News and Commentary on Gainesville and the World | Updated Daily

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dissing Dissent

Mark Vonnegut, in a Dec. 27 column in the Boston Globe: "The outcome in Iraq will not depend on what we believe and how hard we believe it." Vonnegut, a pediatrician in Massachusetts, was writing in defense of his dad, novelist Kurt Vonnegut, who has been criticized as pro-terrorist for saying on national TV that suicide bombers are not crazy people but rather people willing to die for a cause.

The pro-war crowd has been consistently ironic in its denuciation of any dissent as anti-American and pro-terrorist -- ironic because these same people claim we are fighting this "war" to preserve our freedoms, which one can assume includes the First Amendment's freedom of speech and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Connecting "anti-war" with "anti-American" is wrong, of course, but it serves a useful purpose for the pro-war propagandist. And we all know that this tactic has been largely successful, considering how the media so compliantly repeated, without independent investigation, all of the administration's assertions about Saddam's threat to the US.

The problem is corporate control of the media and the consequential focus on profit over reporting. These media companies are so worried about their bottom lines that they aren't about to rock the boat. Hell, much of the mainstream media is owned by companies that profit from war. For a network to be called anti-American simply means the possible loss of customers for some of the network's advertisers. So they do what needs to be done to prove their support for the war.

Sure, now that the invasion has become such a horrible mess that only gets worse, the media is starting to contest the president, somewhat, but Bush can still drop the "9-1-1" nuke-lar bomb of justifications whenever he wants without any protest from the media.

Robert Fisk, a British journalist who probably knows more about Middle East politics and history than any reporter, had some interesting comments about the use of propaganda here. I suggest you read it. He gives interesting insight into how the media can be twisted over time into abusing language to serve a political agenda. Understanding how this works is the one of the most important things any of us can do in these odd times.

I Just Lost My Lunch

I'd like to see Larry Flynt being interviewed about this.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pass The Gravy

Robert Jensen doesn't eat Turkey Day dinner, and he's got a point. Here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Always Run From The Owners

In the US, this would be considered sooooo French.

Maybe we should consider this tactic here, specifically for SUV drivers who have those annoying "W" stickers in the window. Of course, unlike in France, deflating the tires on a Hummer in any red state would lead to bloodshed. Which is why I like the quote from the activist group's leader: "Our rules are to never run from the police. And always run from the owners."

I once read the term "FUV" on A Tiny Revolution. An apt name for a vehicle mostly driven by people who will never get it dirty, who drive it knowing that it wastes gasoline and money and that it pollutes more heavily than other vehicles, all because they want to appear important, show off their wealth, or compensate for some other inadequacy. Which is another reason we should always run from them.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I Feel This Way About Republicans

Bill Bennett shows his naked rear end.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm Feeling Jumpy Myself

NBC's Brian Williams had this interesting anecdote about the power returning in the French Quarter for a few hours, during which President Bush's motorcade rode through:

The "entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions."

White Makes Right

American compassion at its best.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Music For My Ears

James McMurtry's "We Can't Make It Here" could well join the list of great anti-war songs.

Of Monkey Butts and Ski Boats

Steve Bell once again shows why he is so brilliant. He also nailed it with this one.

Bell's wit, honesty and artistry put most American political cartoonists to shame.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hmmmmmmm

"The guy kind of reminds me on a state level what Bill Clinton was in 1992 on a national level."
-- St. Petersburg attorney Ken Blackwell, a registered Republican who also given campaign support to state Sen. Rod Smith, a Democrat running for governor.

Methinks someone slipped some LSD into Mr. Blackwell's martini.