Thursday, August 19, 2004

Zell Miller keynote speaker at GOP Convention

Zell Miller keynote speaker at GOP Convention

He's no Democrat!

The same Zell Miller who was chief of staff for the unrepentant racist Lester Maddox will be the keynote speaker at the GOP convention.

Yes, Zell Miller was right-hand man to Lester Maddox who, in 1964, smashed in the roof of a black minister's car. Maddox also publically pushed defiance of federal civil rights legislation calling for desegregation of restaurants and other public places--he pushed his racist agenda so strongly that he passed out axe handles to white customers at his eatery to prevent its integration. Later in the year, Zell Miller's boss Maddox closed the Pickrick establishment rather than be forced to serve African Americans.

Yes, my friends. Lester's ex-chief of staff Zell Miller says that today's democrats are too liberal--and maybe he thinks they should be like his old buddy. The same old buddy, Lester, who picked up a pistol and chased black protesters from the Pickrick fried chicken restaurant the day after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.

Was that the kind of Democrat for whom Zell waxes nostalgic and for whom he has the true respect?

This lone little traitor, Zell Miller, will be staring down the rolling thunder of the unified Democratic party when he delivers the keynote speech.

How pathetic for the RNC.

The Democratic convention convinced an ex-president's (a Republican's) son to come and speak about an issue that will benefit mankind--steam cell research.

The Republicans get a man who was connected with an era of ugly violence against the black race and whose poor character would lead him to be a political traitor to his party because his fellow party members (including the North Carolianian who has been chosen to be the VP Dem candidate) did not choose to be part of his washed-up conservative Dixiecrat circle.

Hey, GOP--we saw Bush snub the NAACP this year. Your popularity poll numbers with African Americans have never been lower. You disenfranchised more black voters in 2000 than Lester Maddox bopped in the head with his axe handle in '64.

The smell of voter suppression coming out of Florida is getting stronger.

A great moment in liberalism was Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

GOP, keep going backward--you can have Zell!

Nick Cohen has lost the left

Nick Cohen lost the left

If he took a rational view of modern political science, he might see where it went

Part One- He blames commies and a film.

Nick Cohen begins his diabtribe against the left titled "Where Have All the Children of the Left Gone?" by blaming a movie. Why such emphasis on a piece of entertainment? I think you have to ask yourself that question because it colors much of his complaint.

Cohen imagines the millions of people who viewed 'Fahrenheit 9/11' as those who would see Iraqis as "comrades". I really think that's pushing the the envelope.

Most of the people who viewed the movie had no strong political or ideological motivation whatsoever. I would say the major force driving them to the theater was sheer curiosity.

Just wait for the book.

Curiosity will also lead people to read Michael Moore's upcoming book of letters from Iraq war soldiers.

After 9/11, we're told that we're leaving cold war thinking behind....but are we? When will our ideas catch up with our bombs?

Cohen writes as if Marxism was still a major threat to modern societies. The Cold War ended some time ago and I think we've all seen political progress and mutation borne by the mere passing of time.

The problem with the hard right is that they cling to old ideas, therefore thay cannot imagine how the left may have evolved. Perhaps that is why they are called conservative...and perhaps that is why many of them have to be careful about what they choose to conserve. Antiquated thought is seldom a healthy thing to be clinging onto. History can be used to make a better future rather than used as a tool for division. The world has changed drastically over time and the fact that 9/11 occurred and we were shocked and unprepared was proof-positive that many of us simply didn't "get it".

So, I ask you---when will we get it? We aren't going to win any wars against terror in a divided global state.

Our world troubles shouldn't be posed in the tired frames of right-world vs. left-world any longer.

Right/left? How utterly simplistic.

I believe Mr Cohen is far too simplistic in his analysis. If we examine the world through the eyes of a political scientist, we would see that it's full of myriad systems and movements that are vying with each other for power.

We need imagination (as the 9/11 Commission pointed out to America). We need to see fewer of our differences and more of our common decency.

Our world troubles shouldn't be posed in the tired frames of right-world vs. left-world any longer. If we use our intelligent imagination, we would see how American-style corporate capitalism and statist liberalism can work successfully together to beat terror. (The folly of Iraq exposed a gigantic crack between the two, however, and we need to mend those fences with intelligent leadership).

When are we going to learn?

This incessant mistrust and teeth-baring at the left is going to kill us--and I mean that literally.

We need to be decent and civil world vs. indecent and uncivil world.
It isn't complicated and it doesn't take a genius to understand.
To his credit, I think George W. Bush believes this in its black-and-white terms, but has never had a clue how to make it a political reality.
He's a beautiful fool who should never have been allowed to run powerfully amok. I believe he was ill-advised by those he trusted.
I do not believe he was ever a capable leader.

If Cohen can't see the left anymore, he may need to take that log out of his own eyeball and put down that old crutch of left/right division (which should have died along with the cold war).

The right has shifted backward surely as the left has progressed

If we must talk in terms of left and right (bored sigh), let's state what is real and what is true.

In reality, what was once the "left" (and is still "the left" to Cohen's rather antiquated way of thinking) is now being replaced by what we know as the radical right. Think of the NeoConservative movement and the totalitarian-leaning activities by the Ashcroft Justice department and you may begin to understand what I mean.

The Bush effect

The Bush administration has contributed to this political upheaval and unrest in our world. They've practically ruined Tony Blair by his association with them.
Until the Iraq war, I'd wager most of the world saw Blair as a rational, intelligent, and decent leader.
He got into bed with a fool--albeit a beautiful fool.
The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.

Cohen says honorable traditions have been forgotten by 'the left'. I think Cohen needs to sift through the cobwebs in his mind and think anew. All good people desire honorable and decent goals. There are good people on the old left and on the right and in all ideological spaces in between.

If we don't seek the common angels of our better nature, the civil world will go to hell.

The Press: Commercial consideration triumphs truth

The Press: Commercial consideration triumphs truth

Press contributed to unnecessary war in Iraq through soft censorship. They buried stories. We got war.

Executive editor Len Downie appeared on the August 18th Online News Hour and tried to reassure moderator Terrence Smith that his Washington Post was not a megaphone for the Bush administration.

Smith's question was this: Was there, Len Downie, a reason why those stories that did question those assumptions [about reasons for war; WMD] ended up inside and that the administration views generally ended up on page one?

Mr. Downie replied: Well, administration views ended up on page one because it was the administration deciding whether or not we were going to go to war.

He called it "accountability reporting."
He blamed the Washington Post's administration-heavy war coverage on their editorial "focus".
I believe was it their determined (soft) censorship. They buried the stories. We got war. It really wasn't all that complicated.

I hope it won't happen again.
I don't have much faith these days, however.

Mr. Downie went on to say: What we did not place in the front page enough at the same time were the voices which were in many cases anonymous and not on the record and obviously not people in the same public offices at that time, retired generals rather than active generals who were warning that perhaps this was not a wise war. In retrospect, I wish I had put more of those stories in the front page.

If any lesson is to be learned, it's that our news editors must have a new focus. Now that they know (and we know) this Bush administration cannot be trusted, anonyomous sources may have to grace more front pages.

On the same Online News guest-panel, journalist and author Michael Massing made the comment that, in the period since 9/11, "the public mood has put barriers in the place of the type of skepticism and independence that we look for in the press."

I found this to be an accurate and honest statement.

The public mood should never have a bearing on the reporting of the truth, but I know why it does.

The responsibility of journalists should be asking the hardest questions and the responsibility of editors should be to proudly and boldly place the answers to those tough questions in the typical reader's direct sight, but I understand why that didn't happen in the lead-up to the Iraq war.

The truth is not always easy for a moody public to accept.
The truth doesn't sell papers if it's too controversial.
The truth may not help you gather advertisers in controversial times.

Obviously, commercial factors have a direct bearing on censorship.

Burying important stories was a harmful form of censorship.

This is a place where capitalism is terribly flawed.

The very fact that the press has to be questioned like this is dismaying because I know it took almost a thousand deaths of our American brothers and sisters in Iraq in order for the "public mood" to shift so the press could tell us the truth without fear of financial recrimination.

Danny Schechter asks: Why does the term “weapons of mass deception” still apply to our media coverage of a war that is at war with the truth?