Sunday, August 9, 2009

Today's Intel Report: Because TV News Sucks So Bad

Homeless couple living in Las Vegas flood tunnels

Think we're not in a depression?
Take a look above at the nice living quarters this couple has in the flood channels under Las Vegas. They say it is too dangerous to live above on the streets.
According to this New York Times article, unprovoked attacks on the homeless are at an all-time high. Tent cities are popping up everywhere, and societal angst has brought up the ugly spectre of picking on the weakest among us.
From the article:

In Portland, Ore., twin brothers were charged with five unprovoked attacks against homeless people in a park. One of the victims was a man beaten with his own bike, another a woman pushed down a steep staircase.
In Cleveland, a man leaving a homeless shelter to visit his mother was “savagely beaten by a group of thugs,” the police said.
In Los Angeles, a homeless man who was a neighborhood fixture was doused in gasoline and set on fire.
In Boston, a homeless Army veteran was beaten to death as witnesses near Faneuil Hall reportedly looked on.
And in Jacksonville, N.C., a group of young men fatally stabbed a homeless man behind a shopping strip, cutting open his abdomen with a beer bottle.
In Las Vegas, home to a large population of the homeless, there were no reported killings of any of them last year, but many say hostilities have risen as the city moves to get them out of the parks and off the streets.
Some of the Las Vegas homeless resort to living in a maze of underground flood channels beneath the Strip. There they face flash floods, disease, black widows and dank, pitch-dark conditions, but some tunnel dwellers say life there is better than being harassed and threatened by assailants and the police.
“Out there, anything goes,” said Manny Lang, who has lived in the tunnels for months, recalling the stones and profanities with which a group of teenagers pelted him last winter when he slept above ground. “But in here, nothing’s going to happen to us.”
Their plight is a revealing commentary on the violence facing street people, said Matt O’Brien, a Las Vegas writer who runs an outreach group for the homeless.
“It’s hard to believe that tunnels that can fill a foot per minute with floodwater could be safer than aboveground Vegas,” Mr. O’Brien said, “but many homeless people think they are. No outsider is going to attack you down there in the dark.”

And Now For A Word On Health Care: "Astroturf"

Let me start by saying this:
When I went to my Doctor for my yearly check up, before President Obama was elected, we had a discussion on health care.
I asked him, "in a perfect world, how would you handle public health care"?

--He said, and I'm not kidding, "All you patients need to get together and burn down the insurance companies".

Listen people; this flap about "teabagging" Congress in a mass resistance against sensible changes in health care delivery has gone too far.
The "low-information voter" is consistantly being manipulated by incredibly powerful corporate forces. Watching some of the activists shouting down town halls, you'd think you were seeing some grass-roots movement like the protests against a war or something.
But wait; these poor people are being steered by none other than the insurance companies that have been ripping them off all along.
Additionally, many of the "protestors" I have seen on video are clearly old enough to be recieving Medicare and Social Security themselves. That's Socialism!

Come on folks, let's get down to the roots of this: The conservative movement is on a full-out attack on Obama and anything that represents progressive, healthy change.
Their war rooms have been working on the strategy long before Obama's election. The first shot across the bow was the phoney "Birthers" movement, claiming Obama was not an American citizen and not constitutionally qualified to be president.
Hello!!! His mother was from Kansas. Obama could have been born on Mars, but his mother was an American so he is an American. Done. Over.
There is an underlying element of Racism that is driving the "Birther" movement and now the phoney teabag health-care protest scene.
When a supposed "grass-roots" movement is proven to be driven by huge corporations such as the Insurance companies, it's not "grass roots", it's "Astroturf".
Seriously, Why do working class people get brainwashed into voting against their own best interests?


Rozic said...

I really like to read your blog and find many useful techniques. I wish you would just stick to martial arts on this blog and not become political. As for obama and his mother being american so what, if you are born in another country even if both of your parents are american you are the nationality of that country. The only exception is if you are serving in the military.

Martial Development said...

There are a few questions you might want to ask yourself.

1. Should people have the right to be unhealthy? To eat poisonous food, and refuse exercise? To die young, if they so choose?

2. Who will pay the most for these changes: the poor, the rich, or the unborn?

3. Will the proposed changes make this health insurance industry weaker...or stronger?

Dojo Rat said...

Sorry Dude, You're just plain wrong about that.

My worst fear is that some crappy compromise will give MORE of our tax dollars to the damned insurance companies.

Man of the West said...

Why do working class people get brainwashed into voting against their own best interests?

Well, DR, of course we don't think we're brainwashed, nor do we agree with you as to what our own best interests are. But I like you anyway; anyone who's as big a fan of the second amendment as you are, will, when push comes to shove, ultimately be against oppressive government. We just may have some, shall we say, interpretive issues along the way.

Seriously, though, though we disagree on darn near all points under discussion, I can't help but think that you might find my review of Rick Shenkman's "Just How Stupid Are We: Facing the Truth about the American Voter" entertaining reading. Mr. Shenkman is a thoroughgoing liberal, but I still found a lot of enlightening material in his book. It explains a lot.

Charles James said...

Hi, DR

"The Power of Suggestion" is a part of our ego's mind. It is natural as eating and all humanity is subject to its influences.

I wrote a post on this once because we are all subject to this power. It does not take much to sway the people to one way of thinking or another.

It has been used through out history to conquer and subjugate all sorts of peoples.

Advertisers would not exist if not for this phenomena!

Dojo Rat said...

Hey MOW;

Thanks for the review. I had never heard of the author either.
I am curious about the 1996 study mentioning Limbaugh's show. Doesn't ring true to me at all. Perhaps the focus was just on talk show listeners at the time, his show being the only major syndicated show of the era. For instance, an inside-media poll recently showed that Fox news viewers were mostly over 65 and without college education. That says something.
Appreciate your perspective.

You are right about the power of suggestion. That's why Polititions use talking points, phrases that they pound on over and over.

Scott said...

Well I don't mind the forays into politics, I find them amusing. One of the funniest things that has happened since the 1990's is that the most conservative thinkers call themselves Progressives. Yeah, let us progress toward a debate about health-care we already settled in 1996, and try to apply economic theories that Johnson proved are ineffective (remember half of the most hated Bush "Neo-Cons" were actually people who served in the Johnson admin and saw the failures first hand!)
No I don't pay insurance now, yes, it is the Progressives who have proposed forcing me to pay insurance. (Yes I drink tea, no, not from a bag.)
Republicans are slightly more likely to have more money, education and IQ than Democrats.
I'm happy Obama won, now every parent can tell their kid, "You have a choice in America, you can live with the job-destroying homeless in the flood tunnels of Las Vegas, or you can be President of the USA. It's up to you baby!"

Sean C. Ledig said...

Great post DR!

You are so right about the state of the media. As a former newsman, I weep for my chosen profession for reasons too numerous to list here.

Sean C. Ledig said...

Not that print media is a whole lot better, but when I was a newspaper reporter, we used to say that "TV news is an oxymoron."