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0 comments | Sunday, April 30, 2006

The mainstream media has framed the Flight 93 debate largely from two perspectives. That the movie is an accurate, mature, and forthright depiction of an American tragedy, or it is a recounting of an event, that is too close to when the event actually took place to be a respectful and appropriate portrayal.

Here's an article that proposes a totally different view, that the movie is actually government propaganda produced to continue to conceal the true facts of Flight 93 and indeed all of the events of 9/11. All along I have been interested in the 9/11 conspiracies, I wouldn't say I'm in agreement with any of them; I'm still searching for the truth of the tragic events of that disastrous day. In that spirit I want to bring attention to this article.

0 comments | Saturday, April 29, 2006

U.S. attempting to impose 'democracy' on Nicaragua. I guess all the state terrorism perpetrated on Nicaragua during the Reagan years, wasn't enough for the blood thirsty neo-cons.

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This is a very interesting clip where Stephen Colbert gets William Kristol off his game by asking him about PNAC. I've never understood the Colbert Report, I guess (according to wikipedia) Colbert is acting in character as an O'Reilly/Scarborough-type for the whole show. That's kind of what I thought he was doing... That show has its moments but I haven't been able to get into it.

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Levi Strauss is invading civil liberties for fun and profit.

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It occurred to me recently that the right wing Christian extremist claim to the United States being a Christian nation is de facto negated by the simple phenomenon of many (perhaps the majority of) Americans not being friendly with (and in many cases not talking to at all) their neighbors. Now I must admit, in viewing Christians from this perspective, it is much harder to blame a particular Christian as opposed to placing blame on Christians as a whole. I mean this is my personal problem with folks who try to blame the human race for this or that or whatever catastrophe or problem. Because it's like, no, I'm sorry, there's a ruling class and concentration of power in the hands of the few, and imperialism and neocolonialism and so on and so forth... I mean this can be debated, but I don't think these (hierarchical) structures that rule the human race represent human nature; instead they represent ossification of the 'progression' (in some cases regression) of the civilization of an intelligent life-form (in this case humans on the planet Earth).

But anyway, back to the original point, America is clearly not a Christian nation insofar as those who purport to practice fundamentalism or at least strict Christianity do not love their neighbor as themselves. This a very powerful concept when some time and thought is devoted to grasping it. Poverty would be eliminated, racism would be greatly diminished, the government would not have to provide many of the services that it currently does; the list could go on, if only America were a Christian nation that practiced the Christian tenet of loving one's neighbor as one loves oneself. As I said I've already undermined my argument, because I think it is somewhat flawed to hold individuals accountable for the failures of an extensive abstract group; but nonetheless, it is a fact that in the United States of America the failure of neighbors to have the appropriate Christian relations, greatly impairs the argument that the United States is a Christian nation (and I didn't even need to get into the fact, it's in the constitution stupid!).

0 comments | Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm not a big watcher of television news, but I realized recently that I watch MSNBC moreso than any other television news channel. I'm not really sure exactly why (I only like Hardball I don't like any of their other shows), I know they're owned by GE (which put the fix in on Donahue not long after he became their most watched and profitable show) which has extensive military/industrial complex contacts; but if I want to see what the MSM beast is covering I typically turn to MSNBC.

The only TV news shows I even watch regularly are Hardball and Larry King Live (if you consider the Daily Show news I also watch that, I guess I should mention C-Span too, but I don't think of that as news it's like reality TV for ugly people, or a call in show for nutbars and Howard baba booey callers), though I also watch snippets of Countdown with Keith, The Situation with Tucker Carlson, and even (gasp) the occasional Scarborough Country (I don't watch Rita or Dan Abrams so I guess some part of me is still sane). I don't want to look too deeply into this one, and over-psychoanalyze myself only to find out I need Clockwork Orange treatment; but I think I'll chalk it all up to the ADD/real time quality of many of MSNBC's programs. They do that Pardon the Interruption thing where the stories are listed on screen, and so, if the current topic glazes over one's eyes (and mind) the next ludicrous speed debated story is only nanoseconds away... What's the joke about keeping an idiot in suspense? Maybe the punchline should be MSNBC...

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Has anyone else seen the Hardball Hot Shots segment on MSNBC's Hardball (every Friday)? It's kind of a strange segment, featuring the 'fair and balanced' panel of Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson, and Rita Cosby (in their defense they seem to substitute Ron Reagan or Craig Crawford as a hot shot when one of the regulars is out). Chris Matthews, of course, leads the panel in a tour du force (farce?) of the previous days' top stories.

The whole thing seems to basically be a way to roll out the right wing talking points (and of course promote MSNBC's programming with its only watched show), one last time for each perspective week. To the extent that Matthews doesn't act as a check or balance on these folks it's a skewering of all things anti-Bush (and anti the neofacist Republicans). I guess I need to look into whether anyone is raising any objections to this segment; I haven't visited the anti-Chris Matthews blog in awhile, but I guess I'll start from there and hope to find others sounding the alarm on this journalistically deeply suspect segment.

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Ya know, the MSM really sucks. I just read this piece and I thought the breakdown of the Duke/Durham relation was pretty interesting. I don't follow these kind of stories, but I am aware there's been a ton of coverage. And the ton that's out there has not addressed much of what is raised by Zirin and Prosen in the article. In MSM's defense they are supposed to stick to the facts and not get into to a lot of these issues (and I guess the oped people already have full plates), but raising the concerns that Zirin and Prosen do seems elementary after reading their story.

0 comments | Thursday, April 27, 2006

This article, I think, actually starts off better than it finishes, it raises some critical points that I've been thinking about a lot too. I've never liked the term liberal because I identify it with conservative economic policies, but nevertheless I think I'm more of a leftist than a liberal in the dichotomy Jensen constructs. I don't agree with large portions of his argument, but, that aside, I think the article has heuristic value.

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It's nice to see people that you think are above and beyond the law (namely Karl Rove) being fitted for a fluorescent orange jump suit. Not that I expect old Karl will end up in a "Federal pound me in the ass prison" as the immortal classic Office Space so brilliantly put it; but it's just like the Coulter vote fraud snarl, one dreams in hopes that they can come true.

0 comments | Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Many one world government theorists talk about this kind of thing in their worst case scenario, I guess Wisconsin's saying no.

0 comments | Friday, April 21, 2006

Bush's many blunders and general incompetence may go down as the worst ineptitude ever.

0 comments | Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rwandan survivors unhappy with Hollywood renditions of genocide.

0 comments | Monday, April 17, 2006

Punditry has lost its bow tie.

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Marine Captain tells it like he saw it.

1 comments | Wednesday, April 12, 2006

This is a very disturbing article about how the head of the FCC wants media to be further deregulated.

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Call me crazy or unhip or some such, but I actually think Alan Colmes' radio show is good. Last night he had the guy from Crook and Liars on (which is one of the best blogs out there, and I shouldn't say this as I'm typing a blog but I don't even like blogs!). He also recently had Alex Jones on, and he's had many other interesting guests that most liberal or conservative broadcasters do not host. Also, I find it refreshing how many conservative callers he has; and he makes a valiant effort every time to set them straight.

I'm aware of the whole Fox News Liberal thing, but I don't think this is accurate about Alan. True, he's in the belly of the beast, but I think that's a good thing (of course I have no idea what's going on behind the scenes, I haven't even seen Outfoxed). I could be malinformed because I never watch Hannity and Colmes (can't stand Hannity), but Alan does a good job on his radio program. He argues a liberal/progressive perspective, and while I'm not sure I'd call him an independent thinker, I don't think he follows the Democratic Party line either.

0 comments | Monday, April 10, 2006

It's looking like total chaos is a serious possibility for Election 2006.

0 comments | Sunday, April 09, 2006

I just heard about this, but I think it took place on the 6th or the 7th. A man of great conviction and courage stood up at a forum Bush was speaking at and gave Bush a one two punch and more. You'd think this type of thing would be occurring everyday, but at least we have this gentlemen Harry Taylor to thank for it happening at least once.

0 comments | Saturday, April 08, 2006

This is an interesting, but very sad story. I first heard about it in this article, but according to a local paper it looks like this woman is going to make it. I'll keep posting what I find on this because it speaks terribly of the country overall, and really is a situation that should not even be plausible in the United States of America.

0 comments | Friday, April 07, 2006

This is a crime, and should be treated as such.

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From what I've looked into fluoride really is a bad thing, and putting it in our water was/is truly a hare brained scheme. Of course for the industry that creates the stuff it's an ingenious scheme. I can't for the life of me figure out why progressives have not been more out there opposing this stuff.

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One of the Eric Pianka speeches that caused the recent controversy is now online. I didn't get from it that this is a man who wants 90% of the human race to die. What I thought he was saying is that humans are and have been overpopulated for sometime, and that this overpopulation has caused/is causing a myriad of problems. He definitely strongly advocates population control, but I don't think he advocates the death of 90% of all people. When he makes the comment about each one of you burying nine others, he certainly does not seem sufficiently dismayed; but does this add up to advocating the 90% death that has been alleged? I don't think so. I think this is a man obsessed with a drastic reduction in human population, which probably blurs his morals on this issue; but I don't think he's necessarily embracing this scenario as an ideal future.

I used to be a deep ecologist and think somewhat closely to Pianka's views, but from reading his lecture it's simple to see how narrow his worldview is. I don't think it's particularly productive to summarize the history of the human race as being about the destruction and killing off of other species, and the natural environment. These things have certainly happened to a great extent and we should strive to stop doing them; but fortunately or unfortunately I've accepted that humans are wedded to this thing called civilization, and unless one chooses to be a survivalist or join a hunter-gatherer tribe, humanity's fate is entwined with the future of civilization. Pianka seems to think that the only future for civilization is one with billions fewer of us on the planet, which is the argument I understand him to be making; not the one which sees him advocating the death of 90% of the human race. So, unless I see some new evidence to change my perspective, I think he's basically sane and making a rational argument; albeit one that is probably extremely distasteful to a great many people.

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I've been reading a lot about these nutty terms South Park Republican, triangulation, DLC, Blue Dog Democrat, DINO, RINO, etc, and this stuff kind of makes you want to fall in with the conspiracy crowd. I mean I think it's basically the political system (and the lack of instant runoff voting and not to mention proportional representation) that entrenches the two parties and leaves all others outside of the sandbox; but it makes you wonder about politicians not being tethered to any firm standing beliefs (I'm not talking flip-flops again!).

What I'm talking about is this dialectic/binary opposition that seemingly creates an antagonistic system. And if this is all a smokescreen, what happens when the poles of opposition drift ostensibly into harmony? Who are they representing, if not their bases and the interests that they nominally speak for? Of course, we know they always already represent their corporate paymasters, but what might the other groups they are representing be? This article does a good job of explaining much of what I ask in non-conspiratorial terms; but the other possibility for me would seem to be that the whole thing is an elaborate setup to make voters think they are participating in change, when in fact they are participating in a charade. Ultimately, I think this is pie in the sky thinking, because our elected 'representatives' (without major social and political change) will act as legitimate as long as the system continues to put them in power (look at Dubya with two stolen elections); but if there were more evidence to support what I'm suggesting I would probably be a card carrying member of the tinfoil hat crowd. Of course, I've come full circle in my reasoning at this point, because the reason I'm not a conspiracist (or don't identify as such) is because the conspiracy books and information I have read I think make too many leaps with too little evidence and information. And, well, with what I'm proposing I can't back it up with facts either, but the more reading I do about ostensibly Republican or Democratic groups and individuals the more I wish I had the missing link that would connect the dots and verify a method (even if a diabolical one) to this madness.

2 comments | Thursday, April 06, 2006

I just encountered this blog, and I haven't had a chance to sift through it. I actually like Hardball and kind of like Chris Matthews, he seems like kind of an odd duck (he has that hyped up on caffeine thing going on and he uses a lot of flowery and sometimes awkward language), yet somehow he made it to the highest levels of two major networks... He sort of reminds me of the mad talk host guy (Howard Beale) from the movie Network, but with Chris Matthews it seems like some one from the Illuminati got to him before he could fully achieve the subversive potential that that guy had. So instead of an angry curmudgeon for the masses, he's a slightly askew middle of the road talking head; who's no threat to anyone but can be slightly incisive at times.

Hardball is good as far as an establishment political program (let's face it we're not talking about Democracy Now). Hardball and Larry King (depending on the guest) are the only news TV shows, that I find are ever interesting (I know Lou Dobbs and Keith Olbermann are supposed to be two of the only real reporters left on television, but I don't find either of their shows stimulating). Most everything else is Fox News lite or that CNN pseudo-objective milquetoast.

As I said I haven't sifted through the blog yet, but it looks like the main gripes are comments made by Matthews where he compared Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden; and comments made in another interview where he said that the Democrats had positioned themselves such that Al Qaeda was rooting for them. Additionally, the anti-Matthews bloggers take issue with some speeches Matthews has given to conservative groups, where Matthews commandeered some pretty copious paychecks.

None of this comes as any surprise to me or particularly irks me, I've long since given up on Chris Matthews having any liberal or progressive credentials (he's little more than infotainment). Probably the best and possibly the only use for his show; is the instant gratification brought by the occasional dose of inside the Beltway Washington-speak, that his program singularly provides. If he does become still another megaphone for the right, that is deeply troubling; but I don't think he's reached that nadir as of yet. There's nothing wrong with preemptive action (in fact in situations like this it's the best possible course), but I guess for me these actions just don't strike me viscerally enough to do anything about them. We're not talking the fall of a liberal icon, we're talking the rightward drift of a wonkish Washington insider; I for one won't waste any sleep or shed any tears over this controversy.

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These 'reagan democrats' and dlcers need their men behind the curtain to prop up their snake oil campaigns.

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I'm very conflicted about this type of Democratic candidate. On the one hand it's Machiavellian and possibly pragmatic to run this sort of politician, and on the other it seems like the selling out of the party's principles. I guess it comes down to whether or not the only strategy in some red states is the Republican lite one. Unless some progressives can win in 'red' America, this will probably for better or worse continue to be the Democratic approach.

0 comments | Wednesday, April 05, 2006

There may be some merit to having a debate about greater balance in the academy, but I don't think searching out professors that are alleged extremists is the best way to go about it.

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Susan Sarandon sees American society moving toward authoritarianism.

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I liked this article even though I don't really think it's necessary to emphasize the term socialism. Nor do I think it's important to emphasize equality. I think the drive for a more progressive society is for a more equal society as well. I think the term equality evokes thoughts of Maoist China and Soviet Russia (authoritarian socialism/communism in general). A certain level of inequality is actually healthy, albeit to a much lesser extent than currently exists in the U.S.

I think a successful progressive strategy dealing with issues of equality/inequality focuses on ideas like a level playing field for all, access to the same types of services and benefits in urban, suburban, and rural areas; and more simply the idea that every new born child can attain the same achievements regardless of who their parents are or in what kind of environment they are raised (the right probably tries to claim this idea as theirs but we have to vociferously point out why they are lieing). I think working for these things doesn't imply sameness (which I think equality implies), working for these things simply means working for fairness, decency, progress, and common sense. And, even for those who are irked by socialism (and maybe equality as well), they probably don't have these same kinds of feelings about these other ideas.

0 comments | Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Most of us 'in the know' have no doubts where the NYT stands on a wide array of issues. Nonetheless, it's still occasionally interesting to read this kind of article.

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Apparently the professor who called for the elimination of 90% of the human race is coming out and defending himself now. He says the guy Mims is a rival of his who's out to get him. As more information begins to emerge it's looking more and more like Pianka may have just been describing reality and not advocating anything. This story is really confusing, Pianka is very slippery about where he actually stands. He may be a misanthrope and not a sociopath; which I think really ruins the intensity of this controversy.

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The Coast to Coast AM wikipedia entries are pretty neat. I learned a bunch about Art Bell. George Noory and Ian Punnett are also there, as is a guy I'd never heard of Mike Siegel.

0 comments | Monday, April 03, 2006

It looks like the forces of regression are hard at work in that pesky Northeastern state that Fox News loves to hate.

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This is a very interesting piece because it ties immigration and the globalization issue (which isn't hard to do, but this article does it well). We're already seeing people question the idea that immigrants are doing jobs 'that Americans won't do', this issue could give rise to a debate about a whole array of other issues relating to the rights and guarantees (not many in America, of course) of American workers.

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This kind of stuff just emboldens the right and their earth trashing policies. It makes environmentalists look nuts and marginalizes our ideas. In truth there are extremists in every movement so to some extent this is unfortunately inevitable.

0 comments | Sunday, April 02, 2006

For anyone who wants to read about one of the great influencers of Karl Rove, from what I know Lee Atwater had a huge effect on all the diabolical campaign stuff that Rove engages in.

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This looks like similar tactics to a political party I know.

0 comments | Saturday, April 01, 2006

Good article questioning the neo-liberal, free market capitalist turn of most of the world's peoples and nations.

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This was a very interesting article, I don't like how it labeled the adults and parents though. Labels seem to be a reductive way to classify people. Some of these cultural magazines seem obsessed with doing it too. I guess if these magazines can define a whole group of people by some new term or classification then there's a whole set of products that can be marketed to this group as well. Presumably these products will be advertised in the pages of these magazines too, since they had the 'genius' to point out the existence of this 'new' group or movement.