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Gary Williams

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  • Wael Ghonim vs. Barack Obama: Change we Can Believe in, Yes we Can
    • His refusal to stand up against the wars and policies started by the neocons and later maintained by many having the same values as AEI, PNAC, and the US.CoC is the very reason why he is labelled "weak". If he truly were a "strong, decisive and bold" president, he would stand against the very things for which you give him credit for strength.

    • They don't. It seems a hallmark of con behaviour not to be able able to see how their own use of force frequently leads to the escalation or entrenchment of the very problem they were trying to resolve. The use of threats in place of diplomacy somehow supposed to reduce the risk of attack from them. Or 'Police riots' that keep getting started by a LEO using exaggerated force on an individual, thinking the act would send a signal out to all the othered gathered protestors/revelers saying that "hey! They're serious. Maybe it was time to go home." Despite it rarely working that way..they still do it almost in a knee-jerk fashion.

    • Possibly the source of most of the disapointment the left now expresses in Obama was our sense that he, as a black man in America, would be someone with a particularly acute sensitivity to problems stemming from an abuse of power or privelege by those who have it. For some strange reason, the right seems unable to concieve of the possibility that their present use of force to solve crime, drug abuse, foreign affairs, etc. etc. can actually provoke and perpetuate the very things they use to justify a need for a more forceful stance. When it comes to social issues requiring the ability to think about complex issues or use well-developed cognitive skills and abilities (empathy eg.), it seems they are simply not up to the task. And minus the ability to communicate problems effectively, about all that's left to such people is "force".

      And so we see that the conservative's universal tool of social engineering is precisely that. Use even more force if moderate amounts of violence don't seem to be effecting the problem in the way they anticipated (the Drug War eg.) But I digress.

      I at least expected Obama to both see and avoid the problems caused by unfettered capitalism and a massive military machine that has traditionally served as an arm of US business interests --- an army that supports corporations the way the Egyptian military traditionally supported the working class.

      Unfortunately, Obama seems unfazed by the hypocrisy involved with further enabling the WASP elite that abused his ancestors. In that sense, he appears to suffer the same blindness over matters of "Uncle Tom-ness" that are at work on Israeli Likudniks.

      Many people grew up assuming Jews would be very, very reluctant to ever be seen treating others in an oppresive, violent manner as that would seem like a terrible insult to all those who died in the Holocaust due the same mindset. Therefore it seemed perfectly reasonable to believe their claims of being victimized by irrational, antisemitic Arab terrorists. But to then find out after 30 years of assuming that's the actual circumstances over there, that the "rapee" was in fact the raper, confirms once again the psychological origin of many RW behaviors and beliefs...ideas we have long been mistakenly attributing to an ideological stance.

      Jewish right-wing authoritarians seem as completely unfazed by historical realities as other national/religious groups also having conservative ideals. And most telling is the fact that it must be said that if ANY group of people was ever to learn the lessons of history; learn that violent oppression of others must always result in one's own destruction some day.... then the Jews of Israel would have to be the ones to have learned it and to have integrated those lessons into their own cultural values.

      But instead all we see is yet another group of conservatyuves blindly rushing ahead, oblivious to the sociological effect their behavior is sure to provoke in others. This provides us with yet more evidence that conservatism is largely comprised of a group having little to do with the ideas of Burke or Buckley, but who have adopted that label because of the shared attraction to supernatural or religious thinking, the hyper-simplistic way they order things in neat little black and white dualities of right or wrong, good and bad, legal or illegal, Us vs Them concepts. Their lack of cognitive complexity makes that kind of framework all that is available to the limited intellect of the RWA. They side-step that lack the same way non-readers can avoid discovery. With this, they are able to hide under the banner of ideological thought by claiming the "true" conservatism of Burke et al is an idea they arrived at through means that Burke, or Marx, or any other thinking person does before deciding which ideology will inform the relative importance they will now give to other people and lives.

      But the truth is, unlike every other political stance taken among testees covering MOTR thru to those with far left or even anarchist views, only self-identified conservatives show the same levels of intellectual rigidity, need for certainty, fear of change, of unknown, of ambiguity, or who have the same authoritarian values with increases in aggression and willingness to do violence to others as ordered; the same poor empathic skills, low cognitive complexity and poor idea integration that leads to the often stunning level of hypocrisy they often reveal yet seem to have no idea why others would see it that way.
      Finally there's the high level of submission to their own percieved authority figures that Milgram's work made popular, but of which we can now see the extreme deference they will also give to anything those leaders say or tell them. The need not to change their preconceptions compels them to supply the neccesary excuse their leaders will need should they be caught doing something that is contradictory to what they said before and which the folowers now would rather continue to believe despite the evidence they weere lies, or to change their worldview by accepting that the people they have always defended are frequently in it only for themselves (Larry "wide stance" Craig).

      Conservatives are also more likely to "seize and freeze" on a solution prematurely if they believe it will bring closure on a problem they have been tasked to solve. In policing, this translates as focusing only on suspects who meet stereotypical beliefs they have about criminality and race, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc.

      That's also why the conservative South sees the vast majority of cases where DNA tests have overturned murder convictions. It even explains the morally bankrupt position so many DA's or governors have about allowing DNA testing in the first place. Here, its not because it might reveal prior unprofessionalism, but because these people see railroading of marginalized groups as a justified strategy against those too cagy to get caught doing the crimes that they are sure must have happened given who they are. They see railroading as a neccesary tool "society" (really just them) needs in order to rid itself of the threat they know non-conforming, untraditional types always are.

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