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Old 10-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My latest column. Enjoy.

Political slime

For anyone paying attention, political campaigning has been going on for months now. It always starts the same, with each presidential hopeful promising to run a clean campaign that focuses on their merits rather than their opponents flaws. Predictably, things get dirtier the closer election day comes. But this isn't a rant condemning their cut throat mentality towards each other; it's the nature of politics. What I want to focus on is the deplorable techniques politicians use.

I can't sit through a republican or democrat debate without feeling insulted. What I see behind phony smiles and contrived jokes is insidious manipulation that should be reviled by anyone with half a brain. The whole thing is a huge production, a spectacle, and it's only getting worse. With technology getting more sophisticated the ceiling of what can be done is all but gone. Behind closed doors politicians have more people working on their careers than any celebrity could ever hope for: they employ writers and masters of rhetoric, hair and make up people, public relations specialists, wardrobe, managers, assistants, and on and on. What we end up with is a polished product of what they think we want to see based on polls and demographics. One gets the sense that even some of the networks which broadcast political debates are in league with them. It's kind of like the ultimate reality television show, only this time the jokes on us.

Don't underestimate the importance of audience response either. It's no secret that politicians campaign not only to get their message out there, but also for money. The more money a politician has the more clout they wield. Often times a politician will try to get his people into the audience to help sway public opinion and perception. If a weasel like Mitt Romney is getting cheered and a guy like Ron Paul is getting jeered, it influences the opinions of those viewing the debate. Why do you think sitcoms have laugh tracks? Because as a viewer if you hear an audience laughing, you're more inclined to laugh the same rules apply to politics.

What politics is lacking are genuine people. But what we need to realize is that the system is set up to not only attract the wrong kind of people, but also reward them for playing the game the way they do. Anyone who gets to a high level in politics can't possibly be a good public servant because in order to get to where they are they've sold out a long time ago no politician can resist the lobbyists forever and really, they never had a chance. The system is set up to squash anyone who tries to challenge it it's a tactic used by those in power to perpetuate a system that keeps the status quo. Don't even get me started on the two party system.

At this point the machine is too well oiled to ever bring it down. For those familiar with South Park, our only choices will ever probably be between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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never say never. 4 days from now....REVOLUTION!!!

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What the hell happens on the 5th? What am I out of the loop on?
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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http://thisnovember5th.com
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm pledging every dollar netted from poker on November 5th will go to the Ron Paul campaign.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i was just referencing v for vendetta in general.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

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Old 11-02-2007, 11:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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haha, nice

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i'll pledge 10 bucks. That's really all I can afford
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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$10 makes you a part of it. 3 days.

As of this post, over 15,000 people have pledged to donate at least $100, so I'll put the pledging at about $2.5M. With that said, I'll put the over/under at $6M in donations on the 5th. What side are you on? (no UB, I won't put $100 on it)
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i never liked the word "caucus"

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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sounds like a bostonian saying carcass.

Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.

― Terence McKenna
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