managed to pull a prank on ACORN (formerly one of the most effective groups around for politically mobilizing people of ordinary means) that triggered the established powers coming down on them like a ton of bricks, including the House passing an unconstitutional bill of attainder directed against them. They are now on the verge of bankruptcy:
AcornÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs contributions have dried up, its national staff has been cut by more than three-quarters, services for the poor have been suspended, and chapters have closed or reorganized under other names, even though a district attorney found that Acorn employees in Brooklyn did nothing illegal and a federal judge ruled that Congress acted unconstitutionally in cutting off funding as punishment.The NYT's public editor does not quite apologize for their key role in the ratfucking of ACORN, but does go so far as to call the story "fascinating".
But the good news is, Congress is probably going to pass a Health Care Reform Bill! That requires the citizenry to purchase the products of a corrupt and useless industry! The sad thing is that the passage of this deeply flawed bill actually is good news within the degraded state of our polity.
I've been thinking lately about social cognition or "the mind of society" -- how societies think. How government, media and other institutions form an infrastructure for cognition and decision-making for society as a whole. This is an enormous topic, but for the purposes of this post the answer is "not very well".