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.