Just when you thought it wasn’t possible, our source for the truth has fallen another couple notches as Bill Kristol has officially started working for the NY Times. Glenn Greenwald wrote about quite a few things in his most recent blog, but the first thing was the breakdown of Kristol’s relationship with the Times. The editorial page editor at the Times is a man named Andrew Rosenthal, whose father was good friends and fellow neocons with Kristol’s father. The two sons ended up becoming friends and then Rosenthal was given his job at the Times by a man named “Pinch” Sulzberger whose father – “Punch” – gave Rosenthal’s father a job a number of years earlier. The icing on the cake is the fact that the Times has a rule that no one can work for them who also works for another paper, but apparently that was waved for Kristol, who also spends time writing for The Weekly Standard (owned by Rupert Murdock). When – as Greenwald also points out in his blog – FoxNews does something like refuse to let Ron Paul on the Republican debate it is to be expected, but the NY Times is supposed to be a “liberal rag”. So much for that theory.
It isn’t just the New York Times or FoxNews who are feeding the public spoonful after spoonful of deception; it is pretty much the entire mainstream media. As Robert C. Koehler wrote about yesterday, there are plenty of ways that the average news consumer can be fooled by a simple headline, the first few lines of an article, or the way a reporter on TV delivers the news. We are indoctrinated from the time we start our first day of school (some of us even earlier) to not ask too many questions, especially of those in authority positions. We are taught that the people in charge – teachers, police, government – are there for a reason, because they know better than we do what is best for us. Some of us get to college, get a real good professor or meet some question asking people, and are able to overcome this handicap, but the majority of us either never have the opportunity or are simply too lazy or afraid to seek the truth. This is the reason that the government no longer has to use violence against the US population on a regular basis, the reason why people are much more reluctant to voice their dissenting opinions than they were just forty years ago. The real war is in education; there is no way things will ever change, the system will ever be different, until we all learn to think for ourselves.
As everyone who walked past a newspaper, heard any amount of news, or otherwise participated in society for the past couple weeks knows, yesterday was the day the Iowans voted. Although the real election is still ten months off, the conventions are eight months away, and probably 97% of the country did not vote yesterday, the media needs something to write about so we have primaries and caucuses. The Republican winner was the man who thinks homosexuality is the same thing as pedophilia and necrophilia and would like to quarantine all AIDS patients; Mike Huckabee. Ron Paul did not do too horrible, getting around 8% of the vote, which – and this is the best part of the whole thing – is more than double what Rudy Giuliani got, or as a headline somewhere read “9+1+1=6th place. Over on the Democratic side, much to the excitement of the Anonymous Liberal, the winner was Barrack Obama, followed by John Edwards and Hillary Clinton respectively. If the elections were held today and it was a choice between these two characters, I’m pretty torn about what I would do. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama would make a better president than Huckabee, that we would be much safer and have more of our freedoms intact with Obama at the helm. However, he is still an experienced politician (one of the only professions where experience leads to corruption) who does not have a real plan to end the war and won’t promise to take a pre-emptive strike against Iran off the table. I know voting for a third party and trying to convince as many people as I can to do the same would, instead of giving the third (or fourth or fifth) party candidate a chance, take away points from the Democrat, but – like I said yesterday – part of me thinks we need to hit rock bottom as a country before we can bounce back up and reclaim what is our birthright- freedom.
There is an interesting article in the IPS about how the US Government has gone a little mad when it comes to prosecuting charities with suspected ties to (US labeled) terrorist organizations. As with arresting “enemy combatants” there does not have to be any proof or probable cause for not only the arrest of everyone involved, but also a complete seizure of all assets. Not only that, but even after charges are brought, sometimes a trial never takes place; the charity simply ends. While I’m sure the government actually convicts people who are helping genuine terrorist organizations, our system is not supposed to work like that; the foundation of our legal system is that it is better to set nine guilty people free than to convict one innocent. There are bad people out there, there are people that want to hurt us, and the world is a fucked up place, but doing things the way our government has been going about them for the past few decades is surely not the way to make us safer.
Things in Kenya appear to be calming down a bit, at least in the past 24 hours. Although the opposition group – the Orange Democratic Movement – was not allowed to hold a protest yesterday, there were no reported incidents of rioting or murder. Desmond Tutu has been meeting with both Mwai Kibaki (the president) and Raila Odinga (the opposition leader) and appears to be close to reaching some sort of power sharing agreement. Can you imagine if, in 2000, John Kerry would have led a protest a day until Bush admitted that he cheated? I’m shocked day after day when all these other countries react so much stronger than we do to being treated unfairly and not having their voices heard. Maybe they need to be invading us in order to spread democracy.
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