Posts Tagged ‘Progressive’

On my Facebook timeline, I found a post from a friend being circulated around originating from Fox News. The headline is, “Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats.” Predictably, the comments from his post are aghast as folks take this characterization as absolute fact.

This is a classic example of Fox News, the New York Post, and likely the right-wing spin masters like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, taking a minor story reframed by a humorous right-wing military blog and reporting it as fact.

Let’s start with the kernel of truth. The manufacturer of women’s dress Marine hats is going out of business. A replacement may require a redesign.

From there, the blog said that: “Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a ‘unisex’ look for the Corps, officials are swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps – known as covers – with a new version that some have derided as so ‘girly’ that they would make the French blush.”

This section was reprinted virtually word for word in both Fox and Post coverage. With wording like that it was a dog-whistle grand slam in riling up the gullible, flag-waving masses. First, it pins Obama to emasculating the Marines, something manly men couldn’t stand for and were more than willing to believe because that fit the narrative that has been crafted for them over the last few years.

Second, notice that the word “plan” is used. This causes those looking for a commie plot to jump on whatever sliver of conspiracy theory could be imagined.

Then we have “girly” and “French blush.” Why not just say gay? I guess that generates very uncomfortable images in some men’s heads…

With the scope of the circulation fueled through Facebook, the Marines had to address it, deny that the president would have any part in the decision making process of hat design, and state flatly that: “The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.”

Here was yet another chance for conservatives to encounter a thought process which could lead to seeing just how and why they’ve been played by Fox and the billionaires who pull the strings. They joined the outrage, pumped up by homophobia and subtle racism. Then they found out it wasn’t true but didn’t question anything about it. Do they think that all these disproven lies are just mistakes in reporting? How can they not see the pattern seems to be driven by specific motivation, targeting a particular reaction? And if they were to see that part of the underbelly of the beast, why can’t they connect the dots and see how their patriotism, conservatism, and even faith has been used against them to pad the agenda of billionaires?

Clueless and happily taken in yet again, these Nero Cons hear that whistle and jump through every conceptual hoop presented. Why? Because pride keeps them in line. Religion keeps them superior. And Rush keeps them in outrage, imprinting phrases designed to prevent actual thought, like “death tax.”

Last week’s ploy was ultimately another dog whistle moment for Fox that died quickly when truth spoiled the party, but the lie did its duty. It was destined to be discredited but not tainted, yet another shooting star in the murky sky of Fox’s fact-free universe.


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The Occupy movement in most towns has already achieved their primary goal:  draw media attention to showcase their power of numbers and the might of their convictions.

But these occupations have huge potential to do even more, and they’ve got the organizational structure and protest signs to manifest this. What if they added the Socratic method to their messaging, presenting stats and evidence to support their assertions? Rather than present a stationary, amorphous mob, what if they were to station small groups on consecutive street corners along ALL different outbound commute arteries? Now they wouldn’t be relying on media to get their point across, they’d be delivering it in well-defined terms directly to motorists bogged down in traffic leading to every freeway or bridge onramp.

Occupiers, this is how the concept of miniprotesting can drastically expand the scope of your causes, and add the power to convince to your messaging arsenal. Here’s how miniprotesting works in a nutshell:

Miniprotests are made up of three small groups of four spread out over three consecutive street corners. Each group within this protest string has someone in its center holding a 30″ x 40″ main sign at waist level. The three folks around the central miniprotester hold traditional signs overhead. That way the focus of passing motorists will be on the three main signs at eye level which provide a running message like the old Berma Shave rural roadside ads. This format allows a few seconds (or minutes if traffic is really bad) for folks to digest each part of the message before they see the next.

See more details at:


So here is a miniprotesting main sign inscription set that could give many factions of the Occupy movement a voice on the streets. It also unifies all causes under the umbrella of the Fair America Platform. It would look like this:

The main sign for corner #1:

Occupiers Support the Fair America Platform

Tax Fairness:  Restore Fair Taxation of Millionaires

End Tax Free Offshore Loopholes for B of A, Exxon/Mobil

Job Fairness:  Restore Unions, Eliminate Tax Breaks for Offshoring

The folks behind the person holding this central sign could have overhead signs saying things like, “Support ‘1000 Families’ Top Tax Tier” and “GOP Union Busting Stomping On Middle Class” and “GOP Betrayed American Workers With Offshoring Surge.” Of course, there are likely to be many signs on topic made up by Occupiers already. But since 120 can produce ten completely separate protest strings leading to commute bottlenecks all over town, those folks will have choices as to where they want to go. All miniprotests can have the same main signs, or you can have each with a different topic. And with the latter you can rotate messages by location and save printing costs.

Another couple of signs can be shown anywhere, regardless of topic:  “A Fair America. What’s Un-American About That?” and “The 99% Just Want a Fair America.”

The main sign for corner #2:

Occupiers Support the Fair America Platform

Fair Elections:  Paper Ballots Hand Counted, Public Campaign Funding Only

Fair Representation: Overturn Citizen’s United, Curb Lobbying Excesses

Fair Business Practices:  Restore Oversight Over Industry and Wall St.

There should be no problem rustling up signs to complement these themes.

Corner #3:

What’s Un-American About

Asking for a Fair America?

Those That Fight a Fair America

Are Pandering to Corporate Titans, Billionaires

Now bear in mind that these signs take a few seconds to read, so the choices for protest string locations should culminate right at onramps. They can also have spurs where duplicates of the first and second signs can be along both north and south approaches, with sign #3 being the hub for both on one corner. And in rural towns, miniprotests should be spread across corners with three consecutive stop signs.

Another thing about using miniprotests in tandem with Occupy events is that it lowers the threshold for people who want to participate but can’t spare the time or are not wild about sleeping outdoors. And because each group is just four people, no permits are required and police have no legal justification for interfering.

Occupy groups can temporarily expand their numbers in this manner by promoting the miniprotest locations while being specific about the causes at each corner along each protest string.

See more about the Fair America Platform, and make suggestions to modify it if you like, at:


Please note that the URL reflects the Fair America Party that I originally proposed. I’ve backed off that stance, looking to instead promote a Fair America Platform that Democrats and logical Republicans can stand behind.

Let’s say that you’re an Occupier and you think this idea has merit. Where do you take it from here? Well the first step is to propose this idea to the Occupy event’s on-site assembly (often happening several nights a week) and ask that a committee be formed on site to handle the logistics. When the Miniprotesting Committee meets, either volunteer to be its spokesperson or aid the person who is voted into that role.

Any miniprotest can be put together in about an hour. This way if Rush or Boehner or Cain throws out a blatant lie, you can disprove it that afternoon with main sign inscription sets showing stats to shred their fabrications and throw light on WHY and for whom they lied.

The flow goes like this:

  1. Type your  main sign inscriptions into your computer, expanding your margins to the full width of the document in portrait mode. They should be in Arial, with lines spaced about 1.5 apart. The less text for each individual sign, the larger the font can be.
  2. Determine the best locations for your protest strings based on traffic patterns, proximity to mass transit, and number of participants
  3. Email your main signs as a single document to your local FedEx Kinko’s and have them print them out on their 36” roll paper. They should expand the original image to the largest size possible to fit the width of the paper, generally around 400% of the original.
  4. Go to Staples for the 30” x 40” foam core signboard conveniently sold in packs of three. Bring your pocket knife so you can cut two rectangular hand holds at the top of each.
  5. At Kinko’s trim your three signs on their wide cutters and affix the inscriptions using Scotch tape
  6. Meet up with your fellow miniprotesters at the location where the final signs are to be. Disperse main signs, getting someone’s phone number within each group. Also have somebody with a video camera across the street near the center of your protest string to capture any confrontations or happy motorists on the same page.

If your Occupy group is fairly small, you can enlist volunteers through tweets, emails, local message board posts, Meetups if you have an official one in your locale, or Occupytogether.org. The more locally based the better, though.

So now Occupiers have a new tool to expand their voices beyond a city block. More specific topics can be addressed on different days. The miniprotesting format can also be used for other focused actions in town, shaming a politician and his followers prior to a town hall meeting or standing along all inbound arteries to the home offices of a tax-dodging multinational corporation.

The Staples and FedEx Kinko’s costs can be added to your website’s calls for support along with food and toiletries. You’re already there. Now you can do more with your time, people, and passion.

And I will do everything I can to help the process. Please contact me, Todd, through the miniprotests.com website via the About Us tab. Also on miniprotests.com you’ll see a vast array of miniprotesting main sign inscription sets and how to concoct your own to support your own slogans.

The Occupy movements are all peaceful, and the miniprotesting theme mirrors that by avoiding abusive language. The miniprotesting motto is: On the Streets WE ARE HOPE. Please take your opportunity to embody that and feel the momentum as it grows day by day.

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