Tag Archives: fear

Pitts: That Tried and True Recipe for Success — Fear Itself

Posted by: BetsM
Written by Leonard Pitts Jr.

Fear again.

Not hope, nor patriotism, nor progress, nor any of the nobler emotions and impulses by which human beings are driven. Nope. None of those.

Instead, fear. Again.

We’ve seen this movie many times. So there is little that is surprising about the Republican National Committee fundraising document recently reported by Politico, the one that offers strategies to get donors to part with their money. Donors can, it says, be persuaded to give by appealing to their egos, by offering them tchotchkes, or by promising them access. And some, the small donors, the $5 and $10 Janes and Joes, can be persuaded if you play to their fears. The sole surprise is that someone actually wrote it down as a PowerPoint presentation and was absent-minded enough to leave a hard copy in a hotel.

Here, then, is the smoking gun, concrete validation for those of us who contend that since Sept. 11, 2001, fear has been the GOP’s leading export, that under the aegis of George W. Bush’s political guru Karl Rove, the party’s message boiled down to a single command: Be very afraid.

And some of us have eagerly complied, fearing Muslim terrorists, Muslim-Americans, Latino immigrants, gay people, black people, even “salespeople,” if they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Some of us see socialists around every street corner.

The use of fear as a political expedient is neither new nor limited to the GOP. In the ’60s, Democrats ran an ad suggesting a nuclear holocaust would ensue if Americans elected Barry Goldwater. A GOP ad from the ’80s suggested Willie Horton would kill you if you voted for Michael Dukakis.

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GOP Trashes Its Own Donors: Urge Fundraisers to Prey Upon Fear and Ego

Posted by: LibbyShaw

The Party of No and Obstruction not only despises jobless and uninsured Americans, apparently it also loathes its donors, both big and small.
According to Politico, The RNC Finance Director gave a 74 page power point presentation to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Florida a couple of weeks ago. The presentation mocked at its donors urging fundraisers to appeal to their egos and play upon their fears.

The memo candidly confirms that the aim of such caricature is to amp up “fear” among the GOP’s conservative base. The memo also makes fun of major RNC donors, categorizing some as “ego-driven” and easily pacified with “tchochkes” (a Slavic word for toys).

Go ahead Republicans. Keep on emptying your pockets for those who disrespect and ridicule you.

The reason we know about this no longer secret strategy is because someone attending the retreat had left behind a paper handout of the presentation. As we can see, the handout is now making its way through the tubes and Internets. The mainstream media, including FOX “News” has covered this.

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Thanks for making our day you careless and irresponsible silly ones.

The Evil Empire
As we saw, the GOP fear and smear campaign includes a poster that depicts President Obama as the joker from Bat Man. The President’s face is painted white. Underneath is a cartoon of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shown as Cruella de Ville and Senate leader Harry Reid as Scooby-Doo.

It looks like the work of eighth graders to me.

RNC Chair Michael Steele defends it.

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Politico reveals that the RNC intends to launch a campaign charging the Obama Administration and Democrats with driving the country toward socialism. The purpose of course is to confuse and evoke fear among voters.

The fright fest frenzy is a strategy the Republicans have used for decades. From its 1950’s hysteria over communism through the 2008 election cycle in which Republican attack ads warned about impending and imminent terrorist attacks should God forbid, Barack Obama, were to win, a party of little or no ideas seems real comfortable operating from a sewer.

Republican smear and fear campaigns are not new. We see them every election cycle, though some are more over the top than others. I predict the 2010 cycle will be one in which Republicans win an Oscar in the beyond the pale of anything remotely decent or true category.

But what is truly weird and strange this time is the RNC’s blatant contempt for its donors.

From Politico, cited above, below are the RNC’s categories of donors.

Visceral giving. Those to manipulate and scare.

The most unusual section of the presentation is a set of six slides headed “RNC Marketing 101.” The presentation divides fundraising into two traditional categories, direct marketing and major donors, and lays out the details of how to approach each group.

The small donors who are the targets of direct marketing are described under the heading “Visceral Giving.” Their motivations are listed as “fear;” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing Administration;” and “Reactionary.

Appealing to deep pocketed fat cats. Whose butts to kiss and how.

Major donors, by contrast, are treated in a column headed “Calculated Giving.”

Their motivations include: “Peer to Peer Pressure“; “access“; and “Ego-Driven.”

If my party had shown such cynical disrespect and scorn for me it would be a cold day in hell before I’d ever vote for one of its members or give any of them a dime.

UPDATE: The fall out from the offensive, insulting and juvenile pitch has begun. A major GOP contributor said he is ashamed of the presentation and he will no longer give to the RNC.

A prominent Evangelical figure and Republican donor says he will end his contributions to the organized Republican Party in reaction to the leaked fundraising presentation that advised using “fear” to solicit contributions and displayed an image of President Obama as the Joker from Batman.

Mark DeMoss, who heads a major Christian public relations firm in Atlanta and served as a liaison to the Evangelical community for Mitt Romney in 2008, wrote Chairman Michael Steele yesterday that he was “ashamed” of the presentation, calling depictions of Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid “shameful, immature and uncivil, at best.”

DeMoss rightfully calls out the RNC for its current culture and mindset.

While I realize your office made steps to distance you from this presentation I’m afraid the presentation is representative of a culture and mindset within the Republican National Committee; consequently, I will no longer contribute to any fundraising entity of our Party-but will contribute only to individual candidates I choose to support.

Finally someone called the GOP out for what it is. Maybe the mainstream media will finally do the same.

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MSNBC Premieres Hope and Fear in Obama’s America with Hosts Chris Mathews and Tom Joyner

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Two Hour Special Event on Race Relations in America On Martin Luther King Day

Tom Joyner and Chris MatthewsOne year after the inauguration of the first African-American President, MSNBC will present “Hope and Fear in Obama’s America,” January 18, 2010, 10 p.m. ET, an extended discussion surrounding race and post-racial identity in America. Moderated by “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews and featuring syndicated radio host Tom Joyner, live from Texas Southern University, a historically Black university in Houston, Texas. The two-hour special event on Martin Luther King Day will explore some of the most pressing and provocative issues connected to race and race relations in the U.S.

Hope and Fear in Obama’s America” will discuss the progress we’ve made in the United States and the challenges we continue to face around racial equality, addressing issues ranging from whether there is such a thing as generational colorblindness, to the “burdens of the first,” and whether there are a unique set of expectations and challenges attached to being the first to break a racial barrier. Panelists and guests will be announced at a later date.

MSNBC.com will soon feature additional information on the special and its guests and will also allow viewers to participate in live votes and continue the discussion online.

In a message to his audience of 8 million listeners, Joyner said, “This is an important story because it will give me and you a rare opportunity to participate in a much needed discussion about whether racism is still a relevant topic now that President Obama has been elected.” Joyner added, “It’s a crucial thing when mainstream America wants to know what’s on our minds. Together, we can give provide honest questions and answers about racism in this country. ”

Joyner reassured his listeners, that “of course, the traditional, easy way to tackle these topics is to get the same old people to say the same old things. Not knocking any of the people who have sat on panel after panel after panel to talk about race in America in past years. But it’s almost impossible to get any new perspectives on issues unless we solicit information from varied sources, and from what I can see, at this point, that’s what this MSNBC town hall Meeting will attempt to do. Chris Matthews and I will not talk to a panel of your “usual suspects” about hopes and fears in Obama’s America.”

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44-D’s Best Music of 2009

Blogpost by: Ogenec

Never, ever on schedule, but always on time.” – Nas

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Hey y’all, Happy New Year!  I’ve been promising the list for some time, and I’ve been slacking.  Especially in the wake of AG’s most excellent best books list.  But like Kanye, “you should be honored by my lateness.”  🙂  What follows is a highly personal take on the best music of 2009.    The profusion in the quality and quantity of recorded music is mind-blowing.  And I especially love to be turned on to new stuff.  So I’m hoping you guys will chip in with your own suggestions.   Here we go.

Noisettes, Wild Young Hearts:  I’d never even heard of the Noisettes before Summer 09. But I heard their song “Atticus” at a store somewhere and went in furious search of the group.  Even though rock is not my genre, this is probably my favorite disc of the year.  Of course, calling this is a rock album is a serious disservice.  Most commentators call it a hybrid mesh of rock, blues, disco, and old school r&b.  They’re probably right, but it just sounds like the future to me.  The lead singer is DOPE, and I can’t wait to catch their live show.  Favorite cut: Atticus.

Mos Def, The Ecstatic:  He’s baaaack!!  Mos has floundered a little bit since his magnificent opus, Black on Both Sides.   I get it — he’s been distracted by his acting career (and weird appearances on Bill Maher).  And I liked The New Danger more than most folks.  But this is that classic Mos that we know and love.  Favorite cut: Auditorium.  Also love the remake of Roses with Georgia Anne Muldrow.

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Q-Tip, Kamaal The Abstract: The genuises at Q-Tip’s record label have to explain why they shelved this album for more than eight years.  I think it’s even better than last year’s The Renaissance.  Another hybrid album, this time with elements of r&b, soul, rock, and jazz.  Sounds like future Prince or Stevie Wonder.  Favorite cut: Do You Dig U?

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Drake, So Far Gone: Okay, this is a bit of a cheat.  The mixtape, which I’m still geeking over, came out in 2008.  But he re-released certain of the mixtape cuts on CD and itunes in 2009, so it qualifies.  As a bonus, the re-release contains an unreleased track “Fear,” which is bananas.  Hottest kid in the rap game right now, and with good reason.  Favorite cut: Fear.  Shout-out to DJ Khalil.

Lee Fields, My World: I gotta thank the good people of HBO’s Entourage for this one.  When I heard “Ladies” during the credits of one of the episodes, I lost my sh*t.  I had to cop the album.  Gutbucket soul, set to the sweetest harmonies you’ve ever heard.  And hey — I detect a little of the hip-hop influence as well.  Looks like the old school is learning from the new school, not just vice-versa.  I am a big fan of the ’60s renaissance in music.  If you love Amy Whitehouse, Joss Stone etc., check this OG out.  While you’re at it, check out Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings too.  Favorite cut: Ladies.

Rafael Saadiq, The Way I See It: I’m sticking with the retro soul angle here.  I’ve been down with Ray-Ray since Tony Toni Tone.  This is his masterpiece.  Again, if you like the Motown doo-wop sound, you’ve gotta check this out.  And while you’re at it, get the Live from the Artist’s Den DVD.  It’s fantastic.  Favorite cut: 100 Yard Dash.

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Fela, The Best of the Black President: “Eh-heh, let us get down.  Into another underground spiritual game….”  I have to show some love to the greatest Nigerian musician of all time.  If you want to know the meaning of “underground spiritual game,” you need to check out Fela!, the best show on Broadway.  This album will hold you over until you can.  It’s a compilation of Fela’s most popular cuts.  Note, however, that these are mostly edits: many of Fela’s songs run 20-30 minutes long, and you owe it to yourself to listen to the unedited versions.  Still, an excellent way to get familiar with the genius that is Fela.  Favorite cut: Water No Get Enemy.

Robert Glasper, Double Booked: And now we segue from Afrobeat to jazz (actually, less of a transition than you might think).  Robert Glasper is my favorite jazz pianist right now.  He’s just so melodic.  He’s also incredible live — the missus and I saw him last year at the Kennedy Center.  He can play everything from straight-ahead to fusion to soul jazz to hip-hop.  And here, he does.  The first half is an acoustic trio setting; the second, “The Experiment,” a fusion exercise with Bilal and Mos Def making vocal appearances.  Wonderful stuff.  Favorite cut: No Worries.

Roy Hargrove, Emergence: A little more jazz.  I’ve loved this guy ever since I saw him play in St. Louis many moons ago.  Like Glasper, Hargrove does all variety of jazz, soul and hip-hop-inflected music.  Indeed, my favorite album of his is Crisol, a Latin jazz homage.  Here, Hargrove goes big band.  I’m not generally a fan of the big band genre, but I love this.  Especially the treatment of Mambo for Roy from the Crisol album.  Favorite cut: Mambo for Roy.

Maxwell, Blacksummersnight: Maxwell returns.  He’s lost the neo-soul affectations of his first few albums, and is in full-on grown man mode.  I love it, and you will too.  The harmonies, the live instrumentation, the trumpets, it’s all so gorgeous.  And if you missed his North American tour, you missed the best concert of the year.  Period.  Favorite cut: Bad Habits.

Me’Shell Ndegeocello, Devil’s Halo: I think of this album as sort of a bookend to Bitter.  I liked Bitter, but found it to be a little dark for me.  This is dark too, but it’s not so depressing.  Just deep, slow, and sensual.  You know, kinda like Me’Shell herself.  Favorite cut: Love You Down (wonderful remake of the Ready for the World song).

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The Dream, Love vs Money: I don’t listen to a lot of commercial radio.  Obviously.  🙂  It’s virtually all dreck to me.  But I love me some The-Dream.  I don’t think there’s anyone else in R&B working at his level.  He’s behind most of the hits you’ve danced to, from Rihanna’s Umbrella to Beyonce’s Single Ladies.  But he saved the best for himself on this album.  The-Dream is the future of R&B.  Favorite cut: Fancy.

Major Lazer, Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do: I don’t even know how to classify this one.  Reggae meets rock meets electronica?  Dancehall meets punk?  I heard someone call it “electro reggae.”  Let’s go with that.  This album, from MIA’s producers Diplo and Switch, rocks HARD.  Just get it already.  Favorite cut: What U Like(WARNING: This is a VERY explicit and raunchy song.   Not for delicate ears!!!)

Raekwon, Only Built for Cuban Linx 2: The second installment of the Wu-Gambino crime-soaked masterpiece.  This is for all you who claim not to like gangsta rap.  Indulge your id and have a little fun with this one.  It’s not real, any more than playing Grand Theft Auto or watching Scarface is.  But it’s an escapist treat. Amazon says “Blazing tracks…delivered with Raekwon’s melodic flows and street oriented delivery.”  Werd.  Favorite track: We Will Rob You.

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President Obama Lifts HIV/Aids Immigration Ban

Posted by Audiegrl

The US has lifted a 22-year immigration ban which has stopped anyone with HIV/Aids from entering the country

BBC News—President Obama said the ban was not compatible with US plans to be a leader in the fight against the disease.

The new rules come into force on Monday and the US plans to host a bi-annual global HIV/Aids summit for the first time in 2012.

The ban was imposed at the height of a global panic about the disease at the end of the 1980s.

It put the US in a group of just 12 countries, also including Libya and Saudi Arabia, that excluded anyone suffering from HIV/Aids.

The BBC’s Charles Scanlon, in Miami, says that improving treatments and evolving public perceptions have helped to bring about the change.

Rachel Tiven, head of the campaign group Immigration Equality, told the BBC that the step was long overdue.

President Barack Obama announced his plan to lift the ban while signing the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009

The 2012 World Aids Conference, due to be held in the United States, was in jeopardy as a result of the restrictions. It’s now likely to go ahead as planned,” she said.

In October, President Obama said the entry ban had been “rooted in fear rather than fact”.

He said: “We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the Aids pandemic – yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people with HIV from entering our own country.”

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Friday 13th Fears Stem From History

About 21 million Americans suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia, the fear of Friday the 13th, or Black Friday.

black-friday-the-13th1They avoid daily activities that could potentially put them in harm’s way and some are too afraid to get out of bed in the morning.

But why? Where did the superstition come from?

One theory suggests 12 is the most complete number. It occurs in common cultural references – 12 months in a year, signs of the Zodiac, labors of Hercules, tribes of Israel, gods of Olympus and apostles of Jesus Christ. Thus, 13 is considered irregular.

Friday has been considered unlucky, and therefore a bad day to start a new journey or project – stemming from the Canterbury Tales. Also, according to Christian scripture, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

In the 13th century, the Knights Templar were arrested by King Philip in France on Friday the 13th.

Another belief comes from Norse mythology, in which Frigga, the goddess of love, was banished to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. Every Friday, Frigga would call 11 other witches to the top of the mountain to plot evils for those below. The 12 witches would gather with a 13th guest – the devil. Similarly, in Roman times, witches are said to have gathered in groups of 12 with the 13th member being the devil.

Another part of Norse mythology states 12 gods were gathered at dinner in heaven – Valhalla – when an uninvited 13th guest, the god of darkness, shot Balder, the god of joy and gladness. When Balder died, the world went dark, and from that moment 13 was considered ominous.

There is no written evidence of a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century. The first written reference was in 1869 in the biography of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. Generally, Italians separately regard Friday and 13 to be unlucky, but on Friday the 13th, Rossini died.

But do terrible events really occur on Black Fridays?

Several natural disasters have occurred on this day, including Hurricane Charley in 2004, the unexpected snow storm in Buffalo in 2006, the Andes flight disaster of 1972 and a large-scale ship disappearance in 1773.

The arrest of Al Capone occurred on a Black Friday, as did the death of Tupac Shakur. Friday the 13th has also been associated with the stock market crashes, and Henry Ford would never do business on Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th occurs at least once a year but no more than three times – the next one is not until August 2010.

13Statisticians have researched the day’s events, and it has been proven that car accidents increase 60 percent every Black Friday. However, studies have also shown that, due to alcohol, every Friday generally has an increased number of crimes, murders and accidents on the road.

Oddly enough, studies have shown that crime and accidents somewhat decrease on Friday the 13th because people are alert.

Cambridge University physiologist Richard Wiseman has theorized that people who consider themselves to be unlucky are more likely to believe in superstitions like Friday the 13th.

More than 80 percent of highrises do not have a 13th floor. Many hotels and hospitals will not have a room 13, and in Florence, Italy, the house number between 12 and 14 is 12 1/2.

In some places in America, Friday the 13th Clubs were formed, in which the members only gather on Black Friday and decided to defy society’s views by smashing mirrors, scattering salt, opening umbrellas inside and letting black cats out.

Friday the 13th is today. Stay in or go out, but realize those with superstitions may be the unlucky few.

Source: RedandBlack.com

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Dan Brown’s New Book, 2012 – Are You Ready for the Consciousness Shift?

dan-brown-lost-symbol-420x0Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman Ph.D.—Like The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, is creating controversy. This time it’s about what’s real and what’s not in his interpretations of the many mysterious symbols that are in our nation’s capitol. Were our founding fathers, who carefully designed and placed these mystical symbols, trying to tell us something? (They were Freemasons whose motto is ordo ab chao or “order out of chaos“.) Are Brown’s descriptions of noetic science (exploring the nature and potentials of consciousness) and quantum-indeterminate electronic noise REGS (Random Event Generators) fact or fiction? Are his assertions true that existing organizations had “categorically proven that human thought, if properly focused had the ability to affect and change physical mass” and that “our thoughts actually interacted with the physical world, whether or not we knew it, effecting change all the way down to the subatomic realm?

noeticscienceBrown states in The Lost Symbol that in the hours following the horrifying events of September 11, 2001 the field of noetic science made a quantum leap forward in proving a connection between science and mysticism and bringing order out of chaos. “Four scientists discovered that as the frightened world came together and focused in shared grief on this single tragedy, the outputs of thirty-seven different Random Event Generators around the world suddenly became significantly less random. Somehow, the oneness of this shared experience, the coalescing of millions of minds, had affected the randomizing function of these machines, organizing their outputs and bringing order form chaos.” His fictional character Trish talks about “software that quantifies the nation’s emotional state.” Brown goes on. His fictional scientist Katherine “created beautifully symmetrical ice crystals by sending loving thoughts to a glass of water as it froze. Incredibly the converse was also true: when she sent negative, polluting thoughts to the water, the ice crystals froze in chaotic, fractured forms.” What is Dan Brown trying to tell us?

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