October 23, 2009 archive

WWL Radio #40 Propaganda & the PTB

Join WWL cohosts Diane Gee and Michael Gottlieb tonight on BTR at 6PM EDT.

40, 40, Lordy, Lordy

We have nearly as many topics to cover tonight, all indicative of the innate feelings of superiority both the corporate and military hold against our citizenry.

The polls say we want health care and no war, but the PTB have different plans for us they will impose. By any means necessary, apparently.

See you there! As always, respectful questions and commentary are welcomed.

Join Gottlieb and Diane tonight at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for an interesting hour of Political Reporting and Commentary.

WWL Radio: Free Speech in Practice.

The call in number is 646-929-1264

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The live chat link will go live around 5:15.



Honduras: The Golpistas Raise Their Middle Finger

The news of an impending resolution to Honduras’s coup was hopeful, but apparently too good to be true.  Today it’s clear that nothing has been decided, that rightful, democratically elected President Manual Zelaya is still stuck in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, and that the negotiations to resolve the crisis are now totally dead.  This should not be a big surprise to anyone.

The New York Times reports:

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya pulled out of talks with the country’s post-coup de facto leaders on Friday, throwing efforts to resolve a months-long political crisis back to square one.

Zelaya pulled his representatives out of meetings with envoys of de facto leader Roberto Micheletti that were the latest in a series of attempts to resolve the political deadlock sparked by a June 28 military coup.

“As of now we see this phase as finished,” Zelaya envoy Mayra Mejia said shortly after midnight (7 a.m. British time) at the hotel where both sides have been negotiating for three weeks.

All attempts to reach a deal have snagged over whether Zelaya can return to power for the last few months of his term, which ends in January.

“Post-coup de facto leaders” is an interesting turn of phrase.  I prefer “golpistas.”  Or if you prefer, “leaders of the coup d’etat.”  But the bottom line is that no matter what you call Roberto Micheletti and his friends in the oligarchy, their coup continues despite virtually universal condemnation.  And it only has to continue, as far as the golpistas are concerned, until November 29, 2009, the present date for elections of a new president.  That date is right around the corner.  The golpistas have no intention, none whatsoever of restoring Manual Zelaya to his rightful presidency.  That is the one, single thing they will not permit.  And, unfortunately, that’s the one single step the rest of the world believes is an essential first step to end the crisis.

This is what is called a deadlock.

The rest of the world may insist on restoration of Zelaya to the presidency as an initial step, and it may insist as well that the coup’s running the national election in November undermines the legitimacy of the “democratic election.”  But the golpistas don’t see it that way.  At all.  To them, surviving all the diplomatic initiatives and the sternly worded verbal condemnations and the impounding of funds until there’s an election is the goal.  They’ll happily argue about the legitimacy of the election after its been held.  And nothing is going to budge them from their present stranglehold on Honduras’s government or move them to restore Manual Zelaya to the presidency.

The golpistas would rather clamp down on the demonstrators than move their position toward a possible resolution.  This is what one should expect of them.  The burden of the unrest, and especially the present damage to the Honduras economy fall on the poorest people in Honduras.  These are not the golpistas.  They are quite powerless to resist the military government and the US equipped and trained army.

And what of the US and it’s recently announced “better relations” with Latin America?

The deadlock in Honduras is proving a challenge for U.S. President Barack Obama after he vowed better relations with Latin America. Washington suspended the visas of more figures in the de facto government this week to pressure a settlement.

“The two sides need to seal this deal now. Time is running out,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said on Friday. “We have not given up on a deal yet … We are focussed on these guys sitting down and agreeing,” he said.

This is nice.  There is no deal to seal.  There is no agreement.  And now there are no talks.  Put another way, US insistence on an agreement is and continues to be an utter non starter.  Similarly, negotiations brokered by Oscar Arias.  Similarly, the impounding of non-essential US aid to Honduras.  The golpistas have raised their middle finger and most observers are making believe it’s to tell which way the wind is blowing.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles

The Blog Is Hereby Closed

Everybody is upset.

Everybody is upset in the comments and everybody is upset in e-mails.

Therefore I have no other choice.

The blog is closed.


Until everyone calms down we will stay closed. No one will be able to post essays or comments or read essays or comments.


Please don’t forget to tip your waitress as you leave.

If you doubt that I am serious…go ahead TRY to post a comment! You will see just exactly how serious I am about this!

Action Hours Against Rupert the Pirate: Week One

Burning the Midnight Oil for Breaking the Silicon Cage

crossposted from My Left Wing

Rupert Murdoch operates and profits from a big pirate support base, and we – I and anyone who joins with me – are going to go after him, in an ongoing “name and shame” operation, until he agrees to close down the pirate support operations at his base.

Act on Friday, 4pm Eastern, 1pm Pacific, and 10pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific.

Or, to make a different analogy, Rupert Murdoch owns own of those pawn shops that “just happen” to end up with stolen goods in their possession. That is, some pawn shops in run-down areas of town are just fence. Some are legalized loan sharks that work hard at avoiding being fences. And some respect the letter of the law but, well, if they somehow end up with stolen goods anyway, well, waddyagonnado? “Dese people are here, no respect for private property”.

Few bootleg anime streaming sites would be able to keep operating if they had to pay the cost of streaming the media themselves. Fortunately for them, Rupert is happy to host their bootleg anime on MySpace servers. As long as its not NewsCorp copyright rights, NewsCorp is happy to do the minimum required by the law (I am sure it is just a coincidence that the when ordinary users link to the bootleg media at MySpace, that draws traffic and brings revenue to MySpace).

But who watches out for the little guys?

Anti Science Climate Crisis Propaganda is Working

The number of Americans who believe that climate change is real has declined in the last year, but a majority do see convincing evidence of global warming, according to a new poll.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found 57 percent of Americans see “solid evidence of warming,” compared to 71 percent in April 2008, and 77 percent in August 2007.


Since 2008, the proportion of Americans who describe global warming as the result of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, has also sharply dropped from 47 percent to 36 percent, the survey found.

The article also says that only 35 percent of people feel that Climate Crisis is a “very serious problem.” That is down from 45 percent previously.

This proves two things:

1) A large chunk of The American People are still stupid.

2) Propaganda still works better than science on stupid people.

I really hate calling people stupid.

But really, the science just proved it.

And this story, these facts, are all about what forms the individual belief system. After all the science proves that Climate Change is occurring. There IS no serious rebuttal to the science. Add in the fact that the evidence of Climate Change can be easily seen and measured by even an observant lay person.

Yet an increasing chunk of people choose to disregard the science and to believe the propaganda bought and paid for by the Energy Corporation Arm of The Ruling Class….those who will have to GASP! cut their profit margin under even the weakest Climate Legislation possible.

But perhaps they are not stupid? Perhaps they are just afraid of what the data means? That there is an approaching menace…

…that they feel they have no control over…

…and so it is easier to deny the crisis and their fears and hopelessness and just believe the comforting propaganda and deny the facts?

Nope, come to think of it, that still makes them stupid, it just adds a note of pathos to the whole deal.

Since I am in a curmudgeonly and misanthropic mood these days I will just include one more link to sum up what I think about a percentage of people who prefer to stick their head in the sand rather than believe the overwhelming scientific consensus about an existential but still somewhat preventable FACT that threatens every sentient being on earth.


Update II: Music video: Shameless Promotion of my son’s project

At some personal risk to my anonymity, I am proud to promote a project from my eldest son, Joe.  (No, his last name is not Lemming).  He is a drummer in the Minneapolis area, and plays in several bands and in the studio with several other projects.  In other words, he’s “in demand”.  He is the eldest of my two drummer sons.  Imagine what dinner table conversations were like in my home!  Joe, please stop tapping and pass the butter.  Ryan, please stop smacking that glass with your pen.  

In my head it was always “Oh gawd please make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!.”  Of course, the payoff is when you get to see them come in to their own, and not on your dining room table.  My wife is a vocalist and I am a sax player, so I guess we’re at fault anyway.  

The current band Joe’s promoting is called Kill to Kill, and it’s so unusual I thought you people would get a kick out of it. It’s a punk trio, with bass, baritone guitar and drums only.  The singer reminds me of no one – I think this act is completely unique.  Follow me below the fold for video.  

Army Sgt. Richard Yarosh: Portrait in Smithsonian

Justified Honor and Remembrance for not only Sgt. Yarosh but all who served and are serving in these two theaters, burned soldier portrait to show at Smithsonian!

This is and will be for a long time a great tribute to this soldier, and all the Fallen and Maimed of these two continuing occupations. And like “The Wall”, until we can build a Memorial for the Fallen of both these conflicts, it should be a Reminder to this Nation of what We Allowed “In Our Names!”!!

Go Ahead. Caption This!

Hold Tight, Open Thread

I got a ride to my morning clinic appointment so I’ll be back this afternoon.


be excellent to each other, guys and gals.

Real World Success is More Important than Legislative Wrangling

Count me among those who have listened with no small annoyance to the incessant alarmist chorus of worry and hand-wringing regarding the White House’s decision to go on the offensive for once and attack Fox News.  I have always known the political process to be fickle and seemingly designed for the sake of those who would split hairs and raise concerns, but I have never seen so many degrees of second-guessing from so many different corners as I have with the President’s bold attack.  Articles like this one prove my point.  Any effective governing coalition requires placating not just the base, but also moderates, independents, and conservatives.  This should be common sense, but the purveyors of news and politics easily forget it.  The big tent is supposed to be big.      

If any Democrat in power states a position, it will be automatically criticized for being too partisan.  If one doesn’t flex one’s muscles, the lack of strong response will be lambasted as being spineless and wimpy.  A shift to the left will be criticized as catering only to the base.  A shift to the right will be criticized as forsaking liberals to appeal to a transparent sense of phony bipartisanship.  Aiming for the middle will win critics on both the left and right who would much rather prefer their concerns winning precedent rather than having a foot in one side and a foot in the other.  One could almost argue that a President, any President, can’t manage to do much of anything right, except be a combination egalitarian punching bag and dart board.  Any majority coalition is going to have natural fissures and at times conflicting interests, but the best leaders find a way to not sweat the small stuff and instead advance the common thread upon which all can agree.    

Returning again to the recent condemnation of Faux News by the Obama Administration, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that some were so quick to make a Nixon analogy.  I personally was surprised that the White House had the courage to take a chance by stating the unvarnished truth for once.  Many of us in the netroots had been arguing similarly for years, i.e. that Fox News was not a network that aimed for any kind of objective, unbiased spin in its “news” coverage.  That this was decried in some corners as a kind of Chicago-style kneecapping that utterly contradicted the President’s earlier stand advancing post-partisanship is petty politics to the extreme.  I doubt seriously that Obama keeps a constantly revised hate-list of enemies in the desk drawer of the Oval Office.  Post-partisanship is fine but as we have seen over the months it also requires cooperation from the not-so-loyal opposition, who have wished to play by their own rules in their own sandbox thankyouverymuch.  Once hopes in future that the substantive networks and news agencies no longer have to chase the narratives and outlandish pseudo-news set in motion by Fox.

Like many, I was among the ranks of the skeptics when our President continued to advance an optimistic agenda that sought to supersede political ideology in favor of cooperation.  This Era of Good Feeling lasted, if memory serves, about three full months.  As much as it pains me, we’ve still not evolved yet to the point that we can set aside our selfishness and our suspicion of the other side to truly work hand in hand.  One of the open secrets of Washington legislative politics is that many Senators and Representatives do routinely reach across the aisle in formulating worthy bills and many, shockingly enough, even have friendships with those in the opposition party.  They are, however, always cautious and careful to prevent this from becoming common knowledge back home among their constituents.  Few wish to be accused of “palling around with Democrats” after all.

Part of what drives conservative opposition is the fear of being surrounded and outnumbered.  This rally-round-the-flag response I see constantly when I am back home in Alabama.  Having a long history of feeling marginalized and having its concerns discounted by the rest of the country provides a substantial ability and precedent to band together. After having fallen out of power altogether, it is a well-worn identity that can be easily embraced yet again.  Not only that, at this point at least, Republicans really have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  They can afford to speak with more or less one voice projected directly towards their base because, as has been exhaustively reported, moderate voices are currently few and far between.  Energy does not need to be devoted to keeping everyone on board.  Liberals and Democrats can be easily vilified as smug oppressors, forcing their version of ill-suited progress upon a public which would like nothing more than to be left alone to run its affairs in its own way.  Still, at some point free will and laissez-faire produces more harm than good and intervention is necessary.  

In the meantime, it might be best for us to embrace, for the first time in decades what being the majority party entails.  We seem to have gotten out of practice over the years. It means being inclusive without papering over differences and knowing also how to engage different wings and blocs in honest conversation without degenerating into fratricide.  On this point, the media seems poised and eager to pronounce a party at war with itself because doing so promises rapt attention, increased readership, and a steady stream of interesting, lurid headlines.  Let’s not go there, please.  What I see is not exposed fault lines in stretched tautly in anticipation of a major tremor, but rather something quite different.  I see the inevitable stress and strain which characterizes the democratic process at work, one which never provides a satisfying rallying cry for anyone until its conclusion, or until its effects are judged by the direct impact made upon those whom it sets out to help.  At times we forget that the formulation of reform is often much less important than its role in improving the lives of others, but the former does make for good theater.  The latter might not make for interesting copy, but it is upon this standard that we ought to judge success or failure.  In so doing, we ought to act and choose our words accordingly.  


Drop Dead Dick Cheney Day


I don’t know if this is going to get me in trouble or not. I suppose on the one hand it’s advocating murder on some level, though we can argue the word-smithing later. On the other hand, this proposal isn’t anything more than a scientific experiment and if it works it can easily be argued Dick Cheney gave his life for science.

9/11 Redux (Part 1)

Real News Networks Paul Jay interviews former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley about the  leadup investigations to the September 11, 2001 WTC attacks.

Part 2 of the interview is here.

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