“I came to understand that the honor code according to which journalism allegedly regulates itself applied mainly at the lower levels. Big-time political journalism operates according to celebrity rules. Fake a byline in Des Moines and you’re finished. Help start a war by trumpeting cherry-picked and downright fabricated “intelligence,” as The New York Times, Washington Post and the same TV networks that promoted Whitewater subsequently did, and win a guest shot on “Meet the Press.”—Read the rest: People, we’re in deep trouble - Fox News - Salon.com
“That came into question a couple of months after we got to Baghdad. We were moving off the main base and going to live in an old factory in the poor industrial part of town. As we were moving in, the local population came out and held a large peaceful protest and told us very straightforwardly that they didn’t want us in their part of town. We ignored that and pushed them out of our way and established ourselves in the factory. Within a couple of days, we had built a large barrier around the full city block that we were living in and continued to displace people who lived and worked there. So this idea that we were there to liberate the common people and help their will flourish—the way we handled that situation seemed to be the complete opposite of it. … They had tried telling us nonviolently that they didn’t want us in their neighborhood, and when that didn’t work, they tried telling us violently, by using snipers and roadside bombs and that kind of thing. And once they started to get violent, we started to get violent, too. It went back and forth and each attack seemed to be more severe than the last one. Eventually the escalation led to a kind of desperation on the part of a lot of soldiers. There’s really no way to defend yourself against a sniper shot or a roadside bomb, so some of our leaders felt that the only way we could defend ourselves was to intimidate the local population into preventing the violence in the first place. So our battalion commanders gave the order that every time a bomb went off, we were entitled to open fire on whoever was standing around.”—Read the rest: The Wrong Stuff : My Country Right or Wrong: Conscientious Objector Josh Stieber on Being Wrong About the Military
The Salvation Army says it refuses to distribute Harry Potter and Twilight toys collected for needy children because they’re incompatible with the charity’s Christian beliefs.
The policy has alarmed a Calgarian who volunteered to sift through a southeast warehouse full of unused, donated items and was alarmed when he was told by Salvation Army officials that the two kinds of toys are “disposed of” and not given to other charities.
"Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, points out that while MasterCard and Visa have cut WikiLeaks off you can still use those cards to donate to overtly racist organisations such as the Knights Party, which is supported by the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan website directs users to a site called Christian Concepts. It takes Visa and MasterCard donations for users willing to state that they are ‘white and not of racially mixed descent. I am not married to a non-white. I do not date non-whites nor do I have non-white dependents.’"
“The longer the evening went on, the more people kept deferring to and asking questions of Elizabeth Edwards. By the end, it was like a seminar that she was conducting for the rest. She was talking mainly not about her husband’s campaign but about her assessment of the larger shape of the presidential race. Where Bush and Cheney would be most vulnerable in the general election; what Karl Rove had figured out; how the New Hampshire results would position the Democrats for “mini-Tuesday” the next week and “super-Tuesday” a month later; how Democrats could talk about economic justice without sounding like big-government spendthrifts; what to say and do about Iraq.There was nothing “brave” or tragic about it, just someone who was intelligent, clear-eyed, and tough. I would like to remember that accomplished side of her.”—James Fallows
I’m a little late to the game posting this, but that’s what happens when life gets busy.
Watch this video of Anderson Cooper questioning Texas state representative Leo Berman about being a “birther.”
I have two thoughts about this:
All news journalists should watch this and follow Anderson Cooper’s example. The media is supposed to be the watchdog of the people — watching and questioning our government. The importance of this essential function of the media seems to be lost to most mainstream (especially television) media and to the American public. And, quite frankly, that scares me.
Do I just notice the willful ignorance of Texas politicians and feel like we have more than our share of these bozos because I am Texan, or is it really that bad?!
I love, love, love reading the letters to the editor in the daily paper that serves my hometown. Sometimes, there are some really entertaining ones (that is, when they don’t totally annoy me). Perhaps I should make this a regular feature…
Anyway, here’s an excerpt from today:
Glenn Beck’s interview with Rabbi Lapin revealed Hebraic symbolism in the story of the Tower of Babel. The bricks represent interchangeable nameless inanimate fabrications displacing unique living stones of divine creation. The mortar represents a shallow, fleshly pleasure focus of materialism over God’s loving instruction of trust in Him and love of one another. The Tower represents man’s confusion, seeking exaltation of self over God and His divine hand upon our lives.
This Tower is nothing but a fraud, perversion, and abomination on the nature and meaning of humanity orchestrated by the father of lies, Satan or Lucifer, to whom incidentally today’s lie of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is dedicated. Yet God never forsakes man constantly pursuing him in love as in confounding him with a multiplicity of languages. We are not bricks! Obama, Reid, Pelosi, George Soros, self are not gods! It’s all lies! Seek God and individual freedom! Tea Party!
Thank you, Tom Bailey, for providing my morning entertainment! And with exclamation points! There’s no better way to emphatically(!) get your point across!
Watching clips of John McCain move the goal posts again on DADT repeal, and listening to my teen age kids react to what he is saying, has made it clear to me why DADT repeal is held up by the Senate. It is a perfect illustration of the generational shift that has taken place regarding acceptance of gays and lesbians in general. My kids are 16 and 18. While my wife and I are progressive, we sent our kids to a Catholic High School in Dallas, Texas so they get plenty of exposure to conservative thinkers. Nevertheless, they and all of their friends simply cannot understand why anyone would be “freaked out” by letting gays and lesbians serve in the military. It seems as ridiculous to them as forcing “coloreds” to drink from separate water fountains.
My kids aren’t gay, and they don’t really understand being sexually attracted to a member of the same sex. But they think it is private, and the result of the way god made people, so let them be because they aren’t hurting anyone. They all know gay kids because, thankfully, they are no longer afraid to “come out”. Teenagers all understand that no one would “choose” to be gay and face the hysterical ranting of the far right. They laugh at older people who say that soldiers would be afraid of being “targeted” by a “homo” as complete nonsense.
On the other hand, John McCain is 74 years old. People who are his age and served in the military have a very different perspective. When they were in the military, being gay would have been viewed as shameful and perverted. Many people that age still think that. Senators, given the bubbles they live in, don’t realize how much things have changed. When McCain was saying that he wanted to “hear what the soldiers had to say” he was certain they would be against repeal – because he would have been uncomfortable serving with gay soldiers.
You can tell by watching McCain that it is simply inconceivable to that 74 year old military man that gays and lesbians would be accepted by soldiers. It just doesn’t compute. He can’t process that information because it is so different from his world view. When he gets a survey that tells him that such acceptance has occurred, he can’t believe it; it must be wrong. Most of the men in the Senate are much closer to McCain’s age than to the age of the average soldier serving today. What we are seeing is what happens when cultural norms change and “the old folks don’t like it.”