Not Even One Republican?

Ted Rall, in BUT WHO WATCHES THE WATCHDOGS?, points out:

“Death threats against liberal pundits are commonplace among, and essentially unique to, the right-wing blogs. And the GOP thinks that’s OK. Nowhere can one find a responsible mainstream Republican to speak out against this hate speech.”

Can any reader think of even ONE Republican politician who has spoken out against the stuff people like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh are spewing into America’s public discourse?

After McVeigh’s bombing in Oklahoma City (egged on by Limbaugh) the Republican Party responded by conducting investigations into Waco and Ruby Ridge — essentially validating McVeigh’s act — instead of investigating the right-wing militias.

Another Smear Circulating

I saw this mentioned by trolls at a couple of blogs, so I looked it up. Rangel: Don’t Call it ‘Islamic Terrorism’,

Top House Democrat Charlie Rangel said Tuesday that it was an act of discrimination to label groups like Hezbollah “Islamic terrorists.”

But if you read the story it is NOT what Rangel said, of course. Another lie.

But it fits the narrative that Democrats support terrorists, which is why it is being circulated.

Was Bush Giving A Speech?

So I’m glancing at my My.Yahoo page (which is my home page, and which lets me see the headlines of blogs I track), and I look at one of the business wire service headlines. Was Bush just on TV or something? Look at the headlines:

Dollar Falls on Reserve Shift Worries
Oil Surges Over $50 on Winter Chill
Stocks Fall; Crude Jumps $2 a Barrel
Consumer Confidence Eases in February
Winn-Dixie Files for Bankruptcy
Sears’ Lands’ End to Cut Jobs

And I see that the stock market is down 100 points, too…

Update – Down 146 points now.

Closed down 174.

Gonzales, forgotten, but not gone

I don’t know if this is a good sign or not, but the Washington Post reported that new Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has been out of the White House for less than a month and already the president has forgotten him. At Friday’s White House bill signing Bush pointed to a Hispanic man in the front row and said: “I welcome our new attorney general.” But the man in the front row was Hector V. Barreto of the Small Business Administration. Realizing something was amiss, Bush turned around and noticed the former White House counsel standing on the stage behind him. “Oh, right there,” he said. “How quickly they forget in Washington. Al Gonzales. Proud you’re up here, Al.”

Maybe this memory lapse is related to the revelation in the “Bush tapes” last week that even then Bush was thinking of the former Attorney General (what was his name?) as a potential member of a future Bush team, possibly on the Supreme Court (whew, hopefully we have dodged that bullet). Or maybe it is related to the Republicans naked opportunistic ploy for Hispanic votes in pushing torture supporter Gonzales for AG.>

Dangerous

Another example of the dangerous direction the Right is taking us, from Heritage’s TownHall (Heritage is the hub of the modern Republican Party), Dennis Prager: Liberal feeling vs. Judeo-Christian values: Part VI. First, he goes after the enlightenment,

“Instead of being guided by God, the Bible and religion, great numbers — in Western Europe, the great majority — have looked elsewhere for moral and social guidelines. … With the ascendancy of leftist values that has followed the decline of Judeo-Christian religion, personal feelings have supplanted universal standards. In fact, feelings are the major unifying characteristic among contemporary liberal positions.”

Then he advocates war as the preferred solution to problems,

“Aside from reliance on feelings, how else can one explain a person who believes, let alone proudly announces on a bumper sticker, that “War is not the answer”? I know of no comparable conservative bumper sticker that is so demonstrably false and morally ignorant. Almost every great evil has been solved by war…”

Then vegetarians,

“The animals-and-humans-are-equivalent movement is based entirely on feelings. People see chickens killed and lobsters boiled, feel for the animals, and shortly thereafter abandon thought completely, and equate chicken and lobster suffering to that of a person under the same circumstances.”

Then gays,

“The unprecedented support of liberals for radically redefining the basic institution of society, marriage and the family is another a product of feelings — sympathy for homosexuals. Thinking through the effects of such a radical redefinition on society and its children is not a liberal concern.”

Then against self-esteem,

“The “self-esteem movement” — now conceded to have been a great producer of mediocrity and narcissism — was entirely a liberal invention based on feelings for kids.”

Then against laws protecting women from sexual harassment,

“Sexual harassment laws have created a feelings-industrial complex. The entire concept of “hostile work environment” is feelings based. If one woman resents a swimsuit calendar on a co-worker’s desk, laws have now been passed whose sole purpose is to protect her from having uncomfortable feelings.”

Against non-Christians,

“Almost everything is affected by liberal feelings. For example, liberal opposition to calling a Christmas party by its rightful name is based on liberals’ concern that non-Christians will feel bad. And for those liberals, nothing else matters — not the legitimate desire of the vast majority of Americans to celebrate their holiday, let alone the narcissism of those non-Christians “offended” by a Christmas party.”

And more of that kind of stuff. He concludes,

“And that, in a nutshell, is what our culture war is about — Judeo-Christian values versus liberal/leftist feelings.”

Remember, people like this are paid, and paid well to put out this kind of stuff. It is designed to reinforce a “narrative” – an overriding story in which specific things don’t even have to be true, as long as they ride along with the larger script. Liberals hate God, aren’t patriotic, etc.

Also at TownHall today, Cal Thomas says it is time to close the mosques in the U.S.

Dangerous

Another example of the dangerous diretion the Right is taking us, from Heritage’s TownHall (Heritage is the hub of the modern Repubican Party), Dennis Prager: Liberal feeling vs. Judeo-Christian values: Part VI. First, he goes after the enlightenment,

“Instead of being guided by God, the Bible and religion, great numbers — in Western Europe, the great majority — have looked elsewhere for moral and social guidelines.

For many millions in the twentieth century, those guidelines were provided by Marxism, Communism, Fascism or Nazism. For many millions today, those guidelines are … feelings. With the ascendancy of leftist values that has followed the decline of Judeo-Christian religion, personal feelings have supplanted universal standards. In fact, feelings are the major unifying characteristic among contemporary liberal positions.”

Then he advocates war as the preferred solution to problems,

“Aside from reliance on feelings, how else can one explain a person who believes, let alone proudly announces on a bumper sticker, that “War is not the answer”? I know of no comparable conservative bumper sticker that is so demonstrably false and morally ignorant. Almost every great evil has been solved by war…”

Then vegetarians,

“The animals-and-humans-are-equivalent movement is based entirely on feelings. People see chickens killed and lobsters boiled, feel for the animals, and shortly thereafter abandon thought completely, and equate chicken and lobster suffering to that of a person under the same circumstances.”

Then gays,

“The unprecedented support of liberals for radically redefining the basic institution of society, marriage and the family is another a product of feelings — sympathy for homosexuals. Thinking through the effects of such a radical redefinition on society and its children is not a liberal concern.”

Then against self-esteem,

“The “self-esteem movement” — now conceded to have been a great producer of mediocrity and narcissism — was entirely a liberal invention based on feelings for kids.”

Then against laws protecting women from sexual harrassment,

“Sexual harassment laws have created a feelings-industrial complex. The entire concept of “hostile work environment” is feelings based. If one woman resents a swimsuit calendar on a co-worker’s desk, laws have now been passed whose sole purpose is to protect her from having uncomfortable feelings.”

Against non-Christians,

“Almost everything is affected by liberal feelings. For example, liberal opposition to calling a Christmas party by its rightful name is based on liberals’ concern that non-Christians will feel bad. And for those liberals, nothing else matters — not the legitimate desire of the vast majority of Americans to celebrate their holiday, let alone the narcissism of those non-Christians “offended” by a Christmas party.”

And more of that kind of stuff. He concludes,

“And that, in a nutshell, is what our culture war is about — Judeo-Christian values versus liberal/leftist feelings.”

Remember, people like this are paid, and paid well to put out this kind of stuff. It is designed to reiforce a “narrative” – an overriding story in which specific things don’t even have to be true, as long as they ride along with the larger script. Liberals hate God, aren’t patriotic, etc.

Checks and Balances and the "F-Word"

Is there enough going on to make you nervous yet? The Vice President of the United States was the keynote speaker at a conference where other speakers called for “a new McCarthyism” to bring “terror” to intellectuals, saying “let’s oppress them [liberals],” and “the entire Harvard faculty” are “traitors.” A Congressman said, “America’s Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd,” ? Then he said, “We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq.”

Meanwhile, right-wing commentators talk about killing American journalists, their premier blogs talk about former president Carter as being on the side of the enemy and leftists have “seamlessly taken up the cause of Islamic fascism”. I have provided only a few examples.

When you hear threatening talk like this, in the company of the country’s leadership, you know that whatever comes next isn’t going to be pleasant. Things do not appear to be heading in a good direction at all. If you have been following this in the blogs, you know that more and more people are becomming concerned that the Right’s rhetoric is growing ever more violent and totalitarian. Serious people have started referring to the “f-word.” (See also here, here, here, here and many other places.)

Oliver Willis writes,

You cannot deal with that sort of ideology in any sort of accomodationist manner. Liberals need to understand this, from Democratic senators in Washington who still ? still ? refuse to vote their conscience out of some sense of loyalty to a long-dead notion of civility in Washington, to progressive pundits who actually believe that their right-wing counterparts in the nation’s media are actually there for a give-and-take rather than a chance to paint everyone to the left of Joe Lieberman as a terrorist sympathizer.

[. . .] Wake up, folks. We’re in an ideological war with these folks and the sooner you realize that the better. The goal of the modern conservative movement, as embodied by George W. Bush, is not just a simple majority of conservative thought – rather, it is the elimination of everything but conservative thought.

I think we are entering a new phase of American history. These are not normal times, the pendulum is not swinging back, and historical trends of American politics no longer apply. American democracy was built on a system of checks and balances, and mechanisms of oversight and accountability. But the checks and balances and oversight and accountability are being removed. There is no Congressional oversight of this administration, the Justice Department does not investigate its crimes, the Federalist Society judges block all attempts to enforce the laws and the new media is no longer functional. The military acts as an arm of The Party and The Party is firmly in control of the State. The system of controls and protections that was carefully built over the last two centuries was put in place for reasons, by people who learned the lessons of history. I can not think of a time in history when a society left itself so wide open to tyranny from its leadership without it occurring.

m4s0n501

They’re lowballing the casualty reports

Susan Madrak of Suburban Guerrilla has an interesting project in the works. Here’s her description:


Today I’m going to do something a little bit like journalism, except I haven’t done any real follow-up. Still, it’s an important issue, and I’d like any Google maestros reading to help.

Go to your local newspaper site, or TV station site, and do a search for “local man woman killed wounded Iraq”. Weed out the duplicates, total the numbers, and then check them against the casualty lists, because there’s something funny going on here.

I started to notice something several months ago. The local papers would interview the mother of someone killed or wounded in Iraq, and more often than not, there’d be a bitter aside: “Of course, for some reason, he’s not included in the official totals.”

Somehow, that struck a chord. And the thought crystallized: They’re lying about the numbers. Think about it – it’s absurd to think they wouldn’t, considering everything else they’ve done.

A lot of the stuff she found is up at her site right now. Just one example:

Today, Schneider walks with a limp, on his artificial leg. But even though he was injured during a military mission in a shooting war zone, he is not included in the Pentagon’s casualty count. Their official tally shows only deaths and wounded in action. It doesn’t include “non-combat” injured, those whose injuries were not the result of enemy fire.



MORE:

232+ civilian contractors dead

Thousands of green card troops (some say that their deaths are not reported either; not in this report).