Justifiable War?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:02 pm

You never answered as to why progressives and radicals are excluded from mainstream debates.

The consensus is what you all want me to conform to. I cannot do that, because the consensus is manufactured--there is vast evidence of that. From Bernay's saying that there is a secret government to others saying that Consent must be manufactured, because Americans are too irrational to make sound decisions. The debate must be controlled, swayed, in fact. Because the right wing have so much power in corporate America, the debate goes right--mainstream opinion tends to be center-right, while the country tends to be center-left. This is the fake consensus. I know their talking points more than I know my own, so reading some book that says the same thing is pointless.

There are certainly consensus views that I agree on: Science with evolution, global climate change, the big bang, the age of the earth. The fact that World War 2 was a good idea, even though I will admit that war crimes were committed. Freeing the slaves is obviously a consensus I want to be on. Some things just aren't the same. When some elite tells me something, something that nine million other people say as well, I don't think of that as an original idea. Especially when there is alternative ideas that make sense and can be backed up.

Here's the consensus litany:

The Gulf War: Saddam invaded Kuwait, which is a bad thing. He refused to leave, so we had to militarily get him out.

Vietnam: Communists in the North invaded the South. We went there to defend the South from Northerly aggression and continuing a communist takeover of the globe.

Panama: Noreiga was a thug, made money from the drug trade, so we had to intervene to bring him to justice.

Nicaragua: Communists sympathetic to the Soviets and armed by them overthrew an ally of the US, forcing communism on the population, instigating murder, lessening of democracy, jailings, closing down of radio stations. We had to intervene, even illegally, because communism was going to infect the entire region, then possibly spilling over into America. The Contras were freedom fighters.

This consensus ignored other ideas that went against the norm. All of these stories and more have well researched alternative views, views that do not get the same access to the media. This tells me that they censor these ideas, not because they think they are bad, but because they want to control the debate, so that the American people will not rebel against the power of the state and elites who control it.

I'm just saying, let the other views be heard. Give the American people the whole story. Let them then decide who is right. I know the consensus view, but how many know our views?

When I was in my twenties, I was quite moderate. I was what you would call a Reagan Democrat. I hated Jimmy Carter and welcomed the smiley crocodile as our dear leader. I too believed the consensus, because how can you avoid it? Time and Newsweek and the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal made me think in ways I thought were real. The reporters seemed sincere, plus they had all these nifty, high ranking sources. How could they, of all people, get it wrong?

In the early 90s, I listened to a Jello Biafra spoken word album. I remembered the name from my Brother's punk rock records. At first I didn't believe what Jello was telling me. How could that stuff be true? I never heard that before. America do terrorism, that cannot be true. The other guy is a terrorist, not us. But further study proved me wrong. Jello was right. We did do many crimes. Jello hipped me to a guy named Noam. I read Manufactured Consent. Seemed plausable. You mean the New York Times shilled for Reagan? I thought they were liberals? Why would liberals shill for a conservative? Chomsky's evidence seemed pretty good. One Polish Priest getting killed was met with media uproar. The Soviets, those monsters! There should either be justice or Poland should be sanctioned, damned to hell, in fact. In Nicaragua, several catholic intellectuals are killed by the contras. No media outrage, not a peep of condemnation--what gives? One Priest versus several catholic laity. In El Salvador, Oscar Romero is killed, killed with our bullets! Some media coverage, no uproar. Reagan should be jailed for funding the death merchants that killed a catholic bishop, right? No, the media blame it on the "civil war," even though earlier Romero wrote Jimmy Carter, begging him to stop funding the army, because they were murdering civilians. Romero was a non-political, rather conservative guy, until the crackdown. The media covered for Reagan. I was shocked.

I read more, looking around: Pilger, Fisk, Palast, Roy, Ali, Herman, Johnson, Goodman, Kohn. All with the same MO, they are outcasts. Why doesn't the media want to hear from them? Wouldn't they love the scoop that proves that Reagan is really a monster, not the kind granddad? What is going on? I read the declassified record. Holy shit, Chomsky is right. Why doesn't the media read this stuff? This is from our own government, for Christ's sake. Watergate is a big story, but what about the bombing of Cambodia? Blame it on Pol Pot. The media obey. Ah, but they did report Watergate, right? Only because powerful people were on the Enemies List. Powerful people know how to fight back. Watergate is the story that makes two reporters stars. But what about Cointelpro? The documents even prove it. It's not buried, it's right there! Spying on legal political groups is worse than a stupid break in of a campaign office. Right? Don't tell that to the consensus. They know what's better for you. Stay quiet, shop, play video games, watch tv. Be a good little stooge. Just obey.

But there must be a reason, right.

Why isn't Chomsky on CNN? Paul Berman, who is a noted "liberal" intellectual, tells us: "Because he's a crank.!"

A crank, what does that mean? Do you have proof? Where is your evidence? They don't need any.

Jeff Greenfield is asked, "why isn't Chomsky on Nightline? His answer: "Maybe he's not good on television."

Good on television? Huh? I guess the BBC isn't television. Or the CBC. Or Australian Television. He's been on all these, this can't be the reason. Greenfield tries again: "He's a wacko." A what?? "His views seem like they are from Venus." But Kissinger, oh yes, we love him, right? Alexander Haig is just peachy. Rush Limbaugh debates James Carville. Rush is presented as an "expert on the gulf war." Ann Coulter gets on ABC, NBC, CBS. Something is wrong.

Sixty Minutes, yes, Sixty Minutes will save us, right? No Chomsky, never! O'Reilly, sure, we will have O'Reilly on.

When Crossfire was on, Janeane Garofalo was a guest host on the "left." Great, right? She admitted later that she was frustrated with the people that were chosen to be on her end of the table. At many times her side would agree with the conservative. What gives? She said that she tried to get experts on, that knew more about the issues then she did, but when she suggested people--Howard Zinn, Greg Palast. You know what the producers there said? "No, they are too controversial!" Controversial! What the fuck is that? Isn't that the point? You mean to tell me that Pat Buchanon and Tucker Carlson aren't controversial? But they agree with the consensus.

Believe me folks, I read the Times, I read the Journal--Time, Newsweek, I am up to snuff. My worldview is shaped by their lies. They also tell the truth all the time. But that's boring. I am not here for that. I am here to be controversial, like our Pal Harlan. He proved it with that cover. Amen. Kisses.

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Steve Evil
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Steve Evil » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:01 pm

I may have asked already, but my memory ain't what it used to be: ever read Unca Harlan's The Glass Teat? You'll love the man more than ever.

It's true: Right wing nuts get the run of the house, but anyone more left than the Democrats gets nowhere near the studio.

FrankChurch wrote:
Why isn't Chomsky on CNN? Paul Berman, who is a noted "liberal" intellectual, tells us: "Because he's a crank.!"

A crank, what does that mean? Do you have proof? Where is your evidence? They don't need any.

Jeff Greenfield is asked, "why isn't Chomsky on Nightline? His answer: "Maybe he's not good on television."

Good on television? Huh? I guess the BBC isn't television. Or the CBC. Or Australian Television. He's been on all these, this can't be the reason. Greenfield tries again: "He's a wacko." A what?? "His views seem like they are from Venus." But Kissinger, oh yes, we love him, right? Alexander Haig is just peachy. Rush Limbaugh debates James Carville. Rush is presented as an "expert on the gulf war." Ann Coulter gets on ABC, NBC, CBS. Something is wrong.


He's got a point there ladies and gentlemen. He's got a point.

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Moderator » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:09 pm

Frank -- That was, without a doubt, one of the best, most reasoned and passionate explanations I have read in your support of your positions.

We still disagree on things, but with the perspective and non-jingoism you posted I have a better understanding of your point of view. Thank you.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:17 am

Really, Barber, really!! I thought you were going to flay me.

Another good analogy of the consensus: Consumer Reports. Big business fucking hates them. If they could destroy them they would. But the magazine just keeps chugging along. Everbody, left of right must agree with them. They tell you the good products from the dross. They don't give a shit who they offend or if they get sued, and sued they do. Fact is, they have never lost a case. Honest reporting on consumer issues makes them the envy of cloud coocoo land.

Now compare this to our media. Newsweek and Time will let anybody advertise with them. It doesn't matter if the babyseat fell apart or the car caught on fire, they will let Satan advertise if he has the loot. Their reporting matches their corporate vetting process. This is why consumer reports has zero advertising. They do not want to be affected by what the ads think or thought to be in cohoots. See what they report. Understand, the media do what their corporate masters want. They have to or the ads will dry up.

This is one reason why I am so crazy on the Hugo Chavez thing. The guy has very authoritarian language. Bugs me to death. He doesn't help his countries cause. And he plays footsie with Iran. Not a good scene. But we cannot judge him. We have no right to judge him. Why? Look who we support? We use comparative advantage in the same way he does. They all do. We are all sinners, right? But our sins get the ole white wash. It's not just about truth, it is about taking a look at the reality, even when the shit is up to our knees, and rising.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:27 pm

What do I win? Kiss.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:35 pm

Case in point: Alan Nathan, a talk show host, is up in arms--Europe is not happy with the war in Afghanistan. How dare they, he says, especially with a story that says that 95 percent of poppy production is down there. Great, right? I vetted it. Sure, 95 percent of the poppy crop is down, but what Nathan doesn't tell his listeners is the fact that the Taliban is not financially affected by it. The people who are being hurt are the farmers, who are becoming destitute because they can no longer grow a cash crop. The other story Nathan didn't mention is the fact that the government forced the growers to stop, not our war games. The farmers are becoming so angry that we are possibly building up a whole new recruitment zone of terrorist sympathy. Isn't this a bad war aim? Sheesh. When you don't give the entire story. Ahh.

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby reddragon70 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:07 pm

Yes, governments do lie. But we will elect them again and again.

Maybe we get the government we deserve. Lies and all.

The bigger question is this.... Why are WE not running for office?

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:19 am

Frank discovers the paragraph. :wink:

Frank forgive me (or don't) but I still suspect you just want to exchange right wing propaganda for left wing propaganda.

Maybe we get the government we deserve.

Precisely. There is only one place for blame in a representative democracy.
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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:15 pm

Ezra, you want to follow the consensus, you can.

Meet The Press did have on Rachel Maddow. There's hope.

I think of the term left wing as a response to finding the truth, nothing more. It's not an ideology. The right hide the truth to keep certain people in line. Controlling people is how you get them to obey. Ezra has been trained well.

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:19 pm

Ezra, so is Chomsky a Propagandist?

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:48 am

Someone's been calling my name...

...why progressives and radicals are excluded from mainstream debates.

Because they're MAINSTREAM debates.

The consensus is manufactured...This is the fake consensus...There are certainly consensus views that I agree on...

In other words, if you agree with a "consensus" position it's ok but if you disagree then it is the result of some secret cabal of manipulators who are mindfucking the public.

...same access to the media...

Or create new media? I notice your "radical" buddies are all over the internet. Prof Chomsky's books are in Barnes & Noble. Considering how despised atheists are in this here country, doesn't it make you curious why Prof Dawkins book is approaching 2 MILLION in sales. Give you any ideas, Frank?

Give the American people the whole story.

Or just your version of the "story"?

Look Frank I share your concern with access. But the problems of our media are inherent in the nature of the media itself. You don't need to resort to a grand conspiracy theory.

Take the example of the religious right. They didn't do anything wrong. They organized at a local level, their membership took over leadership roles locally and built a national base that allowed them to set the debate and have influence far out of proportion to their membership.

Instead of whining because you don't get points for just showing up, why not profit from their example? Start small and local and build your way up.

The system rewards those who invest the most in it. Why is it so hard for you to get this?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:08 pm

Ezra, for a smart guy you say some idiotic things...

"...why progressives and radicals are excluded from mainstream debates.

Because they're MAINSTREAM debates."

Who decides what is mainstream? Since the general public follow the manufactured mainstream, they get their information from these sources. The public is ill served by this, because in a democracy, to think of policy and other things people must be informed about all the differing options. If certain viable options are excluded, then how do they know what is what?

I already told you that the left is purposely excluded from the mainstream debate by corporate gatekeepers. Palast knows this, since his stories are always rejected, even though his sources tend to be actual internal documents and exclusive interviews with whistleblowers and aware sources.

I also mentioned that Chomsky is on the BBC, the CBC and other outlets. These countries are run by the same elites, but they let dissidents on.

We do have our own alternative media--the internet, Democracynow, Free Speech Television, public radio, but if nobody knows these exist or that skilled propaganda demonizes the left to the point where even if they did know about it they would avoid our media like the plague, because of the fact that we are defamed as anti-American, Communists, anti-Israel bigots, etc...

"In other words, if you agree with a "consensus" position it's ok but if you disagree then it is the result of some secret cabal of manipulators who are mindfucking the public."

If it uses the scientific method or is peer reviewed, sure. If the consensus is manufactured to exclude the left, then I ignore it.

The consensus here is that Christianity is a good thing. I know you don't agree with that consensus.

"Or create new media? I notice your "radical" buddies are all over the internet. Prof Chomsky's books are in Barnes & Noble. Considering how despised atheists are in this here country, doesn't it make you curious why Prof Dawkins book is approaching 2 MILLION in sales. Give you any ideas, Frank?"

Howard Zinn has sold a million copies of a People's History, who cares?

Corporations have for years wanted to put gates on the internet, making it harder to find certain sites. So far it hasn't been adopted, but in this climate, who knows.

New media is wonderful, but when nobody knows how to find it or why they need to find it, it doesn't matter. Remember what I said before--the mainstream demonizes the left, to the point where people will avoid us like the plague. If Chomsky says that America is a leading terrorist state, but he's not allowed to put context to such a statement, people will rightly think, "what a loon. America a terrorist state? What is this guy smoking?" Even if they read a book of his they will resist, because the planting of ill will is already there.

On Dawkins: I agree with Hitchens, who says that there are more atheists than the polls indicate.

"Give the American people the whole story.

Or just your version of the "story"?"

Not my version, THE version. No, give both sides, which is what you do in a fair society. They don't give both sides or skew our side to include only centrist democrats.

The media belongs to all of us. Without fair and unbiased information people cannot make decent decisions about how to vote or how to think about issues or ideas.

Take the coup in Honduras. When the media only promotes the version where Zelaya is this evil dupe of Chavez, we don't get the whole story. How many Americans know that Zelaya wasn't even eligible to run for reelection, because the vote for referendum would not start until after the Presidential elections?

"Look Frank I share your concern with access. But the problems of our media are inherent in the nature of the media itself. You don't need to resort to a grand conspiracy theory.

Take the example of the religious right. They didn't do anything wrong. They organized at a local level, their membership took over leadership roles locally and built a national base that allowed them to set the debate and have influence far out of proportion to their membership.

Instead of whining because you don't get points for just showing up, why not profit from their example? Start small and local and build your way up.

The system rewards those who invest the most in it. Why is it so hard for you to get this?"

I agree with your "nature of the media" thing. This has nothing to do with a conspiracy theory. Big corporations run the media. They want power and don't want to share that power. Radicals want to put them out of business. This is why they are excluded. This is why we need a more public media. It makes sense that they would exclude socialist views, because socialism would put their power to a test. They don't want that. It's no conspiracy, just common sense.

Did I read you wrong or are you saying we should buy access? So, free speech is about who has the most cash to spend? That's a disgusting way to give up. Let me make this clear, they do not have a right to run the media, because in a democracy we should all have equal access.

Invest the most in it? The left fucking built this country! This land would be a fascist village without the enlightenment values of the left movements. Women would still be in the kitchens and blacks would still be hanging from trees.

The constitution is a liberal document--free speech is a left idea. The right hates real freedom. You sound like one of these tax protesters.

I hate to be arrogant, but without us there is no America. The animals would take over. You want that?

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FrankChurch
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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:21 pm

I like how Jello Biafra frames it: He mentions how powerful media wants to limit our access to "information itself." Without reliable information, we are fucked.

This has life and death principles. Look at how the war was covered? Imagine if the media had all sides, we may have never had those soldiers die or the hundreds of thousands of civilians. This is why media reform is essential.

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:45 pm

But the problems of our media are inherent in the nature of the media itself. You don't need to resort to a grand conspiracy theory.



Ezra

Not that Frank needs me to stick up for him at all, but I do have to say this.

All of what he said in that post is a matter of public record. I remember finding the same information on Janeane Garofalo that he mentioned on an article someone linked to on Facebook for christs sake.

Let me ask you a question: It is said that William Randolph Hearst said "If it bleeds it leads" Meaning, the most sensational news gets the front page. Most people only read the headlines, if the read the newspaper at all. So, while all the wars get attention, stuff like government corruption and it's ilk get page 6 coverage, which means they don't get read by anyone save the total news geeks like myself. So, if information is paramount to making a good decision, and decisions are what "make" our government; who do we hold responsible for the lack of information?

I totally argee with Amy Goodman who is quoted as saying "The media is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democracy. It's not our job to cozy up to power. We're supposed to be the check and balance on government. "

We seem to be living in a society where media access is bought sold like so many pounds of pork belly. And, it dosen't take a genius to figure out that those with the most prestige, money and influence are usually the ones who get the most attention Hunter S. Thompson said "Politics is the art of controlling your environment. ". He's right and the Right does that better than the Left, Liberals and Progressives combined.

(stepping down from soapbox and waiting for the replies to fly)

Lori

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Re: Justifiable War?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:54 pm

I thought Atheists were against irrational ideas having center stage? Isn't the idea that the Contras were freedom fighters the same as saying Noah's Ark was real? There has to be standards man.

It's just the God's honest truth: Our methods are just better...lol

I remember during the Kerry campaign, where the RNC put out a letter saying that Kerry would ban the Bible and force gay marriage if elected. Now we all know that was bunk. Not only was Kerry a practicing Catholic, but he was on record against gay marriage. The RNC, Rush, the rest, just lie. Sure, Russell Kirk was a different form of beast, but his ilk is dead. Todays Republicans are crazy.

Gingrich mentioned a study by the Lewin Group, that said that healthcare costs would be sky high with Obama. Guess who the Lewin group are? Affiliated with insurance companies.

FAIR did a study that showed most major media outlets had board members who were also board members on either big Pharma or insurance giants. This media controls what we see and hear. Most Americans rely on it. They are rebelling, going to talk radio, to local news. Have you seen local news? Don't get me started on talk radio..lol

We need a media that represents all sides, so that we can have an accurate view of the world. The only way to know how we are being screwed. Without that we are done.

We use the scientific method, at it shows. This is why they hate us. We tell the truth.


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