Monday, September 6, 2010

The Dangers of Extremism in America

As one of a series of writings debunking some of the viral nonsense sweeping this country, I wrote a piece exposing the right-wing extremist takeover of the US that has been in progress for some time. Here is the piece in its entirety, just as I submitted it to the Waco "Trib". What you have to remember is that I am a centrist independent politically. However, the crowd that I expose to scrutiny here considers me (and all like me) "liberals". And that's crap. Read on...

The Dangers of Extremism in America 9-5-10

Over the last 3 decades, the extremist conservative movement has made our lives far worse by deregulating everything. This removed governmental controls that (at least sort-of) functioned, which let the corporate giants take over everything.

We are now economic slaves to the super-rich giants, the same as about 1890. That time is known variously as “the gilded age” or “the age of robber baron capitalism”.

These giants outsourced our highest-paying jobs overseas, and converted this country to a third world-style service economy by offshoring most of its manufacturing-for-export. They did it for profits which they just pocketed. “Trickle-down” economics was a lie.

Ever since, we have had jobless recoveries, precisely because it takes industrial production-for-export to drive an economy forward regardless of conditions. Ours was gutted decades ago.

This same politically-extreme movement intermingled itself with the extremist religious movement. Combined, they now preach that extremist-conservative political action is a religious duty, which is exactly why I call them “America's Taliban”.

I see no difference in goals between this movement in our country, and the ones we fight overseas. The only real difference is scale and scope of the evil done in God's name: our “Taliban” isn't yet into mass killings.

In the 8-20-2010 issue of "Science", a refereed professional journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there was a little news article about what's on a web site named "conservapedia".

This site describes itself as “an encyclopedia written from a conservative viewpoint”. According to the "Science" news article, that site has links to things like black holes, dark matter, and the theory of relativity listed under "liberal pseudoscience".

In other words, politics trumps facts-as-best-we-know-them!

All scientists and engineers have doubts about some proposals in current science thinking, but these doubts lie in what the truth actually is, not its "political worth". Outfits like “conservapedia” clearly want to discredit all modern thought contradicting their politics.

That is why the news stories about the antics of the Texas State Board of Education are so important. Until quite recently, the majority of its elected members were believers in the same extremism. Before getting voted out, they rewrote school textbooks (that will be used for the next decade or two) to reflect politics instead of fact.

The threat of an extremist political / religious takeover of the US is real. There are but two choices: (1) take back our state and our country at the ballot box, or (2) take it back with guns in the streets.

You decide, then act. Myself, I prefer the ballot box: less mess to clean up afterwards.

What alarms me is that so many friends and neighbors seem to believe in this movement that threatens our freedom even to think. Look at the idiotic (but viral) political hit pieces they forward around as if gospel truth.

Alarm me? It scares the hell out of me.

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