Wednesday, June 22, 2005

WE'RE NOT NAZIS! Screams the Right Wing Media

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O'Reilly's nearest and dearest, it seems.

After sucessfully ignoring the lynching apology in the Senate whereby mostly Northern Senators apologized for the crimes of the Southern Senators nearly all of whom refused themselves to apologize, the media reverted back to what they love doing the most: screaming Nazi-style abuse at Democrats and liberals whenever any of them dare mention the gross similarities between modern Republicans and old style Nazis.

Here is just one series of examples from one top neo-Nazi Republican, Mr. O'Reilly--at Mediamatters.com:
From the June 17 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Well, I mean, you're telling the world, senator, that we're a repressive country because you don't like coerced interrogation. Now, the FBI report, for those of you whom missed it, centered around a detainee who was chained to the floor in the fetal position. You know what the fetal position is -- that's not an uncomfortable position. Most of us sleep in a fetal position. OK? So picture the fetal position, most of us sleep that way. But the guy's chained. Now he can't move, he's down there.

Then they either make the room unbearably hot or unbearably cold. And they keep the guy there for 24 to 36 hours in that position, so they can't go to the bathroom. OK? So that's what the FBI guy reported. That's what's got Durbin conjuring up images of Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin. So you make the call, you make the call. It's up to you. I'm not gonna tell you what to think.
I'll tell you what I think! The chief form of torture used by the Nazis was exactly this sort of torture. They could, like our troops, also put leashes on people and make human pyramids or kick them to death or electocute them or waterboard them. But in the long list of things Nazis loved to do, making people stay, naked, in hot/cold cells shackled in awful positions was number one favorite.

If anyone doubts me, read any memoirs of survivors of this sort of "mild torture". We even brought over SS and Gestapo officers after the war so we could learn from them. Thus the "School of the Americas".

Not satisfied with endorsing and laughing at true Nazi-style torture, the next day, he has to wave his banner high and become a full blown Nazi:
From the June 20 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: And when he [Durbin] went out there, his intent was to whip up the American public against the Bush detainee policy. That's what his intent was. His intent wasn't to undermine the war effort, because he never even thought about it. He never even thought about it. But by not thinking about it, he made an egregious mistake because you must know the difference between dissent from the Iraq war and the war on terror and undermining it. And any American that undermines that war, with our soldiers in the field, or undermines the war on terror, with 3,000 dead on 9-11, is a traitor.

Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you're a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they're undermining everything and they don't care, couldn't care less.

Posted to the web on Wednesday June 22, 2005 at 2:53 PM EST
My, oh my. So, for talking about torture and recognizing that our secretive prison system that is totally outside our own Constitution and the Geneva Conventions is wrong, our punishment should be...torture and execution?

O'Reilly spits on our Constitution when he calls for punishment of free speech. This, of course, crashes into his own contentions that we are bombing and murdering Iraqis so they can have free speech and democracy. But he wants to imprison us here at home for having free speech.

Is this obvious fascist being thrown off corporate TV? Practice what you preach, dude! Since free speech like this sort of vile, AntiAmerican talk, should be punished the very least by his owners not paying him good money to say these things! He can call for putting us in prison from some street corner or insane asylum but not on a major TV station broadcast to all the world! No.

This is bad, a naughty no-no. Will any Senators dare stand up in Congress and denounce the company that pays this anti-American? Will this be denounced? Will he be forced to resign like Dan Rather?

Of course not. He is the faithful voice of the Real Rulers. They have given up on trying to persuade us. Now they want to scare us.

I am not scared.

To contact corporate headquarters:

Westwood One
Bart Tessler
Sr. VP, Network News / Talk Programming
202.457.7998

All of this is owned by Mr. Murdoch. Here he is talking about us bloggers
Anyone who doubts this should read a recent report by the Carnegie Corporation about young people’s changing habits of news consumption and what they mean for the future of the news industry.

According to this report, and I quote, “There’s a dramatic revolution taking place in the news business today, and it isn’t about TV anchor changes, scandals at storied newspapers or embedded reporters.” The future course of news, says the study’s author, Merrill Brown, is being altered by technology-savvy young people no longer wedded to traditional news outlets or even accessing news in traditional ways.

Instead, as the study illustrates, consumers between the ages of 18-34 are increasingly using the web as their medium of choice for news consumption. While local TV news remains the most accessed source of news, the internet, and more specifically, internet portals, are quickly becoming the favored destination for news among young consumers.

44 percent of the study’s respondents said they use a portal at least once a day for news, as compared to just 19 percent who use a printed newspaper on a daily basis. More ominously, looking out three years, the study found that 39 percent expected to use the internet more to learn about the news, versus only 8 percent who expected to use traditional newspapers more.

And their attitudes towards newspapers are especially alarming. Only 9 percent describe us as trustworthy, a scant 8 percent find us useful, and only 4 percent of respondents think we’re entertaining. Among major news sources, our beloved newspaper is the least likely to be the preferred choice for local, national or international news going forward.

What is happening is, in short, a revolution in the way young people are accessing news. They don’t want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don’t want to rely on a god-like figure from above to tell them what’s important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don’t want news presented as gospel.
Yes, Mr. Screaming at Us for Talking About Fascists Murdoch, you are not entertaining, nor are you reliable nor are you up-to-date with any information that is meaningful. We skim through your dungeons online not to be informed or entertained but to pick up ammo so we can shoot back at you.

Indeed, many of the mainstream web portals imagine all that traffic is due to people running over to them to bask in the glorious information they are providing.

Hahaha. The few times any magazine or newspaper or TV station checked on "comments" sections was to shut them up or shut them down. This is why there are nearly none left. And writing comments was a waste of time since no editor or publisher or owner ever read any of this stuff we poured over them for the last 15 years.

Now we are back to sending emails and making phone calls which they dislike but still sometimes in a rare fit, answer. Of course, it is nearly only the right wingers who get the answers. Silence greets our missives. So we bloggers toil away, magnifying each other just like here, magnifying Media Matters which was started by a disgruntled warrior on the right wing media front!

Go git 'em! Rrralf.

KLEIN LIBELS MOYNIHAN FAMILY

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Former Senator, Patrick Moynihan (I met him years ago)

The latest Weapon of Mass Dirt thrown by the right wing at Hillary Clinton has crossed over into libel territory on more than one level. The lastest proof of this comes the daughter of former Senator Moynihan of NY in an editorial she wrote for the NY Observer:
Ed Klein, author of the book in question, The Truth About Hillary, alleges that New York’s late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan "despised" Mrs. Clinton, that he once hid in a cloakroom to terminate a conversation with her. Nonsense. I think I know Senator Moynihan better than Mr. Klein, because he was my father. Mr. Klein also claims firsthand knowledge of a meeting between my parents and Mrs. Clinton that took place in their apartment in Washington. It was during this meeting that Mrs. Clinton, then the nation’s First Lady, discussed the idea of running for the seat my father was about to vacate.

Mr. Klein puts quotes around statements that were never uttered. I can confirm this because the only other persons present during this meeting were myself and our Tibetan cook, who speaks about 10 words of English. Mr. Klein has now gone on the record to say that he spent "several hours interviewing Mrs. Moynihan." Puzzling indeed, in that Mrs. Moynihan—my mother—hasn’t seen Mr. Klein in over 20 years. I’d like to see the transcripts or hear the tapes of his on-the-record talks with Mrs. Moynihan. And it would have been difficult for him to interview Senator Moynihan, because he’s dead.
Amazing.

So will the major media be screaming at Klein to apologize to Hillary and the Moynihans? Will Klein be raked over the coals from every corner by outraged radio personalities? Will we see of flood of outraged editorials demanding his books be burned like when the truthful "Fortuante Son" by Hatfield was vilified even though it contained zero falsehoods or lies? Hatfield, a man I used to know personally, was attacked and rubbed out because the Bushes used him as a plant to "cleanse" bad news about Bush by having a bad messanger deliver it. It worked. All questions about Bush's many arrests and AWOL status and drug abuse were dropped permenantly.

And Hatfield driven to bankruptcy and suicide.

Hillary is made of sterner stuff. And the Moynihans are, too. They are obviously outraged at this fabrication of private conversations attributed to themselves by an outsider who made it all up.

Even as Democrats are attacked for telling the truth about our gulag or about the GOP being mostly white Christians who make a buck taking tax bucks from blue state voters...so the opposite is at work: outright lies by the right are broadcast unedited and repeated across the spectrum of our craven, right wing press.

I hope the Moynihans can haul Klein's lying ass into court and ream him out. If his books go on sale in England, they should do it over there for the laws are more protective of privacy in England, thanks to shielding the royalty.

GARY HART On Saving American Parties

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From OrcinusKKK march in DC after WWI

Main stream media wonders what is going wrong. They are hemmoraging viewers and readers or the people using their services are increasingly loud and critical. The mainstream parties are wondering what is going wrong, too. According to pollsters, support for politicians across the board in both parties which have had a 150 year death grip on America, is collapsing. The people responsible for this can't understand it because they are the root cause. And the last thing they want to do is ask anyone outside of themselves, what is wrong.

Yet another politician gives it a stab.

From former Presidential runner, Gary Hart, at Alternet.com:
American political parties, as we have known them for two centuries, are disintegrating. They are being replaced by shifting coalitions that are forming and reforming constantly. This transition is leaving an awful lot of Americans adrift.

Because most of our founders did not trust the idea of political parties, they came into existence only reluctantly. Parties seemed too much like the dreaded "factions" that had arisen in Europe, what today we would call interest groups, concerned more with their own good than the common good. America's founders, steeped in the ancient Greek and Roman republican ideal, wanted their new fellow citizens to be concerned with the commonwealth. The more people fell into or formed narrow or special interest groups, the less they would be committed to the ideal of the new republic, that which was held in common by all and over which all were sovereign.

One of the highest compliments for a citizen of the founding era was to be called "disinterested." That did not mean uninterested. It meant not interested in one's own concerns at the expense of the commonwealth. The founders held the quaint notion that if we were all concerned, or interested, in what we held in common we would all benefit individually. Likewise, the more a citizen was interested in getting only what was best for him and those like him, the more corrupt the American republic would become.
This naive belief that there was once a magical time when we were "pure" and a love for America and democracy trumped other concerns...like keeping human chattel, for example. Of course, there never was such a time. From the very first hours of the revolution, the special interests stepped in and warped and even maybe ultimately destroyed any possibility of true democracy and true freedom. The fact that the Constitution itself enshrined outright slavery and harnessed it into strengthening the political power of slave owners by giving their slaves a profile in deciding the number of "voters" in Congress, these poor nonvoters being counted as 3/5 a voter!---this organization immediately launched upon a life long campaign of imperialist expansion, buying from other imperial nations or outright attacking other empires and wresting away lands for our own use or using trickery to con stone age people into signing away their own homes and then herding them off to reservations which were the model for Nazi Germany's imperialism.

We were never innocent.
But, by the late 18th Century, parties arose, largely dividing between the Federalists led by Hamilton who saw the need for a strong central or national government, with a national bank and national army, and the Republicans led by Jefferson who suspected the power of the state and preferred local authority and local control. As the Federalists were by and large Northern merchants and traders and the Republicans were by and large Southern landowners and farmers, the issue of slavery, unresolved in the founding era and documents, also came forcefully into play.
See what a lifetime of propaganda does? Slavery was "resolved" right there in the Constitution. The "compromise" was to stop raiding Africa and shipping over the miserable victims and enslaving them. But it merely opened a new industry in the south: raping slave women and then selling off their children. Instead of working slaves to death, the rising value of slaves meant they were fed enough to survive somewhat. So the number of slaves, which were expected to decline after the Revolution, rose. Neither the North nor the South wanted to see more African heritage people so the ending of importation caused rising tension as slavery spread and grew very rapidly, setting the stage for another confrontation: the Civil War. Abolitionists wanted to grant civil rights and liberties to slaves and they treated the refugees of slavery like humans and tried hard to reach the hearts and minds of the American people to understand and show mercy towards black skinned people.

After the Civil War, support of former slaves fell until the 1920's when America was wracked by lynchings and blacks lost all their civil rights and Jim Crow was enforced with an iron fist which interested Hitler who wanted to implement the same regime in Germany, as he wrote in "Mein Kampf".
Over the following two centuries the industrial revolution, the Civil War, and America's emergence as a world power all caused tidal waves and tectonic shifts in power structures and coalitions. Well before the 20th Century the two major parties had come to exert hierarchical control over virtually all political processes, including the nomination of candidates for office, at the national and state levels. They were the conduits for campaign financing, access to the media, dissemination of political information, the structuring of ideas and policies, and the exercise of political discipline.

In recent years, however, the parties' entire role and therefore their power has been collapsing. If a candidate is clever enough and has something to say, he or she can get direct access to the media. As political entrepreneurs, most candidates now raise their own financing and depend on money from the parties less and less. Candidates form their own policy groups or court the flourishing idea forums that span the political spectrum. Self-confident and ambitious candidates put themselves forward for any office they desire, up to and including the presidency, without seeking the approval of party officials. Individual office-seekers form their own coalitions by shopping for support among the smorgasbord of interest groups.
Party power isn't collapsing. Popular support is "changing" but this is mostly an artifact of what I call "the Great Change-Over" aka "the Southern Strategy" which Nixon cravenly put into motion, handing over the GOP to southern racists in wake of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

This monolithic white Christian voting bloc has always been in operation, it has simply oozed over to the opposite party over the last fifty years. This process of oozing is nearly done. Once they finish, they will then revert all GOP programs to be the mirror image of the Democratic program in the first half of the 20th Century: creating Jim Crow and ruthlessly enforcing it.
Except for the ideologically devout, voters likewise are shaking loose the bonds of party loyalty and more and more joining the third party, the independents, either figuratively or literally. To a degree, the process becomes self-fulfilling. As voters less and less need the party to tell them what to think and whom to vote for, the parties more and more retreat to their hardcore ideological bases, thus further alienating mainstream voters who are less doctrinaire partisans and more eclectic individuals.

Finally, the information revolution disintegrates old media and political structures. Virtually anyone in America today can organize his or her own individual information network tailored to his or her increasingly individual concerns. Nothing symbolizes this stunning fact more than the explosion of personal blog sites. Now everyone has opinions and a forum, the Internet, for expressing them. We are all consumers and producers of opinions if not also "news." You can choose to focus your attention on defense and foreign policy, or fiscal and monetary policy, or health care and education, or the environment, or anyone of hundreds of individual areas of interest, or any collection of them. You don't have to adopt an entire party platform, in any case a kind of 19th Century exercise that has become basically meaningless. You can write your own platform. You can be a party of one. And that is increasingly what millions of Americans are becoming.
What third parties? The Perot people tried to start one and it was taken over by pro-GOP right wingers who then strangled it to death and it is now gone, isn't it? As for the left, it remains shattered as always. The fabled "independent voter" seems to be a feeble figure indeed. This disorganized "group" isn't anything at all and is so politically naive and helpless that it is nearly entirely disregarded by the GOP who simply play to their own voters which is why they are so unpopular but so powerful.

You can't be "none of the above" and be taken seriously.

Lordy, I do wish us bloggers were as powerful as they say we are. But we have to be realistic. The left bloggers supported Conyers and Durbin 100% but they were forced to "apologize" to the neo fascists who didn't apologize for the lynchings, refusing to sign the lynching apology. This happened because the powerful mass media focused non stop on attacking his words which accurately described our neo-Soviet tortures as hideous. This bellowing right wing media storm worked as usual. An honest person was forced to retreat. This is exactly how they stole the election in 2000. Every media outlet was screaming for Gore to not count the votes. "Don't divide America!' they shrieked so the winner with the most votes retreated and he smiled as he rang down the hammer on himself in the Senate, giving the gloss of legality on the theft of our Presidency even as the Black Caucus begged him to not cooperate. He thought, he would come back in glory and retake the office he won.

The mass media insured this would never happen for instantly, they began to attack him every time he spoke. He retreated deeper and deeper into the shadows until now---look at him! A nonperson! He gives great speeches that no news media covers except on rare occasions to pick him apart viciously! They are trying this on Dean who has held his ground...barely. But he is being marginalized just like Gary Hart himself.
Out of power, the watchword among Democrats, and many independents, is: "I don't know what the Democrats stands for." That's because the Party's old coalition -- traditional liberals, labor, minorities, women, environmentalists, and internationalists -- is in the process of disappearing and a new one has yet to be formed. Millions of people wait to hear what the 21st Century Democratic Party stands for, and Democratic Party "leaders" are not saying until they see what the new coalition is going to look like. They are afraid of taking principled stands for fear of alienating some group they think they need. So there is a kind of stand-off. Voters afloat want to hear what the Party has to say, and the Party is trying to find out what they want to hear.
No, no. Special interests that are citizen groups wanting civil rights isn't breaking up the party! Gads. What is breaking up all of America is the idea that we have to get rid of our civil rights in order to be powerful and rich! My abortion didn't affect anyone but myself. But the economic policies Bush is pursuing is affecting me, my children and all my community! My private choices changed hardly anything outside of my own home but the public choices of the GOP and DNC have had a hammer's blow affect on everyone and everything around me!

The GOP wants to run everyone's private lives while not letting us run anything public. This is what "privatization" is all about: turning these two things inside out. So pollution is "private" and my pregnancy rate is "public"! The vast majority of Americans don't want this but there has been a neat lure attached that has given the GOP great power and is destroying America: bribes.

Just as corporate America bribes politicians to do their bidding, the politicians in turn, bribe the voters. Tax cuts and running the government deep in the red works...in the short run. Everyone has been feasting on the carcass of America like hyenas on the Veldt. The desire to be rich quick and pay no attention to the mountain of debt we are building is what our democracy has become. This isn't new. The "gold rush" mentality has been part of us from day one!
We Americans, though, are a nation of independent, socially tolerant, fiscally cautious, environmentally concerned, well-informed, globally-conscious citizens. This pretty much leaves most of us adrift, at least from the two old parties and the increasingly dogmatic, rigid, orthodox, intolerant neo-Republican party, a cabal that seems intent only on consolidating political power in fewer and fewer hands, reducing its elected officials and judges to disciplined automatons, protecting corporate excess, secret policy making, and forcing all of us to become fundamentalist Christians of the sort that would make even John Calvin appear liberal.
This is all a delusion. We can't flatter ourselves anymore. Whenever we want, we ditch internationalism. Look at after 9/11! The world embraced us and we kicked them in the teeth! The poor French are still dealing with the anti-French hysteria the media and Bush and both political parties stirred up when we marched off to commit war crimes in Iraq! It hasn't ended! And the French were trying to save us from folly!

We are the number one polluters on the planet. We are the number one consumers of oil and the number one cause of global warming. We are collectively growing grossly fat and are living way beyond our means and we suck up all available world credit to feed our bottomless desire for cheap debts so we can continue to pollute and consume like crazy. I see little sign of anyone being disturbed by our refusal to sign the Kyoto Accords. Indeed, we sneer at it. The consolidation of power in the hands of neo-fascists is due entirely to the fact that Americans want to have the world and eat it too.

People forget what motivates fascism: greed. God Bless America is a fascist statement. For it assumes that God doesn't bless other nations. America, Number One, is a fascist statement. Proof? Both were used by Hitler. Gott Mit Uns and Deutschland Ueber Alles.
Over and beyond this traditional party-based struggle for power is the greater tsunami overtaking the very nature of partisan politics itself. The old party structures are becoming obsolete. The prize of future power will go to the next Machiavelli, the next Montesquieu, the next Bismarck, the next Jefferson who both appreciates, before all others, that we are in a totally new political age, an age beyond traditional political parties, and then creates the next political paradigm.

May I provide some hints: this paradigm will be based upon authentic and original American principles, it will also be enlightened and informational, it will be participatory and decentralized, it will be empowering, and it will incorporate the ideals of the democratic republic. Most of all it will be politically transformational and it will become so by restoring our deepest beliefs, our sense of national honor, integrity, dignity, courage, and duty.
What do we believe in? Elections? Hahaha. Yeah, right. Counting votes? Holy moly. If only! For 90% of our history, America worked hard to prevent huge numbers of people from voting! Decentralized? No empire is that. We are an empire. We have troops in nearly every nation on earth except for China and Russia. Both of whom are reconsolidating in to a much stronger union than under communism. And both hold a huge amount of our debts and have interesting plans for this mountain of debt they plan to avalanche upon our silly heads.

The new leader? Lord help us, I fear who this might be.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

PROPAGANDA

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Women sit on ground, priests on stools and royalty on chairs in ancient Egypt

We had to endure two election cycles with the news media, owned by very rich men who want to manipulate public opinion, pretending to be horrified by "patrician" behavior. Each cycle, the press revs up their motors and screech their tires as they launch attacks on populist Democrats, accusing them of being bri-eating wine sipping effetes. Why rich people want to attack the Democrats is easy to see.

They want to completely alienate the working class and isolate them from each other so they can be easily dominated.

So this last election, two Skull and Bones frat rats ran against each other. Truly populist people like Dr. Dean who was still a Yalie, were ruthlessly driven from the field for saying things or looking uncouth. Yet at the same time, the blathering and brutal talk of Bush and he uncouth ways were lauded as the salt of the earth. Pretending Bush, a man in a bubble that doesn't allow contact with any humans not carefully screened before hand, and you can bet, the Bush machine screened Gannon/Guckert very carefully before letting that fake reporter/online prostitute sleep over at the White House!

Well, now that there is no need to project a false image and since over 50% of the American people are frustrated with/intensely annoyed by Bush, some of the press are allowing us to peek behind the curtain. From the Houston Chronicle:
Coming to office after the more casual Clinton administration, Bush imposed a strict dress code and standards of promptness for employees, visitors and even the rumpled press corps.

Bush once famously needled Adam Entous of Reuters for entering the Oval Office with a loosened tie.

"You look fine today, Adam. The tie," Bush told Entous, during a brief audience for reporters with the prime minister of the Netherlands.

Bush, who rates sartorial lapses only slightly below pagers and cell phones going off during his speeches, was being sarcastic. He really didn't think the loose tie was fine.

"It's not as bad as a beeper violation. But it's getting close," Bush said.

Bush recently hosted South Korean President Roh Moo-hyn in the Oval Office, where he was visibly annoyed by the nonchalance of visiting South Korean newsmen.

Members of the White House press corps understand that, as a rule, touching the furniture in the Oval Office is strictly forbidden. Even when Bush brings a group of journalists in for an informal chat, he does not invite them to sit.

So it was with unconcealed consternation that Bush sat through a brief question and answer session with the South Korean president, while two sound engineers from the South Korean press corps sprawled on a couch to get a good position for the remarks.

The generally loquacious Bush delivered his comments in short, abrupt sentences with a tone of impatience.

So profound was his air of injury that at one point, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, standing against a wall, stepped forward to peer at the offending sound technicians.

Still, Bush's fastidiousness does know some geographic boundaries: Standards are eased when he is at his Crawford ranch. Taking questions after a meeting with Rumsfeld at his Texas retreat, Bush once mocked a reporter for arriving over-dressed.
Loquacious? Bush? Excuse me, I see very few actual quotes from him. He almost never appears in public without either a script in hand that he can barely read or a box fixed to his backside so he can parrot stuff whispered in his ear! I am suspecting his "loquaciousness" is entirely him goofing around, making fun of the courtiers, joking at other's expense and in general, messing around carelessly when he should be pursuing formal diplomatic functions.

This set up he has: total formality and caution, the classic ruling class favorite toy--denying people chairs and comforts---is yet another warning sign that our imperial imp intends to make everyone suffer as he sets up his royal house. This is why he and his killer hausfrau dare to lecture us about raising children while unleashing their pair of hellions upon the planet to run around, drunk and disorderly. The press carefully hides all these things for him because he gives the owners tax cuts and inheritance protection and promises to turn their children into the new royalty.

I wrote here a long time back about chairs. Ruling class people know instinctively that getting rid of chairs and couches is top priority. They want to lounge about, sprawling on chairs and reclining on couches while forbidding the mass of humanity the same privilege. During the Dark Ages and Medieval times, chairs were so verboten by the ruling elite that they were called "thrones" and the mass of humanity either stood or squatted on the ground or sat on benches or stools, even in private homes. The ruling class could enter any hovel or even middle class home without knocking and if there were any chairs, they would simply confiscate them.

Chairs are easy to make and there is no physical reason for everyone to not have chairs.

The ire shown by the Bush courtiers when mere cameramen dared to sit on furniture reserved only for royalty and rich courtiers is why we have to impeach Bush. Seriously, this is exactly what our founding fathers did not want. Some of the patricians running America tried to recreate royal perogatives but this was frowned upon greatly. Andrew Jackson threw open the doors of the White House to the rabble to celebrate his victory.

Bush has closed the White House, pretending that this is for "security" but before 9/11/1, a week earlier, he had a private party for the President of Mexico. No American rabble were allowed in. Not only that, he arranged for a huge fireworks display at near midnight. This giant affair was not announced to anyone. Not even the DC police were told about it. It lit up all of Washington, DC, but when the first explosions happened, people thought DC was under attack. Bush thought it was a great joke, scaring everyone. The part that pleased him the most was that he could do something that public and that illegal for it is illegal to set off fireworks like that, even in DC, he could do this with impunity and laugh in our faces. He had his "sun king" moment and thought himself very clever.

This should have been brought up during the last election but the multimillionaire running against his fellow multimillionaire frat brother never talked about all these things. Nor did the press. "People want to drink a beer with Bush," was the mantra, an odd notion considering that Bush is an alcoholic who claims he doesn't drink (snark).

What is particularly frightful about all this isn't the royalty stuff, it is the cultural collapse of this new peasant royalty. Unlike the Soviet Union which elevated the arts patronized by royalty so that some of the best musicians and dancers and artists came bubbling out of a very active system which combed the nation seeking talent and rewarding it. America's rulers have no interest in the ballet, opera, fine arts, fine cooking, beautiful architecture, we celebrate crassness and crudities. NASCAR trumps the ballet.

So now the fine arts are being starved to death. Once upon a time, RCA and NBC and CBS had their own symphony orchestras and broadcast opera. Now this is disappearing even from PBS!

Like the Roman empire, the building of stadiums and baths continued onwards as the arts collapsed. The ability to draw a nude, brought to perfection by the democratic Greeks before 300 BC collapsed so totally that by 100 AD in Rome, they couldn't sketch a Greek style nude without gross distortions. By 500 AD, the human form was as deformed as a tree root. Note that 100 AD was the time when Rome was the richest. Yet poetry and art died at the zenith.

This is why getting rid of chairs is so important. When a culture gives up producing great art, it reverts to eliminating simple comforts. The rulers have to keep a distance somehow.

Friday, June 17, 2005

CONG. CONYERS Reams out the WP

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From Atrios at Eschaton:

Mr. Michael Abramowitz, National Editor
Mr. Michael Getler, Ombudsman
Mr. Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20071

Dear Sirs:

I write to express my profound disappointment with Dana Milbank's June 17 report, "Democrats Play House to Rally Against the War," which purports to describe a Democratic hearing I chaired in the Capitol yesterday. In sum, the piece cherry-picks some facts, manufactures others out of whole cloth, and does a disservice to some 30 members of Congress who persevered under difficult circumstances, not of our own making, to examine a very serious subject: whether the American people were deliberately misled in the lead up to war. The fact that this was the Post's only coverage of this event makes the journalistic shortcomings in this piece even more egregious.

In an inaccurate piece of reporting that typifies the article, Milbank implies that one of the obstacles the Members in the meeting have is that "only one" member has mentioned the Downing Street Minutes on the floor of either the House or Senate. This is not only incorrect but misleading. In fact, just yesterday, the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, mentioned it on the Senate floor. Senator Boxer talked at some length about it at the recent confirmation hearing for the Ambassador to Iraq. The House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, recently signed on to my letter, along with 121 other Democrats asking for answers about the memo. This information is not difficult to find either. For example, the Reid speech was the subject of an AP wire service report posted on the Washington Post website with the headline "Democrats Cite Downing Street Memo in Bolton Fight". Other similar mistakes, mischaracterizations and cheap shots are littered throughout the article.

The article begins with an especially mean and nasty tone, claiming that House Democrats "pretended" a small conference was the Judiciary Committee hearing room and deriding the decor of the room. Milbank fails to share with his readers one essential fact: the reason the hearing was held in that room, an important piece of context. Despite the fact that a number of other suitable rooms were available in the Capitol and House office buildings, Republicans declined my request for each and every one of them. Milbank could have written about the perseverance of many of my colleagues in the face of such adverse circumstances, but declined to do so. Milbank also ignores the critical fact picked up by the AP, CNN and other newsletters that at the very moment the hearing was scheduled to begin, the Republican Leadership scheduled an almost unprecedented number of 11 consecutive floor votes, making it next to impossible for most Members to participate in the first hour and one half of the hearing.

In what can only be described as a deliberate effort to discredit the entire hearing, Milbank quotes one of the witnesses as making an anti-semitic assertion and further describes anti-semitic literature that was being handed out in the overflow room for the event. First, let me be clear: I consider myself to be friend and supporter of Israel and there were a number of other staunchly pro-Israel members who were in attendance at the hearing. I do not agree with, support, or condone any comments asserting Israeli control over U.S. policy, and I find any allegation that Israel is trying to dominate the world or had anything to do with the September 11 tragedy disgusting and offensive.

That said, to give such emphasis to 100 seconds of a 3 hour and five minute hearing that included the powerful and sad testimony (hardly mentioned by Milbank) of a woman who lost her son in the Iraq war and now feels lied to as a result of the Downing Street Minutes, is incredibly misleading. Many, many different pamphlets were being passed out at the overflow room, including pamphlets about getting out of the Iraq war and anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement, and it is puzzling why Milbank saw fit to only mention the one he did.

In a typically derisive and uninformed passage, Milbank makes much of other lawmakers calling me "Mr. Chairman" and says I liked it so much that I used "chairmanly phrases." Milbank may not know that I was the Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee from 1988 to 1994. By protocol and tradition in the House, once you have been a Chairman you are always referred to as such. Thus, there was nothing unusual about my being referred to as Mr. Chairman.

To administer his coup-de-grace, Milbank literally makes up another cheap shot that I "was having so much fun that [I] ignored aides' entreaties to end the session." This did not occur. None of my aides offered entreaties to end the session and I have no idea where Milbank gets that information. The hearing certainly ran longer than expected, but that was because so many Members of Congress persevered under very difficult circumstances to attend, and I thought - given that - the least I could do was allow them to say their piece. That is called courtesy, not "fun."

By the way, the "Downing Street Memo" is actually the minutes of a British cabinet meeting. In the meeting, British officials - having just met with their American counterparts - describe their discussions with such counterparts. I mention this because that basic piece of context, a simple description of the memo, is found nowhere in Milbank's article.

The fact that I and my fellow Democrats had to stuff a hearing into a room the size of a large closet to hold a hearing on an important issue shouldn't make us the object of ridicule. In my opinion, the ridicule should be placed in two places: first, at the feet of Republicans who are so afraid to discuss ideas and facts that they try to sabotage our efforts to do so; and second, on Dana Milbank and the Washington Post, who do not feel the need to give serious coverage on a serious hearing about a serious matter-whether more than 1700 Americans have died because of a deliberate lie. Milbank may disagree, but the Post certainly owed its readers some coverage of that viewpoint.

Sincerely,



John Conyers, Jr.


Just as I finished my valentine to Rep. Conyers!

Meanwhile, even as the press refuses to ask any of the KKK Republicans why they couldn't sign the lynching apology, the media still hammers on another person for telling the truth:
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) drew a White House rebuke yesterday for comparing the treatment of prisoners at the naval detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the interrogation tactics of the Nazis and the Soviet gulags. But Durbin defended his comments and said conditions there were not worthy of a democracy such as the United States.

In a Senate floor speech Tuesday, Durbin cited an FBI report describing Guantanamo Bay prisoners chained to the floor in the fetal position without food or water and sometimes in extreme temperatures.

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control," he said, "you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."

By yesterday, Durbin found himself under attack from leading Republicans and their conservative allies. White House press secretary Scott McClellan, asked about the statement, responded by saying: "I think the senator's remarks are reprehensible. It's a real disservice to our men and women in uniform who adhere to high standards and uphold our values and our laws."

Later, Durbin came under attack on the Senate floor from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Warner said Durbin had committed "a grievous misjudgment" by comparing what may have happened at Guantanamo Bay to some of the most murderous regimes in history.
Note how the courtiers quibble about words! How do we find the exact analogy for our war crimes? I suppose there is a perfect fit example out there like...Vietnam! We killed nearly every single Vietcong who fell into our hands. They were literally tortured to death. With great brutality. Meanwhile, we wailed about our prisoners being tortured. Outside of flag waving USA, this looked so ludicrious it wasn't funny. I lived overseas during part of the Vietnam war and it was very embarrassing. I came home much more anti war than when I left! Much, much more.

Seriously, the people running our country into the ground got the entire media machine trained to be an attack dog only on Democrats. No matter what they say, they are "exaggerating" or "lying" or "making things up" or being "insuluting" and for years, the Democrats retreated.

Now they are no longer in retreat because of us, dear readers. We have turned the tables at last! I watched as the media turned off their "comments" sections one by one until there were nearly none left. They drove the chattering crowds out of the big rooms and thought they got rid of us.

We regrouped and recouped and now are on the attack. At thousands of blogs and at the great blogs like Atrios, we chatter and examine and try out ideas and spread the word. Now we are running full news services such as this blog that are now making a serious attack on the Mighty Wulitzer.

Shame on you all, sirs. Shame! Bad doggies. Down. No, you can't piddle on the rug.

NON NEWS NEWS

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It is all so queer, living in the USA, if there wasn't a world wide web, we would be blissfully digging our own graves singing, "Whistle while you work." Luckily, we get real news real fast these days and the American corporate machinery just can't suppress all of it. Today, I scan the news and see so many items, I wonder if my blog should be 1000 times bigger, it seems the rulers of America have unleashed such a sh*t storm of lies and fabrications and crimes, it is nearly impossible to keep up!

So here is yet another one: From the Brits, natch,
US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war

American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.

Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.

Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."

Mr Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003. They were used against military targets "away from civilian targets", he said. This avoids breaching the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which permits their use only against military targets.

Britain, which has no stockpiles of the weapons, ratified the convention, but the US did not.
We don't sign no stinking Geneva Conventions or WMD protocols or limits on nukes. We be da man! It is one thing to be a rogue nation that wants no controls on weapons or torture or war, it is entirely another thing to lie to allies. You see, being "friends" means you have to trust each other a bit, no?

Our rulers own Britain and Britain's rulers own us and this ruling elite doesn't give two figs about torture or WMD or nuclear war or anything, they just want to rule us, see? And they have massive underground shelters though I suspect the Queen doesn't want her rose garden nuked so she, at least, will show some restraint.

On Muslim TV I saw some of the horrors of our Fallujah "police action" which reminded me forcibly of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and I saw the plumes of incinderary bombs and the people screaming when the phosphorus hit them. It drove me nuts. Other people saw this and asked McClellan and Rumsfeld about it and they played the "Who? What?" game like Tweedlewarcriminaldee and Tweedlewarcriminaldumb.
Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the group, said: "The US has used internationally reviled weapons that the UK refuses to use, and has then apparently lied to UK officials, showing how little weight the UK carries in influencing American policy."

He added: "Evidence that Mr Ingram had given false information to Parliament was publicly available months ago. He has waited until after the election to admit to it - a clear sign of the Government's embarrassment that they are doing nothing to restrain their own coalition partner in Iraq."
Yes, this information is old news and in America, will stay old news, and if, like with the Downing Street Memos, we bloggers are able to force the fascist American news media into reporting this news, all the pundits and editors, even the fake liberal ones, will yawn and tell us it is all "old news" and "everyone knows anyway so why report it at all" which flatters me only because they are admitting that bloggers who do the news such as myself are the real news media now!

This entire war has been an embarrassment, a horror, a degrading spectacle. We went from 100% world sympathy onn 9/11/1 to total revulsion today. This was done by our rulers, our fake "President" and our faker media. They foisted this on us with the money and blessings and assistance of the array of American corporate entities who want to lead us around by our noses while they stuff all the world's lucre into their pockets.

This is all going to end very badly. Unfortunately, more halpless humans will be crushed in the process.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

WAILING WINDS

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Aussie hostage saved today...

Where does the NYT find these morons who write on the editorial page? Tierney was recently hired to provide amusing chat like his previous piece, "Why can't we work the working class to death? They are retiring! Can't have that!" crap to Friedman's eternal wanderings round about the round world wondering why it isn't flat.

Today, he fell off entirely and is cartwheeling in space like the ending of 2001, A Space Odyssey.
Liberals don't want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don't want the Bush team to succeed. As a result, Iraq is drifting sideways and the whole burden is being carried by our military. The rest of the country has gone shopping, which seems to suit Karl Rove just fine.
Fine. This neo-Zionist neo-fascist thinks we are not talking about Iraq? Eh? Wot? I thought yesterday's news that the news refused to cover was the astonishing London Memos detailing how Bush and Blair conspired to create a war out of thin air, no? And we tried and tried to get the mainstream media to even mention this? And the web sites detailing the parade of dead bodies flowing at midnight into Dover Airport? Eh? When has the NYT demanded to photograph these coffins? Huh? Did I hear the wind mournfully howling in Friedman's head?
Well, we need to talk about Iraq. This is no time to give up - this is still winnable - but it is time to ask: What is our strategy? This question is urgent because Iraq is inching toward a dangerous tipping point - the point where the key communities begin to invest more energy in preparing their own militias for a scramble for power - when everything falls apart, rather than investing their energies in making the hard compromises within and between their communities to build a unified, democratizing Iraq.
Excuse me, but I didn't see a single reporter, pundit, bloviator, ombudsman, editor, whoever, volunteering to fight in this war. Not one. The few that dared to go and report while not embedded were murdered, harassed or kidnapped so no one goes there anymore. Even the embedded ones were removed because they witnessed war crimes.

Win? Why are all the GOP kids vacationing? Goofing off? Refusing to enlist? And the neo-Zionists here in America? Gung ho, one and all, but suddenly, they don't want to be there, either.
Yes, yes, I know we are training Iraqi soldiers by the battalions, but I don't think this is the key. Who is training the insurgent-fascists? Nobody. And yet they are doing daily damage to U.S. and Iraqi forces. Training is overrated, in my book. Where you have motivated officers and soldiers, you have an army punching above its weight. Where you don't have motivated officers and soldiers, you have an army punching a clock.
Earth to America: the Iraqis are warriors. They have fought many wars. They invented warfare! They invented civilization. They invented our modern religions, too. The shadow of the city of Ur still lies over us all!

The Iraqis fought more wars in the last 30 years than we, and we are a world girdling empire! Everyone was impressed into the military in Iraq! Everyone was trained to fight, knows how to shoot, knows how to handle explosive devices. They are awesomely well trained! By Saddam! DUH

Stupidity this great deserves what will happen next, no? There is no way of saving minds this dessicated, as we try to get the morons running America to stop doing dumb things, we know in our hearts, this depressing little show will end badly. People this stupid have to be eliminated by the force of Darwinian "red in tooth and claw" forces.
The Kurds have been great. But the Sunni leaders have been shortsighted at best and malicious at worst, fantasizing that they are going to make a comeback to power through terror. As for the Shiites, their spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has been a positive force on the religious side, but he has no political analog. No Shiite Hamid Karzai has emerged.
Friedman doesn't read my blog or he wouldn't talk about Karzai being a great leader. Karzai, surrounded by American mercenary murderers, is a dead man walking. His woeful face is etched with despair and he spends most of his time out of his country or deep within his palace, sort of like...Cheney and Bush who can't go outside except surrounded by guards who sweep the streets bare of all but bussed in supporters who are carefully checked for weapons! All, terrified rabbit men! Maybe it is too late, but before we give up on Iraq, why not actually try to do it right? Double the American boots on the ground and redouble the diplomatic effort to bring in those Sunnis who want to be part of the process and fight to the death those who don't. What Nazi Friedman is saying is, kill everyone, everyone! And double the Americans fighting there! Well, big boy, volunteer! Eh? Wot?

I hear the wind mournfully howling in his head. Even sitting 200 miles away from his office, it is quite distinct.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A ROARING SILENCE

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Cheney, our supposed Vice President, was unleashed to do his usual attack dog act in the news. Standing behind his phalanx of reporters and bodyguards, he slashed at Dr. Dean, the Dr. No of the Democratic Party.
Howard Dean is "over the top," Vice President Dick Cheney says, calling the Democrats' chairman "not the kind of individual you want to have representing your political party."

"I've never been able to understand his appeal. Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does. He's never won anything, as best I can tell," Cheney said in an interview to be aired Monday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes."
This childish, full of open lies, retort of what is supposed to be the man representing the near pinnacle of our country, is pathetic as well as dismaying.

Why this supposedly adult man who shirked fighting for America during the Vietnam war, is allowed to fall this low without someone, anyone pointing out to him his lack of tact, gravitas....oh, he was supposed to be bringing "gravitas" back into the White House!

Lord Hee Haw is laughing his head off in Hades.

So, now we brace ourselves for the rush of reporters going to all Republicans and demanding they censor Cheney and demand he apologize....NOT.

As usual, dead silence. The words of Cheney are reported without comment. No editorials appear, chastizing him. Posses of puckered up pissant pundits aren't pummelling him (I could not resist this! Sorry!). The collective silence, the exhalation of air from the lungs of the Mighty Wulitzer is the sighing sound we all are hearing today.

"Huh? What?" seems to be the response. "Oh, that is old news! It happened yesterday! And besides, look! The missing white girl is still missing!" and they run away, tails tucked, laughing because they think they pulled off another trick.

Polls show that citizens of this country are turning off their TVs from the pundit parade. They are reading the news only to do what I do--dispute it. Readership of blogs has shot up. Alternative news on the web is taking off. The liberal voice, far from being silenced, is now a formidable tool for responding to the Mighty Wulitzer thanks to the internet that Al Gore helped along by providing the funding and the laws to make it available to everyone!

Thank you forever, Al. For that alone, I will adore you all my life.

We will wait in vain for the flood of stories of Republicans critisizing Cheney. The dead silence should be a warning to the Democrats: if a reporter asks you anything about a fellow Democrat, no matter what it is, say "no comment" if you can't agree with him or her! Period.

Until we break the back of the Beast, this is the only course the Democrats can take. To see one "organizer/operative" after another in the news attacking Dean, these stab in the back Democrats are the ones destroying our party. They don't need to yap to the Republican tools who mascarade as reporters! Recognizing reporters, for the most part, are GOP paid flacks means treating them like the enemies they really are. No Democrat can trust any reporter of any media right now.

This is war. The owners of these creatures have them on a very short leash. The move to unionize the media is dying on the vine and most reporters remain at their jobs only if they please the owners who want to have eternal tax cuts and monopoly/cartel markets and other things that will make them as rich as Hearst...who is facing a union strike at one of his papers today! Bet you read all about it in the mainstream press! Not.

We just witnessed an across the country/across the media blackout of world shaking news, the London war memos, and although a crack has opened, the second memo was reported by the Washington Post but not the NYT and not one TV station, this nationwide blackout means only one thing: the owners who talk to each other and their tools, the Republicans in DC, and they conspired to not cover the news or, like Kinsley who recently took over the LA Times, not reporting it but sneering about it on his editorial page calling it "old news" (!) because everyone knew Bush was lying about going into war which is why....well, we were there, we all saw how not only Bush but the Mighty Wulitzer screamed that this wasn't a preplanned war based on lies, they were telling the truth, honest to god...

And so it goes. I don't have any power within the Democratic party. I used to come out of the woodwork regularily to change events or push for projects and am basically bipartisan...until the Clinton impeachment. Even though I disliked Clinton and never did a thing about him one way or another, I sat down the day the blue dress showed up in the news and the Democrats began to waver and I attacked Starr, the blue dress, the GOP and everyone. Strongly.

Even managed to get the NYT editors to run one of my pieces!

Well, since then, I have watched with horror as the press has collapsed. It used to be easy getting into the news. I used to advise people on "how to get the press to cover your story, how to talk to reporters, how to write an editorial." I used to be the press liason of more than one organization in NYC years ago. My little black book was crowded with the phone numbers of members of the highest levels of the media. I knew them all, either socially or through my efforts to organize things like the push for the Hubble Space Telescope or other space/astronomy issues.

Now, I can't talk to any of them. When Dan Rather stabbed me in the back on 60 Minutes by refusing to let me refute stories about my own family and myself, I knew the Day of Doom was here. This is why I had to retch first before defending him over that Rove trap set for 60 Minutes.

Today, locked out of the press, a "nonperson," I blog instead. This is the least I can do. Certainly, no reporters will come ringing my door bell which they did up until 1999. I am not alone. There is an army of reporters and writers who live in the Twilight Zone of the www such as Parry who runs Consortium News.com.

This can be depressing except it is exhilarating too. We are successfully fighting them which is why they are screaming back at us now. They want us to shut up and they can't shut us up. During the last "election" the media talked endlessly about bloggers...90% of which was open attacks on us or mixing up the methods and motives of liberal bloggers who are very much ousiders with right wing tools who are merely the blog extention of the Mighty Wulitzer. Anything the right wingers put online that was even faintly useable was instantly transmuted into the mainstream but anything, including hard research and reporting like the Gannon affair, we had to push and yell and repeat and attack for weeks before the first mention comes in the mainstream press and even then, it is woefully misreported.

About reporters getting even simple, verifiable facts correct: this is deliberate. The editors know the owners don't really want information to flow, they want the appearance of information flowing so they allow or I now suspect, deliberately insert bad information like viruses into their writing so that clarity will not happen. It used to be years ago, one could call in a correction when a reporter misspelled names or got other simple facts wrong.

Now you can't get them to retract even gross lies.

This is why we have to continue this fight and this fight is literally life and death for as all great minds know, if you control information, you can rule with an iron hand.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

DAILY KOS OFF CLIFF

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Betty Friedman, an early inspiration for me.

At this blog, I often talk about how advertising can warp things because of its insidious influence on editorial content. One of the main straightjackets afflicting the transmission of information and analysis of what is happening stems directly from using advertising as a medium for making money writing.

Recently, at Daily Kos, there was a bad breakdown over the issue of jarring, in bad taste, ads. Instead of examining his use of ads and trying to control the ad's influence on him, the person who uses the name "Kos" (note that I use my real name on line, a proud practice I have followed for years) became flustered because some of the women who read his site were offended by a juvenile, stupid ad for a MSM TV show. He decided to attack women at his own site...
So over the weekend, certain segments of the community have erupted in anger over the TBS ad for their reality show, the Real Gilligan's Island. Apparently, having two women throw pies at each other, wrestle each other in a sexy, lesbianic manner, then having water splashed on their ample, fake bosoms is degrading to women. Or something like that.
Whatever. Feel free to be offended. I find such humorless, knee-jerk reactions, to be tedious at best, sanctimonious and arrogant at worst. I don't care for such sanctimony from Joe Lieberman, I don't care for it from anyone else. Some people find such content offensive. Some people find it arousing. Some people find it funny. To each his or her own.

But I am not Lieberman. I won't sit there and judge pop culture and act as gatekeeper to what I think is "appropriate", and what isn't.

And I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site. Feel free to be offended. Feel free to claim that I'm somehow abandoning "progressive principles" by running the ad. It's a free country. Feel free to storm off in a huff. Other deserving bloggers could use the patronage.

Me, I'll focus on the important shit.
Perhaps I am sanctimonious, but I was fighting tooth and nail for my civil rights as a woman when "Kos" was born. It was a long and gruelling battle. As a braless (I dislike bras) "hippie chick" I was accused of being a prude when I was living with three boyfriends! Because I was against degrading images of women that the MSM shovelled all over the place. The long battle for the right to be free of neo Nazi Popes and busy body right wingloons is long and hard and never seems to end.

When Kos demanded we not look at the former Nazi Pope's ugly past, I was very offended. When I learned the Pope was blaming specifically me for his "change of heart" when he reverted to his Nazi upbringing, I was doubly angry.

What is this "more important shit" Kos is talking about? One wonders. Does running crummy ads further the cause of anything? Telling us to ignore him or go away...I agree. This is the last time I will address the issue of Mr. Anonymous Kos concerning his own website. But just remember this:

Since day one of the women's rights movement, we were told there were more important things to worry about. War, racism, union organizing, whatever. Anything and everything came first. Once we rocked the cradle and baked the bread and fixed the potholes for free, we could then get some basic civil rights.

I famously stood up to that, at one conference in 1969, when I learned not one woman was going to talk about women's issues at a progressive venue in Berkeley, I took over the hall, standing on my chair, yelling. We were granted one hour's time. Whoopee. Nothing, absolutely nothing, ticks me off more than some la de dah male telling me he is busy with more important stuff than whatever I bring up as an issue.

I don't post at Kos nor read much there but he is a big time so called "liberal" who gets tons of free MSM attention thanks to his readers and posters, many of whom he just insulted.
Sometimes, the best way to kill something you disagree with is to ignore it.
True. Ignore women and you kill our interest. Indeed, Kos disagreed with his own readers but rather than ignoring this and being nice, he attacks with all his mighty powers. "Take that, you irritating females! Dare to distract me from my great task of saving America!"

Quite.

Back in the sixties, ernest women and men in the movement would corner me and demand I shut up. When I explained the issues that concerned me were about things that had a daily impact on my life, specifically, they would say, "we will fix that later," only later never came and I grew louder and frankly, nastier. My biggest fights were with people that should have been my allies and this is why the left fell apart. Instead of embracing "liberation for all" it was a free for all battle over who gets the goodies!

My support for gay rights is simple: they are who they are and what they want is good for them and good for me so why not? My support for minority civil rights: no one wants to live in a world where they are discriminated against so why do this to anyone? So it doesn't matter if the discrimination arises from skin color or religious profession or sex, it is all the same to me, all humans are people too and should be treated equally.

Lastly, in the privacy of my home, I can hang pictures of nudes, which I have because I paint, and it is my own business. But when I drive around town I don't want to see explicit photos using sex to sell whatever. This offends me. It is public. Big difference.

People can watch whatever tripe they want on TV. But when a public web site runs icky ads with an obnoxious picture, this intrudes on me in many ways. Avoiding a public site is a solution but it shouldn't ever come up in the first place.

Pull those ads, dude!

Oh, and about all the people on line running blogs hiding their identity: 99.9% of the time there is no need to do this. If you are that embarrassed about your involvement with your own words, gads! Buck up! Take a stand. Draw a line in the sand. Be a man! Brave!

Years ago, I used to publish my home address on forums when people attacked me. Some actually showed up at my mountain! Heh. I don't hide from anyone, anywhere, any time. This is what power is all about. Being able to stand up proud and say outloud whatever I want. Thank you.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

HE EVEN LOOKS CLUELESS

The NYT editorial pages roll on like a Panzer corps stuck in the mud in Russia. Their latest entry in the "Clueless in America" beauty contest is this top contestant:
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Matt Miller! "Here he comes, Missed America!" Brooks better pretty himself up more, his crown has a contender! All these weaklings follow their leader, Bush, into one hysterical trap after another and they wonder out loud, what is wrong with evil people like you and me!

Why, we are partisan! Geeze. We should be more open minded!
Is Persuasion Dead? Speaking just between us - between one who writes columns and those who read them - I've had this nagging question about the whole enterprise we're engaged in. Is persuasion dead? And if so, does it matter?

The significance of this query goes beyond the feelings of futility I'll suffer if it turns out I've wasted my life on work that is useless. This is bigger than one writer's insecurities. Is it possible in America today to convince anyone of anything he doesn't already believe? If so, are there enough places where this mingling of minds occurs to sustain a democracy?"
Seriously, the real question is, "Is Matt brain dead or just stone stupid?" As a super tidalwave of propaganda and just plain lying overwhelms mainstream media they meditate on all sorts of metaphysical questions that merely reveals how messed up they have become.

Yes, Matt, dear, you not only wasted your useless life writing garbage that is worse than useless, you are unable to change course which is why you wrote yet another useless and stupid article. You need help.
Let's face it: the purpose of most political speech is not to persuade but to win, be it power, ratings, celebrity or even cash.
Cash? Why didn't this poor man mention all the bribes to writers that Bush has ladled out tons of cash so generously? And why Ann Coulter ended up on the cover of Time magazine? I look just as good as she and I can't even penetrate their letters to the editor there! And the mainstream media pays the whores well, too. Step out of line and they flatten you...only if you are on the left. We have to walk on eggshells while Ann and Rush and others can commit crimes and lie and make threats and everyone pets them and give them pay raises!

Talk about discourse!
The politicians and the press didn't kill off persuasion intentionally, of course; it's more manslaughter than murder. Persuasion just isn't relevant to delivering elections or eyeballs. Pols have figured out that to get votes you don't need to change minds. Even when they want to, modern media make it hard. They give officials seconds to make their point, ignore their ideas in favor of their poll numbers or showcase a clash of caricatures, believing this is the only way to make "debate" entertaining. Elections may turn on emotions like hope and fear anyway, but with persuasion's passing, there's no alternative.
The Swift boat liars used a lot of media leverage to "change people's minds" and not once did they have to resort to soundbites. They were given loving and frequent and long coverage! Kerry was reduced to soundbites.

The fact that this useless writer has to resort to a rank lie reveals his true nature: far from persuading due to marshalling facts, he just makes up stuff and stuffs it into an editorial hoping we will swallow this swill.
I'm not the only one who amid this mess wonders if he shouldn't be looking at another line of work. A top conservative thinker called recently, dejected at the sight of Ann Coulter on the cover of Time. What's the point of being substantive, he cried, when all the attention goes to the shrill?
Hahaha. Another strike from the right using the devastating tactic of trying to make us laugh to death! Yes, Matt, please do some real work for once! Garbage collection, for example.

I don't see too many right wingers wringing their hands over their fellow right wingers getting top coverage. Matt, be a dear and tell the NYT to publish me! You can quit and I won't blame you!
But the embarrassing truth is that we earnest chin-strokers often get it wrong anyway. Take me. I hadn't thought much about Iraq before I read Ken Pollack's book, "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq," a platonic ideal of careful analysis meant to persuade. It worked. I was persuaded! So what should we conclude when a talent like Pollack can convince us - and then the whole thing turns out to be based on a premise (W.M.D.) that is false?
I wrote to Matt and suggested he read my blog from now on. He obviously can't be trusted to research anything himself. He has no ideas about Iraq, reads only one right wing book and is "persuaded"! And then discovers it was all a lie all along!

Knock me over with a kicked Koran!
If serious efforts to get it right can lead to tragic errors, why care about a culture of persuasion at all? On one level, everyone needs a good rationalization at the core of his professional life; mine holds that the struggle to think things through, even when we fail, is redeeming.
Reading exactly one right wing book is "serious effort"? Obviously, he is from the "reading and thinking is hard work" crew. I recommend a year in a Chinese re-education prison for him. Maybe that will get him to start thinking again.

Why does the NYT publish this swill? Aside from the whinny tone of this obviously sheltered and quite stupid man, how did he get the gig with the Center for American Progress? They hired him? How did he interview? "I am as stupid as you are and equally clueless and can mindlessly repeat propaganda?" Gads. The mind reels.

I remember when the NYT was slightly serious and the world was still round.

MEDIA MESSES Loud Denials, Quiet Affirmations

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Looks to me like a demonstration about Koran abuse, not antidemocracy demonstrators
Newsweek ran a rather obscure story that hid deep in the recesses of the darker corners of the obscure story a tidbit about the Koran being "flushed down the toilet." This then blew up hugely as anti-Koran desecration demonstrations rapidly formed across the planet. I watched the foreign news with dismay. The people demonstrating understood the underlying truth: America is on a crusade to crush or corrupt their religion just as bin Laden suggested.

To cope with this the American right wing media machinery began a tidalwave of often contradictory lies and churned information in twisted ways. First, the mighty Wulitzer began to attack Newsweek itself. They didn't attack the writer, Isikoff, because he is a tool of the right wing in general. Indeed, the fact that he "broke" this story and the following events and the fact that he wasn't fired for "lying" tells us a great deal about this manufactured outrage. After just a few days of fake outrage in the vast spectrum of right wing punditry, Newsweek withdrew the story and promised to never talk about such things again.

The Pentagon and Bush then sat back, happy as a cat that ate a bird, and thought this was all over. To manipulate events further, they then issued denials that the anti-Koran abuse demonstrations where American soldiers shot and killed Muslims in Afghanistan, were "pre-planned" and "anti-democracy". I looked at many pictures in many countries during the demonstrations. Not one demonstrator, speaker nor sign said anything about democracy. All the signs were about Koran abuse and all the speakers talked nearly exclusively about this. So why did the American media try to strain to swallow that gnat of a lie?

For it was a deliberate psy-ops performed on the American people.

Now utterly confused, the true stories are leaking out thanks to Amnesty International and others who are doggedly going after persistent reports that prisoners were tortured, abused, beaten to death and the Koran was repeatedly violated. I am constantly astonished at the childishness of the guards, the fact that Lyndie England never visited Gitmo yet the same tortures happened there as in Iraq and the desecrations of the Koran are serious enough.

They didn't flush it down the toilet, they merely pissed on it! Great distinction...oh, in the opposite direction. This is worse. They didn't flush it down the toilet, they merely put it there and laughed. Aha! Another fine distinction! They kicked it around while cursing the prisoners. OK. At least they didn't piss on it...oops. They did. And so on.

Two American soldiers in Afghanistan were blown up today. The pissed off Taliban and the pissed off peasants all thought this was a real pisser. In Iraq, the hatred rises by the hour. The dying Saudi corpulent corrupt ruler who is in charge of the Holy Place, Mecca, says nothing, the Saudi Royals say nothing, bin Laden grins with dire joy as the men he intends to destroy leave themselves open to more attacks as their slack support of Mohammed's Bible devolve into drooling moronic assent to desecration. Bin Laden tagged us all correctly as far as the Muslim world can see. We are the Devil.

As usual, the stories leaking out about the American war crimes, for it is a war crime to desecrate a prisoner's religious books, comes on a Friday afternoon. This is so the media won't talk about it. Of course, the media complies by not talking about it very much and certainly won't attack Bush and his gang for attacking Newsweek! Instead, there is desultory acknowledgement of the facts of the matter and then the usual "move on, move on".

Meanwhile, the rising story about slavery in Gulf allies' nations rises. The plight of the kidnapped/sold into slavery camel jockey children broken in England thanks to the hazardous attempts at uncovering this criminal activity conducted by a few brave non-reporter civilians horrified at this business, finally sees the light of day in America. I read about this last month but didn't cover it, alas, because of events but it is a sad and terrible story.

Even as Rumsfelt bloviates about freedom he and Bush remain utterly dense about our "allies" enslaving women and children illegally for slavery is illegal in these countries now. Our media stayed silent, too, because they are in collusion with the Saudi/Gulf sheikh. This is why Saudi Arabia wasn't attacked after 9/11. This is why they are all doomed in the coming struggle to see who controls Mecca.

In the run up to the Iraq war the media would spew out the administration's rank lies and then any contrary information was buried deep inside stories or back pages. And the American public falls asleep at the wheel figuring it is impossible to sort through all this stuff.

Clear headlines and clear time lines can fix all of this but this means connecting the dots and providing background history, a big no-no these days.