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EditorBlog (1457)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Wall Street must be effusively thankful for what the Tea Party, the Right Wing and FOX News claim: Obama is a "socialist."

After all, that must be the reason that the stock market climbed to the highest level in five years on February 28, according to ABC News:

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

What could represent a more intrusive government than forcing an invasive vaginal procedure on women who seek an abortion?

Yet, that is what was recently proposed in the states of Virginia and Idaho, before the bills were "modified." Now the vaginally inserted ultrasound is "optional."

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

If you are going to stop women from exercising their reproductive choice, then it is time for health insurance to stop paying for vasectomies - and time to make them illegal.

That's the proposed thinking of a state representative in Georgia, who has responded to a harsh anti-abortion bill there with one that applies the same standard to men. According to Rep. Yasmin Neal,

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

One of the great ironies of the Republican Party right wing -- which is to say the current crop of GOP presidential contenders -- is their alleged reverence to the Constitution and the "Founding Fathers."  But, many of their more provocative public statements appear to jettison the Constitution. Furthermore, many of the individuals who created the US system of government were Deists and supporters of the Age of Reason (Enlightenment) - believers in the power of the human mind, not advocates of a rigid and mystical religious faith.

10 Reasons the GOP Wants to Ditch the Constitution

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Global corporations and the super rich know no national boundaries; while working class people and the poor of the world face walls.

To be accurate, there are some barriers that multinational companies confront to expanding in a few countries, but they have been falling due to so-called "fair-trade agreements" and another compelling reason: the accumulation of unprecedented amounts of money by international businesses (including financial firms).

As more and more of the world's wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small percentage of corporations and people, these firms and individuals wield financial influence that crosses international boundaries with ease. The global elite are now an unofficial worldwide entity of sorts that is grafted on to the notion of individual sovereign states.

Walmart, Apple, Exxon/Mobil, and Halliburton are just a few examples of multi-billion dollar companies whose revenue exceeds the budgets of many countries. Money is power, and the global elites have closer ties to each other than to their nations of origin. Their passports are the financial assets that they bring to the table around the world.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Santorum "is rigid and a homophobic. He believes that gays and lesbians, he mentioned in an interview in 2003, about bestiality, and gays and lesbians. I think that's disgusting," former Senator Alan Simpson told CBS News.

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Stephen Colbert distilled the absurdity of Rick Santorum's attack on President Obama's governing "theology": "Folks, I have often warned you that President Obama is an anti-religious zealot, which is surprising since he is also a devout secret Muslim."

Santorum has recently gone for broke in running on a platform that the United States should be governed based on his personal interpretation of the Bible. Apparently he doesn't even bother pretending to revere the Constitution, because the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In short, there is -- according to the founding legal document of the United States -- no national religion.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

"GOP Priorities out of touch with Americans," crowed an email BuzzFlash at Truthout received today from the Democratic House Leadership Office.

Call it a partisan claim (we get similar boasting emails from the GOP leadership), but the facts of a new New York Times (NYT) poll cited in the correspondence appear to bear out the partisan assertion.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

The concern over nations becoming "big brother" surveillance states is alive and well in Canada.

Canada, that bastion of civility, open-mindedness and personal rights?

Yes, unless you don't follow foreign affairs, our neighbor to the north has been under a conservative - very conservative - government for a bit of time now, with Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper serving as prime minister.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

There have been a few surveys over the years that reportedly conclude that many conservative voters, in general, have lower IQs than liberals.

This pattern most recently became a renewed topic of self-congratulation on progressive sites due to a recent Guardian UK column by progressive George Monbiot, which states, "It feels crude, illiberal to point out that the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own. But this, the study suggests, is not unfounded generalization but empirical fact."

But college-educated liberals who like to cast intellectual disdain on the right wing should be careful of falling into a trap. In a democracy, engagement in the debate of public policy is not limited to those who received the highest scores on their SAT tests. Whether or not the study that Monbiot references, or the others like it that have been released over the years, are valid, a democracy is open to all citizens: wealthy, middle class, men, women, black, white, educated and uneducated.

What may be at work here, however, is the issue of openness to new ideas and reason. Clearly, one thing distinguishing progressives from the populist right wing is their support of secularism over authoritarianism. While this split is not absolute (the Tea Party won't accept authority from a black president because they regard him as illegitimate based on race, but did accept authoritarianism from Bush and Cheney because they were white), it is, generally, a noteworthy distinction.

The right-wing mass of voters (as distinct from the money wing of the party made up of Wall Street and global corporations) believes, for the most part, in a hierarchical society - maybe due to a more limited sense of inquiry, maybe due to a yearning for psychological stability.

For the religious fundamentalists, for example, this plays out in women's subservient role to men as wives, and in a rejection of the sexual revolution. (Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and many other GOP politicians of religious bent represent this perspective.) Their acceptance of this way of life is due to a biblical "framing" of the world.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

It's been said that if men got pregnant - instead of women - the Congress would have long ago made abortion legal and contraceptives plentiful and diverse.

As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted yesterday, sex is no crime: "Just because some Americans have sexual hang-ups, doesn't mean that the rest of us are not entitled to a Plan B [and other contraceptives] as part of our health care coverage."

The efforts to control a woman's body are once again heating up, particularly in red states with large legislative majorities. In Oklahoma, the most recent initiative to treat women as chattel for the pleasure of men is Senate "Personhood" Bill 1433:

A bill that would declare that personhood starts at conception is headed to the Senate floor....

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