Category Archives: Media

IMPEACHMENT WEEK: It’s OK To Be Bored; Not OK To Be White, by Ann Coulter

Musings on the impeachment farce and race from Ann Coulter at anncoulter.com:

It’s weeks like this that make me wish I had a job and didn’t have to stay home watching TV. With the impeachment nonsense dragging into its 56th month, I have some random observations, only a few of which have anything to do with impeachment.

1) As tempting as it must be for Republican senators to make a headlong rush to the TV cameras at the conclusion of the day’s festivities, they would be well advised to say this, and only this, each night:

Here are the vital issues the United States Congress did NOT address today:

— Repairing our highways, bridges and border with a major infrastructure bill.

— Ensuring that all Americans can get jobs by cutting off the deluge of cheap foreign labor.

— Providing the public with quality services by not inviting the rest of the world to come partake of government benefits meant for Americans.

— Fixing the disaster of Obamacare, so that all Americans have access to quality health care (by activating the same mechanisms that give them quality food, housing and iPhones: the free market, contract law and occasional government subsidies).

— Passing a bill to defund all the pointless, expensive military deployments around the globe, so we can FINALLY address the hellfires in our own hemisphere.

— Ending the opioid crisis by declaring war on Mexican drug cartels and building a wall.

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On the 70th anniversary of Orwell’s death: The danger of third parties “curating” and “fact checking” our info, by Sharyl Attkisson

There are all sorts of official, semi-official, and private busybodies who want to protect us from “fake news.” We’re all just too stupid to sort through it on our own. From Sharyl Attkisson at sharylattkisson.com:

Political writer George Orwell, who died Jan. 21, 1950

It is a dangerous practice: Government, corporations, universities, news outlets and “experts” curating our information so that we cannot access, see or believe that which they determine we should not access, see or believe.

If anyone had suggested to Orwell, or the American founders, that we would invite this sort of manipulation and control of our information, they wouldn’t have believed it.

The idea was first introduced on the national stage by President Obama in October of 2016 right before the presidential election. He insisted that somebody needed to step in and “curate” our information in the “Wild, Wild West” internet environment.

Nobody had been clamoring for any such thing.

So the challenge for those who came up with this bright idea– in my opinion in an effort to control news and information– was to convince the public to accept something very un-American: their information being shaped and censored by others.

Watch Attkisson’s Tedx talk: Astroturf and Manipulation of Media Messages

This feat was accomplished in concert with the anti-fake news effort, started in September 2016 through a nonprofit called First Draft. (First Draft was funded by Google, owned by Alphabet, run by Eric Schmidt, a major Hillary Clinton funder and supporter.) The anti-fake news effort was also an effort by special interests to step in and control news and internet information.

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Democrats Outraged At Republican Accusations Of Foreign Loyalty, by Caitlin Johnstone

It’s a cliché but it’s perfectly appropriate: the pot’s calling the kettle black. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Democratic Party royal family member Chris Cuomo delivered a pearl-clutching, hand-wringing monologue on CNN last night about how appalling and outrageous it is for Republicans to accuse Democrats of having covert loyalties to a foreign government.

Cuomo, who is the son of a Democratic New York Governor and the brother of another Democratic New York Governor, began his “Closing Argument” segment rationally enough, berating the 194 Representatives who voted against opposing Trump’s ability to initiate an Iran war without congressional approval. Obviously the more resistance there is to Mike Pompeo manipulating the highly suggestible Commander-in-Chief into any more reckless warmongering against Tehran, the better.

But then, without any coherent segue, Prince Fredo began babbling about Republicans leveling baseless accusations about Democrats having loyalties to Iran.

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Iran, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, by Caitlin Johnstone

Pithy but perceptive comments from Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

The greatest asset of the propagandists is your belief that you haven’t been propagandized.

~

Hi my name’s Maga McBootlick. I fight the establishment by cheerleading for the US President, I oppose war by supporting the same Middle East agendas as Dick Cheney, John Bolton and Bill Kristol, and I love the Iranian people so much I want to kill them with starvation sanctions.

~

I can’t believe I’ve spent a week and a half arguing with Republicans who insist that assassinating a nation’s top general is perfectly sane and normal and fine. No, idiots. No.

~

Trump supporters keep telling me how upset they are that I’m dedicating so much time and energy to criticizing his Iran warmongering. The mental irritation you experience when I criticize your president is called cognitive dissonance. It’s what being wrong feels like.

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Remarks on Right-wing Talk Radio, by Paul Craig Roberts

It’s hard to find people who can separate reality from their own politics. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Over the course of my life as a university professor, government official, business consultant, president of a community water company and editor and journalist for national and international publications, I have learned that a majority of people cannot think outside the indoctrination they received that formed their biases.  If you provide them with a different view or explanation, instead of thinking about it, they just get angry. This is true also of academics. University professors resist their human capital being devalued and placed in need of renewal by new discoveries and explanations. No academic wants to have to redo all his lecture notes or see his own scholarly contributions bypassed by new explanations. As Niccolo Machiavelli truthfully said, “There is nothing more difficult, more perilous or more uncertain of success, than to take the lead in introducing a new order of things.”

Conservatives with right-wing biases usually write me off as left-wing, and leftists with left-wing biases write me off as conservative, especially as I had a high appointment in the Reagan administration.  The only way to write successfully for these people is to tell them what they want to hear.  Then they love you instead of hate you.

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To Know You Don’t Know, by Robert Gore

We’re all ignorant; few recognize it.

Aubrey’s deployment order came a week later. A conflict had waxed and waned in Syria and Iraq for the better part of three years. It was the typical Middle Eastern fracas: hapless governments and their armies; not-so-hapless sectarian brigades with colorful names waging guerrilla war, detonating bombs, promoting mayhem; shifting alliances; endless intrigue; diabolical duplicity; rampant disinformation; appearances masking antipodal realities; and machinations by outside string pullers, money honeys, and intelligence agencies who never seemed to realize—or if they did, never acknowledged—that they were the puppets, not the puppeteers. Despite the seeming complexity, the war boiled down to the usual two issues: oil and the centuries-old question of Muhammad’s rightful heir.

Governments couldn’t resist throwing matches on the gasoline. Sunni nations—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the rich little monarchies scattered around the Persian Gulf—as well as a variety of sectarian brigades with colorful names, launched massive and coordinated maneuvers to “restore order” (Middle Eastern–speak for replacing a government with one more to your liking) to Shiite Syria and Iraq. The Shiite governments were not without friends. Russia, Iran, and various sectarian brigades with colorful names would not let them go down without a fight. So in a very short time, the corner of the world with the highest per capita concentrations of troops, terrorism, weapons, and warfare saw exponential increases in all four.

The US government urged all parties to come to the negotiating table. No parties came to the negotiating table. The US government consulted with its European allies. A resolution was submitted at the United Nations. The war intensified. The war lobby screamed: this was World War III, and the United States was not there! It was like missing your senior prom! The Europeans screamed. Refugees were streaming to Europe. Despite welcoming gestures, the only assimilating they seemed to be doing was slurping up government benefits. It was getting expensive. Some Europeans didn’t like their new guests. Some of their new guests didn’t like the Europeans, but they did like blowing people up. Voters were getting mad. Something had to be done!

The US government ultimately did what the US government does best: came up with a catchy name (Operation Restoration of Peace, Freedom, Hope, Democracy, and Dignity in the Middle East), parked aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, dropped bombs, and deployed thousands of troops to “advise and assist” without a clear idea of whom they would be advising and assisting. It implored the Europeans to join its efforts, to staunch the refugee flow by making war, blowing things up, and creating more refugees. Back in the States, the groups that reflexively cheered every war distributed more Support Our Troops bumper stickers.

Prime Deceit, Robert Gore, 2016

This is satire, although not obviously so. Prime Deceit is dedicated To all those grown bone weary of the bulls**t. The novel’s main shortcoming is that it isn’t satirical enough. Only brutally savage satire is within field goal range of capturing the reality of the Middle East. Almost all of the mountain of journalism and propaganda focused on or emanating from that part of the world is pure twaddle, bulls**t that bone wearied most of us long ago. You can instantly recognize those who don’t have the first clue about the Middle East by their claims to understand it, especially if they claim they’re experts.

Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Ebook Link

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Has Nothing Been Learned Since 2003? Corporate Media Welcome Back Iraq War Hawks To Make Case for Iran, by Eoin Higgins

Nothing is more helpful for establishing establishment credentials than being consistently and spectacularly wrong about big issues, like the Iraq War in 2003. From Eoin Higgins at commondreams.org:

Former President George W. Bush's former press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on Fox News January 2 to claim the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani would be welcomed by Iranians. It was not.

Former President George W. Bush’s former press secretary Ari Fleischer appeared on Fox News January 2 to claim the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani would be welcomed by Iranians. It was not. (Image: Fox News/screenshot)

As President Donald Trump spent the early days of 2020 instigating and then backing down from a potentially catastrophic confrontation with Iran, corporate media in the U.S. turned to the very same people who promoted the country’s worst foreign policy disaster in a generation to advocate for repeating the mistakes of two decades ago.

The decision of networks and cable news outlets like CNNMSNBC, and Fox News to bring on a stream of past advocates for and architects of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was panned by progressives who watched in horror and frustration as the same arguments were deployed in service of all-out war with Iran.

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