we cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure

My tastes are eclectic enough to have included Amedeo Modigliani, but maybe it was the whole thing he had with the eyes that kept me from mentally listing him as a favorite, The myths that masked Modigliani . Yet there is little doubt that what he did not express through his model’s eyes he did through the unusual thrusts and turns of his forms.
Powerful, almost to the point of being embarrassing. Perhaps that is what artists have to do sometimes to get us to see something new in the everyday.

White Supremacist Tactics Adopted by “Mainstream” Right in which Glenn Greenwald looks at the the right’s embrace of sicking the dogs (their regular readers) on anyone that the fringe conservatives deem their heretic of the day,

One of the most constant features of these hate fests is the singling out of some unprotected, private individual — a public school teacher here, a university administrator there — who is dragged before hundreds of thousands of readers (or millions of viewers), accused of committing some grave cultural crime or identified as a subversive and an enemy, and then held out as the daily target of unbridled contempt, a symbol of all that is Evil.

Some of them, with a twisted sense of irony advise, along with the posting of names, addresses etc. not to do anything untoward. They just want the victim of their McCarthistic stalking to know that they are indeed being stalked by people who have assigned themselves the last word on all things American. The conservative Inquisition is underway, tune in tomorrow to see Fox and the wing-nut blogs point out the newest heretic.

Bush and the conservative mind or Kafka’s nightmares made real, Bush, totalitarianism, and “No Longer Enemy Combatants”

Conservatives are nationalists, not patriots American Dream, American Nightmare

But American nationalism, unlike American patriotism, is different-and dangerous.

The second part of Orwell’s definition tells you why. Nationalism is the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or an idea, “placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.” Patriotism is essentially about ideas and pride. Nationalism is about emotion and blood. The nationalist’s thoughts “always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. … Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.”

Now that they run the country we are seeing the bile and hatred of the right emerge as their mainstream motif. They have been like this for years and now feel that they are free to shove their nationalism down everyones throat. Part of this frothing hatred is fear. Their dear leader is in the dump where is likely to remain regardless of what he does. At one time another terror attack may have helped him, but now people will just see it as another failure in spite of all the claims that he has had to go to extraordinary and illegal means to supposedly protect us. Patriotism is a great quality and many Americans, though not enough, see the conservative movement using patriotism as a wedge to weed out the impure. Rather then exhibiting values they are constantly being exposed as hypocrites and liars.. If you paint yourself as paragons of virtue and good judgement and escapades evolving payoffs, lies, and twisted definitions of values become your stock and trade eventually enough people will do the math and see that the conservative agenda doesn’t add up.

Consumer Reports, Twelve supplements you should avoid

THE two commandments which are specially applicable in public life are the eighth and the ninth. Not only every politician, high or low, but every citizen interested in politics, and especially every man who, in a newspaper or on the stump, advocates or condemns any public policy or any public man, should remember always that the two cardinal points in his doctrine ought to be, “Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” He should also, of course, remember that the multitude of men who break the moral law expressed in these two commandments are not to be justified because they keep out of the clutches of the human law. Robbery and theft, perjury and subornation of perjury, are crimes punishable by the courts; but many a man who technically never commits any one of these crimes is yet morally quite as guilty as is his less adroit but not more wicked, and possibly infinitely less dangerous, brother who gets into the penitentiary.

As regards the eighth commandment, while the remark of one of the founders of our government, that the whole art of politics consists in being honest, is an overstatement, it remains true that absolute honesty is what Cromwell would have called a “fundamental” of healthy political life. We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and foreign policy; but we cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure.

from THE EIGHTH AND NINTH COMMANDMENTS IN POLITICS by Theodore Roosevelt