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The Agony of the Liberal Gun Lover

"For a long time, being both liberal and a gun owner didn’t seem like a big deal. 'Guns were certainly an issue,' Robinson says, 'but owning firearms wasn’t enough to get you tossed out of the movement.' After Sandy Hook, though, that changed 'with a speed that was truly breathtaking.'"
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Jun 17, 2014 - 182 comments

Ontario Voted

Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jun 13, 2014 - 128 comments

Trump This!

The Three Languages of Arts and Cultural Funding : It is a truth universally acknowledged that the public funding of arts and culture will cause political strife. Reasonable people just do not agree on this, and can be surprisingly quick to accuse others of ideological warmongering. An Australian application of The Three Languages of Politics [interview: podcast and transcript] by Arnold Kling. Via The Conversation.
posted by michswiss on May 7, 2014 - 6 comments

Now they are the same thing

The Color Of His Presidency
A few weeks ago, the liberal comedian Bill Maher and conservative strategist and pundit Bill Kristol had a brief spat on Maher’s HBO show, putatively over what instigated the tea party but ultimately over the psychic wound that has divided red America and blue America in the Obama years. The rise of the tea party, explained Maher in a let’s-get-real moment, closing his eyes for a second the way one does when saying something everybody knows but nobody wants to say, “was about a black president.” Both Maher and Kristol carry themselves with a weary cynicism that allows them to jovially spar with ideological rivals, but all of a sudden they both grew earnest and angry. Kristol interjected, shouting, “That’s bullshit! That is total bullshit!” After momentarily sputtering, Kristol recovered his calm, but his rare indignation remained, and there was no trace of the smirk he usually wears to distance himself slightly from his talking points. He almost pleaded to Maher, “Even you don’t believe that!” “I totally believe that,” Maher responded, which is no doubt true, because every Obama supporter believes deep down, or sometimes right on the surface, that the furious opposition marshaled against the first black president is a reaction to his race. Likewise, every Obama opponent believes with equal fervor that this is not only false but a smear concocted willfully to silence them.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 15, 2014 - 194 comments

This Machine Can Tell Whether You're Liberal or Conservative

John Hibbing and his colleagues are pioneering research on the physiological underpinnings of political ideology. They also eat worms. - via Mother Jones
posted by jim in austin on Apr 9, 2014 - 33 comments

RIP Bartcop

Pour out a little Chinaco

The godfather of liberal bloggers, Terry R. Coppage, aka Bartcop, passed away last Wednesday.

Bartcop was a snarky, no-holds barred, riotous – at times mean-spirited, but never untruthful – oasis of hilarity and vitriol, where politicians and a compliant media were called out for their bullshit. Along with Media Whores Online (‘The Horse”), no journalist was ever again safe from having their stories fact-checked online and then held up to ridicule.

Bartcop was the brainchild of Terry R. Coppage, based out of his beloved and sometimes mocked Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Terry was fearless in a way that other media critics couldn’t be for a simple reason: he wasn’t angling to move up the fawning beltway food chain with a guest spot at The Washington Post. He didn’t pull punches and he called bullshit for what it was: “bullshit.”

The site was crude, the graphics sometimes even cruder (I have a special place in my heart for his animated gif of Tim Russert repeating “Clinton’s cock” over and over and over again), but most importantly it dispensed with the niceties with a wicked grin with a well-placed deflating shiv between the ribs.

posted by sensate on Mar 10, 2014 - 26 comments

Liberalism, Libertarianism, and the Illiberal Security State

The defense of the illiberal activities of the actually-existing state cuts across superficial partisan lines, and the dominant political philosophy of both American parties is a venerable ideology of realpolitik imperial supremacy that deploys the rhetoric of liberalism as pacifying propaganda and recasts the completely mundane application of basic liberal-democratic principles–the kind at work in the activities of Wikileaks and Snowden–as irresponsibly adolescent, anarchical, and even libertarian (eww!) challenges to the very idea of the liberal state. “Liberal” apologists for the actually-existing criminal state spook actual liberals from the practice of actual liberalism by insinuating darkly that any doubts about the liberal legitimacy of the security state probably makes you a loathsome, possibly racist Paultard. Wil Wilkinson on why liberal critics of the "liberal" state seem "libertarian." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jan 21, 2014 - 49 comments

It's on

Kevin Rudd has visited Yarralumla and has asked the Governor General to issue the writs for an election to be held on September the 7th. The ABC's coverage starts the coverage with Vote Compass - Where do you stand (as if you already didn't know)? Faifax has offered this handy ready reckoner. News Corp Australia? Well they are calling on the services of Col Pot to ensure that Voting compasses and ready reckoners point in only the right direction, and to ensure that News' editors - rely on their instincts
posted by mattoxic on Aug 4, 2013 - 282 comments

"the correlation between country music and political backwardness"?

One Nation Under Elvis
My own conversion to country music came all of a sudden in 1990, around another campfire, also in Nevada. The great Western Shoshone anti-nuclear and land-rights activist Bill Rosse, a decorated World War II vet and former farm manager, unpacked his guitar and sang Hank Williams and traditional songs for hours. I was enchanted as much by the irreverent rancor of some of the songs as by the pure blue yearning of others. I’d had no idea such coolness, wit, and poetry was lurking in this stuff I was taught to scorn before I’d met it.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 28, 2013 - 108 comments

The rise of the religious left

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute [PDF], 1 in 5 Americans can now be defined as "religious progressives". These people, who eschew the current Republican agenda of religious social conservatism, have Republican leaders caught in the middle between an aging religious conservative majority and young religious progressives.
posted by reenum on Jul 24, 2013 - 183 comments

Where in Kansas did Dorothy live?

While L. Frank Baum never specifically mentioned where Dorothy lived in Kansas, he did leave some vague and/or misleading hints. They don't quite point anywhere, but two home inspectors did some digging and claim Dorothy's house was near Troy, Kansas, but they're not the first to claim a home for Dorothy. That credit goes to Max Zimmerman, an insurance agent from Liberal, Kansas, who thought of capitalizing on this lack of location. Oliver Brown, another resident of Liberal, knew of a house that resembled Dorothy's, and this was the start of Dorothy's House Museum & Land of Oz. But over 300 miles away, Wamego, Kansas has its own little land of Oz, where you can attend the annual OZtoberfest, or check out the Oz Museum, with its collection of Oz memorabilia on permanent loan from Friar Johnpaul Cafiero. And then there's the abandoned Land of Oz theme park in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, about a thousand miles from Wamega.
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 28, 2013 - 10 comments

“We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action,”

Matt Welch, Reason: The Death of Contrarianism
Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2013 - 30 comments

How The Left Has Won

Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?

posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2013 - 46 comments

People full of shit, both liberal and conservative, most of the time.

False memories of fabricated political events [ABSTRACT]. In the largest false memory study to date, 5,269 participants were asked about their memories for three true and one of five fabricated political events. Each fabricated event was accompanied by a photographic image purportedly depicting that event. Approximately half the participants falsely remembered that the false event happened, with 27% remembering that they saw the events happen on the news. Political orientation appeared to influence the formation of false memories, with conservatives more likely to falsely remember seeing Barack Obama shaking hands with the president of Iran, and liberals more likely to remember George W. Bush vacationing with a baseball celebrity during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A follow-up study supported the explanation that events are more easily implanted in memory when they are congruent with a person's preexisting attitudes and evaluations, in part because attitude-congruent false events promote feelings of recognition and familiarity, which in turn interfere with source attributions. [FULL TEXT PDF AVAILABLE HERE] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 13, 2013 - 78 comments

Pity the Billionaire

Pity the Billionaire (YT): Thomas Frank discusses how the American right pulled off a massive coup and successfully branded itself the party of rebellion and protest in the wake of the financial crisis.
posted by shivohum on Oct 5, 2012 - 32 comments

Posting from work

Let it Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace from Crooked Timber.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 2, 2012 - 184 comments

Now in remission.

Who could forget young Jonathan Krohn (previously), who dazzled the crowd at CPAC 2009 with his finely wrought rhetoric? Or perhaps you remember his classic tome Defining Conservatism. It will come as no surprise that he's still making waves at the grand old age of 17... by swinging left. "I think it was naive."
posted by Madamina on Jul 2, 2012 - 53 comments

Why Won't They Listen?

Why Won't They Listen? Haidt diverges from other psychologists who have analyzed the left’s electoral failures. The usual argument of these psycho-­pundits is that conservative politicians manipulate voters’ neural roots — playing on our craving for authority, for example — to trick people into voting against their interests. But Haidt treats electoral success as a kind of evolutionary fitness test. He figures that if voters like Republican messages, there’s something in Republican messages worth liking. He chides psychologists who try to “explain away” conservatism, treating it as a pathology. Conservatism thrives because it fits how people think, and that’s what validates it. Workers who vote Republican aren’t fools. In Haidt’s words, they’re “voting for their moral interests.”
posted by shivohum on Mar 26, 2012 - 53 comments

Stupid new future

If people thought Apple's voice assistant Siri was conservative, then Iris, a similar feature for Android (which uses the search engine ChaCha), will blow their mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 9, 2012 - 84 comments

You got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative...

What the Right Gets Right and What the Left Gets Right : An experiment in "transideological friendship." What liberals and conservatives think their ideological opposition does well.
posted by crunchland on Jan 23, 2012 - 121 comments

Lefties want comedy, right wingers like work

Republicans vs. Democrats TV survey results: Lefties want comedy, right wingers like work. EW commissions a survey of conservative and liberal television preferences. "In the findings, “sarcastic” media-savvy comedies and morally murky antiheroes tend to draw Dems. While serious work-centered shows (both reality shows and stylized scripted procedurals), along with reality competitions, tend to draw conservatives."
posted by benbenson on Dec 8, 2011 - 80 comments

The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

A Liberal Decalogue - Bertrand Russell
posted by thatwhichfalls on Sep 25, 2011 - 31 comments

Officially a filibuster

While outside Parliament it is 2:00 AM EST, Friday June 24, inside it will remain the "Thursday June 23 Chamberverse" until the Canadian House of Commons rises. Canada's new Official Opposition, the New Democratic party is currently filibustering the Conservative majority government over Bill C-6 - An act to provide for the Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services brought forward to force postal workers at Canada Post, an arms-length Crown Corporation back to work. [more inside]
posted by HLD on Jun 23, 2011 - 85 comments

“I told him we just wanted him to, you know, win the f***ing election. That’s all.”

The Biggest Losers. Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella explains the disastrous defeat of the party in Canada's recent general election.
posted by rocket88 on Jun 14, 2011 - 31 comments

Being able to write is like being the pretty girl at the party

David Mamet discusses free-market economists, studying Kaballah, Aristotle's conception of drama, Tennessee William's expensive habit, and his love for Sarah Palin. Oh, and his HBO movie about Phil Spector (whom he believes is innocent). Previously, previously, and previously.
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Jun 12, 2011 - 80 comments

The edible is the political

Liberals and Conservatives still eat different things. [more inside]
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on May 31, 2011 - 93 comments

Conflict, Security, and Development

Remove the scourge of conflict - "Taming mass violence is the theme of the World Bank's latest World Development Report, which focuses on 'conflict, security and development' [pdf] ... Mass violence destroys all hopes of progress. We should make a huge effort to eliminate this scourge. It seems feasible. It is desirable. So try."
posted by kliuless on Apr 30, 2011 - 18 comments

Patriot vs. PATRIOT

"House Republicans...fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc." This vote also defies the intention of the Obama administration to extend portions of the USA PATRIOT Act to the year 2013. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Feb 9, 2011 - 95 comments

Is the Academic World Biased Against Conservatives?

Some Social Scientists Claim Pervasive Bias in the Academe Discrimination is always high on the agenda at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s conference, where psychologists discuss their research on racial prejudice, homophobia, sexism, stereotype threat and unconscious bias against minorities. But the most talked-about speech at this year’s meeting, which ended Jan. 30, involved a new “outgroup.”
posted by modernnomad on Feb 9, 2011 - 180 comments

A strange social fact that stands in need of explanation

The death penalty in America is “a strange social fact that stands in need of explanation.” John Paul Stevens served as Associate Supreme Court Justice from 1975 to 2010 and became a beacon for progressive and liberals. Here he writes on the death penalty, reviewing David Garland’s new book Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition.
posted by JL Sadstone on Dec 15, 2010 - 55 comments

Sight Lines

You can tell if a person is liberal or conservative by how a person responds to your "gaze cues". Look away at something while you're talking and a liberal will tend to look at it, too. Conservatives are "completely immune" to this effect. [more inside]
posted by MuadDib on Dec 9, 2010 - 94 comments

We Are the United States of Come As You Are

NBC Universal and Microsoft are holding talks about changing the address of MSNBC.com, the third most popular news website on the Internet, as its "strictly objective" news coverage and staff become more differentiated from the television network, which is asking viewers to Lean Forward in a new ad campaign directed by Spike Lee.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Oct 6, 2010 - 24 comments

Doing the Reactionary

"Don't go Left/But be polite/Move to the Right/Doing the Reactionary…" [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 8, 2010 - 27 comments

They call him the "Rabbah Rouser"

“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”

The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist and founder of the controversial, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 31, 2010 - 35 comments

Liberal and Democratic

The rumours are increasing that there will be a merger between the two left-leaning political parties in Canada, the hapless Liberals under the wooden Michael Ignatieff, and the perennial almost-show New Democrats under the magnificently mustached Jack Layton. Denials all 'round, of course, but as separate parties they have not managed to take down Stephen Harper and his wiley Conservatives.
posted by anothermug on Jun 8, 2010 - 117 comments

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2010 - 105 comments

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Emerging from a debate on "epistemic closure" (of the conservative mind) John Quiggin looked beyond the dead horses and gazed upon the need "to offer hope, in the form of goals that can excite enthusiastic commitment to a progressive alternative." Matthew Yglesias pondered and penned a response providing a glimpse of the very big picture... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 28, 2010 - 17 comments

Morals Authority

"What I want to do now is help both sides understand the other, so that policies can be made based on something more than misguided fear of what the other side is up to." Jonathan Haidt proposes a more civil form of politics based on his work in moral psychology. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Jan 22, 2010 - 30 comments

What would Michelle Bachmann eat?

How Food Preferences Vary by Political Ideology [more inside]
posted by Lord_Pall on Nov 11, 2009 - 98 comments

Michael Bérubé is back blogging

Michael Bérubé, professor of American Literature and Cultural Studies at Penn State, one of America's most dangerous professors, award winning blogger, author, and father of Jamie Bérubé, has started up his blog again. I, for one, welcome our new(ly) blogging (again) overlords. previously
posted by pasici on Sep 29, 2008 - 15 comments

Conservatives are scaredy-cats

The Politics of Fear: Some Political Views May be Related to Physiology video, audio [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Sep 21, 2008 - 38 comments

Point dog!

Intense debate about weighty issues like racism, abortion, and immigration... between animals in funny hats! This is the silly punditry of Scenario: Dog v. Cat: Round 1, round 2, round 3.
posted by hjo3 on May 28, 2008 - 7 comments

History is a Weapon

History is a Weapon -- Featuring Propaganda by the inventor of modern PR, Edward Bernays, essays by Bill Clinton, Eugene Debs, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, the entirety of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and much, much more.
posted by empath on May 26, 2008 - 55 comments

Are Liberals and Conservatives Different Species?

Are Liberals and Conservatives Different Species? Get this: Everyone in our sample was an American, a teenager, and belonged to the same major religious tradition of Protestantism. In these respects they were culturally uniform. But some belonged to conservative denominations such as Pentecostal and others to liberal denominations such as Episcopalian. As Ingrid combed through the data, which involved tedious hours in front of the computer, the differences that began to emerge were astounding. It was as if these conservative and liberal religious youth were--different species. [via 3quarksdaily] [more inside]
posted by sisquoc15 on Feb 29, 2008 - 86 comments

When this world's big enough for all different views...

From unprecedented chart-topping, to crossover appeal, to the bizarre image change and retirement from music, he was truly country's Michael Jackson. While many of us may not have cared for his music or paid much attention to his core audience, those of us who were inspired despite ourselves by the (previously posted) Will.i.am video might just find something in the surprisingly liberal prince of the red states. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 14, 2008 - 69 comments

Cognitive Differences Between Liberals and Conservatives?

In an experiment reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, scientists at NYU and UCLA demonstrate that political orientation is related to basic differences in cognition - how the brain processes information. Psychological studies in the past found conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments while liberals are more "open to new experiences." The latest study finds these traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. [more inside]
posted by uaudio on Sep 11, 2007 - 57 comments

>>>>>PASS THIS ON! (emails from the right)

My Right Wing Dad is a new-ish and rather informal blog that aims to provide "a chance for folks to examine the unrestrained rhetoric that is quietly passed from in-box to in-box in America," by hosting a collection of the emails that form an often untraceable and unacknowledged part of public discourse in the U.S., especially on the Right. Tagged by category (for example: God, college, flag, liberal, and World War II), the amateur archive presents a range of colorful opinion, not all of it strikingly accurate, and some of it offensive. In efforts to understand liberal and conservative habits of communication, it may be worth considering the role of forwarded email in the electoral process, and the reasons that the forwarding of email is popular among some people, and whether this behavior tends to correlate with particular political opinions. The emails hosted on MyRightWingDad may in any case be enlightening, unless you're already on the forward list of someone in the know.
posted by washburn on Aug 15, 2007 - 105 comments

It ends when you're dead

Tim Kreider's editorial cartoons have that sort of vulgarity, puerility, absurdity, topicality, pith, bile, and self-awareness that help me get through the unending despair of reading the news every day. (He also draws great faces.)
posted by klangklangston on Jul 17, 2007 - 49 comments

The Left's Victim Complex

The American Left's Silly Victim Complex
posted by exogenous on Jun 14, 2007 - 158 comments

Quebec voters elect first minority provincial government since 1878

Results of tonight's election in Quebec are in. The Quebec Liberal Party has managed just barely to hold onto power in that province, winning a minority government--the first time this has happened in la belle province since...well...since the year the phonograph was first patented. But there's an even bigger story. And that's the apparent collapse of the separatist Parti Québécois vote, in favour of the centre-right Action Démocratique Party, surprising just about everybody other than those who actually live in the province. Here's the breakdown in the vote as of 11:00PM:
Liberal (32.50%) - ADQ (31.19%) - PQ (28.48%). What these results mean for Canada's federal parliament---also in a minority situation---is anyone's guess at this point. The smart money is on Prime Minister Harper calling an early summer election. These results tonight would certainly give him reason to think that Quebec voters are in the mood for change. But like spring weather in these parts, things are quite changeable these days.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism on Mar 26, 2007 - 69 comments

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