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Old 05-21-2011, 05:32 PM  
mohel
 
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Has America lost it's marbles?

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http://dagblog.com/blowing-smoke



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Television sensation Glenn Beck warns of White House plots to institute fascism, communism, and other terrifying "isms."

Radio titan Rush Limbaugh charges that a racist Obama regime encourages black schoolchildren to beat up white kids.

Evangelical luminary James Dobson frets that Christians will be arrested for thought crimes and people will be allowed to marry donkeys

Protesters in knickers and colonial-style hats march on Washington with signs that order Hitler-like caricatures of President Obama to return to Kenya
As madness reigns, pundits, politicians, and cab drivers debate the source of the hysteria. Some blame ignorance; some blame racism; some blame the economy.

After poring over mountains of political screeds and heedlessly subjecting himself to countless hours of Fox News, author Michael Wolraich discovered the secret formula that turns ordinary men and women into fire-breathing, smoke-blowing right-wing maniacs. It's "persecution politics"...again.


In Blowing Smoke, Wolraich documents, dissects and deconstructs the myths that underlie the right's growing reliance on the politics of persecution, from Joe McCarthy to the Tea Party movement. In the process, he delivers an original and compelling hypothesis with penetrating insight and blistering wit.

At turns hilarious, disturbing and edifying, Blowing Smoke is a must-read account of modern American politics.



"It's one of those books I couldn't put down, blazing through it in a day?Do get Wolraich's book. In addition to making me cry, it also made me laugh."

--The Belltown Messenger, November 2010

"A well researched look at media and politics (and the politics of media) delivered with a Daily Show-esque tone."

--Instinct Magazine, January 2011

"Wolraich is keenly analytical and often caustic in this compelling look at the use of persecution to push politics to the extreme."

--Booklist, December 2010
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:38 PM  
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Cognitive dissonance will strike

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Sadly, Camping's nonsense seems to have seduced at least a few believers, some of whom have quit their jobs, squandered their life savings, fought with their loved ones, and even arranged to euthanize their pets.
You might wonder what these people will do once they fail to ascend directly to Heaven on Saturday night. Conventional wisdom has it that they will react with rage and despair, resulting in suicide, loss of faith, and anger at the charlatan who deceived them.
But conventional wisdom is wrong.
In 1954, a team of undercover psychologists infiltrated a UFO cult led by a Dorothy Martin, a Michigan housewife who claimed to be able to communicate with aliens from the planet Clarion. The aliens warned her that a massive flood would submerge much of the continental United States on December 21, 1954.
One of the psychologists, Leon Festinger, had a theory about what would happen to that cult if the prophesied flood failed to materialize. Festinger had observed that when doomsday predictions of historical religious cults proved mistaken, the fervor of the members actually increased, and they began proselytizing aggressively, leading to rapid growth of the movement.
"The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before," Festinger wrote. "Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view."
There was no apocalyptic flood in 1954, of course, and the UFO cult behaved exactly as Festinger had predicted. While Dorothy Martin had previously shunned journalists and welcomed new members with caution, she suddenly went on a public relations blitz, inviting anyone who inquired into her home to be proselytized. While a few cult members dropped out, most became more fervent than ever and joined Martin in proselytizing.
Festinger called the psychological condition that led to the escalated passion cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance occurs when a person holds two inconsistent opinions or beliefs at the same time. For example, a smoker's knowledge that smoking is unhealthy conflicts with his awareness that he keeps on smoking anyway. Similarly, the UFO cultists' belief that their leader communicated with an advanced alien race from Clarion conflicted with the undeniable fact that the United States did not suffer from the massive flood that the aliens had predicted.
According to Festinger, the condition of cognitive dissonance produces significant psychological discomfort, and the mind generally feels pressure to reduce or eliminate the contradiction. One obvious way to do that is to reject one element of the dissonance. A smoker, for example, could quit smoking. But as millions of smokers can attest, that's not always easy to do. Likewise, most of the UFO cultists had profoundly committed themselves to the alien prophecy. They had quit their jobs, exhausted their savings, and repeatedly warned their skeptical families and friends of the impending disaster.
Shrugging their shoulders and admitting their error would not have been easy. One cultist disconsolately whimpered in the despairing hours after midnight on the day of the prophecy, "I've given up just about everything. I've cut every tie: I've burned every bridge. I've turned my back on the world. I can't afford to doubt. I have to believe."
An alternative mechanism for relieving the psychological pressure is to rationalize some resolution to the dissonance. Millions of smokers, for example, say they plan to quit in the near future. Many also underestimate the number of cigarettes they smoke, and some even find reasons to doubt the well-established health risks.
Similarly, at 4:45 a.m. on December 22, 1954, Dorothy Martin received a message from God that in light of the righteousness of her little Michigan crew, He had decided to spare the earth from the massive flood. Martin's jubilant followers enthusiastically embraced the explanation, and the next day, they alerted the press that the country had been saved.
Festinger theorized that rationalization can somewhat reduce cognitive dissonance but that for it to be fully effective, people need others to ratify the rationalization. Thus, members of the UFO cult relied on each other to bolster their confidence in the new explanation for the nation's miraculous salvation. But in the case of severe dissonance, even the affirmation of a few peers may not be sufficient to relieve the psychological pressure. To truly assure themselves of the validity of their rationalization, people may feel the need to persuade a wider audience.
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By the way... one thing I respect about tomorrow's apocalypse is the perfect financial scamminess of it all. The Church behind it has, according to their tax filings, spent a great deal of the $70 million its raised on media buys related to its stated mission of informing people about tomorrow's end of the world.
So, all the money it's collected was collected legally, even by the stricter standard of law that governs non-profits.
Very annoying that this, of all things, is legal, while having a non-profit that endorses political candidates or even makes overt political statements, is not.
by destor23 5/21/2011 - 12:11 am reply
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:46 PM  
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I mean, the Christian philosophy openly acknowledges a "rapture." Of course they're going to raise money for their cause. Are you against freedom of religion, and their right to raise money from believers?
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:52 PM  
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Think Of What We Would Have Missed!

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think of all the things you would miss as a New York Giants fan if the apocalypse truly was now.



You would never know what team Plaxico Burress would end up with. I know some of you want him back with the Giants, but I just don't see that happening as long as Tom Coughlin is patrolling the team's sidelines.
If this really was doomsday you would die never getting to celebrate the Giants defeating the Philadelphia Eagles again. I know you still have the bitter taste of DeSean Jackson's punt return touchdown in your mouth. The Giants will beat the Eagles again. As long as the world doesn't end first.
Speaking of the Eagles, the end of the world would rob us of the opportunity to read the column we know Adam Schein will write about how his teammates have disrespected Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick since only four of them showed up for Vick's informal workout Thursday. You know, since Eli Manning has obviously lost the ability to lead the Giants and all that nonsense.
If today truly did bring the end of the world, we would never get to see a Prince (Prince Amukamara, of course) play for the Giants.
The end of the world would mean we would never know if all of those folks predicting tough times ahead for Giants' wide receiver Steve Smith were right. Or if Smith, who has constantly used social media to quell rumors about his rehab from knee surgery, can prove the naysayers wrong.
The apocalypse would mean Barry Cofield would never get his big payday from the St. Louis Rams.
We would never know which gunslinger, DeMaurice Smith or Roger Goodell, blinked first. You know, maybe they should just shoot it out. Winner not only lives, but takes all.
I could go on with these, but I think I should stop now. I'm sure you guys can add plenty of 'what we would have missed' ideas of your own. Feel free to go for it, just keep 'em clean. See you Sunday!
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Some are preparing for the worst. But if you're a student of pop culture, you can rest easy, knowing that May 21 isn't the real end of the world. That's coming Dec. 21, 2012, according to the great prophet Roland Emmerich. Or perhaps it's March 24, 1982, as foreseen in "The Omen" movies. But that date has already passed, so how could that be? And let's not even get started on the "Terminator" films, which have predicted the end of the world on no less than three different dates.

As you can see from this gallery of Hollywood doomsday hits, it's always best to say the end of the world is coming "soon."
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:55 PM  
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An answer with another original post...hmmm...
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:45 PM  
mohel
 
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Originally Posted by Jake7 View Post
I mean, the Christian philosophy openly acknowledges a "rapture." Of course they're going to raise money for their cause. Are you against freedom of religion, and their right to raise money from believers?
I thought raising money was the core tenet of religion so I wouldn't mess with it's very underpinnings. Did you know the rapture is an idea only 200 years old? I was raised Christian and never even heard of a rapture until Jerry Falwell.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:29 PM  
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And that guy was an idiot.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:02 PM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
I thought raising money was the core tenet of religion so I wouldn't mess with it's very underpinnings. Did you know the rapture is an idea only 200 years old? I was raised Christian and never even heard of a rapture until Jerry Falwell.
I would call it the core tenet of the Catholic churches, but there are many religions that don't ask for money. Additionally, in the modern Christian ideology, tithing is a part of religion, but certainly not the "core tenet."

I was also raised religiously -- did you never read Revelation?
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:04 AM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
2 collections at a Sunday mass was their limit. Turn on the religious channel and count how many times per hour. Yesterday's fool had 170 million dollars and once had 200 radio stations.



Sure but by 12 I also realized I was reading a book of parables.
Hmm.. we must've been reading a different book.


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I so agree. I've sat in those holy roller churches before, where they pass the basket around and put it right in your face while psyching the audience up with spiritual music and foot stomping. How crafty is that?
Once again, we must be talking about different churches. I know, this may sound crazy, but different churches are different.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:16 AM  
mohel
 
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I would call it the core tenet of the Catholic churches, but there are many religions that don't ask for money.
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Additionally, in the modern Christian ideology, tithing is a part of religion, but certainly not the "core tenet."
2 collections at a Sunday mass was their limit. Turn on the religious channel and count how many times per hour. Yesterday's fool had 170 million dollars and once had 200 radio stations.




I was also raised religiously -- did you never read Revelation?[/QUOTE]

Sure but by 12 I also realized I was reading a book of parables.
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