A Few Other Blogs

Agonist, all day, every day.

Talking Points Memo, lots about “Chickenhawk Down” — how the Bush Admin. screwed the military, got them into this mess.

tendentious, everything. For some reason he isn’t happy with our war. Especially look at the pictures and follow the picture link.

Ruminate This and Sideshow, talking about the new We Want the Airwaves “collection of links documenting the decline of free speech in the mass media (and the fight to retain it)”!

The dangers of media concentration under corporate control pose perhaps the greatest threat to our democratic system. The press, supposed to perform as unofficial but vital “fourth arm” of democratic government, is slowly ceding all claim to be informing the public. News departments on the publicly-owned airwaves have decreasing independence from their corporate owners, and even the Public Broadcasting System represents corporate sponsors and those who control Congress rather than the public. Local and independent radio stations using local talent and programming have become more and more rare as the likes of Clear Channel compound their dominance of the national airwaves.

PNAC Watch, looking at how did we get into this war mess, anyway.

Update – worldgonewrong writes to newspaper about reinstating the draft.

The news that our troops are short-handed and require immediate reinforcement compels all patriotic Americans to enlist immediately. Has the Star Tribune looked into just how many Minnesotans have rushed to enlist in the last few days? Not to fight right away in Iraq, but to be trained and available for such time as they are needed.

Now is the time when Minnesotans and all Americans should be pressing their elected representatives to reinstate the draft. If liberating the people of Iraq is a national mission, we should be eager to see our sons and daughters called to do their duty.

Write your Congressman and ask that a draft be reinstated immediately. Then go enlist.

Newspapers can help, too – see to it that those who have been most excited about the war are first to volunteer their children.

Go offer your congratulations.

Read the story that Digby points to from Hullabaloo. If Blogspot isn’t working (as usual) scroll down to “Embedded”. Sad, terrifying.

Biden to Peace Movement , "F%&K You!"

A Green Party friend of mine sent this to me today, just to tweak me. (I tweak my Green friends, they tweak me. But I’m right and they’re wrong, and they ARE responsible for Bush being in office and all the damage he is doing, because they broke the coalition, busted the solidarity.)

ANYway, does anyone reading this weblog know Senator Biden? If so, please show him what the Greens are circulating via e-mail, and ask him to please shut up! We’d like there to be a FEW people still voting Democrat in the next election, please. Here’s the message from my Green friend:

Hmm… you know, the Greens are more than willing to serve as the port in a storm for the anti-war folks. I think we’d be very happy to accommodate the millions of people Senator Biden is saying “fuck you” to.

—– Original Message —–

From: XXX – Greens

To: XXX – circulating around the internet

Sent: repeatedly

Subject: FW: WRONG PORT IN STORM

> This came my way this afternoon.

>

> Subject: WRONG PORT IN STORM

>

> PETER JENNINGS, ABC – A large number of people in the country are

> opposed to this [war] … but look to members of the Democratic Party,

> particularly, to be sort of their port in a storm, their place to

> manifest their dissatisfaction.

>

> SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN – They’ve got the wrong port. . . The decision’s

> been made.

Why THANKS, Joe! F%&k you, too!

Voting Machines Story in Washington Post

m4s0n501

The Washington Post has a voting machines story today, New Voting Systems Assailed – Computer Experts Cite Fraud Potential:

Critics of such systems say that they are vulnerable to tampering, to human error and to computer malfunctions — and that they lack the most obvious protection, a separate, paper receipt that a voter can confirm after voting and that can be recounted if problems are suspected.

This is what we need. Call your local election officials and DEMAND they implement systems with voter-verified paper backups! Otherwise we can never really know who wins our elections. And with the voting machine companies being bought up by right wingers, it’s all just too scary for me.

Update – If these companies sold machines with a voter-verifiable paper backup, (which the voter then puts into a separate ballot box for use double-checking the machine’s reported vote,) these companies WOULD MAKE MORE MONEY! So how come they are working so hard to block this? How come they are sending their representatives out to lobby against this? That is suspicious all by itself – never mind that right wingers have been buying up these companies.

Update 2 – Suppose something goes wrong with a voting machine in a precinct, and all the votes stored in the machine are lost. There is some likelihood that a judge will order the election to be held again. This costs money. If the machine had printed voter-verifiable paper ballots that were placed in a ballot box, this would not be necessary. Since it could save them money, why are local election officials resisiting voter-verified paper ballots?

Are You Going To Be Drafted?

The military is sending 130,000 more troops to Iraq, and will require 200,000 or more to be stationed there for years to control the country after we take it over. The reserves and National Guard are tapped out. North Korea is acting up and the situation there could turn into a major war. The government is planning a war with Iran, probably Syria, then who knows?

Obviously we do not have enough people in the military. It won’t be long now before the draft is reinstated. Think you’ll be able to get out of it? Take a look at this piece from Quaker in a Basement (thanks to Thinking it Through.)

A young man — or woman — turning 20 this year could be in boot camp in less than two weeks. All that’s needed is a single request from George W. Bush.

The draft. Don’t like it? Well, did you vote? Looks like you should have. Did you vote for Bush? Looks like you made a big mistake.

It’s ALL Just Propaganda and Lies!

Washington Post story, CEO Bush Takes Over Management of Message:

People close to Bush said his aides initially emphasized a hands-off approach because they wanted to insulate him from bad news and because they did not want him to appear obsessed with or emotional about the war. These aides quickly realized they had overdone it, potentially making Bush look out of touch. But his advisers have concluded that scripted remarks, rather than off-the-cuff comments, may be required in assuring that the message of the day gets delivered forcefully.

It’s ALL just propaganda and lies. Learn to not listen.

Digby Nails It!

We’re in a real war, not a 3-day video game — and everyone seems surprised. The administration is desperately sending 130,000 more troops to Iraq to try to salvage the situation. They made a mistake believing the Iraqis would immediately surrender — never mind that the CIA and everyone else was trying to tell them this wouldn’t happen. The Chickenhawks overruled the military professionals who were saying more forces would be needed.

In this Hullabaloo piece, Even If They Hate Him, Digby nails it. You’ve got to go read the whole piece, but this here a bit of the flavor:

Merely proclaiming yourself to be “good” and Saddam “evil” is unlikely to persuade anyone but silly red-staters who carry around signs that say “W Is A Hottie.” Nobody else is going to buy it. Certainly not Iraqi people who have every reason to be a teensy bit skeptical of politicians who talk and act tough. They’ve learned the hard way that strong men aren’t particularly thrustworthy.

Now I’m going to give away the money quote, from Tom Tomorrow. Forgive me Digby, and Tom, but it’s just too good not to steal. (Actually, Digby stole it, too, which is how I found it.)

We took a lot of lessons from 9/11, but it occurs to me that there’s one we might have overlooked. When you attack a nation, people tend to rally around their leader — even if they hate him.

Blogquote award to Digby and Tom Tomorrow!

Gotta Gotta Have Tax Cuts

NT Times today, Government to Cut 3,000 Airport Passenger Screeners:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some airports will have fewer passenger screeners this spring now that the government agency that hired them last year begins shrinking its work force.

As many as 3,000 screeners, or about one in 18, could lose their jobs.

Gotta cut spending. Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta have those tax cuts! Gotta cut the workforce (which “takes money out of the economy.”) Gotta, gotta give those tax cuts to the rich!

Mystery Illness (SARS) Update

MSNBC: Airlines to screen travelers for SARS

Illness spreading more quickly than thought, officials say

March 27 — According to U.S. and United Nations health officials, the mysterious respiratory illness plaguing southeast Asia has begun spreading around the world at an alarming rate, NBC News’ Robert Bazell reported Thursday. As more cases were announced, The World Health Organization called on airlines to begin screening passengers for the deadly flu-like disease.

Like we needed more to worry about.

I’ll dig up some good news to post, or write something that really slams right wingers and cheers us all up, soon.

I agree with you in principal, BUT…

I think the current right wing as constituted is the wrong group to tackle this. Today’s “conservative movement” is set up in a completely dictatorial fashion, not allowing dissent of any kind in their ranks, failing to bring any bad news (reality) to the top and enforcing this with severe measures. As a result they are screwing things up pretty badly.

You need look no farther than the force distribution in Iraq, AND HOW THIS HAPPENED – the governing system that the movement has brought us – to see what I am getting at. (recent WaPo article) By demanding complete ideological loyalty and punishing any smallest objection to dictates from the top, they have set up a system that can make – almost necessitates – this kind of huge, historic mistake.

Rather than get into a long analysis, just look at the diplomatic situation so far – the world has turned against us but more importantly the PEOPLE in the MIDDLE EAST have turned utterly against us. Suppose we do bring the chaos we are trying to bring to the region, hoping it will result in democracy sweeping the region. Right now that will mean fundamentalist Islamic governments across the board. It would mean governments of fanatics utterly committed to our destruction – WITH STATE POWER BACKING THEM UP. This is entirely the result of the Bush approach, which comes from the current nature of the “conservative movement.”

And if you dare agree with me, think about what Rush or Norquist will do to you if they find out! Think about the kind of comments YOU make and the hate mail YOU leave for anyone who disagrees with the dictates of the “movement.”

Think about what happened when the military professionals tried to disagree with the “movement conservatives” running the government.

This is a mess or the right’s own making.

Astroturf Letter Alert!

In today’s Palo Alto Daily News (not online) I noticed the following suspicious letter:

Over the last few weeks, tens of thousands of Americans have been coming out to support our President and our troops at a series of “Rallies for America,” held across the country from Washington D.C. to California.

Where has the media been? There’s plenty of coverage of the Socialist-led anti-war demonstrations, complete with their vanguard of radical left-wing Hollywood “actors”. But where is the coverage of these rallies of grassroots support? The silence coming from the major news media has been deafening.

You have a DUTY to report on these grassroots outpourings of support for our country… Thank you.

XXXXX

A quick Google search reveals:

The Times of South Mississippi

The Salt Lake Tribune

Hispanic Vista

And, of course, see the wording here – I guess they’re saving money on copywriters.

Rallies for America” is sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, the Free Congress Foundation and others. (Is this the Clear Channel – corporate organized rallies?)

Yeah, right. “Grassroots.”

Thanks Altercation for Listing Seeing the Forest

I would like to thank Eric Alterman’s Altercation weblog for adding Seeing the Forest to Altercation’s blogroll! Seeing the Forest will try to live up to the very high standard that Altercation continues to set for weblogs.

Seeing the Forest offers a politically neutral, non-partisan, fair and balanced viewpoint on current issues.

By the way – Eric Alterman is author of What Liberal Media? and you should buy it!