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True Blue Door

True Blue Door's Journal
True Blue Door's Journal
July 31, 2014

The Media's Subtle Propaganda Tactics: See if this sounds familiar...

Event: Something bad happens.

Headline: "Noun, verb, Obama administration."

Body of story: Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama administration. Obama administration, administration, Obama Obama.

Observations: Does not require even the remotest semblance of a rational connection to the Obama administration, let alone to the President himself for his name to be dropped throughout the story in connection to the negative event. If a mailman shot someone's dog, the story would be "Obama administration employee accused of shooting dog."

Although more often it's just very disingenuous, e.g. name-dropping the President in connection with scandalous law enforcement actions where there is no evidence the White House or even direct Presidential appointees played any role whatsoever.


Event: Something good happens.

Headline: (No mention of Obama, administration, or Obama administration).

Body of story: (No mention of Obama, administration, or Obama administration).

Observations: When the significance of the story is positive, the authors (or more likely the GOP-vetted corporate editors) suddenly become allergic to the President's name even when the story directly concerns White House policy, let alone more tenuous connections that somehow lead to name-dropping when the story is negative.

Gotta love our "liberal media" here in America.
July 24, 2014

The Plots of Classic Movies...from a Republican Perspective

Goodfellas: A youth learns the value of free enterprise at the foot of successful businessmen, but his dreams are then crushed by overweening Big Government.

Animal House: A harrowing drama about an idealistic college student, Doug Niedermeyer, tormented by a gang of drunken anarchists.

Amistad: Murderous pirates are rewarded for their thuggery by bleeding-heart lawyers.

Footloose: Peaceful rural community is torn apart by a godless sexual predator.

Django Unchained: An innocent farming family in Mississippi is targeted for death by a duo of cold-blooded murderers with a left-wing agenda.

The Hobbit (trilogy): A Satanic conjurer and a gang of greedy Jews plot class warfare against a dragon's self-made fortune.

The Lord of the Rings (trilogy): Resentful minorities plot a mass-casualty terrorist attack against the forces of Order.

Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb: Inspirational story of a patriotic general overcoming cowardice and treason among his superiors to make the world a better place.

The Birth of a Nation: A compelling docudrama about the heroic struggles of Southerners to regain dignity after the Civil War.

2001: A Space Odyssey: Hippie acid trip full of human evolution, Moon landings, and other shit that never happened.

All the President's Men: An unflinching look at the Librul Media conspiracy to bring down America's greatest President.

The Shawshank Redemption: A vindictive sissy intellectual subverts justice and entraps prison staff in a web of criminal conspiracies.

Schindler's List: A successful businessman goes astray and starts prioritizing people over profits. Not a movie for the faint of heart - many innocent profits are graphically sacrificed in the process.

Pulp Fiction: Timely cautionary tale about the social dangers of race-mixing, homosexuality, and immigration.

Add your own take on Republican interpretations of classic films in comments.
July 22, 2014

Proposal for the CA ballot: Divide Tim Draper's assets into six bonfires.

Seeing as how Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper's wealth is now so "ungovernably" large that he has nothing better to do than try to break up the State of California...

We the People of California move that his assets be divided into six, more manageable portfolios that would be more practical to redistribute among the homeless - or set on fire for shits and giggles, depending on the mood of the market.

It's precisely that kind of flexibility that makes this proposal so compelling. One pile of Draper's money might be better employed being sewn together to make diapers for baboons at the zoo; another could provide free condoms in perpetuity to all the sex workers of Ohio; and still a third could fund a weekly Juggalo concert conveniently located next door to wherever he happens to be.

A cynical mind might think his proposal to divide California is the work of a very rich man trying to diminish the influence of elected governments and increase his own influence proportionally, but we in California are not capable of cynicism. We believe you, Tim! So we would like to return the favor you wish to do for us.

California hears your pleas, and will gladly rescue you from the curse of your unwieldy, mentally destabilizing financial empire, just as you wish to rescue us from the curse of being Californian.

July 20, 2014

Objective Evidence Found That Voter ID Law Support is Racially-Motivated

"To test bias among state legislators, Grose and Mendez developed a pioneering field experiment. In the two weeks leading to the Nov. 4, 2012 general election, they sent e-mails to 1,871 state legislators in 14 states with the largest Latino populations in the U.S. The e-mails read as follows:

Hello (Representative/Senator NAME),

My name is (voter NAME) and I have heard a lot in the news lately about identification being required at the polls. I do not have a driver's license. Can I still vote in November? Thank you for your help.

(voter NAME)

Grose and Mendez sent one group of legislators the e-mail from a fictional voter they named "Jacob Smith." The other group received it from fictional voter "Santiago Rodriguez." In each group, half the legislators received e-mails written in Spanish, while half received e-mails in English.

The study was designed so none of the states included required driving licenses in order to vote. This meant legislators could theoretically have responded to the e-mails with a simple "yes."

The results showed that lawmakers who had supported voter ID requirements were much more likely to respond to "Jacob Smith" than to "Santiago Rodriguez," thereby revealing a preference for responding to constituents with Anglophone names over constituents with Hispanic ones. They also showed legislators were more likely to respond to English than Spanish-language constituents.

Among voter ID supporters, the responsiveness to Latino constituents was dramatically lower than to Anglo constituents. Even within the Spanish language constituents' requests, the Spanish speaker with an Anglo name was responded to nine percentage points more than a Spanish speaker with a Latino name. The latter received virtually no response from the voter ID supporters, with a response rate of just one percent.

Among both Republican and Democrat lawmakers who do not support voter ID, Spanish-language constituents with both Anglo and Spanish surnames received almost the same rate of response at around 12 percent, with no statistical difference in preference for the Anglophone or Hispanic name, Mendez said."


Who would have thought that radical measures implemented to prevent a nonexistent problem with illegal voting were actually attempts to limit minority voting? Well, everyone other than the supporters of the perpetrators. Now we have proof.

The racist trash of the GOP should be on notice: Vote suppression is treason.
July 19, 2014

The shortest and most perfect summation of the Hobby Lobby ruling ever articulated.

"Conservative business owners don't have to obey laws if they don't feel like it."

It's not hyperbole. It's the literal fact of the ruling.

And since there is no possible basis for such a thing in law or ethics of any kind, it's null and void as a ruling of law.

As such, the Executive branch should continue to enforce the contraception requirement. Let conservatives escalate their judicial coup to impeachment proceedings and see what that gets them, if they're so inclined.

July 16, 2014

Who We Are (A Rumination)

I hate conservatives. Like, seriously hate them. In their attitudes, their values, and their actions they embody a rejection of basic humanity - a rejection of conscious rationality in favor of blind violence, a rejection of the connections among people and life in general in favor of dividing the entire universe into themselves and everything else. And they pack so much malice and desire for destruction into every word they speak on political issues that it's a wonder they don't give everyone listening to them instant cancer. They are, fundamentally and completely, something very wrong with the world.

Long before I was old enough to understand political issues, I could sense that about them - that what came out of them was something vile and diseased, and had far more to do with the things that were wrong with them as people than with any honest assessment of the world around them. They don't try to persuade you of their viewpoint, because they don't have a viewpoint - they simply have an idealized self-image, and try to violently propagate that image by carving it into the people around them.

Ask yourself what drives conservatives to the absolute most intense state of rage: It isn't when their fears and prejudices are confirmed - quite the opposite. You will never see a conservative more comfortable than when everyone around them is living down to their most prejudiced expectations: This is their Paradise, their idea of The Natural Order. Their pettiest, most unexamined impulses, reflected in the world around them rather than challenged by it. But confront them with a person who shatters their prejudices before their eyes, and the reaction will not be humble, contemplative, or grateful that the world is a better place than they assumed. No, you will see them at best annoyed to be discredited, and often enough in a state of barely-contained murderous rage that anything they don't already understand dares to draw breath in their world.

Ever wonder why the Confederacy made learning to read a capital offense for slaves while simultaneously insisting they were subhuman morons incapable of a white man's intellectual thinking? This is why. It isn't that the people of this arch-conservative dystopia literally, factually believed their victims were dumb - it was simply a convenient position to take to justify doing what they did, and the truth was immaterial. What conservatives do - the crimes they commit, the havoc they wreak on the life around them - is a direct and inextricable expression of their existence, so telling them to not behave like that, or even so much as challenging the lies they cavalierly tell to excuse it, is from their perspective a direct assault on their souls.

If another person's very existence challenged them in this way - say, a highly intelligent slave capable of arguing the best white academics under the table - that did not cause a reexamination of their opinions and values, it simply caused that slave to be murdered. That is who conservatives are: It's who they were in the past, who they are today, and who they always will be - a psychological parasite that scars and disfigures human societies into photographic negatives of life, love, and truth. They believe fundamentally in only one thing: Power. Everything else they define as a function of power, much like the Inner Party member O'Brien in 1984, who insists to the protagonist that he can make 2 + 2 = 5 through the power of torture. They are People of The Void, who define being right as the state of having successfully suppressed everyone from contradicting them.

So...I hate conservatives. I hate them on an aesthetic level, as something ugly and disheartening to witness. And I hate them on a personal level because they waste our time fighting twilight struggles over settled matters of obvious fact when our country and our species could be so far ahead of where it is by now. All because they're such living abortions that they can't look in a mirror, admit that anything about themselves could be better, and actually try to be better instead of forever trying to jackhammer every leprous crack in their diseased minds into divine commandments that others most worship and obey.

But if the story of who we are ended with this understanding, we would always be just sad little sparks of light forever in orbit around the conservative black hole - never falling in, but our future forever controlled by what we reject. We already allow it to dominate so much of our time and energy, obsessively staring into the abyss of the latest conservative crime against humanity that we forget to get on with the business of humanity. We forget, in all the obstruction and sabotage they constantly throw our way, that we don't actually need their permission for the vast majority of what we want to accomplish - and that most of what we already have accomplished arose from roots far beneath the level of grandiose federal programs.

It's easier to pornographically focus on Creationist madness and climate denier corruption than to live in the headspace of science and understand its enemies for the desperate, self-limiting dead-enders they are. It's easy to be infected with the conservative negativism, that sees a world of holes and flaws, like some kind of philosophical body dysmorphic syndrome, rather than see the living, growing things that we are and that we represent collectively. And that sad state - that eternal enslavement to the infinite voids between rather than the infinite presence of what is there - is the source of a large part of my differences with some of the more ideological strains of left-wing politics that can never seem to escape from that conservative black hole. They will always sullenly orbit what is wrong, like eternal Accusers standing sentinel, rather than breaking away entirely.

I can never be on board with those of us who consider positivity morally suspect - who find more fault the more that is achieved, because they consider reality a corruption of pure ideals. I can't hang with that, because that's not what motivates me. My liberalism is not a blueprint in my mind for a Gothic cathedral that no mortal hand can build, some perfect system or program that would solve everything if not for those Dirty Betrayers in The Establishment who can never seem to get right what my imagination always achieves flawlessly.

My liberalism is reflection, exploration, and elaboration without end. It is science, without end. It is the maximization of possibilities and the practical human liberty to pursue them (as opposed to the merely negative, libertarian ideology of "magical" liberty they believe somehow pops into existence in the absence of government) - again, without end and without fixed form. It is Life, forever, everywhere, in all possible forms and combinations.

Whether anyone else shares this view or even understands what I'm saying, it's nonetheless staggering to me - a holistic understand of the source of my values and politics in which any given issue is the tiniest grain in a vast ecosystem of thought and understanding. And from that dizzying vantage, the towering conservative devourer of light and hope I mentioned earlier shrinks to nothing at all - a meaningless bit of empty space traversed in the pause between heartbeats. When you think of things in context, conservatives stop being so formidable or even worthy of concern: You see them for the fretful, crippled little cave creatures they are. We live in a bigger world than they would even want to imagine, let alone be capable of imagining.

At this point, there is still one philosophical danger that can trap a liberal mind: The temptation to take pity on conservatives and try to somehow include them - to educate and enlighten them into being something more than they are. You can teach the sad little sparks trapped in orbit of the conservative black hole how to escape, but there will always be the minds within it that can never escape, and trying to "rescue" them from their ignorance just means you pour your energy into an infinitely deep hole. That can lead to frustration and resentment, and ever-growing amounts of effort and obsession devoted to trying to somehow "reverse the polarity" of minds that will always be tuned to negative.

And all that time this is happening, the black hole of the conservative mind simply grows in your field of view, until it's all there is - and then it's too late, because you're in it. Even if you don't call yourself conservative, you're some bitter misanthrope who ignores opportunities for positive change and belittles everyone who makes it as being not up to your perfect standards. You end up in your heart cheering other loser-misanthropes who commit pointless acts of petulance while dismissing or even demonizing people who build and explore. The entire history of Communism is one giant cautionary tale exemplifying this danger - the soaring eagles of 19th century progressive intellectualism tried to penetrate that conservative event horizon in the 20th and "rescue them from themselves," and instead merely added their own passion to its gravity by building horrific dystopias.

We are in no danger of repeating those mistakes, but we can still learn from them to be okay that there will always be conservatives, and they will never, ever learn anything or become better people than the most violent and heinous of their historical counterparts. Our part is simply to refuse their influence on ourselves, both direct and indirect, and build all possible roads away from them broad and well-paved, with signs legible to any who can read.

More concretely, in terms of the Democratic Party, this means a party that does as much as possible on its own initiative and never depends on cooperation from Republicans to accomplish things - but is also perfectly open to it when any from the GOP, for whatever reason, feel like doing something for their country rather than what they normally do. One that spends as much time as possible achieving, and devotes as little time as possible to caring what Republicans say and do, because the best and most absolute victory is to make them irrelevant. It further means a Democratic base that takes an identical disposition with regard to elected leaders and establishment figures, accomplishing things ourselves by default rather than treating grassroots politics as nothing but an impotent demands-and-complaints machine.

Everything we have today was built by progressives who took this attitude: Who didn't wait for the passage of federal programs when they could move on state ones; didn't wait for state programs to pass when they could build local ones; and didn't wait for local ones when they could just do something themselves as individuals. So they were able to leverage their individual actions to pass local programs, leveraged the local programs to pass state programs, and leveraged the state programs to enact nationwide changes. And when institutions were just hopelessly corrupt and unjust, they simply withdrew their recognition and social consent, and the power of the political leaders responsible withered until it could be brushed away by someone who better represented the public interest.

They did not sit in despair, looking at the power of the robber barons who ruled their institutions, and wallow in passive-aggressive apocalyptic fantasies. They saw that what they wanted was not there, so they built it and it grew. That's who we are.

July 13, 2014

Describe your pefect America

Don't just imagine America as it is with the things you dislike subtracted, or with some missing benefits tacked on: Really exercise some creativity and tell me about the America in your heart. It should be a country in the real world, inhabited by real human beings who have not magically been cured of the things that drive people wrong, but a country where the culture and institutions emphasis what is right, good, just, and beautiful. Show me your perfect America.

July 9, 2014

Experience existential horror by watching this video.

It's not a video of war or crime. Not a video of abuse or poverty. Not a video of urban decay or neglect. Not a video of politicians lying or authority figures behaving cruelly. In fact, it would probably be utterly innocuous on a smaller scale. But this will make your soul die a little:

July 7, 2014

Campaign Theme: Republican Congressional Candidates Draw Public Paychecks to Do Nothing

Are Republican Senators and Congressmen not the epitome of everything they claim to be against: People who literally do nothing, yet demand to be paid (six-figure salaries no less, not including perks and payola) from taxpayer money for it?

They do nothing. Nothing whatsoever. And they want to continue to be paid by taxpayers to do nothing.

In fact, they do less than nothing, because they won't even allow anyone else to do anything.

They draw public paychecks to sit around swilling cocktails with their contributors, and cannot even be bothered to do something to benefit the country that pays them.

Lunatic Randian sociopaths would probably applaud them for this, since on their planet "The government that governs least governs best," but very few ordinary voters think this way. The vast majority even on the right have concerns that extend beyond the Millionaire Agenda's obsession with taxes and regulation, and they expect the people they elect to take action on those concerns. That's where to hit the GOP.

Republicans are hostile to every subject other than reducing taxes on millionaires and exempting corporations from all laws and regulatory limits. And Democratic candidates can prove it, easily.

Democrats can prove in 2014 that their Republican competitors are lazy, useless parasites asking for taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing nothing but sabotaging the very purpose of their jobs.

Contrast their high-paying non-performance with their extensive history of mocking American workers. Use their own line against them: "If this Republican were employed in the private sector, would they still have a job if they did it like this? You be the boss: Fire this leech in November."

Or to a Republican challenger, "Would you hire this guy to sit around your house, eating your food, and doing nothing but getting in your way? That's what he's asking for. Tell him what he wants to tell you the instant he gets into office: NO."

If Democratic insiders and base activists can overcome their natural tendency toward suicide-by-autopilot, I see no reason why committing to a strong, coordinated message can't overcome GOP advantages this cycle to a modest extent.


Additional thought:

This could make a superb TV / web ad: A fat, disgusting slob with a GOP button is reclining on an easy chair in someone else's house while the homeowners look on in frustration. "Thanks for letting me stay here, folks. I'll get to work as soon as I can, maybe sometime next year." They try to walk past him toward a cabinet with drawers prominently labeled "Healthcare," "Jobs," "Education," and "Self-respect," but he blocks their passage with his legs. "You don't want to go there. Oh, by the way, I borrowed your car and trashed it. Sorry, stop signs are just Big Government. So...can I stick around for another 2/6 years?" Give the slob a pronounced Southern accent in every state that doesn't have one, and make him sound like a New Yorker in the version played in the South.

July 6, 2014

Exhaustive (and exhausting) list of obstacles to Democratic victory in 2014.

In no particular order...

1. Gerrymandering. Republicans have gone about gerrymandering with a strategic focus similar to business investment - using each round of it as a means to expand rather than merely protect what they have. The results have been an increasingly undemocratic partisan proportion that in no way reflects the American electorate, at times - like 2012 - resulting in GOP majorities in legislative bodies when the majority of voters had voted for Democrats.

2. Prison districting. This is a long-standing issue whereby rural, strongly conservative districts choose to locate prisons in their territory. The inmates of these facilities, most of whom cannot vote or wouldn't vote anyway, are then counted as constituents, resulting in quite a few Republican districts that would not otherwise exist or would have to be combined into one. I've read studies claiming that the GOP would not have won a single Congressional majority in the past three decades without this undemocratic phenomenon.

3. Jim Crow 2. Thanks to 5COTU5's ruling striking down key portions of the Voting Rights Act, and the high likelihood they will make further lawless decisions attempting to decide elections in favor of the GOP in advance, it is extremely likely that minority voters will face obstacles to voting unprecedented in generations. This only compounds the demographic tendency of low-income and minority voters to sit out midterm elections. Remember, that Tea Party operative who threw out voter registration forms in 2012 was never prosecuted by the Republican prosecutor in that area, so expect such tactics to be implemented on a massive scale this time around.

4. Perverse Blame. Bizarre as it seems, some people seem to think Congress is currently run by Democrats or even the President, and that they can just wave a magic wand and overcome absolute obstructionism. The Senate, which does have a Democratic majority, still has to deal with filibuster obstructionism, and obviously cannot dictate anything to the House.

5. The media is full of unhinged right-wing propaganda. But what else is new?

6. 5COTU5's lawless decisions turning elections into auctions. Since the rich are largely Republican, and since more of the middle and lower classes sit out midterm elections, the GOP will simply buy their desired result through even more pervasive right-wing propaganda campaigns than normally flood the media. The truth will simply be shouted down and locked out, lies will be believed for lack of any sufficiently-scaled challenge.

7. A distracted / priority-incompetent left. Again, what else is new? Achieving something will always be less important to some people ostensibly on our side than self-satisfaction.

8. 5COTU5 can always pull another Bush v. Gore if all else somehow fails them. They have shown their willingness in the past to simply throw out and arbitrarily decide elections as they see fit, and their level of brazenness these days approaches infinite.

9. Outright election-rigging is likely in some areas. No matter how many advantages right-wingers have in a legitimate election, they will always prefer a guaranteed result. They've tried before, and they've succeeded often enough to reward their efforts. Every election cycle makes their efforts more organized and increases its scale. With a newly energized Tea Party / brownshirts at work on behalf of their millionaire masters to end democracy in America once and for all, and knowing 5COTU5 has their back, expect new depths of brazen authoritarianism to be plumbed.

So...what are you gonna do about it?

Profile Information

Name: Brian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Southern California
Member since: Mon Oct 28, 2013, 05:48 PM
Number of posts: 2,969

About True Blue Door

Primary issue interests: Science, technology, history, infrastructure, restoring the public sector, and promoting a fair, honorable, optimistic, and inquisitive society. Personal interests: Science fiction (mainly literature, but also films and TV), pop culture, and humor.
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