Hangin' around, looking for real news

December 04, 2007 by barbara

barbara writes

Taking a breather here between David’s radiation and chemo. So finally had time to catch up on the news a bit. Crikey! Did you know that George W. Bush lies? That he then lies some more? And then lies about his lies? Hard to believe of a U.S. president whose lapel sports the American flag, I know, but there you have it.

It started for me this morning when I picked up the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Above the fold: A full-color photo of a dead deer and a butcher, who was preparing to gut it and carve up its flesh. Local touch. Very Minnesota. Oy! Okay, turns out it’s a story about Minnesota’s venison donation program. Even so . . .

Way down at the bottom of the page is a 4 X 5-inch lead to a story that's buried inside the section. It's headlined “U.S. backtracks on Iran: Nuclear arms drive shelved.” Subhead: “Bush’s WWIII warning undercut; so is drive for sanctions.” More!

Hello? What’s wrong with this MSM decision about most important news du jour? I could just scream. Really.

Well, after I vented some about that, I turned to the net to find out about Junior’s presser this morning. That little boob just never quits, does he? Monday’s National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released by the U.S. GOVERNMENT (hello?), said that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons initiative four years ago and isn’t likely to be able to ramp up again until at least 2010.

“Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” says Junior. “What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program.”

Here’s a question I have. If your nation were in the crosshairs of, oh, say, the United States and Israel, and if it was becoming more clear by the moment that they were looking for excuses to obliterate you, would you seek to defend yourself? Now don’t get excited. I’m not advocating for nuclear proliferation in Iran or anywhere else for that matter. But I have a really hard time understanding how it is that America is entitled to trump up excuses for waging unilateral, unprovoked, immoral warfare anyplace it decides to do so. And it occurs to me that is only under the reign of George II that this has reached its zenith.

Questions beget questions. Here’s another. What is more dangerous than Iran with “the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon”? Answer: George W. Bush and Company in search of another mission to accomplish. Notches on the belt. Afghanistan, trashed. Iraq, trashed. Next up: Iran.

And here’s what I foresee. Democratic Congress-critters will speak out strongly against ratcheting up pressure on Iran. Against the possibility of launching an attack. But when push comes to shove, they will tumble into Bush’s sea of doublespeak like so many lemmings. Again.

America is being systematically dismantled by BushCo, even in these months of BushCo’s death throes. The press will not speak up for America. Our legislators will not speak up for America. The church does not speak up for America. Presidential candidates do not speak up for anything that could possibly endanger their milquetoast middledom. Those few folks who do speak up for America are labeled kooks and wackos.

Anyone besides me fed up and rising??

Posted in


perhansa (not verified) | December 4, 2007 - 6:10pm

I hope David's disease and treatment lead to a successsful outcome--whatever you two determine success to be. I mean that sincerely.

I also see how easy that was to slipperly define subjective outcomes. Politicans excel at this game and the BushCo team has exhibited a flare for it that makes others pale in comparison. Funny how those who seem to demand and rely on "moral absolutes" want no absolutes when it comes to governance, communication, or education. No definitions, no metrics, no evidence, and what evidence there is is quickly spun whichever way the wind blows. The news from Iraq is bad so we can't leave. The news from Iraq is better so we can't leave. Iran is a nuclear proliferation threat, sanction them and threaten to invade. Iran quit their nuclear program four years ago--they could start again any day, they're still a proliferation threat, sanction them and keep talking tough, it's working. "Teach the controversy", that was the mantra on evolution/creationism and global warming. Teach the controversy and the gaps and the errors in religion and that's picking on people of faith. Teach the controversy and hypocrisy and deception of the adminstration and it's unpatriotic.

What a powerful gimmick. Relativism and multi-culturalism turned on itself and exaggerated to the extremes. The poor liberals are flaccid in the face of such intellectual table turning. Why?

Perhaps they haven't been trafficing in truth and evidence either. Why else is it impossible to get an informed public? Equal time, equal weight to all sides? Perhaps. Perhaps it's that no one traffics in the facts anymore. Everyone is so sunk in the system of lies, deception, spin, sound bites, emotional contagion, etc. that post-modernism has become a stifling reality after all. It's all just meta-narratives, some are just more useful than others depending on who is using them and who is benefiting. Maybe the liberal meta-narrative isn't "true" any more than the conservative, just more helpful to some people.

It's tough to know, there isn't any certainty. Then you have something happen to you like David and Barb and for a time it doesn't really matter.

Maybe we've already suffered what amounts to a catastrophic systemic failure of our political system and it's beyond fixing. It has to be "torn apart" and begun anew. George W. Bush is the culmination of this descent in mediocrity, untruth, deception, greed, self-interest and hubris.

Then again, it's only been a few hundred thousand years since our species separated from the great apes and the chimpanzees. Perhaps we expect too much of a big brain in an animal skin.

The history of humanity doesn't bode well for the humanists. The hundreds of millions who have suffered and died at the hands of their fellow creatures isn't giving me much confidence.

Then we have those who worship the invisible hand of the market (a lot of people who call themselves followers of Jesus I might add), not recognizing that the invisible hand has a name: greed. What bible are they reading?

Sorry I've lost touch with the CLB of late. Lots of work, deadlines, three weeks of kidney stones, disenchantment, ennui, sadness, disillusionment, you all have been talking about these feelings.

Sometimes I wish I was a better historian to put it in perspective, then again, if I was I'd probably have given up my notions of the improvement of the species long ago.

But, still I work and teach and paint and cherish my grandkids. I guess I've decided with Camus, that life is worth it even though it's Absurd.


Paul miller (not verified) | December 5, 2007 - 9:23am

Junior was a little adg - e - tated at his presser - he's quite a bit below mediocrity, Bushie did read Camus if you remember that dealio where Rove said he and Bush were in a reading competition and bush had read 70 books in 06 - life got a whole lot more absurd when Mr. Sub-mediocrity became King of the world (in his mind)


barbara says (not verified) | December 6, 2007 - 9:44am

Hey, Paul! You know, the way BushCo spins things, the 70 books in 2006 is a rather vague claim. What exactly do they mean by "books", I wonder. Books of matches? Dr. Seuss? Marvel Comics? It used to be vaguely amusing that the president of the United States is an intellectual midget. Not so much any more. When we were in Ireland and Scotland last spring, the thing we heard most often was some variation of, "How in the world did that man get elected??" How, indeed. A long, sordid tale. Eleven months. Eleven months. Eleven months . . . . and then what?


perhansa (not verified) | December 6, 2007 - 10:49am

Power. Money. Politics.

We know how that dimwitted dips**t got elected. We also know that he was re-elected with all his warts well-known by a fearful public easily duped into caving to their basest instincts and clinging to their single issues and religious fantasies (not just evangelical christianity but by what David Sloan WIlson calls the "stealth religions" of nationalism, capitalism, consumerism, etc.).

Cognitive scientists know that fear takes us on the "quick" but rapid "low road" through the amygdala to "fight or flight" reactions and bypasses the slower but more reliable "high road" thinking neo-cortex. The Robber Barons have mastered the "dark" powers of "emotional intelligence". The Dems don't seem to be able to grasp that powerful, simplistic emotional appeals are far more powerful than hours of rational argument and nuance and pleas to reason. They're like the US military in Iraq, they're fighting the wrong war and don't comprehend or understand the enemy. They haven't grasped the emotional insurgency that's been unleashed on us and so can't counter effectively. They've even lost the MSM to right.

Sad bit true, our brains evolved to enhance our odds of survival and propogation, not to discover "truth". We need more liberals to think like evolutionists" and let go of the high and mighty belief in humanistic ideals.

The Repugs see the world more clearly. They realize this truly is a war--for minds, culture, control, resources, and influence. TIme to get off the high horse and apply some counter-insurgency tactics.

By the way, we might need that "well regulated milita" to throw Bush and Cheney out of the White House in '08 if they take a page out of Putin, Musharaff and Chavez's book. We may be on the wrong side of the gun issue!

They may talk small government and less intrusion but the PLAN is just the opposite. It takes a big, intrusive government to enforce the ideological Katrina they envision. Privatization is a subtle way of expanding government to NGOs (i.e., corporations) by establishing a network of reinforcement and execution outside the beltway.

Scary stuff. Speaking of scary--how 'bout that Mike Huckabee. Just what we need, some Baptist minister running the country--Mr. Huckabee will tear down that wall (between church and State)!

These people seriously believe in fairy tales (virgin births, transubstantiation, immaculate conceptions, ascensions, resurrections, walking on water, etc.) and they want to run our nation?


barbara says (not verified) | December 6, 2007 - 9:34am

Perhansa! You're back! I'm back! Life is good. We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave! We are the strongest, most admired nation on earth. We have the power but we have the integrity to use it wisely! We are . . . .

Crikey. We are in one helluva mess, aren't we? We are a nation of sound-bite addicts. Headlines, photo captions, one-line incomplete sentences trailing across the bottom of the TV screen. And the ReShrublicans excel -- EXCEL, I say -- at the whole framing issue. Even now, when their cred is in the loo, the spin goes on and the phrases and labels glom on to our mini-brains like super glue.

Hear Junior's softly menacing voice saying "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, Iran will be dangerous." I think he's full of feces, and yet my tiny mind has latched on to that phrase.

I wonder, as you do, whether the whole political system must be dismantled and rebuilt. Systemic failure is due, in part, to a saturation of ideas, thoughts, tendencies, norms that get carried forward evermore. Even the purging of BushCo, to the extent that's even possible, won't fully resolve the problem.

We've seen ample evidence that sooner or later, the overarching, undergirding perceived need to protect one's political future gets in the way of protecting and defending the Constitution. Cognitive dissonance, baby. And the result is that "we the people" become "those people."

Blah, blah, blah. Can it be fixed? I dunno. I am not optimistic. But that's how it is with those people.