Why does our goddamned press (especially the goddamned NYT) tell so many goddamned lies?
The Russians are fighting an actual war on terror -- not the bogus war that the US has ostensibly been waging for so many years. And our newswhores can't stand it. CNN:
Did his experience in Ukraine tempt Vladimir Putin to begin Russia's Syrian expedition? Are they both examples of the Kremlin taking advantage of Western hesitation or caution? Or are they two episodes (with more to come) of Russia taking revenge for previous humiliations (Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, etc.) and reasserting itself as a Great Power?
Russia did more damage to ISIS in a couple of days than we did in a couple of years. Yet that is how CNN covers the situation -- and the above words appeared in what is supposedly a news piece, not an editorial! Even in the bad old days of Joe Stalin, Pravda was never so bold in its disregard for reality.
Why exactly President Vladimir Putin is sending “volunteer” ground forces into Syria is not entirely clear. It may be to protect the Russian base near Latakia from which Russia has begun flying bombing missions against Syrian rebel groups, or it may be because Russia’s Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, is in such danger of falling that Russian ground troops will actually enter the fray against the innumerable insurgent groups fighting him.
You'd never know from this nonsense that Putin was fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Did it ever occur to THE EDITORIAL BOARD that Putin was in Syria to do the right thing? Why can't THE EDITORIAL BOARD admit the simple fact that Putin is trying to defeat the evil bastards who have been beheading journalists and destroying precious historical artifacts?
And then THE EDITORIAL BOARD starts in with the real lying...
If Mr. Putin had ever been eager for peace, he could have exerted pressure on the Assad government before it stoked the civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, driven millions from their homes, and destroyed vast stretches of the country.
Instead, he supported Mr. Assad and his brutal reprisals against civilians and the opposition, which opened up space for extremists to operate and expand, turning this war into a threat to the entire region.
The truth has no place in the NYT, it seems.
Readers of this blog have known the truth for a long, long time: The west started this war. Using the Saudis, Qatar and the Turks as funding conduits, we encouraged the creation of a proxy army, similar to the many proxy armies which our CIA has set up in the past. The goal: Toppling Bashar Assad.
Why was Assad targeted? One big reason is Israel. Israel wants to see Syria -- a modern, secular, pluralist, relatively prosperous country -- transformed into a primitive, barbaric land run by religious maniacs perpetually at war with each other. If jihadist apes take over Damascus, and if the country devolves into a series of battling fiefdoms, Syria will no longer be in any position to harm Israeli interests. Most of all, the Syrians won't be in a financial position to aid the Palestinians.
There are other motives. Assad has stood in the way of a Qatari natural gas pipeline which, if completed, could drastically hurt Russia's economy.
So it was decided more than a decade ago that Assad had to go. Thus, we flooded the region with a proxy army composed of religious maniacs. This army has two main groups: ISIS and the Nusra Front -- a.k.a., Al Qaeda. (There is also a "moderate" force, which is very tiny. They have a marked tendency to join the extremists or to let Al Qaeda "accidentally" capture their equipment. Basically, the "moderate" rebels are a fairy tale which DC tells to the American people.)
ISIS and Al Qaeda are the ones who have treated civilians brutally. Various religious groups -- Christians, Yezedis, Sunni, Shiites, Alawites -- have lived in peace under the Assads for many years. Our proxy warriors changed all that.
The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran.
THE EDITORIAL BOARD prefers to pretend that this document does not exist. Although the NYT may consider the blindfold to be a fashion necessity, historians will not.
I refer, once again, to the words of John Pilger -- a far better journalist than any of the propagandists now employed by the NYT:
This is insane, of course, and the big lie justifying this insanity is that it is in support of Syrians who rose against Bashar al-Assad in the Arab Spring. As The WikiLeaks Files reveals, the destruction of Syria has long been a cynical imperial project that pre-dates the Arab Spring uprising against Assad.
At his news conference on Friday, Obama said, “in my discussions with President Putin, I was very clear that the only way to solve the problem in Syria is to have a political transition that is inclusive — that keeps the state intact, that keeps the military intact, that maintains cohesion, but that is inclusive — and the only way to accomplish that is for Mr. Assad to transition [out], because you cannot rehabilitate him in the eyes of Syrians. This is not a judgment I’m making; it is a judgment that the overwhelming majority of Syrians make.”
But Obama did not explain how he knew what “the overwhelming majority of Syrians” want. Many Syrians – especially the Christians, Alawites, Shiites and secular Sunnis – appear to see Assad and his military as their protectors, the last bulwark against the horror of a victory by the Islamic State or Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which is a major player in the so-called “Army of Conquest,” as both groups make major gains across Syria.
Precisely. It's not as though the people now fighting for Assad have no choice. They have seen the choice, and they don't like it. They know that if Assad falls, ISIS takes over. They are therefore willing to risk their lives to keep Assad in power -- to keep secularism in power.
The jihadis -- the fighters for ISIS and Al Qaeda -- are mostly foreigners. We have inflicted an alien invasion on Syria.
How the hell does our president claim to know what is in the hearts of Syrians? And why are so many Syrians willing to die to prove him wrong?
Yet, it is an open question whether Obama has become captive to his own propaganda, such as his obsession with Syria’s use of “barrel bombs” in attacking rebel strongholds, as if this crude home-made weapon were some uniquely cruel device unlike the hundreds of thousands of tons of high explosives that the United States has dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries in the last dozen years.
Does Obama really think that his “humanitarian” bombs – and those given to U.S. “allies” such as Saudi Arabia and Israel – don’t kill innocents? In just the past week, a Saudi airstrike inside Yemen reportedly killed some 131 people at a wedding and an apparent U.S. attack in Kunduz, Afghanistan, blasted a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, killing at least 22 people.
(By contrast, too, The New York Times treated the Kunduz atrocity gingerly, with the cautious headline, “US Is Blamed After Bombs Hit Afghan Hospital,” noting that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter extended his “thoughts and prayers to everyone afflicted” and added that a full investigation is under way in coordination with Afghanistan’s government to “determine exactly what happened.” Surely, we can expect the slaughter to be dismissed as some unavoidable “accident” or a justifiable case of “collateral damage.”)
Actually, the American people seem to be paying real attention to the Afghan massacre. Thank God. It's nice to see that our fellow citizens can shake off their obsessions with comic book movies, racial bickering, identity politics and Illuminati-spotting just long enough to pay attention to something real and important.
Added note: Moon of Alabama made a good catch. The NYT ascribed a statement to "a senior Kremlin defense official," when the statement was actually made by a member of the Russian Parliament. Our newsfakers don't want Americans to believe that Russia is a democracy.
The NYT of course loves to depict Russia as a dictatorship and attributes everything someone in Moscow says or does to the President of the Russian Federation or, even darker, to "the Kremlin". But that is propaganda, not reporting.
Do you even need to ask why the New York Times continually toes the Israeli line? Blood is thicker than water, and Zionists stick together.
posted by Anonymous : 4:33 PM
About the russians volunteers who may fight in Syria, read Moon of Alabama of today and the comparison with NYT saying that McCain is an official of the White House.
posted by Anonymous : 4:56 PM
"The west started this war." Only problem, there is no such thing in the world of real as "The west". "The west" is just a word, filled with whatever meaning each individual reader likes. It is 1 completely ideo-logical word. Inconsistant with reality. I am 1 individual living in the territory of what usaually is considered as being of "the west". I have NOT started the war, to the contrary, I was hindered to stop it. And there are MANY more like me, including You. ??? ?
posted by -> : 6:36 PM
I am not at ALL comfortable with that "blood is thicker" remark. Noeconservatism is an idea. While neoconservatism and zionism are close kin, there are differences. And plenty of Jews in this country have had it up to here with the neocons.
I had another post almost ready to go, but I cannot think about anything else right now.
Never forget: ISIS was created by neoconservatives in the United States and Israel. ISIS is the demon child of the same people who whipped up the Iraq war.
After the disaster of the Iraq war made direct American intervention in the region unpopular, the neocons decided that they had to create a proxy army to fulfill their dream of overturning Bashar Assad. Since Assad was a secular leader, the opposing army was -- naturally -- filled with religious maniacs.
In many previous posts, we have seen incontrovertible evidence that the money for ISIS came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- all American allies. These countries could never have created this massive proxy army without our consent.
Israel has been quietly aiding ISIS. Why? Because ISIS is fighting Iran and Assad's Syria, two states which Israel wants to see overturned. See here, here, here and here.
Think on this, as well: Many of the young religious maniacs who joined ISIS came from Europe and the United States. A lot of guys who should have been on the "no fly" list suddenly were allowed to jet into the war zone. How did that happen?
Allow me to make another point. The key point.
Not long ago, Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said these words: "With Assad being propped up by Russia and Iran, it means the war [in Syria] never ends." That sentiment is echoed by all Republicans and most Democrats. And yet...
If Assad falls, ISIS will control all of Syria.
That's a simple fact. There is no third option. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
In that light, we should join Putin and Assad and the leaders of Iran in their heroic efforts against ISIS. But are we helping them? No, we are not. We are doing everything we can to impede their efforts.
It's a zero-sum game: You cannot hurt Assad without helping ISIS. I wish the situation were otherwise, but reality is reality. Reality is made of a stuff far more obdurate than the stones of Palmyra.
Given this reality, anyone who seeks the overthrow of Bashar Assad is -- objectively speaking -- pro-ISIS.
In other words, our entire political establishment is pro-ISIS, because our entire political establishment has been committed to overthrowing Assad.
Even the Islamophobic right is pro-ISIS. They will never admit this truth, yet it is the truth.
Consider these things are you view those infuriating photographs of the latest ISIS outrage.
Maybe you've already covered this, Joseph, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the reason for trying to overthrow Assad is the hopes that the new regime will force the Russians to give up their naval base in Tartus. This is their only base on the Mediterranean, and one of only two military bases they have outside of their satellite zone (the other one is in Viet Nam).
It used to be that we valued a balance of power. It seems that now we're insisting on a complete shift of the balance to the USA (with its 700 military bases around the world) and trying to paint Putin's defensive measures in Crimea and Syria as imperialism.
Destabilizing he conventional balance of power will inevitably lead to an escalated arms race in nuclear and high-tech weaponry--one which will of course be very profitable for the Masters of War. Obama's actions in service to PNAC's agenda of global domination are transparent.
Well into the piece an Israeli military man depicts Hezbollah as still the worst enemy of Israel, more powerful than in 2006. Moscow-Damascushezb-Tehran, the axis of liberation. Should explain a little about Amer-israeli policy.
posted by Ken Hoop : 2:26 PM
What percentage of the total anti-Assad forces does ISIS actually constitute? All reports seem to be "through a glass, darkly". We're told of Al-Nursa as opposed to ISIS, and lately of "the Army of Conquest" as a supposed umbrella group of non-ISIS rebel groups but are they a significant factor on the ground or jusr a fig leaf for ISIS? Conflicting reports...conflict.
posted by igd : 5:01 PM
It's obvious to me this plan to topple the ME powers and reduce them to internally warring mini-states unable to project military power is approaching 40 years old. It was the Yinon Plan of the '80s, the Clean Break plan of the '90s, and when the writers of the Clean Break made it into the W administration in the '00s, it was the plan of W's Pentagon as early as December 2001. Seven ME countries to be taken down this way in five years, according to what Gen. Wesley Clark says he was informed at the Pentagon in late 2001.
The harm to Russia's base is secondary to one of the end goals of this plan, taking out Iran. (After Iraq has been taken out as a unified country, Iran remains as the next sizable regional power, and Syria is their only nearby ally.) And Iran was explicitly named as one of the seven countries to be attacked to Clark.
posted by Anonymous : 6:18 PM
right again joe. damn shame, that millions of media viewing idiots here, will never hear a word of these obvious truths. our 4th estate is dead.
Readers, I need your help with this one. I beg you to read this one through, and to offer suggestions.
Between 2000 and 2004, an excellent liberal website called Media Whores Online exposed the lies told on a daily basis by conservative reporters and opinion-shapers. I was reminded of "the Horse" (as the site was nicknamed) while reading a recent speech by John Pilger.
These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.
The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.
This is a form of fascism, a word we are rightly cautious about using, preferring to leave it in the flickering past. But an insidious modern fascism is now an accelerating danger. As in the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the regularity of a metronome. Muslims are bad. Saudi bigots are good. ISIS bigots are bad. Russia is always bad. China is getting bad. Bombing Syria is good. Corrupt banks are good. Corrupt debt is good. Poverty is good. War is normal.
Let's be even more specific: Neoconservativism controls our national discussion of foreign policy. The controlling force is not a government or a political party, but an ideology. Yet the control is no less fascistic. (Yes, that is the right word.)
Even John Oliver bows to the dictates of the neocons: Just listen to the cringe-inducing nonsense he spews about Vladimir Putin. If Oliver did not so spew, he'd lose his show. That's how the system works and everyone knows it.
Currently, the big project of the neocons is to place ISIS in power in Syria. Paradoxically, they intend to accomplish this goal by exploiting the public's well-justified hatred of ISIS. This cheeky gambit can work only if the citizenry is kept in a miasma of misinformation.
As Pilger notes:
There is currently an American and European attempt to destroy the government of Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron is especially keen. This is the same David Cameron I remember as an unctuous PR man employed by an asset stripper of Britain’s independent commercial television.
Cameron, Obama and the ever obsequious Francois Hollande want to destroy the last remaining multi-cultural authority in Syria, an action that will surely make way for the fanatics of ISIS.
This is insane, of course, and the big lie justifying this insanity is that it is in support of Syrians who rose against Bashar al-Assad in the Arab Spring. As The WikiLeaks Files reveals, the destruction of Syria has long been a cynical imperial project that pre-dates the Arab Spring uprising against Assad.
For the latest example of this Big Lie technique, take a look at this BuzzFeed article, written by "Ilan Ben-Meir, BuzzFeed News Reporter." He uncritically repeats Lindsey Graham's latest malarky about Syria, Iran and Russia.
“Number one: Our biggest problem is that our commander in chief is incompetent, and our secretary of state is delusional, regarding the politics of the Mid-East, Putin, Iran, and just the entire situation over there,” said the South Carolina senator during an interview on the Fox News Radio show Kilmeade and Friends.
“Our president, quite frankly, is weak, he is indecisive, and what does it mean for America?” Graham went on. “With Assad being propped up by Russia and Iran, it means the war [in Syria] never ends.”
See how it works? People who don't watch Fox are likely to read Buzzfeed. Thus, BuzzFeed becomes the conduit by which Fox-flavored nonsense is spoon-fed to an audience of young liberals and moderates.
What Ben-Meir has done is not objective journalism. If it were, Graham's silly lies would be given context.
No, I'm not talking about Graham's attacks on Obama: That's just partisan politics. I'm talking about these words: "With Assad being propped up by Russia and Iran, it means the war never ends."
In the first place, the Syrian civil war was instigated by this country. I've proved the point in many previous posts. So have many other writers, including John Pilger.
Moreover: If Russia and Iran were to withdraw, the war would certainly end with the victory of ISIS. If Assad goes down, ISIS rules.
That's the all-important truth which neocons like Graham always lie about.
You won't hear that truth from any Republican candidate. You won't hear the truth from Obama, Kerry, or Hillary Clinton. You won't hear it from Fox News or ABC or CBS or the Washington Post. And you won't hear it from Buzzfeed, or Slate, or the New York Times, or even the Guardian.
In the preceding sentence, I listed four "liberal" media outlets often used by the neocons-in-disguise. On a daily basis, these publication feed neocon lies to decent people -- the kind of people who cannot stomach more than 40 consecutive seconds of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Most of the time, the folks in this target audience would rather talk about gay marriage or some other topic that makes them feel virtuous. They don't want to talk about foreign policy: It makes them feel dizzy.
That's an understandable reaction. Trying to figure out what's going on in the big, wide outside world makes everyone feel dizzy, including me. (I'm sure that people in Syria get dizzy when they try to dope out what's happening in the United States.)
Our insecurity results, in part, from the fact that foreign affairs are so...foreign. Language differences. Cultural differences. Things get very complicated very rapidly.
But there's a larger problem: Over the past fifteen years, a vast, well-funded media infrastructure has been insinuating neocon lies into every psyche. Take, for example, this statement:
"If Assad falls, ISIS takes power."
Right now, that's a simple truism. No well-informed person can honestly dispute that proposition. This fact is inescapable and easy to grasp.
Now consider the staggering amount of media manipulation required to convince the public that the situation is something other than what it plainly is.
If the New York Times, Fox News, CBS, the Washington Post, the White House and every Republican candidate were to tell you on a daily basis that the sky is orange -- not blue, never say blue: It's ORANGE, dammit! -- eventually, it would start to look orange-ish to you. You'd squint. Shrug. Rationalize. You'd tell yourself that your senses must be lying to you, because the alternative theory is unthinkable. All of those important people -- liberals and conservatives, the NYT and Fox: Surely, they can't all be engaged in a conspiracy to deceive you?
In fact, it doesn't take that many people to convince you that blue is orange. Maybe the only requirement is a hundred people in key media positions. In fact, I suspect that the job can be done by a far smaller number.
The Iraq war was empowered by Judy Miller and perhaps a dozen others like her, planted in key positions in various publications. If those media whores had been exposed early on, the bellicose Bush administration could never have made its deceptions stick, and the Dems who let him have his war would have been pressured by the public to vote otherwise.
History is made by a small number of liars. Neocons need newsfakers.
Recently, newsfakers produced bogus videos designed to convince you that Assad is bombing hospitals. At the same time, the newsfakers offer nothing but justifications and excuses when the United States and Israel bomb hospitals. Most of the time, the newsfakers simply refuse to mention "our" hospital bombings.
The newsfakers won't tell you that Russia did more damage to ISIS in a couple of days than we managed to do in more than a year. The newsfakers have tried to convince you that Russia targeted our "moderate" rebels (a total lie). The newsfakers have tried to convince you that these "moderates" are anything other than a useful fiction. Whisper the name of Vladimir Putin, and the newsfakers at the New York Times go into fits of hysteria and dementia.
What to do? What to do?
I have an idea.
My proposal: We need a new version of Media Whores Online. We need a new website -- a database -- devoted to keeping track of neocon liars posing as journalists. We need to "slut shame" the media whores.
It's not enough for independent writers to counter these lies on a daily basis.
We need to develop a kind of institutional memory. We need to name the neocon newsfakers, and we need to list their lies next to their names.
We need to keep track of who these people are. We need to rob them of credibility.
I'm not talking about a site devoted to arguments over opinion. If an NYT editorialist were to say "I think Vladimir Putin is a thug" -- fine. No problem. But it's a very different matter if a journalist or editorialist were to state (as many have stated) that "Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea." That, my friends, is a demonstrable falsehood.
When hoaxed history becomes a commonly-held belief, the result can be war and want, misery and mayhem.
A possible name for this site: Neocon Media Whores. I think a shout out to the earlier site would help gain exposure. (That said, I'm open to alternative suggestions.)
I would like the help of my readers in coming up with a structure for this thing.
Ideally, I would like the site to feature a Wiki-style group effort, in which average readers could send in examples of neocon media manipulation. Unfortunately, the site would have to be moderated. Without strict moderation, the whole enterprise would quickly become a cesspool like 4chan or a YouTube comments section. And it would become the play-toy of paid trolls.
These ten commandments should be in place:
1. The site should concentrate on foreign policy.
2. The site should be devoted to exposing journalists with a neocon agenda.
3. The site should be non-partisan. I am a Democrat -- a grudging Democrat, often an infuriated Democrat. But I also recognize that neoconservatism is a virus which crosses party lines. This virus has infected some people whom I otherwise admire.
4. The site should keep a database of journalists who have signed their names to demonstrable lies, including lies of omission. Ilan Ben-Meir (referenced above) would therefore have a place on the list.
5. The site should be anti-racist.
6. The site should not become a repository of truly silly conspiracy theories.
7. The site should not waste much energy on matters of opinion, even when someone expresses a view which many would consider repugnant. The purpose of the site is to compile a database of provable liestold by neoconservatives in major media outlets.
8. The site must never be sidetracked by otiose arguments over identity politics and politically-correct speech. That trick has been pulled once too often. By now, most of us have gotten wise to it.
9. Those who would defend neoconservatism deserve no voice on this site. They have the rest of the internet in which to scamper about and do their mischief.
10. The site must not be hijacked by libertarians, by socialist ideologues, by anti-government trolls, or by those who seek to discourage involvement in electoral politics.
What do you think, readers? Would such a site serve a valuable purpose? If so, how can we make a go of it? How would you structure the thing?
Oh for the good old days of Bartcop, Media Whores Online, and when dailyhowler was in its prime. For such a site to work the comment section would have to be heavily moderated, members only, or none at all. Media Matters turns into quite the cesspool when the trolls are active.
Mike, you speak the truth. In general, I'd say that 2000-2006 were the glory years of online political activity, because the manipulators had not yet figured out how to game the comments section. For a long time, I did not moderate comments at all. Neither did a lot of other sites.
Another point: Nowadays, a site like this would have to do the social media...thing. Ugh. Not my bag. I hate Facebook and Twitter. Still, social media would seem to be a necessity.
Can anyone out there handle that aspect of the project?
You know, the ancient Greeks called the sky bronze. So, it is my position that the sky is, in fact, bronze in colour and we live in a state of false consciousness. The simpler people of the past, with their closeness to nature, must have known the truth of the situation. Some may say that oranges are also bronze, for a sufficiently broad definition of bronze. Hence that is a uniquely inaptly chosen example.
John Oliver, I don't think he's being threatened with the loss of his career if he doesn't take a neo-con line. I don't think he's very bright, he's just toeing the party line. Unfortunately the current liberal consensus is infected with neoliberalism.
I believe items 5 and 8 on your list are contradictory. You can't have an explicitly anti-racist group without self-proclaimed anti-racists starting a witch-hunt.
Quote Albert Camus......."We have a right to think, that truth with a capital letter is relative. But facts are facts. And whoever says that the sky is blue when it is great is prostituting words and preparing the way for tyranny."
Check out some time Camus' journalism work with "Combat." the French resistance during and after WWII. One of the greats.
I think more clear and to the point would be WAR MEDIA WHORES.
I was just mentioning the other day to a friend that I miss the "underground" newspapers of the 70's. We definitely need to get back to something like that because I agree the NYTimes and Wash Post are just as much pushers for war as Fox or any right of center media.
posted by Hildy : 7:34 PM
posted by prowlerzee : 9:04 PM
It would never work. 1. These people have no shame and just plain don't care about the truth or providing it. 2. The American public also has no shame and doesn't care about the truth either. At some point people became more invested in their viewpoint rather than facts. Everybody keeps repeating the inane refrain that there are two sides to a story even when that is a complete fiction. There was a time when someone who lied about something would be chastised, ridiculed and never be taken seriously again. Just think not only did George Bush, Dick Chaney and Colin Powell lie our country into a war of choice none have ever faced any consequences of their actions and all are still held in high esteem by many in this country. We live in an age where the truth has little value.
posted by GregoryP : 3:31 PM
Starting from the practically aproved working of the wor[l]d as well as the term "logic", I consider there must be some reason for it exist to exist. Also the word "ideology" exists. Ideo-logy ? Is there a beyond-logic-world? There is a rule of thumb for scientists, which says "never start a new science, when there is no NEED for it". There is - so far- not yet "A-theorie of-everything", but elements of it. Those elements, based on simple, practical logic, provides us with an idea of the history as well as the working of the universe, as much as the practical means of comunicating it, including all aspects. So this idea, or better set of ideas, all nicely fitting together are they forming a locical system, are they ideo-logical? What discriminates "logic" from "ideo-logic" ? Is there a universe based on ideo-logic ? How does it work, relative to the universe as seen by means of logic ? Which , by simply using logigal methods, the method of logik, METHODICALLY, allow us to know, what we don't know, and, find it ! Now, You go and waste Your and Your readers time, by re-inventing the wheel, when in fact, this "wheel" was not only dis-covered, but actually set to motion about 260 years ago. Where it says "all the NARRATORS" of history [Ideo-logs]have 1 thing in common, they [ideo-logically] have interpreted history [in an infinitesimal growing number of ideo-logical means] when [in fact] it (history) must be MADE [and continously is in the making, under the brute violation of logic, both in idea as in reality] You, in Your "gut" somehow FEEL the inconsistency of the projcted images with Your proper reality, but empirically trying an infinitesimal number of subterfugios, carefully avoid the left thing. Sticking to the all-chemists Newton-mechanics, the ideology of ether, all in order of preserving an equivalent to anti-Einsteinan world-view, when it comes to socialisim [CAPITALS]. Scientific socialism, You not only deny, You denigrate it. Instead, using the the TERM as a WORD for everything BUT socialism (capitals). How do You dear to criticise, least defy, any adversary, accepting the adversaries terrain for granted, in the first place ? (Hey, this type of rant is the best I can do to people I consider friends, only. Keep trucking, brother. I wish You well. ->) The Einstein Theory of Relativity 1923 https://vimeo.com/9832926
posted by -> : 7:05 AM
->shame on me. "about 260 years ago" must be corrected and read about 160 years ago. sorry
posted by -> : 7:10 AM
You could simplify your case by consolidating the terms neocon and neoliberal into their parent category, which is political Zionism. Divide and conquer is the name of the game, and playing two sides of the population against each other is the way it's played.
posted by Anonymous : 9:01 AM
-> : ???
Anon: You're being kind of silly. Zionism is certainly a major part (but not the ONLY part) of what drives neoconservatism. Neoliberalism? Different story.
As for that "divide and comment" remark -- watch it. You're showing signs of turning into one of those brainless Bircher types. I'm talking about a certain kind of conspiracy buff who, in an effort to prove that ONE BIG CONSPIRACY controls both sides of any given political equation, starts muttering vague and unprovable nonsense about "Hegelian dialectics."
Am I right? Is that were you were heading?
Whenever I run into a conspiratard who blathers nonsense about Hegel, my response is to ask: "Have you ever actually READ Hegel?" The Philosophy of Right, The Phenomenology of Mind? Any of that ring a bell?
Usually, the conspiratard who thinks he knows something about Hegel hasn't read any of the guy's books. (I've tried. They're hard. And boring.) Conspiratards know about Hegel only from Birchite writers who were desperate to devise a rationale for their self-contradictory theories, such as the theory that ONE BIG CONSPIRACY controlled the USSR and Wall Street (an idea that used to be popular on the fringe right during the Cold War). Nowadays, we have the theory that ONE BIG CONSPIRACY controls liberalism and conservatism.
Many conspiratards think that they can sell this silliness by muttering the magic name "Hegel" and the magic word "dialectics." The truth is, there is not one iota of evidence that the world is ruled by ONE BIG CONSPIRACY of Hegelians. If you look at the Birch literature where this Hegel meme started, you'll see that there is no citation of evidence -- it's all proof-by-presumption.
I don't think that there is ONE BIG CONSPIRACY. And even if there is, I'm sure that the people running the show care even less about Hegel than I do.
Am I ranting, anon? Yeah. Little bit. Sorry. I know that you did not actually mention Hegel in your comment. But you were heading in that direction, so I felt obligated to warn you that I've heard it all before. No Sale.
Anyways, folks, I'm a little despondent.
No-one has had any practical advice to offer. I guess no-one cares about my proposal. Instead of outlining a practical course of action against neoconservatism in journalism, my readers have demonstrated that they would rather blather nonsense about whether or not the sky really IS blue. Either that, or they hit me with the usual blasts of vague, amorphous, and utterly otiose conspiracy theory.
Do people still go to web sites? I think they mostly get stuff from their Facebook newsfeed, or their friends newsfeed. I prefer going to web sites, but I'm not so young anymore and I get the sense that younger people want everything of interest to them in one place.
I wish I could offer something more constructive, as I'd love to see the kind of site you are talking about. I just don't know much about setting up web sites, unfortunately.
posted by Gus : 1:12 PM
??? Short version -> Ideologic = inconsistent with logic. Private ownership of logic, jepp !
posted by -> : 6:04 PM
joseph, it's true the birchers were nuts to think one giant conspiracy controlled the soviets and capitalism. but there's also a hidden history of capitalists bankrolling the soviets. in fact, the first five year plan under stalin was largely designed in detroit, by albert kahn, chief architect for ford. and the list of major american corporations that provided massive technical assistance to lenin, stalin and beyon is truly staggering. you would profit by looking up the construction of magnitogorsk - based on gary, indiana - just for starters. then, of course, there's fred koch making his fortune from stalin. talk about the birchers - he was a founding member.
I suppose a few words are in order concerning the latest mass shooter, Chris Harper Mercer. These thoughts aren't presented in any order.
1. He was active on a bittorent site called Kickass Torrents, where he also maintained a blog of sorts (which has been removed). Interestingly, major media outlets are discussing his activity on KAT without publishing the site's name.
I guess KAT is now as unmentionable as MI6 was in the Connery-era James Bond movies. If you dare to say the Name Of Power out loud, you will anger the gods.
2. Judging from his uploads and other online activities, Mercer was a self-proclaimed conservative Republican who didn't like Christianity, who leaned toward paganism and magic (or "magick" as some prefer to spell it), and who immersed himself in right-wing conspiracy literature. He reminds me of Jared Loughner, the crazed shooter who was inspired by an idiotic documentary called Zeitgeist. That conspira-classic combined three popular stupidities: The "mythicist" theory of Jesus, Bush-diddit 9/11 nonsense, and gonzo libertarian economics.
The biggest difference between Loughner and Mercer is that Loughner was more obviously nutso. Until he decided to commit this horrific deed, Mercer's online persona seemed eccentric but not frightening.
3. Mercer seemed to be fond of IRA imagery. I doubt that he knew or cared much about the politics of that group: The IRA leans to the left, while he described himself as Republican. More than likely, he simply liked the bad-ass visuals (and maybe the music). For many a young man, bad-assery trumps ideology.
4. From the start, I knew that our ever-predictable conservative propagandists would paint Mercer as an occult-crazed liberal socialist who hated Jesus. That was always a gimme; no surprises there. What surprised me was the speed with which the wacko-rightwingers tagged Mercer as a Muslim.
It was obvious from the beginning that he was either black or a Muslim that’s why his race and name was withheld. If he was white his picture and name would have been posted all over the media
And under his breath, Obutthead utters “allah bless you my brother! Not only did you kill infidels, you also gave me more ammo to start more gun control so your muslime brothers can safey kill more infidels!”
I could go on. Need I? I need not. Welcome to America, folks: The only difference between a right-winger's skull and an empty beer can is that the empty beer can once held something useful.
Of course, many people in the conspiracy community believe this is another false flag attack by the Illuminati using an MK Ultra mind controlled assassin to use as a patsy to roll out more gun control laws. Media analyst Mark Dice reporters.
He "reporters"? I scoffer at his reportering.
I wonder if dear old Sid Gottlieb ever realized that his sick little program would one day become one of our culture's most tiresome
cliches? Right-wing conspiracy freaks are the most predictable -- and easily manipulated -- people on this planet. And yet, hilariously, they think they're hip. These ninnies consider themselves to be the Enlightened Ones, the insightful ones, the only true human beings in a nation of sheeple. Despite their avant garde affectations, most of them have no idea what a truly new idea feels like. These trite clowns are the living avatars of vapidity.
Y'know who loved to read about overly-familiar conspiracy theories? Chris Mercer. I have yet to see any indication that this fellow was capable of original thought. The Mercer story should be titled "The Evil of Banality."
I have heard that Mercer was also a Zeitgeist fan boy.
I also use Kickass Torrents. I have used it for quite some time, and it is now the most popular torrent site on the web, much more so than even the Pirate Bay. As far as I'm aware there aren't blogs on there, just forums and the site official blog. So it's hardly a sign of sinister actions, no.
I think 50% of the population thinks that the Bush government had some type of "influence" regarding 911. It wouldn't have taken much more than leaving a GPS transmitter in the building so the planes could latch on, no?
Writing about Syria is depressing because both major American political parties -- along with most of the media -- have committed themselves to a narrative divorced from any semblance of reality.
Russia has come to the aid of Syria, and my response comes down to two words: Thank God. Yet our journalists and opinion-shapers have responded very differently. Doubling down on their "New Cold War" propaganda, the newsfakers are telling us to hiss Putin because he has committed the sin of making war against Al Qaeda.
In this topsy-turvy storyline, Al Qaeda has been rehabilitated. They are now viewed as noble and lovable, sort of like the oppressed Mexican farmers in The Magnificent Seven. And Vladimir Putin is Eli Wallach.
As we documented earlier today, Russia wasted no time launching strikes against anti-regime targets once the country's lawmakers gave the official go-ahead and the West wasted no time accusing Russia of breaking protocol by targeting "modetrate" Syrian rebels (like al-Qeada) that aren't aligned with ISIS.
The bottom line going forward is that the US and its regional and European allies are going to have to decide whether they want to be on the right side of history here or not, and as we've been careful to explain, no one is arguing that Bashar al-Assad is the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft but it has now gotten to the point where Western media outlets are describing al-Qaeda as "moderate" in a last ditch effort to explain away Washington's unwillingness to join Russia in stabilizing Syria. This is a foreign policy mistake of epic proportions on the part of the US and the sooner the West concedes that and moves to correct it by admitting that none of the groups the CIA, the Pentagon, and Washington's Mid-East allies have trained and supported represent a viable alternative to the Assad regime, the sooner Syria will cease to be the chessboard du jour for a global proxy war that's left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead.
Over the past two years, we've heard a lot about the very real crimes of ISIS -- yet the United States has done little or nothing to combat the jihadis in Syria. In fact, we created the problem in the first place.
In recent times, we've spent enormous amounts of money arming the (mostly fictitious) "moderates" in Syria -- the ones who are always described as "vetted." Funny thing about those vetted moderates: They have a terrible habit of letting ISIS and Al Qaeda capture all of that fancy equipment. Oopsie. For two years, it has been one oopsie after another.
Cah-MON. Even a kid should be able to see what's really going on here. Marcy Wheeler has it figured out:
More recently, Adam Johnson caught NYT and Vox pretending CIA’s efforts don’t exist at all.
This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox “explainer” of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.
To be fair, some intelligence reporters have done consistently good reporting on CIA’s covert war in Syria. But the policy people — especially the ones reporting how if Obama had supported “moderate” rebels sooner — usually pretend no one knows that Obama did support Qatar and Saudi-vetted liver-eating rebels sooner and they often turned out to be Islamists.
The selective ignorance about CIA’s covert operations in Syria seems to have been eliminated, however, with one Russian bombing run that targeted them.
Whatever Russia’s entry does for the tactical confrontation (I have no hopes it will do anything but make this conflict even bloodier, and possibly expand it into other countries), it has clarified a discussion the US has always tried to obscure. There are plenty of US backed forces on the ground — which may or may not be Islamic extremists (see Pat Lang on this point) — whose priority is toppling Bashar al-Assad, not defeating ISIS. While there will be some interesting fights about who they really are in coming days (and whether CIA has already acknowledged that it inflamed Islamists with its regime change efforts), American priorities will become increasingly clear.
Marcy goes on to say that she is not defending Vladimir Putin. On this point, she and I disagree: I do have hopes that Russian involvement will help shrink ISIS. Now is the time to state out loud -- without cheap cynicism, without equivocation -- that Putin is doing the right thing, the heroic thing. In just a few days, Russia has done more to destroy the jihadist maniacs than "the west" has done since 2013.
I'm dumbfounded by the ubiquitous reach of the disinformation machine. Whether it's intentionally misrepresenting history and reality in the writing of the articles or flooding comment sections with sock puppets toeing the official line, the psyops portion of this war is astounding.
The truth is always the first casualty of war, Joseph.
But several military sources and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said Russia had hit areas controlled by groups other than IS. A security source said they had been aimed at "military positions and command centers held by the Army of Conquest in Jisr al-Shughur... and Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib".
That's right. Those pesky Russians are bombing the "moderate" Army of Conquest, the coalition of al Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham put together back in January under the blessing of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, a group which went on to capture the town of Idlib with US backing from an operational center in Turkey!
Oh the humanity!
The headlines should read: "US furious Russia is attacking murderous jihadist forces it has worked long and hard with to bring down Assad. Turkey and Saudi Arabia pissed off too."
The "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is situated in a private home in Coventry, England. It's in effect an equivalent of Bellingcat.
posted by Anonymous : 2:41 AM
We're backing Al Qaeda in Syria. It's that simple. Twenty years from now we'll hear about how direct this support was, when the CIA officers running the ops retire and spill the tea.
If there is a 20 years from now. World events are unfolding like a slow-motion apocalypse. In Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and soon Afghanistan, a Fourth World is taking shape. These crisis spots are fundamentally different from anything dealt with during the Cold War, because intractable: they're black holes where any application of force in an attempt to create order leads to deeper disintegration. Putin can't defy the physics of these new geopolitical dimensions any more than a photon can reverse course over the event horizon.
These places have no future. I don't think civilization has much of one either. The rot is spreading.
Republican candidates have won all but one of the state's elections for governor since 1986. Many of these recent contests, however, have been quite competitive. Both of Alabama's current U.S. senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, are Republicans, but Shelby was first elected to the Senate in 1986 as a Democrat. Following the 1994 election, he switched to the Republican Party. Since the 1990s, Republicans have held a majority of Alabama's U.S. House seats. After the 2010 elections, the Alabama State Legislature came under Republican control for the first time in the state's history.
In presidential races, every Republican except Gerald Ford has carried Alabama since JFK.
Republicans have won six of the last seven governor's races.
Lucy Baxley, the last Democrat to hold a statewide office, lost her PSC race in 2012.
Republican orthodoxy holds that a state which creates a low-tax, business-friendly climate will attract "job-creators." Why, then, is Alabama so sickeningly poor that it can no longer issue drivers' licenses in many (poor) counties?
California -- a more "purple" state than many outsiders realize -- finally elected a Democratic governor in 2010, and the obstructionist conservatives in the legislature finally had their power (somewhat) curtailed. Result: Jerry Brown managed to end the outrageous deficits run up by his Republican predecessor. Brown's new problem has been called "the politics of prosperity."
The Republicans, undaunted, are blaming the drought on Brown. Please note: Nobody is saying that the big problem in Republican-led Alabama is prosperity.
Kansas is the state to look at where Brownback's trickle-down policy experiment has left Kansas on the brink of financial ruin. In June, the state issued a $840 million debt certificate, basically a worthless IOU to keep the lights on. This was after slashing education, health and basic services to the bone and raising taxes on the poor and middle-class because . . . Brownback and his buddies just can't let the theory go or admit they're wrong. Anymore than the Bush Administration is willing to admit they brought the country to its knees after 8 years of wanton spending, disastrous wars and slashed taxes for the rich and mighty.
Poppy Bush was correct: trickle down is voodoo economics, a huge scam perpetrated by the well to do.
As for the South, Alabama et al? Lawrence Wilkerson said just days ago that without revenues from states like California and New York, the South would be Bangladesh. Yet the propaganda machines keep pumping out the same tired tune--the country's going to hell in a hand basket because of all those damn liberals! Corporations are people. Money is free speech. Yada, yada.
It's amazing how dumb people can truly be.
posted by Anonymous : 12:18 AM
It's possible that Alabama is closing drivers' license offices for reasons other than poverty. It turns out that the offices are closing in the poorest counties that just happen to be more than 75% black in their demographics. Of course, voter ID cards cannot be a reason, since such cards are also available at the voting Registrar, right?
Exposing lies about Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton
I think that there is a reasonable chance that Carly Fiorina could become the leading Republican candidate, if and when Trump fizzles. That's why everyone should watch this video.
Planned Parenthood does extremely important work, and the current assault on that organization is appalling. The attacks are based on pure deception.
Another fraudulent story: The headline seems quite striking, at first glance -- "Emails: Russia-linked hackers tried to access Clinton server." Those who do not read past the headlines will have more fuel for their mindless Clinton-hate. Those who read the actual text will learn the truth: That email account received several deceptive "click on this attachment" messages from hackers.
MOST email accounts gets those things. You get them. I get them. Our accounts are all filled with viruses waiting to be activated.
Most of the time, those deceptive messages end up in the spam filter. Since Hillary's account was on a private server, the spam remains on the machine. Examiners found them, and now everyone is making a big deal out of bullshit.
There is no evidence that Hillary or anyone else ever clicked on those attachments.
One other point: It is clear that the hackers did not know that they were targeting an account used by Hillary Clinton. The hackers disguised the viral payload in an email which pretended to be about unpaid traffic tickets. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if a million people got that one. (Hillary does not do her own driving, a fact easily obtainable via Google.)
When hackers want to target a specific person, they send messages which purportedly come from a friend or associate of that person.
That's how I once got hit. In 2008, my anti-Obama writings were pissing people off. I received a message which allegedly came from writer Evelyn Pringle, who had published an investigative series on Obama. The message was a fake, and I should have recognized it as such. Stupidly, I clicked on the attachment -- and shortly thereafter, I was forced to wipe my drive. A year's worth of emails disappeared from the Yahoo account I then used.
If these "Russian" hackers (probably lone operators, not government goons) had targeted Hillary, they would have used a similar tactic. For example, they might have sent an email which pretended to come from Chelsea or Huma.
By the way: You can be pretty damned sure that every political figure, Republican and Democrat, makes private use of one or more email accounts. You can also be pretty damned sure that these accounts have deceptive (and virus-laden) emails from bad guys lurking somewhere in the spam folders.
What happened to Hillary happens to everyone.
Again, if there was any there there as it relates to HRC's email scandal, then the Bush administration's gross abuse and misuse of private email would be mentioned in these stories. It's not, and that alone should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these attacks are purely political and highly partisan in nature.
We're back to the Clinton Rules, Joseph. What is ordinary for the rest of the world is automatically nefarious when a Clinton is involved. McCarthy uttered the truth yesterday pertaining to the Benghazi investigation[s], 8 Congressional and 1 independent, which were/are meant to bring down HRC's poll numbers. McCarthy crowed about it on Hannity. Wanted a pat on the head he did for his grand accomplishment--"Look Ma, ain't I a good, splendid boy, messing with those dastardly Clintons."
This was all in attempt to justify a do-nothing Congress, paint the GOP as grand warriors, rather than the smear/smut artists they truly are. Boehner was running around the Capitol today trying to clean up the mess. Good luck with that!
We need to simply resign ourselves to the fact that the Republican Party is demented, insane, gone 'round the bend. Then a lot of things begin to fall into place.
I would have resumed regular blogging duties yesterday, but this household suddenly became very active with various projects. I had to help paint some large murals for the local children's museum. To be specific, I've been painting hieroglyphics. Hundreds of them. If I knew more about Egyptology, I would have written "God, I'm sick of hieroglyphics" in hieroglyphics.
I have told myself that if I ever returned to blogging, I should find a way to piss off everyone. Today's news provides an opportunity to do just that.
Headlines tell us that the Pope met with the famous/infamous Kim Davis -- an act which instantly gave Francis a new status: He is no longer "The Cool Pope." For a while, some questioned whether the meeting actually occurred, but the Vatican finally offered confirmation to the New York Times.
In his public addresses in the United States, the pope spoke in broad strokes about the importance of religious freedom. On the plane trip home, an American television reporter asked him about government officials who refused to perform their duties because of religious objections to same-sex marriage.
The pope said that he could not speak specifically about cases but that “conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right.”
“It is a right,” Francis said. “And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right.”
The pope did not mention Ms. Davis, but added: “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise, we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying, ‘This right, that has merit; this one does not.’ ”
And now I shall offer the words designed to piss off everyone: I don't see a problem with this sentiment.
One should respect someone who has the courage of his or her convictions, even when one does not share those convictions. It's a bit like the respect one holds for a brave warrior who fights for an opposing army.
That said, I do think there should be a legal mechanism to remove Davis quickly from that job. Whether you're a senator or a stripper, a gig should go to the one who will actually perform. Kim Davis has the right to determine her own actions but does not have the right to set the parameters of her position.
In order to tick off even more readers, I shall repeat something I've said before about the church. From a liberal perspective, many Catholics are good on social issues -- as long as those issues have nothing to do with wee-wees. They're conservative on sex and less conservative on Everything Else.
Unfortunately, the hypersexualization of everything has transformed many alleged liberals into blinkered ninnies who see wee-wee issues as the only issues. Orgasm is all; nothing else is really real.
Despite appearances and affectations, the Catholic Church is not monolithic. Unlike (say) the Southern Baptists, Catholicism has wings, liberal and conservative, just as our political parties once did. You almost never hear about liberal Baptists, do you? Such creatures do exist, but they are rare and exotic. The Baptist tradition has no place for anyone like Sister Agnes or Oscar Romero or Hans Küng. There is a place for such people within the Catholic church, though the position is not always a comfortable one. Catholicism offers room for diversity because there really is no one Catholic Church, although it pleases both the Vatican and its enemies to pretend otherwise.
That said, it is true that the rank-and-filers within most Catholic congregations tend to be sexually conservative. Even the ones who believe in peace and tolerance and single-payer health insurance suddenly become quite annoyed whenever someone mentions The Dong and its many uses. That's just the way it is. If a pastor suddenly decided to espouse a hipster attitude toward sex, the flock would probably just up and leave. There's a growing sedevacantist movement which exists to service the disaffected.
Orgasm-obsessed liberals ain't never gonna genuflect, and they'd rather eat slugs than say their Hail Marys. So why should the Pope care what they think? Why cater to a market that won't buy your product no matter what you do or say? Asking the Vatican to rewrite all of its doctrines on sex in order to make liberals happy is like asking musicians to make music for the deaf.
This Pope dares to question capitalism. He is the only world leader to do so. In today's world, that's bravery enough.
I now pause for you to sploogie your hate-gasm all over the preceding words. This post has dared to mention the Church that Everyone Everywhere Must Hate Hate Hate, and now I expect you all to respond with a frenzied festival of Hate Bukake. Don't let me down!
Well, actually, I'm going to let you down. I am pretty much in total agreement with you. Though I will say this.......I think you are wrong about everyone HATE HATE HATING the Catholic Church. I don't, and I'm pretty Liberal when it comes to sexual issues (or most issues, really). Frankly, I don't really give much thought at all to the Catholic Church as I'm just not really that interested in anything they say or do (the history of the Catholic Church is another matter entirely......very fascinating and interesting). The new Pope does seem pretty "cool", for a Pope, but it was only a matter of time before he pissed of the hardcore liberal atheist crowd. I mean, how could he not? The Kim Davis meeting was an interesting move, almost like he wasn't comfortable with all the liberal love he was getting from people that feel god and religion are fantasies people indulge in to fend off the eternal nothingness of death, so he figured he throw 'em a curve ball. As you point out though, he's got his base to deal with, just like a politician.
posted by Gus : 4:18 PM
I will have to let you down, I guess. You're right about the Catholic Church. I know very cool devout, church-going Catholics. Now, as to Baptists, I think you may have conflated the Southern Baptist Convention with all Baptists. There are also American Baptists, who seem to be much more in the tradition of Baptists in America; Baptists and Quakers were the dissidents back in the day, opposing government entanglement with religion and such things.
In Cambridge, we have Old Cambridge Baptist Church. From their website: "We are a progressive and inclusive Christian community in the American Baptist tradition that seeks to answer God's call to hold fast to love and justice for all the earth and its peoples. OCBC has been a welcoming and affirming church since 1983." I first heard of OCBC in the early '80s as the FBI's favorite place to break into in Cambridge because of all of the leftwing organizations that rented space there.
Anyone who's really been paying attention to the Pope has noticed that the change he represents is in tone and emphasis much more than in doctrine. That's welcome, but insufficient. He is also rightly criticized for being OK with women's second-class status in the church. I like that he gives me even more of an opportunity to fling the label cafeteria Catholic at some of my rightwing friends. He may pave the way for further modernization of the church that actually does bring doctrine closer to the beliefs and practices of actual American Catholics (and, for all I know, large numbers of Catholics elsewhere).
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 4:18 PM
Kimmee has an absolute constitutional right to believe as she believes. She does not have the right to impose that belief on everyone else. Her job is not a religious one; it is secular. If she is uncomfortable doing the secular job, she should quit. In the USofA she is still free to take her conscience with her.
posted by Anonymous : 4:29 PM
I think this is pretty good.
I wish the Pope would help the Vatican divest of all it's wealth though. That would be the anti-capitalist thing to do. And then they could give all that money to the poor. Problems solved. Chutzpah much?
posted by Hildy : 4:48 PM
You're right, Joseph, for some time now anti-Catholicism has been the acceptable form of social hate. And I'm surprised how many Catholic haters have trouble distinguishing between them and born again, bible thumping Protestant evangelists. As a lapsed Catholic who has moved on I can attest that it was always a broad Church phenomenon with a very strong intellectual basis, even if parts of that intellectual tradition are later abandoned by its followers(James Joyce anyone?)
And the penis fixation is a problem for gay culture even if one accepts people's rights to be gay. I remember one family day parade with huge strap-ons paraded before an audience which included many very young children. I wondered if they were ever permitted to have a time of innocence, of sexual non-awareness.
Kim Davis is a sad indictment of much thinking in the US. She is qualified to set the marriage license policy of Rowan County, Kentucky because of her three divorces and four marriages -- that and approval from the Lord.
This conflict underscores the need for some kind of public charter of social rights and obligations. Sure, you are entitled to your own private morality, but society is entitled to its version as enshrined in the law. If you can't do the job then you quit. That's civil protest, not punishing private citizens. They not only are not obliged to live by your private morality but they have no obligation to even hear about it.
My conscience says that if I live in the US then I can drive on the left hand side of the road because God told me so. I wonder how far I would get with that one?
posted by fred : 5:24 PM
The term Conscientious objection usually applies to conscription in military service. A person has a right not to be forced to serve in the military against his conscience. Mandatory alternative service can be required to meet his social obligation. In the case of Kim, she was not conscripted into her job and she is free to quit at any time if her conscience does not allow her do her job. No one is forcing her to work at her government job. And the Pope is really only talking about conscientious objection for Roman Catholic beliefs and not the right of a conscientious objection to manual labor by some atheist government employee. If Kim worked at a slaughter house and took action to stop the production line because she had a conscientious objection to killing animals would/should she to allowed keep her paid job? By the way Kim is not performing the marriages, she is only granting state permission for the couple to have a state marriage (aka civil union) not a religious marriage and she refused to grant, by herself or others, that permission against a court order.
Your points are well taken, William. But I think the rather romantic comparison goes back to someone like Sir Thomas More, standing up for ancient precepts even when secular authority insists on change. When we watch "A Man For All Seasons," even non-Catholics tend to applaud More's stubborn adherence to his principles.
I have a good friend who is a lapsed Catholic. He complained to me about John Paul II's choice of cardinals. He said they were too conservative. I told him to go to Church and make his complaints known, that if he didn't go, they wouldn't listen to him. In any event, my only concern with the Pope is how he is with regard to the Jews. The truth is that since the sainted John XXIII, they have all been quite good. Which leads to Pope Francis. When Hezbollah blew up the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, at the behest of Iran, then Cardinal Bergoglio was quite supportive of the Jewish community. He has also co-written a book with his good friend Rabbi Skorka, On Heaven and Earth, which details their conversations. When men of different faiths can have a respectful dialogue, and learn from each other, THAT is something we can all learn from.
This is a great stance to take, in the face of the twitter-hysteria over this, Joseph....but I stand with Cambridge-knitter because anyone who's been paying attention knows and has marked this Pope's attitude toward women. Less than stellar.
His comments on believing in God and his stance on economics are welcome additions to the global conversation...but as always, certain issues take a hit or a back seat, and it only came as a surprise to those who habitually don't pay attention.
posted by prowlerzee : 1:03 AM
Driving on the left is a suitable beach to die on. Do you know how many thousands of people die because of the unnatural insistence on driving on the right? The human brain is made to look to the right for oncoming traffic, just look at the difference in traffic deaths between the UK and USA. Feel free to martyr yourself in this noble cause.
Nor do I think the Vatican should divest itself. Most of its wealth is ancient books and works of art, which I'm not in favour of privatising.
The Bible is quite clear about women teaching: no. It hardly seems reasonable to want the pope to contravene that. Personally, I think he should take a stand against women teaching in secular schools, too.
And Davis is not a conshy. She is more like a deserter, or whatever one would call a person who joins the army and then only agrees to shoot Arabs, and not everyone order to.
" When Hezbollah blew up the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, at the behest of Iran...."
Minor challenge there joseph at 12:08. I don't think that's true.
posted by fred : 4:45 AM
"DON'T do as Jesus did, for You SEE what happened to HIM." This is the self-fullfilling alpha and the omega of the church. ->
posted by -> : 7:05 AM
I'm with Stephen Morgan on this one, which may be a first. Remember, through deception, they will wage war.
Blowing up your own community center and blaming it on your enemy is a more effective tool than actually being attacked by your enemy, because you get to control the entire process. That's also probably why they murdered the prosecutor, to perpetuate the lie.
small-j, I have not studied the Argentinian outrage in any detail, so what I have to say here is purely theoretical. But it is certainly possible to argue that the explosion in Argentina was a false flag op and the murder of the Iranian scientists was not.
By way of comparison, one can argue that the destruction of the Maine was a false flag. (A number of people believe just that. I'm not saying that I do; I'm saying that the argument has been made.) If you say that the Maine affair was a false flag, you are not necessarily arguing that ALL mysteries involving ships are false flags.
Regarding the specific comparison you have made (which, by the way, has nothing to do with my actual post), one need only ask "Cui bono?" to understand the difference between the two matters.
The killing of the Iranian scientists benefits those who do not want Iran to develop certain weapons. There is a specific purpose to these killings; they were not cases of murder-for-the-sake-of-murder. They were not mindless acts of terror. Those scientists had information and capabilities that made them difficult to replace.
But the explosion within the community center -- who, exactly, did it benefit? I can't see how the incident could benefit any state actor -- EXCEPT if one is willing to contemplate a "false flag" scenario. No other scenario makes practical sense.
(Well, I suppose, someone could argue that the explosion was actually a targeted assassination of a particular individual, whose death would be hidden within the context of a much larger act of apparently senseless carnage. That would be an intriguing possibility. But I don't that anyone has made such a suggestion.)
In sum: The all-important "cui bono" question tells us that the death of the Iranian scientists benefits only those states opposed to Iran. By contrast, a terrorist outrage against a community center benefits no state on earth -- with the possible exception of Israel. One can argue that there are Israelis -- Bibi not least among them -- who want to hammer home the theme that Jews are safe only in Israel.
I'm not saying that this is the real reason why the explosion occurred. Frankly, my bet is that it was simply the act of a lunatic, perhaps aided by a few other lunatics. But if you insist on looking for state sponsorship for the act, then only one state had motive.
Cui bono. As always, this is our first and best question.
It is clear that it was the Iranians, not the Libyans, who were behind the Lockerbie bombing. Why? In retaliation for the inadvertent bombing of the Iranian airliner. So who benefited from the Lockerbie bombing? Nobody, but it made the Iranians feel better. They like to flex their muscle and congratulate themselves. Nobody has to know and there doesn't have to be a particular benefit to them. The idea that Israel bombed the center is not only made in the absence of even a shred of evidence, but is facially stupid. It is clear that one of Iran's proxies carried out the bombing. The question is whether Iran is directly involved. I think the evidence is clear that they were and that the present president was directly involved. In fact, Interpol had arrest warrants for a number of Iranian officials.
-joseph Your comments are usually intelligent and interesting, except for anything to do with Israel. Then, you sound closed minded, biased and right down stupid and stubborn. Knowing that about you, I tend to believe the opposite of your stance about matters involving Israel. M
posted by Anonymous : 1:11 PM
This discussion reminds me of the Vineyard of the Saker's attitude towards Russian Orthodoxy, with its cultural conservatism being a contrast to the hyper-sexualized West and the ambiguities of (per one of his examples) Conchita Wurst..
Because despite the discomfort with changing sexual mores, the deeper Christian message has always really been revolutionary - and if only a fraction of those who identify as Christian really tried to give a shit about the poor and the weary then maybe it would be a different world..
I want to thank everyone who offered help and advice in response to the preceding post. My ladyfriend is trying many of your suggestions, and there has been definite improvement. The real secret seems to be activity and exercise.
I will be back to writing soon -- maybe tomorrow. I've been working on a children's book. It's a self-generated project, utterly outrageous but still (sort of) appropriate for young readers. Most of all, it is completely unlike those thuddingly didactic kids' books I used to illustrate, back when I worked for other people. As I've said before, the problem with most children's literature is that it is written by parents. Well-meaning parents invariably write do-gooder stories filled with important lessons: Be tolerant, don't litter, and do your homework.
Yuck. Who wants to read that?
Anyways, it occurs to me that I could use this blog to push the book that I am creating, which means that I'll have to keep the blog going. And if I want to do that, then I'll have to catch up with -- Lord help me -- the news.
Yuck. Who wants to read that?
Although I've taken a much-needed respite from headline-watching, I've been told that Boehner is out. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Party of Crazy has found a way to become crazier still.
Depressing. Reading the news is always depressing. Time to head back to the Wacom tablet.
But before I do that, I want to mention that I've been watching the fourth series of that marvelous BBC show Fake or Fortune?, which you can find online if you know where to look. One question: Why is there no-one like Fiona Bruce on American television? That woman is incredibly smart, classy, poised, professional and charming. I know that we have plenty of women in this county who are smart, classy, poised, professional and charming -- but for some reason, we usually don't put them in front of television cameras.
Take all the time you want we will still be back to check once a while to see if you come around again. I'm some one that was never brave enough to have children and to those of you that have my hat is off to you.
Well, as I said before, my personal theory is that the best writers of kid lit never had children of their own -- Dr. Suess and E. Nesbitt being good examples. Kids' books should be written by uncles and aunts, not by mothers and fathers.
If anyone is still reading these words -- and yes, I shall return to this blog! -- I would like some advice. My ladyfriend has been in pain for the past couple of weeks. Nerve pain, radiating from her upper spine (neck area) through the shoulder blade and down her arm. The severity comes and goes -- when she is active, she feels it very little; when she tries to rest, it flares up horribly.
Have any of you undergone a malady of this sort? Do you have any advice? What I'm looking for is advice beyond the obvious recommendation to see a doctor. My ladyfriend is not keen to do that. Her medical plan forces her go to a rather dismal clinic where she waits and waits and waits all day: Not a pleasant prospect. And frankly, doctors are often useless when it comes to back-related problems.
I keep thinking that there must be some exercise, some form of manipulation, that can turn things around. I give her massages every night, and they do some good. But I can't find a way to make things CLICK into place, as happens in the movies.
Until she can see an Orthopedic Surgeon asap, here is the home remedy: 600 mg. gel cap ibuprofen every 5 hours and use a heating pad at night and during the day if possible. VERY small neck movements will help unlock the stiff muscles (movements include look slowly to the right, then to the left, then up, then down. VERY minimal movements, do 5 sets 3x day. No using arms to carry stuff, housework etc. -B.S.
posted by Anonymous : 9:45 PM
Light weights (2lbs or less) held above head, straight arms, curl backwards (tricep curls). start with light reps, and work up. Helps me, I have the same problem. I'm a guy, I use more weight. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hope that helps.
posted by Anonymous : 9:49 PM
I would look for some older athletes and ask them. Awhile back I fell and broke my tailbone. This resulted in leg pain that I thought had to be related to a pinched nerve or something similar. The doctor gave me neurontin, which helped a little but not enough. I was talking to a friend who was in his late 40s and who was a devoted ultimate frisbee player and bicyclist. He told me about a simple stretching exercise that did the trick, much better than the drugs. With luck, there's something like that that is just what you're looking for. Best of luck to you both; pain is so debilitating.
The Community Acupuncture clinic movement (low cost) was born in Portland OR about ten years ago & now has hundreds of clinics across the country,including three in Balmer. I am an acupuncturist & have treated back & neck conditions with acupuncture for many years. long story short, IT WORKS. Sadly, many people come to it as a last resort but the sooner back, neck & arm pain is treated, the easier it is to get results. https://www.pocacoop.com/clinics/search-by-state/MD
posted by Anonymous : 12:14 AM
If always the same arm, I'd say look at the symptoms and treatments for bursitis. If always the same arm *and* it's her predominant hand, look for both bursitis and RSI. I know I've come off a major deadline-driven project -- like 100+ pages in under a week -- with computer mouse-drive RSI so bad I couldn't even lift a cup of coffee for several days. There may also be rotator cuff involvement, um, involved. If there's been no obvious change in habit and no trauma, you may be looking at any of the above as caused/aggravated by calcium deposits, bone spurs, or arthritis.
Usually for any of the above, short-term treatment is to reduce the inflammation with NSAIDs or steroids. Long term usually involves changes to behaviors and activities. In the case of injury (for instance, a tear in the rotator cuff) -- which doesn't necessarily have to be trauma-induced -- a period of rest or limited use may be enough to allow healing; in other cases, or if bone spurs are present, surgery may be required.
Unfortunately, your options for home treatment are limited. Ice, ibuprofen, and rest are about it. A doctor -- in addition to being able actually to diagnose the problem, rather than just throw spaghetti at the wall -- can prescribe higher-powered meds. Personally, I find the guaranteed side-effects of most NSAIDs far more unpleasant than the potentially more-serious ones of steroids, but your mileage may vary.
[Incidentally, I have some friends in the health industry -- researchers and medical writers, not clinicians -- who believe chronic inflammation can cause or exacerbate a number of other conditions. I follow their lead in taking a single low-dose aspirin daily. Seemingly, 81 mg a day is enough to convey possible health benefits -- including reduced risk of heart disease, which may also be because of the drug's anti-inflammatory properties and not because it thins the blood, as originally believed, and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer -- without damaging digestive tissue. While your friend may not receive as much benefit from such a regimen as we old farts, a daily preventative aspirin might help keep such pain from recurring -- once she's past this current flare.]
posted by maz : 1:20 AM
Radiating pain, to the arm, sounds like a cervical herniated disc. Pain radiating to the leg sounds like a lumbar herniation. It's not something to self diagnose. Get her to an orthopedic doctor or a neurologist.
When it comes to nerve pain, I always reccomend a trip to a reputable accupucturist. If it hasn't improved at least 60% by the end of the third treatment, then it might not be something thats effectively treatable via accupuncture. Chiropractic might be an approach, as its a spine realted pain.
posted by igd : 4:27 AM
Essentially, I would do the opposite of everything Anonymous B.S. advises. "Until she can see an Orthopedic Surgeon asap." Stay the fuck away from orthopedic surgeons. Do more movements, not less. I like the advice the next two comments have for her. Try the light weights if she can manage them. At least do stretches, etc.
I had back issues, and go over them 100%. Friend gave me this guy's book. Awesome book. Changed the way I look at health issues totally. Got me up and moving:
Anyway, both author's approaches are similar. From the back cover: "It is based on conclusive evidence proving that stress and inactivity are usually the prime offenders, and it allows patients to avoid the restrictions and expense of most other treatments." For me, the important take away is to get more active, not less. And avoid surgeons.
posted by Anonymous : 8:30 AM
A short while ago I was asked by somebody I know to take my shoes off and WALK on his back. He often is suffering of pain in his spine. He lay down on the carpet and I massaged is body with my feet for quite some time. From the area next to the neck, down to close to the bottom up and down and from down up and so on. The method is common among people who cannot afford the massage done in the turkish bath. Pending on the weight of the walker... But You could make Yourself a bit lighter by help of a pair of chairs, rigth and left, to stemm Your arms on, to reduce the weight. ->
posted by -> : 9:29 AM
I had debilitating back and neck pain in the past, chiropractic eliminated it for me (along with getting more exercise and sitting less.....a standing workstation if she is a computer worker does wonders). It took a few sessions to work it out, but I have never had more than passing back and neck pain since (lasting a day or two, at most). I now go in for adjustments ever 6-7 weeks, and I've not had anything remotely like the kind of pain I'd had previously, and mostly none at all. However, I agree that more movement is required to maintain health and that sitting for long periods (more than 30 minutes at a time) is absolutely terrible for your body in many, many ways.
posted by Gus : 10:27 AM
I found the book "Pain Erasure" by Bonnie Prudden very helpful in treating my ex-wife's debilitating pain. What you do is deep tissue point massage with one finger in a zone and along pathways. From the start, a twenty-minute treatment provided relief most times (not always). I was skeptical of the claim that we uncover and release "trigger points" (it sounded too much like Scientology) but it's true. After the treatment had become a routine part of our lives, my deep massage of her face would set off all kinds of involuntary movements of facial muscles.
I am the one and only true Anonymous. Pay no attention to impostors (unless they have good advice).
posted by Anonymous : 11:22 AM
I had intense recurring shoulder pain for years. It was really depressing and debilitating. And I was more or less resigned to living with chronic pain.
But 5 years ago my sister in law talked me into taking up knitting again. And a month or two into it, I noticed that my pain had totally disappeared. There is something in the tiny movements I make manipulating yarn that is exactly what I need to control that shoulder pain.
As far as I'm concerned, it's a miracle. I had completely forgotten my youthful knitting hobby. And had never even mentioned it to anyone in my husband's family. It just happened to come up.
Anyway, it might not be knitting that's the answer for her problem. But some other unexpected regular motion.
Self-medicating is a bad idea, self-diagnosis is a worse idea. The situation could be anything from trivial to extremely serious. I know it's a hassle, but get to a doctor. And by the way, repetitive trauma can cause the injury described. I don't know if your friend works, but she may have a work related injury, which may make access to medical help easier.
I've tried everything but surgery. Nothing really fixed it. (Bulging discs in neck from compression from getting drilled into the ground via an accident on active duty-- the VA will not help!) When it decides to hurt, it's hell. When it's not. Well, it's ok.
To find answers to your questions start with Google and select reputable medical sources. Only a medical doctor can diagnose the underling medical problem. They will recommend treatment but you don't have to follow it (tell them this, they may recommend some other form of treatment), especially if they recommend surgery.
Acupuncture primarily works by the placebo effect [the placebo effect can provide cures in some cases] and chiropractic treatment usually provides only temporary relief [You have to return many times].
Maz's comment above provides sound advice.
Google: "nerve pain radiating from neck" What is cervical radiculopathy: www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/what-cervical-radiculopathy Conservative Treatment: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/conservative-treatment-a-cervical-herniated-disc
"The pain caused by a cervical herniated disc is caused by a combination of two processes:
Pinching of the nerve root Inflammation associated with the disc material itself
Therefore, taking anti-inflammatory medications to remove some of the inflammation can reduce this component of the pain while the pressure component (pinching of the nerve root) resolves.
For patients with severe pain from a herniated disc, oral steroids (such as Prednisone or a Medrol Dose Pak) may give even better pain relief. However, these medications can only be used for a short period of time (one week)".
Everyone above is correct, this is an impingement issue. She probably has chronic tendonitis or neuritis under her shoulder blade. It is also possible she has lower back tightness that causes pulling farther up her back. I doubt herniated disc, unless you can clearly see the disc bulging, it's a common misdiagnosis.
What she is dealing with is almost entirely orthopedic. Drugs aren't the solution, chiropractor, physical therapy or more the solution. I get similar numbness when my sub-scapula tendonitis flares up... old bench press injury.
You folks are incredible in these situations. You should see me in the kitchen...
posted by maz : 5:28 AM
I've suffered from intractable pain for years...recently fell and fractured more vetebrae...ugh! Anyway, I take tramadol when I can't stand it any longer....I can't tolerate stronger narcotics because of nausea. Neurontin was great but it made me lose my memory...it was created for people with epilepsy. I also have an Rx cream called Voltaren, PLUS something that surprisingly works on nerve pain (sciatic) called Two Old Goats. I wish her relief. She should get an MRI to nail down the problem.
Darn...comment vanished, I think. Short and sweet...she should get an MRI to determine what may be wrong. Try a natural cream called Two Old Goats that is surprisingly helpful for nerve pain and Resvatrol rx cream. Good luck to her.
C, I am so sorry to learn of your pain issues. And the same goes for everyone else in similar straits. Good lord, I didn't realize how common this problem is. Pain is the great equalizer.
So is this the counter-argument to those who adhere to the theory of intelligent design? I mean, what kind of intelligent designer would have your ultra-sensitive nerve trackways twining around and through our bones and joints?
Well, thanks to you all. And thanks for the head's up on neurotonin. We'll look for Two Old Goats. And I've asked her to do those tricep exercises.
I'm one of your oldest followers from those early posts you did on electron fraud issues from the 2004 election. I visit you once in awhile as it seems one of the authors I respected on this issue you decided to 86 completely because of raising a question on a different issue which can't be raised.
Anyway, the other issue here for your ladyfriend to take notice of is:
The pain is coming from her neck and spinal area below her neck, then radiating down her arms so...is she hunched over doing constant text messaging on her iPhone or iPad.
My sense of her is that this pain comes and stays as a direct result of how much time she spends on her iPhone/iPad/laptop hunched over and this pulls and puts pressure on neck vertebrae that are already out of alignment or maybe compressed.
her neck I'm guessing is badly out of alignment as well so she probably would benefit from seeing a qualified and highly recommended chiropractor.
Yes taking the 600mg of ibuprofen will reduce inflammation and pain, but taking it more than a week can stress out one's liver over time, so go easy on taking high doses of ibuprofen.
hope this helps! anon from San Francisco
posted by Anonymous : 2:26 AM
Earthing...www.earthing.net will reduce her inflammation naturally by reconnecting her to the Earth.
posted by Anonymous : 7:02 PM
The people commenting about anti-inflammatory are correct.....many people do not take a focused approach.
Do not fear taking the required amount of OTC drugs to succeed.
posted by prowlerzee : 11:14 PM
I been in pain management for years, hips and back. I do acupuncture, massage, chiropractor, pain killers, of course. Must be very careful on the anti-inflammatories, after years of being on them, my kidneys started to fail, and living without them pretty much stinks. Not sure about the insurance she has, but massage can be considered physical therapy if the coding is right. This is all pretty much what everyone else is talking, if the chiropractor can't help, check out RFA. I used to get it done until Blue Cross Blue Shield decided they no longer will pay. Anyway, its Radio Frequency Ablation, basically it zaps the nevers at the root and stops the pain from going to nerve to brain. The first two times I had it done, it lasted about two years. The last time I had it done lasted about 18 months. I could sit and watch a show or tv with my husband. Not sure what state you live in but I live in Tn. and the Dr. I see in Pain Management does it. If nothing else works might want to talk to the doc to see if it might help. Here's some links about RFA. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1ASUM_enUS591US592&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=radiofrequency%20ablation
That should get ya started, it's not a real long procedure, and it's not painful and the relief is wonderful, down side is once the nerves grow back the pain hits all at once. Pretty much the only downside for me. Hope she gets better and Good Luck!
After receiving the following communication from the Illuminati, I have determined that the apocalypse will NOT occur in September of 2015 after all. For most of you -- the intelligent ones -- this video should be self-explanatory...
I'm really starting to get pissed. How many false apocalypses do I have to put up with in this lifetime? I still recall Comet Kahoutek in 1973. At the time, a number of very scholarly pamphlets showed up at the finer bus stops throughout the greater Los Angeles area -- pamphlets illustrated with cartoon drawings of cities on fire and angels blowing trumpets. These very convincing publications assured us that the comet heralded The End. And did The End happen? No, it did not.
If this sort of thing keeps up, I shall be forced to register a complaint.