Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Kids Care About Health… Until We Dupe Them

Kids care more about being healthy than some might give them credit for. A lot of kids might beg mom for sugary cereals, but it turns out that they aren’t necessarily after the sugar itself. According to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, given a choice between cereals in plain boxes labeled “healthy” and “sugary,” most kids will pick the healthy cereal. This indicates that some of the messages kids are being sent about the importance of a balanced diet and leading a healthy life are making an impact. Unfortunately, when a colorful cartoon character is placed on a cereal box, kids tend to choose it no matter what it tastes like.

Republicans and The Big Lie

Warning: I’m going full Godwin’s Law right from the start.

During the middle of the 20th Century, the world watched as the German people were led into a disastrous multi-front war. Rational people have struggled to understand how the German public could have been led down the path to war and genocide.  More than sixty years later it is still hard to believe it all happened.

These quotes offer an explanation about how a seemingly rational, modern populace could have descended into such madness.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

“It is not truth that matters, but victory” – Adolph Hitler

“The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.” – Adolph Hitler

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” – Adolph Hitler

“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” – Adolph Hitler

When I look around at the political climate in this country leading up to the 2010 elections, I am struck by how successfully the GOP has managed to mislead the American populace. I have come to the sad conclusion that the real difference between the Republicans and Democrats can be explained by the quotes above.

The Democrats looked at the disaster of the 1930’s and 40’s and came to the conclusion that we must always be on guard against this happening in America. The GOP looked at the same disaster and saw a road map to electoral success. How else to explain the shouts of socialism, death panels, trickledown economics, or the Iraq war?

What GOP lie of 2010 bugs you the most?

"The War on Faux"

I have probably watched more Fox “News” than any regular here on The Moose. In fact, I’d wager I have watched more of it than most rank and file Republicans, since I’m much more of a news junky than your average Joe. Growing up in a conservative household, it was pretty hard to escape it. (I have probably listened to more Rush than the rest of you, too, for that matter.) I have always enjoyed my parents — despite their unfortunate political leanings, they are smart, funny, cool people in most respects — and since they watched Fixed News in the den, I spent a lot of time viewing it as well, simply because it was a way of spending time with them and discussing the day’s events.

The Myth of the Centrist

The political spectrum in this country is usually divided into 3 broad groups: Left, Center, Right. This is a very simplified description. Because of that simplicity, the media loves to break the country down into those three groups.

While I disagree with this simplistic approach, my main disagreement is what the media claims constitutes the center.

The recent cuts in the Senate to the House version of the stimulus bill have been hailed as an effort lead by centrists to hold the line on pork and spending. That’s the media’s interpretation of events. In reality, these cuts look like a wish list from the Right.

Most of the cuts can be categorized in five main groups: education, science, health care, the environment, and law enforcement. All of these, except for law enforcement, are areas that the conservative right has fought against. Even law enforcement is starting to get short shrift from the Right. They prefer privatized prisons, so prison funding had to go.

Photo courtesy of CuriousGeorge81

Some of the other cuts are completely nonsensical.

Full list after the break.

Beyond Controversy – BRIEFLY UPDATED

For some reason, thanks to these wonderful blogs, I often follow American media and newspapers more than English ones these days. Mostly it’s for the good. But I wonder if this would ever make it onto an American Network.

It’s from Channel 4 News which, along with BBC Newsnight, is the most respected current affairs show on TV. I actually only caught it thanks to the blogosphere. But there’s a big problem here…  

Open Thread on Sexism and the Media

No point trying to avoid the obvious. Several of the most recent diaries here have actually become intense and fascinating debates about the legacy of sexism after the election.

Above is a word cloud of the debate so far – around 4pm EST 15th Nov.

Public Media Matters

An enormous amount of Public Mass Media has been created this year in this transitional period following thousands of years of State-Controlled Media (see: “Egypt”), and dogging the heels of a few hundred years of Personally-Controlled Mass Media (see: “Rupert Murdoch”).  It presages a period that is much discussed and yet to be determined in type and form, and the impact of Public Mass Media is a matter of a great deal of current debate.


Four years ago the blogosphere had produced a set of individuals who had broken onto the public Media stage (see: “Drudge”) and public forums that set the precedents for places like Motley Moose (see: “MyDD” and “DailyKos”).  Today there are many individual contributors who have gained a fairly wide audience (see: “Ben Smith”, “”, “”) and a broad gamut of forums where Public Media is created by significant numbers of contributors.  Four years from now there will be a pervasive public understanding of how Public Media shapes our culture.

Now, we stand on a brink and often wonder “Does any of this make a difference to what happens in the world?”.  

Yes, it does.