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Tonight we have the honor of speaking to world renown Noam Chomsky, one of the most brilliant minds of our times!
Hear Professor Chomsky on the “information wars,” free speech, socio-economic stressors, Wikileaks, Gaza, the Settlements and more!
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January 13, 2011 archive
Jan 13 2011
Jan 13 2011
But Global Warming Has Nothing To With It Queensland premier Anna Bligh said the crisis was the worst natural disaster the state had experienced Australian floods: rebuilding task will reach ‘post-war proportions’ The task of rebuilding communities in Queensland submerged by floodwaters would reach that of “post-war proportions”, the state’s premier warned today, …
Jan 13 2011
A new diplomatic cable leaked by Wikileaks shows top commanders in Afghanistan wrangling over the issue of what to call yet another troop escalation to re-gain footing in their faltering nine-year effort to control the country. “The Surge” used in Iraq was a fresh, sufficiently masculine and strength exuding name for the troop escalation, without actually referring to a “troop escalation” and being divorced from connotations of the ensuing gore and violence. Public opinion tolerated, and was even perhaps vaguely stirred by “the surge,” which struck a nice balance between the need to project strength prudently while avoiding the pale of Rumsfeld’s premature “shock and awe” rhetoric so many years into an ageing war.
But by the time “the surge” was re-deployed by General Petraeus in Afghanistan, it had already become somewhat stale-sounding, and uninspiring. Similarly, when George H.W. Bush invaded Iraq the first time, it was dramatically named “Operation Desert Storm,” with the troops being led by Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, but using the same name for the second invasion by George W. Bush simply was out of the question, so the second military action was idealistically re-branded “Operation Iraqi
In its tenth year, support for the Afghanistan war is wearing thin, and “the surge” branding is thought by commanders to be losing appeal. Cables revealed that among candidates for re-branding the latest troop escalation (and reasons for rejection) were:
The billow and the swell weren’t manly enough. The torrent seemed too excessive and “raging.” The throb reminded everyone of headaches and boners. The blast was too violently explosive. The gush implied a loss of control — open wounds and broken pipes gush. The pulse reminded everyone that Dick Cheney hasn’t one. The uptick sounded small bore; plus it’s often used in the phrase “the uptick in violence.” The heave was associated with vomiting and death throes. The punch, the prod, the squash, and the squish sounded too aggressive, hectoring even. The push and the shove seemed rude. The squeeze were a band from the eighties. Everyone agreed it was “great song-writing.” The goose seemed “too butt grabby.” The thrust and the poke were too phallic. The press and the dig raised some eyebrows, but were somehow vague or basketbally. The dragooning reminded everyone of good old-fashioned browbeating and rendition. The ram, the steamroller, the bulldozer, pouring it on, going to town on, putting the screws to, etc., were dismissed as signs of growing frustration with the brainstorming process. It really was difficult to find a phrase having all the qualities of “the surge” without the negative associations. Finally, one commander suggested, “Howzabout just tellin’ ’em we’re “puttin’ some starch in our shorts?“”
The cables indicated that Petraeus will soon be announcing the nudge, something that can be done to persuade and encourage friends and allies without appearing overly domineering.
Jan 13 2011
(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)
Citing the controversial “crosshairs” image formerly posted on Sarah Palin’s PAC website, Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) is planning to introduce legislation that will make it a federal crime to use symbols or rhetoric that appears to threaten members of Congress.
“I want to protect our congresspeople in a way that they can’t put a crosshair on us and they can’t put a bull’s-eye on us,” Brady told Fox News. “Whoever does it should know it’s going to be illegal to do it.”
Jan 13 2011
Oh spare me. A Jewish congresswoman gets shot in Arizona. Various talking heads wonder aloud whether the level of talk of violence in current US politics, particularly on the right, might have contributed to the shooting. And persistent media hog Sarah P inserts herself in the discussions by saying this gem in a video:
“Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.”
Oh the irony. The Jew gets shot; the non-Jew seeks to appropriate the blood libel for her own purposes. But I’m not spending time discussing the significance of the words blood libel to Jews. And I’m not raving about how America’s most visible bigot, Pat Buchanan, thinks this is so very excellent. No. The question this latest kerfuffle raises for me is Sarah P’s persistent pursuit of making everything be about her, and her even more consistent and tiresome efforts to be the primary victim in any story in which her monicker is inserted.
To have a victim you have to have a perpetrator. And if you have a victim (even if the perpetrator isn’t quite visible or identifiable) you almost always have rescuers, those who want to come to the aid and defense of the seeming victim. There are probably more rescuers by far than there are victims, because each victim can have thousands of rescuers, thousands of defenders. So when a politician consistently grabs the victim mantle, she is probably manipulating her audience. You can bet the ranch on this. She wants them to rescue her, to defend her, to give her money, to argue in her behalf, to denounce the perceived perpetrators. But most of all to make donations. Big donations.
Seen in this context, Sarah P’s speechwriters– nobody believes for a second that Sarah P writes this stuff for herself, do they?– sought again to ring their familiar bell. The bell that brings in the checks. This bell has but one note: Sarah P’s victimhood. No matter. They sought to transform a story about the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman into one all about poor Sarah P. And they again attempted to mobilize all of those very gullible AM radio listeners who have been content repeatedly to stand up for a rescue of Sarah P from the unjust, unwarranted attacks on her egotism and grandstanding by the supposedly liberal press and/or the supposedly liberal D party.