2
   

Turning PBS into another propaganda tool

 
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 07:45 am
rayban said
Quote:
There is great generosity in this country but it seems none of it flows in the direction of Veterans.......it is very puzzling to me.


It ought to puzzle.

Further puzzlement might follow, I'd imagine, from consideration of Bush's proposed budget (not sure where this element is at right now) which directed a cut of 1 billion (about 3. %) from the 28.7 billion total budget for VA.

The tax cut recently delivered to the very wealthy amounted to 350 billion. In other words, Bush could have left that 1 billion going to the VA and only given the rich guys a cut of 349 billion.
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 08:08 am
blatham wrote:
rayban said
Quote:
There is great generosity in this country but it seems none of it flows in the direction of Veterans.......it is very puzzling to me.


It ought to puzzle.

Further puzzlement might follow, I'd imagine, from consideration of Bush's proposed budget (not sure where this element is at right now) which directed a cut of 1 billion (about 3. %) from the 28.7 billion total budget for VA.

The tax cut recently delivered to the very wealthy amounted to 350 billion. In other words, Bush could have left that 1 billion going to the VA and only given the rich guys a cut of 349 billion.


Laughing Bravo Blatham.......could this be the one and only issue upon which you and I will ever agree completely? It is absolutely intolerable that Bush, of all people, could abandon the Veterans of this country.

Now how about responding to my last post, especially the last part about the UN. Disregard the first part.....it was a rant but it made me feel better.

It could be said that you will never understand the American mindset regarding foreign policy and the use of the military.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 08:39 am
first this
Quote:
...could this be the one and only issue upon which you and I will ever agree completely? It is absolutely intolerable that Bush, of all people, could abandon the Veterans of this country.


Not only is it absolutely intolerable (or ought not to be tolerated, on grounds of the most basic and fundamental morality), it is also predictable that this administration, and Bush, would procede in the manner they have regarding treatment of veterans. You have come to believe the cardboard-cutout portrayals they make of themselves, all shiny, sprayed with gold paint, and draped in the flag and the cross.

But every one of them - every one of the individuals who have pushed for this war (Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, Bush and the wonderful folks at AEI like Kagan or the behind the scenes cheerleaders like Norquist and the churchladies of Reed or Falwell and Dobson) have avoided the personal risk of soldiering. Count up the total hours those men and women have spent in harm's way and compare it to the hours they have spent at Phi Delta Epsilon keggers or at the Ritz hotel restaurant or on a golf junket to Scotland. Compare the personal bank accounts of each or any with yourself or any other soldier presently in Iraq.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 08:44 am
ps...my government has politely requested that I resubmit five years worth of income tax returns. As they were so nice about it, I'll procede in an equally neighborly fashion and deliver said returns to them along with a batch of fresh home-baked cookies. If I'm gone a bit, it's not because I don't like you. Dyslexia and nimh, that's a different matter. Could you please insult their mothers for me while I'm away.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 08:47 am
I do not believe one needs to be a soldier to send soldiers to die for their country. Where that the case, we would have an entirely different government. I find it rather sophmoric to complain about the military experience of the current administration. If you are going to do so, please include the joint chiefs of staff as they advise the administration on all matters militarily and they seem to have quite a bit of experience.
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jul, 2005 10:06 am
McGentrix wrote:
I do not believe one needs to be a soldier to send soldiers to die for their country. Where that the case, we would have an entirely different government. I find it rather sophmoric to complain about the military experience of the current administration. If you are going to do so, please include the joint chiefs of staff as they advise the administration on all matters militarily and they seem to have quite a bit of experience.


I completely concur and I believe most Americans would also. While I would love to see more of our society share in the experience of serving this country in some capacity, there is no evidence that actual military experience would deter an member of congress from advocating military action when necessary either for actual defense or preemptive action if deemed in the best interests of this country.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 09:45 am
There's an undeniable gracefulness to your argument, gentlemen. I'm put in mind of gazelles leaping up, nearly aflight, over some awkward hazard on the ground.

Recall that boisterous fellow who burst into the 2000 Florida recount and proclaimed, "I'm with the Bush/Cheney campaign and I'm here to stop the recount!" Later, speaking about this man, Cheney said, "He deserves anything he wants." The central character in this little historical tale was John Bolton. And we have a quote from him too on the subject of his personal notions about service in Viet Nam... "I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asia rice paddy." (Now, as an exercise in 'compare and contrast', consider the treatment of McCain and Max Cleland by the folks at the top of this administration).

The Chiefs of Staff serve at the pleasure of the President. They don't make the decision to wage a war, they carried out Bush's orders. Can either of you imagine ANY real circumstance where those Chiefs might say, "It's a bad idea, and too many American kids will die as a consequence for no good reason, so we aren't going to support you Mr President"?

Powell, who fought alongside you guys, didn't want this war. They pushed him out. The one general who spoke honestly about the costs and personnel needed was pushed out.

There is not one name I've noted above (with the possible exception of Rice) who is not now a millionaire or multi-millionaire. Or consider the execs of the big war machine companies and all their bimmer-driving agents slithering through congress. You served. They went for riches and for power. Your kids will serve. Their kids will go for riches and power. You will think about veterans' lives and post-war care and benefits. They might think about those things, if there are votes to be had or dollars to be made.

"Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes it laws or its songs either." Sam Clemens
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 09:48 am
Blatham
Blatham

BRAVO!

BBB
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:54 pm
Re: Blatham
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Blatham

BRAVO!

BBB


Blatham is still playing to the choir Rolling Eyes
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rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jul, 2005 06:59 pm
Blatham

The same old song and dance.......I asked you rather politely to respond to my comment about the UN which I painfully extracted from the Judt piece. You have ignored me even though I conceded to agree with you about the shameful treatment of our Veterans. You owe me one Pal!

rayban
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2005 05:20 am
Sorry, I'm allocating thirty minutes to reading here, checking in on Bear, and writing if I get the urge. I'll go address that now.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jul, 2005 05:53 am
rayban said:
Quote:
This is where Blathams story or should I say Tony Judt's story begins. Mr Judt used three different sources to lend a little credence to his story

just to be clear, Judt's task here is as a reviewer - he'd be contracted by NYRB to review either one or more of the noted books/publications
starting with David Rieff who is a disallusioned interventionist, or was. He's not certain what he is now but let's continue......both Judt and Rieff Cheered when Clinton suddenly found some balls, and along with some moral support from some of the members of NATO, interervened in Kosovo(not soon enough for Judt and Rieff but better late than never).
So the American military, actually the Air Force, brought Milosovish and his thugs to their knees.

Now it is evident to the world that the American Military is the most powerful military the world has even seen.but everything is still OK because Clinton is too busy with an intern named Monica to use the military to further US interests and besides he's more like us (the European elite) Corrupt!

Whoa.....things are about to change. Bush is elected (or he stole the election and it will be a short while before he is impearched and replaced by one of our guys).......it didn't happen quite that way. 9/11 burned it's way into the American psyche and war was launched against Afghanistan and of course the world and the US press believed this was a great mistake and would be another Vietnam just as it was for the Soviet Union.

Afghanistan, following sept 11, was a project which had pretty wide support around the world including almost universal support from the American press. You can go to the various press archives at the time and look at the editorials. There were various voices urging caution and prudence but those tended to point to the historical difficulties other forces (eg russia) had had in this region.

Damn....wrong again. The Taliban were quickly driven into the hills and Usama was last seen bouncing on a donkey over trails in Pakistan. There was this rumbling among the elites of the world and the US press that things were not going as planned.

I think, if you actually go back and read from this period that you'll find you have this wrong too. The failure to capture Osama was the fundamental criticism, where criticism was leveled (along with the deaths of innocents mistakenly targeted). Your use of 'elites' is not really coherent here. Which 'elites'? The ballet elite? The Washington elite? The Heritage Foundation elite? The Dallas elite? The Pentagon elite?

Then Bush started talking about replacing the regime in Iraq. Horrors......he is going in to avenge his Daddy......no....he wants to control all the oil......and on....and on.

It was then he began publicly speaking of this goal. We know now that he'd been speaking of it more privately long before. Criticism of this shifting of war on al qaida to another zone where al qaida had no relevant or important presence was voiced by many, including Scowcroft, as you'll recall. It is now the case that the majority of Americans have come to agree with Scowcroft and the many others who argued against the project. Worldwide, the overwhelming conclusion at the time by citizens and governments was what the citizens of the US are now concluding. We'll see soon whether the citizens of Britain conclude that Blair's decision to support Bush in Iraq, rather than concentrate on al qaida, was wise or foolish.

Judt and Rieff suddenly say No..No......humanitarian intervention in Kosovo was OK but it's suddenly not OK in Iraq......what? Oh....I see, humanitarian intervention is not the primary reason......WMDs are the primary reason.......we can't take a back seat to WMDs so we say this is the wrong war in the wrong place.

Humanitarian intervention was not the expressed reason for war on Iraq. It was approximately the fourth or fifth expressed reason. There's more than a little good cause to conclude it was not much of a motive at all. In Kosovo, that motive did figure in as an important motive.

Then Judt reads a book by an ex military guy who was a West Point Graduate which of course gives him all the credentials he needs.....IF.... he is willing to talk about the militarism that has surfaced in the minds of Americans. And what is really terrifying is this guy Bush, who low and behold knows how to use the military......this military that is the most powerful in the world. Suddenly this bumbling giant of a kid, is a crouching tiger bent of World Domination.

It's a geat story folks and it's laughable..... because what Blatham forgets is that this President will no longer be the C in C come Nov 2008. There will be a new President with an entire new lineup of "advisors" and it doesn't matter if he/she is a Democrat or a Republican. His/her foreign policy will be entirely different from George W. Bush. I personally wish it was not true because I like the World Domination bit.......I would like to see Chirac and Schroeder eat **** but it's enough that Both of them have already been silenced by Bush.

But hopefully this country will never again allow our magnificent military to be downsized and saddled with equipment that will guarantee thousands of casualties as in "parity of weapons".

So Blatham, I can guarantee that your hysteria about American Imperialism is an absolute myth designed to strike fear and loathing into the hearts of all liberals so they will mob the voting booths in 2008.

You need to come up with another conspiracy theory.

PS: The only part of Judt's article that is really releveant and pertinent is the bit from the Secretary General's High Leven Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change as in this very significant paragraph:

Quote:
The fundamental problem with the United Nations, however, is neither inefficiency nor corruption nor a shortage of "legitimacy." It is weakness.


But the following quote about the REAL weakness of the UN is this

Quote:
As the High-level Panel points out, the "collectively authorized use of force may not be the rule today, but it is no longer an exception." But this points to a second weakness. In a world where the violation by governments of their own subjects' rights has become the leading motive for armed intervention, the UN Charter's emphasis upon the inviolability of sovereign states presents a conundrum.


The UN Charter's emphasis upon the inviolability of soverign states presents a conundrum:

In other words, until there is some mechanism in the UN charter that allows for thugs (LIKE MUGABE IN ZIMBABWE) to be punished, the UN will be weak. The best way to do that is to revise the charter so that sovereign status can be withdrawn if certain crimes are committed by it's gov't. If the sovereign status is withdrawn then the thug will be exposed and legal action can be taken to force a change in regimes. Military action might not be required to force a change in regimes. This one change would allow the UN to be legitimate instead of irrelevant.

I don't think we have much of a bridge to one another here, rayban.
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 01:57 pm
rayban wrote:
In other words, until there is some mechanism in the UN charter that allows for thugs (LIKE MUGABE IN ZIMBABWE) to be punished, the UN will be weak. The best way to do that is to revise the charter so that sovereign status can be withdrawn if certain crimes are committed by it's gov't. If the sovereign status is withdrawn then the thug will be exposed and legal action can be taken to force a change in regimes. Military action might not be required to force a change in regimes. This one change would allow the UN to be legitimate instead of irrelevant.






Blatham wrote:
I don't think we have much of a bridge to one another here, rayban.




Laughing Blatham you must have stayed awake nights composing such a lame, ambiguous response. I'm not surprised because I know now that you are incapable of conceding any point.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Jul, 2005 11:30 pm
Re: Blatham
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Blatham

BRAVO!

BBB


Oh, that's just what blatham needs....

Simply an observation, and one based on empirical evidence alone, but it seems that in these sort of cyber-forums, it is only those with left swinging political views who lean toward cyber-hero worship and fulsome praise for those seen as the point of the sword.

Perhaps that it is because Lefties are born followers who long to be a simple unit in the great Collective, while Righties all belive they, themselves, were born to lead, and will be damned before they sublimate themselves to the Whole or any of its charismatic leaders (themselves, on the Left, conveniently, removed from the Collective).

Another observation:

There are a disproportionately greater number of threads in forums like A2K and Abuzz where the Leftie posters join to regurgitate Liberal talking points and congratulate one another for their insight and wisdom, than there are similar circle jerks by Righties.

Undoubtedly there are less than flattering observations to be made about Rightie posters, but I leave them to the Lefties. Say what you will of ideology, but if you are honest and a veteran of cyber-forums, you will agree that in, at least, my observations, I am on point.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jul, 2005 03:42 am
Re: Blatham
Finn d'Abuzz wrote:


Oh, that's just what blatham needs....

Simply an observation, and one based on empirical evidence alone, but it seems that in these sort of ...


Probably too late, but you'd better get out of that intense Texas Sun, Finn. It's got your brain fried.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2005 04:31 am
Will post entire piece in this instance...

Quote:
Spending Inquiry for Top Official on Broadcasting

By STEPHEN LABATON
Published: November 5, 2005
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 - Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the head of the federal agency that oversees most government broadcasts to foreign countries, including the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, is the subject of an inquiry into accusations of misuse of federal money and the use of phantom or unqualified employees, officials involved in that examination said on Friday.

Mr. Tomlinson was ousted from the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on Thursday after its inspector general concluded an investigation that was critical of him. That examination looked at his efforts as chairman of the corporation to seek more conservative programs on public radio and television.

But Mr. Tomlinson remains an important official as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The board, whose members include the secretary of state, plays a central role in public diplomacy. It supervises the government's foreign broadcasting operations, including Radio Martí, Radio Sawa and al-Hurra; transmits programs in 61 languages; and says it has more than 100 million listeners each week.

The board has been troubled lately over deep internal divisions and criticism of its Middle East broadcasts. Members of the Arab news media have said its broadcasts are American propaganda.

People involved in the inquiry said that investigators had already interviewed a significant number of officials at the agency and that, if the accusations were substantiated, they could involve criminal violations.

Last July, the inspector general at the State Department opened an inquiry into Mr. Tomlinson's work at the board of governors after Representative Howard L. Berman, Democrat of California, and Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, forwarded accusations of misuse of money.

The lawmakers requested the inquiry after Mr. Berman received complaints about Mr. Tomlinson from at least one employee at the board, officials said. People involved in the inquiry said it involved accusations that Mr. Tomlinson was spending federal money for personal purposes, using board money for corporation activities, using board employees to do corporation work and hiring ghost employees or improperly qualified employees.

Through an aide at the broadcasting board, Mr. Tomlinson declined to comment Friday about the State Department inquiry.

In recent weeks, State Department investigators have seized records and e-mail from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, officials said. They have shared some material with the inspector general at the corporation, including e-mail traffic between Mr. Tomlinson and White House officials including Karl Rove, a senior adviser to President Bush and a close friend of Mr. Tomlinson.

Mr. Rove and Mr. Tomlinson became friends in the 1990's when they served on the Board for International Broadcasting, the predecessor agency to the board of governors. Mr. Rove played an important role in Mr. Tomlinson's appointment as chairman of the broadcasting board.

The content of the e-mail between the two officials has not been made public but could become available when the corporation's inspector general sends his report to members of Congress this month.

That inspector general examined several contracts that were approved by Mr. Tomlinson but not disclosed to board members. The contracts provided for payments to a researcher who monitored the political content of several shows, including "Now" with Bill Moyers, and payments to two Republican lobbyists who were retained to help defeat a proposal in Congress that would have required greater representation of broadcasters on the corporation's board.

The inspector general also examined the role of a White House official, Mary C. Andrews, in Mr. Tomlinson's creation of an ombudsman's office to monitor the political balance of programs.

Mr. Tomlinson has said he took those steps to counter what he called a clear liberal tilt of public broadcasting. But broadcasting executives and critics of the corporation say the steps violated the corporation's obligations to insulate broadcasting from politics.

On Thursday Mr. Tomlinson was forced to step down from the corporation, which directs nearly $400 million in federal money to public radio and television, after the board was briefed about the conclusions by its inspector general. In that inquiry, examiners looked at accusations that Mr. Tomlinson improperly used corporation money to promote more conservative programming.

State Department officials said on Friday that al-Hurra, the Arabic language satellite television network set up by the board of governors, was also being examined by the inspector general for possibly problematic procurement practices. That audit was first disclosed on Friday by The Financial Times.

The audit began at the request of al-Hurra, the officials said. A statement by the broadcasting board said that the agency had "no indication of any wrongdoing."

The network, which receives nearly $50 million in federal financing and is broadcast in 22 countries, was set up to compete with al-Jazeera and other Arab news media. One State Department official said Karen P. Hughes, under secretary of state for public diplomacy, had been briefed on the subject and "awaits the findings of the inspector general's audit."
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2005 04:33 am
sorry, that's from this morning's NY Times
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2005 09:16 am
Oh!

Interestinger and interestinger...
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Nov, 2005 10:00 am
BBB
I have a feeling that the radical right wing must be very insecure. Otherwise, why would they try to banish every possible trace of thinking that does not conform to theirs? The Catholic Church comes to mind. Even Mao could not succeed for long in China.

Only an insecure cabal would try to control thought. History is full of examples of those who try to stifle dissent to consolidate and maintain their power. Without exception, they eventually fail as a result of their excesses and hubris. At some point, people say enough is enough and get rid of the tyrants.

If George Bush had studied history instead of partying, perhaps he would have been more resistant to the influence of the Neocon true believers. If those neocons had studied more history, they could predict what will happen to their quest. Think of all the lives and treasure that could have been saved.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2005 04:42 pm
Blatham -- this is sad, but not really new. Unlike PBS, which is admirably independent, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe always were propaganda tools for whatever administration held power in Washington. My Russian piano teacher once told me that back in the Soviet Union, when listening to foreign radio stations could get you into jail, dissidents religiously listened to BBC world service. RFE and VOA, by contrast, were generally not considered worth such a risk. My teacher and her friends would not go to jail for listening to American instead of Soviet propaganda, but would take that risk for real news. That was back in the sixties and seventies, so we're talking about a fairly old phenomenon here.

Plus, both stations always had a reputation here in Germany for laundering money and providing cover for CIA projects and agents. (RFE used to be in Munich.) How well deserved this reputation was I can't say.
0 Replies
 
 

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