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  1. Manscape

    One week to go.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/25/tea-party-koch-brothers The Tea Party movement: deluded and inspired by billionaires by funding numerous rightwing organisations, the mega-rich Koch brothers have duped millions into supporting big business George Monbiot guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 October 2010 The Tea Party movement is remarkable in two respects. It is one of the biggest exercises in false consciousness the world has seen – and the biggest Astroturf operation in history. These accomplishments are closely related. An Astroturf campaign is a fake grassroots movement: it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Some Astroturf campaigns have no grassroots component at all. Others catalyse and direct real mobilisations. The Tea Party belongs in the second category. It is mostly composed of passionate, well-meaning people who think they are fighting elite power, unaware that they have been organised by the very interests they believe they are confronting. We now have powerful evidence that the movement was established and has been guided with the help of money from billionaires and big business. Much of this money, as well as much of the strategy and staffing, were provided by two brothers who run what they call "the biggest company you've never heard of". Charles and David Koch own 84% of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States. It runs oil refineries, coal suppliers, chemical plants and logging firms, and turns over roughly $100bn a year; the brothers are each worth $21bn. The company has had to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements for oil and chemical spills and other industrial accidents. The Kochs want to pay less tax, keep more profits and be restrained by less regulation. Their challenge has been to persuade the people harmed by this agenda that it's good for them. In July 2010, David Koch told New York magazine: "I've never been to a Tea Party event. No one representing the Tea Party has ever even approached me." But a fascinating new film – (Astro)Turf Wars, by Taki Oldham – tells a fuller story. Oldham infiltrated some of the movement's key organising events, including the 2009 Defending the American Dream summit, convened by a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The film shows David Koch addressing the summit. "Five years ago," he explains, "my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start Americans for Prosperity. It's beyond my wildest dreams how AFP has grown into this enormous organisation." A convener tells the crowd how AFP mobilised opposition to Barack Obama's healthcare reforms. "We hit the button and we started doing the Twittering and Facebook and the phonecalls and the emails, and you turned up!" Then a series of AFP organisers tell Mr Koch how they have set up dozens of Tea Party events in their home states. He nods and beams from the podium like a chief executive receiving rosy reports from his regional sales directors. Afterwards, the delegates crowd into AFP workshops, where they are told how to run further Tea Party events. Americans for Prosperity is one of several groups set up by the Kochs to promote their politics. We know their foundations have given it at least $5m, but few such records are in the public domain and the total could be much higher. It has toured the country organising rallies against healthcare reform and the Democrats' attempts to tackle climate change. It provided the key organising tools that set the Tea Party running. The movement began when CNBC's Rick Santelli called from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for a bankers' revolt against the undeserving poor. (He proposed that the traders should hold a tea party to dump derivative securities in Lake Michigan to prevent Obama's plan to "subsidise the losers": by which he meant people whose mortgages had fallen into arrears.) On the same day, Americans for Prosperity set up a Tea Party Facebook page and started organising Tea Party events. Oldham's film shows how AFP crafted the movement's messages and drafted its talking points. The New Yorker magazine, in the course of a remarkable exposure of the Koch brothers' funding networks, interviewed some of their former consultants. "The Koch brothers gave the money that founded [the Tea Party]," one of them explained. "It's like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud – and they're our candidates!" Another observed that the Kochs are smart. "This rightwing, redneck stuff works for them. They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves." AFP is one of several groups established by the Koch brothers. They set up the Cato Institute, the first free-market thinktank in the United States. They also founded the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University, which now fills the role once played by the economics department at Chicago University as the originator of extreme neoliberal ideas. Fourteen of the 23 regulations that George W Bush put on his hitlist were, according to the Wall Street Journal, first suggested by academics working at the Mercatus Centre. The Kochs have lavished money on more than 30 other advocacy groups, including the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the George C Marshall Institute, the Reason Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. These bodies have been instrumental in turning politicians away from environmental laws, social spending, taxing the rich and distributing wealth. They have shaped the widespread demand for small government. The Kochs ensure that their money works for them. "If we're going to give a lot of money," David Koch explained to a libertarian journalist, "we'll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And if they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with, we withdraw funding." Most of these bodies call themselves "free-market thinktanks", but their trick – as (Astro)Turf Wars points out – is to conflate crony capitalism with free enterprise, and free enterprise with personal liberty. Between them they have constructed the philosophy that informs the Tea Party movement: its members mobilise for freedom, unaware that the freedom they demand is freedom for corporations to trample them into the dirt. The thinktanks that the Kochs have funded devise the game and the rules by which it is played; Americans for Prosperity coaches and motivates the team. Astroturfing is now taking off in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month Spinwatch showed how a fake grassroots group set up by health insurers helped shape the Tories' NHS reforms. Billionaires and corporations are capturing the political process everywhere; anyone with an interest in democracy should be thinking about how to resist them. Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems.
  2. Manscape

    Debate Challenge

    Greetings, It is no less than astoundingly offensive to the electorate that the incumbent Harrison leadership ("dug in like a Louisiana tic") ignores the call for a debate. I notice the anonymous defenders of this entrenchment only emerge to post cockroach-like, to distract from the thread's timely and noble topic......... DEBATE CHALLENGE!!! We get the government we deserve. Surely in this maturing age of information people would move to put an end to the status quo of Harrison leadership's self serving gravy train if that's indeed what it is. You as Americans and Harrisonians deserve a debate between the principals in this upcoming election. Some of the accusations and reasonings revealed on this board suggest the operation of Harrison government and the parasites involved are like those from the film "Walking Tall." You deserve answers for a sound basis on how to cast your vote, not intimidation or convenient neglect from candidates. I sometimes cannot understand how the state or the feds do not get involved in this one square mile of mysterious government rule. DEMAND THE DEBATE CHALLENGE TO TAKE PLACE.....and if you don't get it, vote against those that refuse!!
  3. Hey!! Thank you Truth Teller. The series of questions and postings you've placed here are stellar, not the least for inviting opposing views and perhaps mostly for your clarity and reasoning. Be well and keep your spirit and thinking in motion. People will positively benefit. Respectfully, Manscape..........posted on the 70th birthday of John Lennon who was certainly flawed but nonetheless a man STILL for our times.
  4. You remain proudly KOTW's most magnificent nincompoop, Tumor4you. For everyone else, I offer this: http://www.amconmag.com/tactv/2010/09/10/did-the-terrorists-win-on-911/ The "Southern Avenger" Jack Hunter is a conservative commentator on WTMA 1250 AM talk radio and columnist for the Charleston City Paper in South Carolina. Did the Terrorists Win on 9/11? Posted on September 10th, 2010 by admin As we approach the ninth anniversary of 9/11, everyone is fixated on some idiot who plans to burn the Koran. Many are pleading with him not to do it, yet he still insists. If he doesn’t do it, the “terrorists win,” you see. But the terrorists have already won. That this man even wants to burn the Koran is actually part of that triumph, and that we are all talking about it is simply the latest chapter in their victory. Many believe America changed after 9/11. It did. A ragtag band of terrorists successfully drew the most powerful military in the world into countries that barely had militaries, where we invented or deepened conflicts that should have never been conflicts, the benefit of which went mostly to al-Qaeda, as that outfit now possesses the greatest recruitment tool imaginable–the flailing foreign policy of a belligerent American empire. If we’re honest, since day one, the War on Terror has actually been a war for it–with the decade-long occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq creating a net result of record high anti-American sentiment, far worse than it was before 9/11–which is the reason there even was a 9/11. The irony is as thick as it is tragic. Today, this president show no signs or intention of wanting to correct, or simply stop making, the mistakes of the last one, and radical Islamists and neoconservatives alike continue to salivate over the possibility of new conflicts. And this is just overseas. Here at home,19 hijackers scared a nation of 300 million people into supporting not only endless and fruitless wars, but security measures and government expansion without precedent in their size, expense, and absurdity. The 9/11 terrorists wanted to induce fear, and they did–beyond their wildest dreams. Writes CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for Newsweek: I do not minimize Al Qaeda’s intentions, which are barbaric. I question its capabilities. In every recent conflict, the United States has been right about the evil intentions of its adversaries but massively exaggerated their strength. In the 1980s, we thought the Soviet Union was expanding its power and influence when it was on the verge of economic and political bankruptcy. In the 1990s, we were certain that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear arsenal. In fact, his factories could barely make soap… . Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself. Today, Al Qaeda’s best hope is to find a troubled young man who has been radicalized over the Internet, and teach him to stuff his underwear with explosives. Author Bruce Fein has made the case that if the United States took the troop-to-enemy ratio currently in the Middle East and applied it to World War II, America would have stationed three billion soldiers in Europe alone, ten times the size of the current U.S. population. Fein also points out that even though there are about 14,000 murders annually in the U.S., the very thought of an increased police state to address this is anathema to most Americans–yet there is a bipartisan consensus on the need for a national-security state, massively overblown to address a massively exaggerated threat. Writes Zakaria: Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. The amount of money spent on intelligence has risen by 250 percent, to $75 billion (and that’s the public number, which is a gross underestimate). That’s more than the rest of the world spends put together. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet-the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built-at a cost of $3.4 billion-to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people. This is insane, and yet to say so is the quickest way to prove your own insanity. Defenders of the last president love to claim that “Bush kept us safe.” No, he kept us stupid. And Obama is no different. After 9/11, most Americans and indeed the entire world understood the logic of going into Afghanistan, but a decade later, no one understands the reason we are still there, what it has to do with fighting terrorism, what we were ever doing in Iraq, and how either war could possibly prevent another attack. The only reason an American would even think to burn a Koran and the media would think to cover it–and we all would have to worry about it–is because the U.S. has now militarily engaged the Arab world to a degree every bit as extreme as what the 9/11 hijackers hoped they might provoke. The War on Terror is by definition a war without end, and we now seem to have permanently institutionalized it, both domestically and abroad, with literally no end in sight. On this ninth anniversary of 9/11, ask this: Where else in history have so few men accomplished so much? And where else in history has a nation so powerful, so quickly become its own worst enemy–all in the name of exacting revenge against so few men?
  5. Manscape

    Let's make a deal

    Read the red highlight above.......sounds like you're referring to the US military in Iraqnam. ?
  6. A GIFT FOR YOUR SEASON OF SALT, SNOW AND MEANINGFUL RESOLUTIONS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puMz1Q3E000
  7. Manscape

    Teabagging Sarah

    "You betcha" Sarah gets a nice $$$ from her book buying lemmings who want to buy that photograph they take of them and her during the pen scratch.......buy it off her website like they do "swimming with the dolphins" down in the Caribbean! False, shallow and the best face the GOP has got for itself amongst their trainwreck.........Bimpy Boop Sarah You Betcha! Look for her to be doing soft porn before the wrinkles deepen, as the lord is her savior!
  8. Manscape

    Jimmy Carter happy.

    "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
  9. Manscape

    Teabagging Sarah

    Read post #4 tumor4u!! My rebuttal abounds in America like the Autumn leaves. Got denial, deadender?
  10. Manscape

    Jimmy Carter happy.

    Got denial, deadender?
  11. Manscape

    Teabagging Sarah

    Got hate, deadender?
  12. Manscape

    Teabagging Sarah

    Sarah Palin: Fooling None Of The People All Of The Time Deepak Chopra Author, Sirius/XM radio host Posted: November 23, 2009 08:48 AM Last fall it seemed as if Sarah Palin would light a fuse and cause a social explosion. Behind her beauty-pageant smile lurked the shadow, the dark side of human nature. Her tactic of appealing to the worst impulses of the electorate had a long history in the Republican Party. Indeed, Palin inherited the selfish, mean-spirited values of another politician with a gleaming smile, Ronald Reagan. When it first dawned in American politics, the shadow was shocking. Values were turned upside down. The AIDS crisis? Ignore it. They deserve what they got. The deficit? Doesn't matter as long as the rich get what they want. Huge unemployment and falling incomes among the working class? Feed them crank social issues so they have someone to hate. Palin breathes this noxious atmosphere like the clear air of Alaska and thrives on it. Now, however, Palin brings a smile. When she quit her job as governor, it was obvious that someone had whispered in her ear, "You're fading. Soon you'll be a nobody. Grab the money while you can." And so she did, earning a hefty advance, much of which, fittingly, goes to paying off lawsuits related to her ethical violations while in office. The shadow that seemed so dangerous a year ago has been defanged, reduced to spiteful backbiting against the McCain campaign, the very people who gave Palin her spot in the limelight to begin with. I hope the left will take a deep breath and stop treating Palin like a diabolical force. The American character has always had a large dose of orneriness in it, and the more ornery you were, the farther west you moved. Alaska has a reputation for being an icebox for malcontents. Palin came straight from the source, and countless Americans root for her. In hard times, being the bellyacher-in-chief is a valid role. Hence the rise of Glenn Beck. But nobody is being fooled. A recent Gallup poll showed that 67% of responders don't want Palin to run for president. Fear of Palin is ill-advised on two counts. First, fear is what the shadow wants. Without it, the shadow has no power. Second, the left needs to learn how to win graciously. The current upheaval in American society, which has been an enormous threat on many fronts, called forth a president and a constituency that knows how to handle crisis. The voices of sanity are prevailing. The solutions that have emerged on all fronts -- economic, social, and international -- represent the best in the American character. But you can't expect everyone to join the party. As long as we know that Palin is fooling nobody all of the time, the darker side can be tolerated. The shadow is always with us. Today it's on a book tour.
  13. Manscape

    86 days.

    Breathe deep.........count to 10........visit this link, tumor4u: http://www.lexapro.com/
  14. Manscape

    Jimmy Carter happy.

    Tumor4u!! Longing for the days of cowardly ninnies in wannabe flightsuits ready to "smoke 'em out" for imaginary WMDs in Iraq? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, deadender!! Didja ever get a professional appointment for your anger fixation upon POTUS Barry Obama? Think "vicious consequence" if you DON'T make that call, tumor4u. New Jersey Anger Management Directory http://new-jersey.uscity.net/Anger_Management/
  15. Manscape

    How low can Obama go?

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