Saturday, June 26, 2004

Defending Truth: Slate's Chris Hitchens does a hatchet job on Michael Moore
by Chris Parry

Well, it didn't take long. The partisan hacks were out for blood on Bowling For Columbine within days of its release, but with Fahrenheit 9/11, they're out before the flick is even in theaters. Slate's resident Bush apologist (who once did a negative piece about Mother Theresa!), Chris Hitchens, did a total kneecap job on Michael Moore yesterday with an article entitled Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore. In it, he wrote all manner of allegation about Moore's new film, peeing on it from a great height, calling it "crap", and alleging that the film shared the same standards as the propaganda films of the Nazis. For a while I thought about responding to Hitchins' article, being as it is so rife with laughable comments. Then I thought to myself, "No man, that's one long rambling piece. It'd take forever to disassemble it... it's a lone voice in the wilderness, it'll be forgotten soon, let it go." But then my buddy Chuck Tatum read Hitchens' piece and took the position that it must be true and that Michael Moore can't be trusted and that there was no way he would see this film. Well, I couldn't let that stand, so now, for the sake of all that is good, I must speak out. I'm cracking my knuckles as you read.

Go read the rest. I can find flaws in all of Moore's work, he is a left of center propagandist. In a media world dominated by right-wing propagandists why can't the liberals have one. Moore sees himself as a centrist. Given the extreme positions taken by the right, that is probably not an unreasonable self perception. Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine, and Ben Franklin were all propagandists whose writings over time have become part of political science. Moore will probably end up a foot note as something of a populist trouble maker; a Ben Franklin without the intellectual credentials. It would be easy to dismiss him if he wasn't right about so much.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

by way of Sid's Fishbowl, Kerry gets the endorsement of Lee Iacocca:
I never actively campaigned for anybody, except in 1980 and 1984 for Ronald Reagan and in 2000 for George W. Bush. I was deeply involved in the Bush campaign, stumping for him in Michigan and Pennsylvania, where I spent most of my life. I hate to tell you this now, I even appeared in a couple of Bush campaign ads.

But this year I'm supporting John Kerry to be the next President of the United States.

All of my best friends are Republicans, and they ask me, "Are you crazy or something? Why are you doing this?" Well, it's simple. I tell them the world is changing. Our country is changing. And we need a leader who understands that change that's taking place. And most important, we need a leader who will level with us about how we can adapt to that change and make things change for the better.

I've met privately with John Kerry, I've talked with him, I read all his position papers, and I would suggest you do likewise. I like him. And I'm endorsing him to be our next President because I like what he says about getting every American a fair shot at a secure, well-paying job so they can provide for their families -- provide for their families and enjoy life a little more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Collective Amnesia or Collective Alzheimer's:
America 'Remembers' Ronald Reagan

.......To remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century, to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan's profile as Republicans wish to do, we are being asked to forget too much.

We are asked to forget Lebanon, where Reagan decided to "cut and run" after hundreds of Marines perished when a suicide bomber invaded their compound.

We are asked to forget the arms for hostages deal.

We are asked to forget El Salvador, where the right wing ARENA, armed with Reagan money, Reagan weapons, and Reagan military training from the School of the America's at Fort Benning, Georgia slaughtered more than 80,000 civilians in the "War on Communism."

We are asked to forget the Iran-Contra Scandal, an event that he evidently "could not recall" in response to more than one hundred questions during the Congressional hearings.

We are asked to forget the groundwork laid for nuclear disarmament by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon.

We are asked to forget the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties I and II.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Republicans Admit War is About Oil via David Sirota

When the pieces don’t fit
Psychology helps explain how Bush and Cheney can see a link that the Sept. 11 commission can’t find
.....So were Bush and Cheney lying or distorting the facts to suggest in the buildup to the Iraq war that such a link existed? Are they lying about it now? Not necessarily.
.....As a behavioral psychologist, I have studied people's reactions to contradiction and inconsistency. We are capable of convincing ourselves of something, and the more evidence that builds up to contradict us the more we believe it.
.....For more than 40 years, social psychologists have studied the phenomenon of "cognitive dissonance" - what happens when people have pieces of information on the same subject that are inconsistent. The presence of contradictions is psychologically unpleasant, and people do whatever it takes to resolve the inconsistency.

When, if ever has BushCo expressed, announced, stated anything that wasn't parsed, distorted, contained some "plausible denyibility", or wasn't filled with "cognitive dissonance". There is precedence for this dissonance, Bush has said:
“I feel like God wants me to run for president. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen. ... I know it won’t be easy for me or my family but God wants me to do it.”

and
“God told me to strike at Al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you can help me I will act … .”

I have no problem with "striking at Al Qaida", but to suggest that any of his actions are infalliable or on order from God seems to distance his worldview from both reality and humility. Humility was a Christian virtue last I heard.



Sunday, June 20, 2004

Did Ronald Reagan Win the Cold War?
Sorry, Reagan loyalists: the answer is no.


The subsequent Soviet collapse was almost entirely an internal affair. Gorbachev's reforms were a response to an era of stagnation that began long before Reagan was president. Gorbachev's glasnost unleashed long-suppressed nationalist currents in the Soviet Union and he dismantled the communist party's oversight functions before any meaningful market-based institutions were in place. These factors led to chaos and implosion. The end of the Soviet empire does not owe itself to Reagan's tough anti-communism. Rather, it owes itself substantially to Mikhail Gorbachev's arrival on the world scene.


One by-product of Reaganism, though, has been the mess in Afghanistan. Reagan directed the CIA to funnel enormous material support to Islamist rebels fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the mid 1980s. Among the aid we gave Afghan Mujahideen were shoulder-held Stinger missiles, which wreaked havoc on Soviet helicopter gunships and are now a primary source of concern for our counter-terrorism efforts.

As much as many would try to make Reagan into a legend, the facts will only support the view that Reagan was a better actor in Washington then he was in Hollywood.

As the new blog The Empirical Left says, Putin has contradicted himself on his supposed warning about Iraq and Bush is desparate by appealing to Russian intelligence for his trumped up war case.
First, the article contradicts itself: "Russian intelligence services warned Washington several times that Saddam Hussein`s regime planned terrorist attacks against the United States, President Vladimir Putin has said."

Then is says: "However, Putin said there was no evidence that Saddam`s regime was involved in any terrorist attacks."

WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN??? Does he not understand the inherent contradictions in his two statements?

leaving us to ask again, where's the proof? where's the truth?

White House Caught in Web of Deceptions
Confronted with the 9/11 Commission's report this week, which stated there was no collaborative relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam, the White House refuses to admit to misleading the public. President Bush said, "This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda." But he is playing semantic games which distort undisputable facts. Top officials in the Bush administration – including the president and the vice president – have repeatedly cited a collaborative relationship - not just contacts - between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda as a justification for invading Iraq. Now, after months of careful study, the bi-partisan commission investigating 9/11 says there is no credible evidence to support that claim.