Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
Like the Straussian concept of the Philosopher Kings....
These, of course, are supposed to be the wise men (and presumably women although the whole Straussian concept is devoid of mention of women) who see widsoms that we, the poor, humble, ignorant masses, cannot see and who will cajole, reason, manipulate and lie to us to manufacture consensus (what Lippman called Public Opinion---see previous posts) to do what is "BEST" for us as a society...even though we don't know it.....
Now there's a whole universe of concepts that go with that....strong, central authority figures;...tight control over public information and discourse...deference to capitalism as the well-spring of all...
Actually this isn't new......Straussian Neoconservatism is only a repackaging of things we've known about all along by other names....
Dennis: Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.
–noun, plural -chies.
a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
2.a state or organization so ruled.
3.the persons or class so ruling.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I had a chance to talk with a couple of my contempooraries on Friday about these posts. I'm afraid that I was a bit defensive but that was becasue it dawned on me that I have never explained the purpose of my ramblings.
Since the days....actually very dark days... when Ronald Reagan became president, the behavior of conservatives absolutely fascinated me. The "rank-and-file" Republicans I knew had absolutely no idea about the underlying reasons for republican/conservative doctrine, in trstead, they picked up on catch phrases and clever "one-liners" from conservative pundits and accepted them as biblical truth (more on that some other time) and put their money, life and faith in the catch phrases. In many instances, the "one-liners" were at odds with what I understood to be traditional conservative dogma. In other words the rank and file was being manipulated, lied to, pandered to, in order to support candidates who were not, as far as I knew, really philosophical conservatives.
To expect that all men for all time will go on thinking different things, and yet doing the same things, is a doubtful speculation. It is not founding society on a communion, or even on a convention, but rather on a coincidence. Four men may meet under the same lamp post; one to paint it pea green as part of a great municipal reform; one to read his breviary in the light of it; one to embrace it with accidental ardour in a fit of alcoholic enthusiasm; and the last merely because the pea green post is a conspicuous point of rendezvous with his young lady. But to expect this to happen night after night is unwise...." [Footnote: G. K. Chesterton, "The Mad Hatter and the Sane Householder," _Vanity Fair_, January, 1921, p. 54]
Chesterton was saying, of course, that the public, and most specifically, Public Opinion, had to be "shaped and moulded" because they cannot be expected to come to the "correct" opinion by themselves. This leads to the obvious conclusion that leaders and wise men (remember the "Philosopher Kings" of Strauss fame?) should shape public opinion....
Look what happens with Walter Lippment did to "expand on" the concept.
My conclusion is that public opinions must be organized for the press if they are to be sound, not by the press as is the case today. This organization I conceive to be in the first instance the task of a political science that has won its proper place as formulator, in advance of real decision, instead of apologist, critic, or reporter after the decision has been made. I try to indicate that the perplexities of government and industry are conspiring to give political science this enormous opportunity to enrich itself and to serve the public. And, of course, I hope that these pages will help a few people to realize that opportunity more vividly, and therefore to pursue it more consciously.
Here, Lippmann's original observation has become somewhat more specific and nefarious. Lippmann was calling for something very like the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence. It would be a group of highly trained people that would do what no single leader could do...break down the huge amounts of data in the world into digestable bits, and allow power-brokers to make reality-based decisions. And, then, help mobilize the media to mold public opinion in support of a policy that had been well thought out by experts, but might not be easily sellable to an uninformed public.
The Straussians had a different take. For them, the kind of analysis done by the CIA was doomed to be flawed by the actions of the enemy...who would always seek to deceive. Moreover, matters of policy couldn't, or shouldn't, be left to politicians. Politicians have certain skill sets but, for Straussians, deep thinking isn't necessary one of them. If you understand this mindset it makes it easier to understand the meaning of Ron Suskind's famous contact with an aide to George W. Bush:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Far too many people on the left misinterpreted this statement and went racing to declare themselves 'proud members of the reality-based community'. Doing that is only a way of making yourself look stupid and validating the Straussian's contempt for you. For the neo-conservatives in this administration, the meaning of reality-based is quite different from how most people conceive it. Reality-based refers to those people that are on the receiving end of the media barrage and not on the production end. People that deal only in reality are people that think reality can be discerned by reading the papers. But, for the Straussians, that is but the shadow on the wall of a cave.
"...the wall of a cave.." Plato's cave?
The true Form of reality is made, for example, when Scooter Libby sits down for a chat with Judith Miller in the St. Regis Hotel and leaks part if the National Intelligence Estimate to her. Libby worked to get misinformation into the NIE, and then he leaks that misinformation back to the press in order to justify other misinformation that is under threat of exposure.
In other words, while we're studying reality (reading Joe Wilson's editorial in the New York Times), they will act again (leak the NIE, expose the critic's wife, spread new disinformation) and we will be left to study what they do.
This type of manipulation of public opinion is most blatant where it is consciously done. And the two places where it is most consciously done is at The New Republic and within neo-conservative circles.
Both efforts are deeply cynical and undemocratic. And they have dominated U.S. foreign policy for
Is this what the rank-and-file Republican/conservative really believes?
Or is it that the rank-and-file Republican really believes that he or she must subjigate themselves to a higher authority (philosopher king?) to maintain order in society? And this is "okay" with them?
Do they understand at all?
Thursday, February 22, 2007
better than that, it's the every-other-Thursday when the latest episode of The Last Chance Democracy Cafe' is published...so in between phone calls and CEUs, I've been "hanging out" over at Stephen C. Day's virtual Cafe and eavesdropping on what Tom, Winston, Zach and the rest of the gang have to say.
As usual, they gave me something to think about.....and...because as Albert Einstein said, "there is no such thing as coincidence." a large part of what Steve and the "guys" (although Molly does make a cameo appearance today) are discussing shows up in a nasty little food fight between KOS and Joe Klein in today's blog "The Swamp".
In case I lost you there....let me tie it together for you.
The title of today's episode in the Cafe' is: BE AUDACIOUS OR DIE!
It starts out by asking if the Democratic Party is a "One-hit-Wonder"...(all of us baby-boomers and American Bandstand babies should know what that means)and goes on to talk about the fact that while the Democrats won a least a "taste" of power in the 06 election, the Republicans still maintain a HUGE structural advantage because of the infrastructure they have built up over the past 20 years or so.
(note: there is an interesting discussion of the Clinton years in there which I find remarkably insightful....read it...comment on it...)
The point is that the Democratic Party must be audaciuos enough to make structural changes that will either negate or eliminate the Republican advantages in money, media and think tanks or it will lose in the upcoming elections.
So how does the KOS/Klein food-fight play into this? (Picture at right is Kos and Jane Hamser at "Yearly Kos")
For the record, the current food fight involves Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D-Dalifornia) and the Washington Post sums the battle up like this:
The Democratic majority was only three weeks old, but by Jan. 26, the grass-roots and Net-roots activists of the party's left wing had already settled on their new enemy: Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.), the outspoken chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition.Progressive blogs -- including two new ones, Ellen Tauscher Weekly and Dump Ellen Tauscher -- were bashing her as a traitor to her party. A new liberal political action committee had just named her its "Worst Offender." And in Tauscher's East Bay district office that day in January, eight MoveOn.org activists were accusing her of helping President Bush send more troops to Iraq.
And KOS has been leading the charge.
As we tried to do in Connecticut. While we didn't get rid of Joe Lieberman, we helped to effectively marginalize him. He's now stuck to a failed and disastrously unpopular president, and is in a no-man's land of politics--useless to the Republicans because he won't support many of their pet causes, and a pariah in his own party. Contrast that to Jane Harman, as Markos does in this story:
But Kos points to Harman as a perfect example of how the Net roots can keep Democrats in line. He said Harman used to be a constant irritant, a go-to quote for reporters looking for a Democrat to tweak liberals -- until she had to fight off a primary challenge from the left in 2006. "She's been great ever since," he said. Now Harman even writes on the liberal Huffington Post blog.
Klein, of course, disagrees:
And finally: While you infants are getting all self-righteous about the sins of moderates and littering the space with pornographic comments, the Republicans have spent the day sending bombs like this to people like me. They've done one for each Democratic candidate for President. Some perspective, please, from the commentariat.
I won't get into the "bloggers are uncivil" argument right now, but I thought Joe had seen the light and said so in an earlier post...
Good material for thought this morning...pour a cup of coffee, grab a sweetroll, and settle into the Last Chance Democracy Cafe' (and leave a comment)
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Supporting the Troops...Republican Style
Monday, February 19, 2007
Speaking of George Bush, with whom Sharon developed a very close relationship, Uri Dan recalls that Sharon's delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: "I will screw him in the ass!"
As Fleischer recounted [an exchange with Helen Thomas about Saddam Hussein] for the president, Bush's mood changed, according to Levine. He grew grim and determined—steely. Out of nowhere, he unleashed a stream of expletives.
"Did you tell her I don't like motherfuckers who gas their own people?" the president snapped.
"Did you tell her I don't like assholes who lie to the world?"
"Did you tell her I'm going to kick his sorry motherfucking ass all over the Mideast?"
1. Bush's belief he somehow was personally "going to kick [Saddam's] sorry motherfucking ass." I guess I missed the part where Bush parachuted into Iraq and went mano-y-mano with Saddam and bested him in a round of Extreme Kickboxing.
Speaking of which, before the war Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan picked up on Bush's weirdly personal animus and suggested that he and Saddam fight a duel. "In this way," he said, "we are saving the American and Iraqi people." The White House scoffed at this preposterous notion. I suspect this was because Bush is so incredibly manly it wouldn't be a fair fight.
2. Bush, Fleischer and Levine were meeting to discuss an upcoming History Channel interview of Bush about similarities between him and Reagan. According to Hubris, on a pre-brief memo Bush had scrawled such phrases as "moral clarity."
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Hardscrabble.....that's the term that first brought this to mind, and raised a deeper issue...
According to dictionary. com, this is what hardscrabble means,
yielding little by great labor; "a hardscrabble farm"; "poor soil"
of a bare living gained by great labor; "the sharecropper's hardscrabble life"; "a marginal existence"
Hardscrabble speaks to a hard life; A view of life that lacks joy or any kind human compassion; a dog-eat-dog kind of existance. If you listen to any conservative politician, pundit or radio personality, they tell us over and over again that life...even in this land of plenty...even in the richest, most advanced civilization the world has ever seen, life is hard and any attempt to be compassionate or charitable to another living being "spoils them" by making them dependent as opposed to self-sufficient.
Almost all Republican rhetoric espouses the virtues of "self-sufficiency", virtuous discipline (imposed either by self or by submission to authority), and of course, "traditional values".
I've been listening to the likes of Cheney, Mitch McConnell, David Boehner and their puppets talk about these conservative "virtues" on and off all week and I hate the world they want us to live in.
And wouldn't you just know it....today...one of the neocons favorite writers, David Brooks, puts out an editorial in the New York times to define the soul of conservatism. But even better, (actually much, much better) a blogger and essayist by the name of Arthur Silber did a tremendous review and gave incredible historical context to the deep questions of what lies at the center of the conservative soul....
Iraq has revealed what human beings do without a strong order-imposing state.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Last week was hectic in that I had meetings every evening Monday through Thursday and on Thursday evening, I had no less than three of my organizations meeting at the same time...
Some of the information is documented here....
I have a saved draft in which I went off on a lengthy ( and I do mean lengthy) rant over a column by Ann Coulter.. Our old Friend The Rude Pundit referenced it and rather than take his word for what the article was all about, I read it myself....
The article disturbed me so much that I went on an extended rant that I fully intended to print here....but with google being what it is...well, I didn't want to volunteer for that kind of grief...
I'm not even going to link to the article.
I'll have some more commentary later, but I've got wood to stack and split right now....
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Since my original post, there has been a lot more written on it by digby and you should stop in and treat yourself to some great commentary.
Keith Olbermann took on a piece of it earlier this week by naming William Donahue as at least the Worser person in the world in his nightly Worse, Worser, Worst Person in the World Segment by noting that Donahue had used similar ...er....intemperate ... (yeah, right) language in describing "Hollywood" in the very recent past.
Digby and Attaturk had riffed on the "double standard" of excoriating Liberal Blogger and columnists while giving Conservative Bloggers and Columnists a pass. I'm going to add to this....
Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory (which has moved up to Salon) gets into the most egregious example to date. He cites Frank Gaffney's column in today's Washington Times (owned by the Moonies no less)
Frank Gaffney, one of the country's most influential and well-connected neoconservatives, has a column in today's Washington Times in which he argues that the debate taking place in Congress over the war in Iraq constitutes treason. Gaffney specifically argues that the condemnations of Douglas Feith from Sen. Rockefeller "really should be a hanging offense."
Gaffney begins his column by purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney claims that Lincoln said:Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
But this quote is completely invented. Lincoln never said it. This "quote" was first attributed to Lincoln by J. Michael Waller in Insight Magazine, in a 2003 article revealingly entitled: Democrats Usher in an Age of Treason. But as Waller himself now admits, the quote attributed to Lincoln is completely fraudulent. Waller wrote in an e-mail to FactCheck.org (h/t William Wolfrum):
The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.
Of course, that doesn't stop Gaffney from building an entire column around the quote and using it to suggest that Congressmen who dare debate this issue on the floor of the House of Representatives are guilty of TREASON.
Here's what steams me:
Aside from Glenn's excellent article, nobody else is talking about this, especially in that lofty realm we sometimes refer to as The MainStream Media (MSM).
We don't see Chris Matthews talking about it. We don't see him breathlessly (I think he does everything "breathlessly") pounding on Gaffney saying, "Is DISSENT TREASON? Yes or No?....Yes or No?"
We certainly don't see the Bill O'Reilly (isn't he supposed to be the one "Watching out for you?) wagging his finger or putting Gaffney "on notice" for his anti-American article.
We don't see anybody taking them to task for inventing a quote for Lincoln...
Instead we're letting them get away with fomenting hatred and dissent and galvanizing intolerance for any opinion other than their own.
This is ridiculous...................
Friday, February 09, 2007
The subject is the (bogus) flap over "Nancy Pelosi's airplane". The story line leaked from the Pentagon was that Nancy had requested a "large plane" to fly her, "her family, and political associates" between Washington D. C. and her home District in San Francisco. The implication, of course, was that Nancy was demanding was demanding "special treatment" or even perhaps "abusing perks of office".
But as the story started to unfold, the truth seeped out. The truth had a number of elements.
First, since 9/11/01 the military has been providing an airplane for The Speaker of the House for security reasons...because, after all, right after the Vice President, The Speaker of the House is the next in line for the Presidency. So it makes sense.
Second, Nancy didn't request either the airplane nor a "larger" airplane. It was requested by the Sergeant At Arms of the House who MAKES ALL SUCH TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS.
Third, the Sergeant at arms did ask for a larger plane, because the one used by Hastert doesn't have the RANGE from D.C. to San Francisco without making a fuel stop which would compromise security.
Okay. Got it? The story was bogus from the giddy-yup.....The Sergeant at arms said so, Tony Snow said so, the Pentagon (except whoever leaked the bogus story in the first place) said so....
More than 24 hours after the story is declared bogus, Howie publishes his column, Media Notes, and guess what...he repeats the bogus story:
Nancy Pelosi asked for a bigger (and far more expensive) plane because the one she was using couldn't make it to the West Coast without a refueling stop. Hastert didn't have that problem getting to Illinois.
Pelosi may be right on the substance, but the symbolism is awful. She insists she didn't ask for the plane, but if a military flight is needed, she wants a nonstop to San Francisco. The average voter will be left wth an image of her flying around on a jumbo jet in the lap of luxury
And of course, Howie had to keep it going with this:
"On the House floor, Republicans managed to take a bill about alternative fuel and turn it into a debate on Pelosi's transportation arrangements, by introducing an amendment that included the word 'aircraft.' That was enough to provide conservative members an opportunity to characterize her as the Leona Helmsley of Capitol Hill."
As slimy, swarmy, partisan, dishonest and just plain wrong as this was, it wasn't his biggest fault. Take a look at this:
Here's some typical blog reaction.
"With all the fuss about global warming nowadays, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is complaining that she cannot have a huge jet to traipse across the country with her immediate family and political supporters. Does she realize what a huge government jet would cost the taxpayers? Maybe not, and maybe she does not care - who knows?"
What has happened to the democrats, now they want Pelosi to be treated like a queen? She and her band of freaks are starting to sound less and less like the peoples' choice to lead the country. If the plane isn't big enough then don't go to California, or better yet pay your own damn fare on a commercial jet. Silly [rhymes with witch]!"
TYPICAL BLOG REACTION? Just who is "Political Retch"?
Thanks to a little detective work by Roger Ailes (the good Roger Ailes) we find this: Thanks to Atrios for the link.
Well, Political Retch is a blog with one -- that's one -- post. The one Kurtz quotes. The blog apparently didn't exist until yesterday morning at 8:38 a.m. If you do a Google search with "Politcal Retch" in quotes, it doesn't even show up. Yet Howie the Putz somehow managed to find the blog and promote it with no trouble whatsoever. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
and while we're at it, just who or what is Radiant Times?
The other blogger, Radiant Times, is "a choral director specializing in working with singers with changing voices" who began blogging on February 1, 2007 and currently has a total of 93 pages visits, 30 of which are from today.
Today is, what? February 9, 2007 and Radiant Times started on February 1, 2007 and they already "hit the bigtime" with a mention in a nationally syndicated column. What luck!
I don't believe in that kind of coincidence, do you? Even if it is a coincidence, how is it that an experienced journalist...a nationally known journalist...a nationally televised journalist...a journalist who reports on "other" journalists....didn't bother to research in the slightest the sources he was quoting....
Oversight? Or flat-ass dishonest?
Okay Howie Kurtz....we'll see you Sunday on Reliable Sources....yeah, RIGHT....
Levin says that, dividing the work with the Senate intelligence committee, they will seriously pursue the issue and plan to interview members of the administration who received briefings from Doug Feith, including National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former chief of staff to VP Cheney (and current criminal defendant) Scooter Libby.
It is bizarre for the Inspector General to disapprove of policy officials' doing work that they were directed to do by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense, given that those tasks were lawful and authorized and the Inspector General found nothing at all wrong with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary directing that the work be done.
Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran.
At the same time, however, he said he was somewhat surprised that recent raids by coalition and Iraqi forces in Iraq swept up some Iranians.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s famous A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom and Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. Many other literary works were also promptly approved (with priority, sadly, going almost as much for compactness as quality), especially books on political philosophy, such as Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man and John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty.
A lot of speeches made the cut as well, Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream,” Robert La Follette, “Free Speech in Wartime,” Eugene Debs, “Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act,” Margaret Chase Smith, “Declaration of Conscience,” Mary Church Terrell, “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the U.S.,” Eleanor Roosevelt, “The Struggle for Human Rights” and Hubert H. Humphrey, “1948 Civil Rights Speech.”
I never read that speech. Hell, I never even knew it existed but thanks to Steve, it was hyper-linked and I took the time to call it up and read the whole thing.....and I admit, I was teary-eyed at the end.
Because you see, we, as a country have been through all of this before. We've lived through "War Fever" We've survived a "War Party". We have seen the patriotism of those who opposed war questioned and we have seen citizens threatened with bodily harm for their opposition to "war fever". We have seen citizens arrested and held without charge (no habeus corpus?). We have seen rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights ignored, suspended, violated and generally trampled upon.
But there was a man who had the strenght of character to stand up. He stood and he spoke against it.
It was Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin. I encourage you to "click on the link" and read the whole speech but it is worthy of a few snippets:
"Prior to the declaration of war every man who had venture to oppose our entrance into it had been condemned as a coward or worse, and even the President had by no means been immune from these attacks.
Since the declaration of war, the triumphant war press has pursued those Senators and Representative who voted against war with malicious falsehood and recklessly libelous attacks, going to the extreme limit of charging them with treason against their country.
Any of that sound familiar? (Almost all except for the President being excoriated by the press) Remember, this was October 6, 1917!
But, sir, it is not alone Members of Congress that the war party in this country has sought to intimidate. The mandate seems to have gone forth to the sovereign people of this country that they must be silent while those things are being done by their Government which most vitally concern their well-being, their happiness, and their lives. Today, and for weeks past, honest and law-abiding citizens of this country are being terrorized and outraged in their rights by those sworn to uphold the laws and protect the rights of the people. I have in my possession numerous affidavits establishing the fact that people are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, held incommunicado for days, only to be eventually discharged without ever having been taken into court, because they have committed no crime. Private residences are being invaded, loyal citizens of undoubted integrity and probity arrested, cross-examined, and the most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are being violated.
and then, he speaks the words that were sooooo true then and could have even been spoken with equal confidence in their truth on the floor of the U. S. Senate this week:
More than in times of peace it is necessary that the channels for free public discussion of governmental policies shall be open and unclogged. I believe, Mr. President, that I am now touching upon the most important question in this country today -- and that is the right of the citizens of this country and their representatives in Congress to discuss in an orderly way, frankly and publicly and without fear, from the platform and through the press, every important phase of this war; its causes, and manner in which it should be conducted, and the terms upon which peace should be made.
What does that say about the Republicans who have blocked debate in the Senate? What does that say about the strength of our democracy? Where are the men of integrity and wisdom? Where are the men of moral courage today?
I'm starting to mentally draw some comparisoms between our modern-day Russ Feingold and fightin' Bob but I'm not sure that I should. Perhaps Fightin Bob was in a class by himself as Russ Feingold might indeed be in a class by himself. They are both treasures of our State nevertheless and we need to honor them.
At the moment, I'm just damned proud to be in Wisconsin
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
You've got to be joking! I've never worked with a single person in government, either elected or appointed, who had such a cavelier attitude about TAXPAYERS MONEY!
This guy should be old-fashioned buggey-whipped....
I can't wait until these hearings continue and expose the gross negligence of the CPA, Rummy and the whole crooked band of neocons.
Does anybody know where I can get a good price on tar and feathers?
Monday, February 05, 2007
or actually one name...
However, the FY08 Bush budget only includes a $50 billion placeholder for Iraq and Afghanistan in FY09 and nothing for FY10 through FY12. The White House has already made it clear that additional spending will likely be required.
WE’LL GET A TOUCHDOWN!
WE’LL GET A TOUCHDOWN!
To which the student body would reply:
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!
I thought about that in terms of a current “cheer” for Democrats
WE’LL LEAVE EYE-RACK!
WE’LL LEAVE EYE-RACK! (spelling changed for ..poetic? reasons)
To which the administration replys:
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!
WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!
Just how can I make such a claim? Because I remembered something that came up early in the invasion of Iraq and has since been forgotten, glossed over or just plain covered up.
We’re building “enduring bases” in Iraq. There has been some quibbling over just what “enduring” means but apparently, it means much more than just a tent city and judging from what little information there is, these are a long, long way from “tent city”. Here’s what Mother Jones Magazine had to say about it all the way back in March of 2005:
When Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told reporters last December that he expected U.S. troops to remain in Iraq for another four years, he was merely confirming what any visitor to the country could have surmised. The omnipresence of the giant defense contractor KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown & Root), the shipments of concrete and other construction materials, and the transformation of decrepit Iraqi military bases into fortified American enclaves—complete with Pizza Huts and DVD stores—are just the most obvious signs that the United States has been digging in for the long haul.
Even then, Mother Jones noted the contradiction of “withdrawing troops” versus what was actually happening on the ground
It's a far cry from administration assurances after the invasion that the troops could start withdrawing from Iraq as early as the fall of 2003. And it is hardly consistent with a prediction by Richard Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, that the troops would be out of Iraq within months, or with Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi's guess that the U.S. occupation would last two years.
Take, for example, Camp Victory North, a sprawling base near Baghdad International Airport, which the U.S. military seized just before the ouster of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Over the past year, KBR contractors have built a small American city where about 14,000 troops are living, many hunkered down inside sturdy, wooden, air-conditioned bungalows called SEA (for Southeast Asia) huts, replicas of those used by troops in Vietnam. There's a Burger King, a gym, the country's biggest PX—and, of course, a separate compound for KBR workers, who handle both construction and logistical support.
This was, of course (naturally) just after Donald Rumsfeld said on February 17 of the same year:
2/17/2005, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense globalsecurity
"We have no intention, at the present time, of putting permanent bases in Iraq.'
"Permanent bases? We have no idea"
source: zfacts: http://zfacts.com/p/263.html
The Christian Science Monitor said that although information was hard to come by, they could glean this in all the way back on 2004.
But a dozen is the number of so-called "enduring bases" located by John Pike, director of GlobalSecurities.org. His military affairs website gives their names. They include, for example, Camp Victory at the Baghdad airfield and Camp Renegade in Kirkuk. The Chicago Tribune last March said US engineers are constructing 14 "enduring bases," but Mr. Pike hasn't located two of them.
Note the terminology "enduring" bases. That's Pentagon-speak for long-term encampments - not necessarily permanent, but not just a tent on a wood platform either. It all suggests a planned indefinite stay on Iraqi soil that will cost US taxpayers for years to come.
Combine that information with the information on the incredibly huge U. S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and there isn’t much doubt that our leaders intend to stay in Iraq for quite a while.
Maybe this “surge” crap is really a subterfuge. Maybe the real game is to keep 50,000 or 75,000 troops stationed in Iraq permanently in these “enduring bases”.
Maybe I should just go back to reading my MAD MAGAZINES.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Murdoch was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer?
"No, I don't think so. We tried [...] We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East...but we have been very critical of his execution."
Let me repeat this: "We Tried!"
After hearing this confession, how can anyone ever again take seriously Fox News or any of Murdoch's other instruments of bias? How can News Corp. continue to pretend that they are "fair and balanced?" How can any other media company exhibit the slightest expression of respect or patronization
That's a confession and outright lie all in one concise sentence, Rupert. The only way you've been critical of the execution of the war is by criticizing Democrats......Nevertheless, the admission is quite breath-taking for Fox...
Juan riff's on those quotes in a way that resonates deeply with me, and I suspect, with the vast majority of our local party members. The snippets:
"Murdoch's remarks are a good reason for which the news conglomerates should be broken up so that a wider range of views can be published..."
and the "money shot"::
Murdoch's media have done more to cheapen American values and drive the country toward fascistic ways of thinking than anything since the McCarthy period in the 1950s. The airwaves belong to the public, and this man only licenses them. When will the public take them back and use them for purposes of which Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin would have approved?"
A lot has been written in other blogs, and truthfully other blogs which are far more attuned to the legal aspects of Journalism and First Amendment rights than I, about reinstituting the FAIRNESS DOCTRINE which was summarily wiped out during the Reagan Administration. Appparently , the doctrine was originally upheld by the Supreme Court according to Wiki:
In Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC  (1969), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Fairness Doctrine, under challenges that it violated the First Amendment. Although similar laws had been deemed unconstitutional when applied to newspapers, the Court ruled that radio stations could be regulated in this way because of the limited nature of the public airwave spectrum.
There has been a lot of talk about reinstating the doctrine, especially from Dennis Kucinich,who seems to be making it "his" cause, and I recall seeing something about a version of it going through Congress last week, but will it end the abuses of Fox News? Of Rush Limbaugh? Of Michael Savage?
Give me your thoughts on the matter.