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Just How Dumb Are White Males?

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Posted on Oct 28, 2008
McCain
AP photo / Gene J. Puskar

Two thumbs up: Sen. John McCain campaigns at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa., on Oct. 21.

By Robert Scheer

Let me now defend white males. We can’t possibly be as dumb as the polls showing we are John McCain’s most reliable voting base would indicate. Do we white men believe for an instant that a vote for McCain would not represent more of President Bush’s failed economic policies at home and costly military adventures abroad? If we don’t hold such a belief, why are a majority of us expected to vote against the positive change that Barack Obama so clearly represents?

Most of us know how to read, and can even Google, so why would we think that GOP candidate McCain, who has supported Bush on every one of his economic initiatives, is now the anti-Bush? What exactly did McCain mean when he said, referring to his Democratic opponent during a campaign speech in Ohio on Monday, “We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy”?

Is McCain unaware that he consistently voted for the red ink run up by the Bush administration, or was he having a senior moment when he said that same day, “We cannot spend the next four years as we spent much of the last eight: spending ourselves into a ditch, and hoping that the consequences don’t come”?

The only time McCain took issue with Bush’s economic policy was in his short-lived criticism of the tax cut for the rich—a strategy he now defends. But if McCain doesn’t increase taxes for someone, just how does he plan to pay for the enormous Iraq war debt, now vastly compounded by the banking bailout? On Monday McCain gave his answer: “I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs, like defense, veterans’ care, Social Security and health care, until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren’t working for the American people.”

Is he kidding? If he doesn’t curtail those programs, which make up almost the entire federal budget, then he’s talking about chump change in possible cuts. There just isn’t enough money in those earmarks that McCain goes on about to make a dent in the massive national debt.

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President Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, left our collective credit card on Wall Street, where the bankers are once again to be trusted to regulate themselves. Are there any white males out there still so in the dark that they don’t know that the radical banking deregulation legislation that McCain pushed so aggressively is what legally enabled those he condemned on Monday as “the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess”? Have they never heard of Phil Gramm, the man McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign, who sponsored the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act—both of which made legal, for the first time since the Great Depression, the credit swaps and hybrid instruments at the heart of the Wall Street scams?

Call me naive, but I think white males, startled by job cuts and the devastation wreaked upon their retirement savings, are finally getting the point: Someone’s got to pay for this mess, and better those who got rich off the stock market theft than the rest of us.

Can you imagine the uproar now if the McCain-Bush plan to privatize Social Security by linking it to stock purchases had become law? And have you noticed that the Wall Street crooks are not using the bailout money to ease credit but rather to line their golden parachutes? They know how to take care of their retirement.

I don’t think McCain gets that the rest of us could use a bit more lift from the government safety net. That’s the same federal support that GM CEO Rick Wagoner asked about when he went, hat in hand, to Washington on Monday to lobby for a $10-billion gift to keep his company out of bankruptcy. Or is the CEO of GM just another tax-and-spend socialist?

Robert Scheer is the editor in chief of Truthdig and author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Folktruther, November 2, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Inherit, you ignorant lout.  You did four years of graduate work in art history and literature?  Will wonders never cease.  You will note that I restrained myself from comment when you put Brecht and Ann Rand   in the same category, her with her cartoon characters with dollar signs on their chests.  But now that I know that you are Educated- God help you- I can no longer refrain. You began by admiring Renoir?  It figures.

But I confess that I never could put in simple concepts the question of whether there is a an objective reality to art excellence or not, or its all just, as you say, I don’t know much about art but…

But tell me, Ihherit, now that I know that you are Educated, why is Picasso’s art venal and evil?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 2, 2008 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Well, She..
You certainly know a lot more about art history than me. Granted.  But that also means you have a vested interest in going beyond personal taste (which, of course, is my “entertainment” concept). Don’t get me wrong: I don’t deny the validity of studying art history—I see all historical study as a critical necessity for our society to progress.  To paraphrase Bismarck: Only a fool learns only from his own mistakes.  A wise person learns more from others mistakes.  Or, as we teach kids: You can learn the lesson the easy way or the hard way!

But nothing you have said changes the fact that where the rubber meets the road is the observer’s own eyes, ears and brain cells.  All you can do is maybe give him/her a new branch of interpretation to explore.  Maybe. Maybe not.  It still, ultimately, is up to each observer, one at a time.

(BTW, tell me what YOU think Seurat’s “Pointalism”. I’ve read some of the criticism and I think it’s close but still off the mark….Almost, but not quite there)

Athena,

Yeah, I saw the multiple layers of hints of color in Motherwell’s monstrosities. Rothko uses a similar technique, but I think Rothko (whom I’m so-so on) actually made it work..somewhat. I think if Motherwell had called one “The Blob That Ate The East Wing”, I might have actually laughed and appreciated it more.  But he didn’t, and I cannot take it seriously.  But thanks for the insight.

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By Athena Taylor, November 1, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW:  thanks for your comments.  Liking particular art is similar to liking certain bands.  You might like Van Halen, where as I like Ozzy Osborne…ha ha

The quote below helped me to understand Motherwell better.  (Although a psychology professor I had laughed his head off when he saw Motherwell’s art.  He thought the images were totally phallic.)

“Further, a contributor to a 1995 Australian art exhibition of paintings with religious themes, provides a poignant description of Robert Motherwell’s abstract painting Elegy to the Spanish Republic. Drawing upon its formal components and articulating a spiritual awe when describing the painting, Rosemary Crumlin makes comprehensible the
mysterious content of Motherwell’s work:

‘A Motherwell work will not open itself to the passing traveller. It demands time and a willingness to stand open to darkness and mystery. It is meant to be a ritual experience which, even though it makes no physical sound, as music does, is filled with the solemn beats and throbs of its heavy pendulous jet black shapes, its singing, dazzling whites, and the tensions set up by the tracks and traces of colour which shrill their way across the surface or sneak out behind the major themes and tensions set up through the strong dominant shapes. Only then will the viewer be able to answer the call that every elegy offers – to listen to the heart, to hear its call, to remember life and to be ready, too, for death. (Crumlin, 1998, p. 110)”

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

ITW,  If you have an advanced degree, then bravo, and if you had one art history class, then you should have at least learned that personal preferences in art is not the same as understanding the value of art beyond personal taste.  Guess it would depend on the quality and content of the art history class.  My Ph.D. is in Art History!  Masters in Aesthetics/Art Criticism and a Masters in Fine Art and taught at a university for ten years.  I am not telling that to boast or to be arrogant, but merely to show that I have studied art every which way upside down and inside out.  It would never occur to me to “preach” what art one ought to like or dictate what someone’s taste should be.  I have already admitted to having pushed the dialogue into a sexist corner in an earlier post.  Mea culpa:  My sanguine nature.  I herewith end my hostile attitude.  Good night.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

Oh, Paracelsus, don’t wait on the beer, at least tonight!  But some other time f’sure, f’sure.  Wink wink.  But thank you for trading beer for nails in the palms.  My artist hands much appreciates it.

I owe it to old fashioned gallantry, me darlin’. smile

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Athena Taylor, November 1 at 8:17 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

BeerDoctor, happy birthday.  Must be nice to have it on Halloween, that way you HAVE to celebrate your birthday.

Boy things have gotten kind of cantankerous here…..  I’d join the KKK and Nazi thread but the topic is just so heavy…..it bums me out but kudos to you who can handle it.

I will add this to the art debate:

I remember my first favorite painting was by Renoir.  A beginner art lover’s taste….... but with study I transitioned into Motherwell and others.  An analogy to appreciating art might be to that of becoming a connoisseur of wine.  If a person doesn’t know wine, he/she might think a rare expensive bottle of French wine is tasty but not appreciate its subtle “notes” nuances etc.  But after studying up on wine one learns about a wine’s region (I am ignorant here) and all the complexities of the wine process.  You then begin to enjoy it in a more complex/ intellectual AND physiological way.

So, art can be entertaining without a knowledge of art criticism, but knowing more about art makes it more interesting. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, most of us get snobby with our knowledge. And there’s no accounting for taste…..
************************************

I don’t disagree with this bolded statement. 

But as many times as I’ve looked at Robert Motherwell’s works, it has never said ANYTHING to me. Nothing.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 1 at 2:10 pm #

ITW ditch if you like because you have no good argument only name-calling.  There is nothing in what I have said to give anybody the impression that I know any ‘better’ what any one ought to like in the way of artworks, except to be able to say for a fact that there is treatment of art beyond personal preference.  It suits your tirade to gloss over that.  I am educated and that pisses you off.  And your wild comments show exactly the way the boorish act.  Your insolence and ignorance is there for everyone to see.  It is without any argument you are entitled to your own opinion and entitled to like whatever you want.  It is utter stupidity to pretend you know anything more than that unless you demonstrate your ability to intelligently critique artworks, whether visual or performing.  There has been not even a suggestion what artist you or anybody else should like or what kind of artwork is better than another.  You are acting like an effete sulking baby and it is good that you take your toys and go off and pout in another corner somewhere to lick your egotistical wounds..  And by the way, it is true, my shit stinks just as much as yours. Well, maybe not quite as much.  It is a proven fact that egotistical pouting men’s shit stinks a whole lot more than art educated women’s On a scale of 1 to 10, pouting men a 10, art educated women a very resounding 8. [/
***********************************

Yeah, well, I never brought up any differences due to gender, or heaved insults about that at you.  Guess that’s how you try to obfuscate all your elitist pretensions.

BTW, I’m sorry for my inferior education.  I was stuck getting an undergrad double major from one of Money Mag’s Top Ten Bargains schools. And then I was stuck spending 4 years in grad school at another one of their Top 10 bargain schools.  I had to take Art History, various lit and dramatic lit classes for my major on the way.

But I’m just an ignorant uneducated male…married to a dumb bunny who got her PhD at 26…I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no learnin’ like Shenonymous.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

Tying up a few more loose ends:
Almost passed you by Folktruther but the lure was much too great for this little fillet.  Your myopic view of education is evident in your not being able to see the wry sense of humor of putting a small bit of Jackson Pollock biography in German in my post today at 3:53a.m.  Why you didn’t even catch that I said cherman instead of German (deutsch), and it was inended to make the good of spirit laugh.  It wasn’t even meant to be translated but it could be as it came right out of a German current affairs and culture magazine that also comes in an English version.  But you apparently don’t have such a good spirit as to see into the joke.  Too bad for such a dismal sense of humor.  But you are too busy denigrating Ernest Canning (cann4ing) and me.  It shows a pettiness of mind.  So you judge the entire field of history based on one perhaps less than quality British historian? 

I think Folktruth you must have something mixed up since googling Francis Connors Saunders and Who Paid the Piers? brings nothing.  Do try it yourself or maybe you can give a better reference for your quote:
As the British historian Francis Conors Saunders documented in WHO PAID THE PIER?, the CIA supported, financially, abstract art as a counterweight to Soviet social realism.

Maani’s sites: 
http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id260/pg1/index.html
The veracity is spurious as it is talking about 1930s and Pollock wasn’t much of a celebrity artist until his drip paintings started in 1947.

http://www.pist.ca/article.php/1cia  this article is also weird since it has Pollock being supported by the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s but Pollock died in 1956. 

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/17/051017crat_atlarge
The New Yorker article is very interesting because except for the innuendo associating his name and asking the question in the first sentence, Jackson Pollock’s name is not mentioned again in the entire article.  Nothing is accused of him so this is a rather stupid headlining sentence for the article.  Sorry Maani no reflection on you.  It is the writer of the article who gets the blame.  Anybody interested might read the whole article.

Folktruther says, It was an academic highly Educated in languages that opposed evolution against Huxley, arguing that HIS grandfather wasn’t a monkey.   Now do you mean Darwin?  Or which Huxley might this be?  Aldus Leonard or Thomas Henry Huxley?

Seems like Folktruther you have gone through a lot of trouble to give some very questionable facts to make your diatribe once again against education.  It is way too easy to be dazzled by things in print and that goes for what you print here on Truthdig yourself Folktruther.

Oh, Paracelsus, don’t wait on the beer, at least tonight!  But some other time f’sure, f’sure.  Wink wink.  But thank you for trading beer for nails in the palms.  My artist hands much appreciates it.

Report this

By Athena Taylor, November 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

BeerDoctor, happy birthday.  Must be nice to have it on Halloween, that way you HAVE to celebrate your birthday.

Boy things have gotten kind of cantankerous here…..  I’d join the KKK and Nazi thread but the topic is just so heavy…..it bums me out but kudos to you who can handle it.

I will add this to the art debate:

I remember my first favorite painting was by Renoir.  A beginner art lover’s taste….... but with study I transitioned into Motherwell and others.  An analogy to appreciating art might be to that of becoming a connoisseur of wine.  If a person doesn’t know wine, he/she might think a rare expensive bottle of French wine is tasty but not appreciate its subtle “notes” nuances etc.  But after studying up on wine one learns about a wine’s region (I am ignorant here) and all the complexities of the wine process.  You then begin to enjoy it in a more complex/ intellectual AND physiological way. 

So, art can be entertaining without a knowledge of art criticism, but knowing more about art makes it more interesting.  Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, most of us get snobby with our knowledge. And there’s no accounting for taste…..

Report this

By Athena Taylor, November 1, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been away (I was tying one on for Halloween, it had been awhile) and there is much to read and absorb!  A most informed and fascinating group here….can’t wait to catch up and hopefully make a contribution.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

But yeah, it is irrelevant.  I admit it.  And I’m sexist too.  I will try to watch it in the future.  But I’m ready for the nails in my palms if I mess up.

No nails necessary, sweetheart. I’d be fine with a nice cold beer. smile

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By Tony Wicher, November 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

By Paracelsus, November 1 at 12:00 pm #

Yes, let’s stop the chopping down of forests and mountain top removal mining. But this CO2 global warming is pure schizza.

Didn’t you read the scientific data on the website, Tony?
——————————————————————————
Para,

I’ll take a look at it. I have casually glanced at different data and I suspect that the preponderance if “scientific” opinion is on the other side. I haven’t even watched “An Inconvenient Truth”. Al Gore is not a scientist but I’m sure he is backed by a majority of meteorologists. However, the preponderance of scientific opinion is very often wrong and might be in this case as far as I know (which is not very far). Predicting the weather is still not an exact science.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Why thank you Paracelsus.  So nice to hear a sexist remark again.  I miss them if they don’t come in as expected.

You guys just can’t help yourself when you have nothing else to say that is important or worthwhile and are reduced to namecalling.  Even so, you are right, I did make it a woman thing, but I’m not really sorry as I am a woman and women do stuff like that.  But yeah, it is irrelevant.  I admit it.  And I’m sexist too.  I will try to watch it in the future.  But I’m ready for the nails in my palms if I mess up.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

@Shenonymous

And by the way, it is true, my shit stinks just as much as yours.  Well, maybe not quite as much.  It is a proven fact that egotistical pouting men’s shit stinks a whole lot more than art educated women’s On a scale of 1 to 10, pouting men a 10, art educated women a very resounding 8.

Yeah, yeah, “I am Shenonymous, hear me roar. I am invincible.”

If there is a disagreement with Shenonymous, it is always a woman thing. How about sticking to the topic instead bringing in irrelevant factors?

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

ITW ditch if you like because you have no good argument only name-calling.  There is nothing in what I have said to give anybody the impression that I know any ‘better’ what any one ought to like in the way of artworks, except to be able to say for a fact that there is treatment of art beyond personal preference.  It suits your tirade to gloss over that.  I am educated and that pisses you off.  And your wild comments show exactly the way the boorish act.  Your insolence and ignorance is there for everyone to see.  It is without any argument you are entitled to your own opinion and entitled to like whatever you want.  It is utter stupidity to pretend you know anything more than that unless you demonstrate your ability to intelligently critique artworks, whether visual or performing.  There has been not even a suggestion what artist you or anybody else should like or what kind of artwork is better than another.  You are acting like an effete sulking baby and it is good that you take your toys and go off and pout in another corner somewhere to lick your egotistical wounds..  And by the way, it is true, my shit stinks just as much as yours.  Well, maybe not quite as much.  It is a proven fact that egotistical pouting men’s shit stinks a whole lot more than art educated women’s On a scale of 1 to 10, pouting men a 10, art educated women a very resounding 8.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 1 at 11:19 am #

ITW says, “I guess I’m just too stoopid and ignorant to understand.” Yup, ITW, I guess you are.  No I haven’t noticed you are “fairly well-grounded” in art.  You can talk about the well-knowns all you want but you don’t say why they are great.  Yes of course they are great, but not because of who it touches or not, whatever that might mean?  How different is that from personal taste?  You sound like you have an apple stuck in your throat.  For crying out loud.  And just because I say what I am educated in doesn’t mean you have to demean that!  Who knows what standard popular opinion you are willing to go against unless you demonstrate that.  And quite frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn what you like or don’t like.
******************************************

You know what? You are determined to think that your education somehow makes you better able to determine what is and what is not “Great Art”...and that the rest of us have turn off our minds and accept YOUR opinion as valid.

But it’s no more than that—your opinion.  You are just stuck in the mindset that because it’s yours, it’s somehow endowed with superior qualities.

So go ahead, dictate to the rest of us what we should and shouldn’t appreciate.  Expect the rest of us to kow-tow to your taste. 

Tell us watch “Terms of Endearment” but turn up our noses at “Casino Royale”.

Tell us we should prefer Hayden to Hip-Hop, Mozart to Madonna, Picasso to Peanuts, and Hemingway to Harry Potter.

It’s still just your opinion and you know what they say about opinions: They are like assholes. Everyone’s got one and they all stink like shit,  yours included.

Low-Brow enough for you?  I’m no longer “entertained” by you, Shenonymous. I’m now bored with your boring typical views that makes people call progressives “elitist”.  Bore, boring, bored.  So I’ll follow some other argument or thread that isn’t boring.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

@ Inherit The Wind

Is it possible for culture to be weaponized? After all culture means a medium to grow something. You don’t culture ebola virus in bread dough. If you mean to make a culture violent and pitiless so as to grow such qualities in the people, then you would need art and drama worthy of imitation of those qualities. Sure, it is a standard argument that not every one who sees a violent, debased performance becomes violent and debased, but wouldn’t the odds increase the average amount of debasement. Just by passive absorption the primitive mind can do a hat trick to the higher mind by its own rationalization of evil. It seems so hypocritical to put forth that Hitler’s light shows were debasing to individualism and virtue, and yet say Saw is just a movie that only deranges a blighted few. I am not advocating censorship; I am advocating that people be the gatekeepers of their own minds.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

@ Tony Wicher

Industrial production that results in a lot of greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide also produces most of this pollution, whose existence and deleterious effects cannot be doubted. Anyone who takes the position that the ecosystem can absorb an infinite amount of punishment from human beings is indeed some kind of fool, greedy liar or crackpot. I hope you agree.

I am most worried about GM foods, and the latest bee killing pesticides. Judging by the sampling of climate data in the last 2 years, I feel the global warming thesis is the purest flim-flammery. If we are not careful we will be forced to pay a CO2 tax for just birthing a child into existence. Since this ‘green’ tax
will be used by some global organization it would seem to violate our constitutional sovereignty. Don’t we pay enough taxes for zero benefit? Yes, let’s stop the chopping down of forests and mountain top removal mining. But this CO2 global warming is pure schizza.

Didn’t you read the scientific data on the website, Tony?

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

ITW says, “I guess I’m just too stoopid and ignorant to understand.” Yup, ITW, I guess you are.  No I haven’t noticed you are “fairly well-grounded” in art.  You can talk about the well-knowns all you want but you don’t say why they are great.  Yes of course they are great, but not because of who it touches or not, whatever that might mean?  How different is that from personal taste?  You sound like you have an apple stuck in your throat.  For crying out loud.  And just because I say what I am educated in doesn’t mean you have to demean that!  Who knows what standard popular opinion you are willing to go against unless you demonstrate that.  And quite frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn what you like or don’t like.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, November 1 at 12:10 pm #

Yeah, I understood well enough, ITW.  It depends on whose boredom. The proverbial ‘they’ do not exist, but ‘they’ are good for hypotheticals.  While personal preference definitely has a place, since personal taste cannot be dictated, it is the height of ignorance to think personal taste is all there is to a thing, including education, as Folktruther seems to advise.  It is well all right to not understand the value of art, and you join millions and millions who don’t and to remain ignorant, but the point I am making is that as a human being capable of understanding things on a deeper level, you would miss out on that.
*****************************

While you are arrogantly flouncing around about how smart an educated you are about art, and how much better you are than me because of it, have you noticed that I happen to be fairly well-grounded in it?  That I am confident enough of my own judgment to be able to say what I think is good art, or GREAT art regardless of what the mass of intelligentsia say?  That I am comfortable discussing Impressionism or the esthetic differences between Romanesque and Gothic architecture?  Or that I appreciate John Cage’s music and Kurasawa’s movies?

Or that I am willing to go against standard popular opinion and attack Picasso, not because “my kid could do that” (he couldn’t) but because I see in Picasso something venal and evil that transcends his towering genius?

“Great Art” isn’t great because snobbish intelligentsia says it is, and, like ditto-heads or sheep we must follow along.  “Great Art” is great because it touches so many individuals, personally, one at a time.  Because when I look at Hamlet, I don’t see a pedestal.  I see an 18 or 19 year old college student come home to find his father suddenly dead and his mother all-too-rapidly married to his uncle, and, at that so-very-young age must deal with his conflicting emotions.  And when I look at “Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” I see an existential genius viewing a classic tale from a completely different perspective.

Yet all of this starts from me being entertained, beyond which, I’m not interested.  You can have Hemingway and Dickens.  I’ll take Twain, Thomas Wolfe and Bernard Shaw any day.

I guess I’m just too stoopid and ignorant to understand.

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By Tony Wicher, November 1, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus,

OK, I for one don’t know much about it. I am certainly willing to entertain this unorthdox view without reflexively calling it “crackpot”. There may be such a natural cycle. Some associate weather cycles with sunspots. 

In any case, it is obvious to everyone that the whole planet including the oceans, the atmosphere and the land is rapidly becoming polluted by human activity. Industrial production that results in a lot of greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide also produces most of this pollution, whose existence and deleterious effects cannot be doubted. Anyone who takes the position that the ecosystem can absorb an infinite amount of punishment from human beings is indeed some kind of fool, greedy liar or crackpot. I hope you agree.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

And wasn’t it Francis Bacon who said “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true” and “Truth can never be reached by just listening to the voice of an authority.”  While Plato was sagacious, he didn’t have the entire truth.  Like he didn’t have a very good take on women and his student, Harry Stotle had even worse, and Harry is quoted very often, even by me! Good Grief, Shenonymous get a grip!

If you don’t want to believe in global warming why nobody can make you do so.  And Al Gore will care very little.  There are always ostriches and sandy places. 
There are always two sides to an argument.  I think I’ve said that before.  Hell sometimes I even argue with myself and then I am in real trouble.

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By Paracelsus, November 1, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

@Shenonymous

anti-intellectuals will flaunt their ignorance.

I recall someone saying that Al Gore’s film was artfully done. But is it a flaunting of ignorance? Am I ignorant to be skeptical of global warming? Must I believe global warming is true to be among the elite. How has art changed human thought? Are all such changes wrought by art good? The German lust mord movement of the 1920’s did much to desensitize the German population to human suffering by combining lust and murder in its themes. Wasn’t it Plato who said that musicians should be licensed by the state? In a sense don’t the foundations and the government license what we see by supporting the arts? There is nothing neutral in supporting one artist over another. 


http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/global_cooling_is_here_evidence_for_predicting_global_cooling_for_the_next_

Global Cooling is Here!  Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades

By Professor Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University

In 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century.  IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1F per decade and 5-6C (10-11F) by 2100, which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly.

However, records of past climate changes suggest an altogether different scenario for the 21st century.  Rather than drastic global warming at a rate of 0.5C (1F) per decade, historic records of past natural cycles suggest global cooling for the first several decades of the 21st century to about 2030, followed by global warming from about 2030 to about 2060, and renewed global cooling from 2060 to 2090 (Easterbrook, D.J., 2005, 2006a, b, 2007, 2008a, b); Easterbrook and Kovanen, 2000, 2001).  Climatic fuctuations over the past several hundred years suggest ~30 year climatic cycles of global warming and cooling, on a general rising trend from the Little Ice Age.

image
See larger image here

Now a decade later, the global climate has not warmed 1F as forecast by the IPCC but has cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward.  In 2008, NASA satellite imagery confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC.

...

Global warming (i.e, the warming since 1977) is over.  The minute increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere (0.008%) was not the cause of the warming- it was a continuation of natural cycles that occurred over the past 500 years.

The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling, perhaps much deeper than the global cooling from about 1945 to 1977.  Just how much cooler the global climate will be during this cool cycle is uncertain.  Recent solar changes suggest that it could be fairly severe, perhaps more like the 1880 to 1915 cool cycle than the more moderate 1945-1977 cool cycle.  A more drastic cooling, similar to that during the Dalton and Maunder minimums, could plunge the Earth into another Little Ice Age, but only time will tell if that is likely.  Read more here.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Yeah, I understood well enough, ITW.  It depends on whose boredom. The proverbial ‘they’ do not exist, but ‘they’ are good for hypotheticals.  While personal preference definitely has a place, since personal taste cannot be dictated, it is the height of ignorance to think personal taste is all there is to a thing, including education, as Folktruther seems to advise.  It is well all right to not understand the value of art, and you join millions and millions who don’t and to remain ignorant, but the point I am making is that as a human being capable of understanding things on a deeper level, you would miss out on that. It’s okay.  IT takes all kinds to make up the world, and we elitists do really understand.  Some people get past boredom (when things are not understood because no mental investment is made), and others can’t (when things are not understood because no mental investment is made).  Reacting merely with visceral entertainment value is what most do.  You are welcome to join those po’folks.  The artworld will not be the worse for wear.  Ho hum.

The Triumph of Ignorance: How Morons Succeed in U.S. Politics – Alternet October 31. http://www.alternet.org/story/105447/
Something about the US education system that Folktruther et al might appreciate, but I really do:  Obama has a lot to offer, but until our education system is fixed or religious fundamentalism withers, (I especially like this line)  anti-intellectuals will flaunt their ignorance.

Hey, thebeerdoctor, I visited your website but was unable to find a way to post a birthday greeting so I fudged it in on the October one.  It will have to be an O’Douls.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 1, 2008 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Thank you Shenonymous for the birthday felicitation. I saw an interview with Senator Obama who said there are some people out there who refuse to have a beer with him. I posted on The Huffington Post: “Hey Barry I’ll have a beer with you anytime. A professional suggestion? How about Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008?”
Cheers to you my friend, I am grateful for your wisdom.
The Beer Doctor
http://beerdoctor.wordpress.com/

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous.
I’m sorry you didn’t understand a word I wrote.  And that led you to the paper bag insult.  TBD did, though.

You have, IMHO, a forest and the trees problem.  None of the ideas of art you discuss survive if they can’t get past simple boredom. 

Enjoy the nice day.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

the BeerDoctor makes an EXCELLENT point I omitted and shouldn’t have.  My bad.

The entertainment value is, of course, as TBD says, totally personal and subjective.  Just because 10 million people like Elvis on black velvet doesn’t make it Great Art.  Doesn’t make it bad art either—except to me.

TBD’s point is critical: You, me, TBD are the audience and each of us reacts to the work.  If you, me or TBD is bored, then for the bored person, it’s bad.

Can it change with time and perception? Sure! Is it a matter of education and appreciation? Sure, it CAN be, but it isn’t necessarily so.  I don’t need to re-read Hemingway to know I don’t like his books—I’ve read enough.  I don’t need “re-education” to teach me to appreciate Robert Motherwell. I never will.  Yet learning about Seurat, and discovering on my own that the art critics had NO idea what pointalism was all about (nor did his imitators and students) brought me from vague interest to intense love of his paintings.

Yeah, it’s all personal.  TBD is right about that.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 1, 2008 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

re: Inherit The Wind

Perhaps the notion you put forward is supported by the notion that art without emotion is invalid. Pianist and composer Cecil Taylor once said: “to feel is perhaps the most terrifying thing in this society”.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

ITW, try blowing into a brown paper bag. 

thebeerdoctor, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I will certainly raise a beer (nonalcoholic anyway since I can’t drink the hard stuff) to you, uh, later in the day.  I’ll certainly drink with you, if you drink, or to you if you don’t. There is one who won’t have a beer with me, (probably a few more than that one) and so it goes too. I’ll survive.  Friends come and friends go.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Nope.
I disagree.  ALL art relies on its ability to stimulate, whether to love, hate, heal, kill, rebel, enlist in the Army, vote for McCain, or vote for Obama.

And that stimulation begins with entertainment. “Uncle Sam Wants YOU!” is a powerful image because it’s fascinating, therefore entertaining, therefore effective as an advertisement and propaganda.

Both of you fail to recognize just how powerful a concept entertainment is. Because its opposite is BOREDOM.  Boredom is artistic failure.  “Beauty” in art is meaningless without entertainment first.

“Message” is even more meaningless without entertainment values.  “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” had an important message.  But it’s still a stupid and BORING film!  “An Inconvenient Truth” has an important message—and it conveys it by being a fascinating and ENTERTAINING movie.  Oliver Stone always has a “message” and one I usually agree with (except “JFK”), but all his movies are dull polemics.  Why? He doesn’t get the ENTERTAINMENT value!

Ayn Rand, Berthold Brecht and Athol Fugard ALL understood that the convey the message, you FIRST had to entertain.  That’s why, regardless of you POV, “Fountain Head”, “Atlas Shrugged”, “Three-Penny Opera”, “Sizwe Bansi is Dead”, and “Master Harold and the Boys” are all wonderful art—they tell a great ENTERTAINING story FIRST—and build the message into it.

In fact, Brecht not only knew about entertainment, he believed he had to break it temporarily to force his audience to withdraw and think—the is the verfremdungseffekt (scuse my bad German spelling), the Alienation Technique.

Before there’s beauty, before there’s a message, before there’s propaganda, there must first be entertainment. Boredom stops art like the side of a mountain stops a plane!

It’s not black/white. It’s not moronic Bushian (that’s insulting).  It is a fundamental necessity of all art.  Boredom is bad, boredom is failure.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 1, 2008 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

re: shenonymous

Thanks for the slap back. I’ll be the first to admit I do not know what art is, only what is personally useful. I am constantly reminded of the people who view work by others who say ‘I could do that”. But the point is they didn’t, and nobody was stopping them.
Inherit The Wind’s comment about Pollock speaking to him at some fundamental level, is much more to the point. Some work produces a visceral reaction that is genuine and profoundly human. The other stuff that does not speak to you? That doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad, it simply does not work for you.
So forgive my arrogance, an internet peasant can be completely full of it. But to actually make a painting, not some virtual mouse splash, that is difficult. Anyone who thinks being intoxicated will aide in executing that work, has little idea of what is actually involved.
As for the entertainment value, perhaps that should read “inner attainment” value. Forgive me, it is my birthday and I am allowed to play the fool!
So I guess you know by now I do not put much stock in art theory. Everybody should absorb what they can and let others do the same. Peace.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

For those who wish to remain ignorant, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, and so it goes:  A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: otherwise known as delusion. 

Youse guys just love your ignorance don’t you, pigs and gorillas don’t go to school either, and they are fairly smart, smart enough not to argue with the ejumakated.  Hell they only argue with their own kind.  But sometimes they use brute force when they lack intelligence, then they be jes laik dem udder Dumb White Males.

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By Folktruther, November 1, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Thank you very much, Paracelsus, for responding to Dr She’s contempt for Consspiracy Theories not approved by the authorities.  I happen to be intereted in the phenomena of Educated mindlessless, especially in the social sciences and related disciplines and Dr. S, like Cann4ing, often exhibits it in its purist form.

A Conspiracy in American mainstream truth is that power phenomena that has been sanitized out of the Educated propaganda that is used to indoctrinate the young in schoolbook history to respect the American power system and the power structure that rules it.  Any historian that subverts this Educated consensus, like the noted Britsh historian Francis Saunders, is not Real or Reliable history.  To extend Michael Parenti’s language it is DIRTY history, and therefore soils the nice clean sanitary history that the American Educated know.

So its best to change the subject to art history, isn’t it.  Some of which is given in German.  Very Educated. This is the traditional way that the Educated classes intimidate the population, by speaking in unfamilar tongues, preferable dead ones.  Latin and Greek, Sancrit and ancient Chinese have beeen old favorites. 

It was an academic highly Educated in languages that opposed evolution against Huxley, arguing that HIS grandfather wasn’t a monkey.  And it was the Educated Jesuits of the time that wouldn’t look through Galileo’s telescope to see the craters on the moon because Aristotle, The Philospher, stated that all heavenly bodies were Perfect.

The Educated are quite sincere in their rejection of evidence and reason that conflict with Education.  And this is what the population must surmount, the Educated leading them to identify with the Educated truth.  Which under the codewords of Creativity and Innovation teaches them to shut up and do what they are told.

And just as the CIA sponsored artists and public intellectuals during the Cold war, the Educated are infiltrated by pseudo-progressives funded by the power structure to mislead the population to identify with conservatives like Obama.  It is this combination of Education and infiltrated intellectual corruption that must be combated to develop a progressive consensus that serves the interests of the population.  We obviously have a long way to go.

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By Leefeller, November 1, 2008 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

ITW, asking your self

“Is it entertaining”?  Amusing choice of word, “entertaining”.  This is a personal perspective or is everyone supposed to see art in this perspective? 

“Otherwise useless”.

Art can be entertaining, but not have to be entertaining to be art. Your choice of words scream for clarification. 

Sounds like Bush’s “you are with us, or against us” approach to art?

FYI: Art is not football.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

No, all art does not live or die on the entertainment value.  ITW, spoken like a true aesthete, not with any comprehension of the aesthetic (the wisdom of beauty).  The artworld doesn’t mind because the world is more full of aesthetes (those who affect or pretend to know what art is) than those who understand the real value of art and what it is.  And we know it is an uphill, Sisyphusian, climb.  As a minute experiment, just imagine, if you are able, to envision the entire world without any sign of art at all, especially sans the entertainment factor as well, putting that ‘value’ even more aside.  H L Menken once called it the Libido for the Ugly.  It could be worthwhile to study the idea of the ugly in order to understand the value of art.  The ugly, the miserable, wretched and the ignorant are very closely related.  Aesthetics is a sibling to the idea of ethics and both are considered under the philosophical rubric, axiology, that is, the study of values.  Values are what determines social morals and that is what we have all been talking about on these forums.  So it seems like learning the “true” value of the arts, could help give insight into other values (morals).

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

All art lives or dies on how it answers one critical question: Is it entertaining?  If the answer is “Yes” then I consider it valid.  If the answer is “No” I consider it (to be kind) a failure.  To be unkind, useless.

Pollock speaks to me, at some fundamental level. I don’t know why, but he does, regardless of the sordid details of his life. Others of that era don’t—Rothko only barely touches me. Robert Motherwell is, to me, a total waste of time.  I look at his work and see…nothing but a waste of gallery space.

I think about this in movies, too.  A dumb movie that makes me laugh, like “Young Doctors in Love” or “Major League” is as valuable to me as a Kurasawa masterpiece. 

Music, theater, sculpture, dance, whatever.  If I am entertained, I value it. If I am not, I don’t.  I can stand in front of a Seurat or a Van Gogh for hours. I can’t stand for 5 minutes in front of a Joan Miro. 

Pollock is unique because I don’t know why I like his dribble paintings but I do and can look at them again and again.  I don’t see it in his students (like I don’t see the magic of Seurat in HIS students who never understood pointalism—Roy Lichtenstein did, though).

When Pollock said he wasn’t being random, I believe him.  John Cage WAS random—he used it as a musical component, and much of Cage’s music was fascinating to me.

I do make one exception: Moral bankruptcy. Using art in ways that are truly evil, to me, supersedes entertainment.  I consider Chris Burden’s “Performance Art” to be such.  Having himself shot in the arm, nailed to a VW, or crawling across broken glass on hands and knees in shorts so he’s sliced to ribbons isn’t art to me.  Leni Riefenstahl making Nazi propaganda films falls into the same category.

And so does Picasso’s “La Reve”.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Well we (I) gave you more than just a few tidbit gossip items about Pollock. And thebeerdoctor do you think you are the only one who understands what Aht is all about?  Some arrogance seeping through there.  Your patonizing attitude is ridiculous.  There are plenty Truthdiggers here who see beyond petty facts.  As far as art is concerned, it has been my life study, actually all the arts.  So please don’t be preachy.  I suggest a couple of Andre Malraux books for casual bathroom reading, Museum Without Walls, or the entire volume The Voices of Silence for some insight into visual art and music.  I suggest you too get on with living.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 1, 2008 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Obviously it seems that no one gets what I am trying to say. All the biographical details, all the gossip, all the little bits and pieces of rumors and facts about any artist’s life mean absolutely nothing. You can have an entire library on any given artist and know absolutely nothing of what the work is about. If it is not in the work, then where is it? Some critic or historian’s perception? Do you have to know anything about Mozart to experience the music?
The messy details of anyone’s life provide the kind of silly fodder for the Hollywood biograph. Alcohol is a readily available demon, like Kirk Douglas in Young Man With A Horn. It could just as easily be stated that the foremost American abstract expressionist painter, and the foremost American abstract expressionist sculptor, David Smith, both were killed by the same thing: the American automobile.
Artworks are records and reminders of creative human activity. Instead of being “understood”, they are, in the best sense, a reminder and call for further action. Living is what the business of living is all about.
“Good art can come out of thieves, bottleggers, or horse swipes.”
William Faulkner
It does not matter who made Blue Poles, what matters is that Blue Poles was made.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

Gathering a few more strings together:
thebeerdoctor, of course not, the site of the computerized Pollock-inspired imagery was developed by Miltos Manetas, Greek painter who lives in London.  His site is listed among links from a major resource on Pollock.  You are being somewhat picayune. It was offered just for fun for the almost braindead from all the talk on politics.  Lighten up.  Pollock would have l loved it, probably while he downed a shot of his favorite, Jack Daniels.  About his work, he said all of the drips were on purpose and not accidental. I don’t use the accident. I deny the accident. (Jackson Pollock) 

Pollock began painting with his canvases laid out on the studio floor, and developed what was later called his “drip” technique. The drip technique required paint with a fluid viscosity so Pollock turned to then new synthetic resin-based paints, called alkyd enamels. Pollock described this use of household paints, instead of artist’s paints, as “a natural growth out of a need”.  For his technique Pollock needed a paint with a fluid viscosity (one that would pour smoothly). For this he turned to the new synthetic resin-based paints on the market (generally called ‘gloss enamel’), made for industrial purposes such as spray-painting cars or household interior decorating. He would continue using gloss enamel paint until his death.  See Pollock (not Ed Harris) in action: at http://www.nga.gov/feature/pollock/process1.shtm

In 2006, New York Times reported a Pollock painting sold for $140 million.  I think I’m done obsessing over Pollock.  I have a very stunning and believable Pollockian (my nickname for ersatz Pollocks) of my own (8ft x 5ft) that hangs in the dining room.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 1, 2008 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Cyrena and Fadel:

I certainly don’t claim to have the answer—I just think I have one potential answer.

Fadel, I don’t think unregulated speech and “unregulated” commerce are the same thing at all. We’ve seen all too clearly that “unregulated” business and banking means the “freedom” to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. Freedom to steal? Neither of us accept that as valid.

In our American concept of freedom, we DO have limits on freedom of speech. For example you may not:
1) Yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater if there is no fire.
2) Threaten a person with physical harm.
3) Threaten or incite murder or attempted murder of a President or a Presidential candidate.
4) Commit libel (covered by civil, not criminal law)
5) Commit perjury (lying under oath about facts relevant to the case).
6) Lie to a peace officer.
7) Commit plagiarism.
8) Incite riots.

These are a few of the limits we accept on our freedom of speech.

Your point about the rise of the Nazis in Weimar Germany is a good one—and the rise of Fascism in Italy immediately after WWI.  (People forget that Fascists came to power 11 years before the Nazis and that Hitler modeled his vision of achieving power on Mussolini’s, who was already a major European leader).

But who gets to decide which parties are allowed and which aren’t?  According to the current Republican administration, and much of the McCain campaign and its supporters, ALL of the Democratic Party should be outlawed!  Really! I’m not kidding!

Pay a visit to the forums attached to Foxnews.com and you won’t believe what posters there advocate!  If they had their wish, we’d be a one-party nation, where only Protestant Christians would be allowed, and all Muslims would be expelled and stripped of their citizenship! (because Muslims are today’s “devil”.  Yesterday it was Communists, tomorrow it will be Catholics, the next day Jews, and then Buddhists and Hindus)

So I am VERY leery of letting anyone decide who isn’t allowed to be a party in the USA.  I think very strict ground-rules need to be spelled out first, like advocating the VIOLENT overthrow of the US government.  Certainly if they actively organize criminal activity they should lose their political party status.

But if some party wants radical change by the legal means of altering the Constitution according to the rules of the Constitution—through the Amendment process, how can you make them illegal?

I don’t have definitive answers on this…but I do have questions and ideas.

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By Shenonymous, November 1, 2008 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Obviously needed, here is a brief art history lesson from a few biographies.  Please do better research.  I have a library on Pollock. http://www.beatmuseum.org/pollock/jacksonpollock.html
By the 1960s, however, he was generally recognized as the most important figure in the most important movement of this century in American painting, but a movement from which artists were already in reaction (Post-Painterly Abstraction). His unhappy personal life (he was an alcoholic) and his premature death in a car crash contributed to his legendary status. In 1944 Pollock married Lee Krasner (1911-84), who was an Abstract Expressionist painter of some distinction, although it was only after her husband’s death that she received serious critical recognition.

Hier ist es auf cherman, wenn Sie es auf cherman (haha) Ja deutsch
benötigen   http://www.cosmopolis.ch/cosmo1/pollock.htm
Sein internationales Ansehen war auf dem Höhepunkt, doch erstmals hatte er keine Einzelausstellung mehr. 1954 malte er fast nichts. Im folgenden Jahr musste er die Psychotherapie wieder aufnehmen. Er beendete 1955 sein letztes Oelgemälde, Search. Doch es blieb ihm keine Zeit mehr, Neues zu finden. Alkoholismus und Depressionen zerstörten ihn langsam. Seine Beziehung zu Krasner litt. 1956 raste er in angetrunkenem Zustand in einen Baum und wurde so - wie James Dean, der ein Jahr zuvor mit seinem Porsche ebenfalls tödlich verunfallt war - zum Mythos. Die Preise für seine Werke explodierten. Die Legende vom Naturburschen, dem jungen wilden aus Wyoming, ein Image, das er selber pflegte, wurde schon vor Jahren in Frage gestellt. Auch andere Mythen, die sich um Pollock rankten, wurde schon vor Jahren ein Ende bereitet, so 1973 von Hilton Kramer in The Jackson Pollock Myth I in: The Age of Avant-Garde.

Ziehen Sie dann sich auf englisch zurück: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock
Pollock did not paint at all in 1955.  After struggling with alcoholism his whole life, Pollock’s career was cut short when he died in an alcohol-related, single car crash in his Oldsmobile convertible, less than a mile from his home in Springs, New York on August 11, 1956 at the age of 44. One of his passengers, Edith Metzger, died, while the other passenger, Pollock’s girlfriend Ruth Kligman, survived. After his death, Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner, managed his estate and ensured that Pollock’s reputation remained strong in spite of changing art-world trends. They are buried in Green River Cemetery in Springs with a large boulder marking his grave and a smaller one marking hers.

http://www.jackson-pollock.com/downfall.html  In Paris, on August 12, 1956, Lee Krasner received a phone call informing her that her husband, Jackson Pollock, had died the night before.  It seems to be all great American legends are surrounded by myth. And most American legends, as they are labeled, die at an early age and leave people to wonder what could have been if only.  As Pollock’s work was gaining promise, he was struggling with his inner demons of alcoholism and depression. His brothers Charles and Sanford encouraged him to seek treatment, including psychoanalysis in 1937. But in 1938, he suffered a setback in the form of a nervous breakdown. While the therapy was not successful in curing his drinking problem or his depression, he did have two years of absolute sobriety in which he created some wonderful pieces of work.  By 1955, he stopped painting altogether, when the alcohol and depression got the better of him. At this time, Krasner had the opportunity to go to Europe for a period of time. Considering the state of their marriage and Pollock’s behavior, Krasner took the opportunity to go to Europe and re-evaluate their marriage. Pollock, on the other hand, remained in New York. He took up with a mistress to keep him company along with his drink and to distract himself from his current situation. The agonies, self-doubt, and chaos he was experiencing were to come to an end very soon.

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By thebeerdoctor, November 1, 2008 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

re: Tying Up Some Loose Ends

This whole Pollock/CIA thing is funny and strange. Thanks to Maani for posting the New Yorker link. But a lot of that is just conjecture.
Shenonymous has it partially right. The business about alcohol has been over stated. The paintings produced during the break through, direct drip method, were created by a sober, dedicated artist, who only drank beer at the end of the day, who refrained from hard drink with the help of a therapist who subsequently died, which helped exacerbate the final descent of hard drink abuse by Mr. Pollock.
But all of this is so totally beside the point. You want to understand Jackson Pollock’s art? Take the trouble to look at it for yourself. As for the Jackson Pollock splash mouse site, it should be remembered that when Pollock was alive, drip painting had only black lacquer and linseed oil based house paints, the first enamels (oil based of course) were for metal auto body parts. The range of colours available on the splash mouse site, were not available in Pollock’s time. So saying that by splashing virtual colours on a computer monitor, is any anything like action painting, is a very big assumption, not supported by the facts.
For Athena Taylor, Helen Frankenthaler lived long enough to see the advent of modern acrylic enamel paint. Also the direct stain method of pouring onto raw canvas was further enhanced by the invention of polyflax.

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By cyrena, November 1, 2008 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

ITW writes to try to answer the legitimate and also one of the trickiest questions there is to this whole thing on freedom of speech/anything. It’s a huge paradox, and one that I at least, consistently struggle with in coming up with what is not a single correct answer.

~~~~

“As I type it occurs to me that is the answer! Allowing them the legal right to be disgusting and a threat forces us to remain vigilant and never take these freedoms for granted.  Freedom isn’t free and every generation needs to be reminded of it again and again.  George W. Bush has reminded us for the first time since the early 70’s, by the threat he poses to us all.”


But, I agree with ITW that this is certainly one or more major components to the answer.

Thanks ITW and Fadel for bringing it up.

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By kath cantarella, October 31, 2008 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Shenonymous:

When i made the comment you refer to, I was primarily thinking about Robert Sheer.

I don’t get the ‘self-serving’ and ‘defensive’ part of your criticism. I’m not a white male, and i’m not a McCain supporter, it’s Obama all the way for me, has been from the moment he won the primary. I hate generalisations. I really have a problem with people who assume because someone has a certain ethnicity, or a certain gender that means X about aspects of their character.

Please explain ‘self-serving’ and ‘defensive’?

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By Shenonymous, October 31, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

Pollock died in 1956.  He was a struggling alcoholic most of his adult life and didn’t even paint for about a year 1955.  He hardly had time to futz around with clandestine anything except his whiskey bottle.  He didn’t get around to painting his Jack the Dripper paintings until after 1947 and he painted over 40 paintings in the 9 years before he was killed in a car crash (drunk). There are a lot of dumb stories around.  If you want to play around with a Pollockian artwork of your own, go to http://www.jacksonpollock.org/ and move your mouse around the field, click and a new color will be yours, click again, another new color, etc., and etc., quite nice. Oh, and if you have a Grab program why you can even copy and save your artwork to your desktop and print it out!

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By Paracelsus, October 31, 2008 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

@Shenomynous


http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/the-cia-and-the-culture-war/?pagemode=print

Is the NY Times too crackpot for you?

The C.I.A. and the Culture War
By Barry Gewen
The name is Schlesinger, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (Associated Press)

So far as I know, I have never taken money from the C.I.A. (though I have worked for some organizations that have had C.I.A. connections, including, apparently, my present employer). The same can’t be said for any number of prominent writers and artists, from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. to Jackson Pollock.

During the early years of the cold war, they were supported, sometimes lavishly, always secretly, by the C.I.A. as part of its propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the most successful use of “soft power” in American history. Yet once the facts came out in 1967 the episode became a source of scandal and controversy that continues to percolate to this day. How close should presumably independent intellectuals get to their government?

Many books and articles were written about all this until 1999, when one book, Frances Stonor Saunders’ “Cultural Cold War,” swept the field. Saunders was highly critical of the “octopus-like C.I.A.” and those intellectuals who allowed themselves to be used as pawns in the government’s cold war game. But though her book was diligently researched and vigorously argued, it can hardly be considered the last word — if only because the issue doesn’t allow for last words.

Now the historian Hugh Wilford has come out with “The Mighty Wurlitzer,” and it can be seen as a direct rejoinder to Saunders. The story, Wilford says, is complicated. Far from being pawns, the intellectuals on the C.I.A. payroll were willing participants in what they understood as the legitimate cause of opposing Soviet tyranny. They took money for what they would have done anyway; the C.I.A. simply allowed them to be more effective at doing it. Who was using whom? Even more complicated is the question of secrecy. Many, if not most of the beneficiaries didn’t know where the money was coming from (or didn’t want to know). They professed outrage when the truth was revealed. Were they right to be upset?

There’s enough ethical quicksand here to sink an aircraft carrier. It’s clear that the C.I.A.’s cultural war wouldn’t have been nearly as effective if it had been public (if only because Congress would never have agreed to subsidize the American liberals, European Socialists and avant-garde artists that the sophisticated C.I.A. was happy to take under its wing).

The controversy over secrecy seems to boil down to ends and means: the end was preventing Communist domination of Europe; the means were those that spy agencies, but not artists and writers, are accustomed to using. Wilford himself would have preferred the program to be public, but his book suggests we should be careful before rushing to judgment. He quotes several unapologetic participants, including Diana Trilling: “I never liked the secrecy but was willing to live with it because I thought we were doing useful work.”

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By Shenonymous, October 31, 2008 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Pollock was already dead when the CIA promoted the art.  The conspiracy theories abound don’t they. They are coming out of the woodwork.  Good grief, get a grip and get some reliable history books.

There must be some computer games you guys can get off on that has KKK, CIA, Trilateral Commission, the National Socialist Party of old Germany (or new Germany, maybe), the old Putin KGB, Communists, Right-wing Republicans, Left-wing Democrats, Evangelical Christians, Taliban, you know, all the really great groups in the world.  Oh I think I forgot the Mossad, Scotland Yard, Skinheads.  Let’s not leave anybody out except sane people.

It’s like who the F are you all trying to impress with all that shit?

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By Fadel Abdallah, October 31, 2008 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, October 31 at 6:48 pm #

Fadel,

On this I understand your confusion.  In France, it’s illegal to even buy and sell Nazi memorabilia, not matter what it is, much less form a Nazi party.
==========================
Thank you Inherit The Wind for your attempt at explaining the merit of the “non-regulated” freedom of speech, which makes sense at the theoretical idealistic level.

However, wasn’t non-regulated freedom of speech the prelude the Nazis of Germany advanced ahead of the Holocaust?

And wasn’t the non-regulated economy that led to the disastrous economic situation we are facing now and everyone, except the crooks, is suffering its consequences?!

Furthermore, you talk about “Barbarians At The Gate” when, in fact, those barbarians are not at the gate; they are inside the house which they claim their own to the exclusion of others.

Exactly, as absolute power corrupts absolutely, I happen to believe that absolute freedom can lead to corruption of the same magnitude. This is so because it is built in the recalcitrant human nature that some people believe that their freedoms are more important and precious than the freedoms of other groups whom they perceive as lower than them in the social scale. So in light of this, civilized laws are needed to regulate freedom as they are needed to regulate all other aspects of society, and this is more so needed in a multi-cultural and multi-racial societies, where due to certain sick notions of race, color or gender some groups think they have more rights to entitlements than others.

Don’t misunderstand me! For I do believe that freedom of believe, speech and association are among the most precious values humans can aspire to. However, the problem is not with these as ideal concepts, but with us- recalcitrant human beings!

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By Paracelsus, October 31, 2008 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment

The Ku Klux Klan

  During the 1960’s, the FBI’s role was not to protect civil rights workers, but rather, through the use of informants, the Bureau actively assisted the Ku Klux Klan in their campaign of racist murder and terror.

  Church Committee hearings and internal FBI documents revealed that more than one quarter of all active Klan members during the period were FBI agents or informants. 44 However, Bureau intelligence “assets” were neither neutral observers nor objective investigators, but active participants in beatings, bombings and murders that claimed the lives of some 50 civil rights activists by 1964. 44

  Bureau spies were elected to top leadership posts in at least half of all Klan units. 45 Needless to say, the informants gained positions of organizational trust on the basis of promoting the Klan’s fascist agenda. Incitement to violence and participation in terrorist acts would only confirm the infiltrator’s loyalty and commitment.

  Unlike slick Hollywood popularizations of the period, such as Alan Parker’s film, “Mississippi Burning,” the FBI was instrumental in building the Ku Klux Klan in the South,

  “...setting up dozens of Klaverns, sometimes being leaders and public spokespersons. Gary Rowe, an FBI informant, was involved in the Klan killing of Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights worker. He claimed that he had to fire shots at her rather than ‘blow his cover.’ One FBI agent, speaking at a rally organized by the Klavern he led, proclaimed to his followers, ‘We will restore white rights if we have to kill every negro to do it.’” 46

  Throughout its history, the Klan has had a contradictory relationship with the national government: as a defender of white privilege and the patriarchal status quo, and as an implicit threat, however provisional, to federal power. Depending on political conditions in society as a whole, vigilante terror can be supplemental to official violence, or kept on the proverbial shortleash. 47 As a surrogate army in the field of terror against official enemies, the Klan enjoys wide latitude. But when it moves into an oppositional mode and attacks key institutions of national power, Klan paramilitarism - but not its overt white supremacist ideology - is treated as an imminent threat to the social order, suppressed, but never destroyed, unlike other COINTELPRO target groups.

  These roles are not mutually exclusive. As anti-racist researcher Michael Novick warns: “The KKK and its successor and fraternal organizations are deeply rooted in the actual white supremacist power relations of US society. They exist as a supplement to the armed power of the state, available to be used when the rulers and the state find it necessary.” 48

http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/coinwcar3.htm

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By Paracelsus, October 31, 2008 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

Neo-Nazi Threatmaker Accused of Working for FBI
Posted in Anti-Gay, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Semitic, Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist by Mark Potok on January 11, 2008

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New Jersey radio host Hal Turner is well known as one of the most vicious neo-Nazis in America, a man who routinely suggests killing his enemies.

Hal TurnerRailing against President Bush, he told his audience last June that “a well-placed bullet can solve a lot of problems.” He has written that “we need to start SHOOTING AND KILLING Mexicans as they cross the border” and argued that killing certain federal judges “may be illegal, but it wouldn’t be wrong.” In 2006, after he published an attack on New Jersey Supreme Court justices that also included several of their home addresses, state police massively beefed up security for the members of the court, checking on one justice’s house more than 200 times.

Hal Turner is one serious extremist. He may also be on the FBI payroll.

On Jan. 1, unidentified hackers electronically confronted Turner in the forum of his website for “The Hal Turner Show.” After a heated exchange, they told Turner that they had successfully hacked into his E-mails and found correspondence with an FBI agent who is apparently Turner’s handler. Then they posted an alleged July 7 E-mail to the agent in which Turner hands over a message from someone who sent in a death threat against Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). “Once again,” Turner writes to his handler, “my fierce rhetoric has served to flush out a possible crazy.” In what is allegedly a portion of another E-mail, Turner discusses the money he is paid.

On Thursday, as the E-mail exchange was heatedly discussed on a major neo-Nazi website, Turner suddenly announced he was quitting political work. “I hereby separate from the ‘pro-White’ movement,” he said, adding that he was ending his radio show immediately. “I will no longer involve myself in any aspect of it.”

The FBI declined comment. “Longstanding FBI policy prohibits disclosing who may or may not provide information,” Agent Richard Kolko of the agency’s press unit said. Reached in New Jersey, Turner also declined all comment.

The apparent revelation set off a torrent of criticism from experts in criminology and the use of informants. “This is clearly over the line,” said James Nolan, an associate sociology professor at West Virginia University who is an expert in police procedure and a former unit chief in the FBI’s Crime Analysis, Research and Development Unit. “Informants may be involved in drugs, and you overlook that because of the greater good. However, these are viable threats — they could be carried out — that the FBI clearly knows about. I want to see the FBI stop it.”

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2008/01/11/neo-nazi-threatmaker-accused-of-working-for-fbi/

***************************

With the FBI on the job, I think I could always have employment if I set up an anti-hate organization of some sort. I could perhaps get more donation money if I advertised that I would push for a federal hate speech code as well as mandatory internet censorship. Think of the legal fees I could earn from my legal foundation if Congress had a bounty for anyone who published hateful literature. My problem is that I think too small, and that I quibble over minor ethical and constitutional issues. People would love me in all the chicest DC parties for shutting up hateful people.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 31, 2008 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah, October 31 at 4:36 pm #
...

In fact, one of the things that keep giving me cultural shocks after 30 years of living in the USA, is the fact that White Supremacist groups are allowed to assemble and organize openly. I cannot reconcile the concept of freedom of speech with such extreme hateful groups. Simply put, the existence of such groups is diametrically opposed to the concept of progress and civilization. I can handle and even tolerate individual cases of racism and bigotry, but when those types organize under a racist philosophy, then every one who looks a little different is a potential victim.
***************************
Fadel,
On this I understand your confusion.  In France, it’s illegal to even buy and sell Nazi memorabilia, not matter what it is, much less form a Nazi party.

So how do we explain allowing political parties and groups who use freedom of speech to forward their goal of ...ending freedom of speech?  I’m not sure I have a good answer, but I’ll try.

When you start outlawing political activity and political speech because THEY want to outlaw other political parties and free speech, then they win.  All you are then is a different version of them.

We hope that our 220 years of standing up for free speech, and letting these jerks mouth off weakens them.  Unfortunately, the bigots and the violent, the racist lynchers are a constant threat.

One of the constant stresses of our democracy is that we ALWAYS have “Barbarians At The Gate”.  That we can keep them at bay is a measure of the strength of our freedom.  That they regularly get too powerful for comfort and have to be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of decent people is a warning that they are always there, always a threat, and we must always be vigilant.

As I type it occurs to me that is the answer! Allowing them the legal right to be disgusting and a threat forces us to remain vigilant and never take these freedoms for granted.  Freedom isn’t free and every generation needs to be reminded of it again and again.  George W. Bush has reminded us for the first time since the early 70’s, by the threat he poses to us all.

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By Folktruther, October 31, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Athena Taylor’s comment that there was ‘conspiracy talk’ that Jackson Pollock was promoted by the CIA was most likely true.  As the British historian Francis Conors Saunders documented in WHO PAID THE PIER?, the CIA supported, financially, abstract art as a counterweight to Soviet social realism.  The CIA supported a whole range of poets, writers, public intellectuals and fake socialists to promote anti-communist tendencies of the intellectual pseudo-left.

Just as the Bushites put members of an industry in the governement to supposedly regulate industry, the US power system supports pseudo-leftists to blunt, defuse and divert policies to the interests of the progressive population.  As they probably do to support Obama, a conservative opportunist who is touted as being progressive.

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By Athena Taylor, October 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani and Shenonymous thank you for the links and interesting comments about Pollack and art.  Good stuff is out there we just have to dig.

I look forward to reading Maani’s links for sure

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By Shenonymous, October 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

I’ll take all the wonderful women artists I’ve studied (degrees in studio art and art history/aesthetics) without sugar, too numerous to list but Louis Nevelson and Deborah Butterfield are two favorite women sculptors, one modern, the other contemporary.  A walk through any museum that has contemporary or modern art will have examples of numerous women artists’ works.  It might be a relaxing relief from all the ugly politics that have been thrown at us.  I urge everyone to go. Posthumously, Pollock was among the artists the CIA financed and organized to promote American abstract expressionists as an antidote to communist Soviet socialist realism style. 

Athena Taylor is correct, there is something very palliative in experiencing art, whether your taste is more for the representational works or the modern genres.

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By Fadel Abdallah, October 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, October 30 at 6:52 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Fadel—If it’s any comfort, you are not the only admirable human being who’s used the term “white trash” in the heat of the moment. I don’t think anyone is trash, and I don’t think you do either really, but some people really do inspire extreme reactions.
=================
Thank you Sepharad for trying to comfort me with the story of your and your mother’s experience with the “white trash” group. Your mother must have been a courageous and noble woman, certainly ahead of her time when she put an act of resistance to such barbarity. If she’s still alive, please convey my warm greetings to her. If she has passed away may God bless her soul!

In fact, my usage of the phrase was a metaphor for the bigots, racists and ignorant ones who insist on exhibiting their ignorance openly in a way that offends me, and I might use it it again if I am confronted with a situation like the one you and your family encountered.

In fact, one of the things that keep giving me cultural shocks after 30 years of living in the USA, is the fact that White Supremacist groups are allowed to assemble and organize openly. I cannot reconcile the concept of freedom of speech with such extreme hateful groups. Simply put, the existence of such groups is diametrically opposed to the concept of progress and civilization. I can handle and even tolerate individual cases of racism and bigotry, but when those types organize under a racist philosophy, then every one who looks a little different is a potential victim.

As to your point about the “Arabian Nights” to which I alluded in one of my posts, it’s, in fact, an idea of “One Thousand and One American Nightmares” like the one you experienced and the one that many Americans have experienced and continue to experience during these harsh times. It seems that you can be a partner in this project since you have first-hand experience with such themes and you are a writer and an educator. Let me know if you want to collaborate in such project which is still in its formative stage. However, you don’t expect me to serialize such episodes on Truthdig!

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By Maani, October 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

Re Jackson Pollock and the CIA, see the following three pieces (though I cannot attest to the veracity of the first two, the third is from The New Yorker)):

http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id260/pg1/index.html

http://www.pist.ca/article.php/1cia

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/10/17/051017crat_atlarge

Peace.

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By cyrena, October 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

ITW writes..

“..When you are finished tainting be sure to get them all sugared up with lots of candy as today is Halloween—then drop them off home!  (Talk about a “Trick”! )..”

You couldn’t be more correct about this being a ‘TRICK’...dropping them off at home, ALL SUGARED UP!!

Holy Shit!! I’m bracing for it now, and the formal trick or treating exercise hasn’t even kicked in yet. We go through that around here daily…the battle to restrict the sugar intake of an already hyped 7 year old. I swear that sugar works like alchohol in adults by changing personalities. It’s like they get all sugared-up, and need holding tanks or something with padded walls.

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By Athena Taylor, October 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are lucky indeed to have seen a large canvas of Helen Frakenthaler. You sound like you know a lot about art, which is great. Art is the BEST (music too).  I wish all Americans knew more about art…I believe art could be the new religion. 

I have a weird fixation on the CIA, I think they are real busy bodies and are everywhere.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

re: Athena Taylor

The story about Pollock being a part of some CIA plot is hilarious! If that is true, then they better go back and look over the “subversive” writings of Thomas Hart Benton. As far Helen Frankenthaler, I was once fortunate to see one of her very large, acrylic stained paintings, and yes it was truly amazing. Poetry in its most sublime, visual form.

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By Paracelsus, October 31, 2008 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

In Defense of White Males

The big elections that happen every four years are decided by a small number of people who do vote. I think the figure is only 50% of those of voting age do vote. Politics has ceased to be a solution except if one works for a politician or if one bribes/donates via a politician in an election in order to get a benefit. The reason the militia movement became so popular during the 90’s was from the recognition on part of some white males that the government ceased to represent them in DC. Such a stance I have heard to be characterized as schizotypal rage or anti-social crankiness by the typical Democratic ninnies.

It is interesting to note that many in these militia movements had been ex-military involved in special forces operations used in covert operations. So I have to ask myself, “What do they know that I don’t?”

I remember a show that Donahue did in 1994 where he would ask the militia guest questions and not allow them to answer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obOFZY77tnQ

I don’t know if these fellows are included as “Stupid White Males”. One of the militia guests was a black man. As to voting in Presidential races, I had voted for Nader twice, because I would loathe myself morally if I voted for the Democratic sock puppet. In 1992 I voted for Ross Perot as I had been impressed with his metaphor for NAFTA as a “big sucking sound” from Mexico. It turns out that the Stupid White Male from Texas was right.

This year I voted for Ron Paul in the primary election based on his promise to bring the troops home. Neither Obama or Clinton clearly promised that in equivocating English.

I have lived to see a political system with no redeeming features. I will never vote an establishment Republican or Democrat into office. I may be looked at as stupid to point out Obama’s flaws, but in the end I will be proven right. I don’t see Obama as a stealth candidate; I take him at his words and actions to be another in a long line of criminal politicians. If you want a black man as president, then find a different one worthy of my vote.

As to these fascist, neo-aryan groups, most of them are controlled by the FBI or other intelligence operations. If these guys weren’t around a good many ngo’s would be out of business. Think operation GLADIO.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 31, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, October 31 at 4:13 am #

May I offer you a napkin, ITW?  Enjoy your day, I’ve got to be off to taint the little ones’ minds.
************************************
Thanks, I just used a McCain/Palin flyer to mop it up that I had been saving to line the cats’ litter box. I think they like crapping on McCain’s and Palin’s faces!

When you are finished tainting be sure to get them all sugared up with lots of candy as today is Halloween—then drop them off home!  (Talk about a “Trick”! )

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By athena taylor, October 31, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr. Beer :0) and Mr. Folktruther:

Points well taken. Helen Frankenthaller is AMAZING, her art is incredible. Check this out:  according to some “conspiracy” talk,  Jackson Pollack was promoted by the CIA as “anti-Soviet” propaganda to fight Communism.  Little did the CIA know that Abstract Art is deeply spiritual and expresses transcendental cosmic truths and is not meant to promote American Imperialism!  I guess Helen Frankenthaller’s art was too subtle to be used for psych ops. 

Anyway, I currently think that bigotry stems from a psychological need to identify with authority or the top dog.  I know a gentleman who grew up in a liberal household and now is pro-Bush.  I admire the way Obama has handled his mixed race, growing up white culturally yet embracing his father’s race.  How tricky is that?

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By Folktruther, October 31, 2008 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

I meant, Leefeller,  that political parties and religions are CULTURALLY and COMMUNALLY inherited, not genticially and individually inherited. The greatest influence being the family.  Dem and Gop families spawn Dem and Gop children, and Methodists and Hindus…. etc.

And the families are influenced by the cultural ideologies of their groupings.  This aspect of power, whose implications are largely ignored in political science, is used by Elites to unite with Whites across class boundaries, pandering to racism.
American White men (and this is a cultural designation as much as one of skin color, James Baldwin pointing out long ago that many Black people have lighter skin tones than Whites) are not so much Stupid as bigoted.  But the resulting policies and rationalizations emerge as stupidity.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 31, 2008 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

re: Athena Taylor Taylor

Since this thread has moved from stupid white guys to the topic of why white men are taught to be the only artists to pay attention to.
Part of this is not only male centric, but Euro-centric. For example, why is it that notated (written) music is considered the standard for high art, when nearly all of the rest of the world does not use it? Oral tradition is deemed primitive compared with the abstract notion of dividing up music between the mind and body.
As for visual art, the whole macho=must-be-good concept has denied the achievements of many great women artists. In the field of abstract expressionism, many are at least vaguely familiar with the name Jackson Pollock, but how many are familiar with Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner or Joan Mitchell? Again, the academic bias abounds. The same perception that denies Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, as a true opera. White European bias has many forms, and it applies to both sexes. And it also is not surprising that Walt Whitman’s Leaves Of Grass, was denied by old world critics as not actually being poetry.
Women writers have existed for ages, but many of their accomplishments are largely ignored. The way literature is taught in many places, you learn of Steinbeck, Faulkner, Hemingway etc., but are hardly ever told about Katherine Anne Porter, Edith Wharton, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman or Willa Cather.
No unfortunately, too often a person learns about Laura Nyro, Louise Nevelson, and Mary Cassatt through their own initiative. Most schools couldn’t care less.

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By Shenonymous, October 31, 2008 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

May I offer you a napkin, ITW?  Enjoy your day, I’ve got to be off to taint the little ones’ minds.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 31, 2008 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, October 31 at 3:46 am #

kath cantarella - the smart white males go quite a way towards making up for the dumb ones.
A self-serving defensive thought because the SWMs (smart white males) historically have never gone far enough, else we would not be having this conversation.  45% is a nice safe guess ITW.  My guess is more like 20% and throwing in all the wars over the history of the world, could be even less.

*************************************************

Stop! you just made me do a spit-take and I have coffee all over the screen!  Too funny!

You may be right but I just used the obvious empirical evidence of how White Males overall (not just Stupid White Males) voted in the last two Presidential elections.  I make the ASS-umption that only an ASS would vote for Bush either time and use THAT as my working definition of Stupid White Males.

I realize that it’s possible there were SWMs who voted for Gore, or Kerry (and I also assume any WM voting for Nader is, by inference, a SWM), but for now, this definition works for me! smile

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By Inherit The Wind, October 31, 2008 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

cyrena, October 30 at 10:09 pm #


For the life of me, I’ve never been able to understand how so many sheeple can parrot some outrageous impossibility, without even questioning the basic premise, so they would use some real basic common sense in realizing how totally ridiculous it is.

Like this inversion that “reducing tax rates actually increases government revenue from taxes.”

WTF??? HOW does THAT work???? Magic????
********************************

Cyrena:
It actually DOES work—on paper.  However, it has been SO mis-interpreted that a key factor is ignored.  And that key factor is: Where is the “turning point”.

It’s called the Laffer Curve and it has a sound foundation in Economics.  It starts with the premise that if your tax rate is zero, govt revenue from taxes is zero.  But if your tax rate is 100%, then govt revenue will sink to zero again because why work if you can’t keep any money? Then you are a slave.

There’s some good empirical evidence for this—when the UK had an income tax rate of something like 97% for the highest tax brackets, rich Brits moved out and left the country and tried to move their wealth overseas.

Now back to the Laffer Curve. If you increase the tax rate from zero to 1, 2, 5 or 10%, govt revenues increase…this is obvious.

On the other end, when the rate is 100% and revenue is zero, if you LOWER the tax rate to 97 (!), 95, 90%, then revenue will INCREASE as well.

But at what point does the rising tax rate stop increasing revenues, and, from the other end, at what point does the lowering tax rate stop increasing revenues?  That is the turning point.

When Laffer drew his Curve on a napkin for Ronald Reagan, he made it a smooth curve.  Reagan, not understanding that this was just an illustration didn’t realize that the turning point wasn’t 50% (like it looked on the napkin).  That turning point is clearly MUCH higher than 50% by empirical evidence, not 35% or 20% or whatever the latest neo-con propaganda says.

See, Laffer NEVER establish where that turning point in the curve was.  Sure, there are tax rates SO high that the dis-incentive to earn lowers tax revenues—but there’s no evidence to show concretely how low can you lower them before revenues DROP again.  All we know for sure is that how it’s been practiced since Reagan is far, FAR below that turning point—and every tax cut since 1981 has resulted in a HUGE loss of government revenue.

Hence the deficit,the deficit’s crowding out of the credit market, the collapse of the Wall Street, and the coming killer recession.  You can blame it ALL on Reagan’s, Cheney’s and Bush’s (and Greenspan’s) mis-interpretation of Laffer’s Curve.  Laffer, too, since he, like Greenspan, should have seen the obvious: You cannot determine the turning point.

Hope this helps.

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By Shenonymous, October 31, 2008 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

kath cantarella - the smart white males go quite a way towards making up for the dumb ones.
A self-serving defensive thought because the SWMs (smart white males) historically have never gone far enough, else we would not be having this conversation.  45% is a nice safe guess ITW.  My guess is more like 20% and throwing in all the wars over the history of the world, could be even less.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 31, 2008 at 4:31 am Link to this comment

kath cantarella, October 31 at 12:31 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

The smart white males go quite a way towards making up for the dumb ones.
************************************

That’s true…but only 45% of the way.  See, if you look at the breakdown of WM votes in 2000 and 2004, you’ll see that Bush beat Gore and Kerry by 10% or more…so if 45% of us voted smart, 55% of us still voted stupid. (plus the 1 or 2% who voted stupid for Nader)

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By kath cantarella, October 31, 2008 at 1:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The smart white males go quite a way towards making up for the dumb ones.

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By Athena Taylor Taylor, October 30, 2008 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. Sheer,

Your article is hilarious and I am glad you white guys can figure out how to use Google if you drink some coffee and really concentrate. ;0)

Here are some opinions I have on white males:
from my web page (http://www.athenasartfest.com/rants.html)

I will get to my point: the behavioral expectations of the middle class, white male is the ultimate example of this autonomous human being. He is the lone hero, conquering the world. Unfortunately it’s looking like George Bush is the living embodiment of this type and I think the readers on this site will acknowledge that this kind of behavior isn’t healthy for the planet.

I am seeing an intrinsic princely attitude that discounts all other groups and I just don’t get it. I started to notice something was askew when I was in college studying English literature. It was 90% white male writers. Then when I went to art school most of the “great” artists were white male artists. I thought what the hell?! Sure their books and their art was good but how come we weren’t learning about the works by the rest of humanity? Surely one’s ‘sex or skin color has nothing to do with talent or whether one has a compelling vision of the world.

So I sighed to myself, oh, white males are brought up by the dominating American and European empire to think that only they are intelligent, talented and have a valuable point of view. Everyone else is just fluff. Well, I happen to be a woman brought up in a time in history when a woman’s perspective has SOME credence and this white prince situation just blows my mind. It’s not that I don’t see that being a white prince doesn’t come with its own burdens or that they don’t have a valuable contribution to make but come on, share the limelight a little!! Even out of politeness, give another group a chance to shine. Heck being self effacing once in awhile is good for the soul and think how broadened your understanding of the world might be.

So I am addressing the white men in positions of power in the universities, in the board rooms of the corporations, in the positions of power in government. Try giving some power to people who are different from you and you might see how enriched your life experience might be. Being top dog and the only point of view has its limitations. It’s like taking drugs. (please note even though I sound like I am on acid, I am too busy to spend time high) All you guys want to do is smoke nicotine, when there is marijuana, peyote, ecstacy, mushrooms, endless other things to experience. Share the power, you might be amazed how much more power that gives you. Besides, according to Carl Jung, everyone has both female and males sides to their nature so by being ONLY in the dominating position of power, the other aspects of your being are cut off, so dominating white men are in fact half men. The world really needs to operate in a more inclusive and interdependent way because Bush is about THIS close to blowing us up or polluting the planet to death.

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By cyrena, October 30, 2008 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher responds to allen:

“..Reducing tax rates reduces government revenue. Reducing government revenue reduces government services. Period.

McCain wants to give 300 billion in tax cuts to the rich, thus further enriching them, and the way he is going to pay for it is by cutting entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, public education, infrastructure, etc. thus impoverishing everybody else…”

~~~~

Thanks Tony, for pointing out this very important reality.

For the life of me, I’ve never been able to understand how so many sheeple can parrot some outrageous impossibility, without even questioning the basic premise, so they would use some real basic common sense in realizing how totally ridiculous it is.

Like this inversion that “reducing tax rates actually increases government revenue from taxes.”

WTF??? HOW does THAT work???? Magic????

Do they think the Social Security and Medicare checks are just growing on the American Pine tree or what?

Anybody who is currently receiving (or plans on receiving in the furture) ANY state/gov benefits, regardless of if it’s because you’re a vet, or because you’ve worked all of your life and paid into the system, or disabled, or any other reason, you’re signing your economic death warrent with support of McCain.

It’s that simple. The revenues to pay for these programs have to come from the current income earners, because that’s how the system is set up. And, if the rich would FINALLY start paying their fair share, that system can operate as it’s been structured.

I’m speaking here about the ultra filthy rich types/corps who have paid less than working class citizen in taxes. THAT is criminal, far too many millions of Americans seem to somehow ‘accept’ the fact that billionaires in the US get away with paying LESS taxes than THEY do. Seems like if they actually understood this, they’d be raising hell.

Then again, maybe not. In the culture of “greed and self”, that’s pretty much the only perspective from which they view…they just don’t want to pay taxes themselves, regardless of any logic to the fact that the system supports their asses as well. Just as it (we) supports the uber wealthy who don’t pay their fair share. These are the Imelda Marcos Mentality types, or whoever that other woman was who remarked that “Paying taxes is for the little people.” (I don’t know if that was Imelda or somebody else) They truly believe this, and the supply side stuff has maintained it.

And then of course there are still those who just can’t count or employ basic mathematical concepts. Like how the LESS tax revenue the state collects from tax payers, the MORE revenue the state realizes from taxes.

How ridiculous is that?

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By Tony Wicher, October 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

By Skadelphius, October 29 at 1:17 pm #

all but the most liberal economists agree that in the mold of kennedy and reagan, supply-side economics is the best and perhaps only way to promote growth with an economy this bad.
——————————————————————————
Skad,

Are you kidding??????? The current economic situation is precisely the result of 30 years of supply-side economics. The rich have gotten so rich and the poor have gotten so poor that the economy has collapsed like 1929. The solution is to do what Obama wants to do which is to stimulate the economy from the bottom up. Republican supply-side economic policies have been a disaster.

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By Tony Wicher, October 30, 2008 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

By allen, October 30 at 10:14 am #
As has been proven several times by Ronald Reagan and the Democrat icon John Kennedy, among others, reducing tax rates actually increases government revenue from taxes.
—————————————————————————-
allen,

This used to be called “the Laffer curve”. This is apt because it is so laughably ridiculous. Only rich people say this and only sheep believe it.

Reducing tax rates reduces government revenue. Reducing government revenue reduces government services. Period.

McCain wants to give 300 billion in tax cuts to the rich, thus further enriching them, and the way he is going to pay for it is by cutting entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, public education, infrastructure, etc. thus impoverishing everybody else. This Republican reverse Robin Hood policy going back to Reagan is a con job and a failure. Finally, the American people have their eyes open.

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By cyrena, October 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

We’ve probably been on the same side more often than it may seem.

At any rate, I’m glad I didn’t punch her lights out either. Lots of reasons. One is because while they were presenting themselves as “Christians” (and lying that Obama had voted for a partial birth abortion bill - see what I mean? THAT kind of shit) there were some REAL Christians around that reminded me that we were ‘better than that’ and that I shouldn’t waste my energy. That was ONE of the reasons.

Another is that intellectually, I really don’t condone violence for any reason. (I just talk like I do).

The most important reason though, is like I said…this woman was about 5 times bigger than me, and could have wupped my ass. Now I may talk a little crazy from time to time, but I ain’t no fool!!

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By BenHur08, October 30, 2008 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

You know you liberal folks that like to bash Bush about the “costly military adventures abroad”, I have a question for you. What do you think all the aircraft carries would be doing if we weren’t in Iraq? Do they pull them all in to port and tie them up and shut them down and let them rust away?

Hell no they don’t, they exercise the military machines in peace time as well, and the cost we incur as citizens of the Unites States is our price for this great countries freedom, and if you don’t like this country and it’s afforded freedoms why not catch the first boat to China!

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By Shenonymous, October 30, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

What I was getting at Big B, is that inherent in your own language by the use of the phrase “so be it,” is an implied nod or concession to the apelike assholes and that it is all right with you.  But please take another look at your statement: “If all you conservatives want to do is look for images of Jesus in you macaroni and cheese and oppress your women, so be it.”  That last so be it really sticks in my craw and it should in every woman’s on this forum! 

Like, if conservatives want to blah blah blah and oppress their women, well go right ahead!  That’s what you do.  So be it.  Amen.  Bull shit!  What is so incredible is that you do not even see how that sexism is couched within your expression.  Because you then trip lightly right into a criticism of their faulty thinking process about taxes etc.  Not even giving an extra thought at how you granted them (the asshole simians who drag their knuckles on the ground) a passive assent or acquiescence of their sexist behavior.  Your saying in your reply that you were “merely” pointing something out belies this.  It is perniciously dismissed.

I do not argue with the general flavor of your blunt criticism, and would even give my applause otherwise.  However, it always amazes me how easily “oppression’ of women is glossed over without one even suspecting it is evident in one’s own language.  It is how it is continued to be condoned within the culture.

I don’t need to go any further with this.

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By Sepharad, October 30, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This thread is a little off-topic, but so is life.

Fadel—If it’s any comfort, you are not the only admirable human being who’s used the term “white trash” in the heat of the moment. I don’t think anyone is trash, and I don’t think you do either really, but some people really do inspire extreme reactions. I certainly never expected to hear my own mother use the “WT”—but she did. She was visiting me in St. Louis, in a poor, mostly black neighborhood where I was then living on a long-term reporting assignment, and we were out for a pleasant stroll early that summer evening, me carrying my curly black-haired cinnamon-complexioned son (husband is Scotch-Irish Dutch Cherokee), almost one year old at the time. No one else was around which surprised me a little—usually lots of us sitting on the steps, trying to catch a breeze, talking about this and that. About half-way down the block, we saw some white guys turning the corner walking down the middle of the street toward us double-file, carrying signs, some of them apparently wearing bedsheets, others in brown shirts and black armbands with their Nazi insignia, apparently some kind of white supremacist-bonding. When they got closer, several of them peered at us and swaggered over. I thought “Oh F—-!” while baby Maury pointed and laughed, I guess at the white robes or something. I started to move to the side of the sidewalk so they wouldn’t walk right into us but my mother grabbed my arm and stopped me, then stood slightly in front of us. She also has curly-black hair, olive skin, and her green eyes were flashing (the way we kids always knew she was really mad and it was time to be as unobtrusive as possible). She said loudly, just this side of yelling, “You white trash should be be ashamed, costumed and acting like fascists in public, scaring my grandson! Now get back in your gutter and off our sidewalk. Do you have a permit? I’m going back home to call the police.” They did back off the sidewalk, calling her some rude names but not loud enough to make her mad again. She just tossed off “A cabbage should grow from all your ears; nothing in between to stop it.” And off she sailed, with us in tow. Her grandson may not have been afraid but her daughter was a little worried. Chutzpah takes you just so far.

Oh—I’m also waiting for your next installment of “Arabian Nights”. (Maybe you posted it on a thread I’ve missed, but it sounds like it would be interesting.)

Shenonymous - Bravo! I second everything you said.

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By Big B, October 30, 2008 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous

I was mearly pointing out that one of the other goals of the christian right wackos is the re-subservience of women. Anyone who thinks that abortion is their ultimate goal is kidding themselves. First it will be abortion, then birth control, then “girls” will be discouraged from the workplace and higher education. Just smile and look purty, and get me a fucking beer! These right wing wack jobs have somehow equated their loss of masculinity with the empowerment of women.

You can just see Dobson and Hagee dragging their knuckles across the ground, until of course they raise them to smack their wives, telling them it’s for their own good. It’s god’s will, after all, that women be dominated by asshole men.

This is 2008, isn’t it?

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By Shenonymous, October 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

While all the big dicks are patting you on the back Big B, I just have to say, “WHAT?”  If all you conservatives want to do is look for images of Jesus in you [sic] macaroni and cheese and oppress your women, so be it.  What do you mean oppress your women, so be it?  So you would let assholes oppress women while you have your so eloquent fun with your politico speak for your crony buddies, eh?  Yuk it up, dumb white males.  Disgusting.  So be it up yours!

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By Maani, October 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena:

Thanks.  It’s nice to be on the same side, now, isn’t it?  LOL.  Takes away alot of the tension, no?  LOL.

By the way, I’m glad you didn’t “punch her lights out.”  I know that your command of words is great enough not to have to resort to physical violence. LOL.

Peace.  (still and always)

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By Bboy57, October 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Big B:

I haven’t allways agreed with you on things. But on this one - dead on Bro!!

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By jamesnimmo, October 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer,

I have the utmost respect for your experience and intellect.  I look forward to your contributions on Left,Right & Center.

However, I think most white males really are stupid and too apathetic to Google or otherwise teach themselves about the issues of this election.

They are too afraid to think about change as when people freeze when put in danger, like deer in the headlights.

We are in for real trouble if McSame/Palin are elected.  We can say good-by to the limited civil rights wew still have such as this blog and others like it.

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By Shenonymous, October 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

Fadel, the world also has confused dumb white women.  There are many of us at the other end of the spectrum who respect you for who you are and what you think.

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By BruSays, October 30, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Big B: Perfect!
I cut and pasted your excellent, no-nonsense response. Now I’m looking for a sign board big enough to paste it on. A perfect summation….Perfect.

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By Big B, October 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

After reading some of the comments, I can venture a guess as to how an absolute idiot cold war refugee that represents a party whose president has sent america on a death spiral of moral and financial bankruptcy, can still be in this race. There are folks out there in TV land who still think supply side economics and a blank check for the military industrial complex are good for all americans.

What are you people, stupid or something?

Y’all need to pull you heads out of the bible and stop looking at the pretty pictures in Soldier Of Fortune and face the reality that the uber wealthy are using you and the others of your ilk as a voting base to oppress, well, everybody, including you!

By the way, cutting taxes has never created a budget surplus. On the contrary, it has created a ten TRILLION dollar operating deficit. Why? because the only way to balance a buget is to increase revenues or decrease spending(or a combo of the two)The Reaganites cut taxes, then increased military spending. Creating a huge deficit. Big Business took their newly found tax breaks, and moved operations to the third world, and pocketed the difference. Did they take their tax breaks and expand their payrolls, create pension plans, and provide healthcare for their employees? Hell no! They did the exact opposite.

All of you republican flag suckers out there forget that a Big business is not in business to create jobs with decent benefits. They are not in business for the good of the nation, or the state. They are in business TO MAKE MONEY! It’s that simple, capitalism in it’s purest form. If they can make more money by creating jobs, they will. But they can make even more money by creating jobs in the third world where there are none of those pesky rules of polite society, like a minimum wage, a safe work place, benefits for families, or enviromental responsibility.

Big business enjoys all the perks of citizenship, with none of the responsibilities. A great gig if you can get it!

If all you conservatives want to do is look for images of Jesus in you macaroni and cheese and oppress your women, so be it. But don’t for five seconds think that cutting taxes and regulations on big business is a benefit to this nation. It never has been,and it never will be. Sure, democrats have spent alot of money in the past, but you folks on the right have Daddy War bucks(literally) in the white house printing money and spending it like a drunken sailor. Christ, Bush has made FDR and LBJ look downright frugal!

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By cyrena, October 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

•  “..McCain has also used the “accuse your opponent of doing what you yourself are actually doing” mode of campaigning, engaging in lying and then accusing Obama of lying, etc…”

Thanks Maani!

I appreciated the entire post, but I copied this part because it’s this exercise that you have in quotes, that makes me the craziest I think. And, I wish there was a shorter and universally recognized term for it. Actually, I suspect there already is, and I just can’t come up with it from the less reliable data base, (my own mind/brain).

Anyway, this *IS* what makes me see red. We were at an Obama rally/event last weekend, and there was an anti-Obama (small) there, though I can’t really blame this on the Rethugs, because none of their propaganda/paraphernalia had anything about McCain on it. Didn’t even mention his or his running mate’s name. So it wasn’t a pro-McPalin mob, but an anti-Obama mob..not any more civilized than the lynch mobs of an earlier century of history.

But, I say that because they were engaged in this very same thing with the lies. They were carrying signs, and if it weren’t for the surrounding context, one would have thought the wording was referring to McPalin

~NO Résumé
~NO Experience
~NO blah, blah, blah (can’t remember the rest)

Then there were the signs and the chants

~Obama is hiding behind the economy
(WTF???)

~Obama is hiding behind Saddam Hussein.
(More WTF – Saddam is dead for crying out loud)

The other signs/chants declared any and everybody supporting Obama to be a complete FOOL!

Then, to really add insult to injury, this one gigantic Tilla the Hun type got in my face and told me that I was violating some sort of loyalty to MLK because he would never approve of Barack Obama.

I wanted to punch her lights out, but I didn’t.

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By Bill G, October 30, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m happy to see some conservative responses and would like to think issues can be discussed without name calling and rude innuendo.  Granted the title of the article refers to dumb white males so I’ll concede it is inappropriate and counterproductive.  Very few people will be willing to listen to another’s viewpoint after being called dumb.
I don’t where people are coming from with the socialism charges.  My understanding is that Obama wants to raise the tax rate on the top 5% of income earners from 36% to 39%.  Basically returning to the 1990’s-era tax code when we had a budget surplus.
So 36% is capitalism but 39% is socialism?
Is there some reason why this election can’t be discussed in respectful terms with people free to make their decisions based on the candidate’s stated positions on taxes, Iraq, energy, etc. without it turning into charges of bigotry and hatred being thrown back and forth?
People have different opinions, it’s a fact of life, and unless you are the smartest person in the world then you (and I) might learn something by listening to a different opinion.  But as I previously stated, when trying to get someone to consider your point of view, beginning with an insult is probably not the best tactic.

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By antispin, October 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

“Show me your thumb if you’re really dumb”

McCain doubles down on the dumb.

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By BruSays, October 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

Maani and Craig Gorsuch:

Maani: I applaud your dealing with Craig’s statements by citing specific votes and positions.

Craig: Now’s your chance to add teeth to your statements. We’ve all been hearing the same, meaningless labels and claptrap from Republicans (we’re knee deep in it) but scarcely any substantive specifics.

Obama: A “perfect Marxist/Socialist”? Get serious. Absurd analogies like that are precisely why Republicans are running scared. People aren’t swallowing that crap anymore.

McCain: An “imperfect Republican”? You bet. Eisenhower, Nixon, G. H. Bush, heck - even Goldwater - wouldn’t recognize your party today.

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By Ishmael, October 30, 2008 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The trouble men have, and cause, comes from two basic sources: dishonesty and arrogance. Put these two together, then let them run wild and unchecked, and what you wind up with is your own personal version of the Bush administration.

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By Maani, October 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Craig:

In supporting John McCain, you say, “Wouldn’t voting for someone because of the content of their character, and NOT their race be the supreme act of discernment?”

Absolutely.  But if that is the criterion, you are still on the wrong side.

The “content” of McCain’s “character” has never been more sharply defined than by how he has run his campaign - with lies, distortions, coded language, fear-mongering, smearing, innuendo, and outright hate-mongering - the last of which got so out of control that even HE had difficulty reining it in. And his choice of Sarah (“What, Me Worry?”) Palin also reflects on his character - badly.

McCain has stooped to the lowest levels of campaigning, using Rovian tactics, and even hiring Rove’s proteges - DESPITE the fact that Rove was the one who derailed his 2000 campaign in South Carolina by suggesting that McCain’s adopted non-white child was “illegitimate.”  McCain has also used the “accuse your opponent of doing what you yourself are actually doing” mode of campaigning, engaging in lying and then accusing Obama of lying, etc.

In fact, even if I agreed with McCain’s policies on various issues (which I do not), and even though I strongly supported Hillary against Obama (as many on this site can attest to…LOL), and even though I still have some reservations about Obama, if I were to pick between them SOLELY based on “the content of their character,” it would be a no-brainer to pick Obama over McCain - especially given what has been revealed about McCain’s “character” over the last few weeks of the campaign.

Peace.

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By BruSays, October 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Interesting reading here, both from Scheer and Truthdig bloggers.

Why are so many white males so dumb? So many reasons – many already mentioned by others below. From my white male perspective:

1A. Men TEND to go for the simple answer. We come from the “black/white, yes/no, with us/against us, safe/sorry, kill/be killed” perspective. Maybe it’s in our genes and part of “the hunt” mindset requiring a basic, instant and simple analysis of a threatening situation. I’m being serious here…there’s often a biological thread that can (but doesn’t have to) impact our behavior.

1B. Republicans, NeoCons, Right-wingers and Conservatives TEND to go for the simple answer. Love us or hate us, fight ‘em over there or fight ‘em over here; America: love it or leave it. Guys, busy with football games and baseball scores don’t have time for in-depth analysis. Don’t ask them to think long and hard. Just give ‘em the basics and they’ll make their snap decision. Done.

2A. Men TEND to avoid discussing relationships. He’s pissed that his wife is mad at him about something but frankly, he could give a rat’s ass WHY. Get over it. (Meanwhile, his wife is crying herself to sleep about whatever it is he did.)

2B. Republicans, NeoCons, Right-wingers and Conservatives TEND to avoid discussing relationships. The nuances and complexities of geo-politics are boring. Certainly they should never cloud your Yes/No mindset. And you NEVER enter discussions without pre-conditions. (sound familiar?)

3A. Men TEND to be impatient. This is sort of combination of 1A and 2A above. Screw the foreplay…we want sex now. Baked potatoes? Nuke ‘em. Savor the wine? Nope…slug the beer.

3B. Republicans, NeoCons, Right-wingers TEND to be impatient. Screw negotiations – takes too long. Don’t bother with the U.N. They take too long. Sadam Hussein a problem? Nuke ‘em. Iran? Nuke ‘em.

These are TENDENCIES but I think the stats prove them out that men are more likely to bend to these tendencies than women. Women are more likely looking for a discussion, an understanding of the root causes, a decision that weighs the complex pros and cons, and often, a decision that involves compromise.

People, we’ve seen what happens when the male mentality runs the show. Palin excepted, I think it’s time to listen to the women.

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By Tony Wicher, October 30, 2008 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Everybody should watch this! Obama and Bill Clinton together, two rousing speeches at a midnight rally in Florida, first Obama and then Clinton. What a one-two punch! Great stuff!

http://www.thisweekwithbarackobama.blogspot.com/

Sorry to double post this message, but this shouldn’t be missed!

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By Craig Gorsuch, October 30, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Because I prefer Senator McCain (a very imperfect Republican) to Senator Obama (a perfect socialist / Marxist ) and I can identify the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates’ platforms, and judge that Senator Obama represents the current equivalent of “bread and sand for the masses while Rome burns”, and choose to believe that, while Senator McCain isn’t the best, he is a far sight better for this country than the alternative Senator Obama will impart to the country, this *automatically makes me a “stupid white male”?

Wouldn’t voting for someone because of the content of their character, and NOT their race be the supreme act of discernment?  Doesn’t that make voting for someone because of the race a racist act?  I think it’s time for a black man for President…  Just not Senator Obama.  Give me Walter Williams, Eric Rush, Alan Keyes…

There is an enormous difference between un-(ivy league)-educated and unintelligent/stupid.

The solution to a Republican is NOT to automatically vote Democrat.  You hold the Republican’s feet to the fire when they forget what being Republican is all about.

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By larry hagedon, October 30, 2008 at 11:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John McCain, like Bill Clinton, is a master at reading the polls and saying what he thinks we want to hear. He will, however, make no effort to vote that way. He has no hesitation at all about lying to voters.

I have voted nearly solid Republican all my life, there being only two exceptions in 45 years.

I will never vote for John McCain.

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By allen, October 30, 2008 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your statement “if McCain doesn’t increase taxes for someone, just how does he plan to pay for the enormous Iraq war debt” proves just how ignorant, or deliberately stupid, YOU are.  As has been proven several times by Ronald Reagan and the Democrat icon John Kennedy, among others, reducing tax rates actually increases government revenue from taxes.  The problem has always been that when congress has a majority of liberals and moderates, regardless of party, they insist on increasing spending faster than the rate of revenue growth.  The only way to ever get the budget under control is to control spending, something that Barack Obama and the Democrat leadership in congress has no intention of doing.
Of course I am going to vote for McCain, but because Obama only promises more of the same Democrat policies that have plagued this country since the days of FDR, and especially since LBJ, and which are truly responsible for the financial crisis we are facing, as well as the fact that I have yet to find any other issue on which I can agree with Obama.  I consider it better to vote for someone who is wrong on some issues and right on others than to vote for someone who is wrong on every issue.

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By Maani, October 30, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Actually, Frank Rich beat Bob Scheer to the punch:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/opinion/26rich.html?pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By Bboy57, October 30, 2008 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

He’s just pointing out the McCain still is pulling the MAJORITY of white male votes. This despite the obvious failures of the republican movement upon the economy and many of the electorates civil liberties. And Suckers continue to be born every minute here.

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By Dan Hooker, October 30, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It would appear the writer does not understand how our Republic works.  It is Congress and the Senate that control the purse strings.  It was the Republicans who attempted and were thwarted to bring Fannie and Freddie under control.  While Freddie and Fannie burned Barney Frank’s boyfriend was playing his fiddle.  John McCain has more character than many men and has been tested more than most.  A Real Man wants no hand out and the last thing he needs is some-one, any-one telling him that only the government can provide his God Given Rights.  Let the discourse continue but make no mistake, there are some of us who won’t bend down and won’t give up freedom, no matter what promise men may make promising safety in it’s stead.

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