News posts from Dan Chiras's Archive

Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

My father once told me of a college teacher of his (in the Post World War II era) who shocked his new students with his startling pronouncement about Communism. “Communism,” he’d say to the initial horror of his students, “isn’t such a bad idea. It just doesn’t work.”

What he meant by that, of course, is that communism, with its supposed dedication to egalitarian societies — where all prosper regardless of their status — is without exception derailed by a powerful leader and ruling elite, usually a military leader and his fervent followers, who suppress the people’s rights as they exalt the virtues of their so-called egalitarian socialistic government. In addition, the oppressors live posh, privileged lives, while the masses suffer in poverty and under the extreme tyranny of an authoritarian police state.

Basically, his message was that communism doesn’t practice what it preaches.

You have to say the same thing about the new Republican Party.

Liberal Bashing: Off Target and Out of Touch with Reality

Friday, May 20th, 2005

Liberal has become a four-letter word in American culture, even to the point that many liberals now shun the word.

Why has this time-honored tradition of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and a host of other great Americans who have sought to help all rise to a better life in America become anathema?

The culpable force is a well-oiled, extremely well-funded Right-Wing propaganda machine that distorts the truth every chance it can get to defame a great tradition and great people.

Liberals are painted by Right-Wing commentators, radio personalities, and a stream of authors and political leaders as irresponsible spend thrifts who throw money at social causes in a blind attempt to help the less fortunate. We’re accused of a senseless compassion for the less-well-off that severely weakens our country, putting a drain on our economy and our personal wealth through unnecessary taxes.

Politics is Perception: The Myth of the Liberal Media

Monday, May 9th, 2005

Welcome to the post-factual age, a time when politics and government have abandoned any allegiance it once had with policies and positions supported by facts for a free-for-all of misleading images and ingenuous values that cloak an ugly truth.

Today, politics has foresaken reason and become a game of perception. Facts have become irrelevant to those who mislead, indeed brainwash, the public to accept an ideology of a select few who stand to benefit from the constant barrage of lies and subterfuge that is systematically robbing us of our country.

In this day and age, details and facts have been relegated to the back seat. Perception is everything, and it’s riding in the front seat with no seat belt on and an open bottle of Jack Daniels!

Take the myth of the liberal media.

Social Security Reform: Why Bush Can’t Win This One

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

George W. Bush is convinced America’s Social Security system is in trouble, and he’s banking his reputation on being able to convince the rest of us, cross-crossing the Nation (at taxpayer expense) on a public relations campaign that would make your head spin.

But can the President win this battle?


He doesn’t stand a chance.

Is it because Social Security doesn’t need fixing?

From my research on the issue, it is clear that the system could use a little help, an engine adjustment rather than a complete engine and body overhaul to address the legitimate concerns of President Bush and others.

So why is Bush’s grand scheme doomed to failure?

The Nuclear Option: A Conspiracy Against Us All

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Lord Halifax once wrote that “The best political party is but a kind of conspiracy against the rest of the nation.”

Today, the Republican Party’s conspiracy is running full throttle, usurping hard-won liberties and vital protections that all Americans hold dear.

Their strategy is simple and powerful and two-fold: weaken or do away with laws and regulations that protect us and the environment–virtually ensuring greater harm will come to ordinary citizens like you–while making it more difficult to seek legal retribution–to sue corporations or any wrong-doer to protect ourselves, our families, and our health.

Ignorance is Bliss… Or So You Thought

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Dan Chiras will will be a regular guest blogger on the Flaming Grasshopper. Below is his first post.

Copyright 2005 by Dan Chiras

In today’s high-stakes political game, ignorance is essential to the victors and lethal to their victims, you and me, and most of America

In politics, image is everything. Perception reigns supreme. Who cares about the facts anymore? Winning and losing isn’t about facts. It is about image, often false portrayals, meant to win the hearts and minds of the electorate while those who spread the blatant lies pursue an agenda diametrically opposed to the values they purport to hold.

Truly, politics is misperception.

George W. Bush’s victory — and the virtual usurpation of the U.S. Congress by the Republican Party – is only one example of the blessing and curse of image-driven politics. In the high-stakes game of politics, a peek behind the deceitful imagery and purported values they convey is taboo. Ignorance of issues is what victors are praying for. It is their blessing to them that so few know so little or dig so superficially into the facts behind the issues – content, as it were, to base their votes on the deceptive images fostered by ads financed by a well-oiled propaganda machine funded by special interests, especially big business.

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