Sunday, November 04, 2007

Crackpot Coulter Attacks A.D.L.

Rabid reactionary Ann Coulter, known for flaming fascist attacks on 9/11 widows and other worthy victims of her demented ire, has just smeared the Anti-Defamation League in her inimitable style (i.e. everything she says is the opposite of reality). This deranged fascist harridan inhabits some alternative universe. The fact that she has a following is symptomatic of the significant number of political psychos in the U.S. The fact that the U.S. corporate media built her up and acts as if she's respectable and legitimate and does valid commentary is indicative of how that media will bend over backwards to make this country as reactionary as possible.

The A.D.L, a right-wing organization dedicated to pressuring the U.S. on behalf of Israel, spends its time sliming critics of Israeli policy as anti-Semitic. (It also does a tally of punks who paint swastikas to get a rise out of adults and hysterically portrays this as the coming of the next Holocaust.)

Coulter claims, in her typical crackpot fashion, that the ADL only attacks rightists, and is scared of leftists, and that "
They represent not Jews or women or civil libertarians, but the left wing of the Democratic Party."
[How Long Before the A.D.L. Kicks Out All its Jews?

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide: Moral Double Standard

When Iranian President Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust should be open to "debate" and convened a panel of scholars to discuss it, he was roundly denounced as an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier. (Personally I think anyone who thinks the Holocaust isn't a totally well-established fact is at best an ignorant jackass and very likely an anti-semite.)
When the Turkish President Ertogan just did exactly the same thing re: the Armenian genocide of 1915, calling for historians to get together to study it, this provoked no outrage in the western media.

At the time it occurred, the Armenian genocide was the subject of official government reports by the U.S. and other nations which left no doubt that it was nothing but an organized massacre. It wasn't part of a "civil war" or Armenian "uprising" or Armenian fifth column supporting a non-existent Russian invasion- all lies the Turkish Government currently promulgates. To pretend there's a "controversy" is to obfuscate historical fact. It is an assault on truth and memory, masquerading under a facade of reasonableness and open inquiry. No one says the Holocaust needs to be subject to a "debate" to decide if it really occurred. Except those who wish to rewrite history. It SHOULD BE the same with the Armenian Genocide. [Anyone who thinks there's uncertainly about what "really" happened should check out the historical record. Various nations issued reports at the time, including the U.S. State Dept., describing in graphic detail the organized extermination of the Armenians by the Turkish State. See International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide

The BBC is probably the most shameful in this regard, repeating all the Turkish lies verbatim without contradiction, presenting totally one-sided reports that omit any Armenian or just honest voices, pushing two lines- the Turks are mad, and the Turks are a vital ally so saying anything about the Armenian genocide is dumb and a bad idea.

The Armenian Genocide paved the way for the Holocaust. It emboldened Hitler. As he told his associates:   "Who remembers now the destruction of the Armenians?" (See full context at Hitler and the Armenian Genocide) Every suppression of memory of historical crimes helps pave the way for future criminals to commit such acts.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why I Take Photos

Why I Take Photos

When I see something that I feel like photographing, it is either because I just have a sense that it would make a good photograph, an aesthetic reaction to a scene, or I feel like I am seeing something significant and I wish to preserve and capture that aspect of reality. In both cases, what guides me is instinct, something nonverbal and nonintellectual.

Later, I can analyze the photos I shot and understand intellectually and verbally why I took those photos, both aesthetically and in terms of the meaning I was seeking to capture.

I picked out 3 photos from a roll I shot in July 2007 which I particularly liked. Here are my thoughts about them. [Click on the photos to enlarge them.]
One I call “The Mystique of Jewelry,” is a shot of a two-sided billboard wrapped around a building at the corner of Madison Avenue and 63rd St. in Manhattan. The billboard is cast in green and consists of giant headshots of women modeling jewelry. Both the scale and nature of the images are designed to make the women seem like Goddesses. On the same roll I have a shot of a billboard across the street with a giant expensive watch on it. Madison and Fifth Avenues are both awash with huge displays of luxury consumerism like this.


Advertising projects into our minds a Valhalla of Luxury and Leisure, an imaginary realm that it is intended we long for and aspire to enter, via purchasing and consumption. Even though it doesn’t really exist, this imaginary realm holds itself out to us as an attainable existence. Advertising sings its siren song to lure us onto the treadmill of working in order to be able to spend money. We validate ourselves as “successful” (as opposed to “failures”) by our status, which is determined by purchasing and displaying brands.

The process of personal status through brand identification has reached the point of near burlesque with people wearing t-shirts with “designer” and “prestige” brand names on them, and with ersatz status conferred by counterfeit “brand” name goods.

In the marketplace society, you are what you consume. You are validated by purchasing.

Yet almost everyone is left feeling inadequate, since the model of success that is presented, and the world of the “in” crowd, the hip, those at the center of excitement, is obviously a world of wealth. We are left like orphaned urchins with our noses pressed up against the glass of a toystore, longing for toys beyond our reach.

Of course, the rich are themselves caught in an endless quest for status, since there is always someone richer. Only one person is “richest,” at the very apex of the pinnacle of wealth.

How different from the values of the erstwhile Counterculture, which explicitly rejected materialism and commodity status symbols. The Establishment has successfully defeated the Counterculture, standing its values on its head. (Yet a surly rejection of Establishment values persists, in the form of the punk and other inchoate semi-rebellions. Not rap, however, which glorifies materialism.)

Much of the above remarks apply to “Trump Tower Gucci,” a shot of a gargantuan display that looms over Fifth Avenue at 56th St. We see a mass of young beautiful female bodies apparently lolling about, entangled with each other. The motif is Harem. One young man’s face is in a lower corner. The scene is drenched in a feeling of narcotized sensuality. Apparently buying a Gucci handbag will open the door to a realm of sensual delights, an indolent existence of pure pleasure detached from the world as we know it. Who are these people portrayed here? Do they have jobs? (I don’t mean the actual models, whose jobs are posing for photos like this.) How do they live? Where is this imaginary scene?
In our minds, is the answer. Or rather, it started in the minds of advertising manipulators, who then transmitted it into our minds.

“Big Model.”

This is a giant billboard on Fifth Avenue in the 50s of a young woman in a fur coat, her body splayed out for our delectation. I captured an ordinary woman walking by the billboard. This shows us the scale of the sign. It also implies the contrast between the mass of real women in the world, and the imaginary “beautiful” woman on a pedestal in our minds, an artifact of make-up, lighting, and assiduous image manipulation in Photoshop. (Not that the model isn’t young and reasonably attractive in the actual flesh, and “white” and blond, the cultural preference. Not that there isn’t room for the occasional exotic dark-skinned specimen with high cheekbones.) The subliminal message is that wearing the fur transfers sexual desirability to the wearer.
[Kindly note: these photos and essays are copyright-protected. Feel free to link to this site but kindly do not misappropriate my creative output.]

Monday, July 23, 2007

"Hitler was elected..." FALSE!!!

Heard that lying asshole Col. Lawrence Wilkerson again ( a rebroadcast) today on Democracy Now claiming that "Hitler was elected," the new excuse they use when they want to IGNORE elections that didn't come out the way they wanted. (In this case the Haitian elections won by Aristede. Wilkerson's boss Colin Powell personally arranged the spiriting away of Aristede into captivity in the Central African Republic, a French satrapy.) Wilkerson was Powell's right hand man when Powell served U.S. Imperialism as Secretary of State. (Powell devotes his life to such service. In Vietnam as an army officer he was one of the culprits in the coverup of the My Lai massacre, which was successful for a year. Later he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Throughout his tawdry criminal career, he and the ruling establishment have used his skin to score points, both to "prove" that they're Equal Opportunity Imperialists, and to enlist nonwhite fools into their criminal enterprises.)

Hitler WAS NOT ELECTED. He was appointed Chanceller by President Hindenburg, a WWI field marshal and arch reactionary. Then the Nazis set the Reichstag (German legislative building) on fire and used it as an excuse to arrest and imprison all the Communist and Socialist legislators in concentration camps. With the resulting rump legislature under Nazi control, the parliament then voted to give Hitler dictatorial powers.
The Nazis never got more than about a third of the vote in any national election. In fact, in the last election before they seized power, their percentage of the vote fell.
These are basic historical facts. Any history of the Third Reich contains them. ( E.g. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by Will. L. Shirer).

This Big Lie, that "Hitler was elected," seemed to have started a few years back with a Newsweek column by George Will making the false claim. Ever since, it periodically pops out of the mouths of rightists as justification for overturning elections the U.S. doesn't like. It needs to be refuted whenever it is asserted. Since it is never challenged or corrected, it is becoming "fact" by default even though it is totally false.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why I Hate People Who Only Care About Money

Why I Hate People Who Only Care About Money

I was riding to work on my bike, listening to radio news. There was a business report (on “Marketplace” on NPR) about the sale of domain names. “checkcredit” (or maybe it was “creditcheck”) was sold for $2 million by someone with the prescience to register the domain name. Hedge funds are buying and selling domain names, the value of which are said to be rising faster than property.

I imagined someone suggesting that I think up domain names to register and sell. It’s probably late in that game. You’d have to sit around and give it a lot of thought. I don’t have the time for that. I have more important (to me) things to think about.

People who only care about making money of course spend ALL their time doing just that- thinking up ways to make money. If you want to devote your whole LIFE to making money, you can do it. There are “opportunities” for that, esp. in “The Land of Opportunity.”

Since money is power, and money brings greater freedom of action, and the possibility of enjoying life more (nice vacations, living in a nice house and environment, having nice possessions), those who have it have a material basis for lording it over others.

The kind of people who only care about money look down on people (like me) who care about other things. They consider themselves superior. Because to them life is a game, and making money is how they keep score. By reducing life to a game, they radically devalue it. The game ends when they die. They enjoy this superficial existence, the unreality of a game-universe.

I hate them for radically devaluing life itself, and for reducing existence from something awesome and profound to a shallow money-grubbing competition.

July 12, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sy Hersh, Defender of Innocent Little Torturers

I had to stop listening to Seymour Hersh on Democracy Now! today (a radio show hosted by Amy Goodman and carried by Pacifica radio network and others) on the topic of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, after he started doing that SHIT of calling ADULT WAR CRIMINALS "kids." "These kids" he said twice (before I turned it off) referring to Army Reserve MPs. These are ADULTS, fully responsible for their actions. As reservists, they are AT LEAST in their twenties, and have already done full tours of military duty prior to joining the reserves. And saying that MPs are only trained to be traffic cops is bullshit. MPs receive full law enforcement training. Anyway, who has to be "trained" to know torture, abuse, rape, and murder are wrong? Didn't they have parents? Didn't they go to church? Aren't they humans with an innate sense of morality, of compassion and empathy for others?
Hersh has a bad habit of defending the torturers by portraying them as hapless, innocent children, calling them "kids." He's been doing it since the scandal became news over a year ago. They are adults. I actually saw him on TV once arguing that the torturers shouldn't be prosecuted for violating the Uniform Military Code of Justice. An officer actually had to take the position that they shouldn't be exempt or immune!
It's not as if you ever hear Hersh calling for prosecutions of Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and their Nazi-type generals. And insisting it's unfair to hold lower ranks accountable because they were just following orders is the essence of the Nazi defense. I wonder if Hersh were German if he'd be calling concentration camp guards "innocent kids."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Porn Trap For U.S. Troops

A Lt. Col. William H. Steele was arrested by the U.S. military and charged with crimes including one that carries a potential death sentence. The New York Times reported the charges as follows:

"BAGHDAD, April 26 — The American military has charged a top commander at its main detention center here with nine violations of military law, including “aiding the enemy,” a rare and serious accusation that could carry a death sentence.

"According to a military statement released Thursday, the officer, Lt. Col. William H. Steele, provided aid to the enemy between Oct. 1, 2005, and Oct. 31, 2006, “by providing an unmonitored cellular phone to detainees” at Camp Cropper, an expansive prison near Baghdad International Airport that held Saddam Hussein before he was hanged.

"Colonel Steele, who oversaw one of several compounds at Camp Cropper as commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment, was also charged with several counts of illegally storing and marking classified information; failure to obey an order; possession of pornographic videos; dereliction of duty regarding government funds; and conduct unbecoming of an officer — for fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee since 2005, and for maintaining “an inappropriate relationship” with an interpreter in 2005 and 2006. There were no further details given to explain the circumstances of the accusations."

One thing that is somewhat amusing is the" possession of pornography" charge. Virtually ALL U.S. male military personnel possess "pornography" (or some sexual material that could be so labeled). It provides a convenient catchall for dropping the hammer on any soldier for any reason,
 a built in "Gotcha!" It's like the famous scene in "Casablanca" where the French Vichy Officer closes
Humphrey Bogart's club on orders from the Nazi officer, using the excuse that gambling is going on, at the same moment his underling gives him his "winnings" (bribe) from said gambling. The porn excuse was also used against the Muslim interpretor at Guantanamo Bay (among other charges) whom the military falsely and paranoiacally 
suspected of treachery.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Three Card Monte Media Distracts the Public

The media has spent the past six days blaring about the Virginia Tech massacre. Apparently 32 dead Americans is a Major Event. 200 or so murdered Iraqis every day is just routine, like snow in Siberia.
Here's a couple of important stories the U.S. media shoved into a corner to make room for the really important story (which should have been major for one day, no more):
The Supreme Court took an axe to women's right to not be forced to be breeding animals against their will, legalizing the ban on intact dilation and extraction, even saying it was ok that some women's health would be endangered.
Alberto Gonzales told some more lies to the Senate Judiciary Committee, about the purge of U.S. Attorneys. Several right-wing GOP Senators called for his resignation to his face in the hearing!
Not stuff the reactionary U.S. corporate propaganda system wants people to notice anyway.

Giuliani's Bathetic Blather about Virginia Tech Massacre

Rudolph Giuliani beat his chest about the Virginia Tech massacre yesterday. The upshot was he wanted the dead killer to know that when he attacks people, he attacks "all of us." Apparently that punishes the dead killer, and deters others.
Except that it was precisely the intent of Cho (and other such sociopaths) to attack "all of us." If anything, such pointless bluster provokes and reinforces the anti-social impulses of such killers. They want to feel they are striking a blow against everybody else.
But apparently Giuliani is so confident in the power of his personal moral revulsion that his attitude alone can defeat evildoers, a la some adolescent comic book superhero.
As far as offering any actual possible solution or action to do something about the problem, Giuliani offered nothing. The Old Giuliani would have offered gun control. The New Giuliani, running for the reactionary vote outside NYC, is silent.
Not that I'm a knee-jerk gun banner. It's true that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Esp. in a country with over 100 million guns already. Perhaps having more people armed is the answer. Instead of hundreds of people being like helpless sleep being slaughtered by one asshole, people could fight back. The downside would be more suicides, more murders, more road rage assholes shooting people. Whether the trade off would be worth it would be a worthy topic of intelligent debate. But there is no intelligent debate presented to the public at large in America.
By the way, I'm not buddies with Giuliani, so unlike the U.S. corporate media, which always promotes right-wing pols, I don't call him "Rudy." He's not a "regular guy." Of course, "Rudolph" is a weird name in a U.S. context. What are the associations? Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer; Rudolph Hess, the Nazi. (Although Giuliani personally is not like Hess, he's like Mussolini.)
I leave it to his "buddies" in the press to call him "Rudy."

Media Causes Copycat Killing

A mere five days after the Virginia Tech massacre of 32 people by a viciously anti-social misanthrope named Cho, a long time (12 years) worker at NASA in Houston murdered a co-worker yesterday, terrorized another one whom he duct-taped up, and killed himself. High probability that he was inspired (or instigated, I hate to use the word "inspired" in this case) by the saturation media "coverage" of Cho's crimes.
In their sick obsession with ratings and profit, they lavished attention on the murderous Cho, even airing his deranged media kit which he sent to NBC in the middle of his murders! Making him the center of attention is a sick thing to do. There is no news value in "shocking" us with photos and videos of him threatening the camera. This can ONLY encourage copycats who similarly seek negative glory.
Tellingly, Cho himself was inspired by the creepy teenage murderers of Columbine HS in Colorado, paying homage to them as "martyrs." (The irony that those racists hated Asians like Cho was obviously lost on the imbecile. They styled themselves as Nazis.)
So the media guarantees repetitions of these psychotic, self-aggrandizing crimes by haters of humanity by providing them the template for guaranteed attention. The mentally ill Cho was completely realistic in his anticipation that the media would lavish attention on his "message." People seeking sick attention through murder have every encouragement from the U.S. media to perpetuate these crimes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

WFAN (CBS-Owned) Still Running Ads for Imus Show

As of Saturday morning, April 14, WFAN (NYC am station owned by CBS which originates the Don Imus show) is still running ads for Imus' show. I heard it with my own ears. Allegedly CBS cancelled the show two days ago.An error? Staff subversion? Or what?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Capitalist Values May Do In Don Imus, Ironically

MSNBC waited for the Imus controversy to blow over- until major advertisers started bailing out of sponsoring Imus' show. AFTER that, MSNBC decided to cancel his show from cable tv.

As reactionary as they are, the corporatchiks who run U.S. tv are capitalists first and foremost. Advertisers cancelling is the kiss of death even for an Imus.

Imus and his "talk radio" ilk are useful to the oligarchs for promulgating reactionary attitudes. Having these louts broadcasting to the entire country is like having a Brownshirt orator on a soapbox on every street corner.

Now we are waiting to see if Leslie Moonves, the oily head of CBS (whose ultimate master is Sumner Redstone) will resist the pressure of Al Sharpton et al to fire Imus or try to tough it out with a 2-week suspension yet to start. No doubt advertisers will determine Imus' fate.

Of course, sometimes there are more important things than money to capitalists. Phil Donahue had the top-rated show on MSNBC. Yet the bosses there cancelled his show 3 weeks prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, entirely for political reasons. There are other examples of ideology trumping strictly business considerations in the U.S. media.

The loathsome Ann Coulter (9/11 widows are "harpies" who "are glad their husbands died" and other outrages) and the ranting rabid dog Michael Savage (a pseudonym- Savage is Jewish, which is shameful, because no Jew should be a fascist after the Third Reich) among other sociopaths still are pampered with major media soapboxes in America. Unlike any leftist, progressive, or critic of the U.S.- including world-famous dissidents such as Noam Chomsky.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Don Imus "shocker;" a thought experiment

[This is on the occasion of Imus and sidekick making mocking racist banter about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. WikiPedia has extensive info on this. Here is a summary from there- footnotes are in that article: On April 4, 2007, during a discussion about the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, Imus characterized the Rutgers University women's basketball team players as "rough girls" commenting on their tattoos. His executive producer Bernard McGuirk responded by referring to them as "hardcore hos". The discussion continued with Imus describing the girls as "nappy-headed hos"[13][14] and McGuirk remarking that the two teams looked like the "jigaboos versus the wannabes" mentioned in Spike Lee's film, School Daze; apparently referring to the two teams' differing appearances.[15][16] At 6:00 p.m. that evening, Media Matters for America released recorded transcripts to the news media highlighting the brief exchange:]WikiPedia article on Don Imus

The major media has finally noticed that Don Imus is given to spewing racist invective. Various websites have documented this phenomenon for years now. Even now however, they won't call it "racist." Various circumlocutions are used. The closest they usually come to using the right term is calling it "racial."

There is no question that Don Imus spews racist abuse and has done so for years. Directing it at young women who are particularly likely to be wounded by this nationally broadcast abuse is particularly vile. His easy "apology" is of course insincere and meaningless.

Some have even defended him. We are to believe it was joking. Yes, it was joking- the joking of white racists.

We're also told that he's just a misanthrope who makes fun of everyone. Not quite. He mocks and ridicules everyone but straight white males. In short, he promotes an attitude of white male superiority to all other people by demeaning and degrading other people.

Here's the thought experiment. What is Don Imus has said something anti-Semitic, or used an epithet like "Kike," or "money-grubbing Jew"? Would there be a "controversy"? Don Imus would instantly be history.

This is not because CBS, his boss, is owned by a Jew, Sumner Redstone. Or that MSNBC, which broadcasts him, is part of NBC News which is part of NBC Universal which is headed by Jeff Zucker, a Jew. It's because Jews in general are disproportionally powerful in the media and in American society. (And no one should fault them for their success. If as a group they are clever and smart enough to achieve status, wealth and power, that is a compliment to their abilities.) Blacks, who outnumber Jews in America 5 to 1, on the other hand are one of the very weakest groups in America, contrary to reactionary propaganda about the reign of "political correctness" (code for basic decency and respect for other people).

That in America we have to fight battles over whether blacks, and even more, gays, should be subject to public calumny (which incites violence against them by the louts in the target audience of bigots and haters) shows how primitive, backward, and uncivilized U.S. society is.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kagans Kagans Kagans

b. lehrer show 1.11.07

Kagans Kagans Kagans

Morning after Bush' tv speech announcing his latest “plan” for victory in Iraq. (Escalation, as expected, euphemistically called a “surge.”)

One of Brian Lehrer’s guests today on his show today on public radio station WNYC was the imperialist “military historian” Frederick Kagan, late of West Point, training ground for future army officers, now ensconced in a right-wing propaganda mill, the so-called American Enterprise Institute (“conservative think-tank” in the respectful locution used by Lehrer).

Kagan absurdly maintained that OF COURSE Bush wasn’t going to invade Iran or Syria. How does he know? Because Bush just threatened those nations on tv last night, and you don’t threaten before you invade! Why, then it’s not a surprise if you subsequently invade. Guess this clown wasn’t alive during 2002-2003, which the U.S. spent threatening Iraq with invasion PRIOR TO INVADING! Guess Lehrer wasn’t alive then either, since he didn’t mention it. And how good a “military historian” could Kagan be if he is unaware of the numerous examples of nations threatening other nations before their aggression? Like, say, Nazi Germany.

The point of public threats is to psych up your army and populace for war. That’s why threats precede aggression. Also there’s the need to create justifications and pretexts for war.
Then of course there are the inconvenient (and thus ignored by Lehrer and Co.) facts that the U.S. has conducted raids into Syria already, and recon forays into Iran to target that country's nuclear facilities. We don't yet know if the Special Force have also been committing sabotage and assassinations in Iran.

Lehrer is in love with imperialists. Two days ago he had on Kagan's more egregiously warmongering brother Robert. He had three on today, and one anti-war critic, Congressman Jose Serrano of the Bronx. Lehrer also had on what's more typically palmed off on the public as a “war critic,” someone who objects to the execution of the war, not to U.S. aggression. Today’s “war critic”of that ilk was a retired Colonel and National War College instructor, Sam Gardner.

The point is to try and brainwash the liberal WNYC audience. Seems like one or the other Kagan is on Lehrer’s show every couple of weeks lately for this purpose. Many of Lehrer's shows follow the pattern of trying to pull leftist-leaners in the audience to the right.
Of course, WNYC sees its mission as an anti-WBAI. It even runs ALL its fundraisers at exactly the same time WBAI runs its.

Ironically, this evening's PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer (presumably no relation to Brian) on tv had a much more realistic and honest discussion, with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Walter Russell Mead. Brzezinski has become an amazingly candid and realistic (for an imperialist) commentator on the Iraq war and the follyo f Bush's foreign policy. This was a guy who connived with China to invade Vietnam, who was part of the effort to keep the Shah of Iran in power, and then to rescue him and try to subvert the Iranian revolution.

Brzezinski said such things as “neocons are raring to go” into Iran. (Why can't Kagan and Lehrer see that obvious fact?) He described them as having “a kind of fanatical commitment which I think is detached from reality.” He also got the last word, which was to describe the war as a “colonial war” in a “post-colonial era. It cannot be won because it's out of sync with the times.” Amazing words coming from a member of the U.S. Establishment! It's a wonder he can still get on tv.

It seems that he and his erstwhile boss Jimmy Carter (B. was Carter's “National Security” Advisor) are the most (relatively) honest members of the Establishment today. Carter is currently being reviled by the Jewish mafia and its accomplices as practically an anti-Semite for writing a book that dared to criticize Israeli oppression of the Palestinians as well as criticizing the Palestinians. What a nerve the man has! Criticize Israel? The man must hate Jews! (The Jewish executive director of his organization and 14 board members subsequently resigned to protest Carter’s committing the unconscionable outrage of criticizing Israel.)

On the other hand, Walter Mead was a mealy-mouthed company man on the PBS show. He obediently adopted the Bush nomenclature of “surge” instead of escalation. While speaking of how the U.S. is “tightening the noose,” he claims not to know if Bush's threats against Iran and Syria in his speech are intended to coerce. “You're asking me to read minds there and I'm not good at reading minds” he told Jim Lehrer. What an ass. Apparently he's also no good at reading papers and websites or listening to broadcasts. Because it was already reported early that morning, before the PBS evening show or Brian Lehrer's show, that the U.S. Attacked the Iranian consulate in Erbil, in the Kurdish region of Iraq, kidnapping the diplomatic personnel there and stealing the property, documents, computers, etc., and ripping the Iranian flag off the flagpole for good measure. Legally that's an invasion of Iranian territory, and thus an act of war. Of course, it's also a violation of international law, but the U.S. violates international law daily. NPR (the network of which WNYC is an affiliate and which broadcasts its news) helpfully pointed out that Erbil is far, far away from the insurgencies that Bush accused Iran of supporting, supplying, and stoking.

If Brian Lehrer had bothered to listen to that morning's NPR feed, he could have asked Frederick Kagan about his ridiculous assertion that it's nonsense to think Bush would start a war with Iran. Of course, Lehrer was probably well aware of it. He seems quite well-informed generally. Guess it just wasn't that important. What's another war, more or less? Or another deception, or another arrogantly dishonest “expert” (Kagan) waging his little propaganda war against the public? Aided and abetted by “liberal” Brian Lehrer.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Hypocrisy of the Social "Realists"

Straight jackasses like to attack hippies and other nonconformists by sneering contemptuously at them to "get in touch with reality." ("Get with the program" is a contemporary variant of this "realist" demand.)
And Establishment media hacks liked to ridicule the ever-so-slightly unconventional Jerry Brown as "Governor Moonbeam." One editorial cartoon portrayed him out in space, standing on a small moon, with his thumb out hitchhiking. He held a sign with his destination, reading "Reality." The hack pack routinely mocks and ridicules the handful of semi-progressive politicians, such as Dennis Kucinich, as wackos out of touch with "reality." (Even non-liberals like John Kerry are portrayed as flaky quasi-extremists.)
Yet these self-styled hard-headed realists who sneer at others for being out of touch with reality invariably believe in a pack of ridiculous fairy tales, in at least one mythological being, and in spirits. That is, they pledge fealty to the "Bible," believe in "God," and think that people have immortal "souls" that never die and exist forever in imaginary places called "Heaven" and "Hell." (There used to be another imaginary place in Catholic theology, "Purgatory," but they abolished that one. Just goes to show how arbitrary and invented it all is.)
"You don't know God doesn't exist!"
Yes I do.
"How do you know!"
The same way I know Santa Claus doesn't exist. People made it up.
In fact, people have invented no fewer than 5,000 "gods." Of course, the Christians would say that all the other 4,999 Gods are make-believe. They're all fake, except for theirs. (Likewise, adherents of other religions are likewise totally self-assured in believing in the reality of their own god or gods and dismissing other gods as fantasies, figments of the imagination.)
So Zeus is fake, Osiris is fake, Vishnu is fake- only your "God" is real. What are the chances of that? Where did your God come from, anyway? It evolved out of the invention of the earlier gods.
Interestingly, Christians must also deny the existence of Yahweh and Allah. Yet the Christian God is a later model of Yahweh, since Christianity is descended from Judaism. And since Islam came out of the Judeo-Christianity (Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet, in fact), Allah in fact is an updated version of the Christian god, "God." (Allah simply means "god," after the Christian fashion of naming their god "God." Like naming your dog, "Dog," or your child, "Child." Like it's the one-and-only, I suppose.)
Since "God" is a knockoff of Yahweh, how can Christians claim their make-believe diety actually exists, but the one it was copied from doesn't?
All this illustrates how as soon as your starting talking factually about religion, its absurdity (indeed preposterousness) becomes obvious.
So then the religionoids respond with anger and rage- since they're clearly wrong, they have no other weapon but violence, verbal, intellectual, and physical, to "win" the argument. They've been doing that for thousands of years. The most horrendous tortures and mutilations have been committed by them to enforce their demented fairytale beliefs.
Among the people who swear fealty to primitive, ancient fairytales and who worship imaginary beings are the very same hard-headed "realists" who tell you to "face facts" and "get in touch with reality", who enjoy sneering "welcome to reality" at you when they try to smash you into conformity with their repressive, man-made system, their social mores, their cultural attitudes, their emotional biases, and most of all, their exploitative economic system. They dishonestly pretend that the mechanisms of repression they impose are not man-made but immutable facts of nature, just "the way the world is."
No, it's the way people with an agenda MAKE the world. It's completely political, not natural as they would have it. It's about controlling everyone.
So these big "realists" believe in archaic fairytales and magical supermen in the sky who save them from death. But here's another contradiction. These oppressive control freak turds are constantly babbling about "freedom" as they're trying to control and exploit everybody. To hear them tell it, they just LOVE "freedom," their oppressive system of control is totally free, the freest system on earth, the apex of freedom, and they go around the planet spreading freedom like a bunch of Johnny Appleseeds of Liberation, spreading the blessings of freedom and democracy far and wide. This from a gang that exported the Nazi invention of fascist death squads to scores of nations.
Could anything be a bigger crock? Not even the sham "socialism" of totalitarian tyrants like Stalin and Mao is any phonier.