Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What's News?

I encourage those of you who give this column a peek now and again to become familiar with the sources of real news that are on the net.

You, of course, will get about 15 minutes of sound bites on the evening news shows. I realize that the show takes up 30 minutes, but the mindless commercials take up about half of that time.

You can watch the twenty-four hour news stations like MSNBC or CNN. They might be a bit better, but in their attempts to be fair and balanced, they skip some news stories, like those about the administration’s giving TV news organizations “news stories”, already packaged. This saves the networks, all of whom are owned by billionaire Bush supporters, the money of having to send their own “investigative reporters” out into the field. The administration has “investigated” the news stories for them. It’s amazing how administration friendly these packaged “news” segments are.

Do a Google search on Armstrong Williams or Karen Ryan.

You won’t find these stories emanating from your TV sets because television is complicit in committing the crimes.

When Hitler or The Soviet Union ran the news, it was called propaganda. Government propaganda posing as “real news” is illegal in The Former United States of America.

Wasn’t congress ready to impeach a president recently because of his person peccadilloes? He didn’t even break the law.

Since we’re talking about real news, let’s just keep Fox News out of it, OK? OK.

So, back to my original statement. I enjoy ANTI WAR.COM, although it’s run by Libertarians, the only authentic conservative group in our nation. Pat Buchanan is a regular contributor, so it’s obviously not a “progressive” site.

I read ANTI WAR.COM because they know the difference between a war of necessity and a war of choice. They attempt to be truthful in promoting their otherwise “conservative” agenda.

I also read the Common Dreams NEWS CENTER which is a progressive site.

I dare say that sites such as these two will give you, as Paul Harvey says, “the rest of the story” or even stories that TV doesn’t give you at all!

One story at ANTI WAR.COM is entitled “Pentagon Reaffirms Globocop Role”, written by Jim Lobe.

If you know anything about the so-called “Bush Doctrine”, you know that it’s the foundation for this administration’s foreign policy. Preemptive strikes are the foundation of “The Bush Doctrine”.

“Pentagon Reaffirms Globocop Role” goes into detail as to what that doctrine means.

If you read it you’ll find out that we won’t only preemptively strike a “rogue” state that the administration thinks means us harm, but we’ll even strike one of our own allies if the administration doesn’t think it’s doing enough to prevent/curtail terrorism. Yep, you read that right.

When it comes to the military, I’m with John Quincy Adams. “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

I know that things were a bit different back then, but I’m a bit of a “Libertarian” on that – and that’s all (except for letting us put what we want into our own bodies, but I digress.).

The original thought was that each colony was going to maintain a militia for defensive purposes. That led to a unified military for defensive purposes.

Well, boy, have we come a long way since then. Wilson changed our minds on that and Bush is picking up where he left off (well, LBJ couldn’t mind our own business either).

Should we have invaded China for torturing people because of the Tiananmen Square pro democracy protests? What about China’s position towards female infants? Aren’t they tossing them aside like trash?

How about Saudi Arabia? They mutilate female infants as well, don’t they?

Why did we decide to “bring democracy” to Iraq, a country of 29 million when a country of 3 billion is led by an equally tyrannical government?

Was it OK to carpet bomb Vietnam or Iraq?

Were Hiroshima and Nagasaki really as philanthropic as they’re made out to be? “Look at all the lives those nukes ended up saving.” Oh, really? We needed to do it twice to save lives? Is that like killing Iraqis to free them?

Our military is to protect The United States of America, if it ever reestablishes itself as such. It’s not and never has been to save the world.

This administration talks about morality and “family values”. It calls itself “pro life” because it’s against abortion and/or euthanasia. I don’t see our actions in Iraq “pro life”, nor do I see the death penalty “pro life”.

What morality? Whose “values”?

They sure are good at cherry picking definitions, aren’t they?

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves us all blind.”

Sleep walking through life makes one “comfortably numb”, if I may borrow that phrase. We are a nation of sheeple because thinking for one’s self hurts too much.

The administration has gone from one excuse to another to another to defend our invading and occupying Iraq and the sheeple just follow as long as the government says, “Simon says” or is it “Dubya says”.

It’s the same shit we heard in the sixties. “The US, love it or leave it”.

Well, to paraphrase another comment, how can someone claim to love America so much while hating Americans?

People do awful things to other people. They rob others’ belongings. They shoot and stab one another. Sometimes they do the second so that they can accomplish the first.

They abuse their children, their spouses, their parents.

They lay people off even though the work load isn’t any less and force those left behind to “pick up the slack” or send the work to places like, well, China, where the workers are paid a good deal less than a pittance and work under conditions that rival the slaves’ conditions in the US or even the Nazi concentration camps. And, yes, just like under those two conditions, there’s killing and torture for lack of productivity (read “When Corporations Rule The World” by David Korten).

There’s all kinds of terrible things that happen to people within national borders, including those of the US. We have to stop that mistreatment of one another before we go using military might to stop the leaders of other countries from mistreating their citizenry. You can see what happens to caring for our own fellow citizens when we spend our resources forcing citizens of other lands to “care for” each other.

It isn’t that we can’t see the forest for the trees. We’re just perched so high and think we’re so mighty that we look over and beyond the forests and ignore them while they burn to the ground. We’re too busy starting fires in everyone else’s forests.

Watch the TV sound bites and repetition every hour of Michael Jackson’s trial, but, for the love of country and fellow citizens, read the real news as well!

To friendship,

“Where sense is wanting, everything is wanting.” – Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bushwhacker and Niner Oner Oner

No one ever reads these. My report comes through with all zeroes in the “how many people stopped and looked at your blog today” report.

So, I write this for me. I read this and I liked it. I also wrote it, so I was somewhat biased when I made my decision.

Yeah, that’s right, I thought it was tough moderatin’ a message board. So, I figured moderatin’ the world would be easier.

Let’s take the terms of service, for example. Let’s take violence.

At most message boards, you can’t even promote violence.

In the real world, you can promote violence all you want. Ever seen a Schwarzenegger film? Man, there’s blood and guts everywhere. But its fake blood and guts.

So, the only rule they have to follow in the real world is not to do it for real. Think they can follow that simple rule? Nooooooo!

Like this one member, goes by the name Bushwhacker. Well, he didn’t have a hand in spilling real blood and guts, but he sent some little kids to do it for him! They’re over there in that sandy place and there’s blood and guts everywhere and it’s real!

And you know why? Because this other member, my-mama-been-a-ladle, they’re both really obnoxious, threw some paper planes into Bushwhacker’s Lego buildings and knocked them down and made real blood and guts all over Bushwhacker’s play ground.

Thing is, he didn’t even throw the planes himself. Yep, you got it. He got some little kids to throw the planes for him and lots of kids got hurt when the Lego buildings fell. Even the kids mama-been got to throw the planes got hurt.

So, they’re both bullies. They want to fight each other, but for some reason, they won’t.

Well, I happen to know why they won’t. Because they’re really friends! Can you believe it? Their moms and dads go way back. Both of their families have been friendly for a long time. I notice that I never hear Bushwhacker threaten to beat up mama-been anymore.

Here’s the scoop. Neither of them like another member, sodaminsane. Where do they come up with these screen names anyway?

So Bushwhacker and mama-been got together and mama-been would knock down Bushwhacker’s Legos and Bushwhacker would know all about it all along.

Now Bushwhacker wanted some of the play-sheen that sodaminsane had buried in his yard. Yeah, Bushwhacker had plenty of play-sheen of his own, but you know how immature kids can be. “More, more, more,” that’s all they say.

But sodaminsane wouldn’t give Bushwhacker his play-sheen. A lot of the other kids in sodam’s neighborhood let Bushwhacker have their play-sheen. Of course, Bushwhacker had to give them some pieces of his Monopoly game, but he had plenty of pieces to go ‘round.

But sodam wouldn’t give up his play-sheen. So mama-been had these little kids throw paper planes into Bushwhacker’s Lego buildings and Bushwhacker pretended to get mad a mama-been, but he wasn’t really mad at mama-been at all.

And Bushwhacker’s friends got mad at mama-been, too. And when Bushwhacker got his friends good and mad, he said that they should go over to the sandy place and beat up sodaminsane. Well, Bushwhacker’s friends were worked up into such a lather that they said, “Yeah, beat up sodaminsane!”

Then Bushwhacker got a lot of his little friends to go over to sodam’s place and beat him up and beat up all the kids who lived with him as well.

Sure, some of Bushwhacker’s little friends got beat up, but what a mess they made of sodam’s place!

Nobody even knew why they were sent to beat up sodam and his room mates. Well, that’s not exactly true. Bushwhacker said that sodam had some paper airplanes and was getting ready to throw them at other Lego buildings.

Not much later, though, all of the kids were told that sodam didn’t have any paper airplanes at all, but Bushwhacker’s friends were still mad at sodam so Bushwhacker hurried up and changed his story and said that sodam was one of the little kids who helped mama-been throw the original paper planes into Bushwhacker’s Lego buildings.

Well, that couldn’t be. Mama-been didn’t like sodam, either. It seems he let anybody in as a room mate. You know what I mean? Even the “undesirables”. And mama-been’s and sodam’s mom and dad weren’t friends, either.

And that got back to Bushwhacker’s friends, but they were now mad at sodam for helping mama-been throw the paper airplanes. They were so mad at that that they’d even forgotten Bushwhacker’s original story about sodam having his own paper airplanes.

Now, Bushwhacker was afraid his little friends would find out that sodam really didn’t help mama-been, so he told his friends that sodam was making his room mates do all the work around the place. If they didn’t, according to Bushwhacker, sodam would beat them up.

Well, by this time, sodam just gave up. He couldn’t win for losing. And that was a good thing because he used to beat up his own room mates.

And Bushwhacker said to his little friends that they really did a good job making sodam give up and all and they needed to help sodam’s room mates fix up the place and share the work equally, even if they had to beat up the room mates to do that and they did beat up some of those room mates pretty badly.

Well, in reality the place wasn’t in that bad of a shape, so Bushwhacker told his friends to mess it up a little and then clean it up afterwards. Bushwhacker’s little friends were starting to get confused, but the friends who didn’t have to go to the sandy place were perfectly clear why the other little friends had to go and beat up sodam’s room mates and get beat up themselves. They even supported them by sending them little toy boxes to put the toys in because Bushwhacker’s friend, rummyguy, wouldn’t send them any of his toy boxes.

So you see, it’s harder to moderate the world than to moderate a message board. At most message boards you can’t even promote violence. In the world, you’re allowed to promote it, but you can’t kill people and Bushwhacker and mama-been can’t even follow that rule!

So, I tried to give Bushwhacker a warning, but his little friends wouldn’t let me. I did give him an unofficial warning, though, since this was the first time he sent little kids to die and kill.

But mind you me, if he does it again, I’m giving him an official warning. And then, you know the rules, three strikes and you’re out. Of course, Bushwhacker’s been talking to the other moderators to try to get that rule changed just for him. He wants to be able to get as many strikes as he can get.

Meanwhile, Bushwhacker and mama-been have been gettin’ quite the chuckle out of their little charade.

To friendship,

The world's not lost
it's just been sold.