a mass anxiety attack, consequences waterfall wallpaper

The Tea Party movement has two defining traits: status anxiety and anarchism.

So who are these people and what do they want from us? A series of polls, as well as be-ins like Glenn Beck’s Washington rally last month, have given us a picture of a movement predominated by middle-class, middle-aged white men angry about the expansion of government and hostile to societal change. But that profile could accurately describe the past several right-wing insurgencies, from the California tax revolt of the late 1970s to the Contract with America of 1994—not to mention the very Republican establishment that the Tea Party positions itself against. What’s new and most distinctive about the Tea Party is its streak of anarchism—its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns.

In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right’s version of the 1960s New Left. It’s an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order. But where the New Left was young and looked forward to a new Aquarian age, the Tea Party is old and looks backward to a capitalist-constitutionalist paradise that, needless to say, never existed.

It might be just how different people process information, but I think Weisberg gives too much credence to the tea stain’s anti-corporate credo and mentions, but does not elaborate enough about the very xenophobic feelings the tea stains have about immigration or immigrants. Other than some whining about AIG in particular the tea baggers have been vague at best about corporate ethics how the lack of it pushed the country into an economic nightmare. The tea stain’s main culprits are the poor, ACORN and some imagined march toward socialism. Blaming the poor for America losing three trillion dollars to the housing bubble alone is counter logical. If the working poor had that much power it would be news to them. Living in poverty isn’t comfortable, wouldn’t they use these extraordinary powers to stop being poor. Illegal immigration is just that. Most of us support the concept that we are a nation of laws, but there is a matter of priorities. How does an illegal immigrant – most likely working as a dishwasher, a maid, a lawn maintenance worker or a lettuce picker making life miserable for tea stains who largely enjoy middle-class status. Ironically some of them are out of work or disabled and dependent on government aid. Weisberg seems to think the underlying cause is a general resentment about perception – these white middle-class folks are afraid they’re losing control over the cultural direction of the country. In other words the tea stains are having a mass anxiety attack. Like most such attacks it is not based on reality but on overwhelming feelings about how they imagine things are. Which is why they are not only impervious to facts like their taxes have actually gone down under the Obama administration, but embrace the myths about taxes and birth certificates even tighter. Since the tea parties remain so unfocused on actual solutions ( see link above) and the rhetoric that has come from its most visible proponents such as Beck and Palin, that is as generous analysis as the tea parties are entitled. Which does not include the large astroturf corporate interests which fuel the tea stain’s resentment. Their agenda is the same old America is best if structured as a corporate oligopoly. A form of collectivism which takes away more of the freedom the average tea bagger claims to want.

What are those people called who believe in eugenics, racism, antisemitism and social-Darwinism – New York Tea Party candidate Jim Russell

lush landscape

consequences waterfall wallpaper

Another Ex-Scientologist Publishes Damning Tell-All

Hawkins’ impressive book takes a reader through his introduction to Scientology in 1967 to his defection in 2003. Along the way, he became the marketing genius that helped Scientology grow to unprecedented heights — only to watch it go into serious decline under David Miscavige, the Scientology leader who took over after Hubbard’s death in 1986.

Like others who have come forward, Hawkins details the physical abuse he witnessed at the hands of Miscavige, the orders that were impossible to fulfill, the constant threats of punishment, and the hopelessness that Scientologists feel when they are forcibly separated from family but feel that they can’t under any circumstance, leave the organization.

I don’t see Scientology as a particularly big threat – best estimates put actual membership in the tens of thousands not millions. Still it is an interesting phenomenon driven by the desire of people craving something transcendental to believe, pushed along by the power of advertising.

downtown storm

Mixed-use neighborhoods reduce some violent crimes, study says

Mixed-use neighborhoods that combine residential and business development may help lead to lower levels of some types of violent crime, a new study suggests.

The results were just as true in impoverished neighborhoods as they were in more affluent areas, offering one possible way of improving blighted areas, according to the researchers.

But the findings come with an important caveat.  In a sparsely populated neighborhood, increases in business-residential density actually leads to higher levels of violent crimes, at least for a while.  However, after building density reaches a certain threshold, some violent crime begins to decline.

“A residential neighborhood needs more than the addition of one or two businesses to see any positive impact on violent crime,” said Christopher Browning, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

There needs to be a sufficient density of businesses and residences throughout the community to really see the benefits.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

The findings are important as more cities across the country consider mixed-used developments as a way to reinvigorate downtowns and blighted neighborhoods, Browning said.

But one issue has been whether these mixed-use neighborhoods have positive or negative effects on crime rates.  Some people have argued that businesses attract more foot traffic to neighborhoods, and the increased street activity brings more “eyes on the street,” which then helps reduce crime.

The eyes on the street concept dates back to the late urbanologist Jane Jacobs.