The GOP and KKK retool their selling pitches

by Djerrid

While the Republican Party is closing its ranks and entrenching itself in their ideology, the White Power movement wants you to ‘come see the lighter side‘ of racism and is hoisting its own “Big Tent”. It looks like the Grand Ol’ Party isn’t the only one playing with rebranding.

First, President Obama got the jump on the republicans by making a big show of courting their votes and then, after almost every single one of them voted against his stimulus and just about everything else the democrats put up, he successfully tarred them with being the Party of No.  Since then they have retreated into their “base”, the core of their ideologically rigid fans, and lost a senator in the process. Continue reading

Author Orson Scott Card: Gays not "acceptable, equal citizens"; "I will act to destroy that government and bring it down"

Orson Scott Card is a barking fascist asshat. Let me illustrate.

I always marveled at how some of my friends worshiped the writing of Orson Scott Card. Maybe, I thought, it’s because we’re North Carolinians and he’s from Greensboro. From my perspective he was nothing special, at best, and has in the last couple of decades evolved into perhaps America’s most overrated science fiction author. Ender’s Game was prescient in its way – in a world where weaponry is so technologized that war is a video game, of course kids can be uber-warriors. But when the boy is made into some kind of equally uber moralist and philosopher (or whatever the hell Speaker for the Dead was about) I smelled the pungent aroma of self-indulgence that so often attends SF writers of a certain stripe.

The Alvin Maker series was even less bearable. We were doing fine in Seventh Son, clipping through an interesting enough little story (assuming you could get past the inexplicably patronizing treatment of Native American names) and then – the damnedest what the fuck passage in all of known literature. Continue reading

NYT Public Editor dances around 'Brutal Truth' of torture

(updated below: updates I-II)

by Brad Jacobson

Clark Hoyt’s New York Times public editor column on Sunday, “Telling the Brutal Truth,” brings the ongoing “debate” over whether waterboarding is torture to brave new heights of absurdity.

Hoyt opens the column:

A LINGUISTIC [all caps are Hoyt’s] shift took place in this newspaper as it reported the details of how the Central Intelligence Agency was allowed to strip Al Qaeda prisoners naked, bash them against walls, keep them awake for up to 11 straight days, sometimes with their arms chained to the ceiling, confine them in dark boxes and make them feel as if they were drowning.

Reading this, you might think, “Finally, in its news pages, the Times is going to call waterboarding what it is and what it always has been since its first recorded use during the Spanish Inquisition — torture. Plain and simple.” Yet you would be gravely disappointed.

For Hoyt then writes:

Until this month, what the Bush administration called “enhanced” interrogation techniques were “harsh” techniques in the news pages of The Times. Increasingly, they are “brutal.” (On the editorial page, they long ago added up to “torture.”) Continue reading

Republicans are "rebranding": round up the usual suspects

You have to love the headline: GOP set to launch rebranding effort

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama’s characterization of Republicans as “the party of ‘no.'”

CNN has learned that the new initiative, called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday.

It will involve an outreach by an interesting mix of GOP officials, ranging from 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and the younger brother of the man many Republicans blame for the party’s battered brand: former President George W. Bush. Continue reading

The profound effects of redefining success—Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


outliersIt sits at the core of the American Dream: the idea that, through pluck and hard work, anyone can succeed. Horatio Alger called that kind of person the “self-made man.”

And according to Malcom Gladwell, it’s all a bunch of malarkey. 

In his latest book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Gladwell explodes the myth of the self-made person. “No one makes it alone,” he says.

“We tell rags to riches stories because we find something captivating in the idea of a lone hero battling overwhelming odds,” Gladwell says. While inspiring, such stories are deeply flawed because a person’s success has less to do with what they’re like than with where they’re from.

“The values of the world we inhabit, and the people we surround ourselves with, has a profound effect on who we are,” he says. Continue reading