Saturday, January 28, 2006
It is time to do this again.
Watch this site for more, soon.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Whatever Happened to the Free Press?
First Story: Poynteronline
What happened to the Free Press in America. Probably the best answer is that Fox News ate it. Two stories came out this week that are so frightening in their implications that American’s should clamoring to their senators for a fix.
The first story I saw was from Poynteronline.
The story covered the acquisition (yep, that’s the right word) of Chris Wallace by Fox News. Chris Wallace, that vile spokesman for the left, or so the Right would have us believe, has said that he “Sees Fox as Fair, Balanced.”
Howard Kurtz, whom everyone knows is a paragon of rightly virtue who would never tell an untruth, reported that little snippet. I must admit, I am sorry to see Chris Wallace go. I’m not really surprised. He was highly paid, and money talks louder than freedom. Fox will use its acquisition of the Chris Wallace brand name to continue its assault on the freedoms we American’s hold dear. The US slips a little farther from the promise of freedom made by our founding fathers, and a little closer to a Hitleresque or Stalinesque state where News is a fictitious as Harry Potter.
The real telling point is actually in Poynteronline as shown in this quote. “The fact is, daily life at FNC is all about management politics. I say this having served six years there - as producer of the media criticism show, News Watch, as a writer/producer of specials and (for the last year of my stay) as a newsroom copy editor. Not once in the 20+ years I had worked in broadcast journalism prior to Fox - including lengthy stays at The Associated Press, CBS Radio and ABC/Good Morning America - did I feel any pressure to toe a management line. But at Fox, if my boss wasn't warning me to "be careful" how I handled the writing of a special about Ronald Reagan ("You know how Roger [Fox News Chairman Ailes] feels about him."), he was telling me how the environmental special I was to produce should lean ("You can give both sides, but make sure the pro-environmentalists don't get the last word.")”
Obviously Chris Wallace didn’t look very deeply into the practices at Fox News. Or Perhaps Mr. Wallce is looking only as far as his Paycheck
Looking at the story title makes you want to ask “Hunh?” The Simpsons don’t seem to have much in common with Fox news, other than the fact that both parody reality and both are fiction. The real gist of this story is that Rupart Murdoch (Fox News) nearly sued Fox over the Simpson parody of Fox’s apparent right leaning news stories.
This is the critical part. The Simpsons ran a humorous tickertape at the bottom with obviously fake but funny news stories. "Study: 92 per cent of Democrats are gay... JFK posthumously joins Republican Party... Oil slicks found to keep seals young, supple..." A joke, being a joke, you got to admit this is moderately funny stuff. Who takes the Simpsons seriously, anyway. Rupurt Murdoch, however seemed to fear that someone might think that the Simpsons was just another of their “Fair and Balanced” news shows.
The story does state that Murdoch backed off, but only after an agreement that the Simpsons would no longer parody Fox News in such a way.
I can not think of an uglier, or more trivial piece of censorship. Anyone, after reading the story, has to ask why. Why should Fox be concerned that someone would confuse the Simpsons with Fox News.
The only possible answer is that “The Truth Hurts.”
Friday, October 17, 2003
Welcome to God’s Republic
Today I live in a nation where the AP publishes photos of George W. Bush with a halo. I’ve seen the icons, the medieval art. So who decided GW was the Son of God. So far as I know he is just a son of a Bush. I had thought that the AP was a somewhat neutral service. Obviously I was wrong. It seems that pandering to the “Right” is the in thing to do. News is not longer news it is religious commentary.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
How to Play Hardball with Reluctant Public Servants AKA US Representative Nethercutt.
Representative Nethercutt has chosen to abandon support for the men and women dying in Iraq. Apparently, he chose to don a brand new set of Bush colored glasses, through which he will view the universe.
A Nation of Prostitutes
It should come to no surprise that the person who spent the most money in the California Governor's recall race won. It strikes me that a nation who choses its leaders based on the money they spend is a nation of prostitutes without freedom or ethics.
Some Pertinent Links to ths story:
From "The Note" October 15, 2003
"Although the recall was the first election in California to be conducted under new rules that limit contributions, the candidate with the most money won ? Schwarzenegger contributed $10 million of his own money ? to go with $11.7 million from a long list of special interests," the AP reports. LINK
By DON THOMPSON and TOM CHORNEAU
Recall Candidates Spend $80M on Campaigns
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The candidates in California's 77-day recall contest raised - and presumably spent - more than $80 million, or $1 million a day, one of the most intensive expenditures of campaign money in U.S. political history.
Much of the money came from the state's increasingly influential Indian gambling interests, unions and business groups, campaign finance records show.
By comparison, nearly $90 million was spent over eight months during last year's general election campaign for governor.
The total for the recall campaign still falls well short of the national spending record, set last year in the New York governor's race - $148 million.
Although the recall was the first election in California to be conducted under new rules that limit contributions, the candidate with the most money won: Republican Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger contributed $10 million of his own money in donations or loans to go with $11.7 million from a long list of special interests.
Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, who was largely abandoned by the prison guards and teachers, still raised $17 million in his unsuccessful fight against recall, much of it coming from nationally affiliated unions like the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.
New campaign spending rules, approved by voters two years ago, limited donations to candidates to $21,200. But because Davis was the target of the recall, he could accept contributions of any size. The law also put no limits on how much an individual could contribute to his or her own campaign.
Thus, the recall looked a lot like other elections.
"The only viable candidates in today's system are those who are independently wealthy, or those who are willing to take huge contributions from groups they would influence as governor," said California Common Cause Director Jim Knox. "This was a continuation of a pattern that's been in effect for quite some time."
Of the rich candidates who dipped into their own fortunes, Rep. Darrell Issa, who bankrolled the petition drive that got the recall on the ballot, spent $2.3 million of his own money; former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth $1.8 million; and "Ask Jeeves" creator Garrett Gruener $1 million.
Tribal gambling interests emerged as the single largest source of money for the candidates, providing more than $11 million. Unions were a close second with more than $10 million.
Final campaign totals will not be filed with the state until the first of the year. Those reports will indicate just how much the candidates raised and spent; early estimates are they spent $40 million alone on TV advertising.
Schwarzenegger, who first said he would not take money from special interests and then amended that to mean Indian tribes and unions, accepted $2.4 million from real estate developers, $1.5 million from bankers and $1 million from car dealers and equipment sales operations. The loans made to his campaign are also expected to be paid back by donors eager to curry favor with the new governor.
The notion of campaign donors getting special favors was one of the primary reasons voters cited in recalling Davis. Davis, who raised $78 million for his campaign last year, has been accused of giving priority to big donors.
Democratic Lt. Cruz Bustamante received nearly $3.5 million from Indian gambling interests. They were, by far, Bustamante's biggest supporters. And he was heavily criticized during the campaign because of it.
The big money spent by the tribes on the Democrats is likely to cost them down the road with negotiations with Schwarzenegger on additional taxes they are likely to be asked to pay to help ease California's budget crisis, said Scott Lay, a lobbyist who tracks campaign spending.
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
An Open Letter to David Brooks concerning his editorial: The Presidency Wars
Dear Mr. Brooks,
In respect to “The Presidency Wars” I think you are out of line. You are spreading the line, spell that lie, that Democrats only oppose Bush because we hate. The truth is a far different matter.
As a Democrat I don’t hate Bush, how can I when I have never met the man. The HATE you talk about, which was so palpable in the 90’s, was entirely a Republican/Conservative thing. If Democrats truly hated President Bush we would have found our own Scaife to fund an open ended investigation into the President’s past. We would have convinced the Congress to spend more than 60 million investigating his links with funeral homes in Texas, or his failure to show up for a year with the National Guard. We would have paid for documentaries on who President Bush has had killed, when he had them killed, and which of his victims were personal friends, and possibly lovers, of Mrs. Bush. We would have invented stories, such as the infamous hair cut at LAX, which never happened. That kind of malicious hate is not in Democrats.
What I, and the Democrats I know, do hate are policies. We hate being lied into a war. The war was fought over Weapons of Mass destruction and Donald Rumsfeld new exactly where they were at. We fought a war because we did not want the wake up call to be a mushroom cloud. We fought the war because we were told that everyone knows that al Quaeda and Saddam Hussain hand ties going back a decade. Vice President Cheny was still maintaining the existence of those ties as recently as September 14. We all know that Yellow Cake was supplied to Saddam by Nigeria. The President told us so. Republicans hate being lied to about sex. Democrats hate being lied to about war.
Democrats hate that every day another American soldier is being killed or maimed in Iraq. We hate the police that led the President to go to call the UN irrelevant, until he needed them for help. That same policy led him to go back and let them know they could send money and the lives of their own soldiers, but America will not share the responsibility of running Iraq. We hate arrogance. We hate the Press showing us pictures of a statue being overturned by Iraqi citizens, then seeing the real picture that showed Chalabi and a few dozen supporters pretending to pull the statue down when an American Tank was doing the work. We hate the lies around Jessica. We hate the lie about the “Coalition of the Willing.” The US has 130,000 soldiers, the British about 20,000, but who else is spending thousands of their lives and Billions of their taxes?
We hate the Clean Air Initiative, which allows power plants to upgrade equipment and, in effect, rebuild the entire plant without improving emissions, thus actually being a Dirty Air Initiative. We hate that the people of New York were told that they had nothing to worry about from the fumes after 9/11. (How many more will die of Cancer in 10 to 15 years) We hate the No Child Left Behind Law, now mostly unfunded. You know, the law that requires schools to turn over the names, addresses and phone numbers of all children to the defense department so they can be approached by recruiters. We hate the closure of Veterans Administration hospitals at a time when we are rapidly making new veterans. We hate the cutting in half of hazardous duty pay and separation allowance paid to troops in the field, fighting for us. We hate that an Aircraft Carrier was delayed returning home for 2 days so the President could fly aboard and show Americans what a man he was while saying “the major combat phase of the war is over” in front of a sign that said Mission accomplished. We understand the subliminal messages in that speech. We hate seeing a movie made about President Bush and 9/11 that did not follow the known time line of events on 9/11. And speaking of 9/11, we hate that an open investigation into the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our history has been stonewalled. We know how quickly Pearl Harbor was investigated, and want to know why 9/11 happened.
We hate Enron, that thousands lost their retirement savings in an open swindle, and that Ken lay (the largest singled contributor to President Bush’s 2000 campaign) never did the Perp Walk. We hate the fact that Vice President Cheny still is being paid by Halliburton, and that Halliburton is getting no bid sweat heart deal contracts worth Billions in Iraq. We hate more than three million lost jobs while Bush’s Tax cuts return Billions to people making over $250,000 a year. We hate color-coded terrorist alert bars that appear to have the sole purpose of making Americans feel less secure. We hate the Patriot Act that makes our library records and Book purchases available to the Attorney General without our knowledge. That is the same Attorney General who refused to check to see if Atta or his co-conspirators had purchased a hand gun We hate knowing that Patriot I was written in May, before 9/11. We hate knowing that President Clinton told President Bush that he (Bush) would spend more time on terrorism than anything else, and that Bush ignored the warning. We hate that the Heart-Rudman commission warned Bush against the possibility of an attack on American soil, and that Cheny never met to examine their findings. We hate that the news services reported that there was a plot to hijack Airliners and crash them into a meeting place in Italy as an attack on the president in May, before 9/11; then being told after 9/11 that the Bush Administration could never have dreamed that anyone would do such a thing.
No, we don’t hate President Bush. We only hate that the America we know and love is being taken in the wrong direction, that American Soldier’s are dieing Exon and their families are not being cared for.
We are mad as hell and not going to take it any more.
M. Frank Darbe
Thursday, May 08, 2003
From the News: Minor Rant
A friend sent me a "NewsMax" article from Tuesday May 6 by Phill Brennan. It seems that the Religious Right is getting restive and, according to the title "Christian Right Talks of Bolting GOP in 2004" one could almost be hopeful that the Christian Right has finally come to the conclusion that Bush's family values lack conviction.
Thursday, May 01, 2003
And you are surprised Bush has an enemies list?
On May 1, 2003, James O. Goldsborough published a editorial in the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE announcing that Bush has an enemies list of countries that opposed him during the war.