Friday, January 28, 2005


So now a third columnist has been outed as receiving payment from the government to be a mouthpiece for administration policies.

For all the right-wing vitriol directed at Noam Chomsky, a man you'll never see on "Hardball" or "O'Reilly," it looks like his critique of the public relations industry is dead-on.
Of course, he has always been right about PR, it's just that his critique has never been validated in quite this way.

Justin Raimondo has a great column about this subject today at He ends it by suggesting that:

The next time you read something in National Review, or any of the other party-lining pro-war pro-Republican outlets of opinion in which Armstrong and Gallagher appeared, including The Weekly Standard and editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, ask yourself if it doesn't sound like a Pentagon press release – and try to calculate, in dollars and cents, how much it contributes to the war effort. Because there is a strong possibility that your tax dollars are paying for it.

Which reminds me of Chomsky's admonition that anytime you hear something stated as an objective fact, ask yourself if it's true--that is, does the statement comport with what you personally know and/or feel about the statement. Either way, Chomsky says that you should then ask yourself how you or the person making the statement knows if it's true or not. In other words, question everything. Question everyone's motives, whether they're "on your team" (i.e., liberal or conservative) or not. Truth and facts are superior to ideology. Ideology has no value, truth and facts constitute the ultimate value.

By the way, the Chomsky film "Manufacturing Consent" has just recently been released on DVD and it is well worth checking in to. Sign up for Netflix or visit your library for a copy if you have to.

Songs Of '05

Collin Herring-The Other Side Of Kindness

A Texas honk 'n' roll superstar in the making. Highlights of this exquisitely-produced disc: "Back Of Your Mind," "Aphorism," and "Nobody Much Longer." His father Ben Roi plays in the band with him! Sounds like early Wilco, 16 Horsepower, and even Tom Waits in places. Good stuff!

(intended for 1-27-05, posted 1-28-05)

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Congressional District number 18 of Florida was on Washington Journal this morning and she mouthed the Bush Crime Family's talking points up and down the line. What particularly got my goat, though, was her justification of the war as an atonement for/antidote to the inactivity of the Clinton administration, who she said "ignored" terrorism. She cited WTC 93, OKC, and the Cole bombing as evidence of the Clinton administration "ignoring" terrorism.

This of course dovetails perfectly with Bush's inaugural address, in which he claimed the Clinton years were supposedly "years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical" before the fateful "day of fire."

The idea that Clinton sat idly by and did nothing about terrorism is ably refuted by the collection of links found here.

Who really ignored terrorist threats?

Do the words "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S." ring a bell? August 6th PDB? Hello? If by "ignoring" terrorism, you mean "not fighting an immoral and illegal based on false pretenses," then I guess you could accurately say Clinton ignored it.

Mass graves and other happy things

Ros-Lehtinen went on to cite the mass graves found in Iraq as further proof that we're doing the right thing. And of course she knew that she was saying that on this, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as though Hitler and Saddam were one and the same. Of course, this is hardly a convincing argument. Hitler had already taken Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, etc. and had a signed alliance with Japan when they attacked the U.S. Hussein invaded Kuwait and gassed Kurds at Halabja. Saddam's atrocities are bad, but they hardly live up to those of Hitler.

And the argument that the war in Iraq stopped Saddam before he could become another Hitler is laughable. Halabja took place in 1988, 15 years before the current Iraq war began. The Kuwait invasion took place more than a decade before the current Iraq war. Saddam was under sanctions from 1991 until the start of the Iraq war. Not quite the same story with Hitler, who conquered many more countries, killed many more people, and was stopped much sooner than Saddam.

It's an insult to everyone's intelligence to equate Hitler's atrocities (i.e., Auschwitz) with Saddam's (mass graves, Halabja, Kuwait invasion). But those bloodthirsty red-staters can't resist...they won't rest until all the blood of the infidels is spilled and replaced by the blood of Jesus...

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