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"Show Us Your Papers"

I am way too busy these days for long political rants.

But I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I've become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power.

It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.

It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.

And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.

TUESDAY ADDENDUM: Okay, this has been running several days now, has been featured on HUFFINGTON POST and ABC news, referenced on Stephanie Miller, and no doubt countless other people. We have had four hundred messages, and I think everyone has had their say, and everything that needs to be said has been said. Generally eight or ten times. There are plenty of links and references in the comment threads for those who would like to know more about these voter suppression efforts. If you don't want to dig through the links, start with the Brennan Center for Justice and get the facts.

There's no sense in letting this spin on in circles forever. I am locking comments. Back to Westeros and worldcon and similar subjects, boys and girls.

Thanks for listening.



Aug. 14th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
No commentator reports the news objectively. That would be boring and they would lose ad dollars. There are recent examples of ABC showing extreme bias. I ignored it because it was done by commentators and I expected nothing less.
News media decides who wins elections.

If (Insert commentator name here), says that (Insert politicians name here), is Hitler reborn, it must be true because I like (Insert commentators name here).</p>

No commentator irritates me personally because I'm already aware of their bias. It does however irritate me when people believe it as fact and repeat it as if it was an original thought.

A dog runs into the street and a man hits it with his car. <-Boring.

A man stops at a corner, rips a puppy from the hands of a toddler. Next he ties it up and runs over it, rounds the block to run it over again. As he drives off, he laughs at the toddler while calling him a derogatory name.
<-Now that's a story.

Aug. 14th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
No commentator would say that X was Hitler reborn, however.

Such extreme hypotheticals don't serve the discussion.

"Bias" is a loaded load. A journalist has an obligation to report the truth. To be objective, not "balanced." When one side is telling the truth and the other side is speaking falsehood, the news should say that... but that is not "bias."

That's where many of these discussions break down, I fear.
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I see a journalist as someone who reports the news. For example:
"The president stopped in Detroit today on a campaign stop."

I see a commentator as someone who gives an opinion on the news. Example:
"The president stopped by Detroit today. He was greeted by the cheers of thousands. Five people fainted due to his brilliant speech"
"Now we're going to bring on our guest. He's a campaign advisor for the presidents opponent. So X, why does your guy hate women?"
See the difference? Of course it's a dramatization to demonstrate a point.</p>

All commentators are guilty of this to varying degrees.
I personally do not need anyone to think for me or give a one sided opinion or spin, regardless or not if I agree. I hope people can get dry news and develop their own opinions.

A lot of times the act of ignoring a story, in effect, demonstrates a bias. I just want the facts whether I like them or not.
Don't tell me that Cons want to put chains on black people unless you have proof.
Don't tell me that Obama burns copies of the constitution unless you can prove it.

This has become ridiculous and too many people can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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