March 27th, 2012

alien

Racist "Hunger Games" fans disappointed


http://jezebel.com/5896408/racist-hunger-games-fans-dont-care-how-much-money-the-movie-made?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

The article goes on to describe several characters from the book, including a girl named "Rue"
and gives twitter posts and facebook entries of fans who were shocked and disappointed she was
played by a black actress -- despite the fact that the book clearly described her as having dark skin.

Even worse, a number of these fans -- who READ THE BOOK -- admit that their feelings for Rue
(and other characters who were also portrayed by black actors) were muted when they saw her on the screen.

IMAGINE THAT:  The ability to like a character or care about a character was actually muted by the portrayal
 of that character as black.  That means **not only** can these fans not imagine a likeable character as black but
 actively dislike blacks enough that they cannot enjoy seeing them on screen.


This mindset also ties in heavily in the stereotyping we've been seeing in the Trayvon Martin case, where people
 describe the kid as a "gangsta" and gang-banger  (even though the had candy in his hands) -- there are people who
 by virtue of his skin simply cannot see, or even imagine someone likeable if their skin is dark.

And sure we can try to comfort ourselves by saying such people are rare -- but as the article shows, the responses of such people are not rare, nor hard to find, nor even ambivalent of their dislike.  Which pretty much mirrors the stereotypes and responses we've seen in the Trayvon Martin case, and complaints even about Trayvons parents --- never ever is the benefit of a doubt given to the kid or his family,  yet every defense and justification given to someone who distrusted them simply by the stereotypes in their mind of them.


What's sad to me is I bet there are people who wont see the connection between the movie fans, and the reaction in the media to people who immediately assume "Blacks cause 90% of crimes" or "He probably walked around like a gangsta"  or  "His mother was trying to cash in on his death".   The immediate assumption of greed, aggression, and unlikeability  is a telling theme we've read over the last few weeks, and seeing reactions to the movie show us yet again the issues go beyond this one single case in Florida.
Godzilla, default

The Gross hypocrisy of Strict Constructionism:

I've come to believe the more I read about the idea of so-called strict constructionism that it is a nonsense concept, never seriously adhered to by any of its own titular adherents. The first means by which I come to this conclusion is a very simple one: the origin of the Constitution itself. Y'see the very concept of a United States in Congress Assembled *was* how the USA was born.......under the first Republic run under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Each state coined its own money, raised its own armies, and there was no centralized taxation system of any sort. The result was anarchism, economic collapse, and one of the most menacing rebellions in US history, launched by disgruntled vets of the Continental Army who demanded their being paid in response for making the Union as it now had come into being. In response a group of elitist lawyers and veterans of the highest order of societies, charged with a specific purpose, came up with an illegal usurpation of power and rammed it down the throat of the American people. This hypocritical disregard for their own existing system we call the Philadelphia Convention, its product has lasted the entire duration of the Republic sense. The very argument for consistent view of the Founders fails in the mere existence of the current US Constitution itself.

The second argument against it is the most dangerous potential argument to raise in the time of a Presidential election: where, specifically, is it ever specified in the Constitution or in any amendment that a Popular Vote is necessary at all for a Presidential election? It was not until Andrew Jackson's second attempt at the job that a Popular Vote was even held. If simply convening the Electoral College to elect the President is the real original intent of the Constitution, why bother advocating alterations in the Popular Vote and instead not return to the original system of simply having electors chosen by state legislatures in proportion to the population of states convene and like the Roman Senate of old choose the leaders of the Republic for it?

Finally, where does Article III ever specifically enumerate to the Supreme Court the power to decide what is or is not Constitutional? If this does not ever appear (and it really doesn't), then why is it that the Supreme Court holding an illegal power is the basis of the US legal system? Is this not instead of an actual legal system a paradoxical legal illegality? How can any society claiming to be based on laws, not men, wind up having what it decides is or is not law owing itself to the mutual power grabs of two men?

In short, I think that any claim of Strict Constructionism cannot hold up to the candle of logic, reason, or fundamental tenets of the American system any more than cotton candy can last in a long, hot summer. Nonsense is nonsense, and this pernicious concept should be dumped in the garbage bin of history where it belongs. If I were to be cynical, I would in fact note that strict constructionists, by this self-serving and purely hypocritical approach to rule of law on an entirely situational basis of pure personal convenience indeed approach the spirit of the Founders. Not, however, as their religious devotion, however, would lead them to think.
War

American Psychiatry: A Far Cry from German National Socialism

The recent breakdown of a Southern California Christian who attempted to profit from the misery of African children gave some our students food for thought. One imagined him strapped to a gurney ranting against the forces of evil as a kind physician injected him with mind altering substances. Another pictured him in a padded room wearing a straitjacket blabbering on about Satan's plan to cheat him of his pile of gold as he gladly downed brain damaging pharmaceuticals. Although our students were not happy with Jason Russell's business plan, they completely sympathized with his mental distress.

When the topic of medical treatment of mentally deranged patients comes up, some people think of physicians such as Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung. An association with German scientists of the 1930's who treated their victims as laboratory animals comes to mind only to the elite few with the inside skinny on how psychiatry actually operates in the US. Those effete elitists can be easily dismissed as a lunatic fringe who could not find their way around the cranium of a rhesus monkey. They have never severed the corpus callosum of a living victim and probed for differences between hemispheres, so what do they know?

American psychiatrists are not the same as their German counterparts because of at least one essential distinction. Unlike German National Socialist scientists, American psychiatrists obtain the permission of the victim's family before they administer destructive "treatment" in the interest of scientific inquiry. That makes it all okay. A psychiatrist in our network claimed that psychiatrists treat all people equally. One could interpret this as a claim that all psychiatrists conform to egalitarian principles. On the other hand, one could interpret this to imply that psychiatrists treat all of their patients like laboratory animals.

What are your hopes and wishes for Jason Russell? Do you hope that those nice physicians will help him to eliminate enough mental capacity that he can move forward in life as a Christian entrepreneur? Or, do you hope that he survives his hospitalization without an addiction to brain damaging pharmaceuticals?
ATOM

Chicken Man and the American Dream

Some of you may have been following the story of one man's fight against a suburban Town Constable here in the Great State (sic) of Georgia. He is known as Chicken Man because he wanted to raise chickens and other barnyard critters in his rural home.

Only thing is, a neighbor complained. God damn Roosters! This lead to other complaints, and Chicken Man soon found himself afoul of the law. In a comedy of drama, one thing led to another until yesterday, confronted with eviction of his home (missed payments because he was in jail on code citations, severely damaged by floods, etc) he simply did the American thing and instead of giving up his property that he was in arrears on, instead he he had a chicken bake.

The battle between one man and the city of Roswell that started over his keeping of chickens ended Monday afternoon in a fiery explosion. Investigators believe that rather than be evicted from his home, Andrew Wordes poured gasoline throughout the house and set it on fire.

Now, I know there are those within this community that believe in 'rugged individualism'. Here is a man whose last 3 year of life could be played in a movie by Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood (older white males). Chicken Man was no liberal.

I speculate Chicken Man listened to Boortz/Limbaugh daily. I speculate that Chicken Man bought into "The American Dream" scheme of property ownership being the 'ultimate right'. To men like The Chicken Man, land ownership, even if shared with a bank, is 'the defining paradigm of being a Man in the US).

Ayn Rand's kind of man. Ayn would have approved of this mans' defiance in the face of those who would take from his hard work and property. After all, what is unreasonable about wanting to raise chickens, goats and hens?

Lots of stories like this are accumulating on the internet news wires. This is not an isolated incident.

Has the American Dream finally died? Or was there never really one, just a way for the banks and construction firms, the ad agencies and the cheap furniture stores to all profit off Dreamers like The Chicken Man?

Dd the empty rhetoric of the GOP kill Chicken Man? Did he believe so much that Republicans had the 'right' answer because he was taught  for decades to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS mistrust the "left"? Then they went and elected that...well..you know!

Are you still buying the empty rhetoric of the GOP? Do you believe a persons property is what defines them, and if they can not have unfettered access to their property (the government's got guns pointed at us, yall!) then you are less than human? How many of you are clinging to bad debt, to ridiculous financial situations, just to have a 'place to call your own'?

Who among us is one step away from being the next Chicken Man?

Uganda

Hi everyone, this is my first post to this community. I figured this is a good place to get feedback on a pretty important topic these days, namely, what is to be done by America in Uganda. I'm sure many, if not most, of you will totally disagree with my article, but I'd like to see what everyone thinks anyway.

Finally, We're Going to Save Uganda... Again!!
March 24th, 11:44
Current Mood:
distressed distressed
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57396592-503544/joseph-kony-resolution-introduced-in-house/


Thank God! We're finally going to go get Joseph Kony in Uganda! Whatever would we have done if he were allowed to continue his reign of terror?

If you couldn't detect it through the text, that was sarcasm. Let's analyze the situation a bit more closely.

A few weeks ago, Invisible Children released a wildly popular video about the murderous Joseph Kony, a rebel leader in Uganda. As I write this post, the 30 minute long video has 84, 939, 086 views, 1, 375, 851 likes and only 129, 273 dislikes on YouTube. If you haven't watched it, I'm sure you have heard about it.

For most Americans, the video was enough for them to call on the government to do something. Never mind the fact that the situation in Uganda is more complex than one rebel killing children, or the fact that Kony is probably not even there anymore, and hasn't been for six years (some even think he's dead), or the fact that the killings have mostly stopped. There is no legitimate reason for the American government to go waste its money there, or to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

Why, then, is this course of action even being considered? Well, for that, we need a short history lesson. A little while ago, some oil was discovered in Uganda. All of a sudden, last October, the Obama administration sent 100 "military advisers" to Uganda to help the government of President Yoweri Museveni (a dictator who has been in power since 1986, and has killed just as many people as Kony). Then, "Kony 2012" was released, and now the people are calling for blood.

I don't doubt the sincerity of the makers of the film. Although I do take issue with their spending more money on media attention than on their causes, I'm sure the people at the top really do care about the issues they present to the public. That being said, the video is very inaccurate, misinforms the people and openly calls on the public to petition the US government to send a larger military force to Uganda.

To any true conservative, these events are very disturbing. As far as I'm concerned, 100 soldiers is 100 too many for America to send to Uganda. There are only two reasons for the Obama administration to increase the already-too-large military presence America has in Uganda. Obama, I'm sure, hopes to get some sweet oil deal for American companies, and he also wants to ride the wave of public emotion to re-election. We have already seen that the administration will do anything to be seen as the savior of the world in the eyes of the American electorate. That's why they had anything to do with Syria, and now it is one of the two reasons why Obama cares two figs about Uganda. Yes, China's interest in Uganda is disturbing, but there is a much easier solution to ending our political conflict with China in Africa: allow Americans to drill for oil in America. Or better yet, encourage investment in green energy. America has the potential to lead the world in the green industry. Not only will that help our economy, it may even save the Earth's environment. Both are worthy causes.

The only good thing I can see about this whole Uganda mess is that if the Obama administration takes it up as its new cause, maybe it will leave Syria alone. Of course, America will just be trading one Syria for another, but small victories count too. 

Hopefully this disgraceful initiative will not pass. We can't afford it as it is, and it is truly none of our business. If its about oil, there are better solutions, and I'm sure we can all agree, good media coverage is not a good reason for an administration to plunge its country into a useless war.

PS. If you take the time to watch the video I posted, it gets weird near the end. Its only worth watching the first ten minutes.

  • paft

Preview of Santorum's Upcoming Horror Film OBAMAVILLE

As a longtime fan of horror, I’m fascinated by “Obamaville,” the movie trailer/ad put recently out by Rick Santorum’s campaign. It’s got a little M. Night Shyamalan, a little Stephen King, a dash of Chick Comics, and a touch of the live action trailer for Skyrim. A hushed, slightly gravel-voiced narrator reminiscent of Rod Serling opens with, “Imagine a small American town” and what follows are quick, almost incomprehensible flashes of imagery, with occasional longer shots reminiscent of some of Diane Arbus’ more unnerving photographs.

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Godzilla, default

The folly of Vanguardism:

Yes, this is another Under L on the USSR post. In this case, I'm going to make a point that people as a rule generally prefer to neglect in terms of just why the USSR failed:
[the thesis]
Leninism is the root of the problem, not specifically the form it took when Stalin made it supremely more efficient.


In particular, the flaws of the USSR came from that most fundamental misperception of Lenin: if you take a group of people, inculcate in them the Nechaev-style view of Revolutionary-as-monomaniac, and you teach them a distorted view of an already oversimplified and flawed idea, the only thing that can result from such a huge conglomeration of total fanatics and scum in high places is an epic disaster. The very root of the evil in the Soviet system is the most simple one of all, namely that it rose from the fundamental founding tenets of Lenin, and this flaw applies no matter what kind of system would emulate this.

The reason that things like the Soviet Union can only fail and will always fail is not even necessarily when they attempt to create a command economy (for after all the USA and other societies of WWII had them in a sense as that's what a full-fledged war economy is). Rather, it is the attempt, working from an already flawed idea, to encourage the worst kinds of fanaticism and zealotry in people who already wield tremendous power that creates the seeds of destruction in the midst of such creation. The difference, however, between Leninism and Nazism proved to be this: the USSR had one guy whose concept of fanaticism was rooted around the ultimate bureaucratic nightmare, and so it promoted people who were exceptional bureaucrats of a purely economics-minded fashion (being purely economics minded by no means meant they could run an economy well outside certain specialized sectors). Nazism just promoted manchildren with penis-size compensation issues and let them run amok in Europe for 12 years with all the horrors that entailed.

The flaws, however, here do not simply apply to the 1917-1991 phase of the continental Russian imperial civilization led by a one-party state. Rather the deep flaws of Vanguardism apply to any such movement and its simplest flaw of all is this one: humans on a social scale organize in fashions that are inherently unequal and prone to waste and all kinds of abuses. Simple fanaticism and cruelty and ruthlessness, no matter how firmly applied, cannot in a short span of time accomplish what much longer "natural" spans of time themselves accomplish unevenly. The prospect of change in societies is an inevitable, but change must come naturally, from within social institutions, and working to step by step, degree by degree, alter those institutions for the better. To paraphrase Shakespeare, the failure of Vanguardism in particular and revolutions in general comes not from the stars but from ourselves: the power that comes out of the barrel of a gun is power indeed, but it's a crude, ruthless power that has no ultimate staying power and is in its own fashion a ticking time bomb in the heart of any so foolish as to wield it.