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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going Dark..........

I've got a writing project that just fell in my lap that I cant pass up.

Be right back next month...........

Monday, July 18, 2011

What Is This "Gay Agenda"?

The Modern American Right loves to use the word "agenda", as it evokes a sinister sound and feeling. They use it in relation to virtually everything they either can't understand or reconcile within rational thought. And when we are talking about the Modern American Right, rational thought simply doesn't exist.

I was reading a post from Right Wing sychophant Jim Hoft and that question came back to me - what is the "gay agenda"?

The reality of this issue is simple - though Hoft and his equally ignorant compatriots will not admit it..........

Gays and Lesbians are humans, are workers in society, are producers, and just want to have the same rights as others. That's it. But you wouldn't get that if you read Hoft or paid attention to the framing of the Modern American Right.

What really happened to "Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of Happiness"? Aren't these the pillars of Right Wing Theology?

Evidently not if you are a man that loves another man, or a woman that loves another woman.

The "Gay Agenda" is nothing more than saying "let us exist in American the same way that everyone else does." Why is that so hard for the Modern American Right to accept?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Palin, Cinema, And Context - or - Did Conservatives Not Learn Anything From Their Atlas Disaster?

It's no surprise that The Modern American Right would start crowing like Peter Pan on crystal meth once the Sarah Palin mockumentary premiered in theatres across the US. But one has to ask whether or not these same people have forgotten even the most recent of Right Wing cinema flops that they claimed was a successful box office opening.

The much anticipated Sarah Palin documentary, “The Undefeated”, which chronicles Sarah Palin’s rise from mayor of Wasilla, Alaska to national prominence, will play exclusively in AMC Theatres starting today. You can vote for the movie to play in your town at The Undefeated website.

The Sarah Palin documentary “The Undefeated” opened to a huge opening day. They are selling out from Atlanta to Orange County.

Opens Friday, July 15th!

There are several reports that the audiences are standing and cheering in the theaters.

And while it's not unusual to witness cheering/shouting/standing in theatres during movies ranging from the latest sophomoric Wayans Brothers production to more serious offerings, The Modern American Right is in full framing mode with this one. After all, they have to, considering Palin has become somewhat of a religious figure amongst conservatives and some libertarians.

But lets look at this from an honest marketing and distributing perspective.

The Modern American Right have everything to lose should this mockumentary fail, so it works to their advantage to frame this opening as "groundbreaking". But what they aren't considering is the fact that we are talking about 10 cities, 10 specific theatres, and a cult following that really can't survive in a mass release.

And while some within the Modern American Right are poorly attempting to minimalize the reality of poor ticket sales, I can't but wonder what sort of "victimhood meme" they will conjour once the initial glow has worn off with members of the Tea Bagger set.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Late Night Music Club feat. Bauhaus

The original goth band.................nuff said

God In An Alcove

The Reality Of Right Wing "Reading"

As I studied film throughout my life - and as well as intensive classes at college - I was continually reminded to remove all expectations when viewing a particular piece of cinema. After all, if you go into the theatre expecting something, and then are promptly given something else, your opinion of the piece will be so canted and distorted that you will likely miss the majority of context and nuance and be summarily disappointed, thereby giving a review to someone that is based on your own ignorance.

The same is true of the written word. In this instance, I am speaking of the United States Constitution.

When you read a document of this power, you have to exercise the intellectual honesty in reference to the time it was written in. This is something The Modern American Right completely ignore while claiming to understand it's historical timeline.

Former Speaker of the House and unapologetic adulterer Newt Gingrich can't seem to wrap his head around the past and the Constitution while he pretends to be the nations preeminent Constitutional Scholar:

In the American system, if you read the Constitution correctly — this is why I wrote “A Nation Like No Other” — if you read the Federalist Papers correctly, the fact is the Congress can pass a law and can limit the Court’s jurisdiction. It’s written directly in the Constitution. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton promises, I think it’s Number 78, that the judiciary branch is the weakest of the three branches. There is no Supreme Court in the American Constitution. There’s the court which is the Supreme of the judicial branch, but it’s not supreme over the legislative and executive branch. We now have this entire national elite that wants us to believe that any five lawyers are a Constitutional convention. That is profoundly un-American and profoundly wrong.

But this is more about how the Modern American Right views our most important founding document. This is about how they pretend that The Founders knew everything that would transpire after its signing.

I mean, talk about hubris to the Nth degree............

Despite what anyone like Newt would tell you, the Constitution is - quite literally - a living document, and I honestly believe that people like Jefferson knew this to be true. After all, if you are going to found a country based on liberty and rights, wouldn't you be concerned with the future rather than the 5 seconds right in front of your nose?

But what Newt is doing is indicative of the Modern American Right's desire to perpetuate the "activist judge" meme. By that, I mean that they want to see people preside over the courts that will push their own ideological bent. And while the alternate argument can be presented to anyone with a socio-political philosophy that aligns itself with the Left, we have to understand that the former favors the few while the later favors the many. After all, that whole "majority rules" thing can be a slippery slope for the Right Wing ideologue.

Let's not get too far off topic - though what I have enumerated here is relevant.

The idea of "reading something correctly" being postulated by someone like Newt Gingrich is a clear signifier of the framing technique of the Modern American Right. They want to force a particular narrative into documents like The Constitution in order to validate their own canted ideological stance. But the downfall of presenting this argument is that they will, in turn, claim that it is the Left that does this instead of those that presented the argument to begin with. Yet another aspect of Right Wing framing; claim that it's not you but the opposition that are guilty of the sins you perpetuate.

It all comes down to one thing th3 The Modern American Right refuse to acknowledge:


Are the late 1700s the same as the Modern 21st Century?

Of course not.

Were there "smart phones", internet access, airplanes, high speed rail transport, or even xerox machines back then?


So to claim that the language contained within the original Constitution understood the advancements of America on such a varied scale was absolute and unmoving is to not understand the nature of a nation, regardless of where you live.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Called Being Lazy

The Tea Baggers were all in a collective lather over Republicans none-too-modest gains in the Lower Chamber of Congress and said that they have delivered a "mandate" of sorts. I'm wondering if they are going to excuse Mitch McConnell's and the GOP's unblushing laziness.

They've already started:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered his strongest criticism yet of President Barack Obama’s leadership in the ongoing talks.

“I have little question that as long as this President is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable,” he said on the Senate floor Tuesday. Adding, “This was not an easy decision for me.”

Obama, he said, “has presented us with three choices: smoke and mirrors, tax hikes or default. Republicans choose none of the above.”

McConnell added the Democratic budget plan would provide only “a couple of billion dollars in cuts up front with empty promises of more to follow.”

‘”I had hoped to do good, but I refuse to do harm,” he said.

What McConnell is doing is akin to a spoiled child upset that they don't get everything they want at a moments notice. Moreover, McConnell is attempting to excuse the abject laziness of the Modern American Right by claiming that everything they campaigned on that they don't accomplish is actually Obama's fault.

I can recall that the Clinton White House was able to accomplish quite a bit with a Republican majority in the House, so what is McConnell's excuse now? He is clearly favoring pure partisan rhetoric and pandering to the most extreme notions of the Modern American Right, consequences be damned.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pouring Out The Hubris Of The Right

Not long ago I was flipping through a magazine at work and happened to stop on an article critical of Obama's handling of the so called "War On Terror". A woman next to me looked at the picture of Barack at the head of the article and proclaimed in a rather casual manner - as if she felt she was within a circle of like-minded friends - that "there's mister arrogant".

I will defer from speaking about the "dog-whistle racism" in modern socio-political conversation here in Western Kentucky in favor of pointing out that what Sarah Palin has done has run contrary to what the Modern American Right alleged stand for.

As Tina Korbe highlights over at HotAir, such arrogant to self-aggrandizement posturing is more than welcome within the Modern American Right:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hasn’t yet revealed whether she plans to run for the GOP presidential nomination, but she’s confident she could win if she really wanted.

In-so-much that she hasn't announced she as an "exploritory committee", anyone with even the most limited bone-marrow intelligence knows that she is going to run. And those of us that have listened to and followed Palin's base instincts know that she will draw her announcement out as long as possible.

Tina Korbe knows this, but prefers to play coy in order to deal her "I'm so shocked" card at a later date.

And as much as Korbe knows this, this next piece from Palin should show her how Palin's own arrogant nature that has been fostered and encouraged:

“I believe that I can win a national election,” Palin said recently in a conversation with Newsweek’s Peter J. Boyer. “I’m not so egotistical as to believe that it has to be me, or it can only be me, to turn things around. But I do believe that I can win.”

But then, Korbe starts to muddy her initial claim.

Perhaps her popularity among Republicans and conservatives warrants that pretty impressive confidence (after all, a countless many continue to clamor for her entrance into the presidential race), but, for whatever the polls are worth, Palin hasn’t yet bested President Barack Obama in a hypothetical presidential match-up (at least that I’ve seen). But, then, of the present GOP candidates, only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has fared favorably against the incumbent, anyway, so maybe Palin has a point. If anything, the utter lack of cockiness among the current Republican contenders (with, again, the possible exception of Romney, who was cool and confident recently to suggest the firing of an Obama economic adviser) might be just what has caused so many to describe this year’s field as “dullsville.” Maybe the Palin presumption is what this race needs. Maybe, with Palin competing for the nomination, the other Republicans would kick it into even higher gear.

"Utter lack of cockiness"?

Where the fuck as Tina been living since 2009?

Considering the randomness of the initial GOP Presidential field of hopefuls, I would say that Palin either doesn't understand what's going on within the Modern American Right or is more concerned with her own visibility and financial gains.

I don't think I would be out of line by saying the later and the former have both evaded her and have more of a baring on what will happen in 2012 than she is willing to admit.

But lets continue with Korbe's meandering post:

Fortunately for Palin (as she herself recognizes) and probably for the GOP, it’s still very early and the field is far from set.

“Thank goodness the field is not yet set,” Palin said in the interview with Newsweek. “I think that there does need to be more vigorous debate. There needs to be a larger field. And there’s still time. There’s still months ahead, where more folks can jump in and start articulating their positions.”

Of course the GOP isn't set, and it won't be this year, as the Modern American Right are so concerned with removed Barack Obama from office that they are more than willing to ignore their own alleged "beliefs" in favor of casting him and his family in the roll of "extremists".

However, the Modern American Right is attempting to set the field already with the players at hand. And at best, they are all trying to use the same fear-mongering talking points. Have they worked? Well, considering that Palin hasn't officially announced and that perhaps those that once ( and perhaps still ) saw her as a religious figure are beginning to realize that she is either ineffective as a true leader or that she works better as a talking-point machine are tilting to polling.

Fortunately for Palin (as she herself recognizes) and probably for the GOP, it’s still very early and the field is far from set.

“Thank goodness the field is not yet set,” Palin said in the interview with Newsweek. “I think that there does need to be more vigorous debate. There needs to be a larger field. And there’s still time. There’s still months ahead, where more folks can jump in and start articulating their positions.”

But, if she’s going to get in, I wish she’d get in now, so folks would stop evaluating her non-campaign-campaign tactics and start talking again about her policy positions (which, at least as she laid them out in the Newsweek article, are as solid as ever).

I'm not entirely sure how large the field needs to be before Palin finally admits that she's running, as it's already so unofficially large that it's starting to get obscene, but she is running.

So what is Korbe wanting to hear once Palin makes an official announcement? Is she expecting people to conform to her own framing? I would wager so. What she is upset about is that people have been questioning her positions since John McCain tapped her as the ultimate VP gimmick of the 21st Century.

So why is Palin so sure that she could win?

Well, it's because she's been told that she can. Moreover, she's convinced herself that she is so much of a celebrity within the Modern American Right that she almost feels entitled to it.

And while most sane people won't go all-in for someone like Palin - based on what she has said and done - we are in a time where marketing trumps reality. This is one of the primary factors that separates the Modern American Right from true Liberals/Progressives.

Is Palin going to run?

Of course.

Will she win?

Perhaps the GOP nomination, but that is it.............

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Thoughts For The Day

- Seeing as how The Modern American Right are so excited over excessively long tirades about trains ( read: Atlas Shrugged ) I'm wondering why they are so against high-speed rail.

- Why does Fox"News" boast about how most Americans watch their network while crying about how the "mainstream media" is against them? Do they not know the definition of "mainstream"?

- Why does the Modern American Right lambaste Obama's Chicago ties as "thuggish" when Ronald Reagan's childhood home is in the same city?

- When I see and hear people like Glenn Beck preach the virtues of owning gold and then complain about the devaluing of the dollar, I'm wondering if they don't understand the far reaching implications of what they are essentially doing.

- If the Modern American Right don't think we have a direct impact on our environment, then can we build a coal-fired power plant and nuclear waste dump next to Rush Limbaugh's house?

- Have you ever noticed that since Obama took office that the Modern American Right have virtually celebrated every economic negative that they can find?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Obama WH, Twitter, And Right Wing Pity Party Antics

The Modern American Right doesn't seem to understand that social networking is just that - social networking. You see someone or something you find interesting, you comment on it, link to it, remix it with some "keyboard cat", or simply just ignore it. And the one element that really sticks in their craw is that responding to them is apparently tantamount to taking a greasy, soft-serve, shit on the American Flag and then wiping your ass with no less than four pages of King James "scripture".

You think I'm kidding? Check these out:

When the White House named Jesse Lee as its Director of Progressive Media and Online Response to rebut criticisms on social-networking media, some people argued that the Obama administration had taken a big step toward becoming Big Brother. At the time, I argued that this was nonsense, and that the White House had a right to respond to criticism — but that Lee’s job was a task better left to the DNC, which traditionally served the role of political response. Instead of looking hip and timely, attacking Twitter users would make the Obama administration look petty and thin-skinned, and would diminish the seriousness and dignity of the Presidency. Punching below one’s weight is a strategy that never pays off.

Little did I know just how far below their weight the White House would punch. Heritage Foundation’s Rob Bluey analyzes Lee’s feed and discovers that 15% of all his rebuttals in the month since he took the job have been directed at one user, and it’s not Jake Tapper, Bret Baier, Chuck Todd, or even Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. Instead, Lee has spent almost one-sixth of his twitter time rebutting … Kevin Eder.

President Obama's director of progressive media is obsessed with one particular conservative provocateur. Jesse Lee's duties at the White House include "online response" - and there has been no shortage of responses to one person who routinely communicates with him on Twitter.

Of the 267 tweets written by Lee in just over a month, a stunning 40 of them have been directed at Kevin Eder, a prolific Twitter user with more than 83,000 tweets to his credit. That means 15 percent of Lee's tweets - from an official White House account no less - have been with Eder.

One such example happened last week in a dispute over the budget.

Eder posted this tweet: "Hmm ... it can't be true that @SenateDems haven't passed a budget in 790 days and the only plan Obama has is a speech. Right, @jesseclee44?"

To which Lee responded: "@keder @SenateDems Plan is keep negotiating w/ Rs & Ds, not default & trash economy, not voucherize Medicare to fund more tax cuts for rich."

Lee's obsession has impressed Eder, even if he's a bit baffled by the White House's decision to engage with him so aggressively. (Obama to meet with congressional leadership to discuss debt ceiling)

The later screed is from none-other than a favorite "source" of Fox"Nation", the DailyCaller - the fringe Right online publication of none other than Tucker Carlson.

The source of the "story" aside, it's interesting to note that both Fox and Ed Morrissey are simultaneously panting Kevin Eder ( @keder as both a "no one" and a "powerhouse socio-political giant" all at once. After all, they have to keep their bases covered once they realize that this hack that happens to have internet access really isn't as bright as he boasts to be.

I've have had a few and witnessed many Twitter altercations with him before, so I can attest to his rank amateur status on several issues. But we'll save the fun stuff for later.

The question stands, really, as such: should Jesse Lee respond to or even marginally "call out" the obvious "trolling tactics" of a kid that displays about as much talking-point skill as Bernie Goldberg? I would actually offer yes, considering how the Modern American Right are want to "educate" the Left on their followers. What's good for the goose, you know.........

This, like a plurality of stories propagated by the likes of Morrissey and Fox"News", comes down to the concept of "framing". If the Obama White House doesn't respond, they are therefore scared of one random kid from the D.C. area. If they respond, they are "bullying". And the Left should respond to neither allegation, but focus purely on the so-called "merit" of what is presented to them - which they have.

As I tweeted to Eder earlier today, I'm starting to wonder when his first appearance as an "analyst" on Fox"News" will happen. After all, they do love to employ the unqualified.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What Is July 4th For - A Progressive Perspective

The more I look around the blogosphere today, the more I see how The Modern American Right is making this day about themselves and not about the country we live in. I wrote about this yesterday, but I thought that it would be nice to parallel what progressives ( like myself ) and liberals have to say about the day versus those that are against us.

First, let me tell you what we - libs/progs - are not doing today:

- We are not out to deify a president.

- We are not out to prove we know that little known final verse in the National Anthem

- We don't care to worship someone who cares more about celebrity than country using July 4th as the backdrop

- It's not about claiming how only one type of music matters.

And there's so much more that the Modern Liberal/Progressive Movement believes shouldn't use July 4th as an anchor point.

But what do we believe?

- Celebrating the diversity of community rather than telling our socio-politicals that they have no right to do so

- Enjoying time with family and friends in a non-partisan atmosphere ( and some good BBQ would be nice too )

- Acknowledging that our Founding Fathers had no clue where we would be at this point in history while reflecting on what they managed to accomplish while the country was so young

- And finally, understanding that July 4th is not a religious holiday, but a day of reflection, introspection, and remembrance.

Whatever you do today' be safe, be happy, and appreciate what you have - regardless of socio-political stripe.

And now, let's have some fireworks:

As an aside, Kentucky recently allowed "the good shit" to be sold and my neighborhood - and those around me - took advantage of that fact. It was like a fucking war-zone last night up around the cul de sac. I can still smell the smoke.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nike Gimmick Fail

Sometimes I'm a sucker for something so clever that it seemed like no one would ever do it. And when I heard that Nike was creating a shoe based on the Slayer album "Raining Blood", I was hyped. And let's be clear, I have NEVER been a fan of Nike.

So after finally viewing the promo for the shoe, I am given comfort in the fact that they still suck as much as they always have:

Brooklyn Projects Nike SB from Glenn PP Milligan on Vimeo.

Oh, WOW!!! They played "Raining Blood" for the promo commercial!!!! That's so...........

Really? That's your shoe Nike?

I've been a fan of Slayer since 1990 and if you are going to market a shoe based of the music of Tom, Kerry, Jeff, and Dave, then you've got a LONG way to go.

If anything, I want a black shoe with a blood red sole with the eagle/sword/pentagram emblem on the ankle that lights up when I take a step. Your marketing/design department really dropped the ball on this, big time. Fire them NOW!!!

For reference to the Slayer uninitiated, here's a video of the track Nike used. My only real fear is that Slayer signed-off on this at some point. But something tells me this was a "record-management decision". Can we get an interview with Tom and Kerry, please?

So what's next, a Nike shoe based off of Metallica's "Fight Fire With Fire" that's all blue? Give me a fucking break.

The Weekend Blog Round-up

What was fully intended to be a weekly feature on Friday got derailed this past week, but here we are anyway:

- Scott Thill over at WIRED satirized both the Left and Right in his write-up of the Top 10 Patriotic Comic Characters.

- I was reminded of the several counties in Western Kentucky that have food share programs ( as well as those that have amazing private gardens ) while reading this piece from Yellow Dog over at They Gave Us A Republic.

- TinTin at SadlyNo appears to have the same thought as I do after seeing The Internet's Dumbest Man posing for pics with his assault weapons.

- Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors has a running series of "Bad Ads" that is always a pleasure to check out. This installment is not exception.

- Breitbart employee Jeannie DeAngelis simply doesn't understand copyright law and the rights of the songwriter while attempting to cast Tom Petty in the role of pseudo-sexist-anti-american-left-wing-loon-that-approves-of-affairs-democrats-have.

- The so-called Media Research Center's Geoffrey Dickens seized the opportunity presented by Mark Halperin's suspension from MSNBC to claim that; Yes, Virginia, There Is A Liberal Media Bias at MSNBC. One glaring problem with Dickens' seemingly endless preamble is that Keith Olbermann lost his job because of whom he was and what he said.

- The newly minted "blog diva" - Tina Korbe - at HotAir continues tradition by showing how a "flip-flop" by a Republican really isn't one. Not only that, but she continues the meme regarding the EFCA, which her ill-informed ideological compatriots have dubbed "card-check".

- Over at Fox"Nation", they have a poll asking what the "Most Patriotic Film" is. Granted, they only listed 9 films ( one of which is Independence Day.......LOL ) it's interesting to note that Red Dawn is in 6th place at the moment while the Mel Gibson film "The Patriot" is in first. I'm guessing that more of a Pavlovian response rather than honest consideration.

Right Wing Entitlement Culture: Pt. V - We Own This Day

As it's been a rather rough week at the Airon Later compound, I figured that since it's the July 4th Holiday weekend we should jump right into part five of my continuing series on Right Wing Entitlement Culture.

The Modern American Right have seized on a variety of July 4th narratives to show that they hold sway over the entire day and that anyone with even modest Left-leaning thoughts is decidedly anti-American.

The problem with this is that the Modern American Right see July 4th through the lens of "marketing" rather than a day of honest reflection on how America came to the point where she is today. And this should be readily apparent to anyone with the most minimal of socio-political reflection.

The most popular of these narratives is from a study done by Harvard that shows the marketing vs. pure patriotism standpoint of Modern American Right regarding July 4th parades is a reality. Too bad that those within the Right that are reporting on this completely missed the point that they have been called out on their "faux-patriotic" machinations and that flashy marketing tactics do work on the very impressionable.

The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats. According to this interpretation, there is a political congruence between the patriotism promoted on Fourth of July and the values associated with the Republican party. Fourth of July celebrations in Republican dominated counties may thus be more politically biased events that socialize children into Republicans

The three key findings of those attending July 4th celebrations:

- When done before the age of 18, it increases the likelihood of a youth identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent.

- It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by 4 percent.

- It boosts the likelihood a reveler will vote by about 1 percent and increases the chances they'll make a political contribution by 3 percent.

What's more, the impact isn't fleeting. "Surprisingly, the estimates show that the impact on political preferences is permanent, with no evidence of the effects depreciating as individuals become older,"said the Harvard report.

And while these "key findings" are not guarantees for gains within the roles of the Modern American Right, the study is quite clear that these "likelihoods" increase in more Republican-leaning towns. Also, being from a VERY Republican country in Western Kentucky, the final statement that effects are "permanent" makes me want to take a look at the raw data of the study, as this was certainly not the case for myself and many of my close acquaintances that still live here.

Was is true regarding the minds of the younger generation is that they formulate their opinions of the world early on based on their parents actions/statements. Just going to a parade on the 4th of July at age 17 isn't going to turn you into a fan of Sarah Palin when you reach voting age. Neither is it going to make you "hate" your country if you happen to have a (D) next to your name on your voter registration card.

No one "owns" the 4th of July or patriotism. Just don't expect anyone within the Modern American Right to admit or even understand that concept. But considering the Harvard study and how the Right are embracing it as some "smoking gun" that if they take a look at their birth certificates, stock papers, or even a receipt from Wal-Mart that they will know exactly what percentage of the day or the ideal that they can call their property.

The Playlist Of Doom

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