Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts!"

"And in case we do need facts, we'll make them up as we go along!" - sayeth the wankers of both the Canadian and American MSM.

It is now well established that the current state of the American MSM is plainly and depressingly appalling. However, the Canadian MSM has sunk as well to that same level of fatuous, superficial, insipid, fact-free and disinforming, bottom level of incompetence.

Thanks to the blogosphere, we've all been informed on how so-called serious American MSM journalists, pundits, reporters and news-heads all too often act as propagandists or dumb stenographers, aiding and abetting right-wing nuttery and far-right christianism - even going so far as to make up facts to help promulgate their own intellectual sloth-driven petty interests or ignorance-based agendas (some latest examples here, here, here, here, here and here).

In short: the U.S. MSM is all about hair cuts, manly masculinity and other assinine subjects, including outright memes/lies, all meant to establish meanings and portraits of political personalities - with a bias clearly against progressives. It is all about propaganda (many examples, such as here, here, here and here), all about enabling the warwagers, warmongers and chickenhawks, all about fawning over Da Decider/Leader, all about never calling out bald-faced contradictions or lies (examples here, here, here, here and here), all about parotting right-wing, inept pundits (more examples here, here, here and here), all about being unable (or unwilling) to be accountable to itself (let alone respecting its own ethics or acknowledging its mistakes), and all about infotainment but certainly not about information.

Not to be outdone, the Canadian MSM is apparently doing everything it can to keep pace with the American MSM in the downward race to utter irrelevance of the 4th estate.

To support this last point concerning the Canadian MSM, here are three recent examples for your reading pleasure:

Let's start with this guy at the Globe and Mail, and his piece titled "Spare the global-warming sanctimony: Hey Canadians, stop calling the kettle black - Americans are taking action and leaving you behind". This piece of rag goes on to defend the Bush administration and, of course, the equally neocon Harper government, by actually quoting false facts to support the non-reality that green house gas emissions of the U.S. have declined significantly since The Leader took office - and consequently, the Mini Leader is doing good at following in his footsteps. As I outlined previously, the Clear Skies Act of 2003 (and the 2005 proposed revised version) of the Bush Administration actually resulted in the gradual increase of carbon dioxide emissions since its passage into law. That is not taking into account the policy of the Bush administration to systematically censor, or even rewrite, the scientific facts on Climate Change.

But the final nail in the coffin for this poor excuse of a news columnist is this: the Bush administration itself, in March of this year, had no choice but to admit that emissions by the U.S. of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade!

How's that for irony? The problem is that fools like this so-called journalist remain oblivious to their utter incompetence. The really scary thing is that he is not alone at making up facts to either support a thesis or in the act of defending neocons in power (whether Canadians or Americans).

Here's another example: my very own (neocon) Minister of the Environment, John Baird, likewise made factless, non reality-based statements to defend the (non)record of BushCo on the environment - without being called on it by anyone in the MSM.

And last, but not least, let's read a single quote (among many others) from this guy, also of the Globe and Mail : "(...) certainly Al Gore's film has been criticized for basing a lot of his warnings on predictions that have only a small percentage chance of coming true in the distant future. I'm not a scientist, but my own sense is that certainly there are some citizens — sometimes children — who now wrongly fear many cities will soon be under water etc." (Emphasis mine).

How's that for blatant truthiness? He and the rest of his vapid ignorance-based incompetent clowns are not scientists, yet they believe the "truth from their own sense (or guts)" that the predictions in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth "have a small percentage chance of coming true in the distant future". Too bad this idiot did not bother to read the very newspaper he works for, let alone actually search the (so-easily available) facts, before pontificating as he did.

In any case, Q.E.D.: the Canadian MSM is as rotten as its American counterpart.

The question is, how can we change things when the MSM won't even report on conferences aimed at analyzing its (pathetic) performance?

But more importantly: how is it that our MSM (Canadian and American) is such a hack for neocons while, not coincidently, both the U.S. and Canada have neocons in power?

Answer: convergence.

There is not a single day that I am not thankful for the blogosphere at having taken up the torch as the truly competent, alert, discriminating, analyzing, fact-based and fact-checking, 4th estate.

Otherwise, we would be done with our democratic societies already.

(Cross-posted as a DKos Diary and at Diatribune)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Whither Goest Thou, America? (Dkos/Diatribune Edition)

The U.S.A. keep on inching ever closer to becoming a souless and heartless despotic state with only the illusion of freedom and democracy.

How dare I make such a damning claim? Let us ascertain the evidence accumulated so far:

The U.S.A. torture or send their "captives" to places where they will be.

The U.S.A. deny habeas corpus and even seek to deny lawful legal representation.

The U.S.A. detain indefinitively. Furthermore, like any typical fascist state, it is much easier to be swept up for detention than to be released, even if you are innocent.

The U.S.A. cheat and steal from their friends.

The U.S.A. react with chicanery against friends who refuse to follow them in their reckless adventurism.

The U.S.A. will even make plans to invade their friends ("just in case").

The U.S.A. censor science to suits their purposes (examples here, here, here, here, here, here and here).

The U.S.A. reneg international treaties that they have signed (one lone example here, among many).

The U.S.A. make arbitrary no-fly lists based on the silliest of reasons - especially finding guilt in those who use their right to free speech. Same thing with watch lists. Not surprisingly, it is much easier to be put on a no-fly list than to be removed from one, even if you are in no way connected (even remotely) to terrorism.

The U.S.A. has become apparently so hermetically-isolated upon themselves and suspicious of everyone that they refuse help from friends and goodwilled people when disaster strikes.

The U.S.A. keep lying to cover/excuse their ignorance-based, catastrophic mistakes or their corrupted ways.

The U.S.A. view and wage wars like games. Any excuse, especially oil, is good for waging war.

The U.S.A's own Constitution has been severely diminished, if not actually rendered quaint twice all over.

The politics of incompetence, lies, and of ignorance and fear, rule the day in the U.S.A.

Voter suppression is in vogue, in the U.S.A.

Reason and social responsibility have all but been thrown away, in the U.S.A. In this respect, intellectual sloth reigns supreme.

And then, there are too many instances like this.

Whatever happened to compassion? To decency? To reason?

This is not about "falling from grace". This is rather a matter of an ignorance-, paranoid- and fear-fuelled slow march toward authoritarianism ... if not actual fascism.

The U.S.A. have definitively lost their way and have become the enemy that they have been loathing ever since September 11, 2001.

What a shame ...

Addendum Rationalizations to excuse uncivil, unlawful or even inhumane acts may be satisfying from a lawyering point of view and grant some measure of righteousness and legality, but the fact remains that such rationalizations constitute nothing more than base mendacity and hypocrisy.

Enemy combatants?

Ask yourself this: how is it that even unlawful combatants (which are, by definition, much worse than the convenient "enemy combatants") are still protected under the Geneva Conventions by having to be "treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial", because they are still covered by GC IV Art 5.?

Could it be that the term enemy combatant constitutes a "quaint" rationalization to excuse barbarity?

Ah yes - authoritarian states with their rationales, their "lists" and their irrational refusal to suffer humanitarian help ... lest they look incompetent, inept or downright callous, in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Remember the old USSR and their Tchernobyl? How about North Korea?

Hence, the U.S.A. has essentially become no better than any other barbarous, uncivilized regime.

Now, you can blame the Bush administration, the center-right democrats, the lobbyists, the fundamentalists, et al., for such a dismal state of affairs - but the hurtful truth remains that, in the end, the blame lies primarily with the voters.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, vox populi indeed.

Nevertheless - there is hope still. Furthermore, the 2006 mid-term elections were but a first, small step towards redemption - never forget this, because so much work remains to be done and such travails can not be achieved under a mere five months.

Hence, do take heart and keep on climbing the mountain to reclaim your honor, your dignity and your moral authority - come back to the light ... your friends (like these guys and gals) are waiting for your return.

'Nuff said.

(this diary is a revised "DKos/Diatribune edition" from an original entry at here)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Iran Brouhaha: About Bloody Time, Eh?

Glenn Greenwald today published a lenghty discussion on the possibility of the Bush administration launching attacks against Iran and how staying in Iraq is the cornerstone strategy for such a plan.

Funny thing is that I wrote almost a week ago on this very subject, including subsequent follow-ups/updates, the lenghty entry of which was published here (my home-base blog), here (as a DKos Diary) and here (at Diatribune).

I got nary a peep of alarm from my entries. In fact, ironically, one comment at my DKos Diary said this:

You seem very upset

Have a nice cup of warm milk (organic, of course) and get some sleep. You know, a graham cracker would be a good idea, too.

Be sure and scream about the destruction of the Republic, torture, habeas corpus, Blackwater, KBR contractors, obstruction of justice, New Orleans, Hatch Act violations, and so much more.

War with Iran? Eh, I think that was possible before they made the mistake of appointing Admiral Fallon as Theater Commander. The new War Czar seems unlikely to recommend more war. Bob Gates is a "cut-out" between Cheney and the Joint Chiefs.

Iran is so very April 2007.
Now, to be fair, there had been Dkos Diaries before (and even after) mine - however, they essentially discussed individual news items whilst I attempted to put it all together as best as I could, including linkage with Iraq being used as a spingboard for the launching of the Iran War.

Following on Mr. Greenwald's entry, now the blogosphere suddenly seems ablaze with the subject - take this recommended DKos Diary as example.

While I am somewhat disapointed that my entry on the subject remained essentially lettre morte, I am nonetheless genuinely glad that finally the progressive blogosphere is taking serious notice of the very real possibility of an Iran War - and sooner at that than we may think.
As I asked before: will we embrace such mendacity again?

(Cross-posted as a DKos Diary and at Diatribune)

Serve Us, Not The U.S.!

(Updated below)

Dixit Environment Minister Baird:

"The United States has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than Canada did under the previous Liberal government."
How "right" he is - why, the Clear Skies Act of 2003 (and the 2005 proposed revised version) of the Bush Administration resulted in the gradual increase of carbon dioxide emissions since its passage into law. That is not taking into account the policy of the Bush administration to systematically censor, or even rewrite, the scientific facts on Climate Change. Nonetheless, the Bush administration in March of this year had no choice but to admit that emissions by the U.S. of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade.

Added to Baird's propaganda/disinformation service for the Bush administration are reports that Prime Minister Harper is poised to join President Bush in scuttling or watering down any statement on climate change from the G8 summit of next month. In fact, the (neo)con games played so far by the Harper government on Climate Change (including their proposed fuzzy Kyoto-Ultra Light plan) have been such that Canada's actual position on the G8 climate declaration remains a mystery to the rest of the world.

To this effect, Minister Baird refused to comment on this controversy, instead inanely mumbling empty words about Canada's leadership on Climate Change and acting as a bridge between the U.S. and the Europeans partners of G8 on the issue.

I suppose he and P.M. Harper (a.k.a. Mini Leader) are too busy following in the footsteps of BushCo, if not actually emulating The Leader, to notice that Canada has lost a significant amount of credibility with regards to Climate Change already.

Consequently, when I witness Baird's disassembling in obvious attempts at defending the indefensible tract record of the Bush administration on Climate Change, coupled with our Mini Leader evidently planning to extend the Afghan mission of Canadian troops (beyond their scheduled 02/2009 pull out) seemingly in order to relieve The Leader from redeploying U.S. troops back to Afghanistan so he can keep them in Iraq, and with the Mini Leader's openness for a greater integration of Canada with the U.S., I find myself actually wondering the following:

Is the Harper government in the service of the Bush administration or of Canada?

With federal elections possibly (hopefully) coming soon, I suggest that we make use of this opportunity-to-come to boot Harper and his neocons out of government so that they may understand once and for all that they were supposed to serve us, not the U.S. ...

Addendum: Here and here are other/different takes on Minister Baird's disassembling.

Update: 05/28/2007 - More takes on Minister Baird's lies and incompetence can be found at My Blahg here and here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

U.S. V.-P. Cheney Publicly Condemns Bush, Neocons And Himself

It is well understood that neocons are adpet at accusing others of doing/thinking what they are actually guilty of doing/thinking.

Yesterday, U.S. V.-P. Dick B. Cheney gave a commencement address at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Maybe he drank the wrong brand of tea that day, or perhaps he slightly over-medicated himself - in any event, he came out and revealed publicly the motus operandi of the President, himself and their neocon administration, condemning all they stand for, their ideological agenda, and everything they have been doing in the process so far. As reported, Cheney delivered his remarks in the context of moral and ethical lessons that the graduating cadets at West Point had learned in the course of their studies. Dixit Richard (Dick) B. Cheney:

"(...) you will ... face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for."
By his own damning words, Cheney condemns the facts that A) President Bush, himself and their administration have stipulated that the President has the constitutional authority to decide for himself whether to conduct surveillance without warrants and therefore does not need the consent of Congress to do so; B) President Bush has brushed aside hundreds of laws already with his signing statements; C) President Bush and, especially himself, did not only promulgate the use of torture but were instrumental in making such an uncivilized practice legal; D) President Bush, himself and all of their administration took positions and actions in rendering legal the death of habeas corpus; and E) President Bush has entrusted himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch, in case of a catastrophic emergency. Hence, Cheney candidly admited to the graduating cadets that Bush, himself and their administration "oppose and despise everything known to be right".

However, Cheney's words were not only damning in their blatant condemnation of himself, Bush and their administration, but his declaration was also quite sweeping. Indeed, he bluntly admitted with these same words his (and Bush's and their ilk's) despise and opposition to "every notion of upright conduct and character". Obviously, he was referencing the Katrina disaster and the numerous scandals of wrongdoing on his administration's part (such as the U.S. attorneys scandal), among many other things such as their lies, dishonesty, incompetence, as well as their arrogance, expediency, mendacity and boorish behavior (one small example here) - and so on and so forth.

In fact, so intent was Cheney on his self-condemnation that he went as far as to flatly admit to the graduating cadets that he (and Bush and the administration) despise and oppose "every belief considered worth fighting for and living for". Indeed, Cheney is a chief proponent of the Unitary Executive doctrine. Furthermore, everything he, Bush and their administration have promulgated and achieved (like Patriot Act and the Military Commission’s Act, as two examples) have been meant to diminish the U.S. Constitution in favor of a Commander Imperitor Presidency (or, if you prefer: Imperial Presidency).

And to make certain that the cadets understood him fully, he added onto these self-damning words with the following condemning tirade, still speaking of himself, Bush and their administration as "they" in a clear attempt to distance himself from ... his own guilty reasonnings/actions, as well of those of the President and all of their neoconservative ilk:

"Their cruelty is not rebuked by human suffering, only fed by it. They have given themselves to an ideology that rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience, and demands that women be pushed to the margins of society. (...) By force and intimidation, they seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman, and child lives in total obedience to their ideology. Their ultimate goal is to establish a totalitarian empire (...)."
Yes, yes - in truth, Cheney was speaking of terrorists. But like I said at the top of this entry: neocons excel at accusing others of doing what they are actually doing.

Clearly, such Freudian flat-out admissions of impeachable offenses on Cheney's part constitute a desperate cry for relief from a conscience too long suppressed.

I suggest that we show some sympathy for the Devil and actually help him out.

After all, this would be the humane thing to do - no?

(Cross-posted as a Dkos Diary, at Suzie-Q, and at Diatribune)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Enter The Mini Leader

After The Leader, enter: The Mini Leader.

Maybe it's just me, but seeing priviledged politicians, who have never served one nanosecond as a soldier in an actual live war theater, and trying to play Mighty General, or Supreme Commander, for all to see, admire and fawn over - well, this simply grinds my stones.

I can't help it: I find such poseurs (and typically chickenhawks) who use patriotism and military servicemen/women like P.R. props, while in so doing putting the lives of said servicemen and women in grave danger, absolutely disgusting and nauseating.

If you think that I am refering to President G.W. Bush, Vice-President Dick B. Cheney and all their neocon ilk - you would be right ... and wrong.

I am specifically speaking here of my very own (Canadian neoconservative) Prime Minister, Stephen J. Harper.

Yes, Harper went to Afghanistan this week in a surprise visit (again) for a photo-op in military gear, to give a pep talk to our troops and to parrot the usual neocon Bush-like talking points - like "stay the course".

For a while now, I have repeatedly illustrated how Harper keeps on following in the footsteps of Bush - such as with regards to the Afghanistan War or Climate Change, as two examples among many.

Not convinced of this, yet? Then let's compare again some of Harper's words with some of Bush's:

S.J. Harper (05/17/2006): "We honor those who take risks and make the ultimate sacrifice by making a commitment to staying the course".
G.W. Bush (04/05/2004): "(...) So we've got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course".

S.J. Harper (05/24/2007): "We can't set arbitrary deadlines (to get out of Afghanistan) and hope for the best".
G.W. Bush (11/30/2005): "(...) setting a deadline to pull out (of Iraq) is not a plan for victory".

S.J. Harper (05/23/2007): "I don't have to tell you ... the risk that terrorism will come home if we don't confront it here (in Afghanistan)".
G.W. Bush (07/04/2005): "We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home".

S.J. Harper (03/13/2006): "You (the soldiers) have put yourselves on the line to defend our national interests; protect Canada and the world from terror (...) it is in our national interest to see Afghanistan become a free, democratic and peaceful country".
G.W. Bush (11/30/2005): "We will not turn (Iraq) over to the terrorists and put the American people at risk. Iraq will be a free nation (...) and this will add to the security of the American people".

S.J. Harper (03/13/2006): "(...) cutting and running (from Afghanistan) is not your way. It's not my way".
G.W. Bush (04/21/2004): "We're not going to cut and run (from Iraq) if I'm in the Oval Office".

And to think that one MSM journalist had the gall to report that Prime Minister Harper's "words no longer echoed the gunslinger idiom favored by U.S. President George W. Bush" in this week's speech to the troops. Are you kidding me?!?

Then again, this should not come as a surprise since the MSM was (predictably) largely fawning over the Prime Minister's staltwartness and historic bravery for being so near the front lines of the war (examples here, here, here and here).

Impolitical calls Stephen J. Harper "the Mini Bush". I could not agree more (as an aside, I recommend the reading of Impolitical's entries on Harper's latest visit to Afghanistan here, here, here and here - but I digress).

Still not entirely convinced? Then how about this: Prime Minister Harper is poised to join President Bush in scuttling or watering down any statement on climate change from the G8 summit of next month.

Better yet: while The Leader is quietly implementing a second surge of U.S. troops in Iraq, The Mini Leader is coyly planning to extend the Afghan mission of Canadian troops beyond their scheduled 02/2009 pull out. Why? Because "the work is not complete yet" (sayeth both The Leader and The Mini Leader).

Meanwhile, more soldiers die in Iraq and Afghanistan day after day after day after day, while those who keep sending more of them to their deaths parade and pose in military gear in order to dazzle the intellectual sloth-driven electorate with their boastful (but empty) patriotism and their politics of incompetence and lies, of ignorance and fear.

The final question is: when The Leader finally starts the Iran War, will The Mini Leader follow?

I keep hoping for (Canadian) federal elections ... soon.

(Cross-posted as a DKos Diary and at Diatribune)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Quick One: Dinos and Men, Living Together ...

(Updated below)

A new museum in Kentucky aimed at refuting the process of evolution is now open. Exhibits show dinosaurs living side by side with humans.

Sayeth the museum's spokesman: "The mission is to tell people that the Bible's history is true, and if its history is true its message of the gospel is true. ... It's a book of history and you can trust its science." (Emphasis mine)

Nice. Very nice.

Except that this fool, and all those likewise others who funded and designed this ignorance-based, laughable excuse of a museum, should know a little secret: the Bible is not science.

Science is science. Look it up, please!

One more proof that intellectual sloth, and the ignorance and fear it fosters, is truly insinuating itself into every aspect of our societies.

Update: 05/20/2007 - A similar intellectual sloth-driven, ignorance-based museum will be opening in Big Valley, Alberta. The museum's sponsors claim that it will be filled with "scientific evidence" that the flood in the Book of Genesis and other biblical events actually happened, and that people walked the Earth at the same time as dinosaurs.

It's official: Canada is being invaded by rampant religious fundamentalism. Maybe we need to say it louder, with more frequency and increasing insistence to those poor ignorance-driven, fearful souls out there: creationism is not science - it is quackery.

We should remind them that the current year is 2007 C.E. - not 1307 C.E.

(Cross-posted at Diatribune)

Incompetence And Lies Rule Like Ignorance And Fear

(Updated below) (Update II)

Here is the official position of Alberto Gonzales on the damning revelations (at the hearings on the current US Attorneys scandal) that he may have tried to shape Monica Goodling's testimony: he was only offering a shoulder to cry on.

Compare this with Andrew Card's pathetic "clarification" to James Comey on the attempt by Card and Alberto Gonzales to take advantage of a sick and drugged John Ashcroft and "force" him to sign on an illegal warrantless domestic spying program: he and Gonzales had visited Ashcroft just to wish him well.

Incompetents are ruled by expediency - driven by intellectual sloth, they seek the easiest routes to achieve whatever objectives they have set out to accomplish. To them, the end justifies the means - which include (of course) lying, cheating, or simply ignoring the rules (or the law).

When such people constitute key government policy-makers, secretaries/ministers and executive Presidents/Pime Ministers, then a democratic society is doomed to slide slowly but surely into authoritarianism. Why?

Because only incompetents abuse power.

Even worse: when caught with their lies and wrongdoings, incompetents will simply deny their lies and further disassemble - in an obvious attempt at mudding the issue, at sowing confusion and thus forstering uncertainty. Aided and abetted by an equally intellectual sloth-driven incompetent media (one recent example here), the politics of ignorance, fear, violence (war) and expediency rule the day.

To the damnation of democracies and in favor of the whims of the Mob.

Not convinced? Let us take another quick gander:

Did President G.W. Bush and/or Vice-President Dick Cheney publicly claimed the existence of links between Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda and 9/11? No, sayeth White House press secretary Tony Snow, despite this. No, sayeth the President, despite this, this, this or this (among so many other examples).

Incompetence and mendacity go hand in hand - that is because the incompetent is an instant gratification-seeking, listless, and anxious, slave of expediency.

Still not sure? Then look at what is happening with the politics of ignorance and fear with regards to Iran - all perpetrated by the same incompetent would-be Caesar and his loyal lieutenants.


Or, if you prefer: I rest my case.

Update: 05/24/2007 - As the Commander Guy harps on with his fearmongering (speaking of Osama bin Laden - since when has he become of importance again?!?) and his nonsensical answers to excuse/hide/justify his incompetence, we catch a glimpse into the intellectual sloth-driven incompetent thinking of those Democratic Senators and/or Representatives who backed down from imposing upon the Leader a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Bis: incompetence, lies, ignorance and fear. Political expediency rules supreme - definitely.

Woe to the republic.

Update II: It is simply amazing to what levels intellectual sloth-driven incompetents are willing to lower themselves in order to sell their mendacious follies and fallacies as "the right thing to do".

Meanwhile, President Bush lies again concerning Osama bin Laden. Not sure about this one? Refresh your memory here.

Lie and cry: the new motus operandi of the incompetents.

Spread the word ...

(Cross-posted at Diatribune and as a DKos Diary)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Incompetents Strike Back in Force

(Updated below) (Update II) (Update III) (Update IV) (Update V)

This is what I have previously written concerning incompetence and violence:

"Ignorance breeds fear. Fear fosters hate. In turn, hate leads inevitably to violence.

The History of Humanity constitutes a sad and tragic testament to this senseless and vicious progression. Incidentally, there is a further underlying, self-evident axiom to this assertion which posits that violence is the last refuge of incompetence - incompetence as nations, as communities, and as thinking, reasoning human beings.

Therefore, when will we acknowledge the fact, once and for all, that it is the incompetents among us who consistently promulgate violence as a solution for anything, to everything?

For the sake of our continued existence, we must strive to forget nevermore that rationalizations supporting the use of violence - other than the need for the rightful exercise of self-defense when set upon by a genuinely clear, present and immediate danger - invariably constitute deceitful fabrications meant to conceal, disguise or justify incompetence ...

... including our very own for embracing such mendacity

The reason I am quoting myself here is very simple: several developments have occured in the last five days or so which further prove the point that "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent". Let us look at just one of them, shall we?

Item: The rattling of sabers in support for a military confrontation with Iran have been sounding louder of late, with increasing frequency at that. It appears that everything is being done to justify a military intervention against Iran or to provoke Iran into firing the first salvo - including covert operations. The corridors of Power in Washington have been whispering in earnest that an uptick in tensions between the US and Iran could emerge this fall, especially if the Iraq 'surge' is deemed to be ineffective.

Consequently, behold the propaganda machine already working its magic in full steam mode in order to sell an Iran War:

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say. "Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces," a senior US official in Baghdad warned.

Not surprisingly, other incompetents are (or have been) anticipating, promoting, advocating, justifying and cheering - if not actually singing about - the prospect of war with Iran.

Why? Because in their intellectual sloth-driven minds, war-solves-all-problems.

Obviously, the Iraq theatre would serve as a springboard for an attack on Iran - it is therefore not surprising that the US Pentagon has been making plans to keep bases and troops in Iraq for decades to come.

Forget the fact that fundamentalist-shiite Iran has always had "problems" with sunnis. Forget also the fact that going into Iraq to begin with was idiocy at best and that the surge is (predictably) not working - more war is needed to serve oil-obsessed interests. As much as it was sheer incompetence to go into Afghanistan (instead of Pakistan) and stay there, the never-ending Iraq War proves that incompetence knows no bound. Hence, a war with Iran will tragically confirm the rule.

Let us not forget that the politics of ignorance and fear still rule the day ... and that these not only prevailed in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq, but that they are running the same script in order to prevail in the case of Iran as well.

Unless, that is, we awake in time to shake off our collective intellectual sloth and prevent such a catastrophy from being perpetrated in our names.

Hence, the critical question is: will we embrace such mendacity again?

Update: 05/22/2007 - News are out that the Bush Administration is "quietly implementing a second Iraq troop surge that would nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year (increasing the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq from 162,000 now to more than 200,000)". Iraq as a springboard indeed. Proof again that incompetence is nothing but consistent with itself.

Update II: 05/22/2007 (bis) - This just in - no more deadlines for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. While I am not one for conspiracy theories, I do find this development rather ... convenient, with regards to the subject discussed in this entry - no?

Update III: 05/22/2007 (rebis) - Interesting - according to ABC News (via Think Progress), President Bush has directed the CIA to carry out covert operations both inside and outside Iran and aimed directly at weakening the Iranian regime. I hate to say "I told you so", but ...

Update IV: 05/23/2007 - Two US aicraft carriers have reached the Persian Gulf. 'Nuff said.

Update V: 05/24/2007 - Darth Vader is clearing a path to bomb Iran. Here we go again indeed ... Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?

(Cross-posted at Diatribune and as a DKos Diary)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Politics Of Fear And Ignorance: Alive And Well

(Updated below)

Raw Story reports that the Commander Guy met privately with approximately a dozen Christian right leaders last week, in order to rally support for his policies on Iraq, Iran and the Global War on Terror (TM).

Here is what Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson conveyed to the flock and for all to hear (emphasis mine):

I heard about this danger [from Iran] not only at the White House but from other pro-family leaders that I met during that week in Washington. (...) Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or biological or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten. (...) If we can lose ten we can lose a hundred, especially if North Korea and Russia and China pile on.

Of course, Dobson then equated current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad with Adolf Hitler ...

(Where do I even begin with all of this?)

Well, I will simply say that A) this is the same insipid, dubious and mendacious rationalizations/justifications/excuses for war that we've come to know so well in the case of Iraq (mushroom cloud as a smoking gun, anyone?); B) again we have to trust "people in a position to know" (sure ... fool us once, shame on you - fool us twice ...); and C) this is the most outrageously conflated (and pathetic) attempt yet in promoting a confrontation with another nation by overplaying fear and ignorance.

The Bushies did it for Iraq and they are still doing it for Iran (while at the same time continuing their attempts at restoring a cold war mentality with regards to Russia, China and North Korea).

How desperate can the Commander Guy be when he seeks to stir up support for a war with Iran (and China and Russia and North Korea and Cuba and Mars and Alpha Centauri and etc., etc., etc.) among people who are not only wishing to live in a dominionist theocracy, but also waiting for such a conflagration - because it will mean (to them) that the Rapture is at hand? (Then again - G.W. Bush is essentially one of them, so ...)

I wrote before that it is the incompetents among us who consistently promulgate violence as a solution for anything, to everything. Methinks this holds quite true still, especially with regards to Iran (see in a previous entry of mine here).

And of course, the best weapon to promulgate warmongering is ignorance-based fear - something religious fundamentalists like Dobson et al. simply can't live without.

It is what defines them.

It is what drives them.

It is what gives them purpose*.

Consequently, we can thank Pres. Bush, V.-P. Cheney and all neocon chickenhawks for demonstrating that the mendacious politics of ignorance and fear are quite alive and kicking - even still in 2007.

(And we can thank them as well for being such undeniable paradigms of incompetence).

Unfortunately, it is this very kind of politics which inevitably leads the way towards the ascent of authoritarian/facist regimes.

Food for thought, eh?

(* I know, I know ... I was channeling Agent Smith and his speech in the movie Matrix: Reloaded there. I just could not help myself in this specific instance.)

Update: 05/16/2007 - C&L reminds us that Da Decider/Commander Guy met with another loony Christianist fundamentalist leader in March 2003, Pat Robertson, a mere few weeks before launching the invasion of Iraq. Bis repetita with regards to Iran? It might just be indeed ...

In related news: Jerry Falwell, yet another pro-eminent Christianist fundamentalist loony leader, passed away. To remember him by, here he is in his own words.

Then, for fun, compare Falwell's wisdom with that of Robertson's and Dobson's.

Enjoy (sarcasm intended) ...

Update Notice - 05/15/2007

Indeed - time for another Update Notice at Another Point of View:

It's Official: We *Are* Indeed Here.: one update;

Mr. Duceppe: Laughable/Monsieur Duceppe: Risible: one update.

As always - enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's Official: We *Are* Indeed Here.

(Updated below) (Update II)

In three previous entries of mine (here, here and here), I discussed on the current state of our Canadian MSM and how quickly it was becoming as superficial, fatuous, vapid, asinine and fact-free as the American one has become.

Well, I now feel comfortable enough now to say that, indeed, our MSM has fully become as fatuous, vapid and incompetent as its American counterpart. Take two examples taken from today only:

Bloviating Defies Logic
Peter Worthington, a news columnist, wrote a column in the Toronto Sun, titled: "New isolationism defies logic". Let us read his first four opening lines:

"Opinion polls show that an increasing number of Canadians think we should pull our military out of Afghanistan if casualties rise. That new isolationism appeals to many media commentators and politicians, eager to defeat the government, regardless of merit or logic."
What actually defies merit and logic here is that Worthington conflates the desire of the majority of Canadians to see their troops out of Afghanistan (and back home) with some sort of intangible phenomenon he christened "new isolationism", and which he invented out of the addled reasoning centers of his brain, in order to posit that such a new phenomenon is being used by those who are eager to defeat the neocon Harper government.

I will put this as succintly as possible: Worthington's conflation has as much merit, and is as logical, as accusing me of "new pyrophobia" - meant of course to defeat the Harper government - for desiring to pull my hand out of a burning fire.

Worthington then follows up directly with the following mind-boggling assertion:

"Whether we, as a country, should have gone to Afghanistan in the first place, almost as a sop to the Americans for refusing to join the English-speaking alliance of the U.S., Britain and Australia in Iraq, is a valid but pointless argument."
First, we did support/go in Afghanistan in the first place, which occured wa-ay before Iraq, Monsieur Worthington (Afghanistan invasion: 2001; Iraq: 2003). Then ....

"English-speaking alliance"? What about the Italians, Polish, Romanians and those other non-english speaking partners who constituted the so-called Coalition of the Willing for the invasion of Iraq? I wonder if Worthington can spell "fact" correctly ... And then -

"Valid but pointless"? Sounds the same as saying that my supper tonight was "good but bad".

Perhaps Peter Worthington likes to live in a fantasy-universe vacuum, where one does not bother to verify facts nor debate bad decisions and mistakes of the past, because, well, gosh darn it, what's done is done, it's a fait accompli and there is no use for crying over spilled milk! Such an attitude is plainly parochial and wrong on so many levels, if only because all of us who actually use the brains that we were born with know that we must know and understand the fact-based past, in order to not repeat its mistakes and see clearly where we are going in this reality we live in. But apparently, the glorious news columnist that Worthington thinks he is would have none of such pointless argumentations.

Besides, such arguments are only meant to defeat the Harper government - says Peter Worthington. It is glaringly interesting how he does not expound on such an insipid rationalization with something like ... you know ... facts? Furthermore - who's fault is it if a government keeps screwing things up in order to follow in the footsteps of the neocon Bushies and the Commander Guy himself? The only thing that is defeating the Harper government is ... itself.

And not surprisingly, Worthington then goes on in his column to argue for the all-time favorite neocon line of all: "stay the course".

In other words: we are in this Afghanistan mess and the best way to get out of said mess is to ... stay in it. Bravo, Monsieur Worthington! Heck of a job as a news columnist: your column of today was completely fact-free, full of outright falsehoods, devoid of any in-depth analysis whatsoever, filled with impressions and pontifications, full of logical fallacies and gratuitous attacks, and, most "important" of all, in full Harper defense-mode.

Just like he did so dutifully in attacking Al Gore who dared to criticize the Harper/Baird Kyoto-ultra-light plan some two weeks ago.

At least, Worthington is quite consistent in his incompetence.

Attack and Smear Them Traitor-Leakers!
Then, there is news columnist Ezra Levant who wrote today in the Calgary Sun a column titled "Anarchist leaker covets disorder", concerning Jeff Monaghan, the communications worker in the federal environment department who leaked a confidential draft of the Harper government's policy on Kyoto.

Right off the bat, Levant categorizes Monaghan's leak as illegal, without any basis whatsoever and even mentioning one paragraph after that the leaker was arrested but not charged with anything! Maybe Ezra Levant needs to take a good, long look in the dictionary concerning the definition of "illegal", eh? I mean, if you are not charged with anything, maybe - just maybe - you did nothing illegal and did not deserve to be arrested in the first place, right? Seems to me this is as simple as 1-1=0, if one puts aside his intellectual sloth and actually takes the time to think about it (But then, what is the use of writing a smear article if you can't insinuate, conflate and bloviate without basis, right? Right. But I digress ...)

In any case, the serious, thoughtful Levant goes onto an adolescent tirade to demean as much as possible the leaker and, in the process, to fully discredit him - because, once again, the government must be defended and protected by the MSM, right? Forget about the simple truth that leaking the Harper/Baird Kyoto-ultra-light plan did one thing and one thing only: embarass the Canadian neocons in power by exposing their duplicity and incompetence with regards to Climate Change.

But no, no, no, "says" Ezra Levant - the leaker is a ba-a-ad guy and ... and ... and don't mind the Harper Kyoto plan because it is good-good-good and the leaker is bad-bad-bad and dangerous: that is how Levant's insipid column of character assassination can be summarized. Heck of a job, Ezrie!

Of course, serious news columnist Ezra Levant was not alone in doing his duty to smear the leaker in order to defend Harper and his neocons. Take for instance today's comment from Lorrie Goldstein, who used a different approach: he first grandly writes that "Every whistleblower is different. Some are noble. Some brave. Some frightened. Then there are the pompous jerks." Care to guess in which category he places Monaghan? (And yes - this is the same Goldstein who also dutifully attacked Al Gore for daring to criticize the Harper/Baird Kyoto-ultra-light plan some two weeks ago).

In conclusion, these examples illustrate all too clearly that our Canadian MSM is now:

All about propaganda;

All about enabling the warwagers, warmongers and chickenhawks;

All about fawning over Da Commander Guy-emulator;

All about never calling out bald-faced contradictions or lies;

All about parotting fact-free right-wing, neocon mindless spin;

All about infotainment and certainly not about information.

All about being unable (or unwilling) to be accountable to itself, let alone respecting its own journalistic ethics/standards or acknowledging its mistakes.

In short: the Canadian MSM is currently failing as the 4th estate.

The feuilles de chou that I have used as examples herein are proof enough of that. As I have written before: we must remain ever vigilant - lest we end up as far into the propaganda and disinformation zone as our neighbor south of the 49th ...

Update: 05/15/2007 - Nothing to see here, move along now. Three days ago, Scott Taylor of the Toronto Sun (is it just me or is there a pattern here, with regards to Sun Media/Québecor?) penned this article titled "No signs of torture", with regards to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers and handed over to the Afghan National Directorate of Security and/or Afghan police officers, then being tortured and mistreated by their own in Afghan detention centers. In his article, Taylor was given a tour (approved in advance by the Afghan government and supervised by Afghan officials - wink, wink) of the Kandahar Detention Center and he consequently describes his "findings". Of course, concludes Taylor, there were no evidence of torture or mistreatment of detainees and thus the "liberal media" has been conflating everything in order to assault/embarass wrongly and maliciously the poor Harper neocon government Taylor played the perfect, attentive stenographer and moutpiece (for both the Harper government and the Afghan government) without bothering to do any actual investigative journalism ... like, for instance, visiting a detention center completely unannounced, maybe?

Once again: Q.E.D.

Update: 05/17/2007 - Lorrie Goldstein goes again with all guns blaring against Al Gore. His primary source? Discredited, abyssmal ratings-generator, right wing nutt Glenn Beck, ladies and gents - I kid you not! Yet once again a superb example of incompetent journalism in our MSM.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mr. Duceppe: Laughable/Monsieur Duceppe: Risible

(Updated below)

The saga of the PQ leadership continues.

After stirring up the hornests' nest of the séparatiste passions of Québécois by jumping onto the Shane Doan non-affair two years after the fact, Mr. Gilles Duceppe was obviously angling to drop his BQ leadership in order to jump onto that of the PQ - but former PQ leader André Boisclair saw through that and expressed his displeasure ... as Duceppe hypocritically denied having ambitions to seek the PQ leadership. Consequently, Boisclair earned for himself the dubious honor of being forced to resign his leadership, as Duceppe backers began to "sell" their man as next next savior of the PQ.

Predictably, Duceppe bowed out of federal politics and announced officially his candidacy to become the next PQ leader - no doubt the would-be King expected a quick and easy coronation. However, the would-be Queen of the PQ, Pauline Marois, let it be known that she was seriously considering to come out of her one year-old retirement from provincial politics to run for a third time, in order to grab at last the PQ crown for herself.

Ascertaining the greater popularity of Marois not only within the party but among the Québécois at large as well, Duceppe backed down and dropped out of the race for the PQ leadership yesterday, citing his lack of desire to cause dissentions and chicanery within the PQ - among other so-called noble reasons. Of course, Marois officially announced today that she will be seeking the PQ leadership - no doubt expecting in turn a quick and easy coronation, with the dissasembling and mendacious Duceppe bowing out.

Within the span of a week of so, Gilles Duceppe has shown himself to be not only ridiculous, but now laughable as well. He should retire from politics altogether and simply fade away.

Vous êtes risible et ridicule, Monsieur Duceppe - faites donc une faveur à la politique Canadienne et Québécoise, et prennez votre retraite de la vie politique. Merci bien à l'avance.

In the meantime, the fatuousness, pettiness and fickleness of the PQ leadership continue to be a gift that keeps on giving, ever showering with ridicule the separatist movement of Québec.

Update: 05/15/2007 - Of course, Mr. Duceppe blamed a lot of factors for his ephemereal candidacy for PQ leadership - first, it was because one of the potential contenders susceptible to run also and thus drain support from Mme Marois decided not to run; then it was because of his political opponents and the MSM journalists; and then, he finally acknowledged that he had made a mistake, that he miscalculated and that he let his emotions call the shots. All the while, his fellow BQ (and pro-eminent PQ members as well, including Marois herself) praised his "courage" as they welcomed him back as the BQ leader. It is a good thing that no one can die from ridicule - or else, many people would have croacked these last two-three days, with Monsieur Duceppe first among them.

Meanwhile, the Queen-to-be of the PQ, Pauline Marois, outlined her conditions (for her coronation) which include shelving the notion of a deadline for a future referendum and returning the party to its social democratic and sovereignty roots. Although the séparatistes hardliners within the PQ have decided to keep a low profile for now, you can bet that they will be howling with outrage the moment Marois's coronation ceremony is over and done with. As they say: stay tuned ...