Hometown blues

Posted by on Dec 8, 2007 | 0 comments

What I see in NYC. Will comment later.

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the american dream state

Posted by on Nov 7, 2007 | 0 comments

There was a time when we could do anything. Walking on the moon wasn’t a fantasy, it was a reality. Alas, the past seven years we’ve seen the bar lowered by a two term Bush White House compliant to politics and arrogance rather than the difficult choices and compromises that foster real solutions. The result has been the acquiescence of a stronger, more confident American policy and popular consensus of the role of America, both here and abroad. This malaise in leadership nurtures a perception amongst the domestic and global populace that expects nothing more than the usual level of brilliant incompetence. “Our leadership is incapable of anything more” is the general common belief, our leaders aim to please.

Expectations are so low that when an inferior candidate for placement as the top cop in the land is presented, the general response from our leaders is “we can’t expect to do any better, so this will have to do.” Logic has been turned on it’s head. We settle for less, because shooting for better isn’t a an option any more. Better is the new bad. Up is down, down is up. Torture isn’t torture (because they say so and it’s something they truly believe in) when to any sane person, waterboarding is clearly torture.

In the real world, whilst American’s argue about whether the so-called surge in Iraq is working or not working, those human beings whose lives are hanging by a thread because of the war in Iraq and the destabilization of the entire Middle East are experiencing a reality that has nothing to do with the politics of how the US military campaign is perceived or even whether the surge is a success or a failure and everything to do with staying alive. The contrast is striking, and embarrassing.

And, it is costing us dearly. Not to mention the higher cost on the ground in Iraq. Which is the reality check.

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Jakeneck Archives: I feel so safe

Posted by on Oct 28, 2007 | 0 comments

So, am going to be posting some oldies but goodies from the Jakeneck days. Things that are still important after a few years. Here’s one about an American citizen who suffered from mental illness who was gunned down by Marshall’s for creating a scene on an airplane. It’s important to remember the level of fear that was fostered and supported by many American’s in the months after 9/11. I was particularly shocked by the reactions of many of my fellow Neckers who actually supported the deadly force used on this man. Fucking amazing. Of course, if it was them or a family member, I’m sure they would be singing a different tune.

The archival post:

I feel so safe

This is what we have become… wintess the pathological dehumanizing of another human being…

When “agitated passenger” Rigoberto Alpizar was shot for wearing a backpack and attempting to disembark a plane, while also reportedly saying “I have a bomb!” with his wife trailing behind him yelling “he’s not well, he’s got a disorder!” a good number of blogsphere pundits from the right side of the aisle immediately thought it was proper for the Air Marshall’s to shoot the man. Dead.

My intial response was the same as Jeff Goldstein’s:

For what it’s worth, jihadists seldom announce their intentions to detonate an explosive, so let’s not jump to conclusions.

Common sense actually. And, truth be told, Jeff’s statement is at the crux of this tragedy.

But, the right just loves their terror, even if it’s NOT REALLY terror, it just looks like terror, or at least, the kind of terror they lust for: We are safer when we kill anybody who COULD have been a terrorist. I feel safe when they kill people.

This is how they think. Fear in play.

The fraidy cat over at Stop the ACLU is honest about his fraidy catness:

Another mistake, but who can blame the Marshall for his response? I think he did exactly the right thing, and it makes me feel safer that we have such rapid responders. (emphasis added) I wonder if the lefties will try to make a bad guy out of this man?

To the latter: No. But, if it turns out that the man, who had a name, Rigoberto Alpizar, didn’t say “I have a bomb.” someone has some explain’ to do. To the former: Think about this for a minute. This peanut brain admits the killing is a mistake, yet says he feels safer. They are killing innocent people, but I feel safer because, well, they do it so well! And so fast! Thank you rapid responders! Have a cookie!

The meat mass with eyes over at Sister Toldjah cuts right to the point:

The person claiming to have had the bomb is indeed dead. The air marshal in this instance did the right thing. Let’s hope we don’t start seeing the usual suspects call for an ‘investigation’ into this to find out whether or not the air marshal erred when all the man was doing was his job.

Don’t wants no pesky facts gettin’ in my war on terror soup! Kill them bastids. Even the innocent crazy bastids who we thought were terrorists but are just crazy bastids! Them ‘usual suspects better not put no information in my soup.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News was particularly cold and predictably boneheaded:

Assuming everything in this initial report is accurate, it sounds like a tragic, but righteous shooting by the air marshal.

Ah yes, a morally improper use of the word “righteious“, followed by the all important “caveat” soon followed by dipshit analysis:

In fact, since we’re talking about a man with a backpack, claiming to have a bomb, on a plane full of passengers, the Air Marshals would have been completely justified in killing him before he even had time to get off the plane. But, perhaps they figured he was moving away from the plane and it was better to get him away from the passengers, rather than risk an accidental detonation near those civilians.

No, it doesn’t work that way. As it went down, “figuring” it is better to let a bomb toting terrorist move away from a plane doesn’t even enter the equation.

Rigoberto Alpizar was running down the aisle and running out of the plane. The Marshall’s were pretty much thinking “Holy shit!” and everything after that is a fog with a loaded gun pointing the way. But, John’s 20/20 hindsight analysis is fun to poke a stick at anyway. Let’s continue with the carnival of the dipshit:

As far as his wife saying he was bipolar goes, you simply can’t take her word for it. For all the air marshals knew, she could be Chechen Black Widow trying to trick the marshals into getting closer to him or trying to distract them while he got the bomb ready.

Well, you know, some of us of a more cynical bent would like to think that this is true, but alas, a man is dead, and what do you know! NO BOMB. So, theory number 2 is just a pile of lint in the corner. But, again, it’s fun to watch such bad ideas grow whiskers.

It’s a terrible thing for an innocent man to be gunned down like that in front of his wife, but unfortunately, mentally ill or not, he brought it on himself. You run around an airplane claiming to have a bomb in front of armed air marshals, you’re just asking to get killed as surely as if you jumped in front of an oncoming train.

The possible mentally ill guy brought it on himself? Hmmm. Interesting. So, if it turns out that the guy was bipolar and his meds were a bit outdated or he just didn’t digest it well that day that he brought it on himself.

See, what John is saying here is: This is the best we can do. Too bad. He wasn’t a terrorist, but he COULD have been a terrorist, so it was better to kill the innocent to protect the innocent. Just in case. You never know. And, to top it off, he’s blaming the victim!

What a crock. But, wait, it gets better!

My sincere condolences go out to the Alpizar family, but it sounds like the air marshal who killed him did the right thing.

Great. I’m really sorry they killed your husband/brother, but you just can’t be crazy like that an not expect to get shot fives times.

What a nice guy!

The sheer lack of respect for a once living person, Rigoberto Alpizar, the lack of waiting to comment on the story until more information was available, is just so fucking typical.

What a pasty assed coward. Hawkins is essentially condoning the killing of possibly innocent people in the pursuit of phantom security. It’s all part of their nonsense:

“If we shoot people who MIGHT be terrorists, we are safer.”

And, of course, those of us who actually wait for such stories to unfold because we know that media manipulation always works from the front back… Knew that there was definitely more to this story. And, of course, there comes this today:

At least one passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 924 maintains the federal air marshals were a little too quick on the draw when they shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar as he frantically attempted to run off the airplane shortly before take-off.

“I don’t think they needed to use deadly force with the guy,” says John McAlhany, a 44-year-old construction worker from Sebastian, Fla. “He was getting off the plane.” McAlhany also maintains that Alpizar never mentioned having a bomb.

“I never heard the word ‘bomb’ on the plane,” McAlhany told TIME in a telephone interview. “I never heard the word bomb until the FBI asked me did you hear the word bomb. That is ridiculous.” Even the authorities didn’t come out and say bomb, McAlhany says. “They asked, ‘Did you hear anything about the b-word?'” he says. “That’s what they called it.”

When the incident began McAlhany was in seat 24C, in the middle of the plane. “[Alpizar] was in the back,” McAlhany says, “a few seats from the back bathroom. He sat down.” Then, McAlhany says, “I heard an argument with his wife. He was saying ‘I have to get off the plane.’ She said, ‘Calm down.'”

Alpizar took off running down the aisle, with his wife close behind him. “She was running behind him saying, ‘He’s sick. He’s sick. He’s ill. He’s got a disorder,” McAlhany recalls. “I don’t know if she said bipolar disorder [as one witness has alleged]. She was trying to explain to the marshals that he was ill. He just wanted to get off the plane.”

So, there is a first hand account that Rigoberto Alpizar did not say he had a bomb. I expect there will be many more. And, the FBI questioning thing is a red flag. Call me crazy, but if Rigoberto Alpizar was yelling “I’ve got a bomb!”, and it’s understood, and the Feds all agree, the Feds don’t go around asking the witnesses “Did the guy say the ‘b-word’?” They say “tell me what he said.” or something like that. Obviously, there was some doubt as to whether the “b-word” was used at all.

Who knows. In that quck of an instant, backpack = bomb. Crazy man carrying backpack = bomb + terrorist. At least on a very primal level. But, we all deserve better.

Obviously, training is not sufficient, for the reaction was over the top for the situaion. And, um, I hate to point this out, but something went wrong, an innocent man is dead.

If gets even better:

McAlhany says he tried to see what was happening just in case he needed to take evasive action. “I wanted to make sure if anything was coming toward me and they were killing passengers I would have a chance to break somebody’s neck,” he says. “I was looking through the seats because I wanted to see what was coming.

“I was on the phone with my brother. Somebody came down the aisle and put a shotgun to the back of my head and said put your hands on the seat in front of you. I got my cell phone karate chopped out of my hand. Then I realized it was an official.”

These Air Marshall’s are working on Autopilot. No real analystical thinking is going on at all. It’s an obvious fuck up and an indictment of the security measures implimented by DHS, a point almost magically proven by the following PR style spin statement by DHS which left me speechless:

“This incident demonstrates the critical role that air marshals play in aviation security today,” said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.

If killing an innocent man is an example of the “critical role” of air marshall’s, we’re all doomed.

John Cole tells it like it is here.

I feel so safe…

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of shock, 9/11 conspiracies and morals

Posted by on Sep 28, 2007 | 0 comments

Sorry for the radio silence. Been a bit busy with life stuff and preparing research for a book / documentary project. But, I’m reading a great deal… So, I’ll share:

  • Naomi Klein has a new book out, it’s titled The Shock Doctrine and it explores a topic near and dear, which is that the overuse of fear tactics by media and gevernment is creating an atmosphere of “collective shock”. It’s brilliant, timely and important stuff. Read an extract.
  • Friend Douglas Rushkoff has a new article up over at Arthur and it’s a doozy concerning his take on the 9/11 “truth” movement. My two cents: 9/11 was an accident waiting to happen. Watch The Man Who Knew for starters… I’ll blog on this when I have more time, but my feeling is that if anything it’s a matter of incompetence and hubris. Whowouldathunk it?
  • Vaclav Havel has an op-ed in the New York Times titled Our Moral Footprint, and like all of his words, it goes right to the point and raises the stakes. In this case, his concern is that:

    We can’t endlessly fool ourselves that nothing is wrong and that we can go on cheerfully pursuing our wasteful lifestyles, ignoring the climate threats and postponing a solution. Maybe there will be no major catastrophe in the coming years or decades. Who knows? But that doesn’t relieve us of responsibility toward future generations.

    Read the entire thing.

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  • Remember the pipe bomb terrorists?

    Posted by on Aug 28, 2007 | 0 comments

    A few weeks ago, the right wing world was hyperventilating over the arrest of two middle eastern college students in North Carolina. Apparently the men had “pipe bombs” or “fireworks” or “explosives” (depending upon who was telling the story) in the trunk of the car they were driving near a US naval base. Open and shut case in the eyes of most of the freedom loving right wing, right? Middle Eastern men, explosives, car, Naval Base. Lock ’em up. Throw away the key. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to Gitmo.

    The last bits of information to see daylight in regard to this event are rather telling. The first was that tests were to be conducted on the remains of the “explosives” (they were detonated in a controlled manner) to determine what type of device it was. What were the results of this test? No word as of yet. Nothing. This is more than likely related to the second bit of information. Apparently, the FBI isn’t convinced:

    For days after the arrest of two University of South Florida students accused of having pipe bombs, the FBI remained silent.

    On Wednesday, the agency released a statement telling the public it’s possible there’s no merit to the accusations against Youssef Megahed, 21, and Ahmed A. Mohamed, 26. Both were arrested Aug. 4 inGoose Creek, S.C., on charges of possession of explosives.

    “The FBI would like to remind everyone that this is an ongoing investigation and there is the possibility that the publicly reported allegations involving the students may be proven to be false,” it read.

    An FBI spokesman said the agency is still investigating, that it released the statement only because there’s so much interest in the case, and it wants to be fair.

    “We’re just making a request for everybody to be very objective at this time, very neutral,” said Special Agent Dave Couvertier.

    But local legal experts say there’s likely more to it.

    “That is a highly unusual statement from the FBI,” said Tampa lawyer John Fitzgibbons, a former federal prosecutor.

    Other legal experts agreed, but no one knew what to make of it.

    “Well, who knows what that means?” said Ed Page, a lawyer who has experience in Tampa and Washington, D.C. “Perhaps the initial assessment that the trunk contained pipe bombs was inaccurate. That’s a weird statement, I’ve got to tell you, to be coming out of the FBI.”

    Fitzgibbons saw two scenarios. First, the FBI may not have a strong case against the students. Second, the Department of Justice may require a statement of that sort in its communication with the media.

    Page agreed, adding that he’d never seen such a statement from the FBI. Neither had lawyer Stephen Crawford.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an FBI statement that reminds us of our civil liberties,” Crawford said. “I think it shows that it’s probably going to turn out that the chemicals in those kids’ trunks were more fireworks than it was bomb.”

    Bob Ulmer, a former FBI agent in Tampa, agreed the statement was unusual, but he said it sounded more like a policy decision or a deliberate attempt to be objective than the end of an investigation.

    “I would say they’re just being cautious,” Ulmer said. “I’ve never heard it worded quite that way.”

    The FBI declined to elaborate, saying only that the investigation continues.

    Given the historical lack of such a statement, and the general attitude of the current administration, it looks to be pretty obvious to this observer that the test results likely showed that the “explosives” were fireworks, or homemade rockets, or something of that nature. PVC pipe is often used in “potato guns” and rockets. As are certain types of incendiary substances such as gunpowder. My guess is that the two men will be released, with time served. Much lesser charge.

    The right wing will erupt of course. Having already tried and convicted.

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    "bomb somebody in Iran"

    Posted by on Aug 23, 2007 | 0 comments

    Don’t forget to Sign the Open Letter and Tell the networks not to follow FOX down the road to war.

    Pass it on.

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    Obama and Pakistan through the right wing looking glass

    Posted by on Aug 2, 2007 | 0 comments

    Barack Obama gave a speech in which he said the following:

    Above all, I will send a clear message: we will not repeat the mistake of the past, when we turned our back on Afghanistan following Soviet withdrawal. As 9/11 showed us, the security of Afghanistan and America is shared. And today, that security is most threatened by the al Qaeda and Taliban sanctuary in the tribal regions of northwest Pakistan.

    Al Qaeda terrorists train, travel, and maintain global communications in this safe-haven. The Taliban pursues a hit and run strategy, striking in Afghanistan, then skulking across the border to safety.

    This is the wild frontier of our globalized world. There are wind-swept deserts and cave-dotted mountains. There are tribes that see borders as nothing more than lines on a map, and governments as forces that come and go. There are blood ties deeper than alliances of convenience, and pockets of extremism that follow religion to violence. It’s a tough place.

    But that is no excuse. There must be no safe-haven for terrorists who threaten America. We cannot fail to act because action is hard.

    As President, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan.

    I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

    There is actually nothing in those words that have not been said or intimated prior: Bush would send troops inside Pakistan to catch bin Laden

    The Voice of America put Obama’s speech in the proper context: US Democratic Presidential Hopeful Obama Vows to Pursue Terrorists in Pakistan. Again, nothing that the Bush Administration hasn’t said: Bush: al Qaeda Haven in Pakistan ‘Troubling’.

    It’s a complicated situation to be sure. The US finds itself dealing with and giving lots of money to a country ruled by a military dictator who is facing a vocal and ever increasingly viable democratic movement at home. It’s touchy business dealing with a dictator who is threatened with a democratic uprising. He’s a busy man.

    And, the thing is, US troops have been in Pakistan for years, a number of times. By most accounts, and here’s the important point: the US military is in Pakistan now:

    Reported last week in regard to striking at terrorist “safe havens” in Pakistan:

    White House adviser Frances Townsend was asked Sunday on Fox News why the U.S. isn’t sending in special operations forces, pilotless drones and “everything we can to take out al-Qaida’s safe haven.”

    “Well, just because we don’t speak about things publicly doesn’t mean we’re not doing many of the things you’re talking about,” Townsend said.

    She wouldn’t go into details, but both U.S. and Pakistani officials confirm privately that U.S. intelligence teams are operating inside Pakistan — as are unmanned Predator planes. As to whether the U.S. might contemplate military force, Townsend delivered the administration’s new message:

    “The president’s been clear: Job No. 1 is to protect the American people, and there are no options that are off the table,” she said.

    So, how does the ever predictable and never right wing bozosphere react to Obama’s speech? With lies and nonsense. A sampling:

  • Messiah: Hey, let’s invade Pakistan

  • Barack Obama: Macho man
  • Little Green Footballs puts words in Obama’s mouth: Obama Promises to Invade Pakistan (Link to Memeorandum cause the doucheking of LGF will divert it anyway.)
  • The ever on top of the it Connecticut Yankee pushes the “Osama plans to invade” meme too. (Great thinkers think alike.)
  • Blue Crab Blvd goes for the tried and true logical fallacy approach: To Heck With Our Enemies, Let’s Invade Our Allies (Perhaps not realizing that the enemy terrorists are among the friendies in Pakistan. All them dark skinned peeples looks alike, no doubt.)
  • And, saving the best for last: Paul at Wizbang seems to see and hear things that aren’t there, he actually puts quotes around words that Obama never actually said: Obama, ‘I’ll Invade Pakistan’
    (“It must be true, I read it at Connecticut Yankee.”)
  • Stellar fabrications fit only for the truly misbegotten of soul and lovers of lies.

    Oliver Willis has more. (Bonus Oliver here. ) And, Rober Ailes lights the fire under this idiotic bloated meme in an article titled: The War On Semantic Dumbfuckery:

    Here’s my rant:

    One of the great problem we as a society face is our inability to be honest with not only ourselves, but each other. Dishonesty permeates our political and social lives. It infects the information we hear and view every day and how it is transmitted. It reaches such heights that it becomes mythical fact. Dishonesty is the engine of spin. Bad news and facts are dismissed in favor of lies and obfuscation. Better to be a false winner than a true loser. All in an effort to promote one-sided ideologically driven perspectives. We lie to prove that we are right, that our beliefs are right. We equate our self image with our ideology. Well, some of us do, it is clear. What else can explain the sheer level of complete lack of honesty and embracing of lies? Stupidity? Perhaps. But, it goes deeper.

    At the heart of it is an emotional adherence to our ideological identity and our inability to see beyond it. We need to believe in something, identify with it, and consider it to be infallible. It gives us a false sense of power and conviction. It gives us hope, even when it’s misguided, because we look around and there are so many others who think the same way, they can’t all be wrong, can they?

    Well, yes. They can.

    It’s become so prevailant and accepted that one can literally go to two dozen different right wing blogs and anticipate, based on an understanding of those bloggers attitudes and favorite angles of spin, pretty much that they will provide disinformation of a given type on any given issue. They are as predictable as the sunrinse and sunset. Today’s spin on Barack Obama’s speech are an example of this backwards thinking and just how low it can delve into the depths of dishonestly and complete foolishness.

    It’s utterly and patently pathetic. What else can you say? (Well, you could say they are vapid, ignorant douchebag lying sacks of shit, but that would be pretty obvious. Dogpile on the rabbit.)

    Do I expect the right wing clown posse to fess up and admit their error of ways and stop the bullshit? No. Of course not. It would be like teaching a pig to sing. It’s funny at first but then it’s just plain annoying.

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    the right wing echo chamber has a party

    Posted by on Jul 31, 2007 | 5 comments

    (Updated below)

    It’s always interesting to me how the right wing reacts to certain articles that espouse ideas that are so close to their own. Most especially when those ideas are from the most hated of enemies, the despised New York Times. Catapulting the propaganda via the right wing blogsphere. From Memeorandum:

    New York Times:

    A War We Just Might Win — VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility.

    You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution. Neither is really true. Anyone who thinks that Brookings is liberal hasn’t been paying attention.

    This smells of a well organized propaganda campaign if ever there was one. “Liberals say the war in Iraq can be won.” Good headline that. And, it’s great fodder for the spinning masses, who can reverse the direction and turn it into something like: The War The Dems May Lose. Brilliant. But, ultimately misguided. Lies come apart. A lesson that these clowns can’t seem to quite comprehend.

    And, this isn’t the first time that Kenneth Pollack, the co-writer of the NY Times article above, has carried water for the Bush White House. He did so in August of 2006 in the Washington Post:

    Much as Americans may want to believe that the United States can just walk away from Iraq should it slide into all-out civil war, the threat of spillover from such a conflict throughout the Middle East means it can’t. Instead, Washington will have to devise strategies to deal with refugees, minimize terrorist attacks emanating from Iraq, dampen the anger in neighboring populations caused by the conflict, prevent secession fever and keep Iraq’s neighbors from intervening. The odds of success are poor, but, nonetheless, we have to try.

    In essence: “Stay the coarse.”, which was the Cheney Administration mantra, and remains so today. I wonder who sent the e-mail to all of the right wing shills above alerting them to the NY Times article this morning? Nicely done. But, pretty obvious.

    Of particular note is how the wingnuts swallow this fish whole. No calls for confirmation of the points in the article, as they’ve done with Scott Thomas Beachamp. Considering that the article is in the evil librul traitorous New York Times, you’d think that would neuter the credibility of the article, right?

    Yet, there it is, in black and white and they love it. LOVE IT.

    Food for thought. There’s a reason behind it all.

    Update: Atrios agrees. So does John Cole, and Glenn Greenwald.

    Update 2: Think Progress looks at some of the inconsistent facts from O’Hanlon and Pollack’s article.

    Update 3: McQ at The Qando Blog steps up and begins the spin when he writes :

    The SNAFU Principle has decided reaction to this particular article today smacks of a conspiracy. The proof?

    “You’ll notice a few similar points repeated over and over: The two writers are “liberals” from a “liberal think tank”, Brookings Institution.”

    Huh. We’re listed with the conspiratorial cabal, but as I scan the post, the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” are nowhere to be found. What, did I miss the memo?

    And to seal the deal, to make the conspiracy claim irrefutable, he declares breathlessly in an update:Update: Atrios agrees. So does John Cole, and Glenn Greenwald.

    Oh, well run up the white flag, the big three have spoken.

    The name of the post? Uh, “The right wing echo chamber has a party”. Yeah, I know … irony impaired. At least the blog lives up to its name.

    Of course no mention of the substance of the article, not that any was expected.

    Interesting for a couple of reasons.

    First, McQ seems to think that simply because the words “liberal” and “Brookings Institution” aren’t in HIS posting, that I am wrong, because, you know, I MUST have been talking specifically about HIS blog. Well, no. Sorry, I don’t read it. But, if one is to, oh I don’t know, think about it for a moment, the liberal New York Times, the liberal think tank Brookings… Not a great jump in logic or facts there McQ. Click on some of the dozens of other links I provide, well, it’s pretty obvious. And, it’s quite clear that the word “Liberal” and “Brookings” and “liberal” and “New York Times” go together in the minds of many on the right. Playing childish games doesn’t alter that. But, I’ll give McQ a A for effort. A C- for execution since he falls onto the tried and true “tin foil” hat offensive attack. Poke that puppy with a stick.

    Second, I never said it was a conspiracy. I simply said it was a good example of how the echo chamber worked. And, one way it works is via e-mail to a few of the bigger bloggers and it rolls from there. Same thing happens on the left. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s how propaganda is catapulted. Give it a nice kick, and the masses of true believers, like McQ, will eat it up and do all the work. The blogsphere is fantastic in this regard. But, it also shows a level of informational organization (and ideological group think) when so many link to a single article so quickly. Especially when that article is an Op-Ed in the NY Times, it being one of those places that the right loves to link to so frequently, the hub of extremist right wing thought that it is…

    My further point was also quite clear: the massive linking was an example of how the right has no compunction about dismissing liberals, except when when fake liberals spout right wing talking points. (See Joe Lieberman) They get pretty gold stars when they can call people who espouse conservative ideas liberals, in some twisted exercise in proving that all liberals were wrong because a select few from the ranks disagree. The Times functions in that way as well. “Read what it says in the New York Times, of all places” is crowed. Add to it the little bit of cognitive dissonance about the NY Times being the citadel of hated liberalism except when it’s spouting right wing talking points… It’s an important observation that is shared by many.

    McQ doesn’t address the fact that neither O’Hanlon or Pollack, or Brookings for that matter, are not actually liberal. It’s a misrepresentation that is used to the advantage of the right. Nor does he address the selectiveness of the right in embracing the hated NY Times when it suits their agenda. A clarly propagandistic practice in both instances.

    Third, I didn’t address the “facts” in the O’Hanlon and Pollack article simply because I felt that three of the links I provided, Greenwald’s, Think Progress, and Media Matters had already covered that ground more than adequately. Perhaps McQ didn’t click on them or read them, so he was ill informed.

    Finally, McQ seems to not understand exactly what the SNAFU Principle is… and gets hung
    up on that first word. Pretty typical. It’s a lot of syllables to be sure, and literary. Here’s a clue, McQ. Maybe you should read the book.

    So, in the end, it’s rather telling that McQ decides to invoke the tinfoil hat attack, and the condescending attack, when it is plainly clear what I was saying. It must have hit pretty close to the mark to get him all riled up like that, don’t ya think? Maybe he’s just upset cause he never got an invite to the party.

    (Correction: For some reason, the WaPo quote that I placed in the final draft reverted back to one I had in a prior draft. The blockquote code in the Memeorandum quote seems to be the culprit. I’ve corrected it.)

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    how to impeach bush cheney and not spill your gin and tonic

    Posted by on Jul 14, 2007 | 1 comment

  • The sad irony is: If the US government were actually run like a real business, a Conservative goal, then Bush and Cheney would have been fired a long time ago. But, this isn’t the case. More of an ideological problem, and an emotional one, than one based in any type of reality. The Carpetbagger goes deep, while Gavin at Sadly No! puts this into proper perspective, cause if we don’t laugh we’ll scream.
  • Conservative icon Bill O’Reilly has been brainwashed by the “defeatists”. They attack while you sleep, sometimes in tandem with the Gayoids and the Ayrabs and Darkies from Below the Border. If they can get to Bill, they can get to YOU!
  • Impeachment is the topic on hand in tonights Bill Moyers Journal. Some good background here. A highlight of some of the Impeachable offenses committed by Cheney:

    – Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.

    – Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President’s say-so alone.

    – Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.

    – Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.

    – Engineered the National Security Agency’s warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

    – Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.

    – Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.

    – Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration’s evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq. (Read Fein’s SLATE article)

  • In all honesty, I’m not a fan of the conspiracy theories that the Cheney Administration orchestrated 9/11. At best, I’d say it was incompetence, at worst, they allowed it to happen and gave it a nudge. So, when a former speech writer for the boy president comes out and hints of the latter, it makes sense. The manner in which the Conservatives took advantage of 9/11 and politicized it from the first days after is undeniable and a matter of history. Within weeks, anyone who opposed anything the Cheney Administration put forward was branded as a traitor by the administration, and their footlockers in the press and in Congress. And, as the presidents political capital falls deeper into the mire, so does the power that he wielded upon “loyalists” who did his bidding. It’s all unraveling as we always knew it would.
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    GOP member says: More terrorist attacks in US needed…

    Posted by on Jun 5, 2007 | 0 comments

    … to win more votes, give the GOP that edge that it needs, I guess. Any port in a storm, right?

    “At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” (emphasis added)

    That’s Dennis Milligan, chairman of the Saline County Arkansas Republican Party.

    I wonder what they call this strategy? The Treason Plan?

    This isn’t the first time that members of the right wing have publically voiced support for the terrorists and their agenda in order to further the Conservative agenda. And they wonder why some people think they may have actually planned or had fore knowledge of 9/11? Amazing.

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    catching up on the news…

    Posted by on Apr 29, 2007 | 0 comments

  • David Hallberstam died this past week. NPR has a nice retrospective up, and Glenn Greenwald was kind enough to post a bunch of links to Hallberstam’s essays, with commentary. Required reading.

    On the adversarial relationship between journalists and political officials

    – patriotism and courage

    on 9/11

    on journalists and Vietnam

  • Rush is getting heat for what we’ve always known him to be –a racist.

    Kevin Drum gives us the low down, and Digby follows up with more essential reading which includes this important point:

    Rush is not some misunderstood schlub who just made a few slightly off-color jokes and doesn’t understand why it bothers some people.He’s not even a nasty old racist/misogynist creep like Imus who just thought he could demean anybody he felt like and make big money doing it. Rush Limbaugh a professional cog in the GOP machine who has been helping to set the political agenda in this country for more than a decade. He knows exactly what he’s doing when he plays on racist stereotypes and it isn’t just for the laughs.

    In a nutshell: racism creates divisions in the Liberal ranks and motivates the Conservative base. Keep people arguing, they can’t unite against you. If you caught Imus’ producers appearance on Hannity and Colmes, his stuttering excuse ridden “we’re the victim” stance is typical, and it’s no coincidence it’s being played 24/7 over at Fox News. Wingnuts are all about making excuses for their own bad behavior.

  • Over at New Black Man, Mark Anthony Neal’s post “Niggerology” 101: A Conversation with Jabari Asim is also a must read; a nice solid dose of reality regarding an emotional and important topic, one that needs to be discussed and dealt with properly.
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    Laura Bush says President "suffers"

    Posted by on Apr 26, 2007 | 0 comments

    There is a very powerful reality at the heart of the reason the US has lost the war in Iraq, and why the media and the Bush Administration has always had its head up its collective ass in dealing with the Iraqi people and the war in general. The following exchange between Ann Curry and Laura Bush sums up the arrogant self-centered truth behind the people who got us into this mess in the first place:

    “You know the American people are suffering watching –,” Curry said to the first lady.

    “Oh, I know that very much,” Laura Bush responded. “And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm’s way.”

    Curry then asked, “What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?”

    “Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that’s on his shoulders every single day for our troops,” Bush said. “And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don’t, they’re not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are.”

    Yeah, the American people and President Bush are suffering so much. Man, it really sucks having to see stuff like this, let alone having actually caused it:
    Somebody should give people like Curry and Bush a slap in the face. Feeling bad isn’t suffering. Having your parents blown away right in front of you and having their blood splatter all over you, that’s suffering.

    The pathetic thing is that someone like me actually has to point that little fact of reality out.

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    A Patience Play

    Posted by on Mar 20, 2007 | 0 comments

    Patience is a big thing for Dear Leader. Unfortunately, it seems that patience is only required when it suits him. Shocking, I know. And, consistency is definitely not his strong suit either. It’s a long joke, but stick with it. The punchline is priceless.

  • October 8, 2001:

    In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths — patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security, patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals, patience in all the sacrifices that may come…

  • August 21, 2002 :

    I’m a patient man… We will look at all options and we will consider all technologies available to us and diplomacy and intelligence. (Bush in reference to the probable ouster of Saddam Hussein from power.)

  • January 22, 2003 :

    President Bush is running short on patience with Iraq, he told reporters Tuesday morning. ‘It appears to be a re-run of a bad movie,” Bush said. ‘[Iraqi President Saddam Hussein] is delaying. He’s deceiving. He’s asking for time. He’s playing hide-and-seek with inspectors. One thing is for certain — he’s not disarming.”

  • June 9, 2003:

    “Iraq had a weapons program…. Intelligence throughout the decade (of the 1990s) showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we’ll find out they did have a weapons program.”- President Bush.

    “I think there’s an interesting lesson here on patience… The president has it. He will continue to have it.” – Former Press Secretary Ari Fleischer referring to Bush’s attitude towards finding WMD’s in Iraq.

  • August 27, 2003 :

    Though experts have raised questions about the significance of the ties between Saddam Hussein’s former government and al Qaeda, Bush said that “al Qaeda and other global terror networks recognize that the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime is a defeat for them.” Calling that broader conflict a “test of our perseverance, our patience and our will,” an impassioned Bush said the “stakes could not be greater,” adding: “Our only goal, our only option, is total victory in the war on terror.” Bush made no concession to those who have argued that the administration should devote more troops and money to Iraq’s rehabilitation. (emphasis added) […]

    As top White House aides have done in recent weeks, Bush today likened the effort to transform Iraq and the Middle East to the reconstruction of Germany and Europe after World War II, which he called a “massive undertaking” that “took years, not months.”

  • November 16, 2003 :

    Bush said the United States will not spend “years and years” in Iraq as a new government takes shape.

  • June 3, 2004:
  • “We are now about three years into the war against terrorism,” Mr. Bush said in a commencement address at the Air Force Academy. “This is no time for impatience and self-defeating pessimism. These times demand the kind of courage and confidence that Americans have shown before.”

  • Januray 26, 2005:

    President Bush pleaded for Americans’ patience Wednesday on what he conceded was “a very discouraging day” of death and violence for U.S. troops in Iraq. He urged Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and vote in Sunday’s elections.

    Bush held a White House news conference hours after more than 30 American troops perished in a helicopter crash in western Iraq and insurgents killed five others in the deadliest day yet for U.S. forces. The deaths pushed the American toll above 1,400.

    Unwavering in the course he has set, Bush pledged: “We’ll have the troop levels necessary to complete the mission. And that mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists — homegrown or terrorists that come in from outside of the country.” He made clear that Iraq is nowhere near ready to handle its own security, and he talked about U.S. involvement over the next year. (emphasis added)

  • December 1, 2005:

    Responding to growing unease over the war in Iraq, President Bush laid out a stay-the-course “strategy for victory” Wednesday and urged Americans to muster the “time and patience” to carry it out.

  • October 26, 2006:

    Bush conceded that victory is “going to take a long time” and the United States “will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear.” He also noted, however, that the United States won’t wait indefinitely for conditions to improve in the war-torn nation.

    “My administration will carefully consider any proposal that will help us achieve victory,” he said. “We’ve got patience but not unlimited patience.”

  • January 16, 2007:

    A subdued and at times humble President George W Bush delivered his seventh State of the Union speech to a skeptical audience this morning, pleading for patience over Iraq because “it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle”. Describing an Iraq riven by a “tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal” he conceded “this is not the fight we entered in Iraq but it is the fight we are in”. Most Democrats sat stony faced as he urged: “So let us find our resolve and turn events towards victory.”

  • March 19, 2007:

    President Bush on Monday said his decision to send more troops to Iraq has yielded some “hopeful signs,” but he told the country that more time is needed to determine whether the strategy is successful.

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    watching the wingnuts and other games

    Posted by on Feb 23, 2007 | 0 comments

  • It was only a matter of time before Glenn Reynolds self combusted. Not that it will slow him down one bit, or give him reason for pause and reflection. Much be nice always being right and having all the answers all of the time. As an “ex-Liberal” he must have sworn off the intellectually elite pursuit of knowing when one is wrong, admitting it and discreetly changing the subject.
  • The God Police are marching onward and kicking in a door near you! Get your official party membership now! They’re going fast! What do you get?

    The First Freedom Project includes a number of facets to ensure that this precious right, guaranteed by our laws and Constitution, is recognized and protected:

    – A commitment to continued expansion of enforcement of civil rights statutes protecting religious liberty.
    – Creation of a Department-wide Task Force on Religious Liberty, chaired by the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, to review DOJ policies impacting religious liberty, coordinate religious liberty cases, and improve outreach to stakeholder communities.

    – Initiation of a series of regional seminars to be held around the country to educate religious, civil rights, and community leaders, attorneys, government officials, and other interested citizens about the laws protecting religious freedom enforced by the Department of Justice and how to file complaints.

    – Increased outreach to religious organizations, civil rights organizations, and other groups and individuals concerned with religious liberty issues through meetings, speaking engagements, and distribution of informational literature

    So much for the separation of church and state. Maha asks: “Is there some outbreak of religious oppression I haven’t heard about?”. It must be the next wave of Liberal terrorists launching Phase Q Plan 20214-B of the War on Christmas. (Shhhh. It’s a secret.)

  • College Republicans at NYU go on a duck immigrant hunt. No. Really. Jesus Genreal has a suggestion:

    Perhaps you should consider adding a new twist to liven it up a bit. After you’ve tazered and beaten your immigrant, you should drag him down to the local military recruiting office and force him to sign up to defend your way of life. That’d add an element of realism we haven’t seen in previous immigrant hunts.

    Hey, it worked for the Union in the Civil War.

  • Michael Medved wants to know if it’s irrational to fear that a homoexual man might want to have sex with you if you share a locker room with that homosexual? And, of course, it’s not irrational if you think A) Gay men are going to jump your bones right then and there, or B) Having “gay eyes” look at you that way makes you uncomfortable. After all, no one likes to be treated like a hunk of meat, or be tempted by the Devil himself. God forbid, you might falter and actually have a homosexual thought yourself! Sadly No! says: Shorter Michael Medved: “It’s not bigotry. It’s common sense!” Read More
  • Fighting terrorism with terrorism

    Posted by on Feb 16, 2007 | 0 comments

    Glenn Reynolds watches way too much “24”. Now he’s advocating fighting terrorism with… terrorism. The Carpetbagger puts him straight.

    The hypocrisy is really but one symptom of the total mess that the GWOT has always been from a rational perspective. The wingnut propensity for calling anyone who disagrees with their idea of going after terrorists with terrorism a “terrorist sympathizer” is the bookend to the wingnut mindset. The cherry on top is their overt willingness to eliminate those they see as the “enemy”, that includes anyone who disagrees with them, is something we should all be vigilant about. When pundits begin using fabricated quotes in major news outlets whilst calling for the hanging of an US Senator for being against their policies, it’s gotten rather serious.

    If you haven’t read David Neiwert’s series on this wingnut movement, you should. It’s a long and informative read, and definitive. Well worth the time.

    We are living in dangerous times to be sure. And, not all of the danger comes from those abroad who wish us ill will. There is danger to us from those next to us who would have us killed to further their power and ideas.

    It goes without saying that such fascist practices are not American in any way shape or form. That said, you won’t hear calls for their deaths here.

    I am convinced that the reason so many wingnuts bleat endlessly about their fellow Liberals being traitors is precisely because many of them realize either subconsciously or intellectually that they are the traitors.

    Who sold arms to Iran? Who sold chemical weapons to Iraq? Who has supported a war policy that has comprimised Homeland security and the strength of our military?

    It is a basic tactic of the fascist to divert attention from their own foibles and crimes by accussing their enemies of crimes and foibles.

    I’ve no doubt that Liberals bare a certain amount of the blame for the situation that we as a nation now find ourselves in. But, it’s entirely telling that you don’t see Liberals running around calling wingnuts traitors and calling for them to be hung. And, an argument could be made that those currently in power and their supporters are indeed traitors. One example, and there are many.

    We did not lead the charge to war and oversee and support it when it was so obvious that it was going to be an utter failure.

    Lke most wingnuts who supported a doomed policy, David Brooks is looking for some type of apology from the Left. It’s just another way of blaming the left for seeing the truth that the right refused to see. It’s just another way of attempting to hoist blame for the loss of the Iraq War upon the Left.

    The Carpetbagger brings this one home.

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