HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » UTUSN » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

UTUSN

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 52,550

Journal Archives

Of immigrants who are TeaBaggers, headsup on two LUNTZian propaganda phrases, & other crap



For years the Faux Propaganda Network’s Frank LUNTZ has been gimmicking with focus groups, snake-oiling Rethugs about words for them to tailor their propaganda with. He’s the jerk who told them to start using “DemoCRAT Party” instead of DemocratIC Party. And the focus-testing gimmick has been ticking ever since (1994?).

[FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]*********** TERM #1: “ASPIRATIONAL”[/FONT]

A few months ago the local radio wingnut started using the word “aspirational” for the naturalized immigrants in his audience, immigrants who turned into Rethugs or errand boys for Rethugs and suddenly were more American in their TeaBagger preaching the Constitution like they owned it MORE than everybody else. It’s the [FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]ZEALOUS CONVERT[/FONT] phenomenon, more zealous than the Always-Were-Heres or Born-This-Way-Ones. About demographics that the Old, White base of the Rethugs is fading away, he put his hopes in what he said are the “aspirational” types, the immigrants who ASPIRE to their definition of “American,” which translates largely into [FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]MATERIAL SUCCESS (only)[/FONT]: The “freedom” to get rich without old country bureaucracy and Union/government economic "controls" (regulation) and to KEEP riches without taxes. Basically robber baronism.

Now, this type that we’ve identified is personified by Ahhhhnuld SCHWARZENEGGER, who WANTED AND WANTED. They [FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]WANT[/FONT]. What did he want? Fame; especially fortune; and social status. He got it all with his diversified careers and then marriage into, he told LENO, “a very good family.” After all, he could have married an anonymous Whomever instead of her. When Democratic party regulars remonstrated to her that she was marrying a Rethug, she allayed their disappointment with, [FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]“He’s not LIKE THAT, he’s an IMMIGRANT!”[/FONT]

And in this same type are the first waves of Cubans, the BATISTA-ites, who were wingnuts in their own country and fit naturally with the wingnuts here. Ted CRUZ; Marco RUBIO. And it’s not just Latinos. Anybody notice how many wingnuts from Britain are on the radio preaching Americanism to Americans? This is not new. Many British movie stars from the 1940s or before got more fame and fortune in Hollywood than they had in Britain and took tons of criticism back in their ex-country for leaving.

O.K., so the first term was: ASPIRATIONAL.

[FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]****************** TERM #2: “SELF-INTERESTED HISPANICS”[/FONT]

Today LIMBOsevic used the phrase, “the self-interested Hispanics.” He was hashing over a Nazi Pat BUCHANAN column about how the Rethugs might win in 2012, but that this will be THE LAST TIME EVER, because the brown people’s population is about to break its water all over the country, overwhelming the old, dying, White people.

But contrary to Term Number One, this one, “the self-interested Hispanics,” is defined (by him and/or? BUCHANAN) as: Everybody on welfare, Disability, Student Loans, everything coming in the form of government checks. Of course, Rethugs never talk about Corporate Welfare, farm subsidies, or all those healthcare businesses collecting from LBJ Democratic MediCARE while attacking all Democratic candidates and policies.

*************************** The cartoon of the man trying to snare the moon for himself, captioned, [FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: yellow"]“I want! I want!”, is by William BLAKE[/FONT], the poet (“Tyger tyger burning bright”), identifying WANTING (things) as the source of human problems.

Kindly, I say,

I don't believe some off-topic threads, such as yours, are meant to annoy. And I similarly do not entertain the "wanting attention" thing. And, I love cute animals and agree with other off-topic threads: I just look for those things in the places set aside for them.

Instead, I disagree with some of your premises:

* "topics in GD unrelentingly serious/grim" - there's plenty of GD/on-topic humor mocking wingnuts. Your premise is that humor, by definition, has to be off-topic for GD in order to be humor. If a "break" is needed, the fabulous multi-faceted DU provides all the other forums (fora?), not to mention pursuing the rest of the internet or just any other life activities, sleeping or whatever.

* "gravitate to certain forums, GD/comfortable." Somebody I agree with said, "Why not post in the appropriate forum to begin with?"

* In another thread on this Meta page, there's this: "then just what is the point of having rules." Others who have railed against the GD SoP have made their case saying that "General" means *anything*. When it was named "Soap Box" did that mean it was supposed to be about soap? So, "then just what is the point of having rules (SoPs)?" Instead of having forums and groups, why not just have one vast venue where EVERYTHING is posted together, from Lounge to Mid-East to guns and everything in between? Plus, this point of view seems to pontificate that THEY (the anti-SoPers) somehow have the unilateral privilege of making up their own rules, which they really could do by founding their own website. So, then, who are the members who must abide by SoPs and who are the ones with privileges to do what they want? I might ask how does a body get on the privileged list, but being Democratic and democratic I don't want to be privileged above any rules.

Really, please, I'm not hostile or negative to you, we don't even know each other for goodness' sake, am just responding on a topic that is a pet peeve that I participate in re-hashing.

CARO's Vol.4 of his LBJ bio is due 05/2012: an inelegant, diary/e-mail review of Vols 1-3

Robert A. CARO. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Vol. 1, The Path to Power, 1981. Vol. 2, Means of Ascent, 1990. Vol. 3, Master of the Senate, 2002.

I had stayed away from this biography because my adult life has been dominated by JFK/LBJ/Vietnam, thankfully less and less, and I thought I knew what I needed to know and really didn't want to know more. I was wrong. I thought the "Box 13" theft of the Senate election in Texas was a small story. It was not. It made Shrub vs. GORE look like a cakewalk. Then CARO has long chapters on the history of the Senate, showing the dysfunction (gridlock) built-in; the history of racism as backdrop for why things happened; the incredible intricacies of parliamentarianism in the service of good or evil; innumerable vignettes of known and not known personages strutting their feeble time on the stage. Decent people destroyed (do you know who Leland OLDS was?) . Sorry for how ignorant I'm exposing myself (nothing new) to be, I'll just jump back to the e-mails:

I have finished reading volume 1 of Robert A. CARO’s monumental 3-volumes-going-on-one-more (due in May ‘12) biography of LBJ. Monumental, not (merely) because of its 768 pages, but because the amount of research and detail, not to mention solid writing, is STUPENDOUS. This first was published in 1981-82. The main and shocking impression is what a devious, personally abusive, grasping, voraciously ambitious human LBJ was, which means the fascination is in how that incomplete list of negatives could have been put in the service of GOOD (Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare/caid, etc. ) .

The 2nd impression is how nothing is new, how today’s antics of gridlock in D.C. and treachery in politics have been played out over and over forever, just that in the particular period of LBJ the characters were FDR, RAYBURN, and scores of other super-sized personalities. In the news this week is how electricity in the Middle East has transformed daily life from crushing labor (refrigeration/food storage) and expanded consciousness by communication with the outside world: Yawn. LBJ brought electricity to the Texas Hill Country, with the same incredible impact on daily life.

His deviousness was, pretending to be a Liberal among Liberals and a Wingnut among Winguts. The “perfect ROOSEVELT man” who on the other hand was a ROOSEVELT-hater in the ROOSEVELT-hater circles of his oilmen fatcats and Confederate boosters. There were NO limits to his treachery, betraying even first RAYBURN and then FDR when it was, uh, CALLED-for, for his ambitions and survival to further.

And the 3rd impression is that, after Mr CARO has totally exposed the thievery, chicanery, class and racial/ethnic hatred, and hypocrisy in American politics, it makes his comments about the “Mexican” politics of South Texas as beyond the pale BY AMERICAN/superior STANDARDS -- this would be a “Huh?” moment, like, did the author forget what he just said about the STUPENDOUS bribery and theft by the supposedly superior Anglos LBJ and Brown & Root (now named “Halliburton“), the millions in cash that Herman and George BROWN dumped down LBJ’s gullet all his political life, not to mention the other uber-fatcats chipping in on all other sides and geography of the American political spectrum: buying federal contracts, favorable legislation, and repressive legislation from compliant Congress critters and Presidents. When Mr CARO refers to the Hispanics in Texas residents has having COME FROM Mexico, he appears to forget that they were probably here for a few centuries, that THIS is their homeland. Plus, while describing the boss system as “Mexican“, he skips over the tiny detail that most and the most powerful political bosses he named were ANGLOS. Uh, WHO said, “La tierra es de quien la trabaja” (The land belongs to who works it)? It was Mexican (in Mexico) Emiliano ZAPATA, not the King Ranch BOYS of Texas. B&R poured cash into LBJ for a couple of scores of years. And got it back exponentially in his bought-and-paid-for legislation.



Last night I finished reading the second volume of CARO’s biography of LBJ. I thought I had done something as a schoolboy when I read, outside of school assignments, a 7 volumes bio of Woodrow WILSON, one of the old fashioned ones that didn’t tell the dirt (a.k.a., “truth”) such that I idolized him for a couple of decades without knowing (remembering?) that he was a racist and a colonialist (but also an idealist). But those 7 volumes were LIGHT in all ways, actual weight and in content, by comparison with this.

The LBJ volume 1 was 700+ pp and dreary and shocking and monumental. I thought #2 would be easy in its JUST 412 pp. Well, it was BAD (good), dreary, covering in the last few LONG chapters, the THEFT of the 1948 senate election by LBJ, the infamous Box 13, the ugly campaign before it, and that campaign and election theft made the GORE vs Shrub court battle look like a children’s party. It’s clear that GORE and everybody had not read this book or everybody would have known what to do. And it was one Supreme Court justice, the sainted Hugo BLACK who put an end to the battle in LBJ’s favor. I thought I knew who some of these people were, Abe FORTAS, well, they were totally MORE brilliant than I ever knew and more crooked than I could ever imagine. The SAME legal arguments were made about the national government NOT interfering in a state election, and the SAME arguments the other way won. And the national “interests” were the same: TRUMAN needed Texas and LBJ, not the personally honest but Wingnutilly reactionary Coke STEVENSON.

And it is clear that even a personally HONEST wingnut would NEVER have passed the first Civil Rights legislation (1957) or the later things of 1964/5, and that what all this means is that we swallow a terrible human if he gets what we want for us, or as RAYBURN put it, “He‘s a s.o.b., but he‘s OUR s.o.b."

Anyway, with two volumes down, I thought it was downhill sledding with the 3rd one, although you can see its like a HUMONGOUS BRICK. Oh. My. Zeus. It’s ONE THOUSAND FORTY pp, and it’s all about LBJ’s Senate years. I had avoided this biography for years because I lived through a couple of decades of it and thought I knew and certainly didn’t want to hear more about the KENNEDYs vs LBJ, or Vietnam. But this 3rd volume doesn’t even get to the KENNEDYS and Vietnam!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 1960 campaign and LBJ’s vice presidency would be in volume 4, which is debuting in May of this year.


Last night I finished (reading) Vol. 3. It was TWELVE years in the writing. A whole, long chapter on the History of the Senate, to show how the dysfunction got that way to begin with and how LBJ bent the traditions and the rules to make it work, even if it was for furthering his ambitions, but increasingly to realize the GLEAMING THREADS of humanity and compassion in the tapestry of his character. How the founders thought it necessary to build-in a braking mechanism on mob rule, but how the Southerners with their rock solid seniority kept the public demand for the causes of Labor and Civil Rights broken and shackled for decade after decade, with popular waves of demand for change and reform, one after another, shut down by the niceties of parliamentary rules, all under the genteel drawl of “the scent of magnolias.”

And the personalities I thought I knew: Ha, the supposedly eloquent (by media hype; not *my* hero; of my youth) Everett DIRKSEN, shown to be a gasbag tool. The little engine who could, President TRUMAN, proposing health care and civil rights programs and having to settle against the Congress critters for what he could get by Executive Order, little things like desegregating the military. The FDR crew, like Olympians. Ha, I thought I knew how magnificent Franklin and Eleanor were, HAH. And always the breathtaking TREACHERY of the LBJ morass, the cruelty starting even with his family and Lady Byrd and extending unsurprisingly to his political enemies, but his own craven, pathetic groveling in desperation when he had to save himself. And then, when the GOLD THREADS of (sincere?) compassion showed themselves, it’s almost like too late to make me scramble a portion of admiration?

Increasingly, as his journey passed milestones of power, one name kept creeping past in the background: Tiberius.

Are we going to spontaneously combust with second-guessing /meta-ing ourselves?

Within a couple or three days of DU3 I was pleased with myself for having adapted to changes in this fabulous site as I never had adapted to previous changes. After the first changes where I had lectured, "Sometimes there is a perfect stage and change for its own sake doesn't equate with 'improvement,' " when the second round of changes came around I settled into just using the parts that suited me and skipping past the rest.

With DU3 there seemed to be a fascinating mixture of innovation (the jury) and preservation (strengthening of SoP).

But some trends seem to be gaining strength: Reviving what had seemed to be "settled law" (yes, the UnRec, but others, too). And unlocking locked SoP breaches back and forth. And the de facto weakening of the SoP (especially in GD), the bottom line being arbitrariness. And it was unsettling at first to see jury results being posted and picked at, although I guess real life juries after the fact do discuss and are discussed in public.

O.K., I get the "democratic" philosophical impetus fueling the changes --- empowerment and transparency. The change from a top-down ATA to Meta is emblematic, like doing away with Tech Support in favor of Chat Rooms. But it just seems that no decision is really going to be final, and therefore some issues won't ever be settled, and instead of just being Low Maintenance Me with my GD-LBN-Lounge, I'm going to have to keep a constantly wary eye on Meta to see what popular factions are going to take power (until they don't, anymore).

And slightly tangential, the Wish Lists for more and more features seem endless, but then again I *am* low maintenance.

(Oh, & K&R #37) The crux: "Statement of Purpose" (for the forum)

Estimable member NNNOLHI in post #17 put his finger on the root of the concerns: "Remember my first post here at DU3? I wanted to know how to make DU3 look more like DU2. Got locked."


The concerns were about not knowing why the threads were locked, "I wanted to know how to make DU3...", meaning that this was what was called in DU2 "wrong forum" and now a violation of Statement of Purpose for the forum.

In the preview, after the first flurry of random posts, there followed the mass lockings because most of them were in the WRONG FORUM/violation-SoP, which I thought was a great on-the-job lesson!1

Iow, in this current thread, in real DU3 life, THIS thread would be locked for being Meta-Discussion.


In GD, there was a blurring of the forum's identity: It was supposed to be politics-current/events-issues ---NOT just anything, like the Lounge --- but, sometimes depending on changing Moderator crews or just wearing down over time, there was a "non-rigid" mood, and all kinds of topics seeped through and then became rooted:

* News-of-the-weird, Oddities-oh-my

* Cute lovable animals (Lounge)

* Local news

* True crime

* Personal misfortunes or happy events

* Fascinating anthropology/archeaology, photography

* Celebrity events

* Vanity threads

It was encouraging to see all of the weeding out of the extraneous (to SOAPBOX) threads. I have generally resisted previous changes to DU, but DU3 is looking the best from the outset.
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8