Tag Archives: Decline

Totalitarianism in the US: An Accident Waiting to Happen

By Numerian
First appeared in The Agonist

Listening to Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention, I couldn’t place where I had come across something quite like this before. Then it struck me – Pravda! I used to subscribe to Pravda in high school and college, first to learn Russian, and second, to pursue a college program in Soviet studies. Pravda was a newspaper that specialized in the Big Lie – the Five Year Plan was always ahead of schedule, Soviet industrial capabilities exceeded that of any other country, people were starving on streets all across America. The newspaper was a non-stop stream of lies, just as Paul Ryan’s speech was studded with Big Lies – lies that were easily disprovable, such as Barack Obama did nothing about the Simpson-Bowles recommendations to reduce the budget deficit (Paul Ryan didn’t mention he voted against these recommendations when the House killed any chance of enacting them); or that Obama made it easier for people to live off welfare (the President altered the enrollment rules of welfare at the request of Republican governors); or the Romney favorite – Obama cut over $700 billion of Medicare benefits for individuals (the cuts were imposed on hospitals and insurance companies, not beneficiaries, and Romney has the same cuts in his economic plan). (Image: Wikipedia) Continue reading

Death Panels, Palin’s Targets, and Political Assassination

Michael Collins

The attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords raises the bar for political lies and hate to a new level. Previously, incendiary political lies stopped just short violent imagery. Sarah Palin’s Take Back 20 campaign presented a violent threat in the form of rifle site crosshairs placed over the congressional districts of 20 Democratic supporters of health care reform.

Ironically, Giffords sent Palin a clear message to end the violent allusion in the ads. In this brief video, she warns:

“… we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list but the thing is that the way she’s had it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun site over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there [are] consequences to that action.” Rep. Giffords

The appeal had no effect. It took the events of Saturday, January 8 at a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona to finally get Palin to pull down her crosshairs studded map marking 20 Democrats for defeat as punishment for support of health care reform.
Continue reading

America’s can’t-do list

The list of what works in other countries, but no longer does in the U.S., is growing.

January 07, 2010  By Orville Schell            LA Times

Lately, I’ve been studying the melting of glaciers in the greater Himalayas. Understanding the cascading effects of the slow-motion downsizing of one of the planet’s most magnificent landforms has, to put it politely, left me dispirited.

It is impossible to focus on those Himalayan highlands without realizing that something that once seemed immutable and eternal has become vulnerable, even perishable. Those magnificent glaciers are wasting away on an overheated planet, and no one knows what to do about it.

Another tipping point has also been on my mind lately, and it’s left me no less melancholy. In this case, the threat is to my own country, the United States. We Americans too seem to have passed a tipping point. Like the glaciers of the high Himalaya, long-familiar aspects of our nation are beginning to seem as if they are, in a sense, melting away.

Continue reading