. Common had just won the Academy Award, with John Legend, for the title song to the movie “Selma.”“We all know racism exists,” he said. Then he said, “Let’s forget about the past as much as we can and let’s move from where we are now. How can we help each other? Can you try to help us because we are going to try to help ourselves, too.”The popular rapper ASAP Ferg said something along these lines in an interview with National Public Radio last week. Rephrasing ASAP Ferg’s words is a tricky proposition, so the interview itself remains the best source for his thinking on race. He did say he thinks the charge of racism has become a cult: “I think it’s a cult-like thing . . . Because whoever is pushing this agenda of people being racist, they like, ‘Yo. Keep doing it. Keep doing it. Yeah. Yeah.’”In an interview with Oprah last April, music producer Pharrell Williams talked about a “New Black” movement, which he says “doesn’t blame other races for our issues.”At Vanderbilt University last week, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith said every black person in America should vote Republican in one election: “You [black voters] have labeled yourself ‘disenfranchised’ because one party knows they’ve got you under their thumb. The other party knows they’ll never get you and nobody comes to address your interest.”***As the Obama presidency ends, the status quo on race is in a bad place.If media coverage reflects reality (a limitless “if”), the country’s racial polarization is as bad as most people can remember. Ferguson, Staten Island, the Brooklyn cop killings, the Oklahoma fraternity—a visitor from Mars might conclude next to nothing good has happened since Selma. On the surface of politics, the left browbeats the right in a bleak, zero-sum standoff.In some conservative circles, a school of reduction holds that the black vote is gone and the Hispanic vote is a waste of time. The future lies in reanimating the 1980s voting bloc of Reagan Democrats that Ted Cruz identified his campaign with this week.But just as there is black opinion talking now about getting past the Sharpton race cult and extending a hand, some of the Republican Party’s presidential candidates are doing the same thing.Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, in words or with policies (such as Gov. Bush’s early school-choice program), have sought minority support. Gov. Christie has done a lot of town halls in black neighborhoods across New Jersey, and in 2013 got 21% of the state’s black vote. Shaquille O’Neal did commercials for Mr. Christie.The race issue will remain after the Obama years. Emerging now is a desire to redefine this subject in ways that make it available to solution.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 27, 2015
"To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America."
Both of these remarks address the burden that a certain gender and skin tone places on our culture. If we could somehow restrict white males in America, our country would be a better place. America needs to discriminate based on race and gender!
The Wall Street Journal has an article in its Opinion section that points out gender equality is best served by free markets, rather than governmental control. The article is behind the WSJ paywall, so I'll copy it below. The title of the article is,"For Gender Equality, You Can't Beat Capitalism."
By Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan,
International Women’s Day, commemorated annually on March 8, has become a celebration of women’s achievements in politics, business and the arts. This year, events are scheduled in at least 86 countries, with nearly 180 in the United States alone. These ceremonies, speeches and workshops will examine nearly every aspect of women’s lives, but few, if any, will note International Women’s Day’s origins in American socialism and Eastern European communism.
The day was first declared by the American Socialist Party in 1909 and, in 1917, it set into motion a sequence of events that would become Russia’s February Revolution. Female workers went on strike that day to achieve “bread and peace” in the face of World War I. Leon Trotsky later concluded that this event inaugurated the revolution.
Socialist leaders used International Women’s Day ostensibly to highlight their commitment to gender equity. Yet contrary to its socialist origins, more than 100 years of evidence since the first International Women’s Day suggests that free markets are the single best solution to inequity, gender or otherwise.
On this the data are unmistakable. And the Fraser Institute and the United Nations Development Program have more than enough from which to draw clear conclusions.
In its annual Economic Freedom of the World Report, the Fraser Institute, a Canadian free-market think tank, assesses degrees of economic freedom within countries. The United Nations Development Program, in its Human Development Reports, evaluates countries’ degrees of gender equality. Fraser does not consider equality when ranking economies according to economic freedom, and the U.N. does not consider economic freedom when ranking economies according to equality. But when the two reports are combined, a fascinating pattern emerges.
In countries that are (according to Fraser) more economically free, such as Switzerland and Finland, women have achieved (according to the U.N.) greater outcome equality. In the half of countries that are less economically free, such as India and Algeria, the U.N. measure shows that women experience significantly more inequality (almost 75% more according to the inequality index).
What is the implication? As compared with men, women in economically freer countries hold more elected seats in government, have longer life expectancies, achieve higher education levels, and earn higher incomes than do women in less economically free countries. In short, in freer economies, women’s lives are longer, more prosperous and more self-directed.
This result might not come as a surprise. Rich countries tend to be more economically free, and people in rich countries tend to have more time and energy to be concerned with outcome equality. So perhaps gender equality isn’t a function of economic freedom so much as wealth.
Except that it is. If we restrict our vision to the poorest countries, the same pattern emerges. Comparing the Fraser and U.N. data sets, we find that, of the poorest 25% of countries (as measured by per-capita GDP), the half that are more economically free achieve more gender equality than do the half that are less economically free. According to the U.N.’s own numbers, women suffer less inequality in poor, economically free countries than they do in poor, economically unfree countries. Women in poor but economically free countries hold more elected seats in government (relative to men), are better educated (relative to men), and live longer (relative to men) than do women in poor but economically unfree countries.
Since the advent of International Women’ Day, many, from the common people to presidents and popes, have looked to government control of markets as the solution to the problems of poverty and inequality. A landslide of evidence over the past century shows that, regardless of our good intentions, the more we allow governments to control markets, the more poverty and inequality we experience.
There is no better time to note these facts than on International Women’s Day. A celebration that was once simple Communist propaganda can, and should, be repurposed to celebrate the forces that actually lift people out of poverty and inequality. The evidence suggests that equality doesn’t come at the end of the government’s gun, but at the end of the free market’s handshake.
Mr. Davies is associate professor of economics at Duquesne University. Mr. Harrigan is director of academic programs at Strata, a free-market think tank in Logan, Utah.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Arquette, Patricia - Film and television actress.
02/22/2015 - Republicans are a threat to women.
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Friday, January 30, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The execution of the staff at Paris’ Charlie-Hebdo office is creating a stir. The issue is whether offensive speech should be allowed in polite society.
It’s a debate that has been going on for centuries, and America is unique in defending free speech. Our right to free speech is enshrined in the Constitution. The problem is that if only inoffensive speech is allowed, only the offended are protected. Our constitutional “equal protection” provisions end up being not so equally applied.
"You know the biggest thing I dread?" he whispered. "When I can't wipe my own rear end. For some reason, that really bothers me."
Professor Schwartz was lamenting the loss of power that comes late in life.
Claire Berlinski has a first-hand account of the aftermath of the attack.
Peggy Noonan has an article in The Wall Street Journal (unfortunately behind the paywall) that goes over the free speech issues associated with the attack. Her conclusion:
A singular feature of extremist Islamists is that they are not at all interested in persuasion. They don’t care about winning you over, only about making you submit. They want to menace and threaten. They want to frighten. They enjoy posing with the severed head."The elephant in the room" is that extremist Islamists TEACH PEOPLE TO HATE and Ms. Noonan avoids making that point. Those who eschew the hate need to be heard.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
The Democratic Party control over America's police force results in a New York kerfuffle! The New York Post has a story on the contention between New York's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. Either way, the Democratic Party is the power player.
The rift in the Democratic Party is becoming more obvious. The idea that you "own" law enforcement and yet accept declarations calling for the death of cops is becoming more difficult to sell to Americans.
The rank and file take matters into their own hands as the rift in the Democratic Party continues.
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