We know that progressives are thought to be locked to the Democratic Party. We also know that progressives are pretty much ignored by said Party. Perhaps it’s time for those of us on the left to find a way to be seen as more than just another special interest group.
April 3, 2008 archive
Apr 03 2008
Apr 03 2008
A brief interview with intelligence community apostate and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter yields some interesting stuff. As always, the man pulls no punches:
We are in a war: Over 4000 of our servicemen have died. And it’s not just Congress or the elected officials that failed to perform; it’s the entire nation collectively, from the president, the congress, the media and the people. So, yeah, I’m a little bit harsher in my critique, because I think the circumstances warrant it.
I think people need to recognize and understand that when you turn on TV [or] buy a newspaper, you cannot view this as a singular source of information upon which to base your own independent point of view – you’re getting propaganda.
It’s not fatal to a society to have a biased media. Take a look at England, where they have a plethora of newspapers, all of which possess strong bias: All you need to do is put on your bias filter, and you can get to the kernels of fact. Here in the United States, we try to pretend that there isn’t a bias – you know, that it is “All the news that’s fit to print,” that it is “Fair and Balanced.” That’s garbage, and we need to understand that.
And those are the soft blows. Not a long read, but a worthy one.
Check it out.
Apr 03 2008
In the mornin you go gunnin
For the man who stole your water
And you fire till he is done in
But they catch you at the border
Alliance Invites In Croatia, Albania
Bush Is Rebuffed In Bid for Support Of Ex-Soviet States
BUCHAREST, Romania, April 2 — NATO’s political leaders agreed Wednesday night to admit Croatia and Albania into the military alliance, but after a vigorous debate they effectively rejected President Bush’s bid to put two former Soviet republics on the path to membership.
The invitations to Croatia and Albania will bring NATO membership to 28 countries, the organization’s first expansion in six years as it renews its push to integrate Europe under a common security umbrella. The alliance will not, however, accept a third Balkan state, Macedonia, because Greece decided to veto its application because of a long-standing dispute over the former Yugoslav republic’s name.
Apr 03 2008
Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…
Apr 03 2008
Mark Halperin’s comments yesterday that the Hillary campaign was presenting Obama’s race as an argument to superdelegates to get them to cross sides into her camp left me confused: is sexism worse than racism, so we need to vote for Hillary because things would change more, or is racism worse than sexism, so we need to vote for Hillary because Obama can’t win in the general?
Because we’ve definitely heard both. I don’t know how many Clinton supporters have made the former, from Gloria Steinem to Geraldine Ferraro, and for those of us sitting on the sidelines of these two profoundly complex and privileged people getting caricatured as their race and sex, it’s annoying. And such comments are definitely not moving the discussion forward.
As I’ve said time and time again, to say flatly that one is worse than the other erases the intersections of race and gender, rendering black women invisible and white men normal, denies the way factors such as ability and class play into the lives of the candidates, and ignores the multiple narratives on race and gender that work differently to prevent people from reaching various aspects of their potential.
Apr 03 2008
It is manifestly clear and has been proven in practice and by the facts of all revolutions that a struggle for ideals, for improvements of any kind whatsoever, absolutely must be supplemented with a struggle against some social class or caste.
My object is to create first-rate revolutionary upheavals, regardless of what methods and means I have to use in the process. Earlier revolutions were directed either against the peasants, or the nobility and the clergy, or against dynasties and their network of vassals, but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence of a lightning rod that could conduct and channel the odium of the general masses.
With this very thing in mind I scanned the revolutionary events of history and put the question to myself against which racial element in Germany can I unleash my propaganda of hate with the greatest prospects of success? I had to find the right kind of victim, and especially one against whom the struggle would make sense, materially speaking. I can assure you that I examined every possible and thinkable solution to this problem, and, weighing every imaginable factor, I came to the conclusion that a campaign against the Jews would be as popular as it would be successful.
There are few Germans who have not been vexed with the behavior of Jews or else have not suffered losses through them in some way or other. Disproportionately to their small number they account for an immense share of the German national wealth, which can just as easily be put to profitable use for the state and the general public as could the holdings of the monasteries, bishops, and nobility.
Once the hatred and the battle against the Jews have been really stirred up, their resistance will necessarily crumble in the shortest possible time. They are totally defenseless, and no one will stand up to protect them.
~Adolf Hitler, as interviewed by Major Josef Hell
(Via Bryan Caplan)
I still haven’t managed to get my jaw off the floor after reading that. The implications stagger me.
Apr 03 2008
I use a ‘Live TV’ toolbar to get a number of stations, worldwide, which brings up a player that stays up as I’m browsing or working. Most aren’t worth watching or are not in english, but some interest viewing can be found as well as a few english language News Programs or Networks, like the BBC and Al Jazeera.
Checking in on Al Jazeera English to see what they were reporting, most of the time like the BBC and a few others, much more than the U.S. MSM, free press and all, on Iraq and Afganistan and other regions, I caught the near ending of a Special Program series they are running called ‘Veterans’.
Apr 03 2008
If you’re at all familiar with Michael Fox (the columnist, not the actor), and you’re trying to decide if the current economic crisis is a recession or a full blown depression, he certainly makes it hard to be optimistic. Back in November, Mr. Fox reported that the New Depression had already begun. In February, he reported that it had entered Phase Two, and that it had gone global.
Apr 03 2008
spring sex. it’s true. i read it somewhere.
everybody, every manner of creature has more sex in the spring.
there’s spring cleaning… it’s a season.
spring forward… daylight savings time.
springs… it’s water
springs… coils in a bed
springs on someone… a surprise
spring to action… it’s a verb
and this action is one you can make to keep
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Apr 03 2008
This is Part I: U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
IRAQ AFTER THE SURGE: POLITICAL PROSPECTS 4/2/08.
Tomorrow see: Part II: MILITARY PROSPECTS.
Nir Rosen became my favorite guide to the real Iraq, the people and the streets of Iraq since I first read and diaried his comments last year. As one of the very few fearless reporters who have spent time without minders to speak of, with Iraqis out on the streets, talking to various segments of the population. His observations are invaluable and objective. He is no cheerleader.
For those who are unitiated, Rosen comes as a breath of fresh air. He is not out to impress everyone, does not behave like a typical panelist, but reads through his written testimony dispassionately, matter of factly, at a speed seldom seen in Senate hearings.
Today before the Committee on Foreign Relations two panels were heard on Post-Surge Iraq– the first military, then “political prospects.” You will find links to the Senate Committee hearings on Iraq this month here.
Electricity sparks flew for a while this afternoon as Barbara Boxer had the microphone. I love her rage.
~crossposted on the orange, still deluded I guess~
Apr 03 2008
For the Olympic diary: the United States is a country could decide to retire its athletes in uniforms of the component that specifically and explicitly addresses the issue. The IOC might object, but the IOC of what object much more strenuously to an American boycott. Were they going to do throw all the American medalists out?
For the Olympic diary: in 1980, the United States had a fresh crop of women swimmers, the like of which had never been assembled before, ready to redress the unfair shellacking they had received at the Montréal games of 1976 at the hands of the steroid enhanced East German women. Or: Tracy Caulkins, Mary T. Maher, Tim Lenihan, Cynthia Woodhead, Joan Pennington,-these drug-free Americans had demolished the East German women at the world championships two years previously.
And who exactly remembers the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and any quote “political statement” that might have been made by the American boycott? Or, for that matter, who remembers the effects of the 1984 boycott of the Los Angeles games, led by the Soviet Union-or even the reason for the boycott, for that matter?
Imagine, instead, this: an entire US contingent marching in to the opening ceremonies, every member wearing an armband of orange
One of the supreme ironies of the Olympic movement is that the ideal of the games themselves on the one hand engender and showcases world unity through the colorful and delightful intermingling of thousands of athletes from all over the world, and at the same time, are intensely nationalistic: after all, that’s how the games are set up-athletes represent their countries.
Sometimes the nationalism is delightful, as when the United States hockey team upset the Soviets at the 1980 Winter games. That was a totally unexpected win, and it is difficult for those who did not experience it in one way or another to completely understand the symbolic importance of that game, coming as it did on the heels of the Iranian hostage crisis, a time full of shame for the American people. Coming as it did on the heels of the Iranian hostage crisis in the Cold War. Similarly, who I will gain between Hungary and is so union and at the 1956 games in Melbourne Australia was equally symbolic if not more so. Hungary had just been brutally invaded by the Soviet Union, and feelings were intense as; blood.; the water literally ran red with blood. As two of the world’s strongest teams faced off in the pool.
But I can deal with a cocky victory also came after President Carter’s announcement of the Olympic boycott, so Americans knew that the only opportunity that they would have during the Olympic year to express their pride in their country on the athletic venue was at Lake Placid.
Other times, the nationalism can get ugly. At the 1984 games in Los Angeles, for example, which the Soviets and other Eastern Bloc countries boycotted in response to the 1980 US led boycott, I was saddened to see the over-the-top chance of USA USA USA exhibited by the home crowd at many venues for the US dominated. It was an ugly display of in your face and nationalism, the kind of nationalism that is so closely associated the United States position in the world today.
olympic charter PDF
51 Advertising, Demonstrations, Propaganda
3. No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.
Bye-law to Rule 51
1. No form of publicity or propaganda, commercial or otherwise, may appear on persons,
on sportswear, accessories or, more generally, on any article of clothing or equipment
whatsoever worn or used by the athletes or other participants in the Olympic Games,
except for the identification – as defined in paragraph 8 below – of the manufacturer of
the article or equipment concerned, provided that such identification shall not be marked
conspicuously for advertising purposes . . .
Any violation of the provisions of the present clause may result in disqualification or
withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned. The decisions of the IOC
Executive Board regarding this matter shall be final.
dalai lama opposes boycott