Monday, October 23, 2006

Bargain Basement Prices On The Fourth Estate

The media consolidation that has occurred over the six years of the Bush administration has been devastating to our democracy while simultaneously acting as the buoy that keeps this administration afloat. With a truly independent news media, this President could never have survived this long. Bush has acted irresponsibly (immorally, illegally) in pushing his first strike policy that has resulted in our military being bogged down in Iraq. He has run up a debt that would make Reagan blush and he has failed to implement even the most basic security measures that would help protect the homeland while allowing North Korea (and soon Iran) to join the nuclear arms race. He has amassed unprecedented extra-constitutional executive power while defying our constitution by spying on American citizens. He signed into law the repeal of habeas corpus and the withdrawal of the Geneva Conventions all with barely a word from the Fourth Estate. If there was any doubt left that independent reporting is dead in traditional media, surely that can be safely put to rest now.

This abdication of their traditional role as watchdog can be seen nationally when The New York Times all but apologizes to the Bush administration for exposing their surveillance of banking transactions, and we can see it locally as newspapers across the country, despite the public’s disgust with this corrupt Republican Congress, endorse Republican candidates in their area. What we are seeing here in Washington State is a perfect example of what’s happening around the country, our newspapers are out of touch with the citizens they serve and are making endorsements based on personal gain rather than what’s in the best interest of the public.

Sure, newspapers are businesses like any other and their main objective is to make money, but when they callously and blatantly attempt to manipulate the public into voting against their own interest, and in favor of what’s best for the paper and its owners, it’s time we reject their propaganda and refuse to pay even a quarter for the privilege. While there is a lot of talk about online independent news sources and blogs eating into the market share of newspapers, alternative sources of news are not doing nearly the damage to traditional media as it is doing to itself. Supporting the status quo is one thing, but by going full tilt against public sentiment and common sense, American newspapers are dropping the veil and exposing their willingness to act as the last line of defense for this corrupt Republican Party. We can see that our newspapers are being used to plug up the holes of this sinking ship, and that damage will linger long after this administration is gone.

For their part, The Seattle Times has endorsed Dave Reichert and their public reasons for doing so are so laughable as to barely hide their true motivations. At a time when the American people are fed up with this do-nothing Congress, the Times endorses Dave “I’ll vote how you want me to, Mr. Bush” Reichert and has the audacity to claim it’s because Reichert is an “independent” voice in the Congress. Are you kidding me? Reichert explained to his base that he only voted against the Right’s pet bills because he was asked to do so by the White House and Congressional leaders as a result of calculations made about the swing nature of his district. The Seattle Times, in endorsing Reichert, has proved (yet again) that they are not fit to line a birdcage let alone inform the public.

One could argue that the Seattle Times is more comfortable endorsing an incumbent unless that incumbent has done something fundamentally wrong, but then how do you explain their endorsement of Mike McGavick? Surely, if the Times were just supporting the status quo, they would have endorsed Maria Cantwell as well, but they didn’t. Instead, the Times has exposed itself as the biased rag it is, interested primarily in abolishing the Estate Tax and paving the way for further media consolidation.

I’d like to think that newspaper endorsements of candidates don’t carry the weight they once did, but there is still a segment of the population that relies on newspapers for information. The problem is that newspapers are no longer unbiased sources and their role as watchdogs of democracy has been completely abandoned. For a liberal city like Seattle, The Times is an embarrassment. I only hope that they become as irrelevant as they are determined to make themselves, as quickly as is humanly possible. When I first moved to Seattle twelve years ago, it took only a day to figure out that the Post-Intelligencer was the better paper. But since the Times often has more pages of print, I have been using it as packing material, cushioning my holiday gifts as I pack up boxes to send around the country. This year, I’ll invest in some bubble wrap instead.

12 Comments:

Anonymous david said...

Well, I think one thing we need to do is remove advertising as a business expense from the tax code.

Advertising is the propaganda of Consumerism. It serves the same function as official Soviet propaganda did.

The first amendment protects the right to advertise, but it should be seen as coming out of taxable income and not as a necessary expense.

Frankly, I'd rather pay 100% more for my daily newspaper and know it was a genuninely Free Press then to wonder why there were so many puff articles about Tom Cruise or the myth of Global Warming.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“This abdication of their traditional role as watchdog can be seen nationally when The New York Times all but apologizes to the Bush administration for exposing their surveillance of banking transactions, and we can see it locally as newspapers across the country, despite the public’s disgust with this corrupt Republican Congress, endorse Republican candidates in their area.”

Has the disease of liberalism so corrupted your mind that you can not concive that maybe, just maybe Bush did not do anything wrong?

“What we are seeing here in Washington State is a perfect example of what’s happening around the country, our newspapers are out of touch with the citizens they serve and are making endorsements based on personal gain rather than what’s in the best interest of the public.”

Have you ever thought that it might be you? That perchance you might be out of touch with reality?

“…public’s disgust…”, “…American people are fed up…”

How do you justify making these kinds of statements? Speak for yourself. You are disgusted and fed up. That is your problem. The American people voted Bush into office twice. You must think very highly of yourself to be insinuating that the majority of American people are stupid, or brainwashed and cannot think for themselves.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

Anonymous:

Your remark RE the "disease of liberalism" is beneath contempt and bespeaks an ignorance of what liberalism is and what it has wrought.
Educate yourself with a visit to the link below. be sure to click "what conservatives thought.....", and get back to us with your conclusions.
Please be specific as to which liberal accomplishments you wish to
repeal or roll back.

http://www.turnleft.com/libgood.html

I suspect that LG, as a reality based person, gives herself a reality check every damned day by taking he trouble to inform herself. Put down your Kool-Aid and give it a shot!

Check out the State by State Bush "approval" rankings. Note that there
remain only 4 States that contain a plurality of citizens like yourself.

http://www.surveyusa.com/50State2006/50StateBushApproval061017Approval.htm

I say that LG as ample evidence for her statements Re the level of disgust
towards Dubya and the Rethugs. Lets see your data that contradict that stance.

Accomplishments of Liberalism

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So what have you done for me? If you are an American citizen, liberalism has done a lot for you. This list is nowhere near complete, but it touches on the highlights of liberalism's proudest accomplishments. Also, notice how many of these have the word "present" for the time frame. This shows that we are still reaping the benefits of these liberal programs today, in 1998. If you have an addition to this list, please send me e-mail. You may also be interested in what conservatives thought about many of these programs.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale,

"Your remark RE the "disease of liberalism" is beneath contempt and bespeaks an ignorance of what liberalism is and what it has wrought.
Educate yourself with a visit to the link below. be sure to click "what conservatives thought.....", and get back to us with your conclusions.
Please be specific as to which liberal accomplishments you wish to
repeal or roll back."

Okay, I will play, but first perhaps you can enlighten me on your definition of liberalism. Remember, I am the Kool Aid drinker who cannot think for himself.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

anonymous~

I'm not sure what you mean by "I'll play".
I gave you one web site that layed out a fairly simplistic listing of liberal principles as embodied in actual
accomplishments. There was also a list of conservative
"push backs" of liberal initiatives.

I challenged you to list those accomplishments/laws you would choose to roll back/rescind. How could I be more specific?

Let me give it a shot with what I've pasted below.
And put that Kool-Aid down! Kool-Aids for closed minds only!



http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=TSHA,TSHA:2005-52,TSHA:en&q=definition+of+liberalism%2e

Welcome to the web site that stands up for liberalism. More than ever before, opponents of liberalism are broadcasting pseudo-science, demagogic politics, crank economics, and think-tank propaganda in easily parrotted sound bites. This site is a gateway to an entire arsenal of liberal studies, statistics and state-of-the-art arguments that refute their myths. Form your own opinions from credible sources such as mainstream scholars and the National Academy of Sciences, and benefit from a more complete picture than you normally find on the mass market. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/tenets.htm


James Moore
Proud Left-Wing Liberal
In the attacks on Cindy Sheehan and anyone else who is daring to disturb the real Texas rattler down in Crawford, it has been entertaining to hear their dismissiveness. Besides betraying a desperation to stop the political damage Ms. Sheehan's words and presence are doing to the president, the language of the TV attack monkeys is too predictable for anyone to actually hear. The major criticism has been that Sheehan is, (gasp,) "a far left-wing liberal." Is this supposed to be a bad thing when compared to the "far right-wing conservatives" who took our country to war, cost us billions of tax dollars and precious lives, for no discernible reason?

I am a little weary of the term liberal being used as a negative brand. Every one who is a liberal ought to stop cowering and apologizing. I claim the label like a badge of honor. Every great advance our country has made has been prompted by liberal, progressive thinkers who realized change was necessary. Liberals stood at the front of the civil rights movement and they stopped the war in Vietnam. Liberals led the women's suffrage movement and they were the people who gave our country its conscience in the fight to end slavery.

Liberals are people who believe, like Jefferson, that our country and our culture are best judged by how we treat the least of our citizens. They believe in a tax code that is progressive enough to help families and puts a greater share of responsibility for funding government on the corporations that are making huge profits. Liberals prefer to spend money on programs that give the disadvantaged a chance in America instead of buying and building tanks and guns that are outdated in the war on terrorism. We want a strong defense but demand accountability from the Pentagon and defense contractors.

Liberals think that curing disease is more important than protecting the rights of a few cells created by the joining of a sperm and an egg. A zygote is not a sentient being. If a fertilized egg can be used to find cures to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and regenerate spinal tissue, liberals think that is more important than the rights of the sperm and egg. Liberals want the government to devote less money to Halliburton and more money to stem cell research so that great scientists don't leave America to do their research in foreign lands. Liberals think this is the kind of endeavor where America is supposed to lead. We believe that the life of an an 18 year-old soldier called up to Iraq is more important than the viability of a fertilized egg. We think it is impossible to be pro-life and pro-war at the same time.

Liberals believe in the Constitution and do not believe that religion ought to be included in any of our public institutions or laws. We know a vast number of people who founded our country were running from despots who tried to tell them how to worship. We do not believe America is a Christian nation. We believe it is a nation where people can worship as they want and the predominant religion happens to be Christianity but we don't want to force those beliefs on Jews, Muslims, Hindi, or anyone else. Liberals think the conservatives ought to go back and re-read the founding document if they feel they need clarification. Liberals think it is wrong to seek an activist judge when you are trying to get a favorable ruling for Terry Schiavo and then compalain about activist judges who rule against allowing the Ten Commandments in public facilities or diminishing the rights afforded women under Roe v. Wade.

Liberals believe in protecting the CIA operatives and agents who put their lives at risk to protect our country. We think anyone who exposes them or even talks about what they are doing needs to be held accountable; especially if they speak to reporters. We trust the intelligence gathering professionals of our country to deliver unvarnished information and analysis and we do not think intelligence data ought to be "fixed around the policy." Liberals think all presidents ought to explain their actions in a forthright manner to the people who put them in office.

Liberals believe in self-determination for all nations. We think that Iraq's problems are not worth one American life. We believe that if the Iraqis wanted true freedom and democracy that they needed to get it the way Americans did; they should have fought for it and taken it and they would have loved it as dearly as we love it here in America. We do not believe they can be given something they don't want.

Liberals also believe that any American parent who has lost a child in the Iraqi war has a right to protest and speak his or her mind without fear of personal attack and physical intimidation. If the parent of a fallen soldier does not have this right, then who does? Liberals believe this right is what needs protecting more than any other in our country.

I am a liberal. And I am proud of it.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale,

There is no doubt that Americans working together can claim credit for those great achievements listed over at turnleft.com, and no, I would not wish to repeal any of them. I apologize for not being more specific in my request for a definition. What I hoped to extract from you is your opinion of the face that modern Liberalism presents to non-Liberals. Please don’t take this as an insult, but from my view of things modern Liberalism does not present a face that I would envision on those great Liberals in the past that helped achieve all those wonderful things you mention. I will be happy to give you more on this later if you are interested.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself. I was born in 1944, less than three months before the invasion at Normandy. In school we were taught that it was our duty, even though we might not necessarily agree with all of his policies, to support the President duly elected by a majority vote of the American people. Every schoolroom had at least one picture of an American President, and we recited the Pledge of Allegiance every day. During World War II, farm boys, movie stars, and sons of Senators, fought together. The film industry produced great patriotic films, such as Casablanca, The Flying Leathernecks, the Why We Fight series portraying the evils of fascism, and many others. America was a cohesive nation then, and the Americans that I knew were proud of their countries achievements. I was working at Boeing when John F. Kennedy delivered a speech about the conflict in Vietnam. The entire plant shut down to listen. The message was that Communism was a threat to the world, and that it must be stopped. On my 21st birthday, I received my draft notification. I scored very high on the military entrance exams but could not get past the physical. I was given a deferral, so I guess the army figured they could find something for me to do if they ever decided to call up seed corn, cripples, and the elderly. Anyway, I sat on the sidelines and watched friends and former high school classmates go off to war. Some of them came back in boxes. Several years later, Lyndon Johnson decided that he could not handle the war that he helped to promote. He quit, and stuck Nixon with a shit sandwich. Then, in 1973, Congress voted to cut off funding for the war, thereby stabbing the South Vietnamese in the back. There you had it. On one hand, two Democratic Administrations escalated a war against Communism, but they would not fight it to win. On the other hand, you had people, who professed Liberalism, running around setting off bombs in college campus ROTC offices, spitting on returning veterans, engaging in mayhem, squatting on enemy gun emplacements, meeting with the enemy behind closed doors, publicly denouncing our troops as baby killers and war criminals, and generally wiping their asses with the American flag. What the hell! Today, it absolutely astounds me when someone asks why I would not support a Democratic Presidential candidate during a time of war.

I have to stop now. If you have gotten this far, and you would like to continue, please leave a post. In the mean time, I will leave you with this:

"An individual's political beliefs depend on when
he became politically aware."
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

Anonymous~

We are contemporaries. I was a senior in HS, you were 2 years further on when we both were jolted out of an ordinary Friday in Nov into what became a ten year nightmare of assassination, war, riots and social upheaval.
I liken today's conflict between Blue State/Red State America to those times.

I grew up watching the same movies the same TV shows as you.
Raised as a Catholic and educated in parochial schools, my older
brother and I both enlisted in the Marine Corps. He went on to fly helicopters in Vietnam, survived a wound and retired
from United Airlines as a 747 Captain. I was lucky that my USMC Reserve unit, activated for Korea and every war subsequent to Vietnam, was not activated during the Vietnam war. It was an infantry unit and none of us felt that more than half of us would make it home if we had been called up.

It's too easy to say that "many American working together can claim credit for those great achievements" when the moderate species of Republican who advanced the listed causes scarcely
exists today. Additionally, you will find that most conservatives
were actively opposing most every cause that advanced the rights and improved the conditions of the disadvantaged and discriminated
against.
It has always been thus.

You want a "face of liberalism". Like conservatism, it has many faces not all of which are attractive or worthy of support. I prefer to deal in
concrete examples. I admire the curmudgeonly Murtha, the impressive and
idealistic O'Bama....my US Senator! I like Chuck Hagel on the Republican side.
Yes, I could support a reason based Republican for President. You, on the
other hand, seem more than willing to look past one of the most criminaly
negligent, corrupt and just plain incomptent Administration in our
lifetimes, so that you can vote your prejudices

I don't like sweeping generalities, shibboleths, clichés and flat out inaccuracies.
Too much of what is ascribed to liberals fall into exactly those categories.

You say Nixon was handed a "shit sandwich"....good line from "Full Metal Jacket"!
I say he misled us with his 'secret plan" to end the Vietnam war that
resulted in more US KIA and WIA, not to mention Vietnamese and Cambodian killed and wounded, than
occurred during the Kennedy/Johnson years, by far. You say "fight to win". In the Vietnam context
by consensus that would have meant blowing up the dikes in N. Vietnam and possibly invading N. Vietnam. Conservatively it was estimated that a million or more N. Vietnamese would
drown from flooding. An invasion would have required upward of 600,000 troops on top of the 500,000 we had in the south. They would've needed BOTH of us!

You call the denial of funding a "stab in the back'. I call the lies and perfidy surrounding the whole disastrous enterprise the real stab in the back, of the American people.
The inability of the S.Vietnamese to fight with the same determination as their Northern counterparts, despite
the heaviest bombing in the history of warfare and the expenditure of 58,000 American lives and
over 300,000 wounded, is another form of back stab.

I'll cut past Watergate, a hoagie sized shit sandwich AND Nixon wiping his ass with our
Constitution, which more than vindicated my votes for first Humphrey
and then McGovern, and just let it lie there for you to rationalize!

The military. Does it trouble you that by far the most belligerent supporters of the war in Iraq never
got any closer to a uniform than when they opened the door to buy cookies?!
You can look it up....Google "chickenhawks" and take a look at a face of conservatism that
should be the shame of real patriots and real conservatives, as distinguished from the neocon trash that have betrayed us all.

Prior to the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the most successful military campaign
since the Persian Gulf War by far was the 1999, 77 day air war against Serbia to belatedly stop the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Look up how your Republicans supported Clinton in that effort before you defend conservative support for the office of the Presidency, it's a myth!

Straw Men. I defend neither bombsetters nor spitters on either side of the political spectrum.
Neither Dorhn nor McVeigh. Google up "military funeral protection" and
tell me what you think of the alleged Christians who necessitated the legislation.

I'll leave it at this. Mean spiritedness, intolerance, hostility to science and reason in this Country emanate from the Right. We do have a counterpart to the Taliban in this country and its not
on the Left.

DH

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale,

Well at least we agree on Nixon. I think that he should have been prosecuted and, if found guilty, given at least a few month in a federal tennis ranch. At the bare minimum, he should have had his pension revoked. Instead, we were told, it would be too destructive to the American people to watch Nixon get his day in court. Additionally, I think Clinton got off way too easy. The “sex is not sex” and the “what’s the definition of the word “is” defense doesn’t make it with me. At least Nixon had the good graces to resign.

Corruption and incompetence. I think these characteristics span both sides of the isle. Additionally, I believe that many Liberals are perfectly willing to support corruption and incompetence as long as it is a Democrat engaging in these activities. Liberals believe that that the Democratic Party is the great party of the downtrodden underdog. Here in Western Washington, one of America’s great bastions of Liberal Democracy, a few years ago some bureaucrats decided that it would be a good idea to provide a shelter for street bums. They found a Korean man selling a small motor hotel. The man had priced the property based on recent selling prices of comparable properties in his area, but the bureaucrats decided to trump up their own value and offered the man a fraction of his asking price. When the man refused the offer, the bureaucrats sent him a letter stating that he would have to accept the offer or they would condemn his property. Imagine that, stealing a property from a minority to provide housing for another minority on the basis of condemnation. That’s real Liberal compassion. Our wonderful Seattle Mayor decided that it would be a good idea to condemn a couple of hundred private properties over a lunatic scheme to build an unaffordable monorail line. After years of seemingly endless studies it was finally determined that the cost of this boondoggle was so huge that even tax mongering Democrats could not choke it down. Did they offer the right of first refusal to the previous property owners to purchase their properties back for the same price they had been paid? No, they sold those properties to the highest bidders. Seattle residents are currently faced with repair or replacement of an existing, outdated traffic viaduct. Studies have shown a number of options. This same Mayor wants to stick Seattle underdogs with by far the most expensive option, a tunnel. Why? So that his wealthy developer pals can erect pricey condominiums and office buildings. Years earlier, the local Democratic compassion machine asked Seattle voters to support an issue to create a Seattle Commons at the south end of Lake Union for the benefit of billionaire Paul Allen. The area contains elements of small businesses and low to moderate-income housing. Again, the goal was to erect pricey condominiums and office buildings for a man who can easily afford to finance the project himself. Seattle residents voted it down so the Mayor pissed away more money on another election with a watered down version. We voted is down again. Poor Paul, now he has to scrimp and save to realize his dream. Liberal Democrats felt so sorry for Mr. Allen that they built him a brand new football stadium so that he would feel better even after voters turned down the idea. Oh, the compassion! I almost forget to mention the $150 million that Liberal Democrats spent on a parking garage so that wealth downtown merchants would not have to worry about running a parking facility while selling jeans at $185 a pair. What did the downtrodden underdog homeless get? Well, let’s see. They got a small hotel where street alcoholics can go to practice their “disease.” No kidding, they get to drink on the premises and can even have their drunken pals over to party. They got some soup kitchens. They got permission to camp on downtown government property 24/7/365. You can drive by these areas any day of the week and witness the downtrodden drinking booze and shooting dope. This has become such a joke that downtowners have given these areas colorful names such as Crack Alley and Muscatel Meadows. There is a joke going around that goes: “Do you think we should ask the Democrats to move long enough for the city to clean the park?” The biggest benefit that the homeless received is automated, self-cleaning public toilets. At least the Liberal Democrats recognized that it was not a good idea to have the homeless urinating and defecating on the sidewalks. Yes, the city spent $6 million on a ten-year contract for these remarkable pieces of outhouse technology. They are truly marvelous. You walk in, the door closes, and you receive ten minutes do to your thing after which a voice informs you that your time is up. You leave and the toilet cleans itself. The problem is that drug users, drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and other nefarious characters have taken over these contraptions to ply their trades. The homeless are now pissing and shitting on the sidewalks in record numbers because they can’t get into the toilets. The city has had to hire extra cleaning help just to keep up with the avalanche. The Mayor’s solution is to install cameras to monitor the toilets. Yeah, these Democrats really know how to create jobs. Don’t you think that it would have been a better use of $6 million dollars to provide additional housing so that the homeless had beds as well as a place to take a dump? The competence is just blinding. Then there is Bill Clinton, but please don’t get me started.

Speaking of jobs, I just love it when Democrats make speeches at the local Labor Temple about what great friends of labor they are and then jump on a plane, fly to India and make speeches to the Indians about how there will be no stemming of the outflow of American jobs to India.

Yes, I have seen the “chicken hawk” sites. I think it is a great idea that all politicians who call for war should be required to pick up a rifle and lead the charge into combat, and if they are too old, infirm, or important to do it, then their sons and daughters should be required to take their place. Hell yes and that includes Bill Clinton. Do you consider Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom I consider one of America’s greatest Presidents, a “chicken hawk?” Roosevelt had no military service, but knew how to fight a war to win. What about Bill Clinton? Clinton dodged the draft and sent troops into combat. Is he a “chicken hawk?” George H.W. Bush flew 58 combat missions in Grumman TBF Avengers in World War II. Some men cracked under the strain with less that half that many missions. Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals. On one mission, his plane came under intense anti aircraft fire but he pressed home his attack and got affective hits on his target. His plane was disabled in the process, so he ordered his crew out. He was the only one who survived. Liberals have the gall to list him as a “chicken hawk.” Why…because he didn’t die with his crew? Do any of you Liberal geniuses have even the faintest idea what a TBF Avenger was? Have you every seen one? Do you have any idea what it is like to fly in one? Do you know what is involved in trying to bail out of one of these planes when it is intact and running normally, let alone when it is shot to pieces and the engine is on fire? Were you there? No, the truth is that you don’t know your asses from your elbows about the Avenger or the brave men who flew in them. As a bonus, George H.W. Bush didn’t get out of the service, come back to America, throw his medals at his President, and then fly to Japan to hobnob with the enemy. Liberals cry to beat hell that Americans should not be required to serve in the military, and then cry foul when people who have not served in the military turn up in government positions. At the University of Washington, the student government entertained a proposal to erect a monument to Gregory Boyington. Liberal college snotnoses voted it down stating; “We don’t think Mr. Boyington is the kind of person we should honor.” I think these over-privileged college punks owe their freedom to Colonel Boyington and others like him, and are not fit to kiss the ground that these men walked on. No, I give these sites zero credibility.

But it’s all about oil you say. Well, what about oil? Would you not agree that it is an important commodity? It helps to drive our economy. It heats our homes, gets our kids to school and us to work. It helps to keep us safe by providing energy to our military. It provides many of the products that we use in our daily lives. Liberals claim that they support the war on terror. Why is it then that Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent Americans from exploiting our own oil resources? Pumping our own oil along with researching and producing alternative fuel sources would send a message to those who hate us that the jig is up. I say that we need to put Maria Cantwell and Dave Reichert on the “chicken hawk” list for their failure to support the war effort. Could it be that Liberals are just angry and in denial over their boy getting caught with his pants (and his underwear) down and are bound and determined to take the whole country down with them. I would be willing to bet that, if Bush had made money in the concrete or the glass business rather than oil, Liberals would be running up and down the streets of American screaming; “No blood for sand. No blood for sand.”

Prejudice. It might interest you to know that I voted for Bill Clinton. Today, I neither make excuses for him, nor make statements in an attempt to cover up or minimize the disgrace that he brought to America and to the office of the Presidency. Liberals believe that Conservatives are mean spirit and narrow-minded. Five Republicans sided with all Democrats in agreeing not to remove Clinton from office. How’s that for mean spirited narrow-mindedness? You defend LG for making sweeping generalities that all Americans are fed up with the current administration, and then tell me that you do not like sweeping generalities. LG, are you listening? Prejudice. It might interest you to know that I also have some criticisms of George W. Bush. I think he has not stood up to his detractors as vigorously as he could have, and he lost me on border security. It does not make sense to me to send our military off to fight a war in the defense of America while leaving our borders open to any terrorist who can afford a plane ticket to Mexico or Canada. Are you listing George? It might also interest you to know that I have sent letters to the Republican Party stating my beliefs. Well, at least Bush is finally making noises about securing our borders, which Liberals are fighting against tooth and nail.

Hostility to science. I assume you are referring to embryonic stem cell research. I believe that Americans should not cough up so much as a nickel for a pig in a poke. If those filthy, greedy, capitalistic, money grubbing, profiteering pigs do not see any potential it, then there probably is no potential in it. I also think it is unwise to encourage an industry in the wholesale traffic of human baby parts, whether they are embryos or full term infants. Jesus Christ, animal rights groups’ scream bloody murder that it is cruel and unfair to perform medical experiments on rats. Don’t human beings at least qualify on the same level as rats? No, I am not a religious fanatic. I have supported women’s right to kill their unborn children, but I am currently rethinking the issue. Abortionists have killed off 30 – 40 million babies, and now there is a great outcry that America does not have enough workers to fill jobs. I am sorry for those individuals who suffer from terrible diseases and trust me; I will continue to keep an open mind on these issues.

Intolerant you say. You mean like the hordes of lunatics who identify themselves as Liberals and show up on college campuses to assault, shout down, and throw food at anyone who does not think, speak, and act exactly as they do and then claim that they believe in “free speech.” Perhaps you mean those groups that show up on college campuses to throw rocks and bottles at unarmed military recruiters who have a legal right to be there. You mean those same individuals who block and intimidate students from exercising their right to pursue their interest in a military career. Yeah, then 30 years later, when some of these students turn up in government jobs, you can hang the label “chicken hawk” on them.

“We do have a counterpart to the Taliban in this country and its not
on the Left.” you say. Have you seen anyone in American whipped for showing enthusiasm at a sporting event? Do you know of any woman in American who has been executed for adultery or for having been raped? Have you seen anyone in America put to death for leaving his/or her religion? Have you seen any beheadings? Do you know anyone who has had his or her hand chopped off for shoplifting? This nonsense is akin to “Bush is Hitler.” Have you seen any book burnings? Can you show me anywhere in America where blacks, Asians, homosexuals, trade unionists, Catholics, Jews, political dissenters, or Liberals are being rounded up and shoved into ovens. Have you seen any public hangings? How about gassings? Do you know of any right-wingers, who have lampshades made of tattooed human skin or pillows stuffed with human hair in their homes? What about shrunken heads? Can you show me proof that the “Right” is engaging in any of these activities? No, you cannot.

Any you wonder why I use the word diseased when referring to Liberals.

A.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

A~

Though I suspect that as a "diseased' person
little of what I write will matter to you, I'll give it a shot!
I'll start from the end of your tirade and work
my way back through as much of it as I deign to.

A "counterpart" is not an exact replica. I claim that
the Evangelical Christian zealotry in this country is analogous to the same zealotry that the Taliban exhibit, and that we have Constitutional safeguards and 'activist judges" to protect us from the James Dobsons, Pat Robertson's, Bill Bennett's and the
rest of their
self-righteous ilks is, so far, our good fortune.

"Hordes of lunatics who identify themselves
as liberals"that show up on college campuses?
To say that you tar with a broad brush is unfair to
tar and brushes!

"Hostility to science" actually refers to the entire panoply of Republican witch doctor positions from opposition to
embryonic stem cell research, to "intelligent design", to denial of the science on Global warming and particularly "Bill...my trust was blind but Terry could see...Frist!

To be consistent in oppositing to Fed funding of embryonic stem cell research one would have to insist on closing down invitro fertilization
clinics, to prevent the creation of excess embryos that are discarded. Know any couples who conceived though invitro who regret the results or the method? Keep that mind 'open' should you meet any.

Chickenhawks: I stand by all of it. You simply can't refute the disproportionate numbers of Republicans who have not served, who too readily support failed military plans and who do NOT support veterans. IF you were one you might be more familiar with that last point. But that
you're not is no excuse.

Now lets address some specifics. I suspect that FDR got a "pass" on the chickenhawk issue....I know of no one who would actually consider him one...partly because
he overcame polio, the Great Depression and fought
and won WWII. We have NO comparable, contemporary examples of such political courage in either political party.
I also have read zip about G. Bush senior being called a chickenhawk.

As for Dubya, RE his "service", I know a little something.
No one who served in a reserve unit during the Vietnam War could not show up for a full year, nor have no one come forward to indicate that he was in fact present, without
strings being pulled.
Just not possible.

Phew, gotta take a breather. Knocking down Repug straw men arguments is tedious work!

"Defending LG's sweeping generalizations". I did no such thing. When she stated that "the American people are fed up" I take that to be an accurate representation of opinion as
reflected in the "right direction/wrong direction" poll responses. No matter how many times I reread what
Mollie wrote, I can't find the word "all". This reminds
me of the chronic problem that Repugs have with
reading, specificity and nuance!

I'll skip over all references to what's allegedly going on in
Seattle and wait to read what some of the other
locals have to say.

Nixon/Clinton. Too easy. The level of support for
Nixon Vs Clinton at the heights of their respective
crises is so disproportionate as to be laughable.

Equally hilarious during the Clinton impeachment
was the number of Repug adulterers who were either outed or resigned...Gingrich, Livingston ,Hyde, Barr.

That 5 Repug senators out of 55 voted against
impeachment proves my point about the scarcity of
moderates in the current Repug party.
Bottom line, NOT comparable "offenses" and Clinton stayed, fought and won. Nixon "cut and ran"!

Lastly, 'conservative genius", what do YOU know
about a TBF Avenger, other than what you read on
the Revell model kit?
~D

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

Anonymous,

While you're laboring over a response chew on this:

Luck, my ass! Certain numbers of us lost their wits and their nerve, if they ever had much of either. DH

Hirsh: Has America Lost Its Luck?

As we hold our noses and vote Tuesday we have to wonder: where are the lucky breaks of yesteryear?
WEB-EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY
By Michael Hirsh
Newsweek
Updated: 9:57 a.m. PT Nov 2, 2006
Nov. 2, 2006 - It is a favorite theme in American lore, one we hear about from the time we are kids in school: how incredibly lucky we have been in our leaders at critical moments in history. How lucky we were to have had those brilliant and brave Founding Founders hanging together in Philadelphia in 1776 (else they would have hung separately). How lucky that our first president was an upright fellow like George Washington, refusing the monarchical powers that were offered him and opting for a republic. How lucky that we elected a homely fence-splitter of world-class leadership ability, Abe Lincoln, when the country was breaking up, and just as lucky that Franklin D. Roosevelt was there during our dire rendezvous with destiny in the 1930s and '40s. How lucky we were to be led by a failed haberdasher who turned into a genius statesman, Harry Truman (not Henry Wallace!), as the cold war began; and just as lucky that an unprepossessing former B-movie actor, Ronald Reagan, managed to grasp exactly how to end that war.

What a glorious couple of centuries it has been, all held together by this great string of luck. "The Lord looks after drunks, children and the U.S.A." went the old saying, and it seemed true. But the thing about luck is that, eventually, you run out of it. Everybody craps out in the end. And that is what has happened to us. As Americans go to the polls Tuesday we must confront the fact that we have become a luckless people, all across the political spectrum.

Was there any more mind-boggling bit of historic bad luck than what happened after Election Day 2000, when those 537 votes in Florida wobbled, then stayed in George W. Bush’s column? Never mind what kind of president Al Gore would have been—he would have been adequate, I suppose, but so would have most Republicans—it is hard now to avoid the conclusion that Bush was precisely the wrong man at the wrong time. Perhaps Bush would have been OK fighting another kind of war, a Jacksonian Battle of New Orleans-type war. But at a moment in history when we faced the most subtle sort of global threat, when we needed not just a willingness to use military force but a leader of real brilliance—someone who would carefully study a little-understood enemy—we got a man who actually took pride in his lack of studiousness. No surprise: Bush never once presided over a grand-strategy session to divine the nature of Al Qaeda, and he ended up lumping Saddam and every Islamist insurgent and terrorist group with Osama bin Laden. He ensured that a tiny fringe group that had been hounded into Afghanistan with no place left to go—one that could have been wiped out had we focused on the task at hand—would spread worldwide and become a generational Islamist threat.

And at a time when we needed a world leader who understood the nuances of burden-sharing in the international system, we got a president who so badly wanted to be a cowboy and not his father (offending even some Texans: "all hat and no cattle" is the term they use down there) that he proudly declared he doesn’t "do nuance." Bush stomped around huffily in his first term, talking loudly and carrying a big stick, in the process all but trashing a half century of carefully nurtured American prestige. No surprise: he alienated a world we desperately needed on our side, thus leaving America alone with all the burden and generations’ worth of bills to pay. Now we face two serious rising threats, North Korea and Iran. And having squandered our attention, resources and prestige on a trumped-up threat, Iraq, we are simply too weak and friendless to confront them as they should be. That’s what I call bad luck.


And what about the fellow Bush put in charge of the "war on terror," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld? Again, it’s difficult to imagine that we could be any unluckier. At a moment when we needed a master of orchestration to unite the key U.S. government agencies involved in national security—the only way that complex counterterrorism and nation-building tasks can be achieved—we got the exact opposite: a man most notable for his talent at vicious bureaucratic infighting. No surprise: after 9/11 Rumsfeld proceeded to destroy the interagency process rather than make it work better. He delayed the destruction of the Taliban and Al Qaeda because he couldn’t stomach giving the job to the CIA, then cut the State Department out of the nation-building process and the Geneva Conventions debate. As recently as this week, the Iraq inspector general, Stuart Bowen, concluded in a new report that the Pentagon still isn’t working well with State on the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which the administration once relied on so much in Iraq.

On Wednesday, President Bush assured us that he and Rummy would be in it together until the end, that he would not fire the man who most people in his party, and many in Bush’s own White House, want dismissed immediately. How fitting. And how incredibly unlucky.

But, let’s face it, our bad luck is bipartisan. We learned that anew this week, when old fumblemouth himself, John Kerry, did his best to remind us of why he and the Democrats lost in 2004. With his unmatched talent for unlucky sound bites, Kerry "botched" a joke that summoned up all the worst doubts about the Democrats’ fitness for war-fighting on the eve of the election. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership is slowly realizing that Hillary Clinton, the woman attracting all their money, is all but unelectable. If the Dems regain control of one of the houses of Congress on Tuesday, it will not be because anyone particularly likes them but because the country can’t take any more Republican rule without risking spontaneous combustion. No wonder everyone is flocking to the eloquent Barack Obama, though he’s been in office less than two years and is plainly too green.


Man, we need a lucky break.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15530569/site/newsweek/site/newsweek/

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dale,

It is interesting that, after telling you that I voted for Clinton, you should tag me as a Conservative. Maybe you don’t believe me. That is your problem. I have never considered myself to be either a Liberal or Conservative.

You are perceptive. Yes, I first learned about the Avenger and other WWII aircraft by assembling model kits as a young boy. This let to a life long enthusiam for, and love of aviation. I won’t bore you with all the details. I will just tell you my knowledge of the Avenger and the men who flew them in combat is at least equal to, and probably greater than the knowledge possessed by individuls running “chicken shit” web sites that attempt to cast aspersions on a man with an impeccable war record.

Chicken hawks. I never tried to refute this. I don’t care. Now don’t take this the wrong way, but where is it written that military service NECESSARILY qualifies anyone to do anything. As Dems have demonstrated, military service certainly hasn’t help them to win any wars. Well, at least Harry Truman managed a half win. Let’s examine John F. “no air support” Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson. If there ever was a cut and runner, Johnson would have to top the list. John Kerry would come second for bugging out of Vietnam early after recommending himself for some Purple Hearts after a medic extracted a few rice grains from his ass. But then Kerry falls into a category all by himself…traitor. I truly believe that Kerry hates the military, avoided combat as long as he could, and simply viewed his service as a stepping stone to political office. I believe that Kerry hated the military during Vietnam and he hates the military now. His recent statements about the military seal the deal. If you are thinking about expending keystrokes in an attempt to make excuses for his comments, don’t waste your time. In this regard, my eyes really are blind. You know, I might have voted for Kerry except for one little detail. That detail is his picture hanging in the war museum in Vietnam. I didn’t read John O’Neil’s book until after the the election, but after doing so, I am absolutely convinced that John Kerry is not fit to command a squad of monkeys engaging in a circle jerk. Why do I believe O’Niel? Because he is backed up by men who served with honor, who didn’t bug our early, and who don’t have their pictures proudly displayed in a Communist war memorial. Then there is Murtha. He propped himself up on the floor with the support of a pack of other Dems, raised the white flag, and demanded that our troops be pulled out of Iraq immediatly. He is so stupid, that he doesn’t realize that our enemies see this a weakness. Then, when it comes to a vote, Murtha and all but three other Dems, don’t have the courage to vote their convictions. That’s what polls will do for you. Even the Dems don’t trust them. “We have NO comparable, contemporary examples of such political courage in either political party.” Maybe not, but does that mean that we should lay down in front of our enemies? You tell me? How should this war be handled? I know one thing, I sure don’t want Dems running it. You know Dale, Dems voted for this war when they thought it would be a quick fix, so that afterwards they could say “Wow, vote for me, I supported the ouster of Sadaam Hussein.” Bush warned of a prolonged struggle. When the war dragged on more than two days Dems turned tail and ran. So, you tell me. What do Dems care most about, their cushy jobs, or protecting America?

“NOT comparable "offenses" and Clinton stayed, fought and won. Nixon "cut and ran"! That’s an interesting way of looking at it. They way I remember it, Repulicans demanded that Nixon resign for one crime. Dems are still defending Clinton for a whole pile of lies and abuses of office. What exactly did Clinton win? He got to keep is job. I guess that’s a win. I don’t recall that he was ever prosecuted in criminal court.

Okay Dale, have it your way. I quit. You win. “The American people” and “the pubic” equals 70%. Apply whatever creative math you like. The only poll I am interested in is the voting poll. Mollie, on the other hand, seems to think that her polls are more accurate than election results. She is already ramping up with the “the GOP stole the elections” line in case Dems don’t make a good showing this month. At the same time, she seems to have no comment about the election fraud perpetrated in her own Democratic back yard.

“Equally hilarious during the Clinton impeachment was the number of Repug adulterers who were either outed or resigned...Gingrich, Livingston, Hyde, Barr.” Who cares? If these folks were engaging in inappropriate activities, then they ought to get what’s coming to them. Do you remember John F. Kennedy who his rat pack pals referred to as “Mattress Jack” because they were always shagging starlets for his to screw? What about a politician who uses state troopers to procure women, who uses the power of his office to threaten and intimidate them into having sex with him, carries these activities into the highest office in the land, and then lies to the American people about it. I say, that instead of making excuses for these folks, we ought to demand a higher standard, at least in the office of the Presidency.

“That 5 Repug senators out of 55 voted against impeachment proves my point about the scarcity of moderates in the current Repug party.” If you want the use that rationale, then there are NO moderate Democrats. Liberals pitched out moderate Dem Joe Lieberman in favor of lefty Ned Lamont. Now that’s moderation.

“To say that you tar with a broad brush is unfair to tar and brushes!” Great! Tell that to the lunatics, not me. They hung the Lib label on themselves. I had nothing to do with it. Write letters to the colleges demanding that they not stand by on the sidelines while one group suppresses the free speech of another. That’s what I do.

“A "counterpart" is not an exact replica.” Okay, I will use your terminology. “Evangelical Christian zealotry in this country is analogous to the same zealotry that the Taliban exhibit…” Right, just like the zealot counterparts to the Taliban who rip crosses off public buildings and war memorials and/or threaten and intimidate little children who happen to bring a bible to school? The same Taliban counterparts who demand that children throw on burkas and bang their heads on the floor to show “sensitivity” to the real Taliban zealots. I read “freedom of religion” not “freedom from religion.”

Activist judges. No, thank you. I want the whole nine yards. Ideally, a majority vote of the people, and then I want it to pass through the Senate, then the Congress, and the office of the President. Then, I want levelheaded judges to apply the laws as prescribed, not make up stuff. That’s our system. Talk about trashing the Constitution.

"Hostility to science” You mean junk science. I have not heard of anyone suggesting a ban on in vitro fertilization. Whoever is doing this ought to shut up. “To be consistent in oppositing to Fed funding of embryonic stem cell research one would have to insist on closing down invitro fertilization clinics, to prevent the creation of excess embryos that are discarded.” Why? As far as I am concerned, biologists can chop up all the left over embryos they can get their hand on. Just don’t expect me to pay them for the privilege. Let interested parties fund it privately. Let Soros and Gates fund it. Biologists have been screwing around with this since the 50’s and, to my knowledge; it has provided nothing but salaries for biologists. Adult stem cell research, on the other hand, has provided numerous cures and treatments. By the way, Joe Lieberman supports Federal funding of ESC research and Libs voted him out in the primary. Neither evolution nor intelligent design comes anywhere near qualifying as validated scientific fact, and neither does human activity triggered global warming.

As far as Dubya’s military service goes, so what? He never made his military service the cornerstone of him campaign for President. He got an honorable discharge and so did Kerry who bugged out of combat duty in Vietnam early.

“I also have read zip about G. Bush senior being called a chickenhawk.”
Seek and ye shall find.

Well Dale, I have to cut this thread loose. I can’t afford to spend anymore time on this. You get the last word. Thank you for sharing your views with me. Most of all, thank you for your service to our country. I wish you and your family well.

A.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

A~

I don't have much appetite left for this running gun battle either, so I'll take a few selective, final shots. I Know you'll be back for a look!

Firstly, Kerry. No defense for either his bumbling attempt at a joke no for the cynical dis-ingenuousness
of those who chose to take it as a shot at the troops rather than the usual Dubya is a dummy swipe.

You can believe what you like about his service, but no one can credibly dispute the dangerousness of volunteering for swift boat duty. That he hopped off the boat, chased down and shot a rocket toting VC is something that neither you nor I can disprove. the 'book' was written by people who were not on his boat and the particulars challenged by mates who were on his boat.

Because you believe the swiftboaters, you don't challenge this the "picture in the museum story". eat some crow!

http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/museum.asp

As one who served I say that Kerry's and Dubya's service were not comparable and that even if Kerry left early, he LEFT A FREAKIN' COMBAT ZONE! Dubya left to avoid a physical that would've revealed his cocaine habit!

Evolution is as established a scientific theory as is the theory of gravity and E=MC2.

To be CONSISTENT with the opposition to fed support of embryonic stem cell research, you HAVE to believe that the embryos are human life and therefore can't be discarded from in vitro clinics. They ARE.

Never claimed that military service "qualifies' one for anything. The chickenhawk argument is against the unseemly, bloodthirstiness
of those who had/have "no skin in the game"...nor did/do their children.

Nixon "crimes" were far more serious, as witness the number of his Administration members who did time.

"I read “freedom of religion” not “freedom from religion.”

Actually, that is exactly what the Establisment clause is meant to protect us FROM.

Semper Fi,
DH

10:25 PM  

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