Thursday, May 30, 2013
Erick Erickson, the conservative blogger and Fox News personality, became the most hated man on Twitter today after responding to a much-discussed Pew survey on female breadwinners by saying that science says that men should dominate women (to be fair to Erickson, Juan Williams and Lou Dobbs expressed equally retrograde sentiments on the very same segment, but have largely escaped the drubbing).
Erickson tried to clear things up with a blog post this afternoon, but only made matters worse by showing how much he doesn’t get it. The missive started off poorly, with some whining about how feminists and “emo lefties have their panties in a wad” (pro-tip: when accused of sexism, don’t reference your opponents’ panties while mounting your defense) and only got worse from there.
First there was a science lesson:
I also noted that the left, which tells us all the time we’re just another animal in the animal kingdom, is rather anti-science when it comes to this. In many, many animal species, the male and female of the species play complementary roles, with the male dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture.
There are also species where males castrate themselves before sex to avoid being eating alive by females. Perhaps Erickson would like to experience that — you know, because science?
Erickson goes on to equate all female breadwinners with single mothers, and then to assume that the outrage directed at his comments was about some kind of politically correct effort to destroy families:
But we should not kid ourselves or scream so loudly in politically correct outrage to drown the truth — kids most likely will do best in households where they have a mom at home nurturing them while dad is out bringing home the bacon.
Here he shows he just doesn’t get it. What upset people about Erickson’s comments had less to do with single mothers and the decline of marriage rates than about gender roles. It was his notion that women should always stay at home and tend to the kids and that men should always be the breadwinners and dominate women — because that’s only natural.
Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/2013/05/30/erick_erickson_makes_it_worse/
By Robert Parry
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
One reasonable way of looking at democratic governance is that it carries out the collective will of a society, especially in areas where the private sector can’t do the job or needs regulation to prevent it from doing harm. Of course, there are always many variables and points of disagreement, from the need to protect individual rights to the wisdom of each decision.
But something extreme has surfaced in modern American politics: an ideological hatred of government. From the Tea Party to libertarianism, there is a “principled” rejection – at least rhetorically – of almost everything that government does (outside of national security), and those views are no longer simply “fringe.” By and large, they have been embraced by the national Republican Party.
There has also been an effort to anchor these angry anti-government positions in the traditions of U.S. history. The Tea Party consciously adopted imagery and symbols from the Revolutionary War era to create an illusion that this contempt of government fits with the First Principles.
However, this right-wing revision of U.S. history is wildly askew if not upside-down. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution – and even many of their “anti-federalist” critics – were not hostile to an American government. They understood the difference between an English monarchy that denied them representation in Parliament and their own Republic.
Indeed, the key Framers – James Madison, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton – might be called pragmatic nationalists, eager to use the new Constitution, which centralized power at the national level, to build the young country and protect its fragile independence.
While these Framers later split over precise applications of the Constitution – Madison opposed Hamilton’s national bank, for instance – they accepted the need for a strong and effective federal government, unlike the weak, states’-rights-oriented Articles of Confederation.
More generally, the Founders recognized the need for order if their experiment in self-governance was to work. Even some of the more radical Founders, the likes of Sam Adams, supported the suppression of domestic disorders, such as Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts and the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. The logic of Adams and his cohorts was that an uprising against a distant monarch was one thing, but taking up arms against your own republican government was something else.
But the Tea Partiers are not entirely wrong when they insist that their hatred of “guv-mint” has its roots in the Founding era. There was an American tradition that involved resisting a strong and effective national government. It was, however, not anchored in the principles of “liberty,” but rather in the practice of slavery.
Continue reading at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/16619-source-of-anti-government-extremism
Commemorating the traitorous Confederates by naming military bases and other things after them is the same as naming our military bases after Nazis.
The Confederacy stood for treason and slavery, racism and bigotry. Its history is a blot upon America.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/misplaced-honor.html
IN the complex and not entirely complete process of reconciliation after the Civil War, honoring the dead with markers, tributes and ceremonies has played a crucial role. Some of these gestures, like Memorial Day, have been very successful. The practice of decorating the graves arose in many towns, north and south, some even before the war had ended. This humble idea quickly spread throughout the country, and the recognition of common loss helped reconcile North and South.
But other gestures had a more a political edge. Equivalence of experience was stretched to impute an equivalence of legitimacy. The idea that “now, we are all Americans” served to whitewash the actions of the rebels. The most egregious example of this was the naming of United States Army bases after Confederate generals.
Today there are at least 10 of them. Yes — the United States Army maintains bases named after generals who led soldiers who fought and killed United States Army soldiers; indeed, who may have killed such soldiers themselves.
Only a couple of the officers are famous. Fort Lee, in Virginia, is of course named for Robert E. Lee, a man widely respected for his integrity and his military skills. Yet, as the documentarian Ken Burns has noted, he was responsible for the deaths of more Army soldiers than Hitler and Tojo. John Bell Hood, for whom Fort Hood, Tex., is named, led a hard-fighting brigade known for ferocious straight-on assaults. During these attacks, Hood lost the use of an arm at Gettysburg and a leg at Chickamauga, but he delivered victories, at least for a while. Later, when the gallant but tactically inflexible Hood launched such assaults at Nashville and Franklin, Tenn., his armies were smashed.
Fort Benning in Georgia is named for Henry Benning, a State Supreme Court associate justice who became one of Lee’s more effective subordinates. Before the war, this ardent secessionist inflamed fears of abolition, which he predicted would inevitably lead to black governors, juries, legislatures and more. “Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?” Benning wrote. “We will be overpowered and our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth, and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination.”
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/misplaced-honor.html
As if I give a shit what this Neo-Nazi thinks about anything. As far as I’m concerned the Joseph Goebbels of the Tea Party can go play in traffic with Louie “the Goofball” Gohmert.
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/the-american-party_b_3358546.html
Dr. James Hansen
My remarks when receiving the Ridenhour Courage Award were written in Union Station on my way to the event. But my concluding comment — that we are near a point when the American people should contemplate a centrist third party — was not an idle spur-of-the-moment reflection.
I was in government 40 years, long enough to understand how aging organizations can evolve into self-licking ice cream cones1, organizations whose main purpose becomes self-perpetuation rather than accomplishment of their supposed objectives. The public can see this tendency in our politicians, our Congress, and our major political parties.
Our government has failed to address climate, energy, and economic challenges. These challenges, addressed together, actually can be a great opportunity. Our democracy and economic system still have great potential for innovation and rapid adoption of improved technologies, if the government provides the right conditions and gets out of the way.
The Solution is Not Rocket Science
Conservatives and liberals alike can recognize the merit of honest pricing of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels today receive subsidies and do not pay their costs to society. Human health costs of pollution from fossil fuel burning and fossil fuel mining are borne by the public. Climate disruption costs are borne by the victims and all taxpayers.
This market distortion makes our economy less efficient and less competitive. Fixing this problem is not rocket science. The solution can be simple and transparent.
I have described a fossil fuel “fee-and-dividend” approach, summarized on Charts 1 and 2. 100% of a continually rising carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies at the domestic mine or port-of-entry, is distributed uniformly to all legal residents (electronically to bank account or debit card). 60% of people receive more in the dividend than they pay in increased prices, but to get or stay on the positive side of the ledger they must pay attention to their fossil fuel use. Millions of jobs are created as we move toward clean energy. Economic modeling shows that our fossil fuel use would decrease 30% after 10 years. A rising carbon fee provides a viable international approach to reduce global emissions, the basic requirement being a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and China. A border duty on products from nations without an equivalent carbon fee or tax would provide a strong incentive for other nations to join.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/the-american-party_b_3358546.html