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People, Not Props

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(Hat tip to Atrios for this cartoon by Tom Tomorrow) 

In psychology, one of the things we look at is the extent to which individuals actually perceive other people as "subjects," not just as "objects."

That is, "subjects" are entities that operate from a foundation of their own volition, power, agency and subjective experience, with human value in their own right.  "Objects" are entities acted upon or otherwise used by "subjects."

Most people see themselves as subjects, with the exception of the hopelessly dependent or the paranoid.  Both the hopelessly dependent and the paranoid see themselves as powerless entities subject to the whim and action of others,  but aside from those cases, most people have some level of experience of their own independent agency, their "subjectivity,"  and of the subjectivity at least of those they know personally.

The most mentally healthy people are able to engage with and see others as subjects in their own right, not merely as objects.  When someone is able to perceive the individual agency of others they don't even know personally, that person begins to achieve a higher level of personal emotional and social development.  You can call that "wisdom" or "empathy."

Whatever you call it, you sure as hell can't call it "Republican."

It's been apparent for a long time to anyone paying attention that Republicans don't see our troops as people, but as props.  Props for photo ops, props for sound bites, props for war profiteering, but not as people with lives, families, hopes and dreams of their own.

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Today's hearings on Capitol Hill make this clear for any of the remedially sycophantic or psychopathic in the media or the electorate who have labored under the illusion that the Republican Party actually gives a shit about troops, citizens or the national defense.

Just thought that might be worth mentioning. 

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Pachacutec

Pachacutec

Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.

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