realthog: (corrupted science)

Senator Obama has said that, as President, he will end the gross waste of money spent on the military in the form of graft, corruption, scientifically unfeasible weapons systems, war profiteering, etc.; he will also work toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Every competent economist reckons Obama must cut military spending if he is to introduce things like universal health care; every competent economist realizes that the money is there to be cut, thanks to enormous Pentagon wastage and the gross overmilitarization of this country -- unless I'm misremembering the figures, the US spends considerably more on "defense" (to use the Orwellesque term) than all the rest of the world put together.

Meanwhile, every competent military strategist recognizes the desirability of returning the world to its status, at least so far as weaponry is concerned, of nuclear-free zone.

So Obama's not saying anything particularly outrageous or revolutionary -- he just wants to halt a known gravy train and decrease the likelihood of worldwide annihilation.

Well, not according to the exceptionally dishonest scaremongers over at Macsmind, the self-styled blog of the MacRanger Radio Show (whatever the hell that is).

Either they're profoundly stupid or they're pathological liars -- probably both -- but they describe Obama's pretty staid statement as his commitment to "universally" (sic; it's clear they mean "unilaterally") disarm the US.

This bullshit has attracted 130 comments so far. Here's a selection:

+++++

The plans of Obama is so terrifying. I shudder to think what will become of America, the Great Nation? If Obama wins in the election America shall be invaded by terrorist and rule of ungodly people shall reign in America. American people should pray and rally not to let Obama win in the election, and I know for sure that people around the world will help to pray for the future of the United States of America. God will Bless America!

+++++

I was the USAF’s Nuclear Security Inspector 1972-77. This man is the biggest danger America has ever faced!

Robin Wayne Edwards
LTC USAF Ret.

+++++

Is he the Anti Christ? Who knows. One thing is for sure, the signs are all right for him to appear. Right is now considered wrong and wrong is now considered right. Christians are bad. Athiests, murders, thieves, rogues, child molesters and any other abonimable practioner is considered good. Gog and Magog (Russia) are aligned with the Middle Eastern Jew Hating Terrorists, while the Red Dragon (China) with it’s 200 million man army is standing by to join in for the kill. The US is considered the main enemy now because we are the only country strong enough to make a difference. If Obama is elected President, we can hang it up because we will have a leader who is aligned with our enemies. How do I know. Every thing he says indicates he is ready to disarm our country and surrender to our enemies. The rest of you may not think he is a Muslim but I don’t buy it. He is either a Muslim or a fool and I dont’ think he is a fool. He is too ready to put his faith in those radical terrorist regimes and “negotiate” with them when everyone knows that their religion promotes lying to non believers as a virture and using negotiation as a tool to stall while they reinforce their position. If he isn’t the AntiChrist, he is a damned good imitation.

+++++

Yes, Lets all run out and vote for NERO! IT WORKED OUT GREAT FOR THE ROMANS, DIDNT IT!

+++++

How could you possibly vote to have a man named OBAMA run our country after Sept. 11th. Have you people forgot about that? I havent. He is all about giving to minorities. Thats just what we need, more handouts for the lazy people. He will RUIN this coutry.

+++++

OBAMA is helping to stage IRAN to not only NUKE Israel but also the USA. He may have an education, however I would like to know a couple of things. Did he attend class and how do we know if he sent somebody in to take it for him.

+++++

It amazes us…….and really frightens us… that there are so many “American citizens” that insist on voting for Barrack Hussein Obama to be the leader of our United Stated of America. Are they so blind and forgetful as to put aside the fact that we’ve been fighting terrorism technically since 1990 and Osama bin Laden has been spreading hatred since 1979? And, NOW, they want to elect a leader who has a name that not only sounds like our enemies’ name but has absolutely no experience dealing with wartime affairs? In fact, we hadn’t even HEARD of him before! Yeah, he wants to “change” our country–into one that will be easy for Osama and his gang to over-power.

+++++

That's as much as my digestive system can take.

There are two points here.

First, how extraordinary -- and extraordinarily depressing -- it is that so many of our fellows are not only so misinformed but also have so little connection with straightforward everyday logic. They lack the mental tools to construct a rational argument and the common knowledge upon which to base that argument. This is not to say that they're necessarily stupid: they're just appallingly undereducated or miseducated.

Second, people in certain news media, like those of the MacRanger Radio Show, want to keep it that way. Clearly they recognize the danger to their vile ideology of an educated, informed public.

So they lie.

When will they ever stop?

realthog: (real copies!)

Jamison Foser of Media Matters has posted an excellent -- and in some ways quite frightening -- article today at http://mediamatters.org/items/200806270008?f=h_top. Here are extracts:

Last week, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a new report by Michael Ettlinger estimating that under McCain's tax plan, he and his wife, Cindy, would save $373,429. That's nearly $400,000 -- per year, not over the course of their lifetimes. (Under Barack Obama's plan, the McCains would save less than $6,000. The Obamas would save nearly $50,000 under McCain's plan, and slightly more than $6,000 under Obama's plan own plan.)

By the standards the media applied to [John] Edwards, the fact that McCain supports tax policies that would save him and his wife nearly $400,000 a year -- and require massive cuts to public services to pay for those tax breaks -- should surely be news. [. . .]

Surely, then, The Washington Post, having obsessed over Edwards' wealth, has noted Ettlinger's findings in its reports about McCain's tax plans, right?

Wrong. [. . .]

The Ettlinger estimate was completely ignored by the news media. Beyond that report, I don't remember ever seeing a major-media report about John McCain's tax policies noting that, due to his wealth, he would fare quite well under his own proposals. And in a couple hours of Nexis searches, I haven't been able to find one.

Perversely, it seems the conventional wisdom among the media is that it's more acceptable for a wealthy politician to propose policies that help the wealthy than policies that benefit the middle class and the poor.

Bearing in mind that a large percentage of the US public get all their news -- and hence their opinions -- from mainstream news sources, primarily the TV, doesn't it seem something of a betrayal of democracy that those same mainstream news sources display what can only be one of these two: (a) atrocious pro-Republican bias or (b) a lack of basic journalistic competence?

Foser's weekly columns are generally must-reads, by the way. You can sign up for them at http://mediamatters.org/users/sign_up?source=banner_200806270008.

realthog: (real copies!)

We all know in the US how very gung-ho the television network news organizations have been about supporting our boys (and girls) in Iraq -- indeed, it would be exceptionally hard not to have noticed it even if, like me, you rarely watch network tv news. Yes, CBS, NBC and ABC surely do stand shoulder-to-shoulder behind our fighting personnel, over 4000 of whom have now died in this conflict.

(4000 is a fairly trivial figure when set alongside the number of Iraqis who've died as a consequence of Il Buce's little self-aggrandizing whim, but it's still one hell of a lot of living, breathing human beings who, mostly young, aren't living and breathing any longer.)

According to Associated Press, cited in Monday's New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/26/business/media/26carr.html?_r=2&sq=david%20carr&st=nyt&oref=slogin&scp=2&pagewanted=all), the networks are between all three of them, currently devoting a grand total of four minutes per week to coverage of the war in Iraq.

That's such a gobsmackingly disgusting fact that I have to repeat it.

The news organizations of CBS, NBC and ABC are between them devoting an average of four minutes per week to events in Iraq.

Because I have more sense than ever to watch the swill these "news" services dish up, I can't say definitively how many minutes per week the three devote between them to cute pet animal stories, but I'm willing to bet it's more than four.

Is it any wonder that mentally scarred and physically maimed veterans aren't receiving proper medical attention, or are being thrown out onto the streets to resolve their problems as best they may while living in a cardboard box? Is it surprising that US soldiers are dying unnecessarily because our Government is skimping on such "luxuries" as personal and vehicular armour? Should we be startled that mercenary armies like Blackwater's are pouring onto the streets of Baghdad some who by any normal standards of judgment would be described as mass murderers, yet who are permitted to continue their carnage without so much as a slap on the wrist?

These things, and many, many more that are to our national shame, continue in large part because they barely obtrude into the awareness of large sections of the US public. And the reason this is so is that overpaid CBS, NBC and ABC executives and broadcasters, living in the lap of luxury, think that all such topics merit a mere four minutes of news coverage per week.

Sometimes I wish I could believe in Hell so that I might mentally construct an additional circle therein.
 
realthog: (Default)

There's a lot going around at the moment about the incompetence, stupidity, vacuity, puerility and bias of the US mainstream "news" media -- and those are just the favourable comments -- but I would like to add an extra beef. Tonight, for the second evening in a row, CNN.com's political blog PoliticalTicker... (geddit?) is focusing on Rush Limbaugh's supposedly clever attempts to manipulate the Democrats' presidential primary (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/05/07/limbaugh-comes-out-for-obama/).

Let's be straight about this. Rush Limbaugh is (in my opinion) a hypocritical, racist, hatemongering, misogynistic, right-wing-extremist bigot and habitual liar whose on-air "cleverness" might seem a little less clever were it not for the fact that all calls critical of his views or contradictory of his "facts" are scrupulously filtered out by studio producers whose ethics are in some strange way reminiscent of those coloured porous discs you see lying at the bottom of the urinals in pub lavatories.

In the ordinary course, no one would pay the slightest attention to the views of such a moron -- except, perhaps, to move a little farther away from his drunken bawling in that selfsame pub where the studio producers haunt the urinals. The only reason that Limbaugh's views gain any significance whatsoever outside the closed circle of his equally bigoted coterie is because they're given oxygen by supposed news organizations . . . like CNN.

So why the hell is CNN giving Limbaugh that oxygen? It is betraying its own stated purpose if it debases itself to the point where it's a promotional tool for the most disgusting elements of our society. Who next? The Ku Klux Klan?

 
realthog: (sunset)

. . . except the venue isn't Zimbabwe, it's here. Glenn Greenwald of Salon has some pointers as to one reason why election results can sometimes seem so dissociated from the merits of the candidates. Here's the opening of his piece at
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/04/05/media/index.html:

The U.S. establishment media in a nutshell

The U.S. government suspended the Fourth Amendment and expressly authorized torture. The attorney general lied about how the 9/11 attack happened. Barack Obama can't bowl well. Which revelations did the media cover?


Glenn Greenwald


Apr. 05, 2008

In the past two weeks, the following events transpired. A Department of Justice memo, authored by John Yoo, was released which authorized torture and presidential lawbreaking. It was revealed that the Bush administration declared the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights to be inapplicable to "domestic military operations" within the U.S. The U.S. Attorney General appears to have fabricated a key event leading to the 9/11 attacks and made patently false statements about surveillance laws and related lawsuits. Barack Obama went bowling in Pennsylvania and had a low score.
Here are the number of times, according to NEXIS, that various topics have been mentioned in the media over the past thirty days:

"Yoo and torture" - 102
"Mukasey and 9/11" -- 73
"Yoo and Fourth Amendment" -- 16

"Obama and bowling" -- 1,043
"Obama and Wright" -- More than 3,000 (too many to be counted)
"Obama and patriotism" - 1,607
"Clinton and Lewinsky" -- 1,079

These are the supposed news media that are being talked about -- the shapers of opinion, the educators of the voting public, the Fourth Estate -- not, as you might assume from the Nexis results above, the rags at the supermarket checkout which tell you the latest about Brad, Angelina and Jen. Or Katie and Tom. Or Nicole and Joel (which is really baffling Pam and myself because we haven't the first clue who Nicole and Joel are, and neither have the cashiers we've asked).

Not so long ago, [personal profile] hutch0 (at http://hutch0.livejournal.com/67874.html) rightly took issue with the numbskull US tv pundidiot Tucker Carlson, who made the absurd claim that the standards of journalism at the Scottish national newspaper The Scotsman were somehow shabbier than those of himself and his like.

(They must have been laughing themselves senseless at The Scotsman as they watched the clip. It's not the best of the UK newspapers, but it is somewhere in the upper echelon. A few years ago I'd have said the top UK newspapers weren't as good as US equivalents like the New York Times and the Washington Post. In the wake of Judith Miller and the decline -- plummet -- in standards at the Post, it's now hard to make that case. So today, despite the fact that its breadth of coverage can in no wise match the NYT's, The Scotsman is arguably the better journalistic venue. And that's said by someone who prefers Scotland's other main newspaper, the Herald.)

Tucker Carlson almost immediately lost his job, of course, due either to the man's complete incompetence or to the fabled Curse of Hutch0. But, with hindsight, it seems unfair that the Fates singled him out.

1043 mentions of Obama's (lack of) bowling skills.

118 (all told) mentions of Yoo's memo responsible for turning the US into a Torture State.

73 mentions of Mukasey's lie about 9/11.

Brad, Angelina and Jen, anyone?


 

wrubbish

Mar. 29th, 2008 09:18 am
realthog: (Default)


There aren't that many political columnists better than Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, so it's a treat to find his article joining David Sirota (http://realthog.livejournal.com/34071.html) and Ishmael Reed (http://al-zorra.livejournal.com/291233.html) in flaying the nincompoopocracy for their infantile hysteria over the Wright "controversy":

The word "squeeb" is a crude mix of squid and dweeb, and by inventing it I mean no disrespect to the squid, which in most respects is an excellent and admirable animal. In the ocean there's almost nothing you'd rather be than a squid, one of nature's most perfect predators -- fast, resilient, ruthless, more intelligent by leaps and bounds than your average fish, and able to squeeze into impossibly tiny cracks. In the ocean, there is no hiding from a squid, I tell you.

But on land, a squid is about as useless as it gets. It's a spineless, squishy little hunk of seafood that wouldn't stand a chance in a cage match with a baby squirrel. It has no heart, and its first instinct when trouble comes is to hide in a cloud of its own excretions. This is why a squiddy word like squeeb seems to me to be a good way to describe the American voter during a presidential election season.

That's especially true now, during a "controversy" like this latest flap over Barack Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright. This Wright business is a perfect example of the American electorate at its squeeby worst -- panicky, gutless, acting more on reflex than thought, incapable of retaining information for more than a few minutes at a time. It's also a great example of how the presidential election process has become more about enforcing the attitudes of a cultural orthodoxy than a system for choosing leaders.

Through scandal after idiotic scandal, the election process has become a painfully prolonged, deeply irritating exercise in policing conventional wisdom, through a variety of means keeping the public in a state of heightened, dumb animal panic, and ultimately turning the election itself into a Darwinian contest -- survival of the Squeebiest.

There's more -- a joyously large amount more -- at
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/80577/.

realthog: (Jim's bear pic)

The always excellent commentator David Sirota has a justifiably impassioned piece of polemic on this subject at http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-sirota/is-wright-right-about-racism.html; I'm recommending it to all and sundry, so why should LJers be exempt? Here's an extract:

Wright has long delivered fiery (and occasionally outrageous) sermons, to little fanfare. Now, though, a gang of thugs is inflicting a guilt-by-association blow to Obama by excoriating his spiritual adviser for three specific declarations.

Sean Hannity, Fox News' own George Wallace, turned a fire hose on Wright for his church's focus. "It is all about the black community," Hannity thundered, claiming that means Wright supports "a black-separatist agenda."

Pat Buchanan billy-clubbed Wright for saying, "God damn America." The MSNBC commentator, who avoided the draft, implied that Wright, a former Marine, lacks sufficient loyalty to country. Out of context, Wright's exclamation was admittedly offensive. But remember: It punctuated a speech about segregation. Buchanan, nonetheless, unleashed, deriding "black hustlers" and insisting descendants of those "brought from Africa in slave ships" owe whites a thank you. "Where is the gratitude?" he asked.

Fox's Charles Krauthammer berated Wright for saying the 9/11 attacks were "chickens coming home to roost." Krauthammer labeled the pronouncement "vitriolic divisiveness" despite our government acknowledging the concept of "blowback" — or retaliation — Wright was referencing. The CIA knows that when it supports foreign dictatorships, there can be blowback from radicals. While blowback is often immoral and undeserved, its existence is undisputed. Yet, Krauthammer alleged that Wright takes "satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents." . . .

. . . John McCain solicited the endorsement of John Hagee — the pastor who called the Catholic Church "a great whore." Similarly, according to Mother Jones magazine, Hillary Clinton belongs to the "Fellowship" — a secretive group "dedicated to 'spiritual war' on behalf of Christ." She is also friendly with Billy Graham, the reverend caught on tape spewing anti-Semitism. But while Wright's supposed "extremism" blankets the news, McCain and Clinton's relationships with real extremists receive scant attention.

Why is it "controversial" for one pastor to address the black community, racism and blowback, but OK for another pastor to slander an entire religion? Why is it news that one candidate knows a sometimes-impolitic clergyman, but not news that his opponent associates with an anti-Semite? Does the double standard prove the dominant culture despises a black man confronting taboos, but accepts whites spewing hate? Does the very reaction to Wright show he's right about racism?

Later: And go see http://al-zorra.livejournal.com/291233.html.

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