The Maddow Blog – Getting out the vote versus getting rid of the vote

The news day got away from me a little bit yesterday but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to highlight Tuesday’s most-gasped-at graphics. In the segment introducing Denver election clerk and recorder, Debra Johnson, Rachel compared the Denver Elections Division map of percentage of “inactive voters” per precinct (pdf) with a map of 2010 Census block data on race/ethnicity (pdf).

And then, sitting alone on my couch, I heard the internet gasp.

On the surface it looks like if you wanted to make it harder for blacks and Hispanics in Denver to vote, you could start by not sending “inactive voters” a ballot. I think the actual answer is a little different but not much more complicated. An inactive voter is defined as someone who didn’t vote in the 2010 elections or more recent municipal elections, and hasn’t taken care of re-upping. In other words, if you came out for Obama in 2008 and then went back to your life ignoring politics, the state regards you as “inactive” and the Secretary of State doesn’t want to send you a ballot to vote (for Obama again?) in 2012.

It’s doubly disappointing that people who are less engaged in politics are being encouraged to disengage further.

Square State Democrats, are you paying attention?

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

It is indeed fascinating, the things that exist in history. These things are so clear, so lucid, that it’s hard to believe that even the most mentally challenged haven’t retained some shred of the information.

Hitler is often credited with this statement:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

While the statement above captures the essence of the practice, here’s what was really said:

Mein Kampf

Image via Wikipedia

“In the primitive simplicity of their minds, they will more easily fall victim to a large lie than a small lie, since they sometimes tell petty lies themselves, but would be ashamed to tell a lie that was too big. They would never consider telling a lie of such magnitude themselves, or knowing that it would require such impudence, they would not consider it possible for it to be told by others. Even after being enlightened and shown that the lie is a lie, they will continue to doubt and waver for a long time and will still believe there must be some truth behind it somewhere, and there must be some other explanation. For this reason, some part of the most bold and brazen lie is sure to stick. This is a fact that all the great liars and liars’ societies (meaning the Jewish press) in this world know only too well and use regularly.” ~ Adolph Hitler
Page 205 Mein Kampf, Ford Translation.

Bundesarchiv Bild 102-17049, Joseph Goebbels s...

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“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”  ~ Joseph Goebbels

This approach is being applied in many areas, facilitated by something Goebbels would have killed a million Romani to have, today’s mass media.

Next time you park yourself in front of your favorite cable news channel, try reflecting on what you’re hearing. Does it make sense? Does it simply cater to your biases?

Visit http://www.jeffjacoby.com/793/echo-chamber

Echo Chamber via http://www.jeffjacoby.com

Could the “echo chamber” be repeating the same “messaging” for your reprogramming needs? Does the same message come out of the babble box over and over and over? Different words, but the same message?

Think it over.

What if the GOP were the Climate Change Party?

(Ed note: This needs to be spread around… if you like it, pass it on!)

 

By James Thindwa
Some of us say what we believe, and believe what we say. Some of us even fight for what we believe. There are also those who claim to believe something or other, but won’t fight for it. That’s the way of the world. So let’s imagine a world only slightly different, with only the names changed to protect the guilty…
What If the GOP Was the Climate Change Party?
By James Thindwa
Imagine if you will, an alternative universe, in which the GOP believes in climate change, and the Democrats are the naysayers? How would a climate crusading Republican Party approach this most consequential issue?
In their customary hard-nosed fashion, the GOP would no doubt have made more progress on climate change—replete with tough regulations and high-minded international treaties—than we have seen so far. GOP politicians and talking heads would be making hay from all the horrible weather, beating the drums about the grave danger to our “national security” and way of life posed by climate change. They would be warning of gloom and doom and calling for—to hell with cap-and-trade—new legislation with stricter timetables for cutting greenhouse emissions, higher carbon taxes and stiffer penalties for polluters. And they would dare the president to veto it!
Republican politicians would be talking about climate change in town hall meetings, with obligatory reference to the increasingly ferocious tornadoes and hurricanes. “Climate change” and “green jobs” would become synonymous—a mantra seared into GOP political lexicon as Republicans declare that their legislation simultaneously creates jobs, limits greenhouse gases and stimulates the economy. Yes, Republicans would be ready to steamroll Democrats on this one.
For GOP leaders, Irene would be an opportunity to stoke the passions of environmentalists. They would urge activists to hold rallies in Washington and across the country. The GOP media machine—led by Roger Ailes at Fox—would parade environmental leaders on television and talk radio pontificating about local struggles to shut down polluting coal-fired plants, the imperative to raise CAFE standards for autos, insulate buildings and retrofit solar panels—the whole kitchen sink. Rightwing talking heads would be in full swing, prodding activists to hunt down “Democrat” lawmakers at “town halls” to demand they stop protecting Big Oil’s profits at the expense of our country’s future.
For GOP lighting rods like Michelle Bachmann and Sara Palin, climate change would be manna from heaven—red meat for the party faithful. They would be browbeating Democrats for standing in the way of strong regulations and shilling for corporate polluters (yes, they’d say it despite both parties’ footsy-playing with industry—they don’t care about the hypocrisy). Palin and Bachmann would be mocking Democrats for aligning themselves with a fringe element that hates science and would endanger our national security and the planet. Of course, GOP candidates would already have made climate change a central issue in the presidential election, and aiming to place it high up on the 2012 party platform.
GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin givi...

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As expected, GOP strategists would have learned how to capitalize on disasters from their successful experiment in New Orleans, where they quickly moved in after Katrina and expanded charter schools. Thus, a salivating GOP would seize this moment to remind all Americans affected by Irene that climate change is real and urge them to demand immediate congressional action.
For maximum impact, rightwing pundits would cite the Pentagon’s finding that climate change constitutes “a grave national security threat” and the military’s plans to cope. On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol would advise that invoking the military in this debate “is strategically brilliant” because Democratic are vulnerable on anything to do with “our men and women in uniform.”
On the O’Reilly Factor, Ann Coulter would taunt President Obama for lacking “the kahunas” to take on corporate polluters. She would point to Obama’s cozy relationship with the likes of Exelon, and his silence on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Sean Hannity would harangue the “liberal media” for ignoring the words “climate change” in their coverage of Hurricane Irene. Rightwing hothead and former UN ambassador John Bolton would announce on Fox his new campaign for a new international climate treaty. It would carry heavy sanctions—even military action—against countries that did not sign on.
Finally, GOP leaders would be all over the hypocrisy of Democratic governors for stoking hatred of government even as they, in this crisis moment, expect emergency relief from the federal government. On the campaign trail and in presidential debates, GOP candidates would use Irene to highlight the indispensable role of government not just in public safety, but in healthcare access, infrastructure investment, helping foreclosure victims and reining in predatory banks, and alleviating poverty—that silent but ongoing emergency for millions of women, men and children. They would forcefully explain to voters that paying taxes is not a subversive notion, but an act of patriotism.
(Are you listening, Democrats?)
Fortunately, James Thindwa lives very much in the real world, where he is a Chicago-based labor and community activist. He also writes for In These Times and serves on its board of directors.
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Boulder City Council Votes to Put Move to Amend Resolution on November Ballot

Move to Amend Header

The national campaign to Abolish Corporate Personhood and Defend Democracy.
Sign the Petition: http://MoveToAmend.org/motion-to-amend

* * *

Great work to our team at Boulder Move to Amend!

Special shout outs to Carolyn Bninski, Judy Lubow, Rick Casey, Scott Silber, Dan Gould, Regina
Cowles, Elena Nunez, all the volunteers who phonebanked to turn out the crowd, and to the folks
who gave public comment at the meetings. Thanks also to Councilman Macon Cowles for
introducing the measure.

Stay tuned: Missoula, Montana is up next – on Monday their City Council will consider placing a
similar resolution on their November ballot as well.

Boulder City Council Votes to Put Move to Amend Resolution on November Ballot

BOULDER, CO – Just days after Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney angered attendees
at the Iowa State Fair by declaring that “corporations are people
,” the court-created doctrine of
“corporate personhood” is once again making headlines.

On Tuesday evening the City Council of Boulder, Colorado voted to place a referendum on the
November ballot calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution declaring that corporations are
not people and money is not speech. Boulder’s decision came after months of grassroots
organizing by Move to Amend, a national coalition working to abolish corporate personhood.

“This is a very important development at exactly the right time,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, a
national spokesperson for Move to Amend. “Americans are fed up with corporate dominance of our
political system. The people of Boulder have an opportunity to lead the way for other communities
throughout the country by taking a strong stand.”

Boulder’s decision comes just months after voters in Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin
overwhelmingly approved measures calling for an end to corporate personhood
and the legal
status of money as speech by 84% and 78% respectively.

“Wow. What an outpouring of emotion and feeling and sincere interest in making changes, which
I don’t think anybody in the room would deny we need at the highest level,” Councilman Ken Wilson
told the crowd before he voted in favor of putting the referendum on the ballot. “My family and I were
very, very disappointed in the Citizens United decision. I think it’s a real threat to our government,
and whatever we can do to change that, I think we should.”

Similar resolutions have been passed in nearly thirty other cities and counties. Resolutions have also
been introduced in the state legislatures of Vermont, Washington, Montana, and New Mexico. The City
Council of Missoula, Montana will be considering placing such a measure on the ballot next week.

“We are excited to be a part of this rapidly growing national effort,” said Carolyn Bninksi, a local
organizer with Boulder Move to Amend. “The strength of Move to Amend’s strategy is that it is based
on grassroots work at the local level. This is the only way to build a movement powerful enough to take
on entrenched corporate interests.”

Move to Amend is a national coalition of hundreds of organizations and 130,000 individuals. The group
is committed to building a grassroots movement to demand corporate accountability to the public by
abolishing corporate personhood through an amendment to the US Constitution.

For more information visit http://www.MoveToAmend.org.

###

 

Move to Amend

P.O. Box 260217

Madison

, WI 53726-0217
United States

End Corporate Rule. Legalize Democracy. Move to Amend.

We’re on Facebook & Twitter!

About Us | Move to Amend

“Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost. Each man has become a mere cog in one of the wheels of a complicated mechanism. It is the business of the corporations to get money. It exacts but one thing of its employees: Obedience to orders. It cares not about their relations to the community, the church, society, or the family. It wants full hours and faithful service, and when they die, wear out or are discharged, it quickly replaces them with new material.

The corporation is a machine for making money, but it reduces men to the insignificance of mere numerical figures, as certainly as the private ranks of the regular army.

~ Fighting Bob La Follette, speech on the Dangers Threatening Representative Government, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, July 4, 1897

USDA Finally Defines “Egregious Cruelty”

USDA Finally Defines “Egregious Cruelty”

August 15, 2011

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service today released new regulations on livestock handling, which for the first time defines “egregious cruelties”: Here’s the USDA’s brand new list of no-nos.

1. Making cuts on or skinning conscious animals;
2. Excessive beating or prodding of ambulatory or nonambulatory disabled animals or dragging of conscious animals;
3. Driving animals off semi-trailers over a drop off without providing adequate unloading facilities (animals are falling to the ground);
4. Running equipment over conscious animals;
5. Stunning of animals and then allowing them to regain consciousness;
6. Multiple attempts, especially in the absence of immediate corrective measures, to stun an animal versus a single blow or shot that renders an animal immediately unconscious;
7. Dismembering conscious animals, for example, cutting off ears or removing feet;
8. Leaving disabled livestock exposed to adverse climate conditions while awaiting disposition, or
9. Otherwise causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, including situations on trucks.

Remember, everyone: no more “excessive beating,” or skinning animals alive.

Worth noting that none of these items were pulled out of thin air. Each of these items is known to happen or it would not have made the list. And the reason for the list is that, without being explicitly told these actions are unacceptably cruel, slaughterhouse inspectors couldn’t be counted on to report them. (Via Jolley and AMI.) Link [PDF].

Mixed feelings. Glad that the USDA Finally Defines “Egregious Cruelty”. Truly pissed off that it had to be defined. http://bit.ly/nM2uNh