Looking for something to do this summer? The Tea Party is hosting a week-long seminar for children in Tampa, Florida, to teach them “important” principles.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, a Tea Party affiliate organization has created a summer camp called Tampa Liberty to teach kids between the ages of eight and 12 ideals such as “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”
To learn these lessons, children perform ideology-reinforcing activities such as blowing bubbles and having others pop them, you know, to learn the effects of socialism.
“We want to impart to our children what our nation is about, and what they may or may not be told,” says Camp organizer Jeff Lukens.
The camp is scheduled to start in mid-July and 32 spots are still available. Are you signing up?
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Sara Imjan on Wednesday, Apr. 27th
The White House has released President Obama’s long-form birth certificate that members of the Birther movement (which includes numerous Tea Party officials and one of the Republican party’s most popular presidential candidates, Donald Trump) have sought as the product of a two-year long witchhunt.
In a speech this morning, the President decried the demands as a “sideshow” from “carnaval barkers.” But he didn’t go far enough. In the parallel universe of sane politics that must be out there balancing out our wildly teetering Washington, the country that elected the man would have long put the issue to rest, marginalizing the Birthers and their ilk for the xenophobic subtext that has fueled the campaign to delegitimize the first non-white male to hold the country’s highest office. No such consensus opprobrium transpired, and meanwhile, elected officials have been unable to keep a lid on their racist outbursts. So, having made an outsize gesture that not only acknowledged but conceded to this buffoonery, the President squandered an invaluable moment in the spotlight availed by the birth certificate’s release. His speech contained a tepid reproach that never once used the word “racist.” Am I surprised that Obama is being accomodationist? Not in the least. But given that his opposition has made race the most enduring issue behind their politics, the least he could have done is fully owned the moment, and told them ’bout themselves. And more critically than responding to the Birthers, Obama could have sent a message to the rest of the country that entertained the years long spectacle in relative silence.
However, such a dressing down probably wouldn’t have accomplished an end to the political terrorism itself. As the Atlantic reported this morning, after Trump’s self-congratulatory moment for his Sysiphusian dedication to uncovering Obama’s deceptions, he didn’t miss a beat before declaring that the next stone to turn over is the President’s college record. Unfortunately for Trump, last time I checked, that kind of falsehood isn’t impeachment material.
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Oh junk! Monday is Tax Day. The day only the IRS loves. All across the United States people are racing to finish up their forms, and some are racing to finish up their protest signs. As has become a tradition, the Tea Party is getting ready for some tax revolt action. Yet this year they won’t be alone. The activist US Uncut, a grassroots effort that “connects corporate tax cheating to cuts in valuable public services” has their own actions planned for this weekend.
From US Uncut’s release on their planned actions:
In Washington D.C., local organizers are holding a “guerilla book signing” at a corporate storefront with soon-to-be bestselling author Nick Shaxson, who recently wrote Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking & Tax Havens. On April 18th, the anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride, local Boston activists are holding a March for Common Sense with the rallying cry: “The Cuts are coming! The Cuts are coming!”
Organized primarily through social media, citizens in nearly 100 cities across America have organized events at corporate storefronts to take creative action on a weekend most Americans dread. Holding signs that say “Tax Cheat”, “Uncut US”, and “Chop from the Top, Not from Mom & Pop”, activists from previous actions appear to be a fun mix of soccer moms, college kids, and social security recipients.
This after a week where the organization and those dastardly culture jammers the Yes Men managed to cause G.E. stock to loose billions (temporarily) by issuing a fake press release that duped the Associated Press and USA Today into thinking the company was going to voluntarily pay back their $3.2 billion tax refund. (And yes, we recognize the irony of making a post out of a press release from people who issue fake press releases that cause havoc. We don’t put press releases out here on Turnstyle as a rule, but think this is an interesting development worth watching, that just won’t get covered by the mainstream media.)
[via Dangerous Minds]
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NPR/Linton Weeks on Tuesday, Apr. 12th
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that captures a slice of the zeitgeist. Could Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 — due to be released on April 15 — be that kind of film?
In the way that Rebel Without a Cause in the 1950s or Wall Street in the 1980s spoke to a certain time and displacement in American history, will the Hollywood depiction of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel serve as some sort of easy-to-read cultural thermometer? Will the film flop or will it become the movie manifesto of America’s nascent Tea Party?
The folks at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif., certainly believe there are similarities between the rise of the Tea Party and Rand’s philosophy of pro-capitalism and rational self-interest — expressed through Atlas Shrugged and its protagonist John Galt.
As Yaron Brook, the institute’s executive director, puts it: “People are responding with alarm at parallels between Atlas Shrugged and the rampant growth of government power today.”
Maybe this is the right moment for the right movie for the right.
Interest in Rand and her philosophy is on the upswing. Since the 2008 presidential election, according to Brook, the novel Atlas Shrugged has sold more than one million copies, far more than in any similar period in the book’s 54-year history.
And now comes the film, for those who have been waiting for the movie. They have had to wait a long time. For various reasons, wrestling the 1,000-plus pages of Atlas Shrugged onto the silver screen has taken more than 50 years.
It’s a complex story of a country in economic tatters. Federal lawmakers and policy crafters are crushing the entrepreneurial spirit. Industrial titans are giving up their businesses and disappearing into obscurity.
The similarities between the world Rand describes in Atlas Shrugged and contemporary America “are striking” and explain the rise of the Tea Party, according to a video by the Ayn Rand Institute. “In Atlas we see a world crumbling under the weight of government interventions and regulations. The economy has ground to a halt. Each day more businesses are shutting their doors. The government blames greed and the free market and frantically imposes further controls. But the crisis only deepens. Sound familiar?”
It does to some conservatives. They see the movie as a glitzy opportunity to spread the Tea Party tenets of lower taxes and smaller government. At a special screening last month at the Heritage Foundation, co-producer Harmon Kaslow told National Journal that the movie is an “excellent vehicle” for libertarian conservatives to use to broaden their base. “They subscribe to the philosophy of the book and believe in the writing of Ayn Rand and her view of individual liberty,” he said.
The Washington-based FreedomWorks — a Tea Party-friendly organization founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey — is imploring its followers to demand that the movie be shown in more and more theaters. And it offers its networking page “to form Atlas Shrugged viewing parties.”
Others are anticipating the film — and its cultural effects — as well. “I am looking forward to the movie for several reasons,” says Jennifer Burns, a history professor at the University of Virginia and author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. “First is that I never believed I would see this day come — in my research I read countless news stories from 20 and 30 years ago talking about plans for the movie, and I was very skeptical it would happen this time.”
Burns says the movie is an important step forward in how Rand is remembered and understood by the wider culture. Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 seems to be a “pro-Rand” film, Burns says, that is “genuinely trying to capture her spirit and ideas, but it is nonetheless an interpretation of her work. Rand has influenced generations of readers but until now, her work has not inspired a large body of criticism or interpretation, so I think this is a healthy development that both her critics and admirers can applaud.”
Roger Nutt, a member of the Spartanburg County Council from Moore, S.C., says he is excited about seeing Atlas Shrugged when it comes out. He heard about the movie at a local Tea Party meeting. “I have looked over the trailer,” Nutt says, “and the premise of society/government demonizing the capitalists without regard for their contribution to the community/nation certainly rings true in my view. I believe that when government gets involved with ‘big business’ and then picks winners and losers, that it is a recipe for disaster, as we have certainly seen over the last several years.”
Obama’s Campaign Logo?
Movie rights to Atlas Shrugged are owned by John Aglialoro, who is a fitness equipment mogul and winner of the 2004 U.S. Poker Championship. Last year he and co-producer Kaslow were driven by more than one reason to make the first installment of the planned trilogy. “Not only is the time right — for example, the message of the book is relevant to what’s happening in the news right now — but if John Aglialoro did not start principal photography by mid-June 2010, the rights would have reverted back to Ayn Rand’s estate,” Kaslow says.
The movie was written and directed by Paul Johansson, an actor mostly known for TV work.
Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute, who has already seen the movie, says it mostly focuses on the political subplot of Rand’s novel. He hopes that when people see the film, they will be driven to read the book. “The novel’s scope is panoramic — encompassing morality, the role of rationality in life, the nature of sex, what moves an economy,” Brook says.
Burns of the University of Virginia says the movie will be great publicity for the novel. “I think it’s also going to make clear that Rand, as I have written, is still the ‘gateway drug’ to the American right.”
The movie is being marketed not just as a film, Burns says, but as a political event. “Even the globe that Atlas is holding on the poster looks suspiciously like Obama’s campaign logo.”
Burns says: “I think the movie is going to reinforce that Rand is not just a novelist, but a propagandist.” And the film “will provide a clear window into the ideas and ideals that are motivating a segment of today’s political right. As such, I think it will be eye opening for viewers from all parts of the political spectrum.”
Rand’s dystopian tale taps into the fears of conservative Americans about government spending, deficits and the social priorities of a Democratic president like Obama, Burns says. “On the one hand, Rand’s popularity points to the vigor and growth of the American right, particularly as seen in the Tea Party. On the other hand, it points to a certain intellectual weakness amid the conservative movement, given that their leading intellectual is a novelist who has been dead for almost 30 years.”
Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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In the aftermath of the Tuscon shooting, the recurrent themes in mainstream press analysis of the assault are gun control and political civility. But there’s little mention, even by Democrats leveraging incivility charges against the right wing, of the racialized demagoguery that’s also prevalent in the hyper-inflamed political atmosphere.
Legislators’ calls for “civility” only address the directive language of cross-hairs, targets, mobs, and “taking people out.” But we can thank the same wordsmiths for rhetoric that’s been bubbling up since Obama’s election and especially within the immigration debate – terms like “birther” and “illegals.” Key journalism organizations are trying to dismantle the underlying structural acceptance of this language, beginning with style guides that refer to immigrants as “illegal(s).”
Colorlines Magazine has launched a “Drop the I-Word” campaign. And Leo Laurence, editor of the San Diego News Service and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Diversity Committee, wrote in the SPJ’s Quill Magazine that given “one of the most basic of our constitutional rights is that everyone (including non-citizens) is innocent of any crime until proven guilty in a court of law…only a judge, not a journalist, can say that someone is an illegal.” Despite the AP Stylebook’s recommendation of “illegal immigrant” over “undocumented worker,” Laurence proposes that journalists use “undocumented immigrant(s).”
The subject arose recently on the Fox News Channel, on an “America Live” segment featuring Jehmu Greene, former president of the Women’s Media Center, and former Bush administration official Brad Blakeman.
Greene said the increase in violence against immigrants can be linked to the dehumanizing mass media references to people as “illegals,” and that the term is inflammatory in an environment of fear and economic insecurity that’s often being blamed on immigrants.
Blakeman retorted that “the problem is not what we call them , it’s what we do with them,” and that it’s not the job of journalists to decide what people should be called — which, of course, is refuted by the existence of style guides that ultimately help shape the broader lexicon through journalists’ consensus usage of their recommendations.
Host Meghan Kelly cited the AP’s endorsement of the term “illegal,”‘ as compared to “undocumented” for its lack of precision.
Greene said she hopes the AP will come around and realize their style guide is wrong. The typical ratcheting of the volume on Fox segments covered one of her closing statements, “It’s increasing violence against immigrants. And I would hope that we could agree that…if there are ways that language can stop the increasing violence immigrants, that that would be something we would all want to happen.”
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