Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to the Stone Age

Nature magazine has a new article lambasting the American right wing assault on science and scientists. Those of us who follow politics closely have seen this happening for quite some time. It is a dumbing down of political discourse that seems to be a result of a political party with no workable ideas on how to successfully govern a country, with an insatiable appetite for power, so it must attack it's institutions and constitution to create some sense of impending doom that only they can thwart, usually by religious antidote, false flag attacks on liberty by phantom collectivists we call liberal, and a whole host of smears and lies directed at the opposition's leaders. And they have a well oiled PR machine to blast the American psyche day in and day out with this nonsense. And if anyone in the main stream media questions them, or the veracity of their garbage, out comes the liberal bias card. And leading that propaganda juggernaut is the fat man on radio down in Florida.

“The four corners of deceit: government, academia, science and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That's how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” It is tempting to laugh off this and other rhetoric broadcast by Rush Limbaugh, a conservative US radio host, but Limbaugh and similar voices are no laughing matter.

The blather by Fox and Limbaugh and all the other screamers of fear and doom from the right sometimes, or often seems so crazy, it is hard to believe that many Americans will believe it. But right now before the coming election in November, republicans are poised to make big gains in government via congress.

And as Nature notes, it couldn't come at a worse time, the assault on science.

The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.The right-wing populism that is flourishing in the current climate of economic insecurity echoes many traditional conservative themes, such as opposition to taxes, regulation and immigration. But the Tea Party and its cheerleaders, who include Limbaugh, Fox News television host Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (who famously decried fruitfly research as a waste of public money), are also tapping an age-old US political impulse — a suspicion of elites and expertise.

Ah, the dread nameless faceless elites, looking to suck out the precious bodily fluids of god fearin' capitalistic American's. This is an old tried and true trick from the right wing, that since WW2 and The Cold War, centers on fears of collectism, aka, Communism, Socialism etc.../ Thus the concentrated attacks on Obama for HCR, bailouts, Finreg and all the steps that were taken to actually save our economy from republican governance the past eight years, and really the past 30 years of installing conservative ideas into the economic engine, that nearly killed it in 2008. Nevermind, that any rational person would not consider scientists and educators as actual elitists of malevolent intent.. Those, for a thinking person with average intelligence, would be Wall Street Bankers, and torture loving Dick Cheney.

This country is screwed up right now. Up is down, wrong is right, but black still is black. God help us in the near term. We are in for some very very rough sledding in this country, and our 4th estate media does not seem to see fit to do their constitutional duty and call bullshit bullshit on a daily basis.

We can be next

Conservatives exploiting both the Muslim community center in NY and the Koran book burning, as well as all the hate speech against Muslim Americans, should make all Jews pause. Even the fact that we know refer to Americans by their religion -- ie., Muslim Americans not Americans who choose to be Muslim -- should make all of us as Americans pause.
Starting with the controversy over the community center and now the media frenzy over the Koran burning to me indicates how fragile our country has become and how willing conservatives are to toss American values to the wind for political gain. The tea partiers love to carry the Constitution to rallies, yet when a real Constitutional issue hits us in the face, they happily revert to anti-Constitutional rhetoric and, with a hatred that is astounding, throw other Americans under the bus. The reason our founding fathers created the system they believed in was exactly to prevent what is happening now. They created a document and a political system that protected those whose religious beliefs went against the majority, stating without a doubt that religious belief was a matter of personal conscience, not something imposed by an ignorant majority or an equally ignorant government.
Jews in America should be scared with the rhetoric of the right, and Jews should be at the forefront of support for Americans choosing to practice their Muslim faith. Jewish history should tell us that it is easy to demonize a minority. That religion can be used by political opportuntists to create division among groups should be familiar to us.
The irony of saying that all American Muslims are somehow responsible for 9/11 goes against history. Do Jews and other Americans hold the Catholic Church responsible for 6 million Jews being exterminated in the Holocaust even though evidence indicates that the Church protected Nazis before and after the end of the war?
No. Christianity, including the Catholic Church, holds a prominant and privileged position in the country and a strong position in conservative politics. 6 million, not 3,000. While every life lost to politics and extremists is horrifying, I can't help but reflect on past history and think how certain groups and religions have been absolved of the mistakes their pasts.
Muslims, Jews, Christians, and non-believers died in 9/11. But, Republicans and conservative Christians smell blood in November and are willing to demonize other Americans in their hope for victory. For Jews, that should be a red flag. History should tell us how easily it is to demonize a group and that it has happened before. That this time it is not happening to us should not stop us from speaking out.

Jon Stewart: Weekend at Burnies

Jon Stewart: Weekend at Burnies

Wingnut Stump Speech From Hell