Black and White Surf and Pier wallpaper

Black and White Surf and Pier wallpaper

Over the last couple years I’ve kind of field tested black and white photos. Asking people which version they liked best – neutral, warm(adding reds with a warming filter) and cool ( adding blue filter). Most people chose the cool black and white, so I usually put up the cool toned B&Ws. Most photo editors have built in warming and cooling filters ( Gimp is free) so those that have other preferences can experiment to see what you like best on your desktop.

Glenn Greenwald’s post on Christine O’Donnell and The misguided reaction to Tea Party candidates has some of Glenn’s sharp trademark observations, but also seems a little sloppy in places.

The “tea party” movement is, in my view, a mirror image of the Republican Party generally.  There are some diverse, heterodox factions which compose a small, inconsequential minority of it (various libertarian, independent, and Reagan Democrat types), but it is dominated — in terms of leadership, ideology, and the vast majority of adherents — by the same set of beliefs which have long shaped the American Right:  Reagan-era domestic policies, blinding American exceptionalism and nativism, fetishizing American wars, total disregard for civil liberties, social and religious conservatism, hatred of the minority-Enemy du Jour (currently: Muslims), allegiance to self-interested demagogic leaders, hidden exploitation by corporatist masters, and divisive cultural tribalism.  Other than the fact that (1) it is driven (at least in part) by genuine citizen passion and engagement, and (2) represents a justifiable rebellion against the Washington and GOP establishments, I see little good in it and much potential for bad.  To me, it’s little more than the same extremely discredited faction which drove the country into the ground for the last decade, merely re-branded under a new name. ( emphasis mine)

All that said, there are some reactions to the Tea Party movement coming from many different directions — illustrated by the patronizing mockery of Christine O’Donnell — which I find quite misguided, revealingly condescending, and somewhat obnoxious.

It cannot be said enough that the tea baggers are the same old right-wingers with some new improved rage and conspiracy theories thrown in. These are the same people who voted for Bush twice and in the course of five elections from 2000 to 2008 voted for the Republican agenda. An agenda largely responsible for an all too well known range of problems. Every issue and its related problems tea baggers babble on about, they were enablers. From deficits to the growth of government power. Now with their faces covered in jam they swear it wasn’t them with their faces buried in the jar. We even had hints this wave of denial was coming via the Christine O’Donnell of right-wing speech writers, Peggy Noonan back in 2006 – Hey, Big Spender

In any case, what bipartisan spirit there was post-9/11 has broken down, Mr. Bush will never have to run again, and he is in a position to come forward and make the case, even if only rhetorically, to slow and cut spending. He has not. And there’s no sign he will.

Which leaves me where I was nine months ago, in the meeting with conservatives, rubbing my brow in confusion.

The president likes to speak of his philosophy when it comes to foreign affairs. But what about domestic affairs? I think he has a real responsibility to speak here about his thinking, about what he’s doing and why.

Mr. President:

Did you ever hold conservative notions and assumptions on the issue of spending? If so, did you abandon them after the trauma of 9/11? For what reasons, exactly? Did you intend to revert to conservative thinking on spending at some point? Do you still?

Were you always a liberal on spending? Were you, or are you, frankly baffled that conservatives assumed you were a conservative on spending? Did you feel they misunderstood you? Did you allow or encourage them to misunderstand you?

What are the implications for our country if spending levels continue to grow at their current pace?

What are the implications for the Republican party if it continues to cede one of the pillars on which it stood?

Noonan, like the tea nuts, has taken two positions on the years 2000 – 2008. Bush was a secret liberal on domestic policy. Wouldn’t a liberal, a real liberal, not the current centrist we have in the White House, have enforced financial regulation rather than pretend it didn’t exist. Conservatives can complain all they like about common sense safety net programs such as Unemployment Insurance and Medicare, but at least Democrats try to pay as we go. Bush and Republicans – the team the tea nuts voted for – put it all on the national credit card. The second position tea baggers take – closely related to the first – is the conservatives of the past ten years were not real conservatives. What we will not find is an admission that conservatism – in whatever new flavor enhanced iteration it appears – is a fundamentally flawed. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and 43 all screwed up the economy. The tea baggers would have America believe they are smart, but keep getting suckered by conservatives who are really closet liberals.

Piling on Christine O’Donnell? As Glenn points  – the elitist arguments against her have come from the traditional elitist such as Karl Rove and The Weekly Standard. It was the TWS who wrote,

O’Donnell alleged in a July 1, 2005 complaint filed in district court that she had been demoted because ISI’s conservative philosophy dictated that women must be subordinate to men. She claimed she was fired when she contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding her demotion. ISI told the Delaware News Journal that she had been “terminated for operating a for-profit business.”

O’Donnell’s finances, honesty, and stability have been called into question in light of her false and strange claims.

The rest of us are allowed to look at her public statements, public policy prescriptions and the general implications of her world view and based on that evidence, decide she is a paid up member of the Krazy Konservative club. I suspect her handlers believe the same thing – as her web site has suddenly been scrubbed of her bizarre beliefs. Nevada’s Sharron Angle did the same thing once she won the Republican primary in Nevada. A mini-trend where the tea nuts run to the far far right to win the primary and suddenly try to appear somewhat moderate afterward. No More Mister Nice Blog answers Glenn’s question about how O’Donnell and the tea baggers are different, GLENN GREENWALD’S MISPLACED CLASS ANGER

But, O’Donnell is not an ordinary American. In fact, pedigree aside, O’Donnell has a hell of a lot more in common with George W. Bush than with most ordinary Americans — in fact, I’d say she’s spent most of her adult life trying to be a sort of George W. Bush.

What I mean is that O’Donnell at 41 is very much like Bush at 40 — he avoided politics, she’s steeped herself in politics, but what they have in common is the desire to bypass any dues-paying (and, for the most part, any actual jobs) and get straight to the top on very little effort and quite a bit of self-esteem.

Bush started fifth-rate energy companies. O’Donnell started a fifth-rate Christian-right group, the Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth. Bush relied on Daddy’s rich friends. O’Donnell relied on wingnut welfare, receiving a Claremont Institute fellowship and then taking a job with the Scaife-, Bradley-, and Olin-funded Intercollegiate Studies Institute; she’s also worked for the Republican National Committee and Concerned Women for America.

Glenn is right in the technical sense that O’Donnell’s bank account places her outside the village elite, but the life she tried to lead put her squarely in the cult of the kind of eastern prep school elite into which Bush was born. O’Donnell aspires to be yet another player. She might be the next Palin, parlaying her new found fame into being the next poli-celeb. Financially it might even be in her best interest to lose in November. She can make far more money on her new right-wing cultural status than as a senator. There has always been two major components of the conservative movement. The business corporatists – of which Bush 41 and 43 were members. And the cultural cons. Given a choice – with so many hours in a day and so many years as president Bush set priorities and those were clearly oriented toward the crony capitalism crowd. That is part of what makes O’Donnell, Palin, Mark Rubio(R-Fl) and Miller ( Alaska senatorial candidate different) – their emphasis is on cultural warfare. That doesn’t make them different from the larger brigade of the same ol wing-nuts Glenn references in his opening salvo. It  makes a difference in the current shifts of power within the conservative movement toward the culture warriors/nativists/anti-civil liberties contingent  for the first time since the glory days of Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed’s “moral majority”, Answering Glenn

Now you can argue that this kind of extremism was always part of the picture, but the Rove method was to use these convictions, not actually share them. Bush increased spending radically, added a huge unpaid entitlement to the next generation, pandered to Hispanics, favored immigration reform, did nothing to prevent legal abortion, felt awkward demonizing gays, pretended he wasn’t torturing prisoners, did not kill enough Iraqis, and made a major point about not having a fight with Islam as such. The base wants to get rid of any of these nuances and get the real thing.

It isn’t class snobbery. It’s the difference between those who use far right convictions and those who actually hold them. That’s why Palin’s chief campaign tool was a Down Syndrome child. It proved that she was serious about banning all abortion because, unlike Rove, she really believes it’s murder. It’s authenticity. And once unleashed, it’s very hard to stop.

I’m not so sure about Sullivan’s last statement. Whether they are the old guard right John Birch Society, Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, Henry Ford (who wrote the eliminationist anti-Semitic book, The International Jew) or the modern conservative Posse Comitatus the far right has peaks and valleys. They did fairly well around the time of the Great Depression, they had a resurgence with the Red Menace in the 50s. It is not a coincidence that once again faced with a national economic crisis similar radical elements should be exploiting the public’s general anxieties to political advantage. The issue is not about stopping the rabid Right, but pushing a philosophy that is antithetical to democracy back to the fringes where it belongs.

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