Archive for January, 2011

CAIRO: The sight of tens of thousands of Egyptians, taking to the streets, demanding their constitutional right to choose their leader was a turning point in the history of this nation.

No one imagined that the hoards of protesters who risked their lives on that historic day on January 25 would finally move their virtual revolution from cyber space to the street, but it happened and it continues.

The 10,000 Egyptians who were violently dispersed with water cannon, teargas and rubber bullets from Tahrir Square on midnight that day, the thousands who marched peacefully in Alexandria and Suez were the spark that triggered unprecedented demands to topple the regime and end the Mubarak dictatorship.


Revolution on the Nile | dailynewsegypt.


Right-wingers seem to have a problem understanding how this whole free-speech thing works. They seem to believe, for instance, that it’s perfectly acceptable for them to say the most outrageous things imaginable as part of their rights to free speech — but if someone stands up and exercises their free-speech rights by criticizing what they said, then by God, they’re trying to take their rights away!

Liberals don’t want to ‘silence’ conservatives — they’d just like to have an honest democratic debate | Crooks and Liars.

here’s your at-a-glance guide to the health care law provisions in effect now, as well as some still to come, and what they may mean for you.

Health Care Law Benefits in 2011 and Years to Come, Efforts to Repeal Reform.

The demagogues would have the public believe that Social Security is unsustainable, that it is some kind of giant contributor to the federal budget deficits. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the Economic Policy Institute has explained, Social Security “is emphatically not the cause of the federal government’s long-term deficits, since it is prohibited from borrowing and must pay all benefits out of dedicated tax revenues and savings in its trust funds.”

Raising False Alarms –

Making fake history every day
You can’t expect a culture that conveniently fabricates history to restrict that practice to the distant past. So it’s not surprising to see conservative opinion leaders arguing, contra history, that Nazism is a liberal ideology (Extra!, 3/10) or that government spending made the Great Depression worse.

Nor is it surprising to see such commentators ignoring facts to distort current events. Witness the trend among conservatives who dismiss global warming science, fantasize imaginary “death panels” in healthcare legislation, or declare Barack Obama to be a Kenyan, a Muslim or maybe even the Antichrist (CNN, 8/15/08).

Indeed, the ascendance of a black, Democratic president seems to have sent irrational conservative tendencies into overdrive. Commentators Rush Limbaugh (10/23/09) and Michael Ledeen (Pajamas Media, 10/21/09) heatedly pointed to a socialist thesis they said was written by Barack Obama while a student at Columbia University. Like one of the the fake Lincoln or Jefferson quotes, the thesis was a hoax (St. Petersburg Times, 10/26/09), but it met the contemporary conservative standard: If  it makes your point, run with it.

Putting the Founders to Work
When widely syndicated columnist Cal Thomas posted a commentary on his website (1/15/09) opposing federal bailouts, he cited quotes from Thomas Jefferson to bolster his argument:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”; It is incumbent on every generation to pay off its own debts as it goes. A principle, which, if acted on would save us one-half of the wars of the world”; “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them”; and, “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

Thomas described these quotes as “ancient wisdom,” which, he said, “is almost always better than what people come up with today. Consider that it became ancient because it was wise.”

But consulting The Works of Thomas Jefferson available in full at the Online Liberty Library, as well as the Library of Congress’ online Jefferson site, Ed Darrel of Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub (2/1/09) could find no evidence authenticating any of the quotes. As Darrel, whose website targets historical falsehood, observed, “Jefferson seem[ed] oddly prescient in these quotes, and, also oddly, rather endorsing the views of the right wing.”

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