Still not rock bottom

The smug-junkies are lining up for the latest designer drug to hit the streets, a hot-shot of fentanyl-laced oblivion that is viewed, in the perverse logic of the addict, as the really good stuff.

The Pursuit of Offendedness is never pretty, but don't avert your gaze from the horrors of what you're about to see. Look on with pity at the degradations of stupidity and dishonesty and the realization that these poor addicts in the throes of their disease are willing to abandon all reason, all integrity, and reality itself for the diminishing returns of chasing that ever-receding high of moral superiority.

This example was found in that notorious drug den, the Christian Worldview Network:

Please e-mail this program to EVERYONE you know! Topic: Ron Meyers interviews Brannon Howse on Obama's national healthcare that will euthanize America's seniors and the disabled through the rationing of healthcare, make someone's intrinsic value based on the State's definition of whether or not they are productive human resource, require doctors to break their Hippocratic Oath in order to be able to make a living and continue practicing medicine, force seniors on Medicare to go through "end of life counseling" every five years so they can be brainwashed into the liberal's "duty to die" propaganda …

This is utter fantasy — pure, uncut lies repackaged as truth for an audience willing and eager to believe the absolute worst about everyone other than themselves.

But that audience is long past the point where it matters whether any such claims are true, or even plausible. To say that Brannon Howse is a liar would be to suggest that he was still capable of distinguishing between what is real and what is unreal, or concerned with what is true or false. True and false aren't categories that matter or even exist in these people's world. Is Howse lying? Of course he is, but the man is a junkie and he's stoned out of his mind. He traded his grasp on reality years ago for a nickel-bag of moral superiority and now he can't even remember the last time he was thinking straight. Whatever he needs to say for his next fix, that's what he's going to say.

This is your brain on drugs, kids. This is why you should just say No.

We've discussed the broad outlines of this downward spiral before: Being good is exchanged for being better than, and then being better than is exchanged for feeling better than. And the downward slope is steep and slippery from there.

This downward plunge is bound to accelerate. The goal is a feeling of moral superiority, achieved at first by telling oneself little lies about the behavior and motivations of others. But those little lies lead to feelings of guilt. That guilt is legitimate, earned and wholly deserved, but this isn't about whether one's feelings are just or appropriate, it's about whether one's feelings feel good. So the guilt provokes a feeling of moral inferiority that can, for those addicted, only be countered by telling slightly larger lies about the even-more-inferior morality of others. Those bigger lies carry with them a larger sense of guilt and so the cycle repeats itself again and again with the lies getting larger and larger. And with every downward spiral, the ever-larger lies become ever more implausible, so that it becomes harder and harder to pretend that one actually believes the lies one is telling oneself and the guilt becomes that much more intense and undeniable and can only be staved off, temporarily, through ever more outrageous lies until finally one finds oneself desperately asserting that President Obama's desire to provide health care for the uninsured is actually a plot to murder your grandmother in cold blood and reinstate the Third Reich here in America.

Consider what the example above means for those embracing it. Even a cursory examination of this claim would reveal it to be false, but they have chosen not to examine it, chosen to swallow it unexamined and to pass it on to others because they need it to be true. They need it to be true because this is what it would take for them to recapture at least the illusion of moral superiority.

Let that sink in for a moment.

To be confident of the claim that they are better than some other group, they have chosen to compare themselves to a eugenic Nazi regime that euthanizes senior citizens. That such a regime is wholly a figment of their warped imaginations is less revealing than the fact that they have been forced to imagine such a horrifying scenario in order to find something with which they can believe they compare favorably.

I can't imagine what that's like. If my sense of self-worth had shriveled to the point that my only consolation was to reassure myself that I was still better than imaginary grandma-killing Nazis then I can't imagine finding a great deal of consolation from such a thought. Imagine someone saying this to you, "Well, you're better than Nazis euthanizing the elderly." Can you imagine feeling pride to receive such a meager compliment? Can you imagine even thinking of that as a compliment at all?

So, viewed from the outside, this sure looks like it'd have to be rock bottom. Where could they possibly go from here?

But that's the thing about hard-core addicts. Their idea of rock bottom tends to be way beyond what those of us who aren't in their shoes could imagine.

Even now the implausibility and the outlandishness of this Obama The Grandma-Killer lie is taking too much work to maintain, killing whatever buzz they might have gotten from the first rush of moral superiority. Plus this whole forced-euthanasia meme is being used to help kill health care reform, which even Brannon Howse will dimly realize will result in more troubles for people already facing trouble enough. So they're in for a hell of a crash and a world of guilty pain when this lie wears off.

What will they do then? What do they always do? They'll chase the next fix — something bigger, stronger and even more outrageous. No longer able to believe themselves when they tell themselves that at least they're morally superior to Nazis promoting forced-euthanasia, they'll invent something even worse. They'll dream up some even more atrocious atrocity, accuse everyone else of committing it, and then try to reassure themselves that this makes them the best people around.

I can't imagine what they'll make up next to accuse everyone else of. But they can imagine it. And they will imagine it. And so it goes.

  • jmaccabeus

    My preferred government quote is (and this isn’t the exact quote, I’m sure, but I can’t remember well enough where to look it up from): “If men were angels [i.e. perfect] we would need no government, and if men were governed by angels we would not need any limit to government.”
    It seems that if a sizeable portion of the populace wants something self-serving at the expense of others, they’ll get it no matter what type of government is in charge (not to mention that a democracy can turn itself into a less representative form distressingly easily). If a sizeable portion of the populace wants something selfless and to help those who would be ripped off in the first example, though, they have a much, much better chance at it in a democracy than in a non-representative form of government. I’d also like to make the point that a democracy-dictatorship dichotomy isn’t entirely accurate; forms like aristocracy where neither the populace nor one single person rules aren’t either, though certainly they aren’t much (or often any) better for the people who are being ruled.
    I didn’t bother to take that test, but I know I’m a socialist (and while I’m a Christian, there’s a good chance that the people who made that test wouldn’t consider me one) so I know where I’m likely to end up.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    cyllan: “And yet, if I suggested to her that maybe public-based health-care was a good idea, she would have laughed in my face. Explain, please?”

    It is an article of dogma among American Conservatives that any part of the government that’s not killing people (the army) or putting them in jail (the police) is by definition totally corrupt and utterly incompetent.
    Also, that if someone’s not making lots of money off of something, it’s not worth doing.
    I suspect there’s a form of Stockholm Syndrome in there somewhere, too.

  • Jeff

    [[Oh my god. I'm sure you're well-intentioned, but that is the exact wrong response.]]
    It’s certainly better than Bush trumpeting Every. Single. Arrest even if 90% of them never went to trial, and those that resulted in convictions resulted in minimal jail time.
    =====================
    [[there will be a party at Grizzy's tonight at 6:30 Pacific time]]
    I doubt I can make it tonight. Perhaps some other night (I have to register with SL, to start). Just joining SL is free — it’s the add-ons that cost money, right?

  • sophia8

    OK, peer pressure reigns. Wenzer Woodrunner is now a member of SL…
    :::sigh::: Like I really need another time suck…

    Yeah. It’s been months and a formatted hard drive since I was last on SL. When I get time, I’ll download SL, see if it works on my new drive. If it does, expect an appearance from SamTyler Loon at some point.

  • Jason

    I doubt I can make it tonight. Perhaps some other night (I have to register with SL, to start). Just joining SL is free — it’s the add-ons that cost money, right?
    Yes, SL is completely free. If you want to own land, you have to pay and you can convert real Money into SL Linden dollars if you need some spending money, but you can find lots of free stuff of reasonable quality if you know where to look and 1 US dollar will buy you 250L Linden dollars, so you can do SL for little or no money and still have a great time.
    There is usually something going on at Grizzy’s most nights around the same time. I host events on Tuesday and Thursday nights and I have hostesses and DJs that cover the other nights which I attend based on whether I am busy in real life and whether I feel like doing SL that night. Fridays and Saturdays are when you are least likely to see me there.

  • truth is life

    I wasn’t trying to say that they were super effiecient. More efficient than the other European nations at the start though. I think that their beauracrats were no more effcient than any other, but it was more the unity of purpose among the ordinary folk who loved Hitler. Also, they avoided many social problems by simply driving a war machine. Being focused on war and conquest is much simpler than, say, figuring out Social Security.
    Nah. They had all sorts of efficiency problems, even in their most important areas, for one simple reason: Power. More specifically, the higher-ups (like Hitler) were very afraid of anyone else getting popular and powerful (that’s how they got control, after all). Therefore, they had things like overlapping areas of responsibility (eg., the Luftwaffe was responsible for carrier aircraft, while the Kriegsmarine was responsible for the actual carriers, instead of having an navy-controlled Fleet Air Arm like the UK and US). The Soviets did this too; if you look at, eg., the Soviet space program, you’ll see that there were literally dozens of competing government agencies in charge not only of building equipment and rockets, but also of actually figuring out space policy. This is a major reason that the Soviet space program failed to land anyone on the Moon, since there was constant bureaucratic infighting amongst the different designers; many of them hated each other. The thing is, the bureaucrats run everything, pretty much by definition. So, if your bureaucrats are inefficient, so is your whole process and structure.

  • Froborr

    There are other major problems with dictatorships and eficiency. Screwing up is punished much more harshly in a dictatorship, so the incentives for cover-ups are stronger. Also, rampant bribery and corruption at all levels of civil service. The USian civil service is actually, by comparison, pretty darn clean — almost all the corruption is concentrated at the top, influencing policy, rather than reducing the efficiency with which policy is carried out. Not so in Nazi Germany or Stalin’s USSR, where corruption was rampant at all levels.

  • inge

    Idivinev: My own feeling is that if you get a good dictator-for-life, that’s fine. But what if the next person who comes along turns out to be terrible?
    You don’t get good dictators for life, because without checks and balances, and without some system for the plebs to make their voices heard, even the most just and wise philosopher king will end up surrounded by corruption and misinformation. There is no Vetinari.
    Also, England did not have absolute monarchs since 1215.
    I have played politics in several contexts, and I found that procedures that a) not only allow but require regular communication with everyone’s voice being heard, and that b) allow to replace a leader, plus clear definitions of power and responsibilities are everyone’s best friend. You invest too much power into one person or allow it to converge in them, and you get playground anarchism: Behind mommy’s back, anything goes. (You treat people like toddlers that cannot be trusted to manage their own affairs, that’s what they’ll act like.) Lying, toadying and backstabbing become survival strategies. As the leader can only be replaced in a coup, coups become common and there is always one conspiracy or the other going on. Where you have conspiracies, information becomes both a precious good and contraband, so flow of information suffers until what you know depends on who you know.
    Even if you are good at playing, it becomes exhausting, and you might wonder where your life has gone and why all your energy is eaten up by what should have been a hobby.
    And that’s with situations that anyone involved could leave any time they wanted.
    Cary B: I think that the tendency we have to go “Oh, those wacky nazis” makes us forget how terribly, devestatingly efficent they were.
    Start out with a well-educated populance of very strong class and professional ethics — buraucrats and engineers who see increase in efficiency as a virtue and asking questions as beyond their station. Enforce the already existing idea that following orders to the very best of your ability is a virtue. Use stick and carrot to align them with the party line — reward good service, destroy alternatives, murder or deport dissenters (and let it be known that you do). Then, aim them at your goal. Continue to apply stick and carrot. You can get amazing things done, for good of for bad, and as those people are, in their very limited sphere, empowered to be as good as they can be, even the usual mess a dictatorship creates in the higher echolons won’t really stop them.
    Of course, someone willing to resort to these tactics of “team-building” is rarely a person whose “good” is in any way compatible with notions of equality, plurality and individualism.
    Being focused on war and conquest is much simpler than, say, figuring out Social Security.
    Especially as wars bring in loot.
    cyllan: And yet, if I suggested to her that maybe public-based health-care was a good idea, she would have laughed in my face. Explain, please?
    She’s currently going to the hassle of a small change. She’s probably extrapolating the current hassle on a scale of change and ends up with “decades of paperwork”.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I couldn’t find the slacktivites group
    It’ll probably take a bit to show up in Search. In the meantime, if you look at the group list in my profile (Sedary Raymaker), you can find it.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The only dress code at my place is no nudity.
    Well, there ya go. I’ll dig out the weed skirt I wear to PG sims. :-)

  • http://newscum.wordpress.com CaryB.

    It’ll probably take a bit to show up in Search. In the meantime, if you look at the group list in my profile (Sedary Raymaker), you can find it.
    Found it, thanks.
    Well, there ya go. I’ll dig out the weed skirt I wear to PG sims. :-)
    So dress code is….informal?

  • Idivinev

    You don’t get good dictators for life, because without checks and balances, and without some system for the plebs to make their voices heard, even the most just and wise philosopher king will end up surrounded by corruption and misinformation. There is no Vetinari.
    I figured that. Honestly, I find dictatorships in government in any form to be inherently murderous. Some philosopher living in a democracy can muse about how great a dictator who agreed with them would be, but that fantasy is *not* the same as an *actual* dictator in real life. Not just Hitler or Stalin, but the critters who run Africa right now. Mugabe, who murders and imprisons his political opponents, or Foday Sankoh who cut the hands of pretty much anyone he came across. That’s a far cry from dangling mimes upside-down every once in a while!

  • Tonio

    Except, the Republican party’s role in destabilizing our economy and demands of reducing personal liberties did precisely that while arguing that they were both necessary choices to preserve America
    Excellent point. I was saying in part that Qualye’s “destroying America” comment was an anti-liberal straw man rooted in absolutism.

  • Katz

    The question that had me in paroxysms was “Individual freedoms would be advanced and protected under a one-world government under United Nations authority.” I’m pretty sure Nicky is the only person in favor of that one?
    Hi! *waves* I’m one of those weirdos.
    I actually put strongly agree.

    Oh, sorry, you guys; I wasn’t criticizing your opinions or even, necessarily, the idea of one-world government, merely pointing out that this question was obviously included because of Howse’s belief that commumarxisociacularists want to take over the world via the United Nations, an idea that one doesn’t generally see outside of Left Behind.
    Also, why is “no opinion” worth -2 points and the polar wrong answer only worth -1? It seems like it’s encouraging, and nearly enforcing, RTC belligerence: you can’t just disagree with evolution or abortion or whatever, you have to be ENRAGED by it! Or else maybe it’s just bad programming.

  • Jason

    CaryB and I just had a great time hanging out at my place in SL. Hope to meet the rest of you in SL soon!

  • Leum

    Katz, I wasn’t insulted, didn’t even think you were criticizing the belief. It’s just an uncommon enough opinion that when the subject comes up I like to point out that there is a legitimate case to be made in favor of a one world government.

    Also, why is “no opinion” worth -2 points and the polar wrong answer only worth -1? It seems like it’s encouraging, and nearly enforcing, RTC belligerence: you can’t just disagree with evolution or abortion or whatever, you have to be ENRAGED by it! Or else maybe it’s just bad programming.

    To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, we have more in common with those who completely and passionately disagree with us than with those who tepidly agree with us or who have no opinion; the people who passionately disagree at least recognize the issue’s importance.

  • ohiolibrarian

    “Under some circumstances Christians are called to disobey the laws of government.”
    The problem with this belief is (I suspect) that his type of “Christians” believe that if they “are called to disobey the laws of government” that they are being persecuted if they have to pay whatever penalty comes with breaking those laws.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/shiftercat ShifterCat

    CaryB said:

    honestly? I think there is some deep seated resentment left over from when you guys beat us in the war of 1812.

    I suppose the fact that we still taunt you about it doesn’t help…

    Then there’s the whole “British Colony” thing. Part of which is A) Dirty Redcoats, and B) Ha ha, you’re a colony that sucks.
    Also, despite the fact that you live in a place that I, as a native Mainer, consider a quote “Frozen wolf and maple syrup filled wasteland” we think you’re wusses. I’m serious. The American Right wing tends to consider Canadians a bunch of nice and polite gun free liberals with excellent universal healthcare and gay marriage who treat their women nicely and know some french. IE opposed to everything they believe in. IE liberal pansies.

    Funny thing about that. Many Americans seem to think that since we’re generally a courteous and phlegmatic folk, and are nominally a British colony (even though, by law, the Crown no longer commands us), that we’ll roll over for anyone (to be fair, this is exacerbated by some of our PMs’ willingness to do just that where America is concerned). And yet the honourable tradition of getting up on our hind legs and demanding elected officials do the job for which we hired them enjoys a lot more respect up here. I’ve heard “Those protesters are nuts for rallying against Issue X” more times than I can count, but debate-crushing attempts like “They’re criticizing the government because they want Canada to fail!” would just get incredulous looks.
    Mac said:

    Oh, ShifterCat — WHY won’t you guys let me come live with you? :-(

    I’m sure you’re very sweet, Mac, but our house is very crowded right now.

  • Leum

    Many Americans seem to think that since we’re generally a courteous and phlegmatic folk, and are nominally a British colony (even though, by law, the Crown no longer commands us)
    Well, your oath of citizenship is sworn to Her Majesty.

  • atrophia

    This reminds of me when I worked for the Texas Department of Transportation. We had all these training sessions for which we got computer generated certificates that were rather oddly worded. I had “Karen Cox has completed training in Violence in the Workplace,” “Karen Cox has completed training in Sexual Harassment” and “Karen Cox has completed training in Misuse of Dangerous Chemicals.”
    You too? Although they at least tried to fix this on our tests; on mine it reads more like, “Jane Doe has completed training in Preventing Sexual Harassment.” Which isn’t quite as amusing.
    Your classification is: Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker
    Your score is: -74 points of 166 possible, -44%

    Count me among the Commarxisociacularists.
    Also, why is “no opinion” worth -2 points and the polar wrong answer only worth -1? It seems like it’s encouraging, and nearly enforcing, RTC belligerence: you can’t just disagree with evolution or abortion or whatever, you have to be ENRAGED by it! Or else maybe it’s just bad programming.
    You know, I wondered about that as well. It didn’t make any sense to me either.
    I put my fake name down as Kate Schechter. Too bad there wasn’t a question about where pizza delivery falls in the Biblical Worldview.

  • Leum

    Y’all will enjoy this. Warning, while this particular comic is SFW, the overall website is very much NSFW.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Oh boy SL! Why have I been wasting so much time in the competitive puzzle-game camping chairs at WaterMe Scripted Plants & Flowers when I could have been hanging out at Grizzly’s enjoying the company? Well! We rectify this the moment… er, the moment… OK, sometime this weekend.
    (Am at WorldCon. SL will have to wait for a bit. Yet, WorldCon is apparently having a couple of panels about Second Life. One is to do with the “movie” being “filmed” there. The other is an intro to the uninitiated.)
    Anyway, at some point I expect to see at least one candystriping groomsman avatar.
    I propose we all mini-tip Naked Bunny w/ a Whip aka Sedary Raymaker some L$ to repay the group creation cost. Because, hot dang, joining a group is a much easier way to find other SLing Slacktivists than trying to find all the revealed names in this thread.
    On Second Life I’m “Kavella Maa”, as Nenya knows. Also, I am NicoleJLeBoeuf on both Ravelry and Twitter, and vortexae on most forms of IM and on LJ. I am not on MySpace or Facebook nor will be unless unforeseeable changes occur in either the structure of said social networks or the temperature of Hell.

  • sophia8

    Re the Slacktivista Second Life group: As I suspected, SL wouldn’t load on my machine – as well as formatting the hard drive, I’d also taken out the fancy-dancy video card that had been eating up resources. But I’m planning on getting a new mainboard & CPU anyway, so maybe I’ll catch ya’ll there in a week or two?

  • malpollyon

    Well, your oath of citizenship is sworn to Her Majesty.

    Fun fact, Australia removed that requirement a decade or so back, which prompted my parents to finally get naturalised. They had refused to up to that point on what seem to me the entirely reasonable grounds that converting *from* English citizenship really shouldn’t require an oath to obey the Queen of England.
    The groups with whom I’ve had the most fun have been helmed by a single individual, who is open and interested in the concerns and ideas of all the members … Hmm, sounds a bit like feudalism.
    The idea doesn’t necessarily scale… Hmm, sounds a lot like feudalism.
    Although to be fair, feudalism led to the Magna Carta, and eventually to parliamentary democracy. And the feelings of personal responsibility that it prized are sorely lacking in our modern governments if you asked me. Of course, if we embrace neo-feudalism we’d have to be vigilant to the threat of a Kwisatz Haderach, or worse a God Emperor (On a complete tangent, I’ve been rereading Frank Herbert recently and enjoying it except for some really jarring anti-gay asides. I never noticed them as a teen, but they’re *really* bad).

  • inge

    Although to be fair, feudalism led to the Magna Carta, and eventually to parliamentary democracy.
    In England. In other places, it led to centralisation of power and absolutism, or to the fragmentation of the land into tiny princedoms.

  • Jason

    Slight correction:
    I’m used to this but it happens all the time. My name in SL is Grizzy Griswold not Grizzly Griswold. If you search for Grizzly’s Cafe, I’m not sure that you will get anything.
    Nicole I will send you an invite to the Grizzy’s group and a friend request next time I’m online.

  • Jason

    Oh, and I will also pass on a few Lindens to naked bunny next time I’m online. That’s a good idea. Last night was a good tip night at the club anyway. It was packed.

  • malpollyon

    In England. In other places, it led to centralisation of power and absolutism.

    And democracy didn’t? Off the top of my head: Iraq, Russia, Thailand, Germany, Ancient Greece. All home to some pretty egregious failures of democracy. Now, I like democracy and think it’s been good for many of us, but it’s not a magical shield against tyranny. It works more like a canary in a mine, until it dies, you’re probably not in a brutal totalitarian state *yet*.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/shiftercat ShifterCat

    Leum said:

    Well, your oath of citizenship is sworn to Her Majesty.

    Which some Americans take to mean that the British monarchy and/or government can give us orders which we are bound by loyalty to obey, when in fact they are legally barred from doing so. This is a pretty recent development, so it’s not surprising that all of the institutions haven’t quite caught up.
    Personally, I do think that the British monarchy is a white elephant that we should jettison, but things are not as bad as some make out.

  • Perry

    Leum said:
    Well, your oath of citizenship is sworn to Her Majesty.
    Which some Americans take to mean that the British monarchy and/or government can give us orders which we are bound by loyalty to obey, when in fact they are legally barred from doing so. This is a pretty recent development, so it’s not surprising that all of the institutions haven’t quite caught up.

    Can’t the governor general still dissolve your government at will?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I just found out the hard way that a local radio station is now playing Michael Savage, and he was on ranting about how COMMUNISM is about to take over our country.
    GAH. If the way he talks accurately represents the way anyone thinks, I’m amazed this country isn’t in mid-civil-war by now.

  • truth is life

    GAH. If the way he talks accurately represents the way anyone thinks, I’m amazed this country isn’t in mid-civil-war by now.
    Or in the midst of a fascist revolution. Though some aren’t too sure about that.
    I dislike Savage and all his ilk. Unfortunately, my dad likes listening to them for some reason (he isn’t, so far as I know, a Republican, though he is a decidedly unpleasant and racist person most of the time), and won’t turn them off or switch to a more pleasant station when I ask. Highly annoying.

  • Consumer Unit 5012, with certificate and clock

    That’s why I stick to the Internet for political commentary–you can brainwash is back.
    Screaming at the radio may be aerobic exercise, but it’s not much fun.

  • Fred Davis

    Can’t the governor general still dissolve your government at will?
    Well she can, in the same way that the monarch of england can dissolve that parliament.
    The problem I think americans have on this issue is that they don’t understand the distinction between political Authority, and political Power – the queen and governor general have authority but no real power, which is instead concentrated in the appropriate house of parliament.
    So a monarch or Governor General cannot do anything using their authority that parliament does not already want to do.

  • http://wenzersaddictions.blogspot.com/ Wenzer

    @atrophia: Your score is: -74 points of 166 possible, -44%
    I think you have the worst grade on that test of any of us. Congratulations!

  • mcc

    Thread-relevant, Here’s Sarah Palin’s facebook today.

    The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/shiftercat ShifterCat

    Perry asked:

    Can’t the governor general still dissolve your government at will?

    Dissolve, no; suspend yes, but I’m pretty sure she can’t do it on her own authority. In this last case, she was bending to a request by the Prime Minister. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.
    Canadian politics, like the nation it governs, is full of contradictions.

  • Lori

    And here’s a very nice summary of exactly what’s wrong with Palin’s crazy-ass BS

  • malpollyon

    So a monarch or Governor General cannot do anything using their authority that parliament does not already want to do.

    Not true in Australia, one of our Governors General very famously sacked a Prime Minister and replaced him with the Leader of the Opposition. So no, those powers aren’t always ceremonial.

  • truth is life

    So a monarch or Governor General cannot do anything using their authority that parliament does not already want to do.

    Not true in Australia, one of our Governors General very famously sacked a Prime Minister and replaced him with the Leader of the Opposition. So no, those powers aren’t always ceremonial.
    Generally, as the constitution of Britain and successor states tends to be somewhat unwritten (custom and practice being as important as codified structure), IIUC the Queen and her representatives theoretically possess some fairly extensive powers. However, as those powers have not been used in some time, and it is generally expected that they will not be used, their use tends to provoke constitutional crises. Thus, the Queen would not use her powers except in very exceptional or dire circumstances.

  • The Amazing Kim

    So the guilt provokes a feeling of moral inferiority that can, for those addicted, only be countered by telling slightly larger lies about the even-more-inferior morality of others. Those bigger lies carry with them a larger sense of guilt and so the cycle repeats itself again and again with the lies getting larger and larger.

    I know oh so many teenagers that do this, as well.
    Re: Jason’s “muslims taking over” soundbite deficiency – I hear it a few times a week. Of course, it’s frequently interspersed with “Indians taking over” and “African refugees taking over”, and in the 90s it was all “Asians taking over” and I’m sure in the future it’ll be “Pacific Island climate refugees taking over”. I don’t socialise with a particularly unique demographic in my daily rounds, and I do hear the sentiment quite frequently.
    Re: healthcare. I don’t really have to think about healthcare that much, and I’m relatively poor with a chronic condition. Guess that says it all.

  • Tonio

    so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
    Even if that were true, would that be any less evil than insurers deciding whether someone is worthy of health care based on how providing that care will affect shareholders? The link Lori provided beat me to that argument.

  • Leum

    Tonio, with insurance companies you know that no one who’s undeserving will get care. Obamacare means poor, even brown-skinned, people might get health care before deserving people. Fundamentally, a good half of this opposition is about race and class, and it probably wouldn’t be nearly so opposed if Obama were white.

  • Tonio

    Fundamentally, a good half of this opposition is about race and class, and it probably wouldn’t be nearly so opposed if Obama were white.
    I agree for the most part. I would factor in the cultural narrative of many non-wealthy whites viewing themselves as disenfranchsed.
    You especially have a point about class. Charles Krauthammer’s prescription for health care would essentially reward the rich at the expense of everyone else.

  • penny

    Since there is quite a few mentions of ravelry names on here (I’m alienbooknose, btw) would there be interest in a Slacktivites group over there as well?

  • Another Chris

    I always enjoy Fred’s posts, but this is the first time one of them has made me actually angry. These are not just lies, these are lies that *kill*. And it’s from a “Christian Worldview” site? I guess not bearing false witness isn’t part of the “Christian Worldview”.
    Regarding the Muslim Peril taking over: I’ve heard that lie more often than I’d care to (mostly reported second hand, as I don’t frequent that kind of website). Now, I know the people who spread it wouldn’t object to being called Islamophobic, but I wonder: can they honestly claim they’re not racist? Because it’s the *exact* same lie as the “Yellow Peril” of the 19th century.
    Here’s a fact: Islam is now the second biggest religion in France, (after Catholic Christianity, of course). That’s quite a claim, and even shocked me a bit (I have some internalised prejudice about Muslims, of which I’m none too proud). Then I found out that that amounted to… 4% of French citizens. (Quoted from memory, and may be a little off. I have no desire to google it and get a bunch of fearmongering.)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X