Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting the Country Off the Dime

I actually enjoyed the State of the Union speech last night.  I’d forgotten just how engaging our President could be

I especially liked how he was saying things that I’ve been yelling at the TV for the last 6 months (like, “the economy wasn’t broken, I found it this way,” or “If you can’t get in line then just get the hell out of the way!”).

I couldn’t believe the bold faced dis on the Supremes, as they were sitting right up front.  I practically did a touchdown dance, right there on my couch, and spiked the remote.

(By the way, does anyone know how to fix a remote?)

Then this morning I heard Justice Alito mouthed the words “that’s not true”, regarding what will happen to our elections following their latest “Shilling for Big Business Since 2006” ruling.
 Not true?  Really?

Does the Good Justice think that the corporations, that he’s just given practical citizenship rights to, are going to go deep into their storage closet and locate some sense of conscience and restraint?

Or are they going to spend money hand over fist to pack the Congress with lackeys that will ensure that their profits are never hindered by trivialities like public safety or industry regulation?

I really shouldn’t be surprised they ruled this way… the next time the Roberts Court finds in favor of the common people over the rich and well connected, it will be the first time.

I didn't blog about this ruling back when it happened… there were too many others that already did it better and more richly than I, Carpetbagger and Last Door on the Left (who provided Keith Olbermans take on the subject), I’m looking at you.  But Alito’s feigned astonishment last night made me want to get my 2 cents in.

As I commented on Carpetbagger’s site:
There is only one thing that can combat the corporate advertising influence: Education and skepticism. As a nation, we need to look past the slick advertisements and misrepresentations seen in so many polical ads, because they are about to become slicker and more misrepresentier. And more pervasive. Only our own ability to think critically and questions can save us.

Now what do you think are the odds of that happening across the country are?

Sigh.  Me too.”


  1. It's so sad that the people we most *wish* would smart-up a bit about false ads probably won't.

  2. The odds are very low, sadly. Why? Because ignorance is learned. And there are a lot of ignorant people teaching their children to perpetuate stereotypes, lies and other falsehoods.

    But that being said, change is happening, albeit slower than my liking.

  3. My father claims that political ads don't influence him so what's the big deal.

    I think he sadly underestimates the masses of mouth-breathers out there who vote based on the ads they saw during "Wheel of Fortune."

    Don't know what Obama wants Congress to do about it. I'm pretty sure the Supremes will just knock down any law they make as unconstitutional.

    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." --Thomas Jefferson


  4. I loved the way Obama spanked the Supreme Court. I could have jumped up and done a little dance myself. I love it when you write about politics, bluz. You are snarkey and I really enjoy that!

  5. Cristy:
    The lack of critical think skills in this country is appalling. That’s what makes us so susceptible to false advertising, whether it’s a TV commercial or forwarded “real truth” email.

    There are always a couple things that a viewer should ask:

    1) Who is placing the ad and what stake do they have in the issue?

    2) Are the claims provable or just opinions? Where is the proof? If sources are listed, look them up to see the full context. Political ads are notorious for lifting out-of-context quotes and blowing them up.

    3) What devices are being used? Normally when talk is of the opposition, the shots are grainy or in black and white. Music is dark and furious. Then when the hero is featured, the sun comes out, color returns and the music lilts. Only when you recognize the manipulation do you avoid falling victim to it.

    4) Also note that the same marketing groups that make commercials that ask us to buy all the crap that we do, are making the political ads too. They use the same market research, focus groups and other hocus pocus that make the commercial ads successful.

    So is the American Public going to suddenly start asking these questions?

    I think we know the answer to that.

  6. GUY:
    I don’t see a lot of critical thinking skills getting taught to kids…both parents and schools have a vested interest in having kids do as they’re told, and not to question authority. That leaves precious little room for new ideas to wiggle in.

    To a degree, I understand it. I’m sure I would do my best to bring up a child with the same philosophy that I have… I’d be horrified if an “Alex P. Keaton” were growing in my house. But ultimately, I’d want my child to have the tools to combat the steady stream of propaganda that we are bombarded with, and with luck, they may come to the same conclusions on their own that I did, way back when.

  7. Bagger:
    There are always people that have their opinion that can never be moved, for better or worse. But I think the mouth-breathers far outnumber them, and without critical thinking skills are easily manipulated by forces using the media.

    And that Jefferson quote is money.

    The only quote by Jefferson I know is “Hey, you know we just left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don’t get ourselves some cool rules, pronto, or we’ll just be bogus too. Yea?”

  8. Cher:
    We work well together that way… you and Rich can use high-minded logic and reason with an empathetic heart, and I’ll take care of mocking, pointed sarcasm, indignation and open hostility. Between the two of us, we cover our collective progressive bases.


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