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Peddling fear is a bipartisan effort
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Peddling fear is often characterized as the exclusive territory of the Republicans and the right. But in reality, even in today's polarized political atmosphere, peddling fear is a bipartisan effort.

A little pop quiz:

Who do you suppose said this?
Five years later, Sept. 11 still is etched in our minds. The terrorist threat it revealed is a real and present danger. It is not the worst threat we face. Catastrophic climate change has already wreaked more economic damage. Global pandemics will take more victims. Unsustainable U.S. trade deficits pose a greater threat to Americans' economic security.
Or this:
But there's nobody in law enforcement who will tell you that we are as safe as we ought to be.

Law enforcement can't even talk to each other across channels in certain cities. There's a level of unpreparedness with respect to chemical plants, nuclear plants, our ports and facilities. We still can't screen cargo that goes onto airplanes. I mean, it's extraordinary how much money has been spent in Iraq versus homeland security.

So, yes, in smaller ways here and there, of course, you can get on a plane and we're safer. Are we as safe as we ought to be after 9/11? The answer is profoundly no and the 9-11 Commission has given failing grades to this administration in almost every sector.
Or this:
"Under the Bush administration and this Republican Congress, America is less safe, facing greater threats and unprepared for the dangerous world in which we live,"
And of course, fear isn't exclusive to war or national security:
“The president needs to decide whether he wants to take the lead in fixing Social Security or whether he wants to take the lead in, in fact, destroying the most successful social program in history.”
Or this:
The president has a Social Security plan, which is kind of out there. He basically wants to turn over Social Security to the same kind of people who gave us Enron. Privatization is something the America people don't support by a very large margin.
And certainly, there's no problem with invoking Hitler in the pursuit of fear:
Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.
And of course, while peddling fear, they seem to have become immune to irony:
The costs of the Administration's policy can be seen in North Korea where we have dithered for two years while we risk that North Korea becomes the first nuclear weapons Wal-Mart for terrorist groups.
Of course I could go on forever.

Nope ... peddling fear is a bipartisan thing and there are just as many experts on the left as the right.
 
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Nope ... peddling fear is a bipartisan thing and there are just as many experts on the left as the right
Yeah, except the fears being peddled on the left are by and large hooey: global warming, Bush becoming a dictator, Wal-Mart destroying our economy.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Yeah, except the fears being peddled on the left are by and large hooey: global warming, Bush becoming a dictator, Wal-Mart destroying our economy.
Good thing the right is in charge then. Otherwise we might see the debt spiraling out of control, exponential governmental expansion, and the restriction/elimination of civil liberty.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
the restriction/elimination of civil liberty
Oh, you mean the Dems threatening ABCs license over the 9/11 movie? Yeah, I agree you and Timmy Robbins about the Chill Wind A-blowin’

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Shark-

I appreciate you trying to set up a straw man for me with such a weak argument, but really, I don’t need the help - I prefer to win points in debate by actually thinking.

Nice of you to make the effort, though.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Ha! the Dem’s have been peddling fear for years. Telling old people that the Republicans are going to stop their SSN checks and make them eat dog food. Telling Blacks that the Republicans are going to end the Voting Rights and Civil Rights laws and burn their churches.
Telling People that if they elect Republicans then Global Warming will turn their
front porch into a diving board.
Now they have a new one, electing Republicans will return the inquisition and Torquemada and the Government will know everything you do and probably torture you.

In fact all they have ever done is divide us by race, class, and sexuality and
try to scar the crap out of us.

Having said that, I am not a Republican, I am an Independent, and dislike a lot of what the Repubs do, but I absolutely LOATH the Democrats.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Are you missing some liberties, Gil? Which ones are those?

Me, I’m fairly perturbed about not being able to get on an airplane without a colonoscopy, but the majority seems to support that one, much to my chagrin. What else you got?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Might be nice to be able to make a phone call without being monitored. Publish an editorial critical of the administration without being charged with sedition. Keep my tax dollars from paying for "faith based initiatives." See a supreme court justice appointed who doesn’t have strong religious bias. Pay what gasoline, cigarettes, and alcohol actually cost, rather than what they cost plus sin tax.

And yes, it would be nice to be able to walk through an airport without having to be treated like I just got brought in to the county lockup.

For starters.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Might be nice to be able to make a phone call without being monitored. Publish an editorial critical of the administration without being charged with sedition.
So, you’ve run into trouble doing these things? You have friends who have these problems, perhaps? I’m unfamiliar with our crazy backlog of sedition/naughty phone call prosecution cases. Please fill me in.
Keep my tax dollars from paying for "faith based initiatives." See a supreme court justice appointed who doesn’t have strong religious bias.
Where, exactly, do you think you derive these liberties from? I’ve got a great big list of stuff I’d rather not pay for, and a few SCOTUS Justices I’d rather not have hired. Let’s sue, you and I. What shall we base our case on?
Pay what gasoline, cigarettes, and alcohol actually cost, rather than what they cost plus sin tax.
Did Bush do that to you? Seems that’s been going on forever, and most of it levied at the state level.
And yes, it would be nice to be able to walk through an airport without having to be treated like I just got brought in to the county lockup.
Who are you mad at again, Gil?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Not bad, Pablo. Did you want to take a stab at these too?
debt spiraling out of control, exponential governmental expansion
Or would you, like Shark, just prefer to pretend those points don’t exist?
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Might be nice to be able to make a phone call without being monitored.
Yeah, might be. How do you know that it’s any different?
Publish an editorial critical of the administration without being charged with sedition.
Oh really? To whom did that happen? Any names or just the nameless, featureless dread that it might happen?
Keep my tax dollars from paying for "faith based initiatives."
Sniff. I feel your pain. There’s a lot of cr*p the Feds (I assume those are the tax dollars you’re talking about, right?) pay for which I am against.
See a supreme court justice appointed who doesn’t have strong religious bias.
Yeah so would I. I find that most atheists cannot stand any religion at all.
Pay what gasoline, cigarettes, and alcohol actually cost, rather than what they cost plus sin tax.
I assume that you aren’t blaming BushCo for that. At least not with a straight face.
And yes, it would be nice to be able to walk through an airport without having to be treated like I just got brought in to the county lockup.
Well, I’m for making business travel the biggest pain in the arse as possible. I work in telecom and would really, really like to see all those miles of fiber-optic cable carrying loads of traffic. Like video conferencing.

As for the debt spiraling out of control, I guess that you’ve never really understood what a Ponzi scheme social security was. Government expansion is exponential? I guess you didn’t do that well in math class.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Something is overlooked here. Fear is not always a bad thing! For example, bravery is not the lack of fear but rather doing the correct response despite fear. If something is endangering you, feeling fear is the rational response.

All parties at most times peddle fear. That is not the problem. The problem comes when the thing feared is very unlikely and/or inconsequential.

I admit that I find Gil’s list of fears to be made of unlikely and inconsequential things. The government debt and expansion are much more serious, but of course that is not what Gil put in his list.
 
Written By: Rory Daulton
URL: http://
Might be nice to be able to make a phone call without being monitored
.

Unless you’re talking to AQ, nobody’s listening to you Gil, and that includes the person on the other end of the line
Publish an editorial critical of the administration without being charged with sedition
.

Examples please. What columnists have been charged? Methinks you’re lying here, but you make my point about the left peddling false BS fears, so I thank ya kindy.
Keep my tax dollars from paying for "faith based initiatives."


Keep my tax dollars from paying for the NEA then! Can you find the exact civil liberty that’s being violated here?
See a supreme court justice appointed who doesn’t have strong religious bias.


And I’d like to see more SCOTUS justices appointed that didn’t have a strong bias towards judicial actiivism. What liberty has been violated here? Your solution is to WIN SOME ELECTIONS, then you can have all the god-hating SCOTUS justices your party can ram through
Pay what gasoline, cigarettes, and alcohol actually cost, rather than what they cost plus sin tax.
Talk to Harry Reid and Co. about that one.
And yes, it would be nice to be able to walk through an airport without having to be treated like I just got brought in to the county lockup.
Take Greyhound then. You choose to fly, you choose to go through the security procedures.

Again, all your hysteria is a load of crap, mostly whining from you because your side isn’t in power. When you have something substabtive come see me again. You can claim to "win on points" all you want but you haven’t proved your case. That sh*t may fly on Kos but this isn’t your echo chamber here pal
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
So, you’ve run into trouble doing these things? You have friends who have these problems, perhaps? I’m unfamiliar with our crazy backlog of sedition/naughty phone call prosecution cases. Please fill me in.

Yeah, might be. How do you know that it’s any different?
How do you know that it hasn’t? How does anyone? link

Do I have to have proof it has happened to me to be outraged by the fact that it has happened at all?
Oh really? To whom did that happen? Any names or just the nameless, featureless dread that it might happen?
Okay, you want a name. Laura Berg.
Where, exactly, do you think you derive these liberties from? I’ve got a great big list of stuff I’d rather not pay for, and a few SCOTUS Justices I’d rather not have hired. Let’s sue, you and I. What shall we base our case on?
Well, we could cite the Establishment Clause, followed by legal precedents such as Eversen v. Board of Ed., Zorach v. Clausen, Engel v. Vitale, State of Tennessee v. John Scopes, and Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover School District.
Yeah so would I. I find that most atheists cannot stand any religion at all.
Correct. Which has been a really good reason for atheists to live in a country where they are guaranteed their government won’t be trying to force it down their throats, and have until now, been reasonably secure knowing that their taxes wouldn’t end up in the hands of church leadership. Unfortunately, with Judge Alito being number five of nine SCOTUS justices who no longer favor the Lemon test, those days may be numbered.
I assume that you aren’t blaming BushCo for that. At least not with a straight face.

Did Bush do that to you? Seems that’s been going on forever, and most of it levied at the state level.
You would be correct, I am not blaming President Bush for that. Even if I did hold him accountable for these things, I would hold my tongue while he sits in office, since demeaning the Oval isn’t something I think is a very good idea. Even then, I wouldn’t call him an idiot in a public forum, since ex-presidents [*cough* Jimmy Carter] are deserving of respect as well; otherwise, the office loses meaning and that just can’t be good for America. Might be good for al Qaeda and Hezbollah, just not for America.
As for the debt spiraling out of control, I guess that you’ve never really understood what a Ponzi scheme social security was. Government expansion is exponential? I guess you didn’t do that well in math class.
I didn’t do well in math class, actually. Worst. Subject. Ever. Nevertheless, when there now exists a cabinet post called Homeland Security where there did not previously, it’s pretty hard to argue that government isn’t growing. By linear rather than exponential expansion, if you insist on picking at the adjective rather than refuting the assertion.
Who are you mad at again, Gil?
So glad you asked. I am mad at every "our side" simpleton who thinks a voter registration card and a party affiliation gives them an unchallenged monopoly on truth, justice, and the American way. I am sick to death angry at arguments against national unity that start with "Yeah, well, if the republicans / democrats / liberals / conservatives / right / left would stop blocking us, maybe we could go forward as one nation."

Guess what? There are a number of issues facing this nation that have nothing partisan about them. National security, border security, energy crisis, etc. - these are issues we ALL face. To paint your face red or blue and jump around with a ballot in your hand chanting "Sucks to be you!" in the direction of your political rivals is a completely counterproductive sectarian act. I am in favor of assuming the guys and gals on both sides of the aisle want what is best for America until they prove otherwise, and in favor of enacting method after the concensus points have been found rather than least common denominator compromise takes place.

Until responsible bipartisan governance becomes commonplace, you better believe I’m mad as He11 and that I will vote in every single election I can which allows me to say I’m not gonna take it anymore - by putting a moderate of either party into office, depending on who I think can do a better job, *not* who happens to be on "my" side.

-Gil


 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Okay, you want a name. Laura Berg.
That’s pretty f*cking weak. You imply that the administration is CHARGING columnists with sedition, and instead we get a story about a VA power-trip moron. Your words "Publish an editorial critical of the administration without being charged with sedition" don’t back up your reality. You prove my point yet again, hysterically taking an isolated incident and turning it into some blanket indictment of the administration. See any black helicopters yet??
Well, we could cite the Establishment Clause,
We can cite the Establishment Clause, but your intepertation of it would be terribly wrong. You should try reading it sometime.

 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
See any black helicopters yet??
Well, I live about two miles north of Kirtland Air Force Base, so - yeah. Pretty much daily.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Gil, you’re gonna have to show me where the new laws establishing religion are.
Or would you, like Shark, just prefer to pretend those points don’t exist?
I didn’t address those two points because I agree with them. You’ve got some work to do to establish the rest of them.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
You imply that the administration is CHARGING columnists with sedition, and instead we get a story about a VA power-trip moron.
...who doesn’t seem to have ever been charged with sedition, though I’m sure Bu$Hitler was doing his damndest to get her!

Come on, Gil. Don’t try to support wildly overblown rhetoric. It’s bad form.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
With all due respect, there, Gil, Ms. Berg is a Federal government employee. In a public letter, in which she identified herself as a federal government employee, she called on people to "act forcefully to remove a government administration".

Sorry, but that’s just not on. If you are government employee, civil or military, you explicitly and knowingly give up certain rights, such as criticizing the government in power. This is done to try and ensure that civil servants and military members act in a non-partisan manner.

If you wish to criticize the administration openly, then you go to work somewhere other than the Federal Government. That’s always been The Deal.

In the proximate case, Ms. Berg used her position as a government employee to call for the overthrow of the current government. Sorry, but that’s just not on. The Deal is that the American people have a right to expect that they will receive services from the US Government in a non-partisan manner. Ms. Berg broke The Deal. Screw her.

She always had the option of getting a job in the private sector, and criticizing the government all she wanted. She tried to have the best of both worlds, and got slammed.

It sucks to be her.

When I was in uniform, I had to get permission from the base legal office to put a "Bush/Quayle: It’s Time for Them to Go" sign on my car in 1992. If Ms. Berg didn’t want to fulfill her responsibility to be publicly non-partisan as a Federal employee, then she should’ve quit her cushy Federal job.

I have no sympathy for her.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Okay, you want a name. Laura Berg
Eek. I’m unimpressed. I see no charges which what you stated had happened. So try again.
Correct. Which has been a really good reason for atheists to live in a country where they are guaranteed their government won’t be trying to force it down their throats, and have until now, been reasonably secure knowing that their taxes wouldn’t end up in the hands of church leadership.
You are as dense as box of lead ingots. Let me be more clear: most atheists are more intolerant of other religious views than most Christians (whom I assume is who your real beef is against). You appear to be a case in point. You have no qualms about shoving atheism down the throats of believers, now do you?
You would be correct, I am not blaming President Bush for that.
I’m sure that your bolding has some mysterious meaning which you believe to be important.
Even if I did hold him accountable for these things, I would hold my tongue while he sits in office, since demeaning the Oval isn’t something I think is a very good idea.
Ah, I see now. Perhaps I was projecting; I did vote for President Bush twice, so BushCo is not how I would describe him. Despite my exceedingly low opinions of both President Carter and President Clinton, I’ve always referred to them by their proper titles.
Even then, I wouldn’t call him an idiot in a public forum, since ex-presidents [*cough* Jimmy Carter] are deserving of respect as well; otherwise, the office loses meaning and that just can’t be good for America.
Hogwash. Any single one of our elected representatives is replaceable. The office is not the office holder. Ex-Presidents are citizens just like you or me; they aren’t royalty.
By linear rather than exponential expansion, if you insist on picking at the adjective rather than refuting the assertion.
Well, one of those is an effing disaster while the other is a problem. There’s an old, old story of an advisor to a king who had solved a particularly bad problem for the ruler. The king told the advisor that he could have anything that he wanted. The advisor said that if the king took a chess board and place one grain of wheat on the first square, 2 grains on the next, 4 on the following, doubling the number of grains until he came to the last (64th) square on the board that the advisor would find that sufficient payment. The king thought that he was getting off easy. However, 2^65-1 grains of wheat weigh roughly 1,976,000,000,000 tons. (Assuming 9,333.3333 grains per pound.) That’s more than the weight of the entire current US population. That’s more than the combined weight of every single human currently living on the planet.That is exponential expansion.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Pablo, et al: Fair point, I’ll drop the sedition thing.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
You are as dense as box of lead ingots. Let me be more clear: most atheists are more intolerant of other religious views than most Christians (whom I assume is who your real beef is against). You appear to be a case in point. You have no qualms about shoving atheism down the throats of believers, now do you?
You are assuming words I have not spoken, and actions I would not take. "Shoving atheism down the throats of believers" By all the stars, man. Am I or any agnostic/atheist you know dragging you out of your churches, burning your bibles, torahs, qurans? Forcing you to get up off your knees and proclaim there is no afterlife? Are we breaking in to your services to teach evolution?

Do whatever the heaven/hell you like in your church, pray how you like to your God, it makes no difference to me in the slightest. Faith is a wonderful thing. I’m glad you have it. All I ask is that you keep your church in church, and out of government. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
By all the stars, man. Am I or any agnostic/atheist you know dragging you out of your churches, burning your bibles, torahs, qurans? Forcing you to get up off your knees and proclaim there is no afterlife? Are we breaking in to your services to teach evolution?

Not yet. The first step in any such pogrom is to demonize the target group, then to use petty laws to harrass them. Eventually it gets worse and worse until you get to sew the big emblem on their clothing. Right now we are seeing only the beginnings but the signs are there unless you just don’t wan’t to see.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Huh. Kyle, I’ll tell ya - if the 14% of this country who like me describe themselves as not being religious are organizing some sort of totalitarian secular conquest, I haven’t gotten the memo.

Out of curiosity, since the irreligious are pretty much already demonized - irony if I’ve ever heard it - and being harrassed by petty legislation which blurs the line between church and state, what sort of symbol should I stalk up on to sew above the alligator on the polo shirts? Maybe a cross in a circle with a line through it, or just the letters NO GOD or...?

McQ certainly did hit the nail on the head with this post, though - fear is definitely bipartisan - even between heaven and earth, apparently.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
You are assuming words I have not spoken, and actions I would not take. "Shoving atheism down the throats of believers" By all the stars, man. Am I or any agnostic/atheist you know dragging you out of your churches, burning your bibles, torahs, qurans? Forcing you to get up off your knees and proclaim there is no afterlife? Are we breaking in to your services to teach evolution?
And you are assuming that I am not an atheist. Too bad for you that I am.

You, however, appear unable to realize that you too have a "faith".
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
You, however, appear unable to realize that you too have a "faith"
What did you think the difference between an agnostic and an atheist was, Mark?

 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://

 
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